Registered Agent Cost

How much does a registered agent cost?

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Plenty of things will run through your head as you set up your business. The filing price and how much certain things like licenses and permits will be, for example, will weigh on your mind. Have you considered the cost of a registered agent?

Of the many questions that have come up during your business setup, “How much does a registered agent cost?” may have been one. We’ll go over what you can expect from a registered agent’s cost, what they do, and more.

Standard Registered Agent Costs

First, let’s go over the main topic: how much does a registered agent cost? Take note of the information below and think about your needs and budget before making a decision.

How much does a registered agent service cost?

One option is by going with a registered agent service. There are plenty of registered agent services out there. They’ll each offer different prices and perks, so it’s important to do some research about what you’ll get.

Do they charge for their service on a monthly or annual basis? What exactly do you get out of the service? If you want to opt out of the service, what’s their cancellation policy?

You should look into all these before diving in and forking over the money for their service. Tallying an exact price is difficult since these companies charge differently, but you can expect to shell out anywhere between $100 and $300 on average.

We don’t need to tell you that you should find a service that meets your budget. That’s a given. But you’ll also need to make sure the service you go with has your best interests at heart. Look at their track record. What are other customers saying about them?

The cost of being your own registered agent

Another option is being your company’s registered agent. This likely won’t cost you anything as all you’ll have to do is list yourself as the registered agent in your business’s formation documents (which themselves will have a filing fee). Now, you might be thinking that you’ve hit the jackpot since you’ll be meeting a state requirement without having to pay anything. But, being your business’s registered agent does come with some cons:

  • You must be at your business address at all times during regular business hours.
  • Having to be at your registered address means it’ll be hard to run errands, meet clients, or go on vacation and take sick days.
  • If your company is ever sued, you can get served in front of your customers/clients at your business office. This can be embarrassing and bad for business.

It may be in your best interest to have a registered agent service to make things easier on yourself.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent, also known as a resident agent, statutory agent, or agent for service of process in some states, is a person or entity responsible for receiving important notices and official documents on behalf of a business.

These important documents can include:

  • Official mail like tax notices/forms and other official government documents
  • Legal documents (like official notice for service of process), other time-sensitive documents (like legal correspondence or government correspondence), or other types of legal mail/legal notifications
  • Certificates of Good Standing
  • Compliance documents

Registered Agent Requirements

Different states have different requirements for who can serve as a registered agent. A few common ones include:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Having a physical street address (known as a registered office address) where service of process documents and other important forms can be delivered (no P.O. boxes)
  • Being available at your physical address during normal business hours

Some states also require a registered agent to consent to the position in writing in the business’s formation documents. These include Articles of Organization for an LLC and Articles of Incorporation for a corporation. These documents usually take a few business days to get approved if everything is correct. Make sure to learn what your state’s registered agent requirements are.

What a registered agent does and doesn’t do

As we mentioned above, a registered agent receives important documents on behalf of a business. This agent usually has no other relationship with the company, although an owner or employee can serve as their business’s registered agent. This agent also does not offer legal advice or represent the business in court, perform annual report filing, or offer business advice. All they do is receive and inform the business owner of any documents addressed to the company. That’s it.

Which business types require a registered agent?

All businesses that are required to register with the state must have a registered agent. As we mentioned above, this includes LLCs and corporations. Limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) also need registered agents.

When choosing an agent, you won’t do it through an individual registered agent filing as you would with other business-related matters unless you’re naming a replacement, but this method varies by state. Rather, you’ll name this person or entity in your formation documents. Again, some states require a registered agent’s consent in writing when they’re chosen.

Why It’s Important to Have a Registered Agent

Having a registered agent is a requirement that states have for certain business entities. These include limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations. Having a registered agent is important for many reasons. One is that it keeps your business in compliance with the state.

Falling out of compliance can have some serious repercussions. Paying a fine and even having your business dissolved are a couple of them. Lacking a registered agent can also have legal repercussions. More on this later.

If you already know what a registered agent is and need to find one that won’t break your budget, then we can help! Check out our service to learn more about how to get a registered agent.

Get a registered agent with ZenBusiness

If you’ve reviewed the many registered agent services out there but still don’t know which to use, then try ours! With our service, you’ll always have an agent available to receive important documents addressed to your business.

Our service will also keep you in compliance. And if you’re served with a lawsuit, you won’t have to worry about it happening in front of customers and clients.

Any important legal documents and/or legal mail addressed to your business that’s received by your registered agent will be available for you to view through your online dashboard. Here, you can view, download, and print them. You won’t have to worry about keeping these documents organized yourself.

We can help!

We’re willing to bet that when you Googled, “How much does a registered agent cost,” you weren’t expecting to get an entire article detailing the price of this agent, what they do, and why you should get one. It’s how we do things around here. We always want people to stay informed.

We offer many business formation services like business filings, registered agents, an operating agreement template, and more. We also help you grow and run your company with additional services like Worry-Free Compliance, annual report filing, etc., all while getting great customer service. Get in touch today to learn more about our online service or to get started with our business formation services!

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

Registered Agent Cost FAQs

  • Will I need a different registered agent if I own another business outside my state?

    Yes, you will need a registered agent for every state that your company has locations in. If your business grows and you decide to branch out into another state, you’ll also need to register with that state to operate within its borders. One of the requirements to do that is to have a registered agent for that state.

  • What can happen if I don't have a registered agent?

    All states require formal business entities to have a registered agent to receive legal notifications, legal correspondence, and other important documents. Although you’ll need to name a person or entity to be your registered agent in your business formation documents, there may come a time later on when you could lose your agent for any number of reasons.

    Without a registered agent, a lawsuit could move forward without you knowing and your business could fall out of legal compliance (lose its good standing status with the state), lose its licenses, pay a hefty fine, be dissolved by the state, and more. Fortunately, states allow businesses to name a replacement within a given time.

    When you’re ready to name a new one, you may have to submit a registered agent filing (depending on the state) and update your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation.

  • Who should I choose as my registered agent?

    That’s entirely up to you. All states have specific requirements for registered agents. As long as the person or entity you want to be your agent meets them, you’re good to go. As we discussed above, you can be your own registered agent if you want so long as you meet the same requirements.

    However, it may be in your best interest to name someone else to accept notice of service of process, tax forms, other legal notices, time-sensitive documents, and more. A couple of reasons include not being tethered to your business address during normal business hours and not having to worry about being served with a lawsuit in front of clients.

    Keep in mind that certain factors can come into play. For example, in New York, the Secretary of State acts as the registered agent for LLCs and corporations by default, but you can name your own agent if you’d like.

  • Which states require businesses to have a registered agent?

    All 50 states and Washington, D.C., require formal business entities to have a registered agent.

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