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.

 

Michigan Resident Agent Requirements

  • Every Corporation, domestic or foreign, must have a Resident Agent with a registered office within the State of Michigan at all times.
  • The Resident Agent can be a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (corporation, LLC, LP or LLP) or a natural person.
  • If the Resident Agent is a company, they must be authorized to conduct business in Michigan.
  • If the Resident Agent is a person, they must live in Michigan.
  • The Resident Agent must be available in person to sign for any correspondence during regular business hours.
  • The Registered Office must be located in the state of Michigan at a street address (a P.O. Box is not acceptable)

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:

An always-available Resident Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your Corporation's behalf

A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business

Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business

Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

 

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:

1
File Your Articles of Incorporation with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

When you create your business, you must include your Resident Agent's information in your Articles of Incorporation.

2
Get a Free Resident Agent When You Incorporate with Incfile

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.

1
Choose a New Resident Agent Service and File a Form with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)

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.

2
Sign up for Incfile’s Resident Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf

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.

Other Useful Resources

FAQs About Michigan Resident Agents

Do I Need to Secure Michigan Resident Agent Services?

Yes. All business entities are required to have a Resident Agent. This is mandated by the Michigan LARA. You'll find more information above.

When Do I Need to Assign a Resident Agent in Michigan?

You must assign a Resident Agent when you form your business with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.

Can I Be My Own Resident Agent in Michigan?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.

Does the Resident Agent for My Michigan-Based Corporation Need to Have an Address in Michigan?

Yes. And if you use a company as your Resident Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.

Is a Resident Agent Different Than a Registered Agent?

No. Both a Resident Agent and a Registered Agent provide the same services. The title is a matter of preference of the state.

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