Get an Agent for Service of Process for your California LLC
The California Secretary of State requires every CA LLC to have a Registered Agent. Once you have assigned a California Registered Agent, they can receive official correspondence and documents on behalf of your CA business. Registered Agents can be individuals or other specialized Registered Agent service businesses.
Your LLC must have a California Registered Agent at all times. You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing CA Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new Registered Agent service.
What the California Secretary of State Says About CA Registered Agents
In California, a Registered Agent is formally known as an “Agent for Formal Service of Process,” and we’ll use that term interchangeable with “Registered Agent” in this section. Their functions and requirements are identical to those of Registered Agents described above.
Here’s some important information from the California Secretary of State on CA Registered Agent services:
“An agent for service of process is an individual who resides in California, or a corporation, designated to accept service of process (court papers) if the business entity is sued. If a corporation is designated as agent for service of process, that corporation must have previously filed a certificate pursuant to California Corporations Code section 1505.”
California LLC Registered Agent Service Rules
There are certain rules that you must follow when you’re appointing a California Registered Agent service for your business. They are:
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in California
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in California
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in California, not a P.O. Box
- The CA Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence
Note that the CA Registered Agent address does not need to be the same as your California LLC business address.
What to Expect From a California Agent for Service of Process
Your California Registered Agent carries out several valuable services for your business. They accept official communications and documents from the CA Secretary of State on your behalf. This may include:
- Correspondence from the California Secretary of State, like a notice to file reports and other forms
- Service of process documents (for example, if your California LLC has legal proceedings issued against it)
- Official California and federal government documents, form filings and requests for information (including taxes, permits and company filings)
A Free Registered Agent Service for California LLCs
If you have an LLC that’s incorporated in California and you need a CA Registered Agent, we can help. Incfile provides a complete Registered Agent service for any California business—and now it’s $0 for the first year, whether you form your company through Incfile or not.
We are authorized to conduct business in California and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what you need to know about Incfile’s CA Registered Agent service.
MORE ABOUT FREE REGISTERED AGENTS
- The Registered Agent will always be available to accept documents and letters on your behalf
- We automatically notify you whenever we receive correspondence for your business from the California Secretary of State or anyone else
- We scan your correspondence and upload it to a dashboard, so you can review it when convenient
- We forward all correspondence to an address you choose
- Your first year is free, whether you form your business through Incfile or not (service is $119 a year after first year)
How to Appoint a California Agent for Service of Process for Your LLC
You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first incorporate your California LLC or at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.
Assign Your California Registered Agent When You Form Your CA LLC
Your business needs to have a California Registered Agent Service as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this through one of the following methods.
File Articles of Organization With the California Secretary of State
You will need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Articles of Organization. This is the form that you file with the CA Secretary of State to formally create your business.
Incorporate Through Incfile and Get a Free California Registered Agent
When you incorporate through us, we complete and file your Articles of Organization based on the information you’ve provided. Additionally, we give you a free California Registered Agent Service for the first year, and we’ll include details of your CA Registered Agent in the form that we file.
Incorporate your business through Incfile
Change Your California Registered Agent After Your LLC Is Formed
You can also change your CA Registered Agent service after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
Choose a Registered Agent Service and File Form LLC-12, Statement of Information With the California Secretary of State
Once you’ve chosen a new California Registered Agent, you can complete form LLC-12, Statement of Information, which is available on the CA Secretary of State website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Secretary of State so they can update your records. The California SOS may charge a nominal fee to assign or change a Registered Agent.
Sign Up for Incfile’s California Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf
When you choose to use our CA Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete form LLC-12, Statement of Information on your behalf and send it to the California Secretary of State. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent. Note that the California SOS may charge a nominal fee to assign or change a Registered Agent, which will be passed on to you.
Order Incfile’s Agent for Service of Process service
California Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another California LLC. If you do, you can search the business database of the California Secretary of State, as these will often provide details of a specific business’s Registered Agent.
If the CA Registered Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the California Secretary of State requesting the information.
The Problems Caused When You Don’t Appoint a California Registered Agent Service
What happens if you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the California Secretary of State? There are several possible ramifications, including:
- Getting served or sued and not finding out about it: If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
- Falling out of good standing with the California Secretary of State: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), certain states may revoke your right to do business.
- Losing your status as a California LLC: A CA Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your California LLC may be dissolved.
FAQs About California Registered Agents
Do I Need to Appoint a California Registered Agent?
Yes. All CA LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the California Secretary of State.
When Can I Assign a California Registered Agent Service?
You can either do it when you incorporate your California business through paperwork filed with the CA Secretary of State or afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we will file all necessary forms on your behalf.
Does My CA Registered Agent Need to Have an Address in California?
Yes. Additionally, if they are a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state.
Useful Resources for California Registered Agent Services
You might find these resources helpful: