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 Rhode Island.
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 Rhode Island.
NOTE: If you need help changing registered agents, the same services that are known for offering top rated LLC services — like LegalZoom and Zen Business — can also take over registered agent duties and file the needed paperwork.
Who Can Be a Rhode Island Registered Agent?
A Rhode Island registered agent is a person or business entity that has a physical address in the state. (Rhode Island also occasionally uses the term “resident agent” when referring to this role, but the terms are entirely interchangeable.) 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.
There is no minimum age requirement on who can be a registered agent in the state of Rhode Island. According to Title 7, Chapter 7 of the Rhode Island Statutes, a registered agent must be either:
- An individual resident in this state; or…
- A domestic corporation, a domestic limited partnership, a domestic limited liability partnership, a domestic limited liability company; or…
- A foreign corporation, a foreign limited partnership, a foreign limited liability partnership, or a foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in this state, in each case, having a business office identical with the office of such registered agent which generally is open during normal business hours to accept service of process and otherwise perform the functions of a registered agent; provided, however, that in the case where the registered agent of a corporation is an attorney, the business address of the agent need not be identical with the registered office, but may be the usual business address of the attorney.
For more general information regarding the role of a registered agent with a Rhode Island LLC, we encourage you to check out our full guide on the topic.
What Is the Procedure for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in Rhode Island?
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.
In Rhode Island, a limited liability company may change its registered agent by filing a Statement of Change form. Rhode Island does not allow LLCs to make registered agent changes in annual reports or amendments, so the Statement of Change form is the only option to make this change.
Option 1) Filing a Statement of Change Form
A Rhode Island LLC that wants to change registered agents can do so by filing a Limited Liability Company Statement of Change of Resident Agent form with the Department of State. There is a $20 fee for this filing, and you can submit it via Rhode Island’s online portal, by mail, or in person.
The state of Rhode Island does not publish estimated processing times on the Secretary of State’s website, so we called the department to find out. They told us that the standard processing time is typically 2-3 business days, although during peak periods it could take a bit longer.
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 Rhode Island
It’s always important to be well-informed regarding the specific laws for changing your registered agent. In Rhode Island, registered agent laws vary depending on business entity type, but not by domestic/foreign classification, so all limited liability companies in this state follow the same rules and regulations.
Specifically, we can look to Chapter 7, Section 16 of the Rhode Island General Laws, which says:
- “A domestic or foreign registered limited-liability company may change its resident agent or the address of its resident agent by filing with the secretary of state a statement signed by any authorized person that authorizes the change.
- A change of a resident agent or address of the resident agent for a domestic or foreign registered limited-liability company under this subsection is effective when the secretary of state accepts the statement for filing.”
If you operate a limited liability company in the state of Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island, the only way for an LLC to change its registered agent is by filing a Statement of Change form. It’s a simple document with a reasonable filing fee, 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 Rhode Island, and as always we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!