What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent (also known as a statutory agent or resident agent) is a person or business that accepts legal notifications on behalf of your LLC.
This is an important role which keeps your business in good standing with the state.
Is a Registered Agent Required?
Yes. No matter which state you are forming an LLC in, a registered agent must be designated.
Without a registered agent, you won’t receive notifications that pertain to your business. This can include annual report notifications, lawsuits (Service of Process), and state/federal notifications or compliance reminders.
If you don’t have one:
- Your LLC can be dissolved by the state for not being in good standing.
- You won’t receive potential Service of Process and the courts can come to a conclusion without you even being aware.
Special Offer: If you form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent, they’ll give you a year free of registered agent service. See Details.
What are the Registered Agent Qualifications?
The registered agent you choose will have to either be a person or business that is a resident or allowed to operate within your formation state.
The main key here is that a physical address (no P.O. Boxes) must be provided during the LLC formation process so the state and other agencies have a way to get ahold of you.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can in most states, and it’s totally free. There are only a few states that don’t allow you to personally act as your LLC’s own registered agent. However there are a few downsides you’ll need to be aware of if you go this route:
- Your personal address may be required to be on public record, which is frustrating from a privacy perspective.
- You’ll need to be present at the provided address during all standard business hours.
- If you’re served a lawsuit at your address, it can be done in front of your family, customers, or employees.
Why We Recommend a Registered Agent Service
The main solution and recommendation we make is to consider a registered agent service. Other than allowing you to focus your energy on starting a business, there are three big benefits that make the cost worth it:
- You’ll be following the guidelines of having a registered agent on file for your LLC.
- Your service will immediately scan and notify you of any notices related to your LLC to keep it compliant or protected.
- Through a registered agent service, your personal address won’t be listed on public record. You’ll be able to use their address instead.
- Any Service of Process for your LLC will be served through the registered agent service, rather than at your home or office.
Peace of Mind
- Rather than having to stay at the listed address between normal business hours (9am-5pm), the registered agent service you choose will remove this from your plate.
- The documents and notifications you receive will be stored in a secure online dashboard for safekeeping. Think of them as a backup.
Which is the Best Registered Agent Service?
There are a handful of great registered agent services available, which generally cost anywhere between $100-$150 per year. However, many of our readers gravitate toward the options where you are able to get a registered agent and form an LLC in one convenient service package.