Your husband or wife can be your registered agent. In fact, anyone you designate can be your registered agent if they meet the criteria. These vary somewhat from state to state, but generally speaking, a registered agent must be over 18 years old, have a physical address in the state where the company was formed, and be available during regular business hours to receive service of process and other official documents.
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In this guide, we will explain more about who can be a registered agent, whether your spouse should be your registered agent, and whether you should hire a registered agent service.
Who Can Act as a Registered Agent?
Registered agent requirements can be somewhat different depending on which state your company was formed in. However, generally speaking, states allow for both individuals and business entities to serve as registered agents.
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state (i.e., not just a P.O. box address)
- Be available to receive documents in person during regular business hours (i.e., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- Operate in the state (if a business entity).
Although you can be your own registered agent, consider hiring an experienced and reliable registered agent service. This will free you up to focus on growing your business.
Should My Husband or Wife Serve as My Registered Agent?
If they meet the criteria above, your husband or wife can be your registered agent. However, for several reasons, you may want to use someone else or hire a registered agent service.
If your spouse is your registered agent, they will have to be available every day during regular business hours to receive official documents and thus might not be able to have a separate job. Depending on your financial situation, this could be an issue.
Along the same lines, your spouse won’t be able to leave the house or wherever your business is located to run errands, pick up the kids, etc.
Lastly, most spouses don’t have the business expertise needed to provide advice regarding filing deadlines and other corporate compliance issues. A registered agent service can provide this expertise.
Reasons to Hire a Registered Agent Service
Choosing an affordable, national, third-party registered agent service as the registered agent for your LLC or corporation has certain advantages, including:
- Compliance With the Law – A registered agent service can send reminders about filing deadlines and store copies of important corporate documents for safekeeping.
- Peace of Mind – Using a registered agent service lets you focus on growing your business and not worry about receiving official documents.
- Flexibility – A registered agent service is available every day to receive important documents during normal business hours, as required by law. This means you can work other hours if you wish.
- Privacy – The physical address of your registered agent is listed in a public record. If you have a home-based business, using a service will keep your home address private. And if you work in a separate office, you won’t have to worry about sensitive documents being delivered in front of employees or customers.
Visit our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide for help with making the right choice for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should be my registered agent?
Choose a person or entity you trust to correctly and reliably handle official documents like service of process and government correspondence.
Can I name myself as the registered agent?
You can be your own registered agent if you meet the criteria listed above. However, designating someone else as your registered agent or hiring a registered agent service has significant benefits. These include peace of mind, flexibility, privacy, and help with legal compliance.
How much does a registered agent cost?
The cost of a registered agent service is typically a few hundred dollars annually, although the exact price varies by company.