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Whether you’re thinking about starting your own business or already running one, it’s important to know the rules and requirements regarding Registered Agents. Every formal business entity in the United States, whether it’s an LLC, S corp or C corp, must have a Registered Agent. In this guide, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about getting a Registered Agent for your company, including what Registered Agents do, how to find one and what happens if you don’t have one.
A Registered Agent is an individual or business that receives important information, official documents and
correspondence from the state government, federal governments and other agencies. They forward that
information on to your LLC or corporation so you can respond to it appropriately.
A Registered Agent must be available to receive and sign for official correspondence during normal business hours. They will receive documents from official bodies and notify you, forwarding the information. The type of correspondence they receive includes:
Registered Agents can be known by various names in each state. These names include:
All businesses that are formed as legal entities are required to name a Registered Agent. These types of businesses are:
All of these business entities, regardless of the state they are registered in, must have a Registered Agent.
Your secretary of state or division of corporations has certain requirements that apply to Registered Agents. Typically, they are:
If you do not assign or provide details of your organization's Registered Agent to the secretary of state, you could face significant problems, including:
In addition to a formal Registered Agent service, anyone associated with your business who wants to take on the responsibility can be your Registered Agent. They will need to understand the legal requirements and implications of performing the role. Note that your company cannot act as its own Registered Agent.
When you incorporate your business through Incfile, we will automatically provide a free Registered Agent service for your LLC or corporation for the first year and will pass that information on to your secretary of state. If you form your business yourself, you can provide details of the Registered Agent when you file your company formation documents, like your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation.
Your business can change your Registered Agent service at any time. Some Registered Agents will file the necessary forms with the secretary of state — if they don't, you can file the relevant forms yourself. Full details of how to do so will be listed on the LLC and corporation pages of your secretary of state’s website.
There are many ways to find a Registered Agent service. Some secretary of state websites provide lists, or you can search for one on your own. We recommend the Incfile Registered Agent service, which operates in all U.S. states and provides a complete set of Registered Agent tools at a reasonable price.
If you need to find the Registered Agent for a business other than your own, these names are available in the public record of your state’s secretary of state. You can typically find these on the business entity search page on the secretary of state website. If Registered Agent details are not available from the searchable business registry, contact the secretary of state requesting the information.
Fees can vary widely — here are some prices as of late 2018
$119/yr(free 1st year with business formation)
We offer a complete, easy-to-use Registered Agent service for any business incorporated in any state in the U.S. If you choose to
incorporate your business with us, we’ll provide a free Registered Agent service for the first year (and just $119 annually after that).
We’re authorized to conduct business in every state and can legally act as your Registered Agent, wherever you are.
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