New York Registered Agent (2024 LLC Guide)

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When it comes to forming a New York LLC, this state has a lot of quirks. The biggest two are the New York Registered Agent requirements, and the publication requirements. We’ll walk you through these unique LLC rules, step-by-step.

What is a New York Registered Agent?

In most states, a Registered Agent is required to form a Limited Liability Company.

Registered AgentA New York Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail (known as “Service of Process“) on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued.

Who can be a Registered Agent in New York?

A Registered Agent can be a person (like the owner of the LLC), or a professional Registered Agent Service (also called a Commercial Registered Agent).

However, Section 301 of the New York LLC Statute states:

“The Secretary of State shall be the agent for every LLC upon which process may be served. No LLC may be formed in New York unless its Articles of Organization designates the Secretary of State as the agent for service of process.”

Said another way, the Secretary of State acts as the New York Registered Agent for all LLCs in the state.

To further complicate things, the state will allow an LLC to also list a second New York Registered Agent for your New York business.

So if the state acts as the agent for all LLCs (and requires it), what would be the point of hiring a Registered Agent Service for your New York LLC?

That’s where the newspaper publication requirement comes in.

What is the New York publication requirement?

The state requires all LLCs in New York to publish 2 ads in the newspaper within 120 days of formation.

And your newspaper ad must be published in the county that matches your LLC’s address as listed on your Articles of Organization. This means that if you list an address located in the 5 boroughs, your publication costs in the New York City newspapers could cost as much as $1,500.

This can make the newspaper publication requirement a major expense for most people if they don’t follow a publication strategy.

How much money can I save with a publication strategy?

LLC PublicationThe county location of your LLC’s principal office determines where the newspaper ads must be published.

This means you can save a lot of money by hiring a New York Registered Agent Service who will let you use their street address located in an affordable county (like Albany County.

For people in the 5 boroughs, this can save you $1,000 or more on newspaper fees.

How to save money using a publication strategy:

In order to publish your ads in Albany county, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

This will allow you to use their Albany address and publish your newspaper ads in that county. Once all the publication requirements are met a few months later, you can change your address if needed.

Also, Northwest Registered Agent will let you use their New York business address throughout your Articles of Organization in order to keep your own physical address off public record.

This privacy feature is offered at no additional cost. We find this particularly helpful, since so much junk mail gets sent to the physical address you list in the Articles of Organization.

Northwest won’t publish your ads for you (we’ll show you how to do that in our New York Publication Requirement guide). However, they’ll help save you money on your newspaper fees and they’ll keep your address off of public records.

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

New York Registered Agent FAQs

How much does a Registered Agent cost in New York?

LLC CostIf you (or a friend or family member) will be your Registered Agent, there is no cost.

If you want to hire a New York Registered Agent Service, it will cost between $100 and $300 per year.

How do I find Registered Agent Services in New York?

A few states offer a list of Registered Agent Services. However, these lists aren’t very helpful because they only have contact information.

Instead, it’s often better to google “Registered Agent in New York”, read reviews, and make phone calls to check if their services are a good match for your LLC.

However, we know that this can still be a headache, so we’ve reviewed the top Registered Agent Services in New York for you.

Check out the FAQ below to find the best New York Registered Agent Service for your LLC!

What is the best Registered Agent Service in New York?

We’ve reviewed the top Registered Agent Services in the industry and think the best Registered Agent Services in New York are:

To learn more about how these companies compare against each other, check out Best Registered Agent Services in New York.

Is LegalZoom a good New York Registered Agent Service?

While LegalZoom is a popular option, it doesn’t mean they’re the best Registered Agent. LegalZoom is $299 per year, they don’t offer address privacy, and many online reviews complain that it’s hard to cancel services.

While they’re a well-recognized brand name, there are better options for half the price.

For example, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent because they cost less and offer address privacy. Check out our review of Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom for a detailed comparison.

If you’re already using LegalZoom as your New York Registered Agent Service and would like to switch to another company, you can file a Change of Registered Agent form with the New York Secretary of State to update this information.

What is the difference between a Registered Agent and an LLC Member?

A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets involved in a lawsuit.

An LLC Member is another name for an LLC owner.

Being a New York Registered Agent doesn’t automatically make someone a Member of your LLC. A Registered Agent’s authority is limited to accepting legal documents for your business and then forwarding it to you.

That said, you can be both an LLC Member and the Registered Agent for a Single-Member LLC or a Multi-Member LLC.

Is a Registered Agent a Member of an LLC?

No, a New York Registered Agent doesn’t automatically become an LLC Member (owner).

The only authority granted to New York Registered Agents is the ability to accept legal mail and forward it to the LLC Member(s). A Registered Agent isn’t granted any other authority, like access to your LLC bank account, tax returns, or any other business information.

Having said that, an LLC Member can also be the Registered Agent for their New York LLC.

Can a family member be a Registered Agent in New York?

Yes, a family member can be your Registered Agent in New York, if they meet the legal requirements.

To be your Registered Agent, your family member must have a physical address in New York. (PO Boxes aren’t allowed). And they must be available at that address during normal business hours.

Is a New York Registered Agent liable?

No, a New York 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 entity. 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.

Can I be my own Registered Agent in New York?

Yes, you can be your own Registered Agent in New York if you are resident of the state and you have a physical street address.

Check out Can I be my own Registered Agent in New York for more details.

How do I choose a Registered Agent in New York?

Choosing the best Registered Agent for your LLC depends on a few things.

New York law requires all LLCs to list the Secretary of State as their Registered Agent. That said, you can designate a second New York Registered Agent if you’d like.

If you want to save money and don’t mind your address being on public records, you can be your own Registered Agent. Or you can ask a friend or family member. You/they just need to meet the Registered Agent requirements listed above.

If you don’t have an address in the state, or don’t want to be the Registered Agent for your LLC, we recommend hiring a New York Registered Agent Service (also known as a Commercial Registered Agent).

Registered Agent companies also offer other services like filing your Annual Report for you.

(And some professional Registered Agents, like Northwest Registered Agent, offer enhanced privacy where they’ll let you use their business address in the address fields throughout your entire LLC filing. This includes your Registered Agent’s address, and your LLC’s principal address).

A Registered Agent Service is a great option if you want to keep your information off public record or don’t meet the state requirements (like not being available during normal business hours).

Additionally, if you want to save time, you can also hire Northwest as your LLC Formation Service.

What do you think?

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Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
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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4 comments on “New York 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. Hi Matt,
    We got a quite helpful comment from you when we were forming LLC last year.
    We hope you can advise us again..

    We used one of the New York registered agents for the newspaper publication requirement. Once it was done, we changed the address to ours. Do you think we should still keep the registered agent service for another year? We got a renewal notice, but cannot decide if we should keep it or cancel.

    We really appreciate this valuable site and your kind comments. Thank you!!

    • Hey Nao! Thank you for the kind words! Glad to have you back ;) If the only purpose was for publication, there isn’t much of a reason to keep a Commercial Registered Agent in New York. The reason is, is that by default, the New York Secretary of State acts as the Registered Agent for all LLCs and then forwards any Service of Process to your address. The one benefit of keeping a Commercial Registered Agent in place was if you didn’t want to have your address listed on your LLC’s filing (for privacy reasons). Hope that helps :)

      • Thanks for your reply, Matt!
        That’s exactly what we wanted to know.
        We truly appreciate your help!!!

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