What Is A Registered Agent For An LLC?

By Matthew Dochnal | Published March 29, 2024

Setting up a limited liability company (LLC) is a big first step towards starting or growing your business. But it takes more than just deciding on a company name to get your LLC off the ground. One essential legal requirement is appointing a Registered Agent for your company.

In this article, what breakdown of the basics of LLC Registered Agents. We’ll explain what Registered Agents do, why they’re important, and how you can get one for your LLC.



What Is An LLC Registered Agent?

An LLC appoints a Registered Agent to receive important legal, tax, and government mail for the company. State laws require LLCs to appoint a Registered Agent in their home state and in any other state where they do business.

An LLC’s Registered Agent can be a person or a company with a real street address in the state where the LLC is set up. This means that a Registered Agent cannot use a P.O box or a virtual mailing address. 

Registered Agents are responsible for receiving “service of process” on behalf of a company. Service of process means delivering legal documents and notices to a person or business, usually by hand through a “process server” or a law enforcement officer.

Registered Agents must record any legal documents they receive and send copies to the LLC’s contact person.

Why Does An LLC Need A Registered Agent?

It’s a legal requirement in most states for LLCs to have a Registered Agent appointed at all times.

LLCs need to make the name and address of their Registered Agent available to the public so that there is an official and reliable way to contact the company. Typically, the company needs to include the details of the LLC’s Registered Agent in its formation documents when filing with the Secretary of State.

Besides having a Registered Agent in their home state, LLCs must also appoint Registered Agents in any other state where they register to do business. For instance, if you have a Delaware LLC and plan to do business in New York, you need a Registered Agent in both Delaware and New York.

Who Can Be A Registered Agent For An LLC?

LLC Registered Agents can be either individuals or companies, provided they fulfill the requirements for being a Registered Agent:

First, a Registered Agent needs to have a physical street address in the state where the LLC is registered. Using a P.O. box or a virtual address for an LLC’s Registered Agent is against the law.

Second, a Registered Agent must be at their address during regular business hours to accept and sign for document deliveries for the LLC. This guarantees that the company quickly receives and processes all important notices and legal documents.

Lastly, a Registered Agent is crucial in making sure the LLC complies with state laws, like filing annual reports and staying current with state taxes. Failing to meet these requirements can result in fines, penalties, and the potential dissolution of the LLC.

Can I Be My Own Agent For My LLC?

Yes, you can be the Registered Agent for your LLC if you have a physical address in the state where your company is established. However, you should consider the drawbacks of being your own agent.

A Registered Agent must be at their address from 9AM to 5PM on business days to sign for important documents. If you meet this requirement, you can act as your own Registered Agent. However, this commitment can significantly limit your flexibility to run your business. 

You also need to consider your own privacy. As the Registered Agent, your name and address will be listed online in connection with your company. Many business owners prefer not to share their home address with clients or the public.

What Happens When An LLC Doesn’t Have A Registered Agent?

State laws mandate that LLCs maintain a Registered Agent at all times. Without a Registered Agent listed publicly, your business could miss urgent legal documents or notices requiring quick action. This might result in heavy fines or penalties and could even lead to default judgments against your business.

Additionally, the Secretary of State can administratively cancel your company if you do not have a Registered Agent appointed for a certain period of time.

customer service representative with a laptopHow Do I Get A Registered Agent For An LLC?

Finding a Registered Agent for your LLC is quite straightforward. Search for a company specializing in Registered Agent services in the state where you formed your LLC. For example, IncNow is a Delaware based company that offers Registered Agent services in Delaware for LLCs and corporations.

Choosing a Registered Agent service can be a cost-effective way to fulfill the Registered Agent requirement for your company in its home state. Registered Agent services typically charge just one annual fee to meet all of your company’s agent needs. 

What Are Registered Agent Services?

Registered Agent services act as your company’s agent, helping to manage important documents and maintain your business. These services allow you to use their address as your official Registered Agent address, rather than your own. 

A Registered Agent service will be open during business hours to accept any legal documents sent to your company. They will send you either digital or paper copies of any documents or notices they receive and usually keep a record of everything received for your company.

Registered Agent services can provide even more value beyond just helping your company meet a legal requirement. A Registered Agent service can also help you maintain your company’s good standing status, or even help you grow the business.

You should choose a service skilled at managing specific state filings, like Amendments, Annual Reports, or registering to do business in other states.

What Is A Statutory Agent For An LLC?

A “Statutory Agent” is simply another term for a “Registered Agent” for an LLC. Statutory Agents carry out the same roles as Registered Agents. They receive legal documents, government correspondence, and compliance-related paperwork on behalf of the company. Most states use the term “Registered Agent”, but some use the terms “Resident Agent” or “Statutory Agent”.

Do I Need A Registered Agent For An LLC? 

Yes, you must appoint a Registered Agent if you’re planning to form or register an LLC or a corporation in the U.S. This is a legal requirement in most states, including Delaware, for the registration of a company within the state.

When deciding where to form your company, consider that Delaware has advantages over your home state that may benefit you. Go