Is a Registered Agent Considered an Owner?

Two business women meeting.

A company’s owner and its registered agent can be the same person, but they don’t have to be. In fact, we recommend that owners hire a registered agent service rather than acting as their own registered agent.

Recommended: ZenBusiness is the overall best registered agent service, providing great customer service, and a worry-free guarantee at an affordable price.

In this article, we’ll explain what a registered agent is, who can be one, and the pros and cons of being your own registered agent.

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What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a person or entity chosen by a company to receive official government documents. These can include, for example, tax filings, service of process, and correspondence from the Secretary of State. In addition, a registered agent can help the company meet filing deadlines and comply with other rules.

See our What Is a Registered Agent and What Does a Registered Agent Do guides for more information.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

Anyone who meets a state’s requirements can be a registered agent. These vary from state to state but are relatively minimal. Generally speaking, a registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a physical address (i.e., not just a P.O. box) in the state where the business is formed
  • Be available in person during regular business hours to receive documents

Should an Owner Be a Registered Agent?

If an owner meets the above criteria, they can be a registered agent. Although being your own registered agent saves a few hundred dollars a year on registered agent services, it has several hidden costs. In particular:

  • It takes time that you could use to build your business.
  • Missing a court summons because the process server couldn’t reach you might result in a default judgment against you, which could be extremely costly.
  • Being unavailable to receive other important documents or missing filing deadlines might result in fines that could be avoided if a registered agent service handled these tasks for you.

As a result, you may want to consider using a registered agent service. To find one, read about our seven best registered agent services of 2021.

Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

In addition to avoiding the hidden costs listed above, using a registered agent service like ZenBusiness helps with:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Peace of mind
  • Flexibility
  • Privacy

Legal Compliance

A registered agent service can send companies periodic filing reminders to help them comply with deadlines. This can help avoid costs like penalties and legal fees. A professional service also can:

  • Help you find legal professionals and accounts in your state.
  • Keep copies of your important corporate documents in case they are damaged, lost, or stolen.

Peace of Mind

Running a business takes a considerable amount of effort. A registered agent can ease some of the burden by allowing you to:

  • Prioritize growing your business.
  • Separate personal from business mail.
  • Answer any questions that may come up.


By law, a registered agent must be present during normal business hours to receive documents at the address provided. As the business owner, you may want to set your own work hours, which a registered agent service allows you to do.

In addition, a registered agent service lets you form an LLC in one or more other states, as long as the service has a physical address in the state(s) in question.


A registered agent’s address must be listed in a public record. That means if you work out of your home, your home address will be publicly available, which you may not want. With a registered agent service, you can:

  • Avoid being served with a lawsuit in front of your family, employees, or customers.
  • Publicize the registered agent’s address instead of yours, which will help protect your privacy.

For more, see our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a registered agent the same as the owner?

A registered agent and the owner are not necessarily the same. A registered agent is any person or entity that is designated to receive the company’s official documents and meets the state’s criteria for a registered agent.

What does registered agent name mean?

The registered agent name is simply the name of the person or entity chosen as a company’s registered agent.

Who qualifies as a registered agent?

Anyone qualifies as a registered agent if they are at least 18 years old, have a physical address in the state where a company was formed, and are available to receive official government documents during regular business hours. A business entity licensed to operate in the state can also qualify if it has personnel who meet the above criteria.