Florida Registered Agent for an LLC (2023 Guide)

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Deal alert! Our favorite company, Northwest, is forming LLCs for $39 (60% off!) See details.

Choosing a Registered Agent for your LLC

Before filing your Articles of Organization with the Department of State, you need to select a Registered Agent for your Florida LLC.

What does a Registered Agent do?

A Florida Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail on behalf of your LLC in case your Florida business gets sued.

Registered AgentFlorida Registered Agents also serve as the general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, payment reminders, and other documents.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

All Registered Agents must have a physical address in Florida (PO Boxes aren’t allowed).

Your Florida Registered Agent must also be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case Service of Process arrives. Service of Process for an LLC includes delivery of legal documents such as complaints, summons, or subpoenas.

Why does my LLC need a Florida Registered Agent?

In short, this is how the Florida court and legal systems work. Requiring all Florida LLCs to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state makes sure that delivery of legal mail and court documents can be properly tracked.

It’s similar to how certified mail with a return receipt works. It creates a physical record that something was delivered.

Who can be a Florida Registered Agent?

You have 3 options for who can be the Registered Agent for your Florida business:

  1. You can you can be your own Florida Registered Agent (are there risks?)
  2. A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
  3. You can hire a Florida Registered Agent Service, also known as a Florida Commercial Registered Agent.

What’s the best Registered Agent option to choose?

If you have a street address located in Florida (such as a home or Florida business address), and are available during business hours, you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.

If you don’t have a street address in Florida, you can use a friend or family member’s address. They need to have a street address in Florida and be available during business hours.

If you don’t have a street address in Florida, and you don’t have a friend or family member’s address that you can use (or prefer not to), you can hire a Florida Registered Agent Service Company.

Using a Registered Agent Service Company in Florida also offers more privacy (can keep your address off public records) and can be a more reliable setup.

Is a Registered Agent address public?

Yes, your Florida Registered Agent address is public record. In fact, all information you enter in your Articles of Organization becomes public record with the Florida Department of State.

While you do have the option to be your own Registered Agent in Florida (or use a friend or family member), you may not want to have your address listed in public records.

Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their website. Then things begin to multiply as other public record websites take that same information and list it on their website again (and the process repeats itself).

Pretty soon your address is listed on various websites and people can easily find it by doing a Google search.

If you’d like to keep your address off of public records, we have a strategy for that.

Florida Registered Agent Services

Note: The terms “Florida Registered Agent Service” and “Florida Commercial Registered Agent” mean the same thing. We will use them both interchangeably.

A Florida Registered Agent Service specializes in receiving Service of Process (legal documents) on behalf of your LLC.

Since most companies offer free mail forwarding, any mail or Service of Process that is sent to your LLC will be forwarded to you, or scanned and uploaded to your online account.

Most Registered Agent Services in Florida cost between $100 and $300 per year.

Who’s the best Florida Registered Agent Service?

The Florida Registered Agent Service that we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer service.

However, one of the greatest things about using Northwest is the privacy feature.

How to keep your address off public records:

It’s important to realize that your Registered Agent address (and all addresses in your LLC’s Articles of Organization) become a part of public record. If you want to keep your address off of public record, using a Registered Agent that will allow you to use their business address as your LLC’s address can be very helpful.

Northwest Registered Agent provides this unique service at no additional cost. They offer Registered Agent services for $125 per year and they’ll let you use their business address throughout your Articles of Organization.

Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your secure online account.

You can use their business address in all sections of your Articles of Organization:

  • Cover letter address
  • Principal Office address
  • Mailing address
  • Registered Agent address
  • Member/Manager address

Any mail that is sent to Northwest for your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded by your Registered Agent online.

Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers

Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)

Risks of being your own Florida Registered Agent

As mentioned above, you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Florida. In fact, you, a friend, or a family member can be your Florida Registered Agent.

But are there any risks to being your LLC’s Registered Agent?

In short, there are risks. They are not very likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection and the Florida Department of State has the power to administratively dissolve (shut down) your LLC.

This can happen if you don’t maintain (always have) a Registered Agent on file, or if the Department of State is unsuccessful in reaching your Florida Registered Agent.

Additionally, if a process server (a person who serves court documents and notices of lawsuits) is unsuccessful in reaching your Florida Registered Agent, a court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it. Worse, the court could enter a default judgment against your LLC if you aren’t there to defend yourself.

A few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your Florida LLC’s Registered Agent:

  • You, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
  • You/they are on vacation or out of town
  • You/they moved and you forgot to file a Change of Registered Agent with the state

Using a Florida Registered Agent Service like Northwest Registered Agent is a more reliable setup and offers more privacy.

It also gives you the freedom to take vacations and not worry about changing your Registered Agent address if you move.

Next Step

Once you determine who will serve as your Florida LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Florida LLC Articles of Organization.

If you need to hire a Florida Registered Agent Service, please do so before going to the next step.

What do you think?

Can you take 10 seconds and rate this lesson?

Florida Registered Agent FAQs

Articles of OrganizationHow long it takes to get an LLC in Florida depends on how you file your Articles of Organization.
If you form a Florida LLC online, it will be approved in 1-2 business days.

If you form your LLC by mail, it’ll take 5-7 business days for the state to process your Florida Articles of Organization filing. So it’ll be about 3-4 weeks total before you receive the approval documents back in the mail.

A Florida LLC can have an out of state address for their mailing address and/or the Principal Office Address. However, all LLCs are required to have a physical Florida address listed for their LLC’s Registered Agent.

If you don’t want to use your home address, you can hire Northwest as your premium Registered Agent Service.

Northwest Registered Agent will let you use their address throughout your business entity filing. They’ll help you meet state requirements without the headache that comes with having your information on public records – or having to rent office space in Florida.

Northwest is who we use for our own LLCs and we highly recommend them for the best LLC services. Read our full Northwest Registered Agent review to see for our detailed breakdown about why they’re the best in the business.
You can use a PO Box for your Florida LLC’s mailing address.

However, you can’t use a PO Box for your LLC’s Principal Office address. The Principal Office address is the main address for your Florida business. This must be a physical address.

You also can’t use a PO Box for your LLC’s Registered Agent address. This must be a physical address and it must be located in Florida.

Registered AgentYes, you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent. Florida law allows any consenting adult who is a Florida resident to be your LLC’s Registered Agent. That includes you, a friend, or a family member.

Just know that anyone serving as your Registered Agent will have their address made public record as your Florida Registered Office address.

If you aren’t comfortable with your address being on public record, then you can hire Northwest Registered Agent as your Registered Agent in Florida. They’ll let you use their own business address for their Florida office throughout your formation documents. This makes sure your information remains private while still meeting all Florida legal requirements.

Matt Horwitz
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.

26 comments on “Florida Registered Agent”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Can I change my registered agent after filing? For example I set myself as my registered agent but later I decide to select a Commercial Registered Agent can I do so?

    Reply
    • Hi Ian, yes, you certainly can. You can change your Registered Agent via this form (http://form.sunbiz.org/pdf/inhs18.pdf) and the $25 filing fee, or you can just change/update the Registered Agent information when you file your Florida LLC’s Annual Report (no extra charge).

      Reply
      • I went to work for a company as a sales person, but they needed a registered agent since they are from out of state. Since that time of signing on as they’re registered agent, we have had a falling out and I no longer want to be there. registered agent. How would I remove myself from being there a registered agent and what power do I have? this company has done me very wrong. They took advantage of my home address and my investment. And now I want to try to remove myself from anything connected with their company. And I don’t feel obligated to let them know whatever consequences make him or to even warn them that I am doing it.

        Reply
  2. Hey Matt, thank you so much for sharing knowledge with us!
    I am foreign and will open a LLC in Florida for E-commerce. I am confused and have a few questions:
    1- From the beginning May I use Registered Agent address as my company address to open the business or Should I hire a virtual address to receive documents will be sent to my LLC?
    2- Do you know if IncFile or Northwest scan and forward documents to any address I will inform them, of course I will pay for it.

    Reply
    • Hi Fernando, you’re very welcome. Florida actually allows for a virtual office to be listed as the Registered Office. So you can list your name as the Registered Agent and the address of your FL virtual office. You can also hire a Commercial Registered Agent like Northwest Registered Agent. Hiring Northwest will be cheaper compared to a virtual office, and any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded to your online account. The only added benefit of a virtual office would be if you needed to receive packages. Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • I re-read your comment and wanted to add a followup.
        1. You can choose either one, really. In my opinion, the only need for a virtual address/office is if your LLC needs to receive packages. If not, I’d just use a Commercial Registered Agent as both the Registered Agent, and your office address (if they allow it). The company we recommend (which allows this setup) is Northwest Registered Agent.
        2. Yes, both companies will scan your mail into your online dashboard. But I’d go with NWRA, as IncFile is not setup to handle foreign accounts very well.

        Reply
  3. Hi Matt,
    My family member is using my name and address as their Registered Agent for all of their/our family LLCs in Florida. Should I be worried? Am I liable for anything?
    Thanks,
    Shawn

    Reply
    • Hey Shawn, you are not liable for anything unless you are a Member of the LLC. If you don’t feel comfortable with it though, you can have your family list someone else or they could hire a Commercial Registered Agent.

      Reply
  4. Can anyone view the name of the owner of the LLC if you ise a,different registered agent than the owner? Is saw that your address could be private at least.

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, it’s not just the Registered Agent field that you need to keep an eye out for, but every section of the Articles of Organization (and the upcoming Annual Reports). You should carefully examine each field to make sure you like what you’ll be entering there. If you hire Northwest Registered Agent they’ll let you use their address throughout your filing in order to keep your private. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  5. Hey Matt, love your services. I was recommended to you from another blog. I am starting an online business. I currently reside in Florida. I see that NWRA might be my best choice. I have to sign up for NWRA first right? Then sign up for a LLC through INC FILE? I do not think I will be receiving any big packages so I do not think I need a virtual office…but I was wondering what a virtual office was? But thank you for your time and effort in developing this blog, very insightful and helpful on my journey. Any other resources you recommend for someone who is starting an online business? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Steven, thank you for the nice comment! You’re very welcome :) Yes, you’re correct in the sign up order. Also, Northwest Registered Agent can do the LLC filing for an all-in-one checkout if you’d like. A virtual office may offer registered agent services as well as more mail services, including packages, but not all virtual offices offer registered agent services. Registered agent service don’t accept large packages. Just service of process really, but in the case of Northwest Registered Agent, they’ll also receive regular mail and scan it to you. Regarding other resources, let me get a little more narrow to see if I can help. When you say online business, what type of online business? Who are you trying to reach and via what mediums? Is this your first business? What are your fears and sticking points?

      Reply
  6. Do Corporations need a registered agent or is just LLC’s? Also, I am currently listed as my husband’s company registered agent.. As a registered agent can we sign company documents? For example, tax returns

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Cristina, yes, Corporations also need to appoint a Registered Agent. No, a Registered Agent, by nature of being a Registered Agent, isn’t authorized to sign on behalf of the company. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  7. without my authorization someone changed the registered agent from my company is this allowed in Florida without the agents authorization?

    Reply
    • A Registered Agent doesn’t have authority over the LLC. If someone with authority, either an LLC Member, LLC Manager, or someone authorized by an LLC Member/Manager has chosen to revoke your company as the Registered Agent, then that is completely okay, and normal.

      Reply
  8. Probably a dumb question, can a RA file for workers comp. exemption? Im thinking you would probably have to be an “officer”????

    Reply
    • The Registered Agent has no authority over the LLC, so no, that would need to be an LLC Member, LLC Manager, or authorized representative if allowed. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  9. Hello,

    If I am starting an online apparel business what is the best route to take as far as a registered agent goes? I see NWRA being brought up but I will be shipping and receiving clothing shipments, as well as returns. So should I go with the virtual office? and what is the best virtual office ? how does it work? I was thinking maybe I’d start with putting myself, I am just unsure if getting a service would be smarter . Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Samantha, your Registered Agent address doesn’t have to be the address you use for receiving shipments. You can receive shipments to any location you’d like. Furthermore, that shipping address doesn’t have to be an address that’s listed on your Florida LLC’s Articles of Organization (you can get items shipped wherever you need). I recommend printing off the Articles of Organization and reviewing it. You have the Registered Agent address, the Principal Office Address, the Mailing Address, and the address(es) of the Member(s)/Manager(s).

      • The Registered Agent address is for service of process. This can be your address or the address of a Commercial Registered Agent (such as Northwest Registered Agent).

      • The Principal Office Address: think of this as your “HQ”. This is where the business is operating from.

      • The Mailing Address is what the FL Department of State will use for sending your LLC mail. This address can be different than the Principal Office Address or they can be the same.

      • The address(es) of the Member(s)/Manager(s). Nothing is mailed here. It’s just for the record.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  10. Hi, how do I change my registered agent? I’d like to chance it from legal zoom to a family member who is a resident in Florida. Can I be the registered agent of my own LLC?

    Reply
    • Hi Marissa, did you file your LLC’s Annual Report? It’s due between January 1st and May 1st each year. If you haven’t filed it yet, when you do file it, you can just change your Registered Agent that way. There is no extra fee to update/change your Registered Agent via your Annual Report, but the Annual Report itself costs $138.75.

      If you’ve already filed your Annual Report, you can still change your LLC’s Registered Agent via the “Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or both for Limited Liability Company” (long name, I know). The fee is $25.

      And yes, you, a friend, or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent as long as you/they are a Florida resident. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  11. Hi, I found out that my husband’s son set up a LLC at our address (the house is mine by the way). I did not have knowledge of it at the time. He put the businesses physical address at my residence (he lives in New York) and he also listed himself as the registered agent at my residence. I feel that there could be problems doing this and I do not want to be involved. Am I in any way responsible for any legal problems that could come up?
    Thanks,
    Carol

    Reply
    • Hi Carol, no, you are not responsible since you are not an LLC Member and you are not the LLC’s Registered Agent. Just having your address listed doesn’t make you responsible (and it doesn’t put your home at risk). If your son wants to keep his Florida LLC active, but you don’t want him to use your address, we recommend having a conversation with him. He can either change the Registered Agent address and Principal Office Address to a friend’s address or hire a Registered Agent company that allows him to use their Registered Agent address as the Registered Agent address and the Principal Office Address. In that case, we recommend he check out Northwest Registered Agent. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  12. Hi Matt long time ago I request some information when I was in the process for the LLC constitution. Finally I select to Northwest Register Agent according your recommendation and propaganda.
    For me this company is not very good not only do not charge the fees that you mention, is a fact that I pay $363 annually and they never inform about the taxes, like you say it was necessarily to pay a penalty for $10,000 USA to the government for this matter. They the only what they do is the Filling process and to be update. They do not provide any type of support and guide.
    I will suggest you to promoted some other better Company more engage with the costumer I start to lay them in 2019 so they make good money for nothing.
    I am living out of USA and I do not work in USA, my company work specifically in countries under development conditions, help them in agricultural development.
    I believe you will not included my comments in your site but you must take into consideration my advice.
    Best regards
    Gustavo

    Reply

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