A Registered Agent in Florida provides various services, such as accepting formal documents, communication and correspondence from the Florida Department of State (DOS).
Your corporation must have Florida Registered Agent services at all times. You appoint one when you first start your business. You may also replace your existing Registered Agent after formation, provided there is no period during which your business is without a Registered Agent.
The address for your Registered Agent in Florida doesn't need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a Florida virtual mailbox for your business address.
Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.
What Florida Registered Agents Do
A Registered Agent’s primary function is to accept official correspondence and documentation, including but not limited to:
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your corporation is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the FL Department of State
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Registered Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Incfile Provides Free Florida Registered Agent Service for the First Year
Incfile provides complete Florida Registered Agent service for any Corporation formed in the state. Even better, if you form your corporation through Incfile, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Incfile is authorized to conduct business in Florida and able to legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Florida Registered Agent services include:
Appointing a Registered Agent for Your Corporation
When you're incorporating in Florida, you must appoint a Registered Agent at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your Corporation
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
When you create your business, you must include your Registered Agent's information in your Articles of Incorporation.
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Registered Agent Service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Incorporation for you.
Assign a New Registered Agent After Incorporation
You can also assign someone else as your Registered Agent in Florida after you’ve incorporated. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can update the change by filing a statement of change with the Department of State. There is a filing fee of $35 set by the Florida DOS.
When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect the pertinent information about your business, complete the appropriate paperwork and send it to the FL Department of State on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Registered Agent.
Search for Florida Registered Agents
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another Corporation in Florida. You'll find this information in the state's business directory.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you don’t assign or provide a Registered Agent's details to the Department of State, you may be subject to certain ramifications, including but not limited to:
- Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your corporation is sued and you don’t respond.
- Losing your status as a Corporation in the state. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your corporation may be dissolved.
- Falling out of good standing with the FL DOS. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You may elect to be the Registered Agent for your Florida Corporation if you have a business office in the state. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Florida address to sign for important documents.
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Florida. If you’re forming a Corporation outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the FL Department of State website. If you prefer to keep your name and address private, you should use a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Department of State for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Florida Registered Agents
Yes. All business entities are required to have a service of process agent (Registered Agent). This is mandated by the FL DOS. You'll find more information above.
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your business with the Department of State. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct forms. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.