Florida LLC registered agent requirements are important to understand because Florida mandates that businesses that are either incorporating or registering an existing business in the state must have a registered agent on file. Registered agents are authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of the business. These include tax documents from Florida's Department of Taxation, annual reports or statements, and Service of Process (Notice of Litigation).

Registered Agent Requirements in Florida

Florida sets requirements on who can be a registered agent and how their information is handled. 

  • Registered agents are required to have a physical registered office in Florida. It can be virtually any type of address where documents can be delivered in person. Virtual offices and P.O. Boxes are not valid options. 
  • The agent must be available. The whole idea behind a registered agent is someone dependable who can accept service of process. This person should be available during common business hours, such as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Registered agents must accept service of process. This is one of the most important duties of registered agents. Service of process is usually a summons or complaint, which means the initiation of litigation against the LLC. 
  • Registered agents in Florida are not required to keep contact information on file, which differs from other states, such as Delaware and Wyoming. 

How to Change a Florida Registered Agent

If you need to change your registered agent on file, it's a relatively simple and quick process. 

  1. Start by hiring a new registered agent. 
  2. There is a form you need to complete, typically the Florida Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent. 
  3. Pay the applicable filing fee. 

The form asks for simple information: 

  • Business name 
  • Address
  • LLC filing number and date
  • Current and newly registered office addresses
  • Current and new registered agents
  • Signatures from both agent and document filer

It takes about a week for the Florida Secretary of State's office to process the change when filing by mail. This form cannot be filed online. 

Becoming Your Own Registered Agent

If you want to change the registered agent to yourself and you have an existing LLC on file, you only need to file a statement of change form at the Corporations Division. These forms can be downloaded online at www.sunbiz.org. Note: there are different forms for corporations and LLCs.

  • Fill the necessary information appointing yourself as the new registered agent and sign the document. Don't forget the name and street address. 
  • Mail the form and filing fee to the Corporations Division. 

Just like when you appoint someone as your registered agent, you have to accept service of process during regular business hours. Appointing a Florida registered agent is an important part of your business, as that person handles important legal documents, which is crucial information. 

When appointing a registered agent in Florida, keep in mind that individuals need to be at least 18 years old and a resident of Florida. While you can be your own registered agent, there are some drawbacks, which is why people typically choose someone else to be their agent. 

Because the name and address become public record on the Secretary of State's website, some LLCs opt to use a third-party service. When you use a third-party service, you don't need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State's office when you change your business address.

Once your filed articles of organization are recorded, it's recognized that you are the individual acting as the registered agent, and you are now responsible for accepting service on behalf of your business. 

Why You Need a Registered Agent

If you're wondering what happens if you don't have a registered agent, it can cause significant legal and financial problems. 

  • One is the potential for a default judgment. 
  • You may miss important deadlines, like cut-off dates, and you may be subject to penalties and fines. 
  • Registered agents are also a source of proof that your business actually exists. 

Finding a Registered Agent Service

If you're looking for a third-party service, just do an internet search for "Florida Registered Agent Service" or "Florida Commercial Registered Agent." Both of those terms mean essentially the same thing.

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