How Much Does A Registered Agent Cost? (Fees Revealed)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
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Almost every state requires that you appoint a registered agent for your business, whether you hire registered agent services or serve as your own registered agent.

The cost of a registered agent can vary significantly with registered agent services and by state.

We are experts in registered agent services and have also been our own registered agents for businesses.

This article will discuss what a registered agent's cost includes, what a registered agent does, what are the requirements and why they are so important for your business.

Quick Summary

  • Professional registered agent services typically cost between $99 to $300 per year, with variations depending on the services offered.
  • Registered agents are designated to receive legal documents and official papers on behalf of a business, a requirement for every LLC or corporation in the United States.
  • According to the Registered Agent Service Providers Association, about 65% of businesses hire professional registered agents to overcome challenges and ensure ongoing compliance and document management.
  • In my opinion, serving as your own registered agent can save costs, but it poses risks like missing crucial documents and compromising personal privacy.

How Much Does A Registered Agent Cost?

Based on our experience, a registered agent costs between $99 to $300 a year for professional services. The cost of registered agent services varies, often depending on the services offered.

Some registered agent services are included with formation packages which can be an additional cost. 

"The expenses incurred for a registered agent, including both basic and supplementary services, are tax-deductible, regardless of whether your company is obligated by law to have one or opts to engage their services voluntarily."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

What Are Registered Agents?

Group of registered agents discussing

Registered agents are people you designate to receive legal documents and other official papers for your business entities.

They receive state and legal mail, official government documents, tax documents, business mail, annual report filing information, and other essential documents.

Who Needs Registered Agent Services?

Every LLC or corporation within the United States needs registered agent services in any state they operate in.

Other state and federal statutes may require a registered agent for specific business types.

What Will A Registered Agent Do For Your Company?

A registered agent service solves many problems for businesses.

Still, their primary function is to receive service of process, receive documents such as business formation documents, annual report filing, and other necessary paperwork on your business's behalf.

Drawbacks Of Being Your Own Registered Agent

Calculator open showing the cost of being your own registered agent

The drawbacks of being your own registered agent are numerous, hence why so many businesses decide to hire a professional service, no matter the cost.

According to a survey by the Registered Agent Service Providers Association, approximately 65% of businesses choose professional registered agents to avoid such challenges and ensure continuous compliance and document management.

These are some of the main drawbacks we experienced when we decided to become our own registered agent:

  • The time required to be available to receive official documents. A registered agent is required to be available during regular business hours throughout the whole week. Not being at your address during this time may result in missing out on important notices.
  • Potentially missing a service of process, which could result in a default judgment being entered against you.
  • Being unavailable to receive other important documents or missing filing deadlines for LLC annual reports. To maintain legal compliance, you must submit the required documents during a specific time frame, or you will need to pay penalties and fines. This is something a registered agent service would always remind you of.

Benefits Of Hiring Registered Agent Services

There are many benefits to hiring professional registered agent services, including:

1. Flexibility

Woman agent showing the flexibility of a registered agent

One advantage we encountered after hiring a registered agent service was increased flexibility for our business [1].

A registered agent service is required to operate during regular business hours every day of the year to accept official government documents, file documents, and more.

You may not be able to make yourself available to receive official government documents every day of the year like a registered agent service.

According to a report by the Business Owner's Council, around 80% of businesses that transition to using a registered agent service experience enhanced operational flexibility and fewer disruptions, as they are no longer tied down by the need to be constantly available for official correspondences.

2. Privacy

The registered agent's address is public record, meaning if you choose to be your own registered agent, your address will be shared.

Hiring a registered agent means you can keep your contact information private and won't receive sensitive documents at home.

Also, if you choose to move, you won't have to change your paperwork, update your address, and risk missing official government notifications.

3. Better Business Image

Selecting a professional registered agent service means you can receive lawsuit documentation and other official government notifications privately.

If you have a customer-facing business and get served with a lawsuit in front of them, it could potentially harm your business image with customers and employees.

4. Peace Of Mind

Guy relaxing showing peace of mind having a registered agent

If you choose to be your own LLC registered agent, you may risk responding to service of process or other notices late.

Getting mail for your business formation to your house can increase the chance that mail gets misplaced or lost.

Hiring a registered agent service ensured that our business received legal mail and other sensitive documents on time and allowed us to handle them quickly by avoiding costly fees and fines for missed dead.

5. Easily Grow Your Business

Depending on the type of business you form, you must register your business in every state you perform business in, meaning you will need the best-registered agent service in each state.

Since most agent options offer registered agent services in multiple states, it can be easy to expand your business from state to state without legally changing your registered agent.

6. Store All Your Documents In One Place

Another advantage of professional service is that all your essential documents for business formation, notifications, and other paperwork are kept in one place, making them easier to track. They also hold tax filings, licenses, and more on file for the required period.

7. Help With Business Operations

Two registered agents helping with business operations

Creating a business can be challenging.

Registered agent services can help you with knowledge of how a company operates and answer questions you may have.

They can help with business license searches, an operating agreement template, keeping you in good standing, legal requirements for your business, and more, all included in the registered agent fee.


Do I Need A Registered Agent For My Business?

Yes, you need a registered agent for your business. If your business is registered with the state, it is required by law to appoint a registered agent.

What Is The Main Advantage Of Being My Own Registered Agent?

The main advantage of being your own registered agent is cost savings. When you list yourself, you don't have to pay for ongoing service.

What Is The Main Disadvantage Of Being My Own Registered Agent?

The main disadvantage of being your own registered agent is the risk of missing essential documents and publishing your personal information, such as your personal or business address.

Can A Registered Agent Provide A Virtual Address?

No, a registered agent can't provide a virtual address. A registered agent service must provide a physical address within the state to accept important mail during regular business hours.



About The Author

Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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