How to Change a Registered Agent in Texas

Texas has a booming economy, and with it, comes a bucketload of responsibilities when running a successful business. One crucial element at play is appointing a registered agent for your limited liability company. 

But depending on your situation, there are times when a business needs to change its registered agent. So, if you’re looking to find out how to change a registered agent in Texas, read on to learn the full process and important points to keep in mind. 

The Process of Changing a Registered Agent in Texas

When the need arises to change your registered agent in Texas, it is important to be methodical and aware of the steps required. To guide you through this process, here is a step-by-step guide to effectively changing your registered agent in Texas.

Step 1: Choose a New Registered Agent

Before you start making changes, it is essential that you select a new registered agent for your business. This agent must have a physical address in Texas (a P.O. Box is not sufficient) and be available during regular business hours to receive legal documents. Make sure your new agent agrees to take on this role and understands their responsibilities, which include forwarding any legal correspondence to your business without delay. 

Step 2: Obtain Consent from the New Agent

In Texas, it is required by law to obtain the written or electronic consent of the new agent before naming him or her in your official records. This step is very important because it ensures that the agent knows his or her duties and is prepared to fulfill them. Keep this consent for your records. While it does not have to be filed with the state, it is an important document in case of disputes or legal inquiries.

Step 3: File a Change of Registered Agent Form with the Texas Secretary of State

Once you have chosen your new agent and obtained their consent, the next step is to formally file a Change of Registered Agent form with the Texas Secretary of State. This form, known as Form 401, can be found and filled online or downloaded for mailing. Ensure that all information, including the new agent’s name and address, is accurate to avoid processing delays.

Step 4: Pay the Filing Fee

There is a fee for filing the change of registered agent form. The fee is $15, but it is advisable to check the current amount on the Texas Secretary of State’s website or by contacting them directly. This fee can usually be paid online if you file the form electronically or by check or money order if you mail the form.

Step 5: Wait for Confirmation

After you submit the form and pay the fee, you must wait for the Texas Secretary of State to process your application. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of filing and current processing times. Once processed, you will receive confirmation either electronically or by mail that your change of registered agent has been officially recorded. Keep this confirmation for your records as proof of the change.

Step 6: Notify Relevant Parties

Once the change is official, it is important to inform all relevant parties of the update to your registered agent. This includes informing your financial institutions, legal contacts, and any authorities your company deals with regularly. Proper notification will ensure that all future legal and tax documents are directed to the correct address.

Step 7: Update Internal Records

Finally, make sure you update your internal records to reflect the change in registered agent. This includes your business contract, official website, and any other documentation that lists the registered agent’s details. Updating your records is crucial for maintaining legal compliance and ensuring smooth business operations.

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

When you initiate a change of registered agent in Texas, you must pay a fee to file the required form with the Texas Secretary of State. This fee is an essential part of the process and is standardized across all submissions. Here is a breakdown of the fees you can expect to pay:

  • Mandatory Filing Fee: Regardless of how you submit your Change of Registered Agent form, there is a non-negotiable fee of $15. This fee applies to all submissions and is crucial for the processing of your request with the Texas Secretary of State.
  • Expedited Processing Fee: If you require faster processing of your form, you can opt for expedited service, which comes with an additional fee of $25. This is optional and is typically utilized for urgent changes.
  • Online Transaction Fee: While the filing fee is consistent, if you choose to file the change electronically, there may be an additional small transaction fee for processing the payment online.
  • Professional Service Fees: Should you choose to use a third-party service provider or legal counsel to complete the change, they may charge their own service fees. These fees are separate from the state-imposed fees and will vary based on the service provider.

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

The length of time to successfully change a registered agent in Texas may vary due to several factors, including the method of filing and the current workload of the Secretary of State’s office. If you submit the change of registered agent form either online or by mail, the processing time is around 3-5 business days.

However, this timeframe may be extended during busy periods or due to internal processing delays. For those who need faster processing, Texas offers an expedited processing option, which can significantly reduce processing time, often to as little as one business day. 

Regardless of the method chosen, it’s advisable to allow for some buffer time beyond the estimated processing period to account for any unforeseen delays. 

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

When you change your registered agent in Texas, it is imperative that you notify several important parties to ensure smooth business operations and legal compliance. First and foremost, notify the Texas Secretary of State, as this is required by law and is the most important step in the change process.

Additionally, you should communicate the change to all business partners and stakeholders, including investors, board members, and key clients. This ensures they are aware of where official legal and tax documents will now be sent. 

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

The role of a registered agent in Texas is a critical one, serving as the primary contact for receiving legal documents and important state communications. Neglecting to update this information when changes occur can lead to several consequences for a business.

Here are the main consequences of failing to change your registered agent in Texas:

  • Missed Legal Notices: Essential legal documents, including lawsuit notifications, will be sent to the old agent’s address. Missing these can result in default judgments against your company.
  • Loss of Good Standing: Your business may lose its good standing with the Texas Secretary of State, which is crucial for legal operations within the state.
  • Potential Administrative Dissolution: The state may administratively dissolve or revoke your business’s legal status, barring you from conducting business legally in Texas.
  • Impaired Business Relationships: Credibility with banks, investors, and potential partners could be damaged due to non-compliance and legal issues.
  • Costly Reinstatement Process: If your business falls out of good standing, reinstating it can be expensive and complex, involving additional fees and legal procedures.

How Often Can You Change Your Registered Agent in Texas?

In Texas, there is no legal limit on how often you can change your registered agent. Businesses can update their registered agent information as often as necessary.

This flexibility is important to accommodate changes such as the agent’s resignation, relocation, or other circumstances that require the appointment of a new agent. However, each change requires filing the appropriate paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State and paying the associated fee.

While frequent changes are legally permissible, regularly changing your registered agent may also lead to administrative complexities and could potentially cause confusion in legal correspondence.

Rounding Up the Process: Completing Your Registered Agent Change in the Lone Star State

There are numerous scenarios where a business might need to change its registered agent, be it due to a poor fit, relocation to a different state, or a desire for more efficient services. Navigating this process in Texas, while straightforward, demands meticulous attention to ensure legal compliance and operational continuity. 

We, at doola, offer a streamlined solution for such transitions, providing immediate online access to a secure account upon registration. We simplify the process with automatically populated state forms, timely notifications for annual reports, and efficient storage of all scanned documents. Visit our website and discover the range of solutions we offer to streamline your business operations today. 

FAQs

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

Yes, you can change your registered agent in Texas at any time. The process involves filing the appropriate form with the Texas Secretary of State and paying the necessary fee.

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

You can change your registered agent in Texas by yourself. It requires completing and submitting the correct form to the Texas Secretary of State, a task that doesn’t necessarily require professional assistance unless preferred.

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

Changing your registered agent in Texas should not negatively impact your business operations or legal standing, provided the change is properly executed, and the new agent fulfills their role effectively.

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

Yes, you can change your registered agent in Texas even if you are not physically located in the state. However, the new agent must have a physical address within Texas and be available to receive legal documents during regular business hours.

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

The main requirements for a registered agent in Texas are that the individual or entity must have a physical street address in Texas (not a P.O. Box) and be available during normal business hours to receive legal documents on behalf of the business.

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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