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You need to notify the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) when your company details change. This includes changing your company’s share structure, appointing or removing directors and changing your registered address. You can notify ASIC yourself, or your registered agent can do it on your behalf. Completing ASIC forms can be a difficult and error-prone process. A registered agent can help you navigate through this process. This article explains the role of a registered agent and how you can appoint one. 

What Is a Registered Agent? 

ASIC maintains national records of information about all Australian (and some international) companies. You have a responsibility to notify ASIC if certain information about your company changes. You can engage a registered agent to notify ASIC of these changes on behalf of your company. This can:

  • save you time, and
  • increase your chances of submitting the correct information to ASIC. 

Registered agents will lodge forms with ASIC (either online or by post) with updated information. This is the role of a registered agent.

Who Is My Registered Agent?

Your company may not have a registered agent. For example, if a law firm or an accountant set up your company, that person will likely be your company’s registered agent. However, if you set up your company yourself, you may not have appointed a registered agent yet.

You can appoint additional people as your registered agents after your company has been incorporated. Each person first needs to be a registered agent with ASIC before you can appoint them as a registered agent on behalf of your company. Every registered agent will have their own registered agent number. ASIC will send this number when they first apply to be a registered agent. 

Who Can Apply to Be a Registered Agent?

Anyone can apply to be a registered agent. To become a registered agent:

  • the person needs to make an application to ASIC using the approved form;
  • ASIC will notify them once their application is accepted;
  • after their application is accepted, they should register for online access to the ASIC portals; and
  • the agent can link your company to their account.

What Can My Registered Agent Do?

The role of the registered agent is to make lodgements to ASIC on behalf of the companies they represent. As part of this role, your registered agents can also view information about your company from their online account with ASIC. This includes information about your share structure, officeholders (i.e. directors and company secretaries) and annual statement dates.

Paying and Removing a Registered Agent

Do I Have to Pay My Agent?

Not necessarily. Most registered agents are either lawyers or accountants for their clients. Your lawyer and accountant will likely charge you a fee for assisting with the specific legal or administrative process. But they usually do not charge a retainer fee for acting as your registered agent on an ongoing basis.

Can I Remove My Agent?

Yes, you can. To do so, you need to fill in the relevant ASIC form, which you can submit either online or by post. There is no fee for removing a registered agent. 

My Company Does Not Have a Registered Agent

If your company does not have a registered agent, do not worry. You do not need to have one, although using a registered agent can help you. You can still ask a registered agent to notify ASIC on your behalf of certain things, even if they have not been appointed your registered agent. Any registered agent can notify ASIC of most changes about your company. All you need to do is give them your corporate key (and the information they need to complete the relevant form). 

What if I have lost my corporate key?

A corporate key is a unique 8-digit number linked to a specific company. You should have received your corporate key to your company’s registered address on incorporation. If you have lost your corporate key, you can apply online to ASIC, and they will mail it to your registered office address.

Key Takeaways 

Before notifying ASIC of changes to your company, you should consider using a registered agent to help you. This can:

  • save you time; and
  • reduce the chance of you making errors in your lodgement to ASIC.

If you have any questions about using a registered agent, contact LegalVision’s business lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent can notify ASIC of changes to certain company details on behalf of those companies.

Does my company automatically have a registered agent appointed to it?

No, not necessarily. However, if your lawyer or accountant incorporated your company, they will likely be your first registered agent.

Do I have to pay my registered agent?

No, you usually do not have to pay a retainer fee. However, most registered agents will at least charge for the time it takes them to complete the forms to submit to ASIC.

Can I use a registered agent if I have not appointed them as my registered agent?

Yes, any registered agent can notify ASIC on your behalf. You need to give them your corporate key.

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