Before starting your Oregon LLC by filing the Articles of Organization with the Oregon Secretary of State, you first need to select a Registered Agent for your LLC.
A Registered Agent is a person or a company who agrees to accept legal mail on behalf of your Oregon LLC in case your business gets sued. Legal mail is more specifically known as Service of Process, and this can include items like complaints, summons, and subpoenas.
In short, this is how the court and legal system works. They need to know that there is a reliable street address in Oregon where important documents can be delivered to an LLC, and the delivery of these documents can be tracked (similar to Certified Mail Return Receipt).
An Oregon Registered Agent may also serve as a general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, annual report reminders, and other documents.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Oregon. PO Boxes are not allowed.
Additionally, Oregon has strict rules around the use of Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies (CMRAs) and Private Mailboxes (PMBs). In short, you cannot use these addresses for your Oregon LLC’s Registered Agent address. The state runs all addresses through a USPS database verification.
Your Oregon LLC’s Registered Agent needs to be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday, in case Service of Process for your LLC arrives and someone needs to sign for it.
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.
Who Can Be Your LLC’s Registered Agent in Oregon?
When forming an LLC in Oregon, you have 3 options:
Option 1: You can be your own Registered Agent.
Option 2: A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Option 3: You can hire a Commercial Registered Agent.
Important: If your Registered Agent is going to be an individual (you, a friend, or a family member), that individual needs to: have a street address in Oregon, be a resident of Oregon, be available during business hours, and be at least 18 years of age.
How Do I Know Which One to Choose?
If you have a street address in Oregon (such as a home or office address), are a resident of the state, are available during business hours, and are at least 18 years of age, then you can serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent.
If you don’t have a street address in Oregon, you can use a friend or family member’s address. They’ll need to agree to be the Registered Agent, have a street address in Oregon, be a resident of the state, be available during business hours, and be at least 18 years of age.
If you don’t have a street address in Oregon, and you don’t have a friend or family member’s address that you can use (or you prefer not to), you can hire a Commercial Registered Agent.
Commercial Registered Agents in Oregon
A Commercial Registered Agent is a company that specializes in receiving Service of Process on behalf of your Oregon LLC. The majority of Commercial Registered Agents in Oregon charge between $100 and $300 per year.
Once hired, they will receive Service of Process on behalf of your Oregon LLC and then forward it to you by mail at any address you’d like. Most Commercial Registered Agents will actually email your documents for faster delivery.
If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent in Oregon, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Why we recommend Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use ourselves) because they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have great customer service, and they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing in order to keep your address off public record.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many filers in Oregon start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that all addresses that are on your LLC’s Articles of Organization get listed on public record and may appear in google searches.
If you were thinking of using your home address, but would rather keep it off public records, you can hire a Registered Agent that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization. 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 address throughout your Articles of Organization.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.
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.
Are there risks if you, a friend, or family are the Registered Agent in Oregon?
In short, there are risks. They are not that likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection.
You’ll need to weigh pros and cons and see what makes you feel most comfortable. Being your own Registered Agent (or using a friend or family member) will save you some money, but it may expose you to unwanted risk. On the other hand, hiring a Commercial Registered Agent does cost a little bit more, but it may help you sleep better at night.
For example, if the state is unsuccessful in reaching your Oregon Registered Agent, you may lose your good standing status, and the state has the authority to dissolve your Oregon LLC.
Additionally, if a process server is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Registered Agent about a lawsuit (they will try a few times), 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 Oregon Registered Agent:
- you, your friend, family member are not there during business hours
- you/they are on vacation
- you/they moved and forgot to file a change of Registered Agent with the Secretary of State
Hiring a Commercial Registered Agent in Oregon is a more reliable setup and gives you the freedom to take vacations and not worry about changing your Registered Agent address if you move.
Many Commercial Registered Agents will also help keep your Oregon LLC in compliance by sending you reminders of annual reporting requirements.
Once you determine who will serve as your Oregon LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Oregon LLC Articles of Organization.
If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent in Oregon, please do so before going to the next step. You’ll need their complete company name and street address in order to list them in your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
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