Before we get started, let’s clarify what a registered agent is and how it applies to your small business. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that accepts tax and legal documents on behalf of your business. Most states require you to have a registered agent when you form an LLC or corporation. The agent can be a professional service, yourself, or a colleague given they meet the state's criteria.
From the definition above, I’m sure you’ve concluded that you CAN be your own registered agent. However, there are a few requirements to meet. You can act as your own registered agent for a corporation or LLC as long as…
You have a physical street address (not a P.O. Box) in the state where the company is operating.
Your name and address are part of the public record and available through the secretary of state’s website.
Someone is available during business hours at the Registered Agent address to sign for important documents
Sounds simple enough, right? Before you decide to operate as your own registered agent, here are a few signs that you may not want to do so:
You do not have a consistent mailing address, and often change addresses or do not check mail often.
You don’t open mail in a timely manner.
You don’t want your name and address published publicly.
You don’t live in the state where you need the registered agent to be located at.
You are not in good standing with the state.
If any of the above apply, then using a registered agent service will be in your best interest. Generally speaking, registered agent services charge a minimal yearly fee and given that this is both an ordinary and necessary service, it is considered a tax deduction.
Still unsure about which route to take? We regularly help our small business clients make the best decision for them via our advisory service, and we’d love to help you too.