Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 2:21 pm by TRUiC Team


Virginia Registered Agent

LLCs are required to appoint a Virginia registered agent to receive important legal notifications and documents like service of process.

Many business owners choose to hire a service to fulfill this requirement. A registered agent service will:

  • Protect your privacy
  • Reduce risk 
  • Increase flexibility

We’ll help you find the best registered agent for your business.

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

A person happily working remotely at a beach while their registered agent service takes care of business

Choosing a Registered Agent in Virginia

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A Virginia registered agent serves as your business’s main point of contact for both the state and other entities that may need to deliver service of process to your business.

Keep in mind that appointing a registered agent is a legal requirement in Virginia. This can be a registered agent service, another individual, or yourself, as long as they:

  • Have a Virginia registered office address
  • Are 18 years old or older
  • Are always available during normal business hours at their specified address

Registered Agent Services

  • Flexibility: If you use a third-party service, you will not need to worry about having to be present at your business address during normal business hours. 
  • Privacy: Since all agents’ names and addresses become publicly available, getting a third-party service can be an affordable way of protecting your privacy. 
  • Compliance and Online Storage: Most third-party services choose to scan and upload all documents online. This ensures that you will not lose an important document due to poor storage. 
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Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business

We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.

Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can.

Being your own agent can be a great choice if you are a very small business owner that will struggle to pay the small monthly fee of hiring a third-party service (around $10 a month). 

Having said that, this is generally not recommended since it can be quite a time-inefficient approach. It will also not protect your privacy in the same way that a third-party service will. 

You should also consider your options if you are forming a new LLC; this is because a variety of reputable LLC formation services offer a registered agent service free of charge for the first year post-formation and can charge as little as $29 (plus state fees).

If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Virginia guide.

Best Virginia Registered Agent Service

If you're in Virginia and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support. 

Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.

Northwest Special Offer

If you haven't formed your LLC yet, consider Northwest's LLC formation package for $29 plus state fees, which includes a free first year of registered agent service. 

  • Premium customer service
  • Streamlined ordering
  • Robust privacy features

To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 Virginia registered agent services below.

Best Registered Agent Services

Northwest

4.7/5

BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE

  • Premium customer service
  • Streamlined ordering process
  • Privacy by default
  • Local document scanning
VISIT SITE

LegalZoom

4.5/5

TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY

  • Established brand with high authority
  • Ongoing legal services
VISIT SITE

ZenBusiness

Four point five out of five

4.3/5

  • Affordable pricing
  • Convenient online dashboard for documents
  • Positive customer reviews
VISIT SITE

Bizee

4.1/5

  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Automatic mail forwarding
  • Learning center with free information
VISIT SITE

Rocket Lawyer 

3.9/5

  • Support from legal experts
  • Accessible customer service
VISIT SITE

Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in Virginia. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.

Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Legal compliance: A third-party service will ensure that you do not miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error). 
  • Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Virginia Business Entity Search. Using a third-party service will help keep your information private.
  • Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees. 
  • Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about an employee accidentally losing an important document. 

A registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in. 

How to Elect a Registered Agent in Virginia

For your LLC in Virginia, you will be required to elect your registered agent when you complete your LLC’s Articles of Organization

You will need Form LLC1011 to file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in order to officially form your LLC.

Electing a Registered Agent Online

You can form your LLC online by creating an account through the Virginia State Corporation Commission website ($100 filing fee required). You’ll gain access to all the resources you need to appoint a registered agent and form your LLC online.

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

Electing a Registered Agent by Mail

To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($100 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy with the State Corporation Commission. Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested in Article 2.

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

How to Change Your Registered Agent in Virginia

To change your Virginia registered agent, simply fill out a Change of Registered Office form. 

You can do this online via the Virginia State Corporation Commission or through the mail by requesting Form LLC1016 through the online forms request portal. 

There is no filing fee.

For more information read our how to change registered agents in Virginia guide.

Virginia Registered Agent FAQs

Yes, you can, although this isn’t generally recommended. 

This is because being your own agent will mean that you will be required to be at your designated business address during normal business hours, and you will also be solely responsible for ensuring you receive all important legal documents and notifications.

See our Virginia Registered Agent article for more information. 

You can become your own registered agent in Virginia by filling in your details when filing your Articles of Organization.

This is the formation document that you will need to file with the State Corporation Commission in order to officially form your LLC in Virginia.

If you are looking for a registered agent service, you can find one via our best registered agent services review. 

Our top choices were Northwest, ZenBusiness, Bizee, Rocket Lawyer, and LegalZoom. 

You can also be your own agent (or choose a partner) by simply including your details in your LLC’s formation document.

Virginia registered agents act as the legal representatives of businesses, both in relation to federal and state agencies (e.g., State Corporation Commission, etc.), as well as private businesses (e.g., accept legal documents, service of process, etc.). 

This is why registered agents are required to be at their physical street address during normal business hours.

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