Now that we took a deep dive into the best-registered agent’s services, it’s time to understand why you really need a registered agent.
Why Do You Need a Registered Agent?
Honestly, because Uncle Sam says so. But there is a good reason for it!
If you own a small business or are in the process of forming an LLC or a corporation, you are required to appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents for your business
One of the unique benefits of owning an LLC is that your business structure is treated as a separate legal entity.
Although your LLC is separate from you, there are still requirements for maintaining contact with representatives of the legal world.
This is where the registered agent comes into play!
Every state in the U.S requires business entities to have a registered agent.
What is a Registered Agent for LLC?
A registered agent is a responsible third party, either an individual or a business, that resides in the same state as your business.
They are designated to receive service of process letters, take care of state compliance, tax notices, and other issues on behalf of your LLC or corporation.
To be as clear as possible about the role of registered agents: they are responsible for receiving important legal documentation in the name of your business.
Some states use different terms to refer to registered agents. Your state might ask you for:
- Registered Agent
- Registered Office
- Statutory Agent
- Agent for Service of Process
All of the terms above mean the same thing – a registered agent.
Besides being available to receive mail during business hours, some LLC registered agent companies offer additional features.
These include things like preparing and filing compliance documents or reminding your LLC about important due dates.
Because of these additional services, choosing the right registered agent for your LLC can simplify your life as a business owner.
Can You be The Registered Agent for Your Own LLC?
Yes, but it’s not straightforward and not recommended. Let me explain.
You can be your own registered agent if you have a street address in the state where you are forming your LLC.
If that’s the case and you would like to be your own registered agent you can use your home address.
Being your own registered agent is convenient, but take caution before mixing your business and personal life.
When you decide to become your own registered agent, you’re taking on the responsibility of being on top of important legal notices.
In addition to that, the address you use becomes public information – even if it’s your home address.
If you’re conducting business outside of the state that your LLC or company was formed in, then having a registered agent is even more important for you.
For example, let’s say your business is located in Texas, but you sell goods or provide services in Maryland. If you have a home address in the state of Maryland, you can become your own registered agent and cut some significant spending costs from your budget.
However, if you don’t live in the state of Maryland, then you will probably want to hire a registered agent as that is a requirement.
Cost of Registered Agent
The average cost for a registered agent is around $150 per year. Of course, the cost of a registered agent varies wildly depending on the llc registered agent service.
Using an LLC registered agent service is one of the expenses of starting your business, and it’s an expense that repeats each year.
However, finding the best-registered agent service for you will save you time and hassle down the road.
This is one area where spending a little now can save you time and headache in the future.
Is There a Free Registered Agent Service?
No unfortunately there really aren’t any free registered agent services.
I will note that there are registered agent services that offer a few months or even a year free if you use them to form your LLC, but after that time is up you’ll have to start paying the fee.
You can do some price comparison and try to find the cheapest registered agent service, but you will eventually need to spend money on your registered agent.
Choose the Best Registered Agent for Your LLC
The legal side of creating a business can be overwhelming. Take every stage slowly and make sure you do your homework (as you are right now)!
Our goal is to help you grow your business and choose the best-registered agent service for your business.
If you’re still not sure which registered agent company is for you, here’s a quick recap of our registered agent review.
Northwest is best for – Entrepreneurs who are looking for quality support and overall great value for money.
ZenBusiness is best for – Businesses looking for low-priced legal services that offer a whole lot more than just a registered agent.
Incfile is best for – People who are interested in fantastic customer service available to answer your questions.
Rocket Lawyer is best for – Anyone looking for a solid online platform and overall quality services.
LegalZoom is best for – Companies that are looking for experienced registered agents.
As a business owner, you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities at once. One of them is choosing the best-registered agent.
Our goal in this article is to point you to the best-registered agent so you can focus on your business.
Whichever registered agent you choose, you should know that you’re in good hands. Each one of the registered agent services above was analyzed and handpicked by our team.
Now that you found the best-registered agent for your business, it’s time to get back to work!
Common Questions in Relation to Registered Agents
Q: What does a registered agent actually do?
A: A registered agent acts as the designated address to receive service of process (SOP) when a business is a part of any legal action such as a lawsuit, hearing, or summons.
Q: Who can be a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is an individual (over the age of 18) or an entity residing in the same state that your business is formed.
Q: Do I need to appoint a registered agent?
A: If you are looking to establish an LLC, corporation, or any other formal business entity in the united states, you need to appoint a registered agent.
General partnerships and sole proprietorships are not required to appoint a registered agent.
Q: What are the requirements of being a registered agent?
A: In order for an individual (over the age of 18) or an entity to act as a registered agent, one must have a physical address (P.O box doesn’t cut it) in the state where your business is formed.
This address can either be a home address or business address, never the less, an actual address.
Q: What if my business does not have a registered agent?
A: Failing to appoint a registered agent in the state that your company does business may result in serious consequences.
Your business can be terminated in the state of its formation and you may lose the privilege of doing business in other states.
Q: Can I be my own registered agent?
A: Yes, but there are requirements.
You can act as your own registered agent as long as you have a physical address (P.O box doesn’t cut it) in the state where your business is formed.
The advantage of being your own registered agent is that you can save money. The disadvantage of being your own registered agent is that your personal address will be of public records and you will have the liability of responding to service of process (SOP) when they arrive.
Q: Can I change my registered agent?
A: Yes, you can change your registered agent at any given time.
The process of changing a registered agent slightly differs from one state to the next, but usually, you will have to fill out a “Change of Registered Agent/Office” form.