How to find a registered agent in Texas

Texas registered agent requirements

Most any adult Texas resident or established business entity within the state can be named as the registered agent for your business. On the other hand, it’s importance to note that your business itself cannot be its own registered agent.

In order to be eligible to be a registered agent in Texas, an individual or business entity must meet the following requirements:

Being your own registered agent

Not everyone can be a registered agent. You must meet the following requirements if you want to be your own registered agent or have an employee fill this role:

  • You must be 18 or over.
  • You must have a physical registered office address in the state of Texas. This cannot be a P.O. box address.
  • You must have consistent (year-round) availability, which means being at your address on business days during normal business hours.
  • You must be prepared to accept service of process, legal documents, and other business notifications on behalf of your business.

Hiring a registered agent service

Texas registered agent services need to follow certain requirements, including all of those listed above. In addition, they must consent to the appointment by filling out the appropriate paperwork with the state.

A professional service also needs to be able to collect and maintain any business mail received on behalf of your business. They then need to make this correspondence available to you in a timely manner.

Recommended registered agent services

Northwest Registered Agent will scan all documents you receive for your business so that you can easily see them in your online account. There, you’ll have unlimited cloud storage as well as strong business data protection, and help from their friendly customer service staff when you need it. A yearly subscription for their registered agent services costs $125.

See the full Northwest review here.

ZenBusiness is one of the most popular registered agent services, and many say they’re the best. They can help you with the process of LLC formation while also becoming your registered agent, and the total fee is just $99 per year — a great price. ZenBusiness is known for its competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and easy-to-understand plans.

See the full ZenBusiness review here.

Incfile will include their registered agent services free for the first year when you purchase their LLC formation services. After that, you’ll pay $119 per year to keep them on as your registered agent. With Incfile, you can instantly see and access your business’s important documents and legal notices by using their convenient dashboard. So that you know instantly when your business receives new mail, you’ll also receive a direct SMS notification and an immediate email.

See the full Incfile review here.

Why you need a registered agent

A registered agent is a necessary role you must fill when you want to incorporate your limited liability company in the state of Texas. The Texas Secretary of State requires that you have a registered agent listed on your Articles of Organization.

What you may not know is that you can actually be your own registered agent if you so choose. Many business owners don’t want to act as their own registered agent, however. So, they hire the service out to a national company. Alternatively, you can use an employee or even a close friend or family member as your registered agent.

The role of the registered agent is to receive mail on your business’s behalf. In particular, the registered agent is supposed to receive service of process mail, including important legal documents.

When you need a registered agent

The role of the registered agent comes into play as you submit your Articles of Organization and incorporate your business through the Secretary of State.

Before choosing your registered agent, however, you will need to select a business name. To do this, you should conduct a name search to be sure that your selected name hasn’t already been taken by another business.

From there, listing your registered agent and detailing their local registered office address and business hours is your next step. Finally, it’s time to submit your Operating Agreement.

The Secretary of State will then give you your Certificate of Formation. The final step in the incorporation process is usually obtaining your employer identification number (also known as an EIN).

Why use a registered agent service

Here are the most important reasons to hire a commercial registered agent service instead of having an employee act as your registered agent or being your own.

You don’t want your personal address on public record.

Most business owners want to keep their work lives separate from their personal lives. But if you act as your own registered agent and list your home address as your registered agent address, this means your personal address and agent information will be on public record. This can compromise your privacy.

You don’t maintain normal business hours.

If you are unable to keep regular hours at your address, this is unacceptable in terms of being a registered agent. That’s because in this role, you need to ensure that important documents reach your business in a timely manner. If you are not consistently present at the stated address, you might miss critical government or legal documents.

You use a P.O. box as the address for your business.

If you currently use a P.O. box as your businesses address, this will not work as your registered agent address. Unless you have a different address that you are okay having listed with the state, you’ll want to hire a professional registered agent service.

You need (or want) to travel.

As the owner of your company, it makes sense that you may need to travel domestically or internationally from time to time. You might also simply want to travel for leisure.

In both of these situations, the problem will be that you won’t reliably be at your registered agent address. This makes it possible that critical documents may be sent there while you are gone.

When you hire a professional registered agent service, you can travel all you want and know that your service of process documents will be in good hands. In many cases, your registered agent can even forward them to you immediately via an online account.

You want to incorporate your business in other states.

You must incorporate your company in every state where you plan to conduct business. Therefore, if you plan on operating your business in Louisiana, California, and Arizona in addition to Texas, for example, you will need registered agent addresses in each of these locations.

This can be challenging, if not impossible, for most business owners. A commercial registered agent service will be able to offer their services in all of these states, however. This can streamline the organization of your business documents and any service of process paperwork you may receive.

You’re concerned about remaining compliant.

All Texas businesses must remain compliant with state and federal regulations. This allows them to stay in “good standing”. Compliance can take up a lot of your time, especially if you are not used to following the various meticulous requirements.

The professional registered agent service you hire will be familiar with all compliance requirements and will ensure your company remains in good standing.

You think your business address may change.

If you think your business address may change, you might simply consider hiring a registered agent service so that you can maintain a consistent address.

If your business is growing rapidly or you plan on moving your business from your home to a brick-and-mortar site, this is usually a good reason to hire a professional company to be your registered agent as well.

Texas registered agent costs

When hiring a registered agent service to act as your Texas company’s registered agent, the company will charge you a fee every year. This fee covers basic services, including being reliably available to receive service of process on behalf of your company.

Generally speaking, hiring a professional registered agent costs from $50-$300 annually. When you are a new business and need to incorporate in your first year, these business filings can sometimes be included in your first year fees as well.

Additionally, sometimes other services may be added for a fee. For example, your registered agent can send you annual report and franchise tax alerts, offer you mail forwarding, or set up an online account for you. In these cases, the overall cost of your registered agent’s services may go up.

How to change your Texas registered agent

  • In order to select a new registered agent in Texas, you will need to pay the appropriate state fees and fill out and submit a Change of Registered Agent form (statement of change). Your statement of change must be submitted to the state.

  • The cost of this service depends on who your registered agent is. If you are your company’s own registered agent, you will need to foot the bill, which is $15 for most companies. Nonprofit companies are typically charged smaller state fees.

  • Many hired professional registered agent services will take on the burden of changing your registered agent for free as well.

List of forms

Below, you’ll find a list of essential forms and links for incorporating your business in the state of Texas.

FAQs

Is a registered agent the same as a statutory agent?

Yes. There are multiple names for the role of registered agent. These include statutory agent as well as resident agent. All of these terms refer to a business entity or individual who receives service of process and other legal notices and important mail on behalf of a company.

Can a registered agent be a P.O. box in Texas?

No. P.O. box addresses are not acceptable addresses when it comes to registered agent services. Your registered agent — whether it is you or a hired service — needs to have a regular physical street address in Texas.

Can a registered agent be the owner?

Yes, according to Texas state law, a company’s registered agent can be the owner. There is no filing fee. State requirements stipulate that the individual must be 18 or older and have a physical address in Texas where they will be available during normal business hours year-round.

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