In Delaware, like in almost all the other states, you need a registered agent to receive the various official documents, tax forms, and even summons that may be sent to your corporation. It’s a crucial job, which is why it’s mandatory in most states. You can’t start and run a business in Delaware without a registered agent.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Delaware?
Before you replace your current agent, you need to think about the replacement so you enjoy a smooth transition. For the agent you need, several requirements must be met. First of all, they can be any of the following:
- An individual adult (at least 18 years old) who is a resident of Delaware
- A business entity (such as a professional registered agent service) based in Delaware.
- A foreign registered agent business entity that’s authorized to do business in Delaware.
Whether it’s an individual or a business entity, the agent must also have a Delaware street address. This means a physical location, in which there will always be someone to receive the official documents for your corporation during business hours. It can’t be just a P.O. box.
Steps to Change Registered Agent
To change your registered agent in the State of Delaware, you’ll start the process by visiting the Entities Change of Agent form webpage on the Secretary of the State of Delaware website where you’ll select the appropriate form for your business structure. You’ll have to fill two forms irrespective of the business structure you run in the State of Delaware. These forms are the Change of Registered Agent Certificate (for example, if you have an LLC) and an accompanying Cover Memo. The Cover Memo will allow you to give details about your personal contact to the office of the Delaware Secretary of State.
You’ll be required to make a payment of 50 dollars alongside the Change of Registered Agent Certificate you’ll submit. If you’ll be sending through the mail, you’ll need to attach a check of 50 dollars made payable to the “Delaware Secretary of State”. You can choose to pay the 50 dollars fee through your Credit Card or other online methods of payment if you’re submitting the documents online.
You can also change your registered agent by requesting a Certificate of Amendment. Although, you’ll be required to pay a fee of 200 dollars if you’re changing your registered agent through this means, so it is better to choose to submit the Change of Registered Agent Certificate which is much cheaper.
Info to Put In
You’ll be required to enter the following information into the Change of Registered Agent Certificate form:
- Name of your LLC as it is registered with the Secretary of the State of Delaware in its Articles of Organization.
- The name and complete business or residential address of the new registered agent for your business, and its entity number if your new agent is an entity.
- The signature of the new registered agent as consent.
The form has guides and tips to help make sure you put in the exact information asked for. Just read the directions carefully and follow them exactly.
You can submit the Change of Registered Agent Certificate form and the accompanying Cover Memo through the mail or fax. However, there’s no option to submit online in the State of Delaware.
The printed forms and the check for the fee are to be mailed to the address:
Delaware Department of State
Division of Corporations
401 Federal Street – Suite 4,
Dover, DE 19901.
If you’re submitting through fax, the documents and the check can be faxed to 302-739-3812.
Keep in mind that the State of Delaware will take between 2 to 3 weeks to process the change of your Registered Agent. However, you can choose to go for the expedited service if you wish to process the change faster. The state of Delaware offers four different expedited services with different costs depending on how fast you want your papers processed. The expedited services are 1 hour for 1000 dollars, 2 hours for 500 dollars, Same day for 200 dollars, and 1 day for 100 dollars.
Should You Hire a Professional?
This will be a lot easier if you’re planning on sifting to a professional registered agent service. The best ones offer exemplary service at extremely reasonable rates. Often, you’re able to download the needed forms with pre-filled information about the service to save time and effort. Northwest Registered agent is one of the most popular companies for this job.
With professionals, you know for sure the job gets done right. They usually have online storage for all the official documents. When they receive the documents for the corporation, the service will immediately scan them so they can send you the digital copies right away. The documents will also be conveniently stored in the same online location as your other business documents, like your formation documents.
Professionals may even maintain a compliance calendar, warning you way ahead of time when you should file a report or comply with some requirement with a deadline. That means you virtually eliminate the risk that you’ll fail to comply with any sort of compliance requirement. Such a failure may lead to fines and penalties, and perhaps even to the dissolution of your corporation. Reinstating your LLC can be a huge hassle, and it’s like starting the formation process for your LLC all over again.
So, if you’re going to change your registered agent in Delaware, you may as well do yourself a favor and switch to a good registered agent service. With the benefits you get with the low costs, you’re able to focus more on growing your business instead.