Last Updated: May 13, 2024, 11:30 am by TRUiC Team

How Do I Choose a Registered Agent?

Your choice of registered agent is important because this person or entity is responsible for receiving court summonses and other official documents that you don’t want to miss. 

In this article, we explain who can be a registered agent and how to choose one, as well as what registered agent services are and why they might be the right registered agent choice for your business.

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).

How Do I Choose a Registered Agent?

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

Although registered agent requirements vary a little from state to state, generally speaking, a person or entity can be a registered agent if they:

  • Are 18 years old or older
  • Have a physical office and (in the case of an entity) are registered to operate in the state where the business was formed
  • Are available to receive documents during normal business hours

Read our Who Can Be a Registered Agent guide for more information.

Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?

You can be your own registered agent if you meet the criteria above. Alternatively, you can select another qualifying person or entity.

Another option is to hire a professional service.

Why Use a Registered Agent Service?

We recommend hiring registered agents for several reasons, including:

  • Compliance with the law
  • Peace of mind
  • Flexibility
  • Privacy

Our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide can help you decide whether this type of service is the right choice for your business. 

Compliance With the Law

Most states require business entities to have a registered agent. A registered agent service will help a business owner stay current with state regulatory requirements by accepting service of process, sending annual report reminders, and giving you online access to important legal documents while providing a registered agent’s address and other professional registered agent services. 

In addition to providing registered agent services, a service will keep copies of your corporate documents to provide backups in case of theft, a natural disaster, or other incidents. These services maintain normal business hours so the business owner can focus on running their limited liability company or other business entity. 

Peace of Mind

Running a business is challenging, but hiring a service can ease some of the burdens by receiving and storing important tax and legal documents, helping to maintain your work-life balance by keeping personal and business mail separate, and providing support if there’s a problem.


If you act as your own agent, you will have to be available to receive official government correspondence and service of process notices during normal business hours at the physical address you provide.

Conversely, using a service allows you to keep more flexible hours and spend that time focusing on your business. Moreover, if you hire a national registered agent, you can form an LLC in one or more other states.


Your registered agent’s physical address will be listed on the public record. If you operate out of your home and don’t want your home address listed, this is a good reason to hire a service.

Similarly, hiring a registered agent service will prevent you from being served with a lawsuit in front of your family, employees, or customers.

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

If you want to hire a registered agent service but don’t know how to choose, select one that offers:

  • Compliance management: reminders for filing an annual report and other important deadlines for business entities.
  • Document management: local scanning of all official legal documents so you can access them from your online business account.
  • Availability: a reliable customer service team who can answer any questions by phone or online that you may have regarding your business.
  • Thorough coverage: the ability to provide registered agent services in all 50 states.

Best Service - Northwest ($125/year)

We recommend Northwest, which provides one of the best services you can get for the money. 


  • Is up-front about offering premium features for your business formation like its worry-free guarantee, a service in which it files your company's annual report and other compliance documentation. Other companies typically charge more for this.
  • Has an excellent online document management system and provides regular compliance alerts, which makes working with it easy.
  • Provides unusually good customer service, with highly knowledgeable representatives who are well versed in company formation and business maintenance.


A registered agent is a person or entity that a business designates to receive court summonses and other official documents.

Although you don’t have to, we recommend doing so. This will help maintain your privacy, ensure legal compliance, and provide flexibility.

Yes, you can, as long as you meet the criteria. Specifically, you must be 18 years of age or older, have a physical address and be registered to operate in the state where your business is formed, and be available in person during normal business hours.

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