Massachusetts Registered Agent
LLCs must appoint a Massachusetts registered agent — also known as a resident agent — to accept service of process.
You can be your own resident agent, but most small business owners choose a third-party service instead. Services are relatively affordable and can go a long way in:
- Reducing risk
- Increasing privacy and day-to-day flexibility
- Ensuring your documents are stored safely
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 Massachusetts
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
A Massachusetts registered agent will serve as your business’s primary point of contact with the state, and will also be responsible for receiving service of process in the event that a lawsuit is filed against you.
In Massachusetts, you are legally required to appoint a registered agent if you want to register an LLC or corporation. This can be a registered agent service or an individual, so long as:
- They’re 18 years old or older.
- They have a physical street address in the state of Massachusetts.
- They’re always available during normal business hours at their registered office address.
Massachusetts Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will allow you to be more flexible on a day-to-day basis. This is because you will not need to be physically present in your registered office street address.
- Privacy: Since your registered agent’s address and name will become publicly available, hiring a third-party service can be an affordable way of protecting your private information.
- Legal compliance: Several third-party services come with additional features that will help your business stay legally compliant (e.g., annual report reminders, etc.).
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, although this is generally not recommended unless you are operating on an exceptionally tight budget.
This is because it will not save you a significant amount of money (i.e., around $90 per annum), and it can be a significantly time-inefficient approach in comparison to hiring a third-party service.
You will also not be able to protect your sensitive information if you act as your own agent.
If you are planning to form a new LLC, it will make sense to hire a formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. These can charge as little as $29 per formation — excluding state fees — and can ensure that your filings do not get rejected.
If you are forming an 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 Massachusetts guide.
Best Massachusetts Registered Agent Service
If you're in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts. 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 professional 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 Massachusetts Business Entity 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 legal 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 service 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 Massachusetts
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth in order to form your LLC.
Keep in mind that your resident agent will need to sign your Certificate of Organization in order to be accepted.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ($500 filing fee required). You’ll be prompted to appoint your registered agent in Section 5.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail, Fax, or In Person
To form your LLC by mail, download the Certificate of Organization ($500 filing fee required), fill out the required fields and submit a physical copy with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent’s information in the middle of page 1.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Massachusetts
If you want to appoint a new resident agent, you will need to file a Statement of Change form with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Different forms will need to be filed depending on how your entity is registered:
Mail or In Person:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place - Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108-1512
(617) 624-3891 (Fax filings must include fax voucher cover sheet)
Consent to Appointment
Your new registered agent also will need to consent to their appointment. They can do this by signing the Statement of Change form.
Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in Massachusetts.
Registered Agent FAQ
Yes, you can.
Being your own agent can be a good idea if you are a very small business that will struggle to pay for a third-party service provider.
This is because it can be done free of charge.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our Massachusetts Registered Agent article.
Yes, it does. All Massachusetts LLCs are required to appoint a resident agent in order to be formed.
This needs to be done while completing your LLC’s Certificate of Organization (also known as the Articles of Organization).
A resident agent — also known as a registered agent or a statutory agent outside of Massachusetts — is a third-party service or individual that acts as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.
Massachusetts registered agents are required for LLCs, nonprofits, and corporations.
Anyone can be a Massachusetts resident agent, so long as they satisfy the following requirements:
- They are at least 18 years old
- They have a physical address in Massachusetts
- They are always available for contact during regular business hours
This can be yourself, a partner, or a registered agent service.
Resident agents act as your business’s primary point of contact with the Secretary of the Commonwealth and are also responsible for receiving service of process in the event that a lawsuit is filed against you.
As a small business owner, we recommend hiring a third-party service (instead of acting as your own agent) as this is generally the most time-efficient approach available.