Selecting a Registered Agent: Complete Guide for Texas LLCs
The Role of a Registered Agent
Who Can Be a Registered Agent: Legal Requirements
A registered agent can be either an individual or an organization, and the legal requirements vary based on the type of registered agent selected.
An LLC’s registered agent is often one of the LLC’s owners (i.e., members), but as long as the legal requirements below are met, it does not have to be.
If the registered agent is an individual, he or she must:
- consent to the appointment
- be a resident of Texas
- disclose and maintain a physical address in Texas where he or she can be personally served with legal notices (mailbox services and PO Boxes are NOT allowed)
If the registered agent is an organization, it must:
- consent to the appointment
- be an existing Texas entity in good standing (or otherwise authorized to do business in Texas)
- disclose and maintain a physical address in Texas where an employee of the organization can be personally served with legal notices during normal business hours (mailbox services and PO Boxes are NOT allowed)
Duties of a Registered Agent
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a registered agent?
Who can be a registered agent in Texas?
Who typically serves as the registered agent?
How much does a registered agent cost?
What are the most popular registered agent services?
The popular registered agents in Texas are:
- Registered Agent Solutions, Inc.*
- Registered Agents, Inc.
- National Registered Agents, Inc. (NRAI)
- CT Corporation
- InCorp Services, Inc.
- Corporation Service Company (CSC)
- Northwest Registered Agent, LLC
- United States Corporation Agents, Inc. (a LegalZoom affiliate)
- Lone Star Registered Agent
- Texan Registered Agent, LLC
- Legalinc Corporate Services, Inc.
*Registered Agent Solutions, Inc. (aka RASI) has given me the ability to hire them on behalf of my clients. RASI has to reduce their annual fee to $120/year for all of my clients. If you need a professional registered agent and would like me to handle it for you, I am happy to help. For new LLCs, we give you the option to designate a registered agent of your choosing or have us hire one for you.
Can I be my own registered agent?
Who is unable to be a registered agent in Texas?
The following are not eligible to be a registered agent in Texas:
- A non-resident of Texas
- Anyone who will not (or cannot) consent
- An entity can be the registered agent for itself
- A foreign entity that is not authorized to do business in Texas
What are the risks of being a registered agent?
Do I need a registered agent?
How do I change my registered agent in Texas?
You can change your registered agent at any time by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent (SOS Form 401) with the Texas Secretary of State and paying the $15 filing fee.
The new registered agent will need to consent to the appointment, which is typically accomplished by having them sign an Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent (SOS Form 401-A).
What does a registered agent do?
The sole duty of a registered agent in Texas is to receive any process, notice, or demand and then forward the same to the represented entity. Professional registered agents often provide additional services like:
- allow you to use their address as your business address.
- forward mail and other documents as directed
- save copies of all documents received for future access
- file public information reports with the Texas Comptroller
- file beneficial owner information (BOI) reports with the federal government
What are the benefits of using a professional registered agent?
Using a professional registered agent offers several benefits for businesses, including:
- Consistency. Professional registered agents maintain regular hours, ensuring that someone is available to receive important legal and tax documents during standard business hours, which is a requirement in Texas. This is convenient for business owners who travel frequently or do not maintain regular office hours.
- Privacy. A registered agent's address is public record, which means using a professional service can provide a layer of privacy for business owners. This can be particularly beneficial for a home-based business that prefers not to make a home address public.
- Avoid Embarrassment. Avoid having your clients, vendors, neighbors, or employees encounter a sheriff or process server if the LLC is ever sued.
- Efficiency. Make sure that the right person receives any legal documents in a timely manner.
- Adaptability. As your company expands into other states, you have a one-stop source to handle all of your registered agent needs.
- Compliance. Professional registered agents are well-versed in the legal requirements for businesses in their jurisdiction. They ensure that your business remains in good standing by helping you comply with state regulations, filing deadlines, and legal obligations.
- Savings. Save time and money by not having to update your registered agent information each time you or your LLC moves.
- National Coverage. For LLCs that operate in multiple states, professional registered agents can provide services across various jurisdictions, simplifying the process of maintaining compliance in multiple states.
Zachary Copp, Esq.
Mr. Copp is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the founder of the Copp Law Firm. He has been licensed in Texas for 20 years and has personally formed over 3,500 Texas LLCs since 2015. He was recognized as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers® for seven straight years. See full bio →