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 Wisconsin.
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 Wisconsin.
NOTE: If you need help changing registered agents, the same services that are known for offering online services — like LegalZoom and Zen Business — can also take over registered agent duties and file the needed paperwork.
Who Can Be a Wisconsin Registered Agent?
A Wisconsin 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.
There is no minimum age requirement on who can be a registered agent in the state of Wisconsin. Chapter 180, Subchapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes says that a registered agent in this state can be any of the following:
- “A natural person who resides in this state and whose business office is identical with the registered office.
- A domestic corporation, a nonstock corporation, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company, incorporated or organized in this state or that has in effect a statement of qualification under s.178.0901, whose business office is identical with the registered office.
- A foreign corporation, nonstock corporation, limited partnership, registered limited liability partnership, or limited liability company authorized to transact business 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 Wisconsin LLC, we encourage you to check out our full guide on the topic.
What Is the Procedure for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in Wisconsin?
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 Wisconsin, there are three ways to change a limited liability company’s registered agent. You can either file a Registered Agent Change form, amend your LLC’s articles of organization, or you can indicate your registered agent change in your annual report.
Option 1) Filing a Registered Agent Change Form
The first option for changing a Wisconsin LLC’s registered agent is to file a Registered Agent and/or Registered Office Change form with the Department of Financial Institutions. This form has no fee if you’re only changing the registered agent’s name, otherwise there is a $10 filing fee. You can file this form online, via mail, or in person.
Option 2) Amending the Articles of Organization
A Wisconsin LLC can also amend its articles of organization to change its registered agent. This is done by filing the Articles of Amendment form, which has a $40 filing fee. This form may be filed online, via mail, or in person.
Option 3) Indicating the Registered Agent Change in the LLC Annual Report
The other way for an LLC in Wisconsin to change registered agents is to indicate this change in your LLC’s annual report. Each LLC is required to file an annual report by the end of its anniversary quarter, and there is a $25 filing fee for domestic LLCs, compared to an $80 fee for foreign LLCs. Annual reports may be filed online or via mail.
The standard processing time for a business document filing in Wisconsin is five business days, but it can take a bit longer during high-volume periods, such as the end of the quarter, or the end of a fiscal year. However, the state does offer expedited service for $25, and Wisconsin says that these filings “are acted on by the close of business the following business day.”
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 Wisconsin
It’s always important to be well-informed regarding the specific laws for changing your registered agent. Registered agent laws in Wisconsin vary based on business entity type, but not by domestic/foreign classification. Therefore, all limited liability companies in this state operate under the same registered agent rules and regulations.
Specifically, we can look at Chapter 183, Subchapter 1 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which states:
- “A limited liability company may change its registered office or registered agent, or both, by doing any of the following:
- Delivering to the department for filing a statement of change.
- Including the name of its registered agent and the street address of its registered office, as changed, in articles of amendment to its articles of organization or in articles of merger.
- Including the name of its registered agent and the street address of its registered office, as changed, in its annual report under s. 183.0120. This paragraph also applies to a foreign limited liability company. A change under this paragraph is effective on the date the annual report is filed by the department.
- A statement of change delivered under sub. (2) (a) shall include all of the following information:
- The name of the limited liability company.
- The name of its registered agent, as changed.
- The street address of its registered agent, as changed.
- A statement that after the change or changes are made, the street address 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin, there are three ways to change an LLC’s registered agent. You can either file a Registered Agent Change form, or you can amend your LLC’s articles of organization, or you can indicate the change in your 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 Wisconsin, and as always we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!