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FAQs About the Best Registered Agent Services

A registered agent (also known in some states as a statutory agent or resident agent) is an individual or business entity that receives document deliveries on your behalf from your state of formation. Your registered agent informs you whenever they receive a document for your business and forwards any relevant documents to you.

While this may sound like a somewhat unnecessary middleman, the registered agent’s role is crucial because the government and process servers need to have a way to reliably contact a representative of your business.
Yes, you must designate a registered agent when forming an LLC.
While it is legal in all states to serve as your LLC’s own registered agent, we almost never recommend doing so. While it can save you around $20/month, the biggest issue is that you could be notified of a lawsuit at your place of business in front of customers, which is bad for business.

In addition, if you serve as your own registered agent, you will need to be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday because if someone tries to serve you for a lawsuit and you’re not around, the suit could continue in your absence, without your knowledge.
Some entrepreneurs do choose to designate their accountant (or their lawyer) as their registered agent. This is a better idea than serving as your own agent because most accountants keep standard business hours at their offices and are therefore available to be registered agents. Plus, because you already do business with them, you know you can trust them.

On the other hand, accountants often charge high rates for this service and may not have any experience as registered agents. Also, if you want to expand to additional states, you’ll need a different registered agent because most accountants only have locations in one state.
In some cases, yes. Many professional registered agent services include some sort of compliance monitor tool that allows you to keep track of your important filing deadlines.
If you’d like to learn more about the best registered agent services on our list, check out our reviews:
  • ZenBusiness LLC Review
  • Northwest Registered Agent LLC Review
  • Incfile LLC Review
  • Rocket Lawyer LLC Review
  • CorpNet LLC Review
  • LegalZoom LLC Review
  • MyCorporation LLC Review
Note: Our reviews specifically focus on the LLC formation services for each provider, but they’ll give you an idea of what to expect from each company.
This varies by state, but in most states, you will need to file a “Change of Registered Agent” form with the state you do business in. This is typically a rather simple form, although there is usually a small fee required. In some states, you can also change registered agents by indicating the change in your LLC annual report or by amending your Articles of Organization. If you’d like a more in-depth look at the process, check out our full guide to changing a registered agent.
Nope. If you try to form an LLC without designating a registered agent, the state will reject your filing as being incomplete. You would then need to get a registered agent and re-file your business formation documents to be able to form a compliant company.
While not all registered agent services provide ongoing compliance assistance, some of them do. Usually, this is in the form of an online compliance dashboard, where you can track due dates for your important business filings and access digital copies of scanned documents.