How to Change a Registered Agent in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.

 

Registered Agent in Rhode Island, who can work as one?

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

  • 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 Rhode Island and has a valid street address in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island, you must first have the authorization to do business.

Changing your Registered Agent in Rhode Island

If you have decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island:

  1. Go to the Business Forms webpage on the Rhode Island Department of State website and look for the Change of Resident Agent forms. Note that the Department of the State of Rhode Island has different forms for different business structures, for example, a Corporation, an LLC, and a Nonprofit. So, you have to be sure that you’re filling the right form for your business. You have the option to either file online or download the forms, fill and submit through non-electronic means such as through the mail or submitting in person.
  2. The document you’ll fill will require information such as the name and address of your new and current registered agent. If you’re filing online, you’ll be required to provide your Customer Identification Number and PIN.

The form must be correctly filled, note that there’s a fee of 20 dollars must be paid for the document to be processed. The payment can be made through a check that is made payable to the “Rhode Island Department of State”, or you can also choose to pay with a card or cash if you’re submitting the file in person. 

The document and the check can then be mailed to the address:

Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Ave.

Albany, Rhode Island 12231-0001.

You can also choose to drop off the document and the payment in person. If you are, you’ll drop them off at the same address as above.

You have to know that you cannot change your registered agent in the State of Rhode Island by just making changes to your annual reports or your Articles of Organization. You can only follow the process explained above.

 

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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business. 

 

Advantages of Using a Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island.