Change Registered Agent Georgia: Everything You Need to Know
Change registered agent Georgia when your business needs to identify a new person or entity to accept legal documents mailed by the state or tax forms.3 min read updated on February 01, 2023
Change registered agent Georgia when your business needs to identify a new person or entity to accept legal documents mailed by the state, the service of process notices or tax forms.
If a business is set up as a corporation or formed as a limited liability company that can do business in Georgia, then it is required by law to have a registered office address and registered agent in the state. These are either businesses that have been established to act as registered agents on behalf of Georgia businesses or an individual resident of the state. They are also known as a “statutory agent,” “resident agent,” “corporate agent,” or “agent for service and process.”
Requirements of a Registered Agent
In order to be a registered agent in Georgia, a business or individual must:
- Have a physical presence in the state where they can accept mail and service of process. It cannot be a P.O box.
- Be able to conduct business in Georgia and operate during regular business hours.
- Be part of the public record of the company and be listed in either the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organizations (or amendments thereto).
If you are the business owner, you can serve as your business’ registered agent, but there are some very good reasons why you may want to appoint another business or individual to serve this role:
- It’s important to have someone available to receive important documents. If you are not always in the office, it’s a good idea to have another person or business act on your behalf at another address.
- You may not want your home or business address to be part of the public record and have service processors showing up on your doorstep.
- If your current location is only temporary and you envision changing your address in the future, you don’t need to file documents with the secretary of state every time you move.
Steps to Changing Your Registered Agent
There is only one way to change your registered agent in Georgia, and that is by updating your records with the Georgia Secretary of State. This can be done in two ways:
- Change the agent as part of the annual registration process that is required by state law to keep your business’ information up to date, or
- File an amended annual registration. You may file an amended registration as often as is necessary throughout the year.
Both of these documents and the filing fee can be provided online (credit cards accepted for payment) or mailed to the Georgia Secretary of State (check, certified check or money order made payable to “Secretary of State” accepted). Regardless of how you choose to file, you’ll still need to complete the appropriate form that can be found on the Georgia Division of Corporations’ eCorp dashboard at https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/.
You can save money by waiting to change your registered agent when you file your annual registration. Otherwise there is an additional fee for the amended annual registration. If you file online before 4 p.m., your records will be updated overnight. If you file by regular mail, and request expedited service (extra fee), it can take up to 12 days for the change to take effect. Otherwise, it may take two to three weeks.
Important to Keep Registered Agent Info Current
Taking the time to keep the contact information for your registered agent up to date may seem like a lot of extra trouble to go through, but it is actually very important. You must have a reliable way for your business to be notified at any time during normal working hours in case important tax documents have been sent to you, or other important legal papers.
Here are a few worst-case scenarios that could happen if your registered agent information is not current:
- A lawsuit against you is filed and you fail to receive notice. You could lose the case by default and suffer damages that severely harm your business.
- You are traveling for business or are on a vacation when important documents need to be filed with the state, and by missing the filing deadlines you face fines or penalties.
- Without a verifiable registered agent address on record, it could be determined that your business is no longer qualified to do business in the state and it is dissolved.
Your registered agent serves a very important purpose. Be sure to keep the state informed if you decide to change your registered agent.
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