Massachusetts Registered Agents for LLCs

Your MA LLC must assign a Massachusetts Registered/Resident Agent. This is a formally recognized person or business who can receive business correspondence and other documents from the Massachusetts Corporations Division. Assigning a Registered Agent is a legal requirement.

Your LLC must have a Massachusetts Registered Agent at all times. You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing MA Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new Registered Agent service.

What the Massachusetts Corporations Division Says About Registered Agents

In Massachusetts, a Registered Agent is formally known as a “Resident agent,” and we’ll use the terms interchangeably in this guide. Their functions and requirements are identical to those of Registered Agents described above.

Rules for Massachusetts Resident Agents

There are certain rules that you must follow when you’re appointing a Massachusetts Resident Agent service for your business. They are:

  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Massachusetts.
  • If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in Massachusetts.
  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Massachusetts, not a P.O. Box.
  • The MA Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.

Note that the MA Registered Agent address does not need to be the same as your Massachusetts LLC business address.

What to Expect from a Massachusetts Resident Agent Service

What can you expect from your Massachusetts Registered Agent? Their main function is to accept official documents and correspondence from the MA Corporations Division. This includes:

  • Correspondence from the Massachusetts Corporations Division
  • Service of process notices (e.g., if your MA LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
  • Official Massachusetts state and federal government correspondence and notifications
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports

A Complete Massachusetts Registered Agent Service from Incfile

If you have an LLC that’s incorporated in Massachusetts and you need a MA Registered Agent, we can help. Incfile provides a complete Resident Agent service for any Massachusetts business. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll act as your Registered Agent free for your first year (normally a $119 annual cost).

We are authorized to conduct business in Massachusetts and can legally act as your Registered Agent.

Here’s what the Incfile Massachusetts Registered Agent service provides for your MA LLC:

  • An always-available Massachusetts Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
  • A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your Massachusetts business
  • Email notification whenever we receive documents for your Massachusetts business
  • Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

How to Appoint a Massachusetts Resident Agent for Your LLC

You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first incorporate your Massachusetts LLC or at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Assign Your Massachusetts Registered Agent When You Form Your MA LLC

Your business needs to have a Massachusetts Registered Agent Service as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this through one of the following methods.

File Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Corporations Division

You will need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Certificate of Organization. This is the form that you file with the MA Corporations Division to formally create your business.

Incorporate Through Incfile and Get a Free Massachusetts Resident Agent

When you incorporate through us, we complete and file your Certificate of Organization based on the information you’ve provided. Additionally, we give you a free Massachusetts Registered Agent service for the first year, and we’ll include details of your MA Registered Agent in the form that we file.

Change Your Massachusetts Resident Agent After Your LLC Is Formed

You can also change your MA Registered Agent service after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

Choose a Registered Agent Service and File a Form with the Massachusetts Corporations Division

Once you’ve chosen a new Massachusetts Registered Agent, you can complete a form and send it to the Corporations Division so they can update your records.

Sign up for Incfile’s Massachusetts Resident Agent Service, and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf

When you choose to use our MA Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and send it to the Massachusetts Corporations Division. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.

Searching for MA Registered Agents for Other LLCs

In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Resident Agent that represents another Massachusetts LLC. If you do, you can search the business database of the Massachusetts Corporations Division, which will often provide details of a specific business’s Registered Agent.

If the MA Registered Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the Massachusetts Corporations Division requesting the information.

The Problems Caused When You Don’t Appoint a Massachusetts Resident Agent Service

What happens if you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the Massachusetts Corporations Division? There are several possible ramifications, including:

  • Getting served or sued and not finding out about it: If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
  • Falling out of good standing with the Massachusetts Corporations Division: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), certain states may revoke your right to do business.
  • Losing your status as a Massachusetts LLC: A MA Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your Massachusetts LLC may be dissolved.

Assigning Yourself as the Massachusetts Registered Agent for Your LLC

If you have an address in Massachusetts, you can choose to be the Registered Agent for your LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:

  • The MA Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Massachusetts. If you’re forming an LLC outside MA, you will need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
  • You always need to have someone on hand during business hours at the Massachusetts address to sign for important documents.
  • The MA Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Massachusetts Corporations Division's website. If you would prefer your name and address aren’t published, you might choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your Massachusetts business address or move out of state, you would need to file additional documentation with the MA Corporations Division for the new address if you act as your own Registered Agent. This would not be the case if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.

FAQs About Massachusetts Resident Agents

Do I Need to Appoint a Massachusetts Registered Agent?

Yes. All MA LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Massachusetts Corporations Division.

When Can I Assign a Massachusetts Registered Agent Service?

You can either do it when you incorporate your Massachusetts business through paperwork filed with the MA Corporations Division or afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we will file all necessary forms on your behalf.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Massachusetts?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above. If you still want to be your own Registered Agent, you just need to fill in the correct forms and pay a fee to the Massachusetts Corporations Division.

Does My Registered Agent Need to Have an Address in Massachusetts?

Yes. Additionally, if they are a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state.

Useful Resources for Massachusetts Resident Agent Services

You might find these resources helpful:

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