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Last updated September 15, 2021

Can I be my own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can be your own Registered Agent when forming your LLC.

You actually have a few options for who can be your LLC Registered Agent. It depends on the state where you form your LLC.

First, let’s go over what a Registered Agent does.

What is a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is a person or company (listed on your LLC paperwork) who accepts service of process for your LLC.

Service of Process is the delivery of legal mail, such as a complaint or subpoena.

This means if your business is involved in a lawsuit, the legal mail will be sent to the Registered Agent on file. From there, the Registered Agent will forward the documents to the LLC owners.

Who can I choose to be my Registered Agent?

In most states, there are three options for who can be the Registered Agent for your LLC:

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

Some states also allow the LLC to be its own Registered Agent: Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

And things are really different in New York and West Virginia: Registered Agents aren’t required. Instead, the Secretary of State is the Registered Agent for all business entities.

What are the requirements to be a Registered Agent?

In all states (except Ohio), the Registered Agent needs to have a street address in the same state where you’re forming an LLC.

If the Registered Agent is a person, they must be at least 18 years old.

If the Registered Agent is a company, they must be authorized to do business in the state.

There may be other rules and requirements, depending on where you’re starting an LLC.

Please check the state requirements below.

Registered Agent requirements by state

 

Is it a good idea to be the Registered Agent for my LLC?

Being the Registered Agent for your LLC can save you money. However, there may be some downsides.

The positives of being your own Registered Agent are:

  • You will save money.
  • Documents get sent directly to you – you don’t have to wait for someone else to forward them.

The negatives of being your own Registered Agent are:

  • You could miss an important legal document or notice from the state. For example, this could happen if you travel often or move around a lot.
  • Additionally, the Registered Agent’s information is listed publicly. This can lead to more junk mail and your address appearing online.

If the negatives aren’t that big of a deal for you, then being your own Registered Agent is a good way to save money.

Should I hire a Registered Agent Service?

We recommend hiring a Registered Agent Service if you don’t live in the state (or know someone) where you’re forming your LLC.

Note: A Registered Agent Service is also called a Commercial Registered Agent.

Our recommendation for a Registered Agent Service

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest has an excellent reputation. They’ve been in business for more than 20 years and have amazing customer support. They are also who we use for our own LLCs.

One awesome feature of Northwest is how they can keep your address off public records. (This is something unique that only Northwest offers).

If you hire Northwest, they’ll let you list their office address throughout your LLC paperwork.

Because Northwest has offices in all 50 states and D.C., they offer this feature nationwide, no matter which state you’re forming your LLC in.

This means you can use their address for:

  • the Registered Agent address
  • the principal office address
  • the mailing address
  • the address of the LLC Members or Managers
  • the address of the LLC Organizer (if you are going to file yourself)

Northwest will receive mail sent to your LLC. Then they scan it and upload it to your online account.

In addition to being your Registered Agent, Northwest can also form your LLC (if you don’t want to file yourself).

Special discount for LLC University® readers

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

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fees), you get free registered agent service for 1 year.

More Information

If you want to learn more about the LLC formation process, including Registered Agents, check out our free LLC lessons.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. 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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