A registered agent is a person or business who receives and sends legal documents on behalf of an LLC or other type of company. A registered agent must:
- Have a physical address in the state (i.e., not just a P.O. box) where the business is conducted
- Be physically available during regular business hours (i.e., 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.) at the given registered agent address
- Be 18 years or older
Registered Agent Options
There are several options for choosing a registered agent service, but we’re here to help. As a place to start, read our registered agent guide.
Once you have a good understanding of the role of a registered agent, you can begin to look at all of the different registered agent options available to your business
Your options for registered agents include:
- Using a registered agent service
- Acting as your own registered agent
- Having a member of your business act as a registered agent
- A member of your family
- Or, anybody over the age of 18 with a physical address in the state your business operates
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent or choose a member of your LLC or even a trusted friend, as long as the person meets these requirements:
- is 18 years or older
- has a physical address in the state where the business is conducted
- is available during normal business hours
Though acting as your own registered agent may save you money upfront, hiring a professional registered agent service can help you avoid financial penalties by missing or misplacing an important document or notice. As a result, it can save you money even though there’s a small annual fee.
Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?
Using a registered agent service has several advantages. They include:
- Compliance With the Law. A registered agent service can help you stay current with legal requirements and send you reminders for filing deadlines. It also can help you find accountants and other professionals for your business as well as keep copies of your important corporate documents in case the originals are lost or stolen.
- Peace of Mind. Registered agent services allow you to focus on growing your business while knowing that important documents will be received and stored. It also can help maintain work-life balance by keeping business and personal mail separate.
In addition, a service can answer any questions you may have if there’s a problem.
- Flexibility. A registered agent must be available during normal business hours to receive documents. If you would rather work other hours, this is a good reason to hire a service. Moreover, a national registered agent with a physical address in every state will allow you to form an LLC in another state later on.
- Privacy. A registered agent must list its address publicly. Hiring a registered agent service keeps you from having to list your home address if you work out of your home. If you have a separate office, sensitive documents like service of process will be delivered to the service’s address instead of to your office in front of employees and customers.
Who Offers the Best Registered Agent Service?
When shopping for a registered agent service, look for one with the following features:
- Widespread reach: An office in the state that your LLC is initially formed in, plus any additional states you plan to do business in.
- Compliance management: Reminders for filing annual reports and other important deadlines
- Document management: Local scanning of all official documents so you can access them from your online account
- Availability: A reliable customer service team who can answer any questions you may have
For detailed reviews of registered agent services, visit our guide to the best registered agent services.
ZenBusiness Registered Agent
ZenBusiness provides the most comprehensive registered agent services available for the money. They include their registered agent service with LLC formation, and the fee is only $119 annually after the first year of formation.
The Complete Registered Agent plan includes the ZenBusiness “Worry-Free Compliance” guarantee. This includes sending alerts for filing annual reports, submitting documents on your company’s behalf, and allowing you to make two changes to your filings per year for free. It also covers the costs of regaining good standing if your company misses a deadline.
Moreover, ZenBusiness offers a dashboard for all their services that’s user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to keep track of important business documents in real-time.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent for an LLC Frequently Asked Questions
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or business who receives and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. In some states, a registered agent is called a statutory agent, resident agent, or an agent for service of process.
Most states require that you appoint a registered agent when you form a limited liability company (LLC). To learn more about your state’s requirements, visit our state-specific guides.
How much does an LLC registered agent cost?
A registered agent service can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, but hiring a registered agent service will save you time and money in the long run.
How much does it cost to change my registered agent?
Changing your registered agent can cost anywhere from $0 to $50 per state depending on the number of states you’re registered in to do business with your LLC.
What is a statutory agent?
A statutory agent is another name for a registered agent, a process of service agent, or a resident agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, Arizona and Ohio refer to registered agents as statutory agents.
What is a resident agent?
A resident agent is another name for a registered agent, a process of service agent, or a statutory agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island (LLCs only) refer to registered agents as resident agents.
What is a service of process agent?
A service of process agent is another name for a registered agent, a resident agent, or a statutory agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, California and West Virginia refer to registered agents as service of process agents.