Can the owner of an LLC be the registered agent?  The person or agency appointed to receive legal notices on behalf of an LLC or corporation is a registered agent. Notices that a registered agent receives include services of process, correspondence with the state, and state and federal tax notifications. The registered agent for service of process can be anyone. 

It can be a service hired to fill the role, an outside person, the business owner, or an employee. In every state, the LLC is required to provide the name and address of the company's registered agent in the documents filed with the state when the entity is formed. The role is important, and in certain states the appointee signs a document agreeing to serve as the company's registered agent.

Facts About Registered Agents

The registered agent's role is important, especially when a company is located out of state. Here are a few of the agent's responsibilities: 

  • Every company needs a way for the public to contact it regarding legal matters. That is the role the registered agent serves.
  • A registered agent service is a company that accepts notices and services of process for other companies.
  • These registered agent services have procedures to notify companies when legal documents arrive.
  • The registered agent of a limited liability company is responsible for maintaining a copy of the company's operating agreement and the articles of incorporation
  • The registered agent must keep the required documents at the location listed in the articles of incorporation.

Reasons You Should Not Be Your Own Registered Agent 

Here are a few reasons why you should not be your own registered agent:

  • The registered agent is required to maintain an office in the state where the company is formed. 
  • A P.O. box or mail service is not sufficient. The office must be a brick-and-mortar location with an actual person where someone can deliver a service of process and signature- required mail. 
  • If the company was formed out of state you may not want to maintain an office in that state.
  • The owner may not want to use his or her home address due to privacy and safety concerns.
  • If you move a lot or do not have a long-term permanent residence, you should use a registered agent.
  • A fee is usually required for each change of address you file.
  • Registered agents are required to be at their location during business hours, and it is often difficult for small-business owners to be in one location during business hours. 
  • Missing an important meeting is costly for your company. Hiring a registered agent means that you do not have to miss critical appointments.
  • A business must have a designated registered agent in each state it does business in. It is often very expensive to keep a brick-and-mortar location in each of those states. Hiring a registered agent service can be less expensive than maintaining a location and paying an employee to man it during business hours.
  • A service ensures that you do not miss an important litigation notice.
  • If your company is served legal documents you are spared the embarrassment of being served in front of your clients.

Using a third party as the registered agent for your LLC facilitates the smooth operation of your business and gives you added peace of mind in knowing a reliable person is there to receive all of your business's important legal documents. You can help maintain your LLC's reputation and integrity by employing a reliable registered agent. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

It is important to know who is eligible to be a registered agent. The requirements:

  • A person who is 18 or older.
  • That person must have a home or office in the state in which the company is formed. For example, if you form your company in Texas, and your wife is a stay-at-home-mom at your residence in Houston, your wife can act as your LLC's agent. But, if the owner's home is in Colorado, his wife cannot be the agent because she does not have an address in Texas.
  • That person must be available at the business address during business hours.

If you need help with selecting a registered agent or forming your business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.