What Is A New York Registered Agent?
A registered agent's job is to receive service of process in the event of a lawsuit. In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the registered agent by default. You can also choose to elect your own registered agent.
Note: Many LLCs choose to hire a registered agent service to reduce New York publication costs.
For more information on the role of registered agents, read our What Is a Registered Agent guide.
Can I Be My Own New York Registered Agent?
Yes, any owner or employee of a business can be its registered agent in New York as long as they are over the age of 18, and have a street address in New York.
You could also choose to elect a member of your LLC, or even a friend you trust, as long as the person meets these requirements too.
Though many businesses prefer to use a professional registered agent service.
Why Businesses Use a New York Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service in New York, here are some of the major reasons why:
Lower Publication Costs
New York requires newly formed LLCs to publish a notice of formation in local newspapers. Publication can cost around $1,500 or more if the principal address is in New York City.
A registered agent service located outside the city allows an LLC to use the registered agent’s address as the principal address, which greatly reduces the cost of publication.
A registered agent service maintains a compliance calendar and will remind you when annual reports or other filings are due, and help you file them.
This helps you to avoid fines and keeps your company in good standing, which is important to maintain your limited liability protection.
Legal complications, fees, or any other issues can arise if you do not respond quickly to service of process. A registered agent will scan your documents, share them with you online, and notify you when they are available.
If you work from home, or even a private office, and act as your own registered agent, your address will be published publicly on the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database.
If you value your privacy, a registered agent service will use their own address in place of yours.
Receiving service of process for a lawsuit at your business can be a sensitive situation to have happen in front of your employees and clients.
To avoid having this issue a registered agent will receive any service of process and other documents at their office, and discreetly deliver them to you online.
If you are your own registered agent, you must be available at all normal business hours, every working day of the year.
Registered agent services run physical offices and have staff to cover those hours, so they can be available at those times
Hiring a registered agent service allows you to be more flexible in the hours and locations you work. So, take a vacation, work from home or the office, or travel the world, knowing they’re around to take your paperwork.
A good registered agent service will scan your documents as soon as they are received, storing a digital copy of all your business documents and any service of process available on a convenient dashboard.
Typically, if you’ve used an LLC formation service, you will also use them as a registered agent. This means that a copy of your formation documents will also be available online.
Having all of this information, available as PDFs, is very helpful when you need to do things for your business, such as opening a business bank account, applying for a business credit card, applying for small business loans, and many more things that require a copy of your documents.
If you plan on expanding your business into other states like if you’re hiring an out-of-state employee or opening a new sales office, a registered agent is necessary for your foreign LLC or other entity.
Most registered agent services operate in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Just pay a little extra for the new state you operate in, and they will deliver all those documents to the same online dashboard.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
The cost of hiring a registered agent service is typically around $50 to $300 per year. This is a small cost when you consider how much time it will save you — it’s well worth the price.
Best New York Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness provides the most comprehensive registered agent service for the price, fulfilling all state requirements. They also offer Worry Free Compliance, alerting you of important compliance events, covering your annual filing, and providing expert support.
ZenBusiness's online document management system and regular compliance alerts make working with them worry-free. They'll scan and upload all your essential legal documents into a personalized online dashboard that you can access at any time.
ZenBusiness stands apart in its excellent customer service and their representatives are known for being highly knowledgeable about LLC formation and maintenance.
Registered Agent Standard
LLC Formation + 1yr Included Registered Agent Service
$39 + State Fees
(Registered Agent: $119 after 1st year)
How Do I Elect a Registered Agent In New York?
In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the statutory agent for service of process (another name for registered agent) for all New York LLCs by default.
However, you can choose to elect a registered agent for your New York LLC. You will be given this option when you complete your LLC's Articles of Organization form.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online through the New York Department of State website ($200 filing fee required). If you choose to elect a registered agent, you can do so on this form.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In New York?
To change your New York registered agent, simply fill out a Certificate of Change form and submit it to the New York Department of State along with a check or money order for the $30 filing fee ($20 for nonprofits). You can pay this fee by check, money order, or credit card. For credit card payments, you must include a Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization form.
New York has different forms for different business structure types:
- New York Corporation
- Foreign Corporation
- New York Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Foreign LLC
- New York Nonprofit
- Foreign Nonprofit
- New York Limited Partnership (LP)
- Foreign LP
This can be done by mail, in person, or by fax:
Mail or In Person:
New York Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001
Registered Agent FAQ
Do I need a registered agent in New York?
Every U.S. state, with the exception of New York, requires all corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) to have a registered agent. A registered agent may be called different names in different states, such as a resident agent, a statutory agent, or an agent for service of process.
Should I be my own registered agent?
You may serve as your own registered agent if you meet certain conditions, and some small business owners choose to do this instead of hiring a third party or appointing someone else to the role.
This position does come with extra responsibilities and potential inconveniences, however, so many business owners decide it’s better for them to choose another person or a professional service to act as their registered agent. You should weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which is best for you and your business.
Is a registered agent the same as the owner?
No. A registered agent keeps certain paperwork up to date and accepts official correspondence on behalf of the company, but that role isn’t the same as an owner. However, the individual owner of a business may also act as the company’s registered agent.
Does registered agent mean owner?
No. A business owner can be a registered agent, but a registered agent is not necessarily a business owner.
How to Become a Registered Agent in New York
To become a registered agent in New York as an individual or business entity, you must:
- Be over the age of 18.
- Have a street address in New York.
- Have the business you’re representing list your name and address on their formation or change of registered agent documents.
After this, the State of New York will send you official correspondence for annual reports, service of process, and other compliance information for the business you represent.