Is a Registered Agent Considered an Owner?

Although a company’s registered agent can be the owner of a business, it is not considered an owner. We recommend hiring a registered agent service rather than acting as your own registered agent.

In this article, we’ll explain what a registered agent is, who can be one, and the pros and cons of being your own registered agent.

Need a Registered Agent For Your Business?

Recommended: Registered agent services offer a number of benefits. To explore your options, check out our Best Registered Agent Services review.


What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a person or entity that a company designates to receive official government documents and other important papers like a court summons, tax filings, or correspondence from the Secretary of State. A registered agent also helps businesses comply with filing deadlines and other rules.

See our What Is a Registered Agent and What Does a Registered Agent Do guides for more information.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

Anyone can be a registered agent if they meet the state’s requirements. These vary from state to state, but generally, a registered agent is someone who:

  • Is 18 years or older
  • Has a physical address (i.e., not just a P.O. box) in the state where the business is formed
  • Is available (in person) during normal business hours (i.e., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)

Should an Owner Be a Registered Agent?

An owner can be a registered agent if they meet the criteria above. Although this approach will save a little money on fees for registered agent service, it has several hidden costs to be aware of. In particular:

  • It will cost you time that you could be using to develop your business.
  • Missing a court summons (service of process) if you can’t be reached could mean that a default judgment will be entered against you.
  • Not being available to receive other important documents or missing filing deadlines that a registered agent service would remind you of could result in fines.

As a result, you may want to consider using a registered agent service. To find one, read about our five best registered agent services of 2021.

Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

In addition to avoiding the hidden costs listed above, there are several other advantages of using a registered agent service – like ZenBusines– including:

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

Compliance With the Law

Registered agent services help companies comply with state requirements by sending periodic filing reminders. This helps you avoid legal fees, penalties, and other sanctions. A professional service can:

  • Help you find accountants and legal professionals in your state.
  • Keep copies of your corporate documents in case they are lost due to theft, natural disaster, or anything else.

Peace of Mind

Running a business takes time, energy, and attention. A registered agent service gives you peace of mind by allowing you to:

  • Prioritize growing your business.
  • Keep business and personal mail separate to maintain a work-life balance.
  • Provide additional support if your business runs into a problem or if any questions arise.

Flexibility

A registered agent has to be available during standard business hours to receive documents at the address provided. A registered agent service lets you:

  • Maintain flexible business hours. You can choose your own hours instead of having to be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day to receive documents.
  • Form an LLC in one or more other states. A registered agent must have a legal residence in the state where the business is formed. Hiring a national registered agent service will let you form an LLC in any of the 50 states.

Privacy

A registered agent’s address is a matter of public record, so if you work out of your home, your home address will be listed. A registered agent service protects your privacy by:

  • Keeping you from being served with a lawsuit in front of your family, employees, or customers.
  • Publicizing their address instead of yours, which will cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail you receive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a registered agent the same as the owner?

A registered agent can be the owner of a company, but it doesn’t have to be. A registered agent is any person or entity that meets the state’s criteria for a registered agent and is designated to receive a company’s official documents.

What does registered agent name mean?

The registered agent name is simply the name of the person or entity designated as a company’s registered agent.

Who qualifies as a registered agent?

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, has a physical address in the state where a company was formed, and is available to receive official government documents during normal business hours qualifies as a registered agent. A business entity can also qualify if it has personnel who meet the above criteria and is licensed to operate in the state.

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