What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a business or individual that a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), limited partnership (LP), or other corporate entity designates to receive legal notices on its behalf. These include court papers if your business is sued, business registration renewal notices from the Secretary of State, and tax notices.


A registered agent is an individual or company that receives legal, tax and official mail on behalf of a business. This person or service will accept the mail, forward it to your address and notify you of pending deadlines or actions that need to be taken.

Most states require businesses to appoint a registered agent when they form an LLC or corporation. You can choose to designate yourself, a professional service, an employee or even a trusted friend or relative.

A registered agent is the point of contact for the state and will receive all official correspondence on your behalf, including notices of lawsuits or other government actions. They will also provide timely notifications of pending deadlines or actions that need your attention, such as when a summons needs to be served.


When forming a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), most states require you to designate a registered agent. This agent is your business contact for receiving legal mail and service of process.

A registered agent must be a resident of the state in which the LLC or corporation is formed and have a physical address for accepting service of process and receiving legal and official correspondence from government agencies and courts on behalf of your business entity. This must be a street address, not a post office box.

When a registered agent receives legal and government paperwork on behalf of your business entity, they must promptly forward it to you and provide timely notifications about deadlines or actions you must take. If you’re a small business owner, this can be a huge time saver.


Registered agents are the designated individuals or entities responsible for receiving service of process, official government notices, tax forms, and other documents on behalf of an LLC or corporation.

Having a registered agent is an important part of keeping your business in compliance with the law. They can help keep you abreast of compliance documents, file them on your behalf, and remind you of filing deadlines.

It can be difficult to manage all these tasks yourself, especially if you’re busy running a business. That’s why experts recommend hiring a registered agent service to reduce risk and hassle.

The main benefit of using a registered agent is the flexibility and privacy it provides. This can be particularly helpful for a home-based business.

It can also be useful if you’re incorporating in a different state than where your business is located. Choosing a registered agent services company that covers all states can make this process easier and less complicated.


While many business owners choose to be their own registered agent, there are several costs associated with acting as your own RA. These include time, expense, and additional risk to your company.

It’s important to ask yourself if you can afford to devote the necessary time to being your own registered agent. If you don’t have the time or energy to commit to this task, it might be a good idea to hire a third-party service to handle the responsibility for you.

Having a professional registered agent is an important part of staying in compliance with state, federal, and local laws. This will help keep you out of legal trouble, avoid unnecessary penalties, and maintain your company’s good standing in your home state.

The cost of being a registered agent varies from state to state and from service to service, but can generally range between $99 and $300 per year. Some companies offer a lower introductory rate for the first year and others bundle registered agent services with business formation and other fees.