woman researching what is a registered agent
ComplianceLegalNovember 18, 2020

What is a registered agent and why do I need one?

Small business services
Order Registered Agent Service
Free for 3 months when ordering our incorporation or foreign qualification service.
$220 for One Year

When incorporating a business or registering an existing company to transact business in any state (also called foreign qualification), you are required to have a registered agent in the state of incorporation or qualification. The term registered agent is one that most new business owners have never heard. This article helps you to understand what a registered agent is and the role it plays.

A registered agent receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of a business, including important mail sent by the state (annual reports or statements), tax documents sent by the state’s department of taxation, and Service of Process—sometimes called Notice of Litigation, which initiates a lawsuit.

About the registered agent

There are certain requirements a company’s registered agent must meet and characteristics around who can be a registered agent and how the registered agent’s information is treated.

  • Availability and physical address. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours and have a physical address in the state of incorporation or qualification. Post office boxes and private rented mailboxes are not allowed.
  • Address is publicly-accessible. Additionally, the registered agent’s address is a matter of public record, meaning anyone has access to it. A company’s formation and foreign qualification documents filed with the state are publicly-accessible. In states that do not require a company’s legal address the formation or qualification documents, the registered agent’s address is the only address on file with the state for that company.
  • Acting as a registered agent. Individuals can act as a registered agent for a business. For example, if you have a physical address in the state where you form your corporation or LLC, you could name yourself as the agent. You could not, however, name your new company as its own registered agent. In order for a company to act as a registered agent, it must typically be approved to do so by the state in question.
  • Professional registered agent service provider. As your professional registered agent service provider, BizFilings:
    • Reminds you of upcoming compliance requirements and deadlines, such as the due date for the annual report required by your state of incorporation.
    • Provides software to manage important corporate records and documents.
    • Offers secure, online access to important documents.
    • Monitors your company's status in the state(s) where it is registered.

Advantages of BizFilings’ registered agent services

At BizFilings, we believe that being a registered agent goes beyond fulfilling the statutory requirement. We provide tools and alerts to help you stay on top of important compliance obligations. Unlike other providers of registered agent services, BizFilings doesn’t charge extra for the services you need to stay informed and compliant. We offer:

  • Franchise tax & annual report filing alerts. Registered agent customers receive ongoing alerts for any state franchise tax or annual report filings that are due after you incorporate. We make it easy with a few clicks for you to file and keep your business in good standing with the state.
  • Managed filing services. Registered agent customers can enroll in automatic filing of franchise tax and annual reports. A dedicated team monitors, updates your state reporting requirements and files on your behalf.
  • BizComply management tool. Our exclusive, account management tool lets you schedule and track all your company and compliance events, as well as email you reminders of upcoming state obligations, invoices and more.
  • Prompt handling of official documents. We provide prompt and efficient handling of important state, tax and legal documents received on behalf of your company.
  • Professional and discreet Service of Process delivery. We’ll email and digitally scan Service of Process documents to you for instant, viewing.
  • Exceptional, friendly customer service. Available by phone, email or chat, our knowledgeable representatives are happy to answer questions you have about compliance, your account or placing an order with us.
Mike Enright
Operations Manager
Small business services
Order Registered Agent Service
Free for 3 months when ordering our incorporation or foreign qualification service.
$220 for One Year
small business services


Helping entrepreneurs stay compliant

Speak with a specialist:
(800) 981-7183

Back To Top