What Is a Registered Agent?

In the United States, registered agents are responsible for receiving legal documents and government notices on behalf of businesses. They also forward important paperwork to the business. Many companies choose to hire a professional service company to save time and money, while meeting state requirements.

Companies such as LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and IncFile provide registered agent services for a fee. They can serve as your registered agent in all 50 states and help with compliance filings.

Service of Process

The main function of a registered agent is to ensure that legal papers get delivered to the right person. This is referred to as service of process, and it’s one of the reasons that state LLC and corporation laws require domestic and foreign entities to designate an agent for service of process.

The agent’s name and address must be on file with the state, so members of the public can easily locate them. Depending on the jurisdiction, the agent may also be required to forward notifications of lawsuits and government correspondence directly to the business entity.

Choosing a statutory agent who provides nationwide service can be very useful for businesses that operate across multiple states or plan on expanding to additional states. This can simplify the process by ensuring that all important notices and documents are received consistently and in accordance with the law. It can also help avoid costly litigation over what was or wasn’t properly served.


Most states require corporations and LLCs to have a registered agent. However, many business owners choose to use a professional service instead of designating themselves or an employee as the company’s registered agent.

A good registered agent will receive legal and government correspondence on behalf of the business, forward it to the business owner and notify them of any upcoming deadlines or actions they need to take. This prevents businesses from missing important documents and gives the business peace of mind knowing it has a reliable and accurate contact for service of process notices or time-sensitive compliance documentation.

Many professional registered agents also provide additional services, such as providing a virtual office and e-mail addresses for the business. This allows the business to save on costs and still have a physical address that can be used for mailings. Businesses that operate in multiple states or plan to expand to other states may want to consider a registered agent services provider that offers national coverage so all important documents and notifications are received at one consistent location.


A professional registered agent services business owners by handling time-sensitive documents, such as lawsuits and subpoenas. They also keep track of compliance filing deadlines and notify the business when they are approaching. This is a valuable service for businesses that operate on a state-wide basis because each state has different requirements and laws.

Although it is possible to be your own registered agent, if you work non-standard hours or travel often, it can be burdensome for you to regularly check and sort through official paperwork on behalf of your business. A commercial service can provide you with a dedicated address, and most will promptly scan all of your documentation so that you can access it in digital form.

Some of the best New York registered agents include Northwest, Harbor Compliance and CT Corporation. Other services, such as Sundoc Filings, offer a lower level of service but cost less than a professional registered agent. You can choose to meet publication requirements by running advertisements in local newspapers, but this can be expensive.


Businesses often hire a service to serve as their registered agent because it can make sure important documents and deadlines are handled and relayed. Having the service act as an intermediary also helps maintain privacy by keeping the business’s private address out of public records, especially when a lawsuit or other urgent documentation is served.

The requirements for a registered agent vary by state, but in general, the person must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the state where the business is registered to do business. The agent must also have a physical address in the state (P.O. boxes are not acceptable) and be available during normal business hours to receive documents and accept service of process.

A person or company may be their own registered agent, but it’s more common for businesses that operate in multiple states to designate a national service provider as their agent. This can simplify the process of renewing agents in different states and also makes it easier to track the status of all registered agents from a central location.

Mr. Yasir Asif at strongestinworld is team member who loves to write informational articles, find information and share the learning with the community.

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