Tips to Select a Registered Agent

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A registered agent serves as the contact point for your business in Texas. They are responsible for receiving service of process, lawsuits, liens and compliance alerts from the state on behalf of your company.

There are many options when it comes to selecting a Texas Registered Agent. Here are 4 tips to help you select the right one for your company:.

1. Reputation

A registered agent is a person or business that has a physical address in the state of Texas and is available to receive service of process for lawsuits, notices and other official documents on behalf of an LLC. Under Texas law, an entity can serve as its own registered agent, but many people prefer to use a professional registered agent service that specializes in this role and offers added benefits like mail forwarding or document scanning.

A reputable company with great customer support is a must, and you should avoid high-priced options such as LegalZoom, which offer a national presence but charge much more than local services. A top choice is Incfile, which offers a low-cost package plus state fees, and lifetime company alerts for a reasonable price. Alternatively, you can also select a national company such as ZenBusiness for a more streamlined solution. They also provide a free first year of service. You can change your registered agent by filing Form 401 online or by mailing, faxing or in person to the Secretary of State’s office.

2. Fees

A registered agent can be an individual or a business entity. Although you can act as your own registered agent, it is best to hire a professional service because of the many added benefits they provide. Professionals like Northwest Registered Agent earned our top spot due to their industry-leading customer service and affordable pricing of $125 per year for full-service registered agent services (they even scan and post every document they receive on your behalf to an online portal).

They keep your personal information off public record, help with filing paperwork and compliance deadline alert notifications. They also offer discounted rates if you prepay for multiple years upfront. To change your registered agent, you need to submit two copies of a Statement of Change of Registered Agent Form 401-A and pay the $15 state fee. This can be done by mail, fax or in person. It can also be completed online with the Texas Secretary of State.

3. Availability

When choosing a Texas registered agent, consider the person or business’s availability to receive service of process. You want someone who is able to maintain regular business hours and feel comfortable receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

Most commercial registered agent services have a 24/7 online account for their clients to view the documents they’ve received. They also scan and forward documents to you immediately, which saves you a lot of time.

Another benefit of using a commercial registered agent service is privacy. You don’t have to list your personal or office address on state documents, which can protect you from a tower of junk mail in your mailbox. Lastly, these services will keep your information up to date and send you notifications and reminders about compliance deadlines. If you are looking for a full-service registered agent, Harbor Compliance offers great customer service at competitive prices. They also offer premium services for an additional fee.

4. Ease of Use

Choosing the right Texas registered agent will save you time, money and hassle. It will also protect your privacy. It will keep your personal address off of state documents and towers of junk mail. And, it will help you avoid costly mistakes and compliance issues.

A professional registered agent will have 24/7 online access to your accounts and scan all mail received on your behalf, including legal documents and notices from the state. Most will forward your documents or send a notification of document service to you within one business day.

While it may seem convenient to designate yourself as your own Texas registered agent, the law requires that you be a Texas resident or entity and be available during normal business hours to receive service of process. If you can’t commit to being available, a good registered agent service will provide you with an offsite address for a low cost. Many of the top online incorporation services include a year of registered agent service for free when you purchase an LLC package, such as Northwest Registered Agent ($39 + state fees). Other excellent options are MyCompanyWorks and ZenBusiness.

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