Is It a Good Idea to Be My Own Registered Agent?
by Sumona Business Development 01 November 2022
Regardless of if a business registers as an LLC, a corporation, or LLP in their state, a registered agent will still be needed to process their chosen business entity.
If you are still torn between being your own registered agent or hiring one, continue reading to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option better.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Yes, it’s entirely possible to act as your own registered agent for your business. All you need is a physical address in the state where your business is formed. However, your actual business cannot name itself as its own registered agent.
Advantages of Being Your Own Registered Agent
1. You’re the Only One Who Can See Your Documents
Since you’ll be on your own, you’re the only one who can access important documents. No one else will have access to confidential information.
2. The Process is Easy
If your business operates in a single location, you can get the necessary paperwork without any problem. So, it can be impractical to get another person or agency to do this for you. Also, you don’t need to attend special training to be a registered agent.
3. You Can Save Money
You have to pay a registered agent around $50 to $500 every year. The amount might be insignificant to many business owners, but this amount can be more helpful when used to further improve your business. Although, there are some incorporation services such as Zenbusiness or Northwest that provide it at a much cheaper price for the first year. You can check some of the top-rated registered agent services here.
Disadvantages of Being Your Own Registered Agent
1. You Have to Be Available All the Time
This is likely the primary reason why most business owners prefer hiring a registered agent instead. When you become your own agent, you have to be available every single business day of the year. This could affect your own vacation time and ability to manage your business properly.
2. You Have to Disclose If You Change Your Address
If you have to move, you would need to do extra paperwork. You have to inform the secretary of state that you’ll change your address and make the relevant fee payment. You can use mail services such as Travelling mailbox to forward your documents, however, the entire process can still be a hassle.
3. Your Information is Public
If you become a registered agent, your address becomes public which is another issue for business owners. The address you’ll provide can’t be the same as your business address. Unless you have a business in another area, you must file your home as your address if you’re your own registered agent.
Most business owners choose to hire a registered agent instead because of the many benefits they offer such as peace of mind and privacy. If those are the top priority for you, then hiring a registered agent would definitely be the ideal choice.
Advantages of Hiring a Registered Agent
1. They’re Available on All Business Days
Hiring a registered agent means having someone available on all business days of the year to receive and send your notices for your businesses, such as yearly reports and legal notices.
2. You Have Secured Storage for Sensitive Documents
Registered agents have a safe and offsite location to store your documents. In addition, they often forward copies of notices to you and keep the original copies. As a result, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have backup copies, which allow you to focus more on your daily business operations.
3. You Have More Time
You can better track your documentation, such as annual reports since it is the responsibility of a registered agent to keep you updated on them. They are also always available to receive your notices, so you don’t have to worry about your notices being left unread.
4. You Have More Privacy
As stated before, your address becomes public information when you’re your own registered agent. Therefore, hiring a registered agent means you can keep your information private and not have to constantly report any changes to the state.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Registered Agent
1. They Can Be Expensive
Registered agent services can put a dent in your budget. Although hiring a registered agent isn’t as costly as other expenses, not all businesses can pay the hundreds of dollars that some registered agents can charge.
2. You Don’t Have Full Control of Your Documents
There are business owners who opt to organize their legal documents and are comfortable getting them privately. However, hiring a registered agent means coming to terms with the fact that you no longer have complete control over your documents and important information.
Although most businesses choose to get a registered agent service, some want to be their own registered agent. This is legally acceptable. However, both options have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s better to take your time to weigh them first before coming to a decision that’s best for your business.