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What is a Registered Agent in Your LLC? | Responsibilities and Benefits

By: Jack Nicholaisen author image
Business Initiative

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you must have come across the term ‘registered agent’ while setting up your Limited Liability Company (LLC).

In this article, we will explore the responsibilities and advantages of having a registered agent for your LLC.

We will also provide practical tips for selecting the right registered agent for your business.

What is a Registered Agent?

Definition: “A registered agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving legal and official documents on behalf of your LLC.” These documents may include tax forms, government correspondence, and lawsuits.

A registered agent plays a vital role in your business, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, handling essential documents, and provide numerous benefits such as helping you avoid missing important deadlines or legal notices.

During the legal battle between Facebook and ZeniMax Media in 2017, Facebook’s registered agent played a crucial role in receiving and handling legal documents, as Facebook was sued for $500 million over allegations of stolen technology related to its virtual reality platform, Oculus.

Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent for your LLC. However, keep in mind that it comes with some responsibilities and drawbacks.

Firstly, you must have a physical street address in the state where your LLC is registered. This address will serve as your registered agent’s address and must be available during regular business hours.

Secondly, if you choose to be your own registered agent, you must be available during those business hours to receive any legal documents or official notices. This means that you cannot leave the office or go on vacation without making arrangements for someone else to receive these documents on your behalf.

Lastly, being your own registered agent means that your personal information, such as your name and address, will be made public and listed on the state’s public records. If privacy is a concern for you, it may be better to hire a professional registered agent service instead.

Let’s have a closer look at what your registered agent needs…

Every LLC is legally required to have a registered agent in the state where it is registered.

The agent must be a resident of the state or an entity authorized to do business in the state. A registered agent’s address, known as a registered office, must be a physical street address and not a P.O. Box.

This requirement ensures that the state has a reliable way of contacting your LLC for any legal or official correspondence. Failure to maintain a registered agent may result in penalties, fines, or even the complete dissolution of your LLC.

Registered agents must also be available to receive or submit documents or information during the normal 9am to 5pm business hours Monday through Friday.

Responsibilities of a Registered Agent

A registered agent’s primary role is to receive and handle essential documents on behalf of your LLC. These documents include:

1. Legal documents: A registered agent is responsible for receiving service of process, which includes summons, complaints, and subpoenas related to lawsuits involving your LLC.

2. State filings: The registered agent serves as a point of contact for receiving annual reports, renewal notices, and other official correspondence from the state government.

3. Tax notifications: The registered agent may receive tax notices and other correspondence from state revenue departments.

In addition to receiving and handling documents, a registered agent should promptly notify you of any received correspondence and ensure that important deadlines are met. This helps maintain your LLC’s good standing with the state.

Benefits of Having a Professional Registered Agent

Having a registered agent for your LLC offers several advantages:

1. Compliance assurance: A registered agent helps ensure that your LLC meets its legal obligations, such as maintaining a registered office and meeting filing deadlines.

2. Privacy protection: By having a registered agent handle legal documents and correspondence, you can maintain privacy and prevent potentially embarrassing situations, such as being served a lawsuit in front of clients or employees.

3. Flexibility: If your business does not have a physical location in the state or if you frequently travel, having a registered agent ensures that you have a reliable point of contact for receiving important documents.

4. Expertise: Professional registered agents have experience navigating complex regulations, which can be invaluable for your LLC.

Professional Registered Agent Services

One notable example of a professional registered agent service is CT Corporation, which has been providing registered agent services for over 100 years. CT Corporation serves more than 300,000 businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies, and offers expert guidance on legal compliance and risk management.

Here are a few other notable companies who can act as your LLC’s registered agent:

  • Northwest Registered Agent offers a variety of services such as mail forwarding, compliance alerts, and online document storage.
  • Incorp is another trusted registered agent service that has been in business for over 20 years. They offer a 24/7 online portal where you can access important documents and track compliance deadlines.
  • Rocket Lawyer provides affordable registered agent services along with other legal services. They offer customizable packages to fit your specific business needs.
  • Harbor Compliance is a registered agent service specializing in compliance and regulatory issues. They provide personalized support and guidance to ensure your LLC stays compliant with state regulations.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Registered Agent for Your LLC

  • Consider your needs: Determine whether you require a professional registered agent service, or if you or a trusted associate can handle the responsibilities.

  • Check availability: Ensure that the registered agent is available during normal business hours to receive important documents.

  • Evaluate experience: Research the registered agent’s background, expertise, and reputation to ensure that they have the necessary experience and knowledge.

  • Assess communication: Confirm that the registered agent has a reliable method of promptly notifying you of any received correspondence.

  • Compare pricing: Compare fees and services offered by different registered agents to find the best value for your LLC.

Changing or Updating Your LLC’s Registered Agent

If you need to change your LLC’s registered agent, the process is relatively straightforward. You will need to file a form with the state where your LLC is registered, notifying them of the change.

The exact requirements and forms vary by state, so be sure to check with your state’s Secretary of State office for specific instructions. In general, the process involves filling out a form that includes the name and contact information of the new registered agent.

Once you have submitted the form and any necessary fees, your LLC’s registered agent will officially be updated. It is important to note that there may be a waiting period before the change takes effect, so plan accordingly if you are changing agents in anticipation of important deadlines or legal notices.

It is crucial to keep your registered agent information up-to-date to ensure that you do not miss any important documents or deadlines. If you are unsure about how to proceed or have any questions about changing your registered agent, consult with a legal professional or business advisor for guidance.


Having a registered agent for your LLC is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial component of your business’s success. By understanding the responsibilities and benefits of a registered agent, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right agent for your LLC.

Don’t leave your business vulnerable…

Invest in a reliable registered agent to protect your interests and ensure compliance with state regulations.

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About the Author

jack nicholaisen
Jack Nicholaisen

Jack Nicholaisen is the founder of After acheiving the rank of Eagle Scout and studying Civil Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), he has spent the last 4 years disecting the mess of informaiton online about LLCs in order to help aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners better understand everything there is to know about starting, running, and growing Limited Liability Companies and other business entities.