How to find a registered agent in Michigan

Michigan registered agent requirements

There are not many requirements for Michigan registered agents, but there are a few.

Hiring a registered agent service

Michigan registered agent services need to be licensed to do business in the state. They must accept the appointment of registered agent. Finally, they must be reliably at their physical address from Monday through Friday to accept service of process and other time-sensitive paperwork on behalf of clients.

Being your own registered agent

  • Have a physical address in-state. P.O. boxes are not accepted as legitimate addresses. This needs to be a physical street address.
  • Be available during normal business hours. Registered agents need to be at their non-P.O. box office address during normal business hours, year-round.
  • Be over 18. All registered agents need to be at least 18.

Recommended registered agent services

Northwest Registered Agent will scan all documents you receive for your business so that you can easily see them in your online account. There, you’ll have unlimited cloud storage as well as strong business data protection, and help from their friendly customer service staff when you need it. A yearly subscription for their registered agent services costs $125.

See the full Northwest review here.

ZenBusiness is one of the most popular registered agent services, and many say they’re the best. They can help you with the process of LLC formation while also becoming your registered agent, and the total fee is just $99 per year — a great price. ZenBusiness is known for its competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and easy-to-understand plans.

See the full ZenBusiness review here.

Incfile will include their registered agent services free for the first year when you purchase their LLC formation services. After that, you’ll pay $119 per year to keep them on as your registered agent. With Incfile, you can instantly see and access your business’s important documents and legal notices by using their convenient dashboard. So that you know instantly when your business receives new mail, you’ll also receive a direct SMS notification and an immediate email.

See the full Incfile review here.

Why you need a registered agent

When forming an LLC (limited liability company) or corporation in Michigan, it is importance to list a resident agent or registered agent in your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation.

All companies in the State of Michigan must have a registered agent. The role of registered agent is to accept official correspondence on behalf of a business. For example, your registered agent may accept service of process, legal documents, and other important paperwork for your LLC. They are also tasked with forwarding these important documents to you in a timely manner. If the role of registered agent is not performed well, businesses could risk missing deadlines and critical legal appointments.

Different entities can fill the position of registered agent. You may choose an individual or a business entity to be your registered agent. Some business owners prefer to take on this position themselves, which is certainly an option. However, being a business owner and a registered agent at the same time is often overwhelming.

When you need a registered agent

You need to list who your registered agent will be in your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization. This is a critical element of the incorporation process in Michigan. You will file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of Michigan.

Before selecting who your registered agent will be, you’ll first need to choose a business name. Use the business entity search database on the Michigan Secretary of State website to make sure that no other entity is already using the name you want for your company.

Next, you’ll appoint your chosen registered agent in your formation documents — including their all-important business address. You will submit these documents to the Michigan Secretary of State and wait for approval of your business’s incorporation. Other steps include creating your Operating Agreement and obtaining an EIN or employer identification number.

Why use a registered agent service

A registered agent service can assist your business in numerous ways. In fact, professional registered agent companies provide several benefits that you simply won’t get by hiring an individual such as your lawyer (or yourself) for this position.

Most notably, a professional registered agent company in Michigan will ensure your compliance with the state, flexibility of time, and personal privacy.

Compliance

A registered agent service will ensure that your business remains compliant and in good standing with the State of Michigan and its business requirements. They will primarily do this by sending your business regular reminders for critical business filings like your Annual Report. They can notify you of tax deadlines as well.

Professional registered agent companies also help you stay organized in general. With the numerous documents, forms, and filings needed to run a business in Michigan, this can be a challenge.

Many registered agent service companies offer online accounts where you can find all of your business’s important documents and filings right at your fingertips. When you receive something official from the state or if you are served legal papers, you will be able to receive these documents on the same day that they were delivered in many cases.

Flexibility

Whether you’re just starting out in the small business world or have been at it for decades, you need flexibility in your schedule to run your business. If you choose to take on the role of registered agent yourself, however, you will have to be at your official company address at all times and will not be free to create your own schedule with any ease.

That’s because it is required by state law that all registered agents be at the respective business’s appointed registered agent address during normal business hours every day of the week (Monday – Friday). This is the address that you listed on your Articles of Organization when you formed your corporation or LLC.

So, if you are your company’s own registered agent, this might be your home address. In this case, you’d need to be at home during normal business hours throughout the week, which is not feasible for most busy business owners.

Privacy

Lastly, if you do act as your company’s own registered agent, you may be putting your privacy and the privacy of your family in jeopardy.

Because registered agents need to list a physical street address as their official address, this means that many new business owners and entrepreneurs end up listing their home address. That address then needs to be on public record, so anyone could find it.

If you would prefer that any individual, business, or organization not be able to search your home address any time they please, it’s better to forgo being your own agent and hire a commercial service instead.

Michigan registered agent costs

While it may seem like you’ll need to spend a lot of money on a registered agent in Michigan, this isn’t actually the case. First of all, if you choose to be your own registered agent, you don’t have to pay anything unless you want to allocate certain funds to yourself — or to someone else in your employ – for this job. The State of Michigan does not charge you for choosing a registered agent.

On the other hand, if you choose to go with a professional registered agent company, you’ll need to pay a recurring annual fee. This fee is generally between $50 and $300 per year, depending on the extras you’d like to incorporate with your services.

In some cases, registered agent companies will offer their registered agent services for free for the first year if you choose them to help you incorporate your business. After your first year of service, however, they’ll usually revert you to their standard payment plan.

How to change your Michigan registered agent

If you plan to change your registered agent in Michigan, be sure to ask your registered agent service if they do change of registered agent filings on behalf of their clients. Some do and will even wave the filing fees for you.

If your registered agent will not perform this service or if you are transitioning to an individual registered agent, follow the directions below to perform a change of agent.

  • You’ll first need a Certificate of Change of Registered Agent form. You can get this form online via LARA (The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

  • Fill out the form and submit it to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You’ll need to pay a fee for the filing. The form and fee can be submitted online or in person, and you can pay the filing fees by credit card.

  • If the due date for filing your Michigan Annual Report is coming up, you may also choose to change your registered agent when performing this filing.

List of forms

Find everything you need to know about choosing a registered agent and incorporating your business in Michigan by using the links below.

FAQs

How do I appoint a Michigan registered agent?

Appointing a registered agent is part of the formation process for your business. While filling out your Articles of Organization, you will list your chosen registered agent (either an individual or a business entity) and include all of their contact information. You will then send this document to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office for approval.

Who can be a registered agent in Michigan?

You can select either an individual or a business to be your registered agent. Commercial registered agent companies often offer superior benefits. Any individual can be a registered agent as long as they are over the age of 18. They also need to be a resident of Michigan, and they need to have a physical street address in the state.

Are statutory agents and registered agents the same thing?

The terms statutory agent and registered agent mean the same thing. A resident agent is another term for this position. The role involves an individual or business entity accepting and forwarding official documents and state correspondence, tax information, and legal notifications on behalf of a business.

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