How to Change a Registered Agent in Delaware

If you’ve established a corporation or LLC in Delaware, you need a reliable registered agent to make sure your business stays compliant and your assets are protected. This crucial role involves receiving legal documents and notices on behalf of your business entity. However, circumstances may arise that make you change your registered agent. 

This blog post will show you how to change a registered agent in Delaware, covering the why, how, associated fees and timelines, necessary notifications, and addressing common queries surrounding this change. 

The Process of Changing a Registered Agent in Delaware

The process to change registered agents in Delaware isn’t complicated, but it does involve some paperwork and a filing fee. Here are the steps to guide you:

Step 1: Select a new registered agent

Begin by choosing a new registered agent for your business entity. You can opt for an individual or a commercial registered agent service. The individual should be a Delaware resident with a physical address in the state and be available during standard business hours. 

If opting for a commercial service, ensure they’re authorized to conduct business in Delaware and have a physical office within the state. Find a list of registered agents on the Delaware Division of Corporations website.

Step 2: Complete the Certificate of Change of Agent form 

Access the appropriate Certificate of Change of Agent form for your entity type via the Delaware Division of Corporations website. Provide the following details on the form:

  • Business entity name
  • Business entity file number
  • The current registered agent’s name and address
  • New registered agent’s name and address
  • Signature of an authorized person within your business entity

Step 3: Submit the form and make payment

Submit the completed form along with the requisite fee to the Delaware Division of Corporations. Submission methods include mail, fax, or in-person delivery. You can pay via checks or credit/debit cards. The filing fee stands at $50 for all entity types. Based on the desired turnaround time, expedited services are available at an additional cost, ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Upon successful completion, you’ll receive confirmation from the Division of Corporations affirming the effectiveness of your agent change.

What Are the Fees Associated With Changing a Registered Agent in Delaware?

When changing your registered agent in Delaware, the associated fees include:

  • Filing Fee: A standard filing fee of $50 accompanies the submission of the Certificate of Change of Agent form.
  • Certified Copy: Each copy of the Certificate of Change of Agents costs $50
  • Expedited Service Fee: Should you opt for expedited service, additional fees ranging from $100 to $1,000 apply, depending on the desired turnaround time.
  • Annual Fee for Commercial Registered Agent Service: An annual fee is expected if you choose to use a commercial registered agent service. The cost can differ among providers and depends on the level of service offered.

Commercial registered agent services typically include receiving and scanning mail/documents, sending compliance reminders, and providing a secure online dashboard for access and management.

Be mindful that the annual fee for the new registered agent service may fluctuate depending on the provider and the specific services they extend. This fee covers the amenities provided by the registered agent service for the duration of your engagement with them.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Registered Agent in Delaware?

The time it takes to change your registered agent in Delaware depends on the method and the speed of service you choose. Here are the estimated time frames for each option:

  • Mail: 1 to 3 weeks for regular service, 1 to 24 hours for expedited service
  • Fax: 1 to 3 weeks for standard service, 1 to 24 hours for expedited service
  • In-person: 1 to 3 weeks for regular service, 1 to 24 hours for expedited service

You can check your filing status on the Delaware Division of Corporations website by entering your file number. You can also contact the Division of Corporations by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns.

Who Should You Notify About Changing Your Registered Agent in Delaware?

When changing your registered agent in Delaware, it’s essential to inform the following parties:

  • Business Partners, Stakeholders, and Employees
  • Customers, Clients, and Vendors
  • Bank, Accountant, and Lawyer
  • Relevant Government Agencies such as the IRS, Department of Revenue, and Department of Labor

Notifying these entities is crucial to ensure they have your updated contact information and to avoid missing critical communications or deadlines. You can inform them via letter, email, or phone, ensuring a smooth transition and continued seamless collaboration.

What Happens if You Fail to Change Your Registered Agent In Delaware?

If you fail to change your registered agent in Delaware when you need to, you may face some severe consequences, such as:

  • Losing your good standing status with the state
  • Facing fines and penalties from the state
  • Missing important legal notices and tax obligations
  • Exposing your personal assets to liability
  • Risking the dissolution or cancellation of your business entity

To avoid these consequences, you should change your registered agent in Delaware as soon as possible when you have a valid reason to do so, such as:

  • Your current registered agent resigns, dies, or moves out of the state
  • Your present registered agent fails to perform their duties or provide satisfactory service
  • You want to switch to a different registered agent service that offers better features or lower fees

How Often Can You Change Your Registered Agent in Delaware?

You can switch your registered agent in Delaware whenever necessary, as long as you follow the process and pay the fee each time. However, making frequent changes can cause confusion and hassle for everyone involved, including yourself.

That’s why it’s wise to pick your registered agent carefully from the start and stick with them unless there’s an excellent reason to switch. It’s a good idea to check in now and then to see how your registered agent is doing—make sure they’re still meeting your needs and expectations. This way, you can maintain a stable and smooth process without unnecessary disruptions.

Change Your Delaware Registered Agent Effortlessly with doola

Changing your registered agent in Delaware involves multiple steps and a reasonable fee. But it’s a choice that can seriously impact your business compliance and protection. That’s why you’ll want to pick the right registered agent and let relevant parties know about the change. You might even need guidance when you dissolve your LLC about what to do with your registered agent. 

If you’re looking for assistance with this or any other aspect of setting up and managing your business in the US, consider doola. It specializes in helping non-resident entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of setting up a business. Here are some of the services it offers:

  • Formation: doola can assist in forming your LLC, C-Corp, or DAO LLC in Delaware or any other state. It’ll help obtain your EIN and craft your operating agreement.
  • Compliance: Stay on top of your annual state filings, federal tax submissions, and registered agent services with doola. It provides a dedicated account manager and a free consultation with a CPA to ensure compliance.
  • Bookkeeping: Experience hassle-free finances. Unlock more time for your business with doola’s bookkeeping software designed for founders.

FAQs

Can I change my registered agent in Delaware at any time?

Yes, you can alter your registered agent in Delaware at any time as long as you file the Certificate of Change of Agent form and pay the fee to the Delaware Division of Corporations.

Can I change my registered agent myself, or do I need to hire a professional in Delaware?

You can change your registered agent yourself or hire a professional service like doola to do it for you. Hiring a professional service may save you time and hassle and provide other benefits such as compliance reminders, mail scanning, and an online dashboard.

Will changing my registered agent in Delaware have any impact on my business operations or legal standing?

Changing your registered agent in Delaware will not impact your business operations or legal standing if you do it properly and notify the relevant parties. However, failing to change your registered agent when needed may have negative consequences, such as losing your good standing status, facing fines and penalties, and risking the dissolution of your business entity.

Can I change my registered agent if I am not physically located in Delaware?

Yes, you can change your registered agent even if you are not physically located in Delaware, as long as you appoint a registered agent with a physical address and office in the state. You can also use a commercial registered agent service like doola, which can help with your business formation and compliance needs regardless of location.

Are there any specific qualifications or requirements for a registered agent in Delaware?

Yes, the registered agent must be a resident of Delaware or a company authorized to do business in Delaware and must have a physical address and office in the state.

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

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