How to find a registered agent in Minnesota
Minnesota registered agent requirements
Being your own registered agent
Some Minnesota business owners may find that they prefer being their own registered agents. If you decide to go this route with your corporation, be sure you follow the requirements below for registered agents in Minnesota.
- Accept the appointment
- Be 18 or older
- List your point of contact information in your Articles of Incorporation
- Have a physical street address (cannot be a P.O. box)
- Keep normal business hours at this business address
Hiring a Minnesota registered agent service
Registered agent services need to meet these requirements:
- Accept the appointment
- Have their point of contact information listed in your Articles of Incorporation
- Have a physical office address (cannot be a P.O. box)
- Keep normal business hours at this address
- Receive and forward official paperwork to your LLC in a timely manner
- Remain in compliance with Minnesota law
Recommended registered agent services
Why you need a registered agent
Registered agents work on behalf of your corporation to accept official business mail and legal documents, including service of process, in the event that your company is subpoenaed or sued. It is then the job of your registered agent to hand off these official documents to you as quickly as possible so that you can act on them.
It is required by law that all Minnesota corporations and LLCs (limited liability companies) have registered agents. It does not matter how large or small your business is or what your industry is.
When choosing a registered agent (also known as a statutory agent or a resident agent), some people like to be their own registered agent for their company. Others prefer to have a difference individual (such as an employee or family member) be their registered agent. Still others will have a professional registered agent service fill this role. Ultimately, it is the business’s choice. However, most businesses prefer to hire the service out as larger registered agent companies provide many benefits — even to small businesses.
When you need a registered agent
The process of choosing a registered agent is fairly straightforward. In the State of Minnesota, it is the third step in the incorporation process.
The first step is to choose a corporate name. Minnesota has specific name requirements that must be followed. For example, all corporations in the state need to have names that are recognizably different from other incorporated business entity names. Check the business name database on the Minnesota Secretary of State website to see if your desired name is still available. Once you’ve chosen a name, you can reserve it.
Next, you will need to create your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization. Within these formation documents, you will need to include who your registered agent will be, keeping in mind that absolutely every corporation in Minnesota needs to have one. We’ll go over the requirements for Minnesota registered agents further on.
After choosing a registered agent, several other steps are necessary, including setting up a corporate records book, outlining your company’s corporate bylaws, appointing your corporate directors, and holding your first board meeting.
Why use a registered agent service
While you can certainly choose to be your own registered agent in Minnesota, many businesses turn to a commercial registered agent company to serve as their registered agent. This is a good idea for many reasons:
All business owners need to have ample time to carry out their many responsibilities. If you act as your own registered agent, however, this is quite difficult to do.
The main reason is that registered agents need to be at their physical address throughout the week and during regular business hours. The State of Minnesota wants to know that they will be reliably available in case they need to get in touch. If anyone were to sue your business, you would also need to receive the related service of process right away, so you would need to be readily available.
Most business owners don’t understand this when they first decide to be their own registered agent. In this way, they end up shocked that they need to be at one address all the time. Ultimately, it can be an enormous waste of time, and it’s better to leave this responsibility up to a professional registered agent service.
Another thing that many entrepreneurs are shocked to learn when they decide to be their own registered agent is that they’ll often need to use their home address as their official registered agent address for their business. This is because registered agents are required to have a street address. You can’t use a P.O. box as your registered agent address.
The problem with using your home address as a registered agent address is that it will be listed on public record. In other words, anyone who wants to find the official address of your business will be able to then find your home address. Naturally, this isn’t a wise decision in terms of privacy.
Businesses receive a tremendous amount of paperwork, documents, legal notices, and other mail every day. Much of it is junk mail or non-important. But some of it is of the utmost importance. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you differentiate between the important and the unimportant so that you can act on the important documents you receive right away.
This is the main reason for having a registered agent in the first place. They will receive your official mail. This is mail that comes from the court system, the federal government, or the state government. Your registered agent company will keep all of these documents filed and organized for you and will usually be able to get them to you on the same day they are received
Minnesota registered agent costs
For businesses who want to have an owner, manager, board member, or employee act as the registered agent, there are no filing fees. In fact, there are no state fees at all for having an individual or a business act as your company’s registered agent.
The fees occur on the other end. That is, if you decide to hire a professional commercial registered agent service company, they will charge you a fee every year for their services.
Most of the time, Minnesota businesses can expect to pay between $50 and $300 annually for services provided by a registered agent company. Generally, this would include forwarding of important documents as well as an online account where business filings and other critical paperwork can be found.
Same-day forwarding of important mail such as service of process is usually an option too. If you would like additional services, such as reminders about due dates for things like your Annual Report or tax payments, these may come with a higher annual price tag.
How to change your Minnesota registered agent
A Notice of Change of Registered Agent must be filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State, Business Services office if you would like to change your Minnesota registered agent. You can change your registered agent at any time of the year. If you choose to change your registered agent when filing your Annual Report, remember to include an amendment stating this change.
There will be a fee for this service which can generally be paid with a credit card. If you are hiring a registered agent services company to be your new registered agent, they will often pay the fee and perform this filing for you. If you need to have your registered agent changed quickly, there will be an additional fee for express service.
Just as in any other situation in which you are paying for subscribed services from a company, it’s important to notify your old registered agent that you will be moving on before setting up your new registered agent.
List of forms
Use the following links and forms to incorporate your new LLC in Minnesota and ensure you remain in good standing with the Secretary of State.
What is the primary function of a registered agent in Minnesota?
The primary function of a Minnesota registered agent is to receive and handle critical documents for your business. The documents they will handle include service of process, legal correspondence with the state or federal government, tax information, etc. It is important that your registered agent forward these documents to you in a timely manner.
What happens to my business if I don’t have a registered agent?
If you do not designate a registered agent, you can’t get your business registered with the state of Minnesota in the first place. Failing to have a registered agent means you could also miss important state business notices from the government, service of process documents (paperwork you receive if you are being subpoenaed or sued), and other critical paperwork.
What is service of process?
Service of process is the procedure that is carried out when an individual or business entity is notified that they are being subpoenaed or sued or that another legal action is being taken against them. Service of process is often handled by law enforcement and needs to be acted upon right away.