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What is a Registered Agent?

What is a registered agentA 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.

Our Recommendation = Northwest Registered Agent

Option 1
Just Registered Agent

  • If you have already formed an LLC
  • and want a registered agent
  • service by itself.