What is a Registered Agent?
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A Registered Agent provides various services, including accepting formal documents and correspondence from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (MI LARA). This position is known as a Resident Agent in Michigan. We use the terms interchangeably.
Your LLC must have a Michigan Resident Agent at all times and you must appoint one when you first start your business. You can replace your existing Michigan Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new services.
Note: Though many states administer business creation and management via the Secretary of State (SOS), in Michigan, it's the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department, or MI LARA for short. We mention this for those who may seek this information from the MI SOS.
Michigan Registered Agent Requirements
- Every domestic and foreign LLC must, at all times, maintain a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Michigan.
- The Registered Agent can be either a natural person or a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (Corporation, LLC, LP or LLP).
- The registered office must be located at a street address (a P.O. Box alone is not acceptable) within the State of Michigan.
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Michigan.
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be legally permitted to conduct business in Michigan.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.
Note that the address for your agent does not need to be the same as your Michigan LLC business address.
What a Michigan Registered Agent Does
A Resident Agent's main function is to accept official documents and correspondence on behalf of your company.
- Communication from the MI LARA
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
- State and federal government correspondence and notifications
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Get Free Michigan Registered Agent Service for the First Year
Bizee provides a complete Michigan Resident Agent service for any LLC formed in the state. Even better, if you form your business through Bizee, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Bizee is authorized to conduct business in Michigan and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Resident Agent service provides:
- A Michigan Registered Agent who is always available and who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
- An online dashboard where you can store, access and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
- An email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
- Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
Appointing a Registered Agent Service for Your LLC
Upon forming your LLC, you must appoint a Resident Agent. You can change it at any point after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Resident Agent When You Form Your LLC
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
File Articles of Organization with the MI LARA
You'll need to include details of your Resident Agent in your Articles of Organization. This is the form that you file with the MI LARA to formally create your business.
Form Your Business Through Bizee and Get a Free Registered Agent
When you form your business through us, we’ll provide a free year of our Registered Agent service and we’ll use the information you give us to complete and file your Articles of Organization for you.
Change Your Registered Agent After Formation
You can also assign a different Michigan Registered Agent after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
Choose a Registered Agent and File Form with the MI LARA
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can complete a Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent form. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the LARA with a payment of $5 so they can update your records.
Sign Up for Bizee’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change for You
When you use our Registered Agent service, we’ll take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We'll collect information about your business, complete the form and then send it to the MI LARA on your behalf. We’ll notify you once we officially become your Registered Agent.
Michigan Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another LLC in Michigan. You can search the state's business database for this information.
If the Registered Agent data isn’t available there, you can request it directly from the MI LARA.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the MI LARA, you may be subject to several possible ramifications, including:
- Falling out of good standing with the MI LARA. If you don’t respond to official correspondence (such as the request to file your annual report), the state may revoke your right to do business.
- Losing your status as an LLC in Michigan. A Registered Agent shows the state that your business exists. Without one, you could lose your entity protections, and your LLC may be dissolved.
- Getting served or sued and not finding out about it. If your LLC is sued and you don’t receive notification and don't respond, you could lose to a default judgment
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You can be the Registered Agent for your LLC if you have an address in Michigan. We don’t recommend doing this, though, because it can be complicated and even risky:
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional paperwork with the MI LARA for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making an address change much simpler.
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Michigan. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the MI LARA website. If you prefer your name and address remain private, using a Registered Agent service can protect your personal information.
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Michigan address to sign for important documents and official correspondence.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Michigan Registered Agents
Do I Need to Appoint a Michigan Registered Agent?
Yes. All business entities in the state are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the MI LARA. You'll find more information above.
When Should I Assign a Michigan Registered Agent?
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your business with the MI LARA. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you create your business through Bizee, we’ll take care of all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Michigan?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons detailed above.
Does the Registered Agent for My Michigan-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Michigan?
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.