A registered agent can be the owner of an LLC, but they don’t have to be the LLC’s owner. In fact, rather than acting as your own registered agent, we recommend hiring a registered agent service so you can focus on building your business.
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.
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a person or entity that’s designated by a company to receive official government documents and other important papers. These can include, for example, tax documents, a court summons, or correspondence from the Secretary of State. In addition, a registered agent also reminds businesses about complying with filing deadlines and 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
Anyone who meets state requirements can be a registered agent. Although different states have slightly different rules, in general, these requirements include:
- Being 18 years or older
- Having a physical address (i.e., not just a P.O. box) in the state where the business is formed
- Being available (in person) during normal business hours (i.e., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)
Should an Owner Be a Registered Agent?
If an owner meets the above criteria, they can be a registered agent. Whether they should is another matter.
Although being your own registered agent means you won’t have to pay for a registered agent service, there are several hidden costs of this approach. In particular:
- It takes time to be a registered agent – time you could be using to develop your business.
- If you aren’t available to receive it, you may miss service of process (a court summons). As a result, you may not know about the case and may not have anyone there to represent you, which could result in a default judgment.
- You also could miss other important documents or filing deadlines that a registered agent service would remind you of, which could result in fines.
Because of these factors, you may want to consider using a registered agent service. To find one, read about the best registered agent services of 2021.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
There are other benefits of using a registered agent service like ZenBusiness, such as:
- Compliance with the law
- Peace of mind
Compliance With the Law
Registered agent services send periodic filing reminders and otherwise help companies comply with state requirements to avoid fines and other sanctions. A professional service also can:
- Help you find legal and accounting services.
- Keep copies of your corporate documents in case they are damaged, lost, or stolen.
Peace of Mind
It takes a lot of time, attention, and energy to run a business. A registered agent service makes this a little bit easier by letting you prioritize growing your company.
A registered agent service also allows you to keep business and personal mail separate. Plus, it can provide additional support if you have a problem or question.
By law, a registered agent must be available to receive documents at the stated address during normal business hours. A registered agent service lets you:
- Keep flexible business hours. Instead of having to be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day to receive documents, you can work whatever hours you wish.
- Form an LLC in one or more other states. Because a registered agent must have a physical address in the state where the business is formed, hiring one with a national presence will let you form an LLC in any state.
A registered agent’s address is publicly listed, which you may not want if you work out of your home. A registered agent service protects your privacy by:
- Keeping you from being served with a lawsuit in front of your family, employees, or customers.
- Publicizing their address instead of yours, which will cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail you receive.
Can a Registered Agent Be the Owner of an LLC Frequently Asked Questions
Is a registered agent the same as the owner?
A registered agent is allowed to be the company’s owner, but it doesn’t have to be. Any person or entity that meets the state’s criteria for a registered agent can serve as one if they are designated to receive a company’s official documents.
What does registered agent name mean?
The registered agent name is the name of the person or entity listed as a company’s registered agent.
Who qualifies as a registered agent?
Anyone qualifies as a registered agent if they are 18 years of age or older, 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 can also qualify if it has personnel who meet the above criteria and is licensed to operate in the state.