Do You Need a Registered Agent for Your LLC in New York?

As an LLC in New York, you must do more than select your business name or write your operating agreement – you need to choose a registered agent. A registered agent ensures that you receive all your paperwork efficiently from the state office, which might send you correspondence for several reasons.

Now, you might have questions like, “Is it mandatory to have a registered agent for my LLC in New York? Or can I be my registered agent?

Do You Need a Registered Agent for Your LLC in New York?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more:

What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent receives official, legal, and service of process correspondence on behalf of your business. They will notify and forward correspondence to you. Provide a list of the type of documents they receive.

Every state requires that LLCs designate a registered agent when filing business formation documents known as Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization. In addition, the registered agent information must be updated each year when LLCs submit their annual report.

Your New York LLC must have a registered agent for business registration, as required by the state of New York. This applies to LLCs, LLPs, and corporations.

What are the legal requirements for a registered agent in New York?

Here are the legal prerequisites of New York State registered agent:

  • Have a physical address (a post office box is not acceptable).
  • Be available during business hours to accept correspondence.
  • Be legally authorized to transact business in New York.
  • It can be an individual (proven resident of New York) or a registered business.

What Are Registered Agent’s Duties?

Duties of a Registered Agent are to:

  • Receive legal papers on behalf of businesses like notices of license renewals and promptly forward them to the business owner.
  • They will forward the information to businesses:
  • Service of Process notices like lawsuits, subpoenas, etc. if you are being sued or need to appear in court
  • Official letters and correspondence from Secretary of State or other governmental bodies
  • Tax notices from the federal or state government like the franchise tax
  • Communication from federal government agencies like the IRS
  • Company filing notices and renewals

Third-part RAs offer additional services like preparing and filing registration documents and sending reminders when annual reports or license renewals are due.

Can You Act as Your Company’s Registered Agent?

Well, yes, but we would suggest otherwise.

Some business owners choose to become their own RAs or designate their employees or personal connections to save costs; however, this has many downsides:

  • Personally deal with complex legal paperwork
  • If your business address and home address are the same, your home address will become public information.
  • Someone must be available during regular business hours, all the time.
  • Having to notify the Secretary of State of the RA’s address change if your company/home moves and pay a small fee.
  • Get legal papers served before your clients, employees, or family.

Other Options to Designate A Registered Agent

Secretary of State

This option will save a $30 Notice of Change filing fee and the cost of an outside RA ($50 to $500 per year). However, it won’t offer you comprehensive services. The Secretary of State will only mail legal papers to the address you’ve designated when it receives them, that too, for a fee.

Outside Registered Agent

Most LLCs in New York hire a registered outside agent from external service providers.

Here are the advantages to hiring an outside RA:

  • The RA will keep a New York Street address and a properly staffed office during regular business hours.
  • If your company moves, there won’t be any need to notify the Secretary of State.
  • Your clients and employees will not know when any legal papers are served to your business.
  • Your business address will not be on record with the Secretary of State as your RA’s address.

If you want to ensure that the business you have selected as a registered agent suits the legal requirements for New York State, visit the Department of State, Division of Corporations website to perform a business name search.

Other Advantages of Hiring a Registered Agent

Here are the main advantages of hiring a registered agent for your LLC in New York:

  • You will not fall out of good standing with the New York Department of State. For instance, failing to respond to certain correspondence like the request for your Annual Report may cause certain states to revoke your right to do business.
  • You will not lose your status as a New York corporation: A NY Registered Agent “proves” to the state the existence of your business. You risk losing your business entity protections without it, and your New York LLC may be dissolved.
  • It will help you stay up to date on state requirements by sending timely reminders for filings to avoid legal fees and penalties — or worse, lose your business altogether.
  • Helps you find state-specific accountants and legal professionals.
  • Store copies of your corporate documents for you to have a backup in case of theft, natural disaster, or other unexpected losses.

In Summary

Designating an RA helps you prevent unwanted costs and legal liabilities; it helps you stay up to date with the state norms. We hope you found this article of value. For more such content, stay tuned to

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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