How to Start a Registered Agent Business (A Complete Guide)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: June 4, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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Starting a registered agent business is possible once you have the resources and can meet the requirements in your chosen state.

New businesses get registered regularly, so there will be a high demand for registered agents, making it an excellent opportunity for your business.

To help you, we have worked with Venture Smarter's legal team, which has over ten years of experience helping people start their registered agent businesses, and we will share our findings below.

Quick Summary

  • To start a registered agent business, ensure compliance with state legal requirements, hire reliable agents, understand legal terminology, and provide valuable services.
  • You can start small and then scale up your registered agent business over time if you are tight on budget. 
  • Small businesses form the bedrock of the American economy, with over 33 million registered across the U.S., indicating the dominance of small enterprises in the business sector.
  • As an expert specializing in helping startups and small businesses scale and grow, I always advise clients to choose the proper business structure and focus on reliability and professionalism to build a successful registered agent business.

How To Start A Registered Agent Business

A team newly formed for registered agent business

These are the steps you will need to take to start your registered agent business:

Reading legal requirements on how to start a registered agent business

Your registered agent business should satisfy legal requirements in the state where you wish to operate.

For example, a state may require that you have a physical residence before you can operate a registered agent business.

You can always communicate with the Secretary of State in your state of operation to learn about the legal requirements and how to meet them.

It typically costs around $300 to register a registered agent business in most states, although the figure could be higher when other costs are brought into the picture [1].

2. Find Reliable Agents

Running a registered agent service is no simple task, considering that you will be dealing with a company’s legal matters, which requires them to put great trust in you.

This is why you must be reliable and trustworthy and only present registered agents with these qualities. However, you should be willing to spend extra to work with the best agents.

According to a review by Forbes Advisor, the labor budget is the largest expense for most businesses, accounting for 70% of total spending [2]. You may consider working with more more affordable agents to reduce your cost.

Ensuring that your agents are excellent in terms of the services they render to companies will, for sure, get your business to a higher level.

Woman reading and reviewing legal terms

If you are starting a registered agent business, you have to be familiar with legal terms and jargon to offer great services.

Also, you would often accept service of process and other legal notices, which would most likely contain these terms.

Hence, you should understand what you are reading and be able to deduce relevant information.

Drawing from experience, I have seen businesses fail due to their inability to address certain issues; neglecting these can lead to devastating consequences for your business.

4. Offer Useful Services

Companies are usually picky when choosing a registered agent service company to work with, so Venture Smarter highly recommends offering excellent services if you want to be selected.

You also want your business to be flexible by ensuring it utilizes the digital platforms used by potential clients so it is easier for them to find you and contact you.

"Business is all about relationships, how well you build them determines how well they build your business."

— Brad Sugars, Chairman & Founder Action Coach

What You Need to Know About Registered Agents

Discussion about registered agents

There are two types of registered agents, and they include commercial and noncommercial registered agents.

A commercially registered agent is an individual or entity that has filed a specialized listing statement with a state’s Secretary of State.

This statement aims to provide effective communication between the Secretary of State and the commercial registered agent.

Usually, a commercial registered agent is legally authorized to operate in multiple states and work with various business entities.

On the other hand, a noncommercial registered agent is an individual or entity that has not filed a specialized listing statement with a state's Secretary of State and typically represents only a few companies, limited to one or a few states.

An LLC registered agent or registered agent for a corporation must also satisfy the state's legal requirements and can choose to either refuse or accept an appointment from a business entity.

State Requirements For Becoming A Registered Agent

Reading state requirements

Registered agent requirements may vary by state, but there are some general requirements for registered agents in every state.

These include:

  • The registered agent must reside in the state where your company is registered.
  • The registered agent must have a physical address where government officials can deliver legal documents during regular business hours.
  • The statutory agent must be at least 18 years old.
  • The registered agent must abide by all state-specific laws and guidelines to be classified as one.
  • The registered agent must be available to receive mail and sign official documents during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Venture Smarter recommends checking the Secretary of State website for your state or visiting the office to find out if there are other special resident agent requirements.

FAQs

Do I Need To Employ Registered Agents For My Registered Agent Business?

Yes, you need to employ registered agents for your registered agent business, especially if you want to offer your services to multiple business entities.

Is a Registered Agent Business a Profitable Venture?

Yes, a registered agent business is a profitable venture because business entities need a registered agent for their services and because they are required by state law to have one.


References:

  1. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/register-your-business
  2. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/small-business-statistics/#sources_section

About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
Learn more about our editorial policy
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.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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