How to find a registered agent in Missouri
Missouri registered agent requirements
Registered agents have several requirements that must be met. These requirements depend on whether your company decides to hire a business or an individual to be its registered agent.
Being your own registered agent
If you (the business owner) plan to be your own company’s registered agent, for example, you will need to be at least 18 and be a resident of Missouri. You also need to have a street address in Missouri. This needs to be an actual address. It can’t be a P.O. box address.
Hiring a registered agent service
If you’re going to hire a professional registered agent service company, expect them to be registered to conduct business in the State of Missouri. If you plan to spread your business and incorporate in other states as well, you will want to have a registered agent company that is able to conduct business in those states too. That way, they can help with your foreign qualification.
All registered agents — whether they are individuals or business entities — need to have regular availability at the physical address that is their official registered agent address. Typically, Monday through Friday, your registered agent must hold regular business hours.
Recommended registered agent services
Why you need a registered agent
State law states that all businesses in Missouri need to have a registered agent (also called a statutory agent or a resident agent). A registered agent is a business or individual that is tasked with receiving important documents for your LLC (limited liability company) or corporation. Your registered agent will accept important documents — including correspondence from the government, service of process, tax notifications, and more — and will forward them to you as part of their role.
Getting these legal documents as soon as possible is of the utmost importance, so that you can take care of them right away. This means that your registered agent plays a vital role in the operation and maintenance of your company.
It’s always best to give your registered agent position to a professional registered agent company that is well-versed in these business practices and will never let you down by missing important correspondence.
When you need a registered agent
You will need to have a registered agent when you incorporate your business and create your LLC (limited liability company) or corporation in Missouri. All LLCs and corporations in Missouri need to have a registered agent.
Your first step in the incorporation process is to select a name for your business — one that no other business has chosen. Whatever business name you choose, you must also make sure that it follows the critical business naming guidelines required by the State of Missouri.
Only after you have chosen a name for your business can you choose a registered agent. Still, it’s something you’ll want to be thinking about from the very beginning of the incorporation process. You will need to put your registered agent’s contact information on your Articles of Organization, or Articles of Incorporation, and other formation documents.
Other steps are required for the formation of any business in Missouri. Follow all steps closely. If you’ve completed the incorporation process properly, you should receive a business formation acceptance document from the Secretary of State in due time.
Why use a registered agent service
There are many reasons to consider using a registered agent service for your business. Even though it may seem that being your own registered agent is easier and more efficient, this isn’t necessarily true.
In fact, hiring a registered agent service provides numerous additional benefits that you may not have previously considered.
First, you’ll get much more privacy and discretion by going with a registered agent company. That’s because if your business ends up getting sued or subpoenaed, you won’t have law enforcement showing up at your place of business (or your home if you use your home as your registered agent address) to serve you papers.
Furthermore, if you use your home address as your registered agent address because you’re acting as your own registered agent, anyone will be able to find your house. That’s because all registered agent addresses need to be listed on the public record.
Whether you plan to expand your business into other states or not, it’s good to have the option. Going with a large commercial registered agent company ensures that you will be able to incorporate your business in other states with ease.
That’s because these larger companies have offices in every state. Most of them will be able to keep your filings, paperwork, and incoming documents all in one place in an online account. Then, you won’t have to hire a new registered agent in each state where you plan to conduct business.
Another reason to consider hiring a company as opposed to an individual (or yourself) is that a company has much more experience acting as a registered agent for various sized businesses. They also have the expertise and knowledge needed to keep you in good standing with the state.
In truth, the responsibilities that come with this position are immense. You need to be present at your registered agent office address throughout the week during normal business hours. When service of process, official documents, or other important paperwork arrives, you need to keep it organized and handle it right away. And you’ll have other jobs too.
For instance, registered agents often alert their clients of upcoming due dates for Annual Report filings, tax deadlines, and more. Juggling all of these things at once can be a challenge when you’re also running your own business. It’s best to delegate.
Lastly, if you act as your own registered agent, you have to be at your registered agent address at all times during normal business hours. This offers you no flexibility with your time.
When you don’t have to act as your own registered agent, however, you are free to do with your time what you want. This suits a busy business owner far better.
Missouri registered agent costs
Hiring a registered agent service company is not free. You will need to pay for this service if you hire a commercial company. It typically costs anywhere between $50 and $300 for this service. The majority of registered agent companies charge by the year.
If you would like to save a nominal amount of money as you are starting out with your new LLC (limited liability company), you can also be your own registered agent. This is free.
Alternatively, you can have a commercial company help you register your business in Missouri, and they may add on one year of registered agent services to their business formation plan. From then on, however, you’ll need to pay the regular fee for registered agent services every year.
How to change your Missouri registered agent
If you would like to change who your Missouri registered agent is, you will need to obtain a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form from the Missouri Secretary of State.
This form can be submitted in person, online, or by fax or mail. There is a fee to file this form, which differs depending on your mode of submittal. It can be paid by credit card.
When changing to a company that offers registered agent services, be sure to inquire as to whether that company can provide change of registered agent filings for free. This is often the case when switching to a service. They will often cover the filing fees for you and save you some hassle.
List of forms
The forms and links below will be of use as you begin the incorporation process in Missouri and find a registered agent for your new LLC or corporation.
What is a resident agent in Missouri?
A registered agent is someone you choose to accept legal notices, official documents, and other important mail for your business. Your registered agent in Missouri can be an individual, such as a trusted friend, a family member, or yourself. Or, you can appoint a professional commercial registered agent company to serve in this position.
Why do I need a Missouri registered agent?
Registered agents are critical to Missouri businesses because they ensure that each business receives important mail and time-sensitive information right away. If you were to receive critical correspondence from the state or if you were to be sued or subpoenaed, you would need to be notified of these things immediately, which is how a registered agent can help.
What is the difference between a registered agent and an organizer?
Registered agents and organizers are not the same. An organizer can help you organize your LLC or corporation documents and perform the initial duties necessary for registering your business. Registered agents receive important legal and government-related correspondence on behalf of your business and forward it to you in a timely manner. Registered agents and organizers are entirely different positions.