New York Registered Agent

A smiling New York registered agent

In New York, you have the choice to elect a registered agent to act as an official point of contact for your limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or nonprofit. A registered agent is responsible for receiving important correspondence like service of process, compliance notices, and tax documents.

Read our New York Registered Agent guide to learn:

  • How to find the best New York registered agent service
  • How to choose a registered agent
  • How to change your New York registered agent
  • How to reduce NY publication costs by using a registered agent service

To explore our favorite registered agent service options, take a look at this Best Registered Agent Services review.

What Is a New York Registered Agent?

In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the statutory agent for service of process (registered agent) for all New York organizations by default.

In addition, you can choose to elect a registered agent for your New York organization. You will be given this option when you complete your business’s formation documents.

A registered agent primarily acts as your business’s main point of contact with the New York Department of State. Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving important tax notifications and compliance information.

A registered agent’s most important role is to accept service of process. Service of process is the action of informing an individual or entity that there's a pending lawsuit against him or her, or in this case, against one's company.

In New York, the Secretary of State accepts service of process on behalf of all LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits. In the agent section of your business formation documents, you will be asked to list an address for all service of process info to be forwarded to.

Registered Agent Definition

A registered agent is an individual or entity that has been appointed by an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit to receive government correspondence, service of process, and compliance documents on behalf of the business.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in New York?

You can be your own registered agent. Your friend can be your registered agent, too. Really, anyone can be a registered agent as long as they meet these three requirements: 

  • They are a New York resident or a person with a New York address
  • They are a domestic or New York-authorized foreign LLC
  • They are a domestic or New York-authorized foreign corporation

Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?

In New York, the Secretary of State will act as your statutory service of process (registered agent) by default. You can also choose to elect yourself as your business’s registered agent.

NY Publication Requirement

When forming an LLC or corporation in the State of New York you are required to publish a notice of formation in the local newspaper of where the business is formed. This is known as the New York publication requirement.

If you are starting a business in a county with high publication costs (New York County is the prime example), it could save you a significant amount of money to hire a registered agent service with an office in a low-cost county. Most New York registered agent services are stationed in Albany county for this reason.

Is a Registered Agent Liable?

A registered agent is ONLY liable for any losses incurred by failing to notify the business of service of process documents in a timely manner. The registered agent may have to pay damages to the court in this situation.

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

Before you decide to hire a New York registered agent service — also called a commercial registered agent — it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Privacy: Your registered agent’s address will be listed on the public record — not your personal or office address. This is especially important if your business operates out of your home.
  • Focus on Growth: A professional registered agent service will send you regular compliance reminders and notify you of any requirements needed to keep your organization in good standing. You, on the other hand, will be focusing on growing your business.
  • Convenience: Hiring a registered agent service allows you to keep a flexible schedule. A registered agent is required to be available at their given address during normal business hours.
  • National Support: If you think you may want to grow your organization nationally, a national registered agent service will be able to continue service there.

Disadvantages

We aren’t sure there are any real disadvantages to hiring a registered agent service. The only downside is that hiring a commercial registered agent service costs money, but the time you will save can outweigh that cost. And after all, time is money.

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service in New York?

ZenBusiness Registered Agent

ZenBusiness provides New York businesses with excellent services at low prices. They fulfill all New York registered agent requirements and also offer clients “worry-free compliance” support. 

ZenBusiness's online document management system and regular compliance alerts make working with them worry-free. They’ll scan and upload all your essential legal documents into a personalized online dashboard that you can access at any time.

ZenBusiness has a reputation for providing excellent customer service and their support team is known for being highly knowledgeable about business formation and maintenance.

To learn more, check out our ZenBusiness Registered Agent Service review.

ZenBusiness Registered Agent Service ($99-$149/year)

Visit ZenBusiness

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent’s competitive prices and great customer service are also a solid choice for New York businesses. 

Northwest’s online form system only requires customers to provide information once, which then auto-populates in every form that asks for that info. They also scan every document locally — not just certain documents — to make sure that you never miss a filing. Their discount on multiple-state service is also a nice perk.

On top of all that, Northwest’s customer service is praised for being personable, knowledgeable, and timely in their responses.

To learn more, check out our Northwest Registered Agent Service review.

Northwest Registered Agent Service ($125/year)

Visit Northwest

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How to Elect a Registered Agent in New York

In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the statutory agent for service of process (registered agent) for all New York organizations by default.

In addition, you can choose to elect a registered agent for your New York organization. You will be given this option when you complete your organization’s formation documents.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your LLC

Complete the LLC Articles of Organization. Your registered agent information will go into Article 3

The cost to file the LLC Articles of Organization is $200.

File by Mail or In Person

Submit your LLC Articles of Organization to the address below:

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001

File by Fax

Submit your LLC Articles of Organization to (518) 474-1418.

File Online

Form your LLC on the New York Department of State website.

You do not need to set up an account on the New York Department of State website to file online.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your Corporation

Complete the Certificate of Incorporation - Business Corporation. Your registered agent information will go into Article 5.

The cost to file the For-Profit Certificate of Incorporation is $125.

File by Mail or In Person

Submit your For-Profit Certificate of Incorporation to the address below:

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001

File by Fax

Submit your For-Profit Certificate of Incorporation to (518) 474-1418.

File Online

Form your corporation on the New York Department of State website.

You do not need to set up an account on the New York Department of State website to file online.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your Nonprofit

Complete the Certificate of Incorporation - Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your registered agent information will go into Article 8.

The cost to file the Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation is $75.

File by Mail or In Person

Submit your Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation to the address below:

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001

File by Fax

Submit your Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation to (518) 474-1418.

How to Change Your Registered Agent in New York

To legally change your New York registered agent, simply fill out the appropriate Certificate of Change form for your type of business:

Submit your completed form to the address below:

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001

The filing cost is $20 for nonprofits and $30 for all other entities.

New York Registered Agent FAQ

Who can be a registered agent?

In the state of New York, anyone can serve as a registered agent as long as they meet these three requirements:

  • They are a New York resident or a person with a New York address
  • They are a domestic or New York-authorized foreign LLC
  • They are a domestic or New York-authorized foreign corporation

We do, however, recommend all LLCs, registered nonprofits, and corporations use a registered agent service.

How much does a New York registered agent cost?

Although using a registered agent service can cost between $50 and $300 per year, it could save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

How much does it cost to change my registered agent?

Changing your New York registered agent with the Secretary of State costs $20 for nonprofits and $30 for all other business entities.

Does registered agent mean owner?

No. A business owner can be a registered agent, but a registered agent is not necessarily a business owner.

Can anyone be a registered agent?

Anyone can be a registered agent as long as they meet these requirements: 

  • They’re at least 18 years old. 
  • They have a physical address in New York. 
  • They’re always available during regular business hours at the address you provide.

Should I be my own registered agent?

If you plan on having a lot of free time to handle administrative work and you plan to always be at the address you provide during business hours, day after day, week after week, then it would be ok to be your own registered agent. Most business owners can't make that commitment, but there are always unique cases.

If you plan to hit the ground running and grow your business like nobody’s business, then we HIGHLY recommend hiring a registered agent.

Is a registered agent liable?

A registered agent is ONLY liable for any losses incurred by failing to notify the business of service of process documents in a timely manner. The registered agent may have to pay damages to the court in this situation.

What is service of process?

Service of process is the action of informing an individual or entity that there's a pending lawsuit against him or her, or in this case, against one's company.

In New York, the Secretary of State accepts service of process on behalf of all LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits. In the agent section of your business formation documents, you will be asked to list an address for all service of process info to be forwarded to.

What is a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is another name for a registered agent.

What is a resident agent?

A resident agent is another name for a registered agent.

What is a service of process agent?

A service of process agent is another name for a registered agent.

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