Every limited liability company operating in the United States needs to designate a registered agent. Even after you identify your initial registered agent in your formation paperwork, there are several reasons for why you may need to change the registered agent for your LLC in North Carolina.
Your registered agent could be moving out of state, or they could be a former co-owner or employee who no longer works for your organization. Maybe you want to switch from an individual registered agent to a professional service that operates in all 50 states, or perhaps you’re simply unsatisfied with your current registered agent’s service.
Whatever the reason may be, each state allows you to change your registered agent at any time, and in most states the process is both simple and inexpensive. Let’s dive into the specifics of how to change your LLC’s registered agent in North Carolina.
NOTE: If you need help changing registered agents, the same services that are known for offering cheap LLC services — like LegalZoom and Zen Business — can also take over registered agent duties and file the needed paperwork.
Who Can Be a North Carolina Registered Agent?
A North Carolina registered agent is a person or business entity that has a physical address in the state. You or one of your co-owners can serve as your own registered agent, you can designate a friend or family member for this role, you can hire a lawyer or accountant as your agent, or you can hire an online business services company to provide registered agent service.
No matter who you choose to be your registered agent, they need to be physically present at the address provided to the state during all standard business hours. This person or entity does not need to have any prior experience being a registered agent, but it’s wise to choose a registered agent who is familiar with the serious responsibilities that come with this role.
The state of North Carolina does not specify an age limit to act in this role. Section 45 of the North Carolina General Statutes says that a registered agent may be:
- An individual who resides in this State and whose business office is identical with the registered office; or…
- A domestic corporation, nonprofit corporation, or limited liability company whose business office is identical with the registered office; or…
- A foreign corporation, foreign nonprofit corporation, or foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business or conduct affairs in this State whose business office is identical with the registered office.
For more general information regarding the role of a registered agent with a North Carolina LLC, we encourage you to check out our full guide on the topic.
What Is the Procedure for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in North Carolina?
While the role of the registered agent is vitally important for any American business entity, this role can always be changed, and there are different rules for how to change your agent depending on which state your business operates in.
Limited liability companies in the state of North Carolina have three options for changing registered agents. You can file a Statement of Change, amend the articles of organization, or indicate the change in your LLC’s annual report.
Option 1) File a Statement of Change Form
The first option for changing an LLC’s registered agent in North Carolina is filing a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent form, which can be downloaded from this page on the Secretary of State’s website. The form is the same for all business entities, and there is a $5 filing fee. You can file this form online, via mail, or in person.
Option 2) Amend the LLC Articles of Organization
Another way to change a North Carolina LLC registered agent is to file an Amendment of Articles of Organization for a domestic entity, or an Application for Amended Certificate of Authority for a foreign entity. Both forms are available for download under the “Limited Liability Companies” tab on this page, and both forms have a $50 fee. The filing options for this form are the same as the Statement of Change.
Option 3) Indicate the Registered Agent Change in the LLC Annual Report
Finally, it is possible to change the registered agent in each LLC’s annual report, although it does require some extra legwork compared to filing an annual report without an agent change. While most annual reports can be filed online in North Carolina, you’ll need to file a paper report to change your registered agent. The filing fee for this report is $200, and you can find more information here.
The standard processing time for business filings in North Carolina is 5-7 business days. There is also expedited service available, with two options: 24-hour ($100) or same-day ($200).
Prefer to Have a Registered Agent Service Handle Your Requirements?
A registered agent service is a company that specializes in being a registered agent for a wide variety of businesses across the country, bringing tons of expertise and a healthy dose of reliability to the role.
Most professional registered agent services operate on a national basis, meaning there’s no restrictions on which states you can operate your business in. They also tend to charge affordable rates, as you can find several registered agent services that charge around $10/month or even less for this service. In addition, most of these companies will also offer to handle the process of changing a registered agent for you.
If you’re interested in this option, we highly recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
The Law for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in North Carolina
It’s always important to be well-informed regarding the specific laws for changing your registered agent. The state of North Carolina does not separate registered agent laws by entity type or classification. Rather, all business entities follow the same registered agent rules and regulations.
Specifically, we can look to Chapter 55D, Article 4 of the North Carolina General Statutes, which states:
- “An entity required to maintain a registered office and registered agent under G.S. 55D-30 may change its registered office or registered agent by delivering to the Secretary of State for filing a statement of change that sets forth all of the following:
- The name of the entity.
- The street address, and the mailing address if different from the street address, of its current registered office, and the county in which it is located.
- If the address of the entity’s registered office is to be changed, the street address, and the mailing address if different from the street address, of the new registered office, and the county in which it is located.
- The name of its current registered agent.
- If the current registered agent is to be changed, the name of the new registered agent and the new agent’s written consent (either on the statement or attached to it) to the appointment.
- That after the change or changes are made, the addresses of its registered office and the business office of its registered agent will be identical.”
If you operate a limited liability company in the state of North Carolina, you need to designate a registered agent to receive important government document deliveries on your behalf. If you decide at any time that you would rather change your registered agent to a different individual or business entity, it’s important to know what that process looks like.
In North Carolina, an LLC can file a Statement of Change, amend the articles of organization, or indicate a registered agent change in the LLC’s annual report. They’re all relatively simple documents with reasonable filing fees, but if you’d rather have a registered agent service handle this task for you, you certainly have that option.
We hope this article helped you improve your understanding of changing a registered agent in North Carolina, and as always we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!