A registered agent is a person or organization that is located in the state where the corporation or LLC (entity) is formed (or, in the case of an entity that was formed in another state and later moved, the state of domestication) and who can receive legal correspondence on behalf of the entity.
All new or domesticated entities must have a registered agent and list the office of the registered agent. This requirement ensures that there is someone located in the state of formation or domestication that can receive legal documents on behalf of the entity.
If you live in the same state where the entity is formed or domesticated, there is nothing to prohibit you from serving as your own registered agent. Doing so can save the cost of paying a third-party registered agent company every year, but there are two downsides:
- Loss of anonymity. When you serve as your own registered agent, your name is publicly associated with the entity. And, if you use your home address, anyone that is interested can find out where the owner of the owner lives.
- Updating records. Because the registered agent’s address must be kept current, you will need to update your registered agent information with the state each time you move.
If you don’t mind these downsides, you can serve as your own registered agent. Otherwise, you might consider an independent registered agent service. The fees for independent registered agents are usually around $125 per year.