How to Get a Registered Agent in Michigan

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated September 11, 2023
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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Establishing a business in Michigan is straightforward if you follow proper procedures and guidelines. But some uninformed business owners might omit to elect a Michigan registered agent. It’s a legal requirement in most states as all companies must have a legal, authorized representative to receive and manage legal correspondence.

If you want to avoid state penalties and the potential dissolution of your company, learning how to search for, elect, and replace a registered agent for your Michigan-based company is essential. The following guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • According to Michigan state law, companies are not allowed to serve as their own registered agent, meaning they must appoint an individual or third-party service to the position. 

  • Michigan allows a business owner to act as their Michigan LLC’s registered agent. Still, the additional responsibilities can make it harder to focus on the vital task of growing your business. 

  • Failure to elect or maintain a Michigan registered agent can lead to several severe punishments, including the dissolution of your business and having your permission to do business in Michigan revoked.

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What Is a Registered Agent?

A Michigan registered or resident agent is an individual or business entity acting as a point of contact for mail correspondence. According to the Michigan Limited Liability Company act and the Business Corporation Act, registered agents must maintain a physical address and regular business hours to receive legal documents and notifications for the companies they represent.[1]

Suppose an individual or business wants to sue your Michigan LLC. They’d send a service of process to an official company representative. Your Michigan registered agent will accept, sign, and forward this and any other legal documentation to you, keeping you in good standing.

Registered Agent Responsibilities

A Michigan registered agent has many core responsibilities and offers a wide range of services. However, they have two primary duties to fulfill.

First, a resident agent must maintain regular business hours, commonly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to accept and sign legal documents and notifications from other companies or the Michigan Secretary of State. Depending on the urgency of the correspondence, the agent may offer same-day filing and forwarding services to their client’s business address.

Secondly, registered agents must keep detailed information about their clients, including contact information for persons of interest and representatives.

Other responsibilities of a Michigan registered agent include the following:

  • Having a business address or actual street address listed on the public record

  • Accepting, signing, processing, and sending business documents to their clients

Mail forwarding services and P.O. Boxes don’t qualify as registered agent offices. This may confuse some business owners because LLCs can set up P.O. Boxes as mailing addresses.

Choosing Your Michigan Registered Agent

Many individuals or companies can qualify to act as registered agents for a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or organization in Michigan. Selecting the best fit is crucial to ensure your company gets notifications on time, doesn’t miss deadlines, and stays compliant.

Michigan Registered Agent Requirements

Michigan law dictates the legal requirements that Michigan registered agents must meet to represent Michigan LLCs and corporations.[2, 3] Both individuals and companies may serve as legal representatives and points of contact for legal documents and communications between businesses and other entities.

Individual registered agents must be over 18 and state residents. Additionally, they should have a physical address in the public record where they conduct business during regular business hours.

An LLC registered agent must also have a registered office. However, a business entity representing a Michigan LLC must have extra qualifications. For example, the Secretary of State must authorize the business to operate as a registered agent. Furthermore, third-party registered agent services must remain in good standing with the state to keep representing their clients.

Additionally, a company can’t be its own registered agent.

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Why Being In Good Standing Is Crucial

The Michigan Secretary of State mandates all businesses to elect a registered agent in good standing. Failure to do so can result in penalties such as not getting approval to form a company, revoking transactional authorization in the state, or the business’s dissolution.

The best way to ensure your Michigan business complies with state law is to select a registered agent before filing the formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Can I Be My Own Michigan Registered Agent?

Many business owners want to know if they can serve as their own registered agents in Michigan. It’s a fair question considering that individuals are allowed to represent companies. Sometimes, small business owners may nominate themselves, employees, or family members as registered agents.

But there are a couple of aspects to consider before making this decision.

The Benefits of Being Your Own Michigan Registered Agent

  • You have total control over legal documents and service of process notifications

  • You don’t have to worry about intermediaries going through sensitive documents

  • You don’t have to pay for a third-party registered agent service

The Drawbacks of Being Your Own Michigan Registered Agent

  • Your home or office address becomes a matter of public record

  • Your business’s productivity suffers when you or an employee tackle additional responsibilities

  • Your ability to hold a flexible schedule is diminished

  • Your time will be taken up by sifting through junk mail for essential documents

  • You may receive legal notices during important client or partner meetings

Benefits of a Third-Party Registered Agent

Every Michigan business owner stands to benefit by working with the best Michigan registered agent service. Using a service provider such as Swyft Filings as a point of contact for essential documents has more advantages than disadvantages.

1. Privacy

One of the main downsides of being your own registered agent is submitting your home or office address to the public record. It makes it easy for anyone to contact you, send junk mail, and flood your mail.

Moreover, you can get service of process documents and lawsuit notifications in the middle of your client meetings. This can hurt your company’s reputation and create awkward moments between you and your employees, customers, partners, etc.

Commercial registered agents or third-party resident agent services create a veil of privacy. Instead of receiving important documents and legal notices directly, your agent signs for them. From there, your registered agent can conveniently forward vital paperwork to you and your company.

2. Time

Managing legal correspondence every day is a challenging task. Business owners rarely have time to do this. But that doesn’t mean other employees should do it either. Being a registered agent creates many responsibilities that can prevent you and your employees from performing your regular daily duties.

A Michigan registered agent service takes these extra duties off your plate. It enables everyone in your company to do what they do best, stay productive, and maintain a smooth workflow. In addition, you may receive extra legal guidance from experienced registered agents.

3. Schedule Flexibility

Maintaining regular business hours at a registered office or address is one of the top requirements for serving as a registered agent in good standing. That won’t always work if you assign an in-house resident agent.

Not all companies keep their offices open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some businesses operate outside traditional business hours, such as nightclubs and dinner-oriented restaurants.

Others have hybrid workplaces and remote employees. In that case, being compliant with state law can completely mess up your company’s schedule.

But being in good standing with the Secretary of State is achievable by hiring a third-party registered agent service. With an agent serving as a point of contact for legal correspondence, you can create whatever schedule you want. You and your employees can travel for meetings, work from home, and get more freedom in the workplace.

4. Incorporating in Different States

Not all companies that conduct business in Michigan have offices in the state. But authorization to do business in Michigan requires an appointed registered agent with a real physical address listed in the public record.

A Michigan registered agent service can spare you the time and money it takes to set up a new office in a different state. You can save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per year. Furthermore, you can ensure your company remains compliant and in good standing without having to set foot in Michigan.

All you need is an agent maintaining their registered office, good standing with the state, and regular business hours schedule. You can have a corporation, LLC, or nonprofit in Michigan, even if you’re on the opposite side of the country.

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How To Set up a Michigan Registered Agent

Small business owners and other entrepreneurs must learn the correct procedures for electing changing a Michigan registered agent.

The process differs slightly between a Michigan corporation, nonprofit, and LLC, but not by much.

Electing a Michigan Registered Agent

Appointing a new registered agent usually happens while filing the LLC formation documents for your company. Once you select a resident agent or Michigan registered agent service, you must submit the filing to theMichigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Bureau of Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Corporations Division.

Your registered agent’s name and contact information should be in the Articles of Incorporation before filing the paperwork.[4] Nonprofit organizations must include their agent’s information in their Articles of Organization.

You can mail the required paperwork and state fees to the department at the following address:

P.O. Box 30054

Lansing, MI 48909

If you want to submit documents in person and pay state fees with a credit card or check, you can do so at the following address after scheduling an appointment:

2407 N. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, MI 48906

Alternatively, you can use the online portal to submit forms and make payments.

Changing a Michigan Registered Agent

Appointing a new Michigan registered agent is relatively simple. You must complete and file a CSCL/CD-272 form in person or via mail with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division.

You can mail the Certificate of Change of Registered Office or Change of Resident Agent to this address:

P.O. Box 30054

Lansing, MI 48909

Or you can visit in person at this address:

2407 N. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, MI 48906

Registered Agent Filing Fees in the State of Michigan

Standard business filings for LLC and other business entity types are $50. However, you can spend more when electing a new registered agent or changing one if you want expedited services.

Same-day service costs range from $100 to $1,000, depending on how fast you want everything sorted.[5]

Why Choose Swyft Filings as Your Michigan Registered Agent
  • Avoid Penalties: Every business is legally required to have a registered agent in any state where it operates.

  • Prioritize Your Privacy: We go on record with the government so you don’t have to, meaning any legal actions come to us, not your home or office.

  • Stay Flexible: We are always available at a physical address during business hours, so you’ll never miss an official notice.

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Who can be a Michigan registered agent?

Companies, individuals, and foreign corporations can become Michigan resident agents. But LLC registered agents can’t represent themselves, only other business entities.

How much does a registered agent in Michigan cost?

Michigan registered agent services can cost between $50 to $300 or more annually. Costs vary based on the service package and duties performed by the agent. Swyft Filings registered agent packages start at $149.

How can I change my registered agent in Michigan?

You can select a new registered agent after firing yours or after a contract expires by filing form CSCL/CD-272 with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division. You can do it in person or via mail.

How can I find a registered agent in Michigan?

Before filing your Articles of Incorporation formation documents, you can search the Michigan government database for licensed registered agents. Alternatively, you can research other third-party service providers online to find the best registered agent services for your LLC, nonprofit, or corporation.

What is a Michigan registered office?

A Michigan registered office is a physical street address where a registered agent conducts business. The registered agent’s address is listed in the public record as a business address and primary point of contact and mail forwarding for companies authorized to transact in Michigan.

What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?

Statutory agents, registered agents, and resident agents, also known as service of process agents, are primarily interchangeable terms. The role describes a person or business entity acting as a point of contact for other companies.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party that fulfills the registered agent requirements on behalf of the business. Swyft Filings offers a reliable registered agent service that maintains your privacy, provides immediate access to vital documents, and gives you more time to focus on your business.


  1. Michigan Legislature. “Michigan Limited Liability Company Act.” Accessed on December 19, 2022.

  2. Michigan Legislature. “Business Corporation Act (Excerpt).” Accessed on December 19, 2022.

  3. Michigan Legislature. “Michigan Limited Liability Company Act (Excerpt).” Accessed on December 19, 2022.

  4. Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. “Resident Agent and Registered Office.” Accessed on December 19, 2022. 

  5. Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. “Domestic Profit and Domestic Professional.” Accessed on December 19, 2022. 

Originally published on March 16, 2023, and last edited on September 11, 2023.
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