How to Change a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a great state to set up your business. It’s one of the best business environments in the US. If you plan on setting up a business in the State of Pennsylvania, one of the foremost requirements of the state government is having a registered agent.

 

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent can be a business or an individual appointed to receive legal documents for your company. These legal documents include tax notices, subpoenas, lawsuits, and others. 

All companies doing business in the state of Pennsylvania must have a registered agent to ensure tracking of all legal mail sent within the state. To become a registered agent in the state of Pennsylvania, you must meet the following requirements:

You must

  • Be able to receive mail during business hours at an office
  • Be present to receive the legal mail intended for the business you represent
  • Have a physical address within Pennsylvania. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.

 

Registered Agent/ Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP)

In Pennsylvania, who can work as one?

A person must meet certain requirements before he/she can work as a registered agent/CROP in the State of Pennsylvania. These requirements are made by the Department of the State of Pennsylvania. 

  • A registered agent can be an employee of the company or third parties such as lawyers and registered agent service companies that is a resident or an organization that is located in Pennsylvania and has a valid street address in Pennsylvania. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) cannot be their registered agents. However, if you are a resident and of legal age (more than 18) in Pennsylvania, you are allowed to register as your business’s registered agent in a case whereby you have a start-up business or you are a small business entrepreneur. 
  • If you are a business owner based outside Pennsylvania, you must first have the authorization to do business.
  • The State of Pennsylvania has a list of CROPs who are registered with the state. You can take a look at the list here.

Changing your Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

If you have decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in Pennsylvania, maybe because your previous registered agent moved out of the state, no longer wants the responsibility, or he left your company for another. Changing registered agents is easy, all you need to do is follow the following steps, as outlined by the Department of the State of Pennsylvania:

  1. File for the Change of Registered Office form, you can complete the process electronically/online through the PENN File or through the mail. If you’re completing the process online, just register on the PENN File, choose your form, complete it and submit it. If you choose to file through the mail, complete the Change of Registered Office form which is available on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Registration Forms webpage.
  2. The form has step-by-step instructions on how to complete it. Note that there’s a 5 dollars fee to be paid for the document to be processed in the State of Pennsylvania. If you’re completing the process online you can pay with a card. Meanwhile, if you’re submitting the form through the mail, you’ll have to pay by writing a check of 5 dollars that is payable to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

You’ll then submit the completed form and the check to the address:

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

The Department of the State of Pennsylvania usually takes between 7 to 10 working days to complete the process of changing your registered agent/CROP. However, you can choose to request the expedited service and pay an extra fee of 100 dollars for same-day service, 300 dollars for 3-hour service, and 1000 dollars for 1-hour service.

You have to know that you cannot change your registered agent/CROP in the State of Pennsylvania by just making changes to your annual report or your Certificate of Organization.

 

Should I Get a Professional Registered Agent Service Company?

Getting a professional registered agent company can reduce a lot of effort and time for any business owner. There are numerous benefits to it whether you are an established company or a small business owner. Some of these benefits are:

  • Making use of their address instead of your home address, especially if you don’t have an office yet. This detail will be included in public records.
  • Registered Agent processes paperwork for you
  • Notify you immediately if you receive any new legal mail 
  • Notify you of mandatory filing of Pennsylvania annual reports
  • Help you to avoid penalties for delayed filings
  • Assist you with forms and instructions needed to set up your business
  • If you operate a small business out of state, they fill in as your local contact in the state.

Several agencies offer registered agent services in Pennsylvania. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business. 

 

Advantages of Using a Pennsylvania Business Address vs. Personal Address

  • A business address minimizes exposure of your home address as public information
  • Some city municipalities may not allow using home addresses as business offices
  • Using your personal address can probably link you to business liabilities 
  • Using a business address can help you separate business and personal transactions

 

Conclusion

Having a registered agent is your gateway to setting up a business in the state of Pennsylvania. Doing it yourself is possible, but it can eat up a lot of your time, money, and energy. It is better to get a registered agent service and use the resources to build your business instead. Let them help you do business hassle-free in Pennsylvania.