A Virginia Registered Agent or Virginia Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Virginia. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Virginia and be available during regular business hours.
In my Virginia Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Virginia business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Virginia LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup a Virginia 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 Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.
Best Virginia Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Virginia. They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!
The best option for a Virginia registered agent is to go with ZenBusiness. Their service is the best you’ll find and I recommend everyone uses it since there have been 1000s of their customers that are happy with the results. They also typically give you the first year of a Registered Agent service included.
There are other options like Northwest Registered Agent and Harbor Compliance but typically I find that ZenBusiness does the best job and typically had great customer service to support you through the process.
What is a Virginia Registered Agent?
A Virginia Registered Agent isn’t any different than a Registered Agent from another state. I typically find that you’re going to need an individual or business entity that will do three main things for you: 1. Have a business address in the state of Virginia 2. Operate during business hours and be available in case there are legal documents served to you during that time. 3. Be your public information listing
A registered agent is going to be publicly listed for anyone to search through the Virginia Secretary of State’s office to determine your business’s registered agent. That means if you were to act as your own registered agent that your address would be on file for public search.
You can do a Virginia business name search on the Secretary of State’s portal here.
Why do I need a Virginia Registered Agent?
It’s the law. That’s the short answer. The longer answer is because a registered agent is a very important service that is offered by national providers and Virginia law firms that are going to have this service for Virginia businesses.
The law states that you’ll need someone or a business entity that will accept legal documents on your behalf so it’s important that you have the right registered agent service setup for your business.
If you don’t have a registered agent service setup for your business from the beginning your business could be dissolved by the Secretary of State’s office.
When should I obtain a Virginia Registered Agent?
The best time to do any of this is at the beginning of the business creation process. As you form your business you’ll need a registered agent service. I always like to recommend Northwest Registered Agent because they will help you form your domestic LLC, foreign LLC, Limited Liability Company or whatever type you’re looking to incorporate. If you’re looking to setup a nonprofit – that is something you can do with them too. Either way, it’s something that you will need for the business entity you’re going to be setting up.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Virginia?
Yes. You can be your own registered agent but as I’ve been saying – I don’t recommend it. There are a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t do this but the most important is what I was saying earlier – public record access. If you decide to do this on your own the registered agent’s name will be on file and so with the public address. If you have a physical address in the state of Virginia then you can do it but you really shouldn’t.
I would like to make sure you realize this is pretty important for you to think about. It may be a lower cost up front but the time and potential need to always be around during normal business hours. Think about this before you decide to do it. You can start this way and always change the registered agent in the future but that is just another unnecessary step that you really don’t need to deal with.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
A registered agent can range in cost depending on the method you’re going to use. If you do it on your own there isn’t any money associated to that. It’s more about the time that it’s going to take you to get this done. If you go with something like Northwest Registered Agent, they typically will include the service for the first year if you form your Virginia LLC with them.
After the first year, it will be around $125 per year which is pretty reasonable considering what this service entails and how important it truly is.
I always recommend using a registered agent service because they really do make things easier on you and your business. There are other more expensive services that you can consider if you’re not comfortable with NW Registered Agent as the service but again – they are the best so use them.
The other option is to potentially find a Virginia law firm who has these services but again that is something that you’d need to really understand and get into with the law firm. There are services that exist so check it out before passing on it but make sure you understand what they provide.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Virginia?
The process to elect a registered agent in Virginia is actually pretty simple. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide which company or person you want to use for the service. Once you have that decided, it’s just a matter of completing some paperwork and filing it with the Secretary of State’s office.
In order to get the right paper work to do this you can go to the Virginia Secretary of State’s website and pull the right form down from here.
If you have questions that website will be the best place for you to get into it with the state.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Virginia?
You can do this and you’ll need to login to your account with the state at http://cis.scc.virginia.gov. You can also check out the details on this document they posted for you to review.
The steps to do this are:
- Login to CIS at https://cis.scc.virginia.gov
- Click on Online Services (Top Left of screen)
- Click on Existing Businesses
- Select the Virginia Entity you want to change your Registered Agent from
- Select ‘Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent’
- Locate the business in the system by either 1. Searching the Entity Name 2. Enter the Entity ID
- Click Search
- Click Select
- Click Continue
You now have all the information you need to get setup with your Virginia Registered Agent for the Virginia LLC or whatever business entity you’re thinking of getting setup here.
Registered Agent FAQ
Does Virginia require a registered agent?
Yes. You need to have a Virginia registered agent or Virginia registered agent service that is going to act as such for your business entity.
Does registered agent mean owner?
A registered agent is not an owner of your business (or member for that matter). You’re going to have a registered agent associated to your business but that is different than a member of your business.
What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a company that provides the registered agent service for you. This can be an individual but most commonly it’s going to be a business.
Best Registered Agent
The best option for your registered agent service