Florida Registered Agent
LLCs are legally required to appoint a Florida registered agent to receive legal documents like service of process.
You can appoint yourself (or another individual) but many small business owners use a registered agent service to fulfill this role.
This is because professional services are relatively affordable and can go a long way in:
- Reducing risk
- Increasing privacy and flexibility
- Ensuring your documents are stored safely online
We’ll help you make the best choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free Florida registered agent services with LLC formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Florida
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A Florida registered agent will be your business’s primary point of contact for both the Florida Department of State and for private legal notices that you may receive (e.g., service of process, etc.).
In Florida, you are legally required to appoint a registered agent for your corporation or LLC. This can be a registered agent service, a business attorney, or another individual, so long as they:
- Are available during normal business hours
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are a resident of Florida or have the right to transact business in Florida
- Have a Florida business address
Registered Agent Services
There are several benefits of using a premium registered agent service. These include:
- Convenience — Your registered agent service will be available to receive service of process at the business’s registered address during normal business hours, so you don’t have to be.
- Affordability — Hiring a registered agent company is significantly more affordable than using a business attorney; it can also save you time which you can then invest into other (more important) areas of your business.
- Peace of mind — Hiring a service can ensure that you do not need to worry about potentially missing an important legal document or notice as a result of human error or time-management constraints.
- Privacy — If you become your business’s own registered agent — rather than use a service — your name will become public record.
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?
Technically, yes, you can be your own registered agent, though most businesses elect to use a service.
The main upside to being your own registered agent is the cost savings. The average service charges about $130 per year, or about $10 per month. By acting as your own registered agent, you can allocate that $10 elsewhere.
The cost savings should be balanced against the drawbacks:
- You will be legally required to be present at the provided address during normal business hours to receive service of process.
- It can be a time-consuming endeavor to keep up with the necessary paperwork.
- The potential for errors or delays in completing the required paperwork could cause you legal liability for any resulting fines or penalties.
If you are forming a new LLC, it makes sense to hire a formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. Reputable services charge as little as $29 for formation (plus state fees).
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Florida guide.
Best Florida Registered Agent Service
If you're in Florida 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 Florida 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 Florida. 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 professional registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a plethora of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A registered agent service will ensure that you do not 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: This is the case in comparison to you acting as your own registered agent, as all Florida registered agents’ names become public record on the Florida Records Search website.
- 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 an employee accidentally losing an important document.
A registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC.
This is because you will be able to use your registered agent’s address instead of finding 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 Florida
In Florida, you will be required to elect your registered agent when you complete your LLC’s Articles of Organization. The Articles of Organization is the main LLC formation document in Florida.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online at the Florida Department of State's SunBiz website ($125 filing fee required). Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested when you file your LLC’s Articles of Organization in the fourth section on page 1:
Your registered agent must consent to their appointment by filling out the "Registered Agent Signature" section themselves or by giving the filer permission to fill out the section on their behalf.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($125 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the Florida Department of State. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent’s information under Article III:
Your registered agent must consent to their appointment by signing the form prior to submission.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Florida?
To change your Florida registered agent, fill out a Statement of Registered Agent/Registered Office Change form and submit it to the Florida Division of Corporations.
The filing fee is $25 for LLCs. If you want a certified copy, you will need to pay an additional $35 (for a total of $55).
Florida has different forms for different business structures:
- Corporation and Nonprofit
- Limited Partnership (LP) and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
You can file your Statement of Change form by mailing it to one of the addresses below.
LLC, LP, and LLP:
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Corporation and Nonprofit:
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in Florida.
Yes, you can, although this (generally speaking) isn’t recommended. This is because becoming your own registered agent will inevitably mean that your name and contact information will become publicly available.
It's also a relatively inconvenient approach, as you will be solely responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business.
This will depend on who you want your registered agent to be, as this can be yourself, an attorney, or a registered agent service.
We recommend using a service as its one of the most affordable options while allowing you to benefit from improved privacy and flexibility.
See our best Registered Agent Service in Florida guide for more information.
This will depend on who assumes this role for your business.
If it is yourself, there will be no cost (minus your time). A registered agent service is free for the first year (if you use an LLC formation service) and then requires a small monthly fee.
See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article for more information.
A registered agent in Florida is responsible for receiving all important documents and legal notifications on behalf of your business.
For example, if a business or individual were to file a lawsuit against you, the service of process would go to your registered agent.
See our What is a Registered Agent article to learn more.
A registered agent can be yourself, a business attorney, or a registered agent service.
Regardless, your registered agent will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to qualify for the role:
- Be 18 years old or over
- Have a business address in Florida
- Be a resident of Florida and be available during normal business hours