Do I need a Registered Agent?


A registered agent is absolutely required to form your LLC. Before filing the articles of organization, every LLC must nominate a registered agent for the company. Furthermore, your LLC must have a registered agent with a physical address in the state where your business will be located.

The registered agent must be an individual resident of the state or a corporation authorized to transact business in the state. This means that a member of your LLC can act as the registered agent for your business. However, a company may not act as its own registered agent.

Can I be my own LLC’s Registered Agent?


Yes, you can elect for yourself, an employee, or a person hired outside of your company to act as your company’s a registered agent; however, there are a number of reasons it would be best to consider hiring a professional service. One reason that it is good to opt for a professional service is the added measure of privacy. If you choose to act as your own registered agent and use your home address as that of your registered agent, your address will be publicly listed for anyone to see. Hiring a professional registered agent service helps avoid potential lapses in privacy resulting from using a personal home address.

Another consideration is that a registered agent must be available at their physical location during all regular business hours, and have an agent available in all states the company does business in.

Finally, having a registered agent helps avoid any fees or further legal trouble caused by missing or misplacing an important legal document or notice.

What does a Registered Agent Service do?


The typical range of services a Registered Agent provides includes:

  • Receiving Service of Process documents for legal actions such as:
    • Served court documents
    • Secretary of State notifications
    • Official State communications
    • State tax notifications
    • Annual report notices
    • Other mail is not handled via a registered agents, except in the cases that an additional fee is involved
  • Scanning, storing, and sending legal documents via email, with recurring reminders
  • Mailing documents in need of a signature, or as a final reminder
  • Providing compliance calendars for filing information such as annual reports and tax returns

Another consideration is that a registered agent must be available at their physical location during all regular business hours, and have an agent available in all states the company does business in.

Finally, having a registered agent helps avoid any fees or further legal trouble caused by missing or misplacing an important legal document or notice.

Why use a Registered Agent Service?


Having someone else serve as your registered agent comes with many benefits:

Flexibility

  • You may not want to be open from 9-5 every weekday. A registered agent service is always open during regular business hours, ensuring that they can accept important legal documents. This takes the pressure off of you to always be available.
  • Having a registered agent service allows you to form an LLC in states where you don't live. For example, if you reside in California and you want to take advantage of the tax laws for businesses in Delaware, you could use the address of your registered agent’s office in Delaware. (This also works well for online businesses that don't have a physical location.)
  • Finding a registered agent that is located in multiple states is especially useful if you plan to have a physical presence in more than one state.

Peace of Mind

  • A registered agent service gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your important business documents will be received and stored for safekeeping.
  • Using a registered agent service can also help you keep your business and personal mail separate, preventing your work from overtaking your home life.

Privacy

  • You may not want your home address public so that any customer, client or employee can easily find you. A registered agent's address is a matter of public record. For this reason, choosing a registered agent service ensures your personal privacy.
  • In the unfortunate case of a legal dispute, lawsuits will be served to the address of your registered agent rather than your place of business in front of your employees.

Compliance With the Law

  • You have the option to choose a service that will remind you of any State filings that are due and make sure you stay up to date on your LLC requirements.
  • The registered agent service can also assist you in finding state-specific accountants and legal professionals.
  • The registered agent service can keep backup copies of your corporate documents in case of theft, loss, or natural disaster.

How do I Choose the Best Registered Agent Service?


Not all registered agent services are created equal. In addition to having a legitimate office in the state of your LLC, it is suggested to find one with the following four features:

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

Our Recommended Registered Agent Service


INCFILE.COM

You can trust INCFILE to provide the most comprehensive service for their price. You will never get charged for a service you did not order. No hidden fees - No gimmicks. Registered agent service is free for the first year if you form your LLC using INCFILE.

You'll also get online document management and compliance alerts. INCFILE will scan through all paperwork, and also physically mail you any important legal documents.

Registered Agent
Service

$99 Annual
(especially for those who already have an LLC)

Get Started

LLC Formation + One Year Free Registered Agent Service

$49 + State Fees
(Registered Agent: $99 after 1st year)

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Here is a review of the top 7 best registered agent services.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I change my Registered Agent?

Yes, your registered agent can be changed, all you’ll need to do is follow your state Secretary of State’s instructions and file the appropriate paperwork.

Who should be the registered agent of my LLC?

See answer for Can I be my own LLC’s Registered Agent?

What is a Statutory Agent?

A statutory agent is what a registered agent is called in the following states:

  • Ohio
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • Connecticut

What is a Resident Agent?

A resident agent, or resident office, is what a registered agent is called in the following states:

  • Michigan
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Kansas
  • Wisconsin

What is an Agent of Service of Process

A agent of service of process is what a registered agent is called in the following states:

  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • Illinois
  • Florida