Registered Agent Requirements for Each State (2022 Guide)

Looking for help in compliance with the requirements of registered agents? This comprehensive guide covers the registered agent requirements for each state. Whether you are located or what type of entity you have, the information below will help you find the answers you need.

Why Are Registered Agents Needed?

Name a registered agent to help you start and maintain a legal business entity. You will need to do this at the beginning of the formation process. However, you will also need to keep a record of the registered agent for the life of your business.

Registered agents can be designated to serve processes on behalf of businesses. They can also handle correspondence from local and state agencies.

You can ensure that your business complies by using a third-party registered agent service. Your personal information will remain private. Your home and office address will not be publicized.

Someone must be available to accept court summonses or to sue your company. Some states allow you the right to be your registered agent. However, this would mean that you must be present at all times during business hours at a physical address.

 

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State Requirements for Registered Agents

Below is a quick overview of the requirements for registered agents in each state. You can contact Northwest Registered Agent or local government agencies for more information.

Alabama

  • Registered agents must be located in Alabama and open during business hours.
  • Alabama business owners can become their registered agents.
  • State residents must identify individuals designated as registered agents.
  • Alabama businesses can use registered agents companies as long as they maintain a registered office with physical addresses in the state.

Alaska

  • Alaska law requires that all registered businesses appoint an agent.
  • If a registered agent is not appointed, the secretary of state will reject state applications.
  • Alaskan business owners can become their registered agents.
  • PO boxes can’t be used for registered agents as physical addresses.
  • Register agents must be residents of the state or a company that provides registered agents services through an office in the state.

Arizona

  • Arizona registered agents, also known as statutory agents, must have a physical address registered in Arizona. There are no PO boxes.
  • State residents must have the right to act as agents.
  • Arizona businesses cannot legally operate without a registered agent.

Arkansas

  • Registered agents can be any person or entity with a physical address within the state.
  • Registered agents can be business owners, family members, friends, and even lawyers.
  • By state law, all business entities must appoint an agent registered.
  • If a registered agent is not appointed, business filing paperwork will be rejected.

California

  • A registered agent service or an adult who is a California resident can act as an agent of process in California.
  • Corporations can’t be listed as their registered agents.
  • CA does not allow LLCs to register as agents.
  • The secretary of state must file a Section 1505 Certificate if a corporation is acting as an agent registered for another business.

Colorado

  • The minimum age for individuals appointed to register as agents in CO is 18 years.
  • Companies can provide registered agent services.
  • Agents must be available during business hours and have a physical address in Colorado.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut registered agents must have a physical address within the state. There are no PO boxes.
  • A registered agent can be an individual over 18 years old or a company providing registered agent services.
  • Every Connecticut registered business must have a registered agent.

Delaware

  • A registered agent is required for any business entity formed under the Delaware Division of Corporations.
  • Delaware requires all corporations and LLCs to have a registered agent.
  • Registered agents in Delaware must have a physical address within the state. PO boxes are prohibited.
  • If they are Delaware residents, business owners can become their registered agents.

Florida

  • Florida registered agents must be located in Florida and available during business hours to accept documents.
  • An individual who forms an LLC in Florida or a corporation can also be their registered agent.
  • If an agent hasn’t been appointed, the Florida secretary of state will reject business filings.

Georgia

  • An LLC in Georgia can either appoint a Georgia resident or use a registered agent from a domestic or international corporation.
  • Corporations and nonprofits in Georgia have the option to use a single person, a foreign corporation, a domestic corporation, a nonprofit organization, or any other entity within the state of Georgia as registered agents.
  • Georgia registration agents must have a physical address within the state.

Hawaii

  • Hawaii Registered agents must reside in Hawaii or be registered for a foreign or domestic business entity.
  • Hawaii registration agents must have a street address.
  • As long as the state residents are not Hawaiian citizens, business owners in Hawaii may be their registered agents.

Idaho

  • Idaho law requires that all businesses in the state appoint an agent.
  • Information about registered agents is available to the public.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings in Idaho are rejected.
  • Idaho allows business owners to be their own registered agents.

Illinois

  • To receive tax notices and official mail from Illinois, registered agents in Illinois must be present at their physical address (no PO boxes).
  • If the registered agent is not available, the Illinois Secretary-of-State office will serve the notice on the business’s behalf.
  • All Illinois LLCs and corporations must have a registered agent.

Indiana

  • Registered agents in Indiana must have a physical address within the state and be available during business hours.
  • Registered agents can be individuals as long as they’re state residents.
  • Registered agents can be companies that provide services to Indiana businesses.

Iowa

  • Iowa residents may register as agents.
  • If the company’s registered agent is not reachable after reasonable service of process attempts, the secretary of the company will be served at the principal business address. The business will not know it was served if the registered agent isn’t reachable.

Kansas

  • Kansas corporations and LLCs must have a registered agent.
  • Agents must be located at the address provided by Kansas. No PO Boxes are allowed.
  • Agents can be either a registered agent company or an individual who is a resident of the state (also known as resident agents).

Kentucky

  • Kentucky registered agents must either be residents of Kentucky or work for registered agent services.
  • The agent must sign and return a written statement acknowledging their duties to Kentucky’s secretary of state.
  • Kentucky businesses must have a registered agent.

Louisiana

  • All Louisiana businesses are required to appoint a registered representative.
  • Individuals can become their own registered agents for Louisiana.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings in Louisiana will be rejected.

Maine

  • Maine uses “commercial clerk” as an alternative to a registered agent.
  • A commercial clerk performs the same functions of a registered agent as accepting service of process for a person or company.
  • Maine business owners can become their own commercial clerks.

Maryland

  • Maryland businesses must have a registered agent.
  • The state’s registered agent is your point of contact.
  • They must accept all documents, including subpoenas or lawsuits, that are hand-delivered to them.
  • Maryland registered agents will receive official mail from the Maryland SDAT, State Department of Assessment and Taxation.

Massachusetts

  • Every LLC and corporation in Massachusetts must have an agent registered.
  • Certain Massachusetts legal codes and documents use the term “resident agent” in their titles.
  • MA’s “resident agent” is interchangeable with the “registered agents”.
  • MA can allow individuals to be their own registered agents.

Michigan

  • A registered agent must have a physical address within the state.
  • Michigan’s legal codes and documents use the term “resident agent” in some instances.
  • Michigan’s “resident agent” is an interchangeable term for “registered agents.”

Minnesota

  • On the website of the secretary of state, you will find the name and address of all registered agents in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota law requires that businesses have a registered agent in every state where they operate.
  • Every registered office must have a physical address. PO boxes are prohibited.

Mississippi

  • Mississippi law requires all business entities to register an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings are rejected.
  • Mississippi business owners can either hire an agent service or be their own registered agents.

Missouri

  • Missouri registered agents have to be residents or companies that provide registered agent services.
  • The Missouri secretary of state must acknowledge the duties and sign the appointing paper in order to become a registered agent.
  • Every Missouri registered business must appoint an agent.

Montana

  • Montana law requires that all business entities be registered with an agent.
  • If the Montana registered agent is not reachable after reasonable service of process attempts, the secretary of the company will be served at the principal business address. The business will not know it was served if the person isn’t reachable.
  • Individuals may be registered agents for the state of Montana.

Nebraska

  • The Nebraska secretary of state must acknowledge the duties and sign the appointing paper.
  • Registered agents must have a physical address in Nebraska.
  • Individuals acting as registered agents need to be residents of the state or have been authorized to do business in that state.

Nevada

  • A registered agent must be appointed for any business entity formed under the Nevada Secretary-of-State.
  • You can become your registered agent by selecting the “noncommercial registered agents” option on your business formation documents.

New Hampshire

  • All New Hampshire corporations and LLCs must appoint an agent.
  • A registered agent must have a physical address within the state. This is known as “registered offices.”
  • Agents must be residents of the state or an entity that provides registered agent services within the state.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey requires that registered agents be at least 18-years-old to be appointed.
  • Agents must either be state residents or a company that provides registered agent services.
  • Business owners in New Jersey can appoint registered agents.

New Mexico

  • New Mexico law requires that all registered businesses must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings will be rejected.
  • New Mexico can allow business owners to be their registered agents.

New York

  • New York’s registered agents must be residents of the state, LLC, or corporations with a physical address within the state.
  • New York requires LLCs to publish a summary in two counties where the principal address is located.
  • New York business owners can become their registered agents.

North Carolina

  • North Carolina registered agents must either be residents of the state or be associated with a company that provides registered agent services.
  • Every business registered in the state must appoint an agent in NC.

North Dakota

  • North Dakota registered agents must either be state residents or a company that provides registered agent services.
  • Every business registered in North Dakota must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent has not been appointed, business filings will be rejected.

Ohio

  • Ohio registered agents are also known by the “statutory agent” designation.
  • Agents statutory must be located in Ohio.
  • Ohio residents can register their business owners as agents.

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma registered agents must have a physical office within the state.
  • It can be a resident of the state or a registered agent company.
  • Oklahoma registered agents must be available during business hours to serve legal documents and process service.

Oregon

  • Every Oregon business must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings will be rejected.
  • Oregon’s registered agents can be owned by business owners.
  • Oregon registered agents must have a physical office and be accessible during business hours.

Pennsylvania

  • If the Pennsylvania registered agent is not reachable after reasonable attempts, the secretary of the company will serve the notice at the principal business address. The business might not know it was served if the person cannot be reached.
  • Every business in Pennsylvania must appoint an agent registered during the process of forming a company.
  • PA business owners can be registered agents.

Rhode Island

  • Every registered business in Rhode Island must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings in Rhode Island are rejected.
  • Rhode Island business owners may be their own registered agents.
  • Registered agents in Rhode Island must have a physical office in the state, and be available during business hours.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina law requires that LLCs and corporations have a registered agent.
  • South Carolina allows business owners to be their own registered agents.

South Dakota

  • South Dakota law requires all corporations and LLCs to have a resistance agent.
  • Registered agents must be able to access the office during business hours and have a physical address within South Dakota.
  • Named agents must be residents of the state.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee’s legal business entities must appoint an agent registered.
  • Tennessee allows you to be your own registered agent.
  • In Tennessee, the public records include the name and address of the registered agent.
  • Agents must be present during business hours at any physical address within the state.

Texas

  • Texas registered agents must have a physical address. PO boxes are prohibited.
  • All businesses within the state must appoint a registered representative under the law.
  • If an agent has not been appointed, the Texas secretary of State office will reject business filings.
  • Texas allows you to be your own registered agent.

Utah

  • Utah corporations and LLCs must appoint registered agents.
  • Utah registered agents must have a physical address, also known as a “registered office”
  • Utah allows business owners to be their own registered agents.

Vermont

  • Sometimes, registered agents in Vermont are referred to simply as “process agents.”
  • When referring to LLCs in Vermont, process agents are often used with the Vermont secretary-of-state. However, the term can also be used for registered agents.
  • Every business registered in Vermont must appoint an agent.

Virginia

  • Virginia business entities cannot register as agents for their own businesses.
  • If they are residents of Virginia, individuals can register as agents.
  • Virginia allows domestic companies to register as agents as long as they have a physical address (no PO boxes).

Washington

  • Washington businesses must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings will be rejected.
  • Washington can allow business owners to be their own registered agent.
  • Washington registered agents must have a physical office and be accessible during business hours.

Washington DC

  • A registered agent in DC is a person who has an address in Washington DC or a business that provides registered agent services within the District of Columbia.
  • Washington DC registered agents should be included on the initial business filing paperwork.
  • You can become your own registered agent in Washington DC.

West Virginia

  • All corporations and LLCs in West Virginia must have a registered agent.
  • You can become your own West Virginia registered agent.
  • West Virginia has public records that list the names and addresses of registered agents.

Wisconsin

  • All Wisconsin businesses must appoint an agent.
  • If an agent is not appointed, business filings will be rejected.
  • Wisconsin business owners can become their own registered agents.
  • Registered agents in Wisconsin must have a physical office and be accessible during business hours.

Wyoming

  • Wyoming corporations and LLCs must appoint registered agents.
  • To acknowledge their duties, all Wyoming registered agents must sign Consent to Appointment By Registered Agent.
  • Wyoming allows you to be your own registered agent.

Strategies for Long-Term Maintenance of Agent Requirements in Each State

Strategy #1 — Don’t be your registered agent

Many entrepreneurs and business owners register themselves as registered agents during business formation. This is because it’s simple, and they don’t want to pay a third party.

This is a costly mistake that can lead to many headaches down the road.

First, your information will now be part of a public database if you do this. If someone searches for your business on the secretary of state website, they can see your name as well as your address.

Legally, this means that you must be present during business hours at the address. This is not feasible for most people. This can lead to severe problems in compliance if you are not available and an officer arrives to deliver a court order/service of process.

Your business may not be able to see that it has been served in some states. This is because the service was made after reasonable attempts were made to serve process. For failure to appear in court could lead to a bench warrant being issued in your name.

A registered agent service costs only marginally. Don’t try to do it yourself; let professionals handle it.

Strategy #2 — Register Agent Services Available in All 50 States

It is possible to be tempted by using your local attorney’s office as your registered agent. This is permitted in most states.

This can be a problem if your business grows. You will likely need to register an agent in each state your company operates in if you begin to expand into multiple states.

Most likely, your friend, lawyer, or business partner doesn’t reside in multiple states. You’ll need to find another registered agent. As you will be dealing with numerous registered agents, this can create problems on a large scale.

Registering for a registered agent service in all 50 states will allow your business to scale quickly.

Northwest Registered Agent offers discounts for businesses that are located in multiple states. Online access to all your paperwork is possible from one dashboard.

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