A registered agent has a vital role in most businesses. In Pennsylvania, all LLCs and corporations must have a registered agent. An agent can be a person or business, but they must have an address in Pennsylvania where they can physically receive legal communications for the business.
Pennsylvania registered agents are required to receive important legal information such as service of process notices, correspondence from the secretary of state, official government notifications, tax forms, and notices of lawsuits.
While these are the basic duties of a registered agent in PA, they are not all that a registered agent can offer. Many companies choose to hire a professional registered agent for the numerous benefits they provide.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the services offered by registered agents, further explore their obligations and answer some common questions about registered agents in Pennsylvania:
What are the Legal Requirements to be a Registered Agent in PA?
In order to be a registered agent in Pennsylvania, the following criteria must be met:
- Must be 18 years or older (or a company)
- Must have a physical address in PA (PO boxes are not accepted)
- Must be able to accept legal papers at the listed location
Based on these criteria, you can see how wide the net is for potential registered agents. This makes it all the more important to choose a trustworthy person or company to serve in this position.
Duties of Pennsylvania Registered Agents
At a bare minimum, a registered agent in PA must have an address in Pennsylvania and must be at that address during business hours in order to receive legal documents on behalf of the business they represent.
While you can serve as your own registered agent, or have someone else in the company serve in this role, it can be helpful to have the registered agent work outside of your typical offices. This prevents embarrassing situations, such as being served, from occurring in front of clients. Additionally, serving as your own registered agent leaves your address publicly available, which invites various privacy concerns.
However, there are additional duties and benefits that a quality registered agent can provide. The best registered agents improve the privacy, speed, and security of a business. Some registered agents have a background in law and can perform all the duties that are required of them while also providing helpful advice on how best to approach a legal situation.
When searching for a registered agent, the most important factor is trustworthiness and reliability. While no one hopes to be served legal papers or run into any lawsuits, having a reliable registered agent minimizes the chances of an unforced error and puts you in a better position to properly address these concerns.
Why You Need a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania
By law, any LLC or corporation operating in PA must have a registered agent to receive and forward important legal notices and communications from the government. Almost anyone living in the state can be a registered agent, so long as they are over the age of 18.
While it may appear to just add to the list of things you need to do when forming a business, having a registered agent is actually quite helpful. A quality registered agent can receive legal notices at a different location from your offices, helping to avoid uncomfortable interactions in front of clients or employees. They can also help prevent junk mail and other privacy concerns by keeping your address off of publicly listed records. Experienced ones will even assist with legal and business services that help to reduce stress and minimize the chances of a major legal issue.
Benefits of Hiring a Company or Professional Service as a Registered Agent
While it may cost more than doing it yourself, hiring a professional service or company to serve as a registered agent comes with notable benefits. Some of the things you can expect from quality services include:
- Increased privacy: Being your own registered agent makes your personal or business address publicly available. This creates plenty of privacy concerns that are avoided by hiring someone else to fulfill this role.
- Availability: A professional service will always monitor the mail at their listed address. You won’t have to worry about missing important legal communications.
- Organization: A high level of organization is part of a registered agent service’s job. They’ll keep all the information you need organized and will promptly forward any relevant information to your location.
- Convenience: If you serve as your own agent, you need to remain at your given address during business hours. By offloading this responsibility, you can travel more and work on deals outside of the home and office.
- Assistance: Quality services tend to have some level of legal knowledge. They can help you determine which steps to take should you ever run into a legal issue.
Order a Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service
Ultimately, your needs will dictate whether you require a registered agent service or can serve as your own. If you do find that you need a professional service, then you should work with people you can trust.
Our registered agent service comes with low fees and we have more than 30 years of experience helping people like you build companies. With our many offices and experienced workforce, we’re able to offer a level of value that exceeds a standalone agent. You can rely on us for prompt and effective registered agent services, and turn to us for other legal services such as asset protection, estate planning and more.
Click the button below to explore more details about our registered agent service.
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Pennsylvania Registered Agent FAQs
How do I change my registered agent in Pennsylvania? ✕
To change your registered agent in Pennsylvania, you need to follow the guidelines you created in your operating agreement. Once you have followed that process, you need to install the new registered agent through the same process used to add any registered agent, and notify the secretary of state office about the change.
Can I be my own registered agent in Pennsylvania? ✕
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Pennsylvania. This is a decent solution for single-member LLCs that are used for tax flexibility or as a pass-through entity. However, it reduces your privacy and may not be the right solution for small to mid-sized businesses.
Can I have my business’s mail delivered to my registered agent’s Pennsylvania office? ✕
Yes, you can choose to have business mail sent to your registered agent’s office. This can help reduce clutter and ensure that all important information will be sent to your registered agent first.
How do Pennsylvania registered agents get served? ✕
Registered agents are served in the exact same fashion an individual is served. A process server, the sheriff or another official party, will arrive at the address and serve the papers to the registered agent. Once they complete this task, they will provide the court with an affidavit confirming the service. After the process server has departed, the registered agent will forward the documents to you.
How do I find a Pennsylvania registered agent? ✕
Locating a registered agent service is as easy as searching on the internet. But before deciding on an agent, you should know what you want from the service. Good agent services provide more than the minimum of forwarding documents. The best services even provide you with advice that can help you should you ever find your company in legal trouble.
What is a Pennsylvania commercial registered office provider (CROP)? ✕
A CROP is a service that fulfills the minimum duties of a registered agent. They receive and accept legal mail and service of process items on your behalf. A CROP can also provide you with an address for your business if you do not have an address or physical location in Pennsylvania.
How do I resign from being a registered agent in Pennsylvania? ✕
If you wish to resign from being a registered agent, you can resign by sending a written notice to the company. This step may be unnecessary if you are the sole member of the company. Once that is done, submit a statement of resignation to the secretary of state. Finally, after selecting the new agent, inform the secretary of state of the change.