Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?
A Pennsylvania registered agent is an individual or company that accepts service of process and other legal notifications on behalf of a Pennsylvania corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or Limited Partnership (LP) requires having a Registered Office in Pennsylvania.
Learn what a registered agent is and the requirements.
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent (also referred to as a registered office, resident agent, or statutory agent in some states) is the primary physical address for registered entities in Pennsylvania where important legal documents are sent.
This can be your home address, the address of an accountant or attorney, the address of the business, or the registered office service. Basically, any physical address in the state may be used with the exception of PO Boxes, and mail drop services are not acceptable since someone has to be available to sign and accept documents.
The agent will also need to be available to receive Service of Process on behalf of the business during normal business hours. Service of process refers to the delivery of legal documents, often a summons, subpoena, or lawsuit filed against a business entity.
Why is a registered agent required in Pennsylvania?
For starters, a registered agent is required by the Department of State when forming a Pennsylvania LLC, corporation, LLP, or LP.
The requirements for an entity to have a Registered Office are formed under Pennsylvania 15 PA Cons Stat § 8825 (LLC) and Statute 15 PA Cons Stat § 1507 (corporation), which mandate that registered entities will have and continuously maintain a Registered Office within the state.
If the listed registered agent cannot receive legal notices, this lawsuit will still proceed. If a process server is unsuccessful in reaching the company’s registered agent, the court can proceed with the case. This could result in a judgment being placed against the business without the owners knowing
Also, if the business doesn’t have a registered agent, the Pennsylvania Department of State can dissolve the entity.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not need a registered agent.
Who can be a Pennsylvania registered agent?
The requirements for an entity to have a registered agent are formed under Pennsylvania law 15 PA Cons Stat § 8825 (LLC) and Statute 15 PA Cons Stat § 1507 (corporation), which mandate that registered entities will have and continuously maintain a Registered Office within the state.
A registered company or an individual (and can be a business owner) who is 18 years of age or older that is available at a physical address in the state of Pennsylvania during normal business hours can be appointed as a registered agent.
Why you may not want to be your own registered agent
Provided one of the business owners, members or officers lives in Pennsylvania, it is less expensive to act as your own registered agent rather than hiring a commercial registered agent service. While this is the route many businesses take, there are a few reasons to consider hiring a service.
– Privacy – The address of the registered agent becomes public record and is available for anybody to see. This can be especially concerning if someone is doing business on the side and they don’t want their employer to know about the business. Also, if the business is sued, the notice will be delivered to the address on file. This could mean employees, customers, or even neighbors witnessing the event. There is also the remote possibility of a vindictive litigant or upset customer showing up at your house.
– Availability – Pennsylvania requires the registered agent to be available at the registered office address during regular business hours to receive any legal notices. The biggest issue with availability, especially if a home address is used, is if the agent goes on vacation or is otherwise away for some period of time and can’t be reached.
– If the Business Expands to Additional Locations – If the business has a physical presence in multiple states (offices, warehouses, employees, etc.), a foreign entity registration will often need to be filed with those states. A registered agent will need to be appointed with a physical address in each state.
– Due Date Reminders – Registered agent services provide annual report reminders and updates on any state requirements.
How much does a Pennsylvania registered agent cost?
Depending on the services provided, a commercial registered agent service typically costs between $100-$150 per year. Northwest Registered Agent is a popular service that charges $125 per year and offers several extras such as document scanning and mail forwarding and Harbor Compliance has a basic service starting at $99.
Some entity formation companies, like IncFile, includes registered agent service at no cost for the first year when you register your corporation or LLC with them.
Can a registered office be changed in Pennsylvania?
A Registered Office can be changed by submitting the Change of Registered Office Form along with the filing fee to the Pennsylvania Department of State.