A New York State registered agent accepts service of process for a business. Many business entities in New York, including limited liability companies, are required to appoint a registered agent.

Basics of a New York Registered Agent

A New York State registered agent can take several different forms. For example, registered agents in this state can be a person, a corporation, or a limited liability company (LLC). A registered agent must have a physical street address in the state and should be willing to accept a business's official mail and service of process.

New York requires that a registered agent have the ability to accept any documents sent to a business by the state:

  • Demands
  • Notices
  • Service of process

Registered businesses in New York are required to name a registered agent. The main reason that New York businesses are required to have a registered agent is so that the state Corporations Division and the general public will be easily able to contact these businesses.

New York registered agents will have several characteristics:

  • Accepting business documents and then delivering them to you as soon as possible.
  • Possessing a physical office in New York. Registered agents are not allowed to use Post Office Boxes.
  • Maintain regular business hours.

If you live in New York, you have the right to serve as your own registered agent. By default, the New York Secretary of State will be your registered agent. After your LLC is formed, however, you should find a new registered agent.

Once you have appointed your registered agent, that agent can receive a variety of documents on your behalf:

  • Mail sent to your LLC by the Secretary of State.
  • Notice of litigation against your company or court summons (service of process).
  • Official correspondence from the federal government and New York State government.
  • Forms for taxes and company filings.

If your LLC conducts business in New York but doesn't have a physical address in the state, you are still required to have a registered agent. Once you have chosen a registered agent, you will need to provide the Secretary of State that person's address and name. When it's time for your corporate filings, you can mail your forms and the required fees to the New York Division of Corporations. You can also file these forms online or deliver them in person.

If you file by mail or by fax, you can expect processing to be complete within three business days after the Division of Corporations receives your forms. After fully registering your business, you will need to submit a biennial statement. You should file this statement on the last day of the calendar month in which your original filing occurred.

New York registered agents can go by several different names:

  • Agent for Service of Process
  • Corporate Agent
  • Resident Agent
  • Statutory Agent

If you don't appoint a registered agent, it can cause major problems with your business. For instance, without a registered agent, you may not know that your LLC is being sued. The court could award a judgment against you without you having the opportunity to defend yourself. Not having a registered agent may also cause you to miss important filing deadlines. If you miss these deadlines, you may need to pay heavy penalties and fines. You could also lose your status as an LLC if you don't appoint a registered agent.

Regardless of the type of business, you are running, the legal requirements for your New York registered agent will remain the same. For instance, a registered agent must either be a corporation or LLC that provides the services of a registered agent, or an individual who is a resident of New York.

Registered agents must also have a registered office in New York that has a physical street address. Registered agents in New York must be available during normal business hours and should be able to receive official documents during these hours. Lastly, if you appoint a business as your registered agent, this entity should be legally allowed to transact business in the state. If you want to make sure that the business you have selected as a registered agent meets the legal requirements for New York State, you can visit the Department of State, Division of Corporations website to perform a business name search.

If you need help finding a New York State registered agent, you can post your legal needs 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, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.