How to Change a Registered Agent in Georgia

A registered agent is an integral part of any successful small business or limited liability company (LLC), as they handle many of a company’s legal responsibilities. From time to time, however, it may be necessary for business owners to change a registered agent in Georgia.

Your registered agent serves as your company’s official legal contact, handling all correspondence on legal matters, including government communications, lawsuits, tax documents, and more. Their main job is to ensure that your LLC complies with small business regulations, honors deadlines, and stays in touch with other legal entities.

Every small business and LLC in Georgia is required to have a registered agent on the books. Their benefits go beyond legal accountability and responsibility.

Your registered agent promotes transparency regarding your business operations and supports due process. And even though most of the public will never encounter or meet your registered agent, they manage some crucial legal elements that affect how people interact with your business.

The process to change registered agents in Georgia is somewhat more restrictive than in other states, but it’s still fairly simple. If carried out correctly, changing a registered agent in Georgia makes it easier to run your business and focus on your main priorities, like building your company’s income.

The Process of Changing a Registered Agent in Georgia

There’s only one way to change a registered agent in Georgia. That’s by filling out an annual registration with the Corporations Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. The process involves the following steps:

1. Select a New Registered Agent

If you don’t already have a new agent in mind, look for one who understands the responsibilities and scope of the position. They should have a physical address (not just a P.O. Box) where legal documents can be delivered and should be able to be on call during regular business hours.

Finding a reliable registered agent can be relatively difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the local business environment. If that’s the case, consider hiring a registered agent service. Their entire focus is on performing the necessary registered agent duties, so you can count on their experience and efficiency.

2. File the Change on Your Annual Registration

At the moment, the only means of changing registered agents in Georgia is to update your Annual Registration. You can do this online through the Secretary of State’s eCorp system or via printed and mailed forms, though the former takes considerably less time. 

The state provides clear instructions on how to file an eCorp, complete with photos. To submit information online, you’ll need a valid eCorp account, which is easy to set up. You can also send a completed paper form to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, Corporations Division.

The usual window for filing an Annual Registration in Georgia is January 1 to April 1 each year. If you have to make a registered agent change outside that range, you can file an amendment to your Annual Registration at any time. You’ll have to pay the fee each time you file.

You’ll want to have the following information ready to go:

  • LLC name or control number
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your new registered agent’s name and address
  • The address of your Georgia office
  • Your payment information

Once you’ve submitted these details and paid your fee, you’re all set. To save time, consider hiring a company to handle this step for you.

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

It costs $50 to file an Annual Registration in Georgia, which is payable via VISA, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover card. You cannot use cash.

Any amendment you need to make outside the January 1–April 1 window will also incur a $50 filing fee, which is why it’s more economically feasible to report the new registered agent in your LLC’s regular Annual Registration.

If you need to make an emergency change between April 2 and December 31, you’re free to do so, provided you can afford the $50 charge each time.

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

If you submit your amendment to your Annual Registration and pay the requisite fees online before 4 p.m., the change should be processed overnight. If you submit a paper hard copy, the Secretary of State will process the change within five to seven business days. Occasionally, during times of heavy traffic, turnaround may take up to 12 business days.

If you need to expedite the process, you can pay another $50 and get your change processed within two business days (keep in mind that that’s in addition to the $50 regular filing fee).

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

The only parties you’re required to notify about your new registered agent are the Georgia Secretary of State and the registered officer you’ll be replacing.

That said, it’s wise to inform your internal stakeholders that your LLC has made the change so they can update their contact information. These stakeholders may include your partners, co-owners, lawyers, banks, or other financial institutions.

For transparency’s sake, you might also consider reporting the change to your employees, tax agencies, insurance providers, and regular clients or vendors. Generally speaking, you should update any party that might exchange regular legal correspondence with your LLC about your new registered agent. 

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

The potential penalty for not reporting a registered agent in Georgia can be stiff — the Secretary of State has the power to terminate or dissolve your small business or LLC.

Getting your business back will require you to apply for reinstatement, present any missing annual reports, and pay a $250 filing fee. You can request a reinstatement application through eCorp or the Corporations Division. 

How Often Can You Change Your Registered Agent in Georgia?

You can make amendments to your Annual Registration, including changes to your registered agent, at any time and as often as you need. However, you’ll incur a $50 filing fee each time you make a change.

Change Your Registered Agent Easily With doola

Every small business owner can benefit from ensuring that their company’s legal affairs are in order. Finding the right registered agent is the first step in achieving that goal. With the right registered agent, you can rest better knowing that all your legal matters are being addressed properly.

While you’re free to find a registered agent on your own, you likely have only so much time to spend on legal compliance. Having someone dedicated exclusively to the duties of a registered agent can help you avoid potentially stressful situations.

doola’s registered agents maintain a presence in all 50 U.S. states, helping clients with their annual reports and corporate forms. We work with small businesses and LLCs to position them for superior responsibility, fiscal compliance, and innovation.

doola has helped hundreds of small businesses and LLCs remain fiscally compliant while they tend to the most important aspects of their operations.

Our staff of certified registered agencies brings an objective point of view to your financial strategies. By serving as your legal liaison, a registered agent can help protect your assets, keep you compliant, and set the stage for future growth.

To learn more about what doola can do for your LLC or change registered agent in Georgia today, set up a free consultation online.

FAQs

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

Yes, you can submit as many amendments to your Annual Registration as you like, including changing your registered agent. Every filing you make to the Secretary of State will incur a filing fee of $50.

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

You can change your registered agent yourself if you have the necessary time and resources and a clear idea of what you need to do. However, a professional registered agent service can expedite the process, so if time is of the essence, you’ll at least want to consider that option.

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

The filing of the registered agent itself won’t impact your business operations or legal standing. However, not filing in time could result in your LLC being dissolved, and it can cost valuable time and money to get it reinstated.

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

Yes! As long as your registered agent’s physical address for receiving legal correspondence is in Georgia, you can submit the change regardless of where you are, following the same process as Georgia residents.

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

A registered agent for an LLC must be a resident of Georgia with a physical mail address (not a P.O. box). Furthermore, they must be able to receive legal documents and respond to inquiries during regular business hours.

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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