New York LLC Registered Agent

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What is a New York Registered Agent (and why is it so confusing)?

When it comes to forming a New York LLC, this state has a lot of quirks (things that are outside of the norm).

The biggest quirk is the newspaper publication requirement, which is a major expense for most people if they don’t follow a publication strategy. The state requires that all LLCs in New York publish 2 ads in the newspaper within 120 days of formation.

And the 2nd biggest quirk is about Registered Agents, or more particularly, the delivery of service of process.

In most states, a Registered Agent is required to form an LLC. A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail (known as “Service of Process for an LLC“) on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued. A Registered Agent can be a person, like the owner of the LLC, or a professional Registered Agent company, also called a Commercial Registered Agent.

However, Section 301 of the New York LLC Statute states (among other things):

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 agent for all LLCs in the state.

To further complicate things, the state will allow an LLC to also have a Registered Agent listed.

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

How it works:

The answer is the newspaper publication requirement.

Since the county location of the LLC’s office dictates where the newspaper ads must be published, hiring a Registered Agent (one located in an affordable county, like Albany) who will let you use their address can save you a lot of money.

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

In order to publish your ads in an 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. A few months later (once all the publication requirements are met), you can change your address if needed.

Also, Northwest Registered Agent will let you use their address throughout your Articles of Organization (county location/office address, address for forwarding of service of process, organizer’s address, and filer’s address) in order to keep yours 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 address you list in the Articles of Organization.

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)

They won’t publish your ads for you (we’ll show you how to do that here), however, they’ll help save you money on your newspaper fees and they’ll keep your address off of public records.

What do you think?

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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.

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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