A Resident Agent in Michigan provides various services, such as accepting formal documents and correspondence from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (Michigan LARA).
Your Corporation must have Michigan Resident Agent services at all times. You appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing agent after formation, provided there is no period during which your business is without a Resident Agent.
The address for your Resident Agent in Michigan doesn't need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a Michigan virtual mailbox for your business address.
Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for a Resident Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Resident Agent.
What Michigan Resident Agents Do
A Resident Agent’s primary function is to accept official correspondence, communication and documentation, including but not limited to:
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your Corporation is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the Michigan LARA
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Resident Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Incfile Provides Free Michigan Resident Agent Service for the First Year
Incfile provides complete Michigan Resident Agent service for any Corporation formed in the state. Even better, if you form your Corporation through Incfile, your Resident Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Incfile is authorized to conduct business in Michigan and able to legally act as your Resident Agent. Here’s what our Michigan Resident Agent services include:
Appointing a Resident Agent for Your Corporation
When you're incorporating in Michigan, you must appoint a Resident Agent at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Resident Agent When You Form Your Corporation
Your business needs to have a Resident Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
When you create your business, you must include your Resident Agent's information in your Articles of Incorporation.
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Resident Agent Service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Incorporation for you.
Assign a New Resident Agent After Incorporation
After you incorporate in Michigan, you may assign someone else as your Resident Agent. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Once you’ve chosen a new Resident Agent, you can complete the Certificate of Change of Registered Office/Resident Agent form available on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Michigan LARA with a filing fee of $5 so they can update your records.
When you use our Resident Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect the pertinent information about your business, complete the form and send it to the Michigan LARA on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Resident Agent.
Search for Michigan Resident Agents
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Resident Agent that represents another Corporation in Michigan. You'll find this information in the state's business database.
If you can’t find the Resident Agent information there, you can request it from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Resident Agent?
If you don’t assign or provide a Resident Agent's details to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, you may be subject to certain consequences, including but not limited to:
- Losing your status as a Corporation in the state. A Resident Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your Corporation may be dissolved.
- Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your Corporation is sued and you don’t respond.
- Falling out of good standing with the Michigan LARA. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
Acting as Your Own Resident Agent
You are legally allowed to be the Resident Agent for your Michigan Corporation if you have a business office in the state. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:
- The Resident Agent must have a physical street address in Michigan. If you’re forming a Corporation outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Resident Agent.
- The Resident Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Michigan LARA website. If you prefer to keep that information private, you should use a Resident Agent service.
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Michigan address to sign for important documents.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Resident Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.