Every limited liability company operating in the United States needs to designate a resident agent. Even after you identify your initial resident agent in your formation paperwork, there are several reasons for why you may need to change the resident agent for your LLC in Massachusetts.
Your resident 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 resident agent to a professional service that operates in all 50 states, or perhaps you’re simply unsatisfied with your current resident agent’s service.
Whatever the reason may be, each state allows you to change your resident 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 resident agent in Massachusetts.
NOTE: If you need help changing registered agents, the same services that are known for offering top rated LLC formation services — like LegalZoom and Zen Business — can also take over registered agent duties and file the needed paperwork.
Who Can Be a Massachusetts Resident Agent?
A Massachusetts resident 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 resident 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 resident agent service.
No matter who you choose to be your resident 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 resident agent, but it’s wise to choose a resident agent who is familiar with the serious responsibilities that come with this role.
Title 22, Chapter 156D, Section 5.01 of the General Laws of Massachusetts specifically states that each business entity must continuously maintain:
- “a registered office that may, but need not be, the same as any of its places of business; and
- a registered agent who may be any of the following individuals or entities whose business office is also the registered office of the corporation:
- an individual, including the secretary or another officer of the corporation;
- a domestic corporation or not-for-profit domestic corporation; or
- a foreign corporation or not-for-profit foreign corporation qualified to do business in this commonwealth.”
For more general information regarding the role of a resident agent with a Massachusetts LLC, we encourage you to check out our full guide on the topic.
What Is the Procedure for Changing Your LLC Resident Agent in Massachusetts?
While the role of the resident 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.
There’s only one way to change a limited liability company’s resident agent in the state of Massachusetts, and that’s to file a Statement of Change form.
Option 1) Filing a Statement of Change Form
In Massachusetts, an LLC can change its resident agent by filing a Limited Liability Company Statement of Change of Resident Agent/Resident Office form. This filing has a $25 fee for paper filings, but there’s no charge if you submit it online. You can file this form via the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website, or you can file via mail, fax, or in person.
According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, online filings are processed immediately. Unfortunately, the state does not provide estimates for processing times when filing paper forms.
Prefer to Have a Resident Agent Service Handle Your Requirements?
A resident agent service is a company that specializes in being a resident 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 resident 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 resident 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 resident agent for you.
If you’re interested in this option, we highly recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
The Law for Changing Your LLC Resident Agent in Massachusetts
It’s always important to be well-informed regarding the specific laws for changing your resident agent. The resident agent laws in Massachusetts are separated by entity type, but are not separated by classification type. Therefore, domestic and foreign LLCs follow the same law for changing resident agents.
Looking to Title 12, Chapter 156C of the Massachusetts General Laws, we can see that an LLC is allowed to change its resident agent if it submits a document to the state that includes the following information:
- “The name of the limited liability company;
- The name and street address of its current resident agent;
- If the current resident agent is to be changed, the name and street address of the new resident agent and the new agent’s written consent, either on the statement or attached to it, to the appointment; and
- If the street address of the business office of the resident agent is to be changed, the new street address of the business office of the resident agent.”
If you operate a limited liability company in the state of Massachusetts, you need to designate a resident agent to receive important government document deliveries on your behalf. If you decide at any time that you would rather change your resident agent to a different individual or business entity, it’s important to know what that process looks like.
In Massachusetts, the only way to change an LLC’s resident agent is to file a Statement of Change form. It’s a simple form with a reasonable filing fee, but if you’d rather have a resident agent service handle this task for you, you certainly have that option.
We hope this article helped you improve your understanding of changing a resident agent in Massachusetts, and as always we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!