Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Yes, it is possible to be your own registered agent. While many companies opt to use a professional registered agent service for the convenience of having all necessary documents handled on their behalf, some business owners may prefer to serve in this capacity themselves.
Serving as your own registered agent is feasible but comes with additional considerations, risks, and obligations which should not be taken lightly.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
What Is a Registered Agent?
Registered agents can be an individual or entity appointed by a business to receive service of process and other official government notices for the company.
The registered agent's role is key in helping companies maintain compliance with state laws and regulations, as failure to accept service of process in a timely manner can lead to serious penalties for the business.
Registered agent services offer a number of benefits. To explore options, take a look at our Best Registered Agent Services review.
Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?
While it may be tempting to act as your own agent to save money, it could end up costing you more over time. Services help you avoid fees or legal problems caused by missing or misplacing an important document or notice.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
To be a registered agent you must be:
- 18 years or older
- Have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state where business is conducted
- Be available in person during normal business hours to receive service of process
Risks of Being Your Own Registered Agent
Each state enforces its own set of rules regarding the role of a registered agent. Therefore, it is essential that business owners understand their obligations and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with applicable state laws.
Additionally, the responsibility of being a registered agent means monitoring mail sent by the Secretary of State’s office for any notifications or correspondence related to legal matters facing your company. This can be a significant burden on top of running day-to-day operations if not managed properly.
How to Elect Yourself
To elect yourself as the registered agent for your LLC, simply list your name, registered agent address, and other required information on your LLC’s formation documents when you file them.
If your company already has an agent, you can file a form with the appropriate state agency to change it to yourself. You can use our How to Change Registered Agents guides to get started.
Hiring a Professional Registered Agent Service
There are several benefits of hiring a registered agent service rather than acting as your own. These include:
- Compliance with the law
- Peace of mind
See our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide for more information.
Compliance With the Law
Hiring a service helps you stay up-to-date on legal requirements like filing deadlines, helps find accountants and attorneys, and keeps copies of your corporate documents.
Peace of Mind
Hiring a service will give you peace of mind that you are meeting legal requirements and don’t have to keep track of them, as they can change periodically.
If you hire a service, you can work whenever you wish and won’t have to be available during regular business hours every day of the week to sign for documents.
Hiring a service will keep your home address out of the public record if you work from home. If your office is located outside your home, it will prevent deliveries of sensitive documents during work hours.
What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?
The best commercial registered agent services are:
Learn more with our review of the best registered agent services.
Northwest gives professional advice and guidance to ensure your business is compliant with state regulations.
Yes, you can be your own LLC registered agent if you own a limited liability company. However, before deciding if one should act as their own, it is essential that they fully understand all of the associated duties and responsibilities which come with this decision.
In order to become a registered agent, one must pass the requirements set forth in their respective state laws. This includes meeting all legal obligations such as being at least 18 years of age and having authorization from the business or organization they will act on behalf of. Additionally, individuals must have a valid physical address in the same state where their company is located or incorporated. Lastly, agents must always have access to any notifications sent by government entities so they can respond promptly when needed.
The cost for hiring a registered agent is usually between $50 and $200 per year for basic services with additional fees for more complex tasks such as filing paperwork or managing tax returns.
Basic services include accepting important documents and notices on behalf of the company, such as notices from the state government or process servers delivering subpoenas or other court documents. Each state has its own set of regulations, so it's important to understand exactly what you are looking for when selecting a service provider.
As a business owner, it is essential to understand the importance of having and maintaining a registered agent for your business entity. A registered agent is an individual or organization appointed by the business entity to accept service of process (SOP) from state agencies, such as notices from the Secretary of State and any other official documents requiring delivery. It is also responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of your business entity in case of litigation or enforcement action.