How to Change a Registered Agent in Montana

If you’ve settled on a limited liability company (LLC) for your business, you’ve likely come across the term “registered agent.” A registered agent is a company or person whom you designate to receive legal correspondence for your LLC. But what if you’d like to change registered agent in Montana?

A registered agent plays an important role in your company. They receive crucial paperwork, including official federal and state correspondence, summons to appear in court, tax notices, corporate filing documents, and much more. The agent has to let you know about all these notices in a timely manner. 

Some people choose to become their own registered agents, but that’s generally not a wise option. If you travel often or forget to check your mail, you could miss crucial notifications. Registered agents’ addresses are also made public as part of the law, which may not be something with which you’re comfortable. 

For the majority of people, turning to a third party is the best option. You can choose an individual, like an accountant, or turn to a registered agent service.

If you’re not happy with your current registered agent because of problems like poor customer service, issues with rates, or mishandling of the service of process, it is possible to change. The process varies from state to state, but Montana has a straightforward way of handling these registered agent changes. 

The Process of Changing a Registered Agent in Montana

There are two main ways to change registered agents in Montana: via your annual report or by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form with the Montana secretary of state. 

Changing a Registered Agent Using Your Annual Report

In Montana, all businesses have to file an annual report by Apr. 15. These reports have to be filed online using the secretary of state online portal. Online filings get processed immediately, and you receive a confirmation as soon as you pay the $20 fee. 

To use the online portal, you will need your folder ID number. If you’ve misplaced it or don’t remember this number, you can use the business entity name search option. 

Once you’ve entered your folder ID number correctly, the portal will bring up your pre-filled annual report from the year before. You have the opportunity here to make changes and update information.

One of the things you can do is change your registered agent. To choose a registered agent for your LLC, select the agent from the drop-down list. Once you’re happy with the choice, select “Continue.” 

You’ll get a chance during the verification process to check that all the information is correct. If you need to change anything, you can go back and do so. 

Changing a Registered Agent by Filing With the Secretary of State

To change a registered agent in Montana by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form with the secretary of state, you need to first create an online account at the secretary of state online portal. Once you log in, you will get the chance to select a new registered agent from the drop-down list. 

Keep in mind that in Montana, you need to present the written consent of the party being designated as your registered agent. The consent has to specify that the entity will work for the business owner and that they will be the point of contact. 

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

Filing your annual report before the Apr. 15 date usually costs $20. If you file your report after this date, you will have to pay an additional $15 late fee. 

The Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form doesn’t require a fee, but if you want to expedite the process, you need to go through the payment portal. There, you can select “Priority Handling,” which is 24-hour processing for $20, or “Expedite Handing,” which is one-hour processing for $100. 

If you enlist the help of a professional registered agent, you will usually have added service fees. The amount you pay will depend on the experience of the agent and many other factors. 

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

If you file with the secretary of state, standard processing can take between three to seven business days. If you’re filing an annual report or even if you’re filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form, the process can take as long as 10 days. 

You do have the chance to expedite the process by choosing 24-hour or one-hour processing. 

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

You must let the secretary of state’s office know about the change you’re making, and you do so via your annual report or the Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form. 

You also need to tell business partners, creditors, your bank, and any other entities you have contracts with. Letting them know of the change allows for a smooth transition and continuous legal compliance. 

You need to let your previous registered agent know of the change as well. This isn’t a legal requirement, but not letting the agent know could cause you to end up receiving bills for services you don’t need or use. 

What Happens if You Fail to Change Your Registered Agent in Montana?

If you fail to change the registered agent, you could run the risk of your company not responding promptly to certain notices. This could put your LLC at risk of suspension or even termination. 

In the case of a lawsuit, failure to respond promptly can result in a default judgment. You can also end up receiving bills from your previous agent. 

If you fail to designate a registered agent altogether or don’t pay the necessary agent fees, you could end up with heavy fines and penalties. It’s possible for your LLC to even lose its corporate status and be unable to conduct business within the state. This occurs if the secretary of state deems your company defunct because of a compliance failure. 

In some instances, your agent may resign. If that occurs, you have 31 days to designate a new registered agent. If you fail to appoint a new registered agent in time, your business can be subject to penalties. 

How Often Can You Change Your Registered Agent in Montana?

You can change your agent as many times as you need to in Montana. As long as you file appropriately and make the necessary updates to your annual report, you can benefit from always ensuring the right person is in the role. 

Growing Your LLC With the Right Help

Having the right help is essential for your company. Registered agents offer important services that help keep your LLC safe and in compliance with state law. If you’ve run into issues with your previous agent or feel it’s time for an update, you can change your registered agent easily and quickly. 

Assigning a qualified registered agent is just one of the aspects of running a successful company. Another is ensuring that your bookkeeping is in order. At doola, we offer everything you need to form your LLC, C Corp, or DAO and can also assist you with managing invoices and keeping up with your finances. 

Let us help you gain control of your LLC. Contact doola today. 

FAQs 

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

Yes, you can change registered agent in Montana when you need to throughout the year if you file with the secretary of state. If you want to do so by using your annual report, you will have to wait for specific filing times during the year. 

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

You can choose either option. Some prefer to leave this task to professionals, but you can also do it yourself. All you have to do is update the registered agent in your annual report or file the right paperwork with the secretary of state’s office. All this is available online. 

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

As long as you make the change correctly and file the right paperwork, there shouldn’t be any issues with your legal standing or business operations. Make sure to also alert your previous agent about the change. 

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

Because you can file everything online, you don’t have to be physically present in the state to change your registered agent. 

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

In Montana, any resident who is at least 18 years of age can become a registered agent. Businesses in Montana can’t have registered agents with physical addresses outside the state. Post office boxes do not count as addresses for registered agents, and the addresses provided must follow office 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.

Start your dream business and keep it 100% compliant

Turn your dream idea into your dream business.