How to Change a Registered Agent in Michigan

Small businesses and LLCs go through constant change. At some point, it may be necessary to change a registered agent in Michigan. But what does that entail, exactly?

The registered agent is the unsung hero of a small business or limited liability company (LLC). When compliance issues emerge or a company undergoes a transitional phase, the registered agent is the liaison between the company, state compliance officials, and legal professionals.

Registered agents act as either contractors or full-time employees. Since they serve officially, they must be documented by state authorities.

Registered agents often handle legal information and documentation, which makes finding the right agent crucial. Each state has a different set of criteria and approval processes for registered agents, and they’re very demanding, given the sensitivity of the matters they handle.

You or your registered agent may be preparing to relocate or shut down your business. Perhaps you’ve merged with or acquired another company and want to streamline your operations, or maybe you’re just dissatisfied with your current registered agent and are ready for a change.

If you own an LLC and need to change your registered agent in Michigan, simply follow the steps outlined here.

The Process of Changing a Registered Agent in Michigan

When you decide it’s time to make a registered agent change in Michigan, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. These are fairly straightforward, but you need to follow them as closely as possible.

1. Find a New Registered Agent

If you don’t have a particular registered agent in mind, you’ll need to look for one. Research your options thoroughly. You can do this on your own, but to save time and legwork, you might consider working with a professional registered agent service like doola.

Look for Michigan-registered agents who have experience with small businesses and LLCs like yours. Always verify that they’re compliant with regulations, and make sure they have a physical address where they’ll be during normal business hours so they can promptly respond to inquiries.

2. Inform Your Old Registered Agent of the Change

You don’t have to tell your current registered agent you’re looking for their replacement. However, you will need to tell them when you’ve decided to change registered agent in Michigan.

In some states, you might be required to inform your current registered agent that you’ll be looking for a new one. Michigan is not one of those states. However, informing your agent of your intentions may be in your organization’s best interests — and it’s certainly a professional courtesy.

Your terms of agreement should stipulate how much advance notice you need to give your current agent. The most common timeframe for advance notice is 30–60 days. You can inform your old agent via a resignation note or other formal notice.

3. Submit a Certificate to the State

To effect the change, you must obtain and fill out a Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Download the form from LARA, print it out, provide all the required information, and have an authorized officer sign it.

Michigan LLC owners must submit this form through the mail, via delivery service, or in person. If you decide to send it through the mail, include a check or money order for $5 and address the envelope to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Bureau of Commercial Services

Corporation Division

P.O. Box 30054 Lansing, MI 48909

You can also visit the following address to submit your form and pay in person with cash or credit or debit card:

2501 Woodlake Circle

Okemos, MI

(517) 241-6470

Once your agent is approved, you’ll receive a confirmation notice in the mail.

4. Update Your Documentation

After confirming the change, you must update your Articles of Organization to include the identity and contact information of your new registered agent. This is a strict legal requirement, so it’s crucial to perform this step promptly.

If you’re burned out on paperwork by this point, consider hiring a company that offers registered agent services. They can take care of the necessary documentation-related tasks for you. Some may even offer to pay the required fees. 

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

When you submit your Certificate of Change to the state, you’ll be charged $5. That’s if you’re willing to wait a few days to get final approval. If you need to expedite the process, a professional registered agent service can handle it for an extra fee. Again, some services may waive the entry fee and offer to pay it themselves.

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

LARA typically processes outside documentation within three to five business days. You can expedite the process if you wish, but it may cost an additional filing fee, depending on how quickly you need approval. Those using a professional registered agency office may be able to negotiate those extra fees or potentially waive them. 

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

The only parties your LLC is required to notify about the change are your old registered agent, your new one, and the LARA state office. Although you’re under no obligation to tell anyone else, it’s nonetheless a good idea to let partners and associates know about the update in your registered agent.

Company stakeholders, lawyers, legal counsel, affected business partners, financial institutions, insurance agents, and certain service providers all benefit from staying informed. Loop in as many parties as you think you need to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

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

As in many other states, small businesses and LLCs in Michigan must designate a registered agent to operate legally. If your company fails to do so, you may face several consequences.

Since a registered agent is the party who receives all legal correspondence, you may not get important legal information without one. Moreover, LARA may declare your business to be in “Not Good Standing,” which can severely limit the business activities you can take part in, including filing permit applications.

The state of Michigan may also issue fees and penalties for being in non-compliance. In the worst-case scenario, the state may order the dissolution of your LLC, essentially negating its existence and vacating your limited liability protection.

How Often Can You Change Your Registered Agent in Michigan?

You can change your registered agent in Michigan as often as you want — there are no time- or frequency-based limits for doing so. This makes it easy to make the switch if your current agent isn’t working out. Keep in mind, though, that regular or repeated changes might raise red flags about your operational stability.

doola: Dedicated Registered Agents for Your LLC

Changing your LLC’s registered agent is a relatively simple process, but you must follow the required steps to the letter. Not only is a registered agent a legal necessity for small businesses and LLCs but having one is a good way to establish your company’s legitimacy and professional standing.

When you want to change registered agent in Michigan, doola can help. Our registered agents have a presence in all 50 U.S. states, and their assistance is included in our compliance services.

Depending on the level of service you need, we can also take care of your operating agreement, annual filings, tax support, and financial management. doola is ready to get your company on the road to legitimacy with full registered agent service. Contact us today to learn more or set up a free consultation.

FAQs

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

Yes. There are no limits to how often you can change your registered agent in the state of Michigan.

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

You can change your company’s registered agent yourself by downloading the appropriate form from LARA, filling it out, signing it, and sending back a hard copy. It’s worth noting, however, that a professional service will be able to move as quickly as possible through the process with fewer potential errors.

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

When done by the book, changing registered agents shouldn’t have any direct impact on your operations or legal status.

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

Yes! As long as your new registered agent lives in Michigan, you can initiate the change from wherever you happen to be.

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

The registered agent must live in Michigan and have a physical street address for receiving legal and official documents (it can’t be a P.O. Box). They must also be available for contact during regular business hours and maintain ongoing compliance standards.

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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