Delaware Registered Agent

Andrew C. McGuire

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A Delaware Registered Agent or Delaware Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Delaware. A registered agent is someone who agrees to accept legal papers on behalf of the business if it is sued. The agent must have a physical address in Delaware and be available during normal business hours.

In my Delaware Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent for your Delaware business, how to pick one and whether you should use a professional service to help. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Delaware LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup a Delaware LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use ZenBusiness.

Best Delaware Registered Agent Service

I always recommend starting with ZenBusiness if you’re going to also need to form an LLC. They typically include the first year of the registered agent service for you and you’ll have a national provider that’s been doing this for years and 1000s of other business owners.

If you’re just looking for the registered agent service, you can also consider Northwest Registered Agent who has a great Registered Agent service and will keep you out of acting as your own registered agent.

What is a Delaware Registered Agent?

A Delaware Registered Agent is a person or business that agrees to accept legal papers on behalf of your company if it is sued. The agent must have a physical address in the state of Delaware and be available during normal business hours.

The main purpose of having a Registered Agent is so that there is always someone available to receive important legal documents on your behalf and you don’t need to provide your personal home address to do so.

A registered agent is required by law whether you’re a Delaware LLC or one of the many Delaware corporations that have been incorporated this year.

If you’re a Delaware Corporation you still will need a registered agent service to help you make sure all legal documents are accepted which is required by Delaware law.

Why do I need a Delaware Registered Agent?

There are a few key reasons you need to have a Delaware Registered Agent:

  • To comply with state law – All businesses in Delaware are required to have a Registered Agent.
  • To have someone available during normal business hours to receive legal documents – This is important in case your company is sued or needs to serve legal papers.
  • To keep your personal information private – By using a professional Registered Agent service, you can keep your home address off of public records.

Delaware registered agent services can take the form of a law firm that resides in the state or using a registered agent company like Harbor Compliance and/or Northwest Registered Agent. Your registered agent’s information will be on public record so the last thing you want is to have your registered office address be your personal home address. The main reason I recommend not being your own registered agent is because of that reason.

When should I obtain a Delaware Registered Agent?

This is pretty straight forward. You need to use legal services when becoming a business owner where you’re going to need to comply with Delaware law and you should get a registered agent service setup at the beginning of when you setup your business. You’ll have a business formation process and have an operating agreement as you go through the LLC formation process. You should just setup a Delaware business address using a virtual mailbox option and also setup a registered agent service from the beginning of your time as a new business. It’s an important and legally required step as you build out your business.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Delaware?

The Delaware Division of Corporations requires that all LLCs and corporations have a registered agent with a physical address in the state. The registered agent must be available during business hours to receive important legal documents on behalf of your company.

You can technically be your own Registered Agent, but we don’t recommend it for the following reasons:

  • It’s not a good use of your time – You should be focused on growing your business, not managing legal documents.
  • Your personal information is public – Your Registered Agent’s contact information is listed on public record.
  • You could be served legal papers at your home or office – If your company is sued, the process server will come looking for you at your home.

If you’re just looking for free mail forwarding or a automatic mail forwarding service that is not your registered agent. You should check out a virtual mailbox solution that sets up other business documents and gives you a physical location address vs. trying to leverage a registered agent to help you with that. They are not there to be your business address – it’s for legal correspondence that you may need help with.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?

This really depends on whether you’re looking for national registered agents or if you’re looking for a local law firm that offers a service like this. The cost of Delaware Registered Agents that I’d recommend are going to be in the $125 to $300 per year. You really don’t want to go below that because you’re not going to get good service and they may not take their job as seriously as a company that is charging that much for their service.

At the end of the day, it’s important to have a registered agent and get the right Delaware Registered Agent Services that you’ll need for your Delaware company whether it’s an LLC, S-Corp or other type of business entity.

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Delaware?

The first step is to determine whether you need a Registered Agent. If you form a business in Delaware, the state requires that your company have a Registered Agent with a physical address within the state.

If you do need a Registered Agent, the next step is to elect one. This can be done by filing the Certificate of Formation for your LLC with the state. The Certificate of Formation must list the name and address of the Registered Agent. Here’s a direct link to the PDF from the state of Delaware for you to review.

If you’re not sure whether you need a Registered Agent or how to elect one, we can help. We’re a full-service business formation company and we can help you with everything from choosing a Registered Agent to forming the LLC – back to the Northwest Registered Agent recommendation.

How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Delaware?

The first step is to determine whether you need to change your Registered Agent. If you have an LLC in Delaware, the state requires that your company have a Registered Agent with a physical address within the state.

If you do need to change your Registered Agent, the next step is to file the Certificate of Change with the state.

Here’s the link to the Delaware Change of Agent Forms you’re going to need.

It’s important that you make sure if you have registered agent services that you come back to your original registered agents and let them know you’re not going to be renewing services with them for the following service year. A Delaware Registered Agent Service is important to have and you want to make sure your business entity is covered whether it’s an online account or you’ve found a local law firm to help.

Conclusion

You should now feel comfortable and confident on what you need to do to have a Delaware Registered Agent Service setup for your business. There are going to be a annual registered agent fee if you’re using a registered agent service. If you’re acting as your own registered agent you won’t have that issue but as we talked about – that’s not the best route. Now go get your registered agent service setup and make sure you’re ready to rock with your business.

Registered Agent FAQS

Does Delaware require a registered agent?

Yes. You will need to have some type of registered agent service but you can also act as your own registered agent if you’d like to.

Does registered agent mean owner?

No. An owner of a new business is not the same as a registered agent. You’ll need to have your business entity with owners and operators but that is not a registered agent. If you’re in need to have your company’s registered agent then you’ve missed the whole point of this article. You do not need your registered agent to be an owner of your business.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a company or individual that will act on behalf of your business entity with the state. This is important to have if you want to form an LLC or corporation in Delaware.

Best Registered Agent

The best option for your registered agent service