Whether you’re starting a new LLC or updating the registered agent for your existing business, it’s important to choose the best Michigan registered agent for your needs.
This article will help you to choose the registered agent that best fits your business, go over the basic functions of registered agents, and answer common questions about registered agents.
If you haven’t yet formed your LLC, you can get one year of registered agent services for free if you form your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + state fees). (This is a great deal!).
A Michigan registered agent is an individual or business entity that is appointed by a Michigan LLC or corporation to receive tax and legal documents such as service of process, government correspondence, and compliance documents on behalf of the business.
Best Michigan Registered Agent Service
When choosing a registered agent service, you want someone who understands the importance of staying compliant and being diligent about legal processes and paperwork. That’s why Northwest Registered Agent is our #1 registered agent service choice for Michigan businesses.
Recommended Registered Agent Service
Northwest Registered Agent is our #1 overall pick for registered agent services. Their cost is $125/year – or get a year of service free when you form your LLC with them ($29 + state fees).
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers everything that you need to form your LLC along with Registered Agent services. The company boasts over 20 years of operations helping small businesses start or grow.
Northwest has a 100% Error-Free Guarantee with outstanding customer support, exceptional services, and high prices to match. If data privacy and access to customer support are top on your list, the extra costs of working with Northwest Registered Agent may be well worth it for you and your business.
See how Northwest Registered Agent compares to other registered agent services in StateRequirement’s Best Registered Agent Services review.
What Does a Michigan Registered Agent Do?
A registered agent does a few things for a company. Their main task is to be present when or if the company needs to receive tax or legal paperwork. These would be documents that can’t be sent to a mailbox or delivered to a front desk; rather, documents that must be handed directly to the person who represents the company.
A simple example would be a service of process, which is the delivery of legal documents in a lawsuit. These service documents must be delivered directly to the company’s representative – the registered agent – to ensure they are received.
This may seem like a small task, but the caveat that makes this a critical position is that the registered agent is required to be at the documented location to receive these papers during all “regular business hours.” This is the main reason that most people choose to use a registered agent service rather than operating as their own agent.
Other forms that your registered agent may receive on your behalf are:
- Tax forms
- Legal documents
- Official government correspondence
- Service of process
Another function of a registered agent is to file official documents with the state in which the LLC or corporation is established. In most states, businesses are required to file an annual report once per year to keep the business in “good standing” with the state.
Learn more about why your business needs a registered agent.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Michigan?
The short answer is yes, you can be your own registered agent.
Whether or not that’s the best plan for you or your company is another question entirely. If you are looking to spend the absolute, bare minimum amount of money on your business, then being your own registered agent may not be a terrible choice. Still, even in that scenario, we don’t recommend it.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
There are only a few realistic options when it comes to whom you file as your registered agent:
- An attorney
- A registered agent service
As mentioned above, being your own agent has pitfalls and isn’t recommended. What’s more, an attorney in this position would be quite expensive and is generally only a viable option if you had them form your business for you.
So, that leaves you with the option of using a service. Here are the biggest benefits of using a professional registered agent service:
When you form an LLC or corporation, your formation data goes into a state database which is open and searchable to the public. The information in this database can include:
- Business name
- Formation date
- Registered agent name
- Registered agent address
While you can’t stop the state from publishing this information, you can retain the privacy of your name and your address by using a registered agent service. Since this information is public, marketing companies use these databases to gather information to market their products and services to business owners. Your mailbox will thank you for keeping your business address private.
Another major privacy benefit is having legal documents delivered to your agent and not you personally. If, for some reason, someone brings a lawsuit against your company, would you rather have your agent call you with these documents or have them served to you in front of your customers, clients, or employees?
Along with privacy, another of the main benefits of using a registered agent service is that they will help to keep your business in “good standing” with the state.
Some states require LLCs and corporations to file annual reports or other timely documents. While these generally aren’t difficult tasks, they are often easily forgotten or lost in the day-to-day work that your business hands you.
Your registered agent will send you reminders that this work needs to be completed, and some will even provide you with the proper documents to make your work even easier.
How Do I Elect a Resident Agent in Michigan?
Forming an LLC in Michigan requires designating a resident agent. “Resident agent” is simply the state’s term for what’s more commonly called a “registered agent.”
Your LLC’s resident agent will be the official contact for any tax or legal matters, as well as for other official notices. They must be located in the state, have a non-P.O. street address, and willing to sign for papers if necessary. Some of the papers they might receive include the process of service documents, tax bills and notifications.
The process of filing Articles of Organization includes choosing a resident agent. You can do this by yourself, or you can have an LLC formation service take care of the resident agent and all other formation matters for you.
To file Articles of Organization and choose a resident agent, you can go through either of the following steps:
- File online through Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Website. Complete the Articles of Organization through the Corporations Online Filing System. Article IV has space for the name, street address and mailing address of your LLC’s resident agent. While a P.O. box is permitted for the mailing address, the agent must also have a non-P.O. street address in the state. The standard new Michigan LLC filing fee is $50. Expedited processing is available for an additional $50 to $1,000 depending on turnaround time.
- File by mail or in person with the Articles of Organization (Form CD-700) document that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs makes available as a .pdf. Article IV again has entries for the resident agent’s name, street address and mailing address. The form can be mailed or delivered to the department’s applicable address that’s listed on the form and in the contact information below. The hard copy filing is also $50, and expedited service is available for $50 to $1,000. Mailed filings must be paid by check or money order, while in-person filings can additionally be paid by credit card.
How Do I Change My Resident Agent in Michigan?
If you ever want to switch resident agents, you can do so by filing a short form with Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
File Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent
- File online by logging into your LLC’s account on the Corporations Online Filing System. You can then navigate to the Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent. You’ll need to provide your LLC’s name, the current resident agent’s name, and the new resident agent’s name. The fee for changing a resident agent is $5, and expedited processing is again $50 to $1,000. Most businesses don’t have to rush a resident agent change, however, so there’s usually little reason to pay for expedited processing.
- File by mail or in person with the Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent (Form CD-520). Complete the form, and mail or deliver it to the department at the applicable address listed in the instructions. A $5 filing fee applies, and you have the option of expedited service.
If you choose to use or switch to a registered agent service, they should complete and file the changes for you. For more information about our recommended Registered Agent service for your LLC, check out our Northwest Registered Agent review.
Recommended Registered Agent Service
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers their Michigan registered agent service free for one year along with your LLC formation.
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Contact Information
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau — Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
2501 Woodlake Cir.
Okemos, MI 48864
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Phone: (517) 241-6470
Michigan Registered Agent FAQ
Who can be a Michigan registered agent?
Anybody who meets the necessary requirements can act as your registered agent. These requirements include:
Must be at least 18 years old
Must have a physical street address in the state of Michigan
Must be available during typical work hours (i.e., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Is a statutory agent the same as a registered agent?
Yes. Some states refer to registered agents as statutory agents. Other names for registered agents include resident agent and agent for service of process.
Can I be my own registered agent?
While you can be your own registered agent, it comes with a lot of responsibility. This could take you away from the parts of your business that you enjoy the most. It can also be stressful trying to keep up with all compliance requirements, and your information will also be available on the public record.
Can I get a free registered agent?
Yes, as long as they meet all of the necessary requirements and follow the state’s guidelines. It can lead to trouble if you use someone that doesn’t follow all rules and regulations. Many LLC formation services offer free registered agent services with their packages for a certain amount of time.
Why do I need a registered agent?
All states require that LLCs have a registered agent. Businesses need registered agents because there needs to be a point of contact for every business, for legal processes, communication, and staying in compliance. Check out StateRequirement’s guide on why you need an LLC registered agent.
How do I choose a registered agent?
The best registered agent or service will be responsible, helpful, and honest. They should have a track record of being on time and working with other influential businesses.
How much does a registered agent service cost?
A registered agent service can cost as low as $99/year for some services, but others may charge considerably more depending on what services they offer.