Can My Husband or Wife Be My Registered Agent?
Your husband or wife can be your registered agent if you designate them as such. In fact, anyone can be the registered agent for a business if they meet the basic criteria.
In this guide, we will explain more about who can be a registered agent, should your spouse, and whether you should hire a service instead.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
Requirements in terms of who can be a registered agent can vary somewhat depending on the state, but they generally allow for both individuals and business entities to serve in the role.
Individuals must be at least 18 years old, and business entities must be registered to operate in the state. Both must have a physical office location and be present during regular business hours.
Although you can be your own agent, consider hiring an experienced and reliable registered agent service. This will free you up to focus on growing your business.
Should My Husband or Wife Be My Registered Agent?
Your husband or wife can be if they meet the above criteria. However, there are a few reasons why you may want to use someone else or hire a service instead.
First, if your husband or wife is your agent, they will need to be available every day during business hours to receive official documents. As a result, they might not be able to have a separate job, which could be financially problematic depending on your situation.
In addition, your spouse will not be able to leave the house or whatever address you list as your official business address. This means they will not be able to run errands, pick up the kids, or do other tasks that require their presence elsewhere.
Lastly, unless your spouse is business-savvy, he or she will not be able to provide the kind of advice regarding filing deadlines and other corporate compliance issues that a service can offer.
Why Should I Hire a Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a registered agent service provides several benefits for your business. First and foremost, it ensures that you are always in compliance with state regulations regarding the receipt of legal documents. Failure to have a registered agent can result in fines or even the dissolution of your business.
Additionally, having a registered agent service allows you to maintain privacy and protect sensitive information about your business. By designating an outside entity as your registered agent, you can keep personal contact information off public record and avoid unwanted solicitations at your place of business.
Visit our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide for help with making the right choice for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the legal requirements for hiring a spouse or domestic partner as a registered agent?
The first requirement is that the spouse or domestic partner must be 18 years of age or older and can not have been disbarred from acting as an attorney in any jurisdiction.
Additionally, it is important to note that while you are able to change your registered agent at any time if needed, your state will require certain filings in order to do so, which may cost additional fees.
What are registered agent services?
Registered agents receive service of process on behalf of your business. A service will do this for you, for a fee. By hiring a registered agent service provider, you ensure compliance with the state requirements and guarantee that you will receive any court summons, etc. They give privacy, given that it's their address listed publicly, not yours.
Who should be my registered agent?
It should be a person or entity you trust to correctly and reliably handle service of process, government correspondence, and other official documents.
Can I be my own registered agent?
Yes, if you meet the criteria above. However, there are good reasons to hire a service. In particular, hiring a service will provide peace of mind, flexibility, and privacy, as well as help with legal compliance.
Can I write off registered agent service fees?
Yes. The ability to deduct the costs associated with a registered agent service is found in Publication 535 of the Internal Revenue Code. This publication states that any ordinary and necessary expenses incurred while conducting business activities are deductible from taxable income. As such, businesses should feel free to include these costs when preparing their tax returns.
How much does a registered agent cost?
The cost varies, but it can be anywhere from free (if you’re your own agent) to a few hundred dollars a year (if you hire a service).