What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that you designate to receive legal documents and government notices on your behalf. These include court papers if your company is sued (service of process), tax and business registration renewal notices from the Secretary of State, and more.

The requirements for a registered agent vary slightly by state, but typically a registered agent must have a physical address and be available during normal business hours. Using a professional service can help you stay in compliance with all your business needs and avoid fines for missing filing deadlines.

Service of Process

A registered agent is the individual or business entity (the “agent”) appointed by a corporation, limited liability company, or a partnership (the “principal”) to receive legal documents and official government communications on its behalf.

Almost every US state requires that all companies – especially corporations, LLCs, and partnerships – have a registered agent in place to accept tax and legal documents on their behalf. This is done to ensure that the business entity is aware of any legal actions being taken against it and will be able to promptly respond in an appropriate manner.

In many cases, a registered agent can be the same person who forms the company. This is a common practice, although it can have its drawbacks in certain situations.

In most states, the registered agent must be available to receive service of process and government correspondence during normal business hours. It must also have a physical address in that state.


Most states require that a business entity designate a registered agent to receive and forward legal notices or documents on behalf of the company. These notices could include court proceedings, annual reports, tax information or other compliance communications from state agencies.

A company’s registered agent should be available to receive these important documents during normal business hours. The registered agent can be a lawyer, employee or another company designated by the business as the agent.

The registered agent is required by law to provide a physical address for receiving legal documents and government notices on behalf of the business. This means the registered agent cannot have a P.O. Box or mail service.

A registered agent’s address must be in the same state as the business. This makes it easy for businesses to keep track of the agent’s location and service. It also reduces the risk of missed legal and time-sensitive notice delivery.


If you operate a business in one or more states, you’ll likely need to hire a registered agent. A registered agent will receive legal, tax and other important documents for you, forward them to your address and notify you of any deadlines or actions that you need to take.

This is a critical role in helping your company stay compliant and on top of the latest legal requirements. In addition, a registered agent may also help you with information shielding and other services that can be helpful for your business.

Privacy is a hot topic that is always changing, and the face-off between companies’ economic prerogatives and customers’ privacy interests continues to be a thorny issue. If businesses remain complacent and underestimate the degree to which privacy matters to customers, harsh regulation could be waiting in the wings. Those who value privacy, regardless of how they define it, need to speak up. It’s a necessity to protect the underpinnings of a free society.


Compliance is the process of adhering to both internal policies and government laws and regulations that apply to your business. This is especially important as your business grows and is exposed to new challenges and audits.

It is a good idea to hire someone within your organization to oversee compliance and to have them hold other employees accountable for their actions. This can include supervisors, the board of directors, and other staff members.

Having someone on your team that has knowledge and skills to handle these issues is critical, as the company’s reputation can be put at risk if they are not properly handling these issues.

A registered agent’s role is to accept legal, tax, and other official mail for you, forward it to your business address, and notify you if you need to take action or if the document has a deadline. This is important because if you don’t receive these documents, they can be lost in the mail, which could result in your business being served with a lawsuit or receiving fines and other penalties for non-compliance.