If you own an LLC, you might wonder who can be a registered agent. Every state requires that limited liability companies (LLCs) have a registered agent, so you’ll need to designate one when you form your company. The registered agent accepts important legal notices (like subpoenas) and certain official state documents in person on behalf of the business. 

Can anyone be a registered agent?

A registered agent (also known in some states as a resident agent, statutory agent, or agent for service of process) is a person or business entity that is responsible for receiving legal notices like notifications of a lawsuit and forwarding them to the business owner. When you file your Articles of Organization as the business owner, you typically include the registered agent name, address, and other information. Your registered agent must have a physical address in the state where the LLC is registered.

There are a few statutory requirements to be named as a registered agent. However, you should always remember to check if your state has additional requirements before naming a registered agent. Most states have the following requirements:

  • The agent must be 18 years of age or older to satisfy the age requirement.
  • If the agent is an individual, they must be a resident of the state where the LLC is located with a physical street address (and not just a P.O. box). If the agent is a business, it must have a physical office with a street address in the state where the LLC is located.
  • The agent must be available in person during regular business hours at the registered office address.

Can I be my own registered agent?

While all states allow you to be your own registered agent when you file your Articles of Organization, it’s typically not a good idea. For one thing, if you have multiple business locations in different states, you must appoint a registered agent for each state. Even if you’re only in one state, you need to be available during business hours. If you ever get sick or take a vacation, you won’t be able to be at the physical office.

Another drawback to consider is that being served with a lawsuit in front of clients and employees can be embarrassing and detrimental to your business.

Can my spouse be my registered agent?

Many business owners wonder if naming their spouse as their registered agent would be a good idea when they file their Articles of Organization. While you can name your spouse as your registered agent as long as they meet your state’s requirements, it’s not typically a good idea to do so. 

Your spouse may have a job during normal business hours. They can’t be available at the registered address to receive legal mail if they’re working a 9 to 5 somewhere else. Even if your spouse doesn’t work or works from home, you still place a lot of responsibility on them. And, in the hubbub of everyday life, they might forget to pass on important notices to you.

Additionally, many marriages end at some point. While changing the registered agent for an LLC is possible, it takes time, effort, and paperwork. If you and your spouse separate, it could cause some complications for your company until you can secure a new agent. Even the most amicable of divorcees may not make your LLC’s official correspondence their top priority anymore.

Who should be the registered agent of an LLC?

Registered agents are designated recipients of legal notices and official mail, named when you file your Articles of Organization. They can receive official notices about lawsuits and important correspondence from the Secretary of State. It’s crucial that you name someone you can trust to notify you about urgent situations or when action is required.

If you don’t want to use a registered agent service, you might look at a business partner or legal counsel. They could be your registered agent, as long as they’re available during normal business hours to receive official mail. Just ensure you have their permission (many states require you to get their consent in writing) and that they’re okay with their name and physical location becoming public record.

Advantages of Using a Registered Agent Service

Many domestic entities choose to use a registered agent service company when they file their Articles of Organization, as it has plenty of advantages. A professional agent can help your business stay compliant, ensure the complete privacy of your legal documents, and is always available during business hours. You never need to worry that your official notices aren’t being received or handled properly.

ZenBusiness Registered Agent Services

We provide premium registered agent services for your business. Our service providers help you comply with state registered agent regulations and avoid the embarrassing scenario of being notified of a lawsuit in front of clients. We upload digital copies of the documents the agent receives to your dashboard so you can view, download, and print them anytime.

We can help!

If you’re looking for assistance in setting up your LLC formation documents, we’re here to help. At ZenBusiness, we can provide you with registered agent services, so you can be sure that all legal requirements for your registered agent are fulfilled. Let us help you navigate red tape and compliance so you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of running your company. 

Do I need a Registered Agent? – FAQs

  • If business entities don’t have a registered agent, their entity status is in jeopardy. Large business issues can arise as a result of not naming a registered agent, such as the government completely shutting down your business. It’s essential to have a registered agent listed in the public record, and there could be significant financial consequences if you don’t. Registered agents are an ongoing requirement that you’ll need in order to maintain your business status.

  • Yes, having a registered agent is required in Delaware. You’ll need to have a registered office address and ensure that the registered agent you list is at that physical address during normal business hours. Business compliance in Delaware will require you to name a registered agent, so you should already have a name in mind before filling out your business records.

  • You should hire a registered agent service before you file your Articles of Organization or other LLC formation documents. By doing it in this order, you’ll be able to write down their information when you’re filling out the necessary paperwork.

  • Most states will require you to provide the personal addresses of the LLC owners as well as the principal business address. You’ll also be required to list the registered office address.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness