Can I be my own Registered Agent in PA?

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Deal alert! Northwest will form your LLC for $39 (60% discount). See details.

Yes, you can be your own Registered Agent in Pennsylvania as long as you meet the state requirements.

(Unfortunately, most Registered Agent Services and LLC filing companies hide this information.)

We explain the pros and cons below so you can make your own decision.

What is a Pennsylvania Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is a person or a company who receives legal documents and notices from the state for your LLC.

If your business is involved in a lawsuit, the Pennsylvania Registered Agent will accept Service of Process for your LLC. This is when legal documents are delivered to or “served on” your business.

Note: Some states call the Registered Agent a Resident Agent or Statutory Agent. These all mean the same thing, so we always call it a Registered Agent to keep it simple.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

Who can be a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

There are three options for who can be your Pennsylvania Registered Agent:

  1. You can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
  2. A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
  3. You can hire a professional Registered Agent Service for your LLC

What is a Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service?

A Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service is a company that you pay to be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Pennsylvania.

(A Registered Agent Service is also called a Commercial Registered Agent or a Commercial Registered Office Provider.)

The Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service receives Service of Process for your LLC and forwards it to you electronically or by mail. Some Registered Agent Services also offer additional LLC services, like forming your LLC for you.

Pennsylvania Registered Agent Requirements

All Pennsylvania Registered Agents are required to be available at a physical street address in the state during normal business hours.

(Note: The Registered Agent’s address is called the Registered Office. The Registered Office address and the name of the Registered Agent will go on your LLC paperwork.)

If the Registered Agent is a person, they must be over 18 years old and have a physical address in Pennsylvania. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.

If the Registered Agent is a company (a Registered Agent Service), it must be authorized to do business in Pennsylvania.

Should you be your own Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

It depends. While being your LLC’s Registered Agent can save you money, there are some potential risks.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of being your own Pennsylvania Registered Agent.

Pros of being the Registered Agent for your LLC:

  • You save money.
  • It’s one less online account to keep track of if you don’t hire a Registered Agent Service.
  • Documents go directly to you. You don’t have to wait for someone to forward or email them.

Cons of being the Registered Agent for your LLC:

  • You might miss an important notice or legal document. This could happen if you travel often or forget to check your mail.
  • Registered Agent information is public record. Companies can use public records to send you junk mail, or post your address online.

If you aren’t bothered by your address being public, being your own Registered Agent is a great way to save money.

Should I hire a Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service?

You should hire a Registered Agent Service if:

  • You don’t live in Pennsylvania
  • You don’t have a friend or family member who lives in Pennsylvania
  • You live in Pennsylvania, but don’t want to list your personal address, or don’t want to be your own Registered Agent

Our recommendation for a Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest has been the best Registered Agent Service in the business for over 20 years, and they have excellent customer service. They’re also the service we use for our own LLCs.

Hiring Northwest Registered Agent will also keep your address off of public records. This is our favorite Northwest feature. And no other Registered Agent Service offers this.

How to keep your address off public records

Northwest is a national Registered Agent Service, and lets you use their address throughout your entire LLC filing in all 50 states and D.C. This can keep your address off public records.

For example, you can list their address for any or all of the following:

(Note: The list above is an example. Some states have more address fields than others. Wherever there is an address field on the LLC filing, you can list the Northwest address if you’d like. This can keep your address off public records.)

Any mail that Northwest receives gets scanned and uploaded to your online account.

Need to save time? You can also hire Northwest to form your LLC.

Special discount for LLC University® readers

Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form a Pennsylvania LLC. But they offer a special price (60% off) for LLC University® readers.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

Pennsylvania Registered Agent FAQs

What should I look for in a Registered Agent Service?
Service of process:Do they forward documents by mail?
Do they scan and email them?
General business mail:Will they accept general business mail sent to your LLC?
Most Registered Agent Services will only accept Service of Process.
LLC Formation:Will they form your LLC with the state?
How much do they charge beyond the state filing fee?
Annual Report or other services:Do they offer Annual Report filing or other services you can buy?
How much do they charge for these?
Cost:How much do they charge for the stand-alone Registered Agent Service?
Most Registered Agent Services charge $100 to $300 per year.
Customer Support:Do they have great customer support?
Read some online reviews of the service or call and ask a few questions.

Is a Pennsylvania Registered Agent liable?

No, a Pennsylvania Registered Agent is not liable for any of the LLC’s lawsuits or debts.

Accepting documents on behalf of the LLC does not bring the Registered Agent into a lawsuit.

If you are the Registered Agent and someone sues your LLC, they are still only suing the business. The Registered Agent does not get sued. That’s true even if you are the Registered Agent and the owner of the LLC.

And only the LLC gets sued – not you, as the individual owner. That’s because an LLC protects your personal assets.

How do I choose a Registered Agent?

Choosing the right Registered Agent for your LLC depends on your specific business needs.

We’ll guide you through your options and how to choose a Registered Agent, so you can confidently pick the best one for your LLC.

Where do I list myself as the Registered Agent?

The name and address of the Pennsylvania Registered Agent goes in the LLC filing paperwork.

Every state requires an LLC to list a Registered Agent and Registered Office (the Registered Agent address). This information goes on public record, so that a process server, if needed, can serve your LLC.

Is a Registered Agent a Member of a Pennsylvania LLC?

No, a Pennsylvania Registered Agent is not automatically an LLC Member (aka owner).

Meaning, just listing someone as a Registered Agent doesn’t make them a Member of your LLC.

Learn more: Registered Agent vs LLC Member

Registered Agent Service:

If you hire a Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service, they won’t be a Member of your LLC.

You:

If you are a Member of an LLC and you want to be your own Registered Agent, then that is totally okay. In that case, you are both a Member of the LLC and the Registered Agent for the LLC.

Friend or family:

If a friend or family member is your LLC Registered Agent, they can be a Member of your LLC (if you make them one). But they aren’t automatically a Member just because you list them as the Registered Agent.

Who can be a Pennsylvania Registered Agent and an LLC Member?

Who:Can they be the Registered Agent?Can they be a Member of the LLC?
YouYes, if you live in the state where you formed your LLCYes, always
Friend or familyYes, if they live in the state where you formed your LLCYes, if they co-own the LLC with you
Registered Agent ServiceYesNo, never

Is a Pennsylvania Registered Agent necessary?

Yes, a Pennsylvania Registered Agent is necessary. State law requires someone to be available to accept Service of Process for your LLC.

You must list a Registered Agent on your LLC paperwork. And then you must continuously maintain (keep) one on file with the state as long as your LLC exists.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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