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Posted May 23, 2024

How to Find a Registered Agent for Your LLC

If you have a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or other business that’s registered with the state, you must have a registered agent designated to receive legal correspondence and other documents on its behalf. If your LLC operates in more than one state, you’ll need a registered agent in every state where you’re registered to conduct business.

In this article, you’ll learn how to find a registered agent you can trust to accept and process important legal documents quickly and accurately. It’s important to have a registered agent you can rely on, as mishandling summonses, subpoenas, tax notices, filing notifications, and other legal correspondence can result in financial and legal consequences.

Options for Choosing a Registered Agent

It’s common for small LLCs to designate a member to serve as the registered agent and use the location of the business as the designated address. If you’re a single-member LLC, you can appoint yourself. Other businesses choose a lawyer they’ve worked with, an accountant, tax preparer, or a family member or friend. These are known as noncommercial registered agents.

An LLC can also hire a commercial registered agent, such as CorpNet, to receive all business and legal correspondence and forward it electronically in a seamless manner. Commercial registered agents file a special listing statement with a state’s agency responsible for business filings and compliance (usually the Secretary of State). That listing statement facilitates communication between the registered agent and the Office of the Secretary of State, assuring that documents critical to your business will get to the proper place in a timely manner. Noncommercial registered agents do not file a listing with the state, opening the possibility that correspondence between the agent and the state could be delayed.

As you can see, there are a number of options for who you can choose as the registered agent for your LLC. Before deciding, however, there are some factors you should consider.

Ask CorpNet to Serve as Your Agent

CorpNet can serve as your commercial registered agent across all states in the US. Our team of filing experts is here to help and answer questions as needed.

Considerations for Selecting a Registered Agent

Your registered agent, sometimes referred to as a resident agent or agent for service of process, must be at least 18 years old and located in the state in which your business is registered. When you file your Articles of Organization with the state, you’ll be required to include the name and address (a street address, not a post office box) of your registered agent.

A registered agent must be available to accept correspondence during business hours throughout the year. For example, let’s assume your business is in Pennsylvania and you appoint a friend or relative as your registered agent. Now let’s assume that friend spends their winters in Florida. The time away in Florida would make that person unable to perform their duties and they cannot serve as your registered agent. Also, it is not practical to expect a friend or relative to remain at home during business hours every day on the chance that legal correspondence might be delivered. Thus, a friend or relative isn’t the best option for this task.

Another data point to consider is information in the public domain. Choosing an individual and using their home address as the point of contact puts the address on public record, giving data brokers the ability to collect and sell that information to marketers or others who might benefit from it. Hiring a commercial registered agency eliminates the need for an individual’s name and address to be listed publicly.

Assigning a member of your LLC to serve as the registered agent can save money and may be appropriate in some cases. It adds another layer of responsibility for the person designated, however, and could distract them from other work. Also, it may not be reasonable to assume that the person will always be on-site to receive and sort through the mail.

Again, when you choose a commercial registered agent, you can be assured that someone will be available to receive important documents on your behalf and keep you informed about your obligations and status.

Another benefit of a commercial registered agent is this company will generally provide a range of formation and compliance filing services in addition to handling important legal correspondence. These services can relieve LLC members of stress and busy work, as they remove the burden of making sure paperwork is done correctly and filed on time.

Finally, if you plan to expand your business and register it in other states, remember that you’ll need a registered agent in each state you operate in. You can attempt to find individuals in each state, but it is often easier, safer, and more efficient to hire a commercial registered agent who can protect your LLC and help keep your business compliant in every state.

Making an Informed Decision

Before deciding who will serve as your registered agent, think about what makes the most sense for your LLC.

An ideal registered agent offers these key qualities:

  • Always available to receive and process documents that are important to your business
  • Able to quickly and effectively communicate with the Office of the Secretary of State or other, applicable state office
  • Has trained staff that understands the state registration and compliance rules that apply to your LLC
  • Provides a physical address in the state where your LLC is registered
  • Is authorized to provide services in all 50 states
  • Offers services beyond the role of a registered agent, such as monitoring when annual reports are due to the state or alerting business owners to new compliance procedures
  • Is responsive to the needs of every client

When choosing your registered agent, carefully consider whether the individual or company meets those criteria. If you’re considering hiring a commercial registered agent, look beyond costs and compare services offered, how long the company has been in business, how it ranks on Trustpilot or another reliable review website, it’s Better Business Bureau rating, if it offers live support, if there’s a money-back guarantee, if it provides bulk discounts, and other factors.

If you’d like to do a quick comparison of popular registered agents, you can view our comparison article and table at Compare Registered Agent Services Providers.

<a href="" target="_self">Nellie Akalp</a>

Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp is an entrepreneur, small business expert, speaker, and mother of four amazing kids. As CEO of, she has helped more than half a million entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Akalp is nationally recognized as one of the most prominent experts on small business legal matters, contributing frequently to outlets like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and Fox Small Business. A passionate entrepreneur herself, Akalp is committed to helping others take the reigns and dive into small business ownership. Through her public speaking, media appearances, and frequent blogging, she has developed a strong following within the small business community and has been honored as a Small Business Influencer Champion three years in a row.

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