Appointing a Michigan Registered Agent for Your LLC

One of the terms you may hear when you are forming an LLC in Michigan is “registered agent.” Oftentimes, this is a business owner’s first introduction to the term. Michigan requires everyone doing business in Michigan to have a registered agent. We will explain the role of a registered agent and the process and costs involved in the appointment of a registered agent. 

What Is a Michigan Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a person or business authorized to receive correspondence delivered to a business in the normal course of business during normal business hours. The registered agent may be a person or business that offers registered agent services. 

Registered agent’s purpose:

The primary function of a registered agent is to be available during normal business hours in the event any documents require a signature to verify delivery. A registered agent would accept the following on behalf of a business: 

Should these documents be received by a registered agent, they will then inform the owner(s) of the company of their receipt and ensure the owner has access to them immediately. 

Requirements for a registered agent in Michigan

In Michigan, all LLCs must appoint and maintain a registered agent. The registered agent must have an office within the state. The following requirements apply: 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Michigan?

You can serve as your own registered agent if you are older than 18 and have a street address. However, you may not wish to do this unless you are planning to be in your office during normal business hours every single business day of the year. 

You may also consider a friend or close family member, or you may appoint another owner or member of the LLC as a registered agent, assuming they understand that their address will be made public. Primarily, a registered agent’s responsibility is to ensure someone is available during all normal business hours to receive communications from the state, accept service, and receive other important documents which may require someone’s signature. 

How Do I Appoint a Registered Agent?

You will have the option to appoint a registered agent when you file your LLC’s articles of organization. You can either hire an LLC formation service to take care of this for you or go through the steps yourself. 

If you’re going through everything yourself, there are some specific terms you’ll come across in the articles of organization and other documentation: 

Appointing online

To appoint a registered agent online, you may log into LARA: Corporations Division: Online filing. The $5.00 fee may be paid using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover when filing online. 

Appointing by mail

An application for a registered agent may be sent by mail as follows. 

Submit with check or money order for $5.00 by mail to: 

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations 

Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau Corporations Division 

P.O. Box 30054 Lansing, MI 48909 

Appointing in person

You may elect to hand-deliver a completed application for a registered agent to: 

2407 N Grand River Avenue 

Lansing, MI 48906 

Telephone: (517) 241-6470 

When applying in person, the $5.00 fee may be paid by check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. 

Expedited services are also available for these appointments. Expedited fees will range from $50 to $1,000 depending on the timeframe by which you wish to have this registration completed. In all cases, the registered agent fees are non-refundable. 

How Do I Change My Registered Agent?

In the event a registered agent resigns or you opt to change your registered agent, you will have to file a change form with the state of Michigan. The process may be completed as follows. 

Change registered agent by mail by filling out the proper form and mailing it to: 

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, 

Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau Corporations Division 

P.O. Box 30054 

Lansing, MI 48909 

The fee for mail service is $5. 

Change registered agent in person by filling out the proper form and hand-delivering it to: 

2407 N Grand River Avenue 

Lansing, MI 48906 

Telephone: (517) 241-6470 

The $5 fee, when paying in person, may be done by credit card, cash, or check. 

Change registered agent online by using LARA: Corporations Division: Online filing with a $5.00 fee. 

Benefits of Using a Michigan Registered Agent Service

While some business owners may feel that using a registered agent service is not necessary, there are some significant benefits to using a service. These include: 

Peace of mind

You are busy running your business. Using a service can help prevent disruption in your office during working hours.

Privacy

Regardless of where you work, if you are your own registered agent, you lose some privacy. Michigan publishes the addresses of all registered agents online at Michigan Business Entity Search. When you use a registered agent service, your address will be publicly available. 

Compliance with state law

A registered agent can help you comply with Michigan laws. Registered agents will receive information about when your permits, licenses, annual reports, and other important documents must be filed annually. This can be very beneficial as you will not have to worry about missing important filing deadlines and potentially accruing fees and penalties. 

Flexibility

Unless you plan to be in your office every working day of the year, during “normal” business hours, you need a registered agent. This means you are not able to work from a separate office, take a vacation, or even travel to see customers during working hours. Registered agent services offer business owners a lot of flexibility. 

Reducing paperwork

One of the most frustrating aspects of business is the documents that must be stored. Fortunately, most registered agent services will have all the documents you need to maintain your company in good standing. 

Since a registered agent has all your important documents in hand, it will be easy to find the documents you need to open a bank account, apply for loans or credit cards, or provide corporate documents to potential vendors or clients. 

Conclusion

While Michigan does require each business to have a registered agent, the process of appointing an agent does not have to overwhelm business owners. Finding a reliable registered agent is the primary goal you should focus on when considering an appointment. 

This portion of our website is for informational purposes only. Tailor Brands is not a law firm, and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. All statements, opinions, recommendations, and conclusions are solely the expression of the author and provided on an as-is basis. Accordingly, Tailor Brands is not responsible for the information and/or its accuracy or completeness.

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