Assign a Resident Agen in Michigan

Are you starting a business in Michigan (MI)? As you fill in your articles of organization to form an LLC in Michigan, you will come across a section requiring you to designate an LLC registered agent. New entrepreneurs are often thrown off by this term, not quite understanding what it entails and who serves this role. We will detail why you need a Michigan Resident Agent to run a successful LLC in Michigan. Additionally, we will reflect on how you should go about choosing a resident agent.

What is a Michigan Resident Agent?

Once your business is up and running, you will need to communicate with the state on its behalf. This communication encompasses receiving mail on deadlines, notices, and even lawsuits. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs requires that you appoint someone who will receive your LLC’s important legal, tax, and compliance information, which is who you refer to as a registered agent in Michigan. Having someone serving this role is not only a requirement to do business in Michigan but also a good way to maintain your LLC good standing with the state. The simplest way to think of this resident agent service is as a go-between whose only role is to facilitate communication.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Resident Agent?

It’s tempting to avoid the business formation paperwork that comes with designating someone to serve this role. But before you do so, here is what you need to know.

First, your business will not have approval from the state to operate in MI as long as you do not have a company’s resident agent. It’s a statutory requirement, and the minute they realize that you have not listed a person or company in the agent section, they will reject your business application. If not for any other reason, get one to ensure your business can operate in the state.

Secondly, not having a registered agent can deter you from receiving important communication. For example, if someone sues you, the person or company receiving the legal notices will forward the paperwork to you. This way, you can stay on top of things and avoid getting blindsided.

Thirdly, if you have one and stop maintaining their records and services, you can incur penalties and fees. Moreover, the state can enforce an entity closure on your business. Ensure that you maintain a resident agent each year to avoid such hiccups.

What are the Requirements of a Resident Agent?

The state has eased restrictions on who can and cannot represent your business. You can choose anyone or any company as long as they:

  • Are at least 18 years old and capable of entering a contract;
  • Are authorized to conduct business in MI (in the case of a company);
  • Can receive mail in MI and have a valid mailing address;
  • Have a physical location in MI where the authorities can reach them when necessary.

Please note that there is no wiggle room with these Michigan law requirements. If your proposed Michigan’s resident agent falls short in any area, you need to go back to the drawing board. Luckily, the rules are reasonable, and finding someone who meets all of them should not be a hard task.

Who can be a Resident Agent in Michigan?

You may have noticed that the authorities are not too specific with their restrictions on how to appoint a registered agent LLC. Many people can serve this role. We will look at the two main Michigan’s resident agent options available to you and what may work for your business. Keep in mind that both options have strong points, and the ultimate choice should consider these factors.

Appointing An Individual

Even you can take on this point of contact role. However, given the workload you’ll handle once the business operations begin, this would not be advisable. Instead, you can have someone else perform this role and appoint a single person or a family member. It can be a friend, a family member, or someone in your business. All they need to do is meet the requirements we earlier stated, and they will be perfect for the role.

On the plus side, you will spend very little or no money for their registered agent for Michigan business services. Additionally, you will already have a rapport with the said person and this will make interactions easy.

However, it can be difficult to ensure that this person is always available as needed. You may also face an issue with delays. For example, your friend may receive a document and not treat it with the urgency it deserves. Getting documents on time may be hard and holding loved ones accountable can be challenging. It can also strain existing relationships.

Appointing Resident Agent Service

The alternative is to hire a registered agent professional service for receiving but also handling and processing time-sensitive documents on behalf of your business. Most entrepreneurs choose this option because it affords them discretion. People in their company will not know what’s happening even in the event of lawsuits, and this avoids triggering panic in the organization. Also, holding a professional service accountable is easy and it ensures that systems run smoothly. Plus, with their wide reach, these services can help you expand outside MI without requiring you to find another go-between.

Their only downside is they are much costlier than hiring a loved one.

How to get a Free Resident Agent in Michigan?

Did you know that you do not have to pay for representation? Many entrepreneurs save money on delegation by finding professionals who can do it for free. It might seem surprising that you can get such services at no cost. So, here is how it works.

There are tons of professional LLC services in Michigan. Their sole role is to help you start and manage your business. As a perk, they throw in free representation as part of the package as a way to attract and retain their clients. You can think of it as their customer relationship management. You get to enjoy great Michigan LLC formation process services and speed while having someone who will go through your paperwork and ensure you are in line with statutory regulations. Reputable companies who offer this two-fer include IncFile, ZenBusiness, and Northwest Registered Agent.

It helps that these companies offer their formation services at reasonable LLC formation costs. You will not end up incurring more money, and you can stay within budget while avoiding the hassle of doing your paperwork.

Resident Agent Changes and Resignation

Your change of representation can come down to two factors. You may no longer be happy with the services provided and may be looking for someone else to take on this role. Or your agent may have informed you that they will no longer be offering their services anymore. Whatever the case, it can be hard to start looking for another alternative. However, you cannot dilly dally with this decision as it affects the wellbeing of your business.

You can choose to fill in the Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent form. For this, you will need to pay a $5 fee as you deliver it in person or mail it to the state. If you are already filling in your Michigan annual statement, you can choose to change your representation in the filed papers. Both methods work the same, and your choice will come down to when you make the change.

Keep in mind that you have to be fast in electing another person to serve this important role. The state allows you 30 days after the resignation to find someone else. After this, the clock starts ticking, and your business can be administratively dissolved.

Have Questions or Concerns?

We have covered what an agent is and why your business cannot survive or go forward without one. However, if you have any questions about this, you can always reach out to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. They will be more than happy to walk you through any complex matters you may be facing. Additionally, they have in-depth knowledge of what your agent should and should not do and can avail this Michigan resident agents’ information. To contact them, you can use their website which should not only cover representation but other business aspects too. By going through the information covered on the site, you may find what you need. If this does not work, you can also give them a call on (517) 241-6470.

Business formation services that also offer representation can also guide you on any complex issues you may be facing. If you have any pressing questions on how to choose your Michigan registered agent, do not hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable third party.