Your LLC must have a Pennsylvania Registered Agent at all times to provide various services, such as accepting formal documents and correspondence from the Pennsylvania Department of State (PA DOS).

You must appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Pennsylvania CROP at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agent service.

 

Pennsylvania CROP Requirements

These are just a few of the requirements your business must follow when engaging the services of a CROP.

Check with the PA DOS for all requirements to ensure your business is in compliance.

  • Under Pennsylvania law (15 Pa.C.S. §109), entities required to provide a registered office address in any document filed with the PA DOS may enter into a contract for the services of a CROP, and may list the name of the Pennsylvania CROP in lieu of providing a registered office address. This option is also available for any corporation or association that does not have a physical location or mailing address in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Listing a Pennsylvania CROP without having entered into a contract to acquire the services of that CROP could subject a filer to civil and criminal penalties.
  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Pennsylvania.
  • If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in Pennsylvania.
  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Pennsylvania, not a P.O. Box.
  • The PA Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.

Note that the address for your Pennsylvania CROP does not need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can even use a Pennsylvania virtual mailbox for your business address.

Important: A virtual mailbox is not a suitable replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.

What a Pennsylvania Commercial Registered Office Provider Does

The primary function fulfilled by a PA CROP is to accept official documents and mail for your business.

This includes:

  • Correspondence from the PA DOS
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
  • Service of process documents (for example, if your LLC is named in a lawsuit)
  • Official state and federal government notices

Incfile Provides Free Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service for the First Year

Incfile provides complete Pennsylvania CROP service for any LLC that’s formed in the state. Even better, if you start your business 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 Pennsylvania and can legally act as your PA CROP. Here’s what the Incfile Registered Agent service provides:

An always-available Pennsylvania 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 business

Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business

Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

 

Appointing a Registered Agent for Your LLC

You need to appoint a Registered Agent when you first form your LLC, and you can change it at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Assign a CROP When You Form Your LLC

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

1
File Certificate of Organization with the PA DOS

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

2
Form Your Business Through Incfile and Get a Free Pennsylvania Registered Agent

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

Assign a Different CROP After Formation

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

1
Choose a Registered Agent Service and File a Form with the PA DOS

Once you’ve chosen a new Pennsylvania CROP, complete the Change of Registered Office form. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Department of State so they can update your records. The PA DOS will charge a fee of $5 to assign or change a CROP.

2
Sign Up for Incfile’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf

When you use our 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 PA DOS. We’ll let you know once we officially become your CROP.

Pennsylvania Registered Agent Search

At some point, you may need to know the name of the CROP that represents another LLC in the state. If so, you can search the PA DOS business database.

If the Registered Agent isn’t available there, contact the Department of State directly.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?

If you don't secure a Registered Agent and provide their information to the Department of State, there may be several possible ramifications, including:

  • Falling out of good standing with the PA DOS. 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 an LLC in Pennsylvania. A Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
  • 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.
 

Acting as Your Own Registered Agent

If you have an address in the state, you can be the CROP for your Pennsylvania LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:

  • You must have someone available at all times during business hours at the Pennsylvania address to sign for important documents.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the PA DOS website. If you prefer your name and address aren’t published, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your business address or move out of state, you'll need to file additional documentation with the Department of State for. This wouldn't be the case if you used a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Pennsylvania. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you'll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.

Other Useful Resources

FAQs About Pennsylvania Registered Agents

Do I Need to Appoint a Pennsylvania CROP?

Yes. All LLCs in Pennsylvania are required to have a CROP. This is mandated by the PA DOS. You'll find more information above.

When Should I Assign a PA CROP?

You must assign a CROP when you start your business. You can change your agent in the future by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we'll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You can find more information above.

Can I Be My Own CROP?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.

Does the CROP for my Pennsylvania-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Pennsylvania?

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

Launch
Your Business with Incfile

No contracts. No surprises.
Only $0 + state fee to launch your business.

Start Now