What Is A Pennsylvania Registered Agent?

A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. In most states, a registered agent is a person who is at least 18 years old and has a physical address within the state.

In Pennsylvania, a registered office is the official mailing address for all legal mail related to your business. This will be your official point of contact with the state and the place where parties to a lawsuit would go to serve legal summons (service of process) on your LLC.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Pennsylvania?

You can use your LLC’s place of business or your own personal residence as your registered office address as long as the address used meets the criteria of the state.
Your business’ registered office must:

  • have a physical address in the state of Pennsylvania
  • be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

You may select any residential or business address that meet these conditions as your registered office. For example, your registered office can be your place of business or the home of any of your members or managers.

Many Pennsylvania businesses choose to appoint a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). These services often help with processing legal notices and make responding more efficient. Refer to this list of official Pennsylvania CROPs to learn about eligible registered office providers.

Should I Use A Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service?

There are more advantages than disadvantages to hiring a professional registered agent service for your business. Registered Agent Services are also called commercial registered agents.

Pros:

  • Privacy: Your registered agent’s address will be listed on the public record -- not your personal or office address. This is especially important to consider if your business operates out of your home.

  • Convenience: If you choose to act as your own registered agent, you will need to be available to receive official notices during standard business hours at the address you provide. Hiring a professional registered agent allows you to keep a flexible schedule.

  • Discretion: If your business is ever sued, your registered agent will notify you immediately and discreetly. No need to worry about getting served in front of your employees, or worse -- your customers.

  • Peace of mind: A professional registered agent service will send you regular compliance reminders and notify you of any requirements needed to keep your LLC in good standing. As a result, you can focus more of your time and attention on running your business.

  • National Coverage: If you decide to expand your business as a foreign LLC in different states, a national registered agent service will be able to continue services there.

Cons:

  • Cost: Hiring a commercial registered agent service is more expensive than acting as your own registered agent.

What Is The Best Registered Agent Service In Pennsylvania?

ZenBusiness Registered Agent

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 Service

$99 Annual
(for those who already have an LLC)

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LLC Formation + 1yr Free Registered Agent Service

$39 + State Fees
(Registered Agent: $119 after 1st year)

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If you want to explore all your options, check out this article on the 7 Best Registered Agent Services written by our friends at Startup Savant.

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Pennsylvania?

Whether you'd like to appoint yourself, another member of the LLC, or a professional service to fill the Registered Office role, you'll be able to do so on the Certificate of Organization. The Certificate of Organization is the main LLC formation document in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, you must have a contract to acquire the services of a CROP before listing one. Without this contract, you could face civil and criminal penalties.

You also can’t use a CROP with Fictitious Name registrations.

Electing a Registered Agent Online

To begin the online formation process, create an account through the PENN File System. Once subscribed, you’ll gain access to all the resources you need to appoint a commercial registered office provider (registered agent) and form your LLC online.

An image of the online LLC filing form for the state of Pennsylvania

Electing a Registered Agent by Mail

To form your LLC by mail, simply download the Certificate of Organization, fill out the required fields and submit a physical copy with the Department of State (along with a $125 filing fee). You’ll be prompted to provide 1) the address of your registered office, or 2) your commercial registered office provider’s name and county of venue in Section 2.

An image of the manual LLC filing form for the state of Pennsylvania

How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Pennsylvania?

You can easily change your registered office online through the PENN File System. Alternatively, you can download a Change of Registered Office form and file a physical copy with the Department of State ($5 filing fee required).