Delaware Registered Agent
If you're forming a Delaware limited liability company (LLC), you'll need to appoint a Delaware registered agent to accept service of process.
Registered agents can be individuals or registered agent services. Many small business owners use services because they're affordable and will:
- Protect your privacy and increase day-to-day flexibility
- Reduce risk
- Collect your legal documents and store them safely online
We’ll help you make the best choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Delaware
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Your Delaware registered agent will receive important legal correspondence from the Secretary of State — as well as from other federal agencies — and will also receive service of process in the event of a pending lawsuit.
In Delaware, appointing a registered agent is a legal requirement if you are planning to form an LLC or corporation. This can be yourself, a partner, or a registered agent service.
Keep in mind that all Delaware registered agents will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to be accepted:
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must have a Delaware business address.
- Must always be available during regular business hours at their registered address.
Delaware Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will allow you to be absent from your registered office during normal business hours (since you won’t be responsible for receiving service of process on behalf of your business).
- Privacy: You can choose to work with a service provider in order to protect your private information. This is because your business’s registered agent’s address and name will become publicly available as soon as your business is registered.
- Compliance: Most third-party services offer additional features that are meant to help your business stay legally compliant (e.g., annual report reminders, etc.). Your legal documents will also be scanned and uploaded online.
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can.
Acting as your own Delaware registered agent can be a great idea if you are operating on a tight budget, but it’s generally not recommended.
This is because you will be solely responsible for receiving service of process on behalf of your business, and so you will be legally required to be physically present in your registered office address during regular business hours.
Moreover, you should note that acting as your own agent is unlikely to save you a significant amount of money. This is because you can hire a third-party service for as little as $90 per month.
If you are planning on forming a new LLC, it will make sense to hire an LLC formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. These charge as little as $29 per formation (excluding state fees).
If you are forming a Delaware LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Delaware guide.
Best Delaware Registered Agent Service
If you're in Delaware and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 Delaware registered agent services below.
Best Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in Delaware. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A registered agent service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Delaware General Information Name Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A registered agent company can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in Delaware
The Certificate of Formation — also known as the Articles of Organization outside of Delaware — is the formation document that you will need to file with the Delaware Department of State in order to form your LLC.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
To elect your Delaware agent online, use the Delaware One Stop portal to fill out your Certificate. Then, print it out, sign it, and re-upload it online to submit (with the $90 filing fee).
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download the Certificate of Formation ($90 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the Delaware Department of State. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent’s information in the second section of page 3:
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Delaware
If you want to appoint a new agent, you will need to submit a Change of Agent form.
This can be done online via the Delaware Division of Corporations’ Document Filing and Certificate Request website.
Keep in mind that you will need to file a different form depending on how your business is registered:
- Domestic Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
- Domestic Corporations
- Foreign LLCs
- Foreign Corporations
- Statutory Trusts
- Limited Partnerships (LPs)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
- Foreign LPs
- Foreign LLPs
- General Partnerships (GPs)
This can be done online or by mail.
Delaware Division of Corporations
401 Federal Street - Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901
*Note: Forms submitted by mail must include a cover sheet.
For more information read our how to change registered agents in Delaware guide.
Delaware Registered Agent FAQs
Yes you can, although this is generally not recommended.
This is because you will be responsible for receiving service of process on behalf of your business, and this will mean that you will need to be physically present in your physical street address during normal business hours.
Have a look at our Delaware Registered Agent article for more information.
It can, although this will depend on how your business is registered.
For example, Delaware corporations and LLCs are legally required to appoint a registered agent in order to be formed, whereas sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our What is a Registered Agent article.
This will depend on who your registered agent is.
If you act as your own agent of process, you will not need to pay any fee. On the other hand, you can use a premium registered agent service instead, which will cost you between $90 and $300 per year.
A Delaware agent for process — or a registered agent — is an individual or business entity that acts as your business’s point of contact with the SOS.
Your registered agent will receive important legal documentation (e.g., annual report reminders, tax notifications, etc.), and will also be the party that receives service of process in the event of a pending lawsuit.
If you want to act as your own agent, you will need to include your own details in Section 2 of your LLC’s Certificate of Formation.
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Department of State in order to register your LLC.