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, filed on your own or through an AZ LLC service, there are several reasons for why you may need to change the registered agent for your LLC in Arizona.
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 Arizona.
One quick note: Arizona refers to the registered agent as a “statutory agent.” There’s really no difference in the roles; it’s just a difference in terms. For the remainder of this guide, we’ll refer to it as a statutory agent for consistency’s sake.
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4 Steps to Change Your Arizona Statutory Agent
Thankfully, changing your statutory agent in Arizona isn’t a terribly complicated process. If you know the steps to follow, it’s a cinch:
1.) Gather contact information for your new agent:
This might seem like fairly basic information, but state law requires the name, street address, and mailing address of the statutory agent. This information becomes part of the public record, so it’s important for it to be correct.
2.) Obtain the proper forms:
Arizona gives you two methods to file your statutory agent change. For starters, you could file the Articles of Amendment. But that’s not the easiest method; it requires a publication in a local newspaper (and there’s a $25 filing fee). It’s easier to file an LLC Statement of Change form. It has just a $5 filing fee, and it doesn’t require local news publications. With either, though, you’ll need to download a Statutory Agent Acceptance form.
3.) Obtain the signature of your new statutory agent:
This step is where you’ll use that Statutory Agent Acceptance form; you’ll need to get an official signature from your new statutory agent. It’s not a complicated step, but it’s essential all the same.
4.) Submit the completed forms to the Arizona Corporation Commission:
Since you must include a written signature from your new agent, your only options are to file by mail or in person. Simply slip the completed forms and filing fees into an envelope, address it to the Corporation Commission, and drop it in the nearest mailbox.
That’s all there is to it! Once the state receives and processes your documents, you’ll have yourself a new statutory agent.
Important Arizona Statutory Agent Do’s and Don’ts
Want to make your statutory agent switch a perfect success? If you follow the steps above, you’ll be off to a great start. But there are a few other things to keep in mind to keep things running smoothly—before, during, and after the switch.
DO follow state regulations when appointing a new agent.
When it all comes down to it, the state of Arizona isn’t incredibly picky about who can be your statutory agent, but they still have some rules they want you to follow. If you want to read the official statutes, you can find them here. But you’re probably pretty busy (and legalese can be overwhelming!), so here are the essentials:
- Can be an individual or a business entity
- Must be a resident of the state (individuals)
- Authorized to do business in the state (business entities)
- Maintain a physical address in the state (not a P.O. box)
- Be present to accept service of process and official communications at that address during regular business hours
As long as you meet those requirements, you can pick just about anyone to serve as your own statutory agent.
DO pick the right agent for your business goals
Before you opt to serve as your own statutory agent or hire a registered agent service, you’ll want to consider the right agent for your unique needs. After all, agents aren’t “one-size-fits-all.” Some businesses might benefit from having the owner or an employee serving as their own agent. Others might opt to have a local, Arizona-dedicated statutory agent service. And lots of LLCs in AZ choose to work with a national service that covers businesses in all 50 states.
There’s not really a wrong answer here. Well, the only wrong answer is not hiring one. That would put you in non-compliance. That said, you should think about your long-term vision for your business when picking a statutory agent.
For example, if you want to expand into other states later on, you should pick a service that covers multiple states. That way, you wouldn’t have to hire another service when you joined a new state. You’d just have your pre-existing agent serve you in that state, too.
DON’T confuse your filing options
In some states, you can file your change of agent forms entirely online. And you might be thinking that since you can file other important documents online, such as your Articles of Organization, you can file a statutory agent change online, too.
But that just isn’t the case. Arizona requires you to file the form by mail or dropping it off in person. That’s because you have to obtain a written signature from your new agent. This is a small detail, but it’s not one you should overlook!
Additionally, keep in mind that your filing method affects how quickly your documents are processed. Since manual filing is your only option, you can reasonably expect your documents to take 16-18 business days to process. That said, if you opt to expedite your filings (an additional $35), it will take 5-7 business days.
DON’T forget to keep both your new and old statutory agent in the loop
This might seem like a common courtesy, but when you switch statutory agents, you should chat with both (unless, of course, you’re serving as your own agent). Obviously, you’ll talk with your new agent to let them know you’ll require their services. Plus, you’ll have to get his or her signature, too.
But be sure to touch base with your previous agent, too. This is especially important if you’re paying someone to serve as your statutory agent. You’ll want to wrap up any payment obligations, including canceling any automatic payments you’ve set up. And even if a friend or family member was acting as your agent for free, you should let him or her know your plans to avoid any confusion.
Getting Help: Hiring a Statutory Agent Service
A statutory agent service is a company that specializes in being a statutory 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 statutory 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 statutory 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 statutory agent for you.
Since the statutory agent is such a vital part of any business, it’s crucial to get it right whenever you decide to switch agents. We hope this article helped you improve your understanding of changing a statutory agent in Arizona. If you’d like more assistance, there are plenty of business services online that can help with changing your agent or even filing an LLC. And, as always, we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!