Assign a Registered Agent in New York

Last updated on: October 15, 2021

A lot of communication takes place between business owners and stakeholders. For example, you need to talk to your lawyer whenever you have a legal problem. Or talk to your suppliers when you want a change in the supply chain. In addition to communicating with business stakeholders, you must also keep in touch with the state through appointing a registered agent NY. You must do this for your business to maintain its good standing; else, you could even end up losing your license to operate in the state. With New York, things are a little different and the secretary of state takes on this registered agent New York State role. However, for more efficacy, you can still appoint someone or a company to help with the service of process.

What is a New York Registered Agent?

You will communicate with the state on various levels. From when you start your business to when you apply for licenses or file reports, you will need to have a clear line of communication. You can choose to do this yourself or hire someone or a company to handle this line of work for you. This intermediary between the business and the authorities is known as a New York registered agent and can go by several different names such as:

  • Resident Agent
  • Agent for Service of Process
  • Statutory Agent

This person or NY LLC registered agent service takes over communicating with the state by receiving all documents pertinent to your operations and forwarding these to you. Please note that the New York registered agent is not optional but rather a mandatory requirement as per the law. Not having one will mean that your formation process will not go through. If you already have a registered agent but do not maintain one or choose one that provides subpar services, you will be at risk of losing your good standing.

For example, if the intermediary is not present during business hours, law officers will show up and not find someone to serve with legal papers. As a result, a case can continue without you knowing about it until the judgment is made and you have lost. But that is not the only thing you need to worry about when dealing with an intermediary. Not only can you lose your business assets (from a lawsuit) but not having a good agent can also cost you your good standing.

What Do New York Registered Agents Do?

The person or company you hire has one important task- maintaining your good standing. Given that the law requires you to have a go-between, having a registered agent New York counts towards your good relationship with the authorities. Other than this, this intermediary also receives legal information about your business and forwards this to you. It enables you to be abreast about all issues relating to your company.

In the state of New York, the secretary of state serves this role. However, you are always free to elect another person or company to serve the secondary role.

Why do I need a New York Registered Agent?

When operating in New York, you do not have to elect a registered agent service unlike the case with other states. However, putting someone in this secondary position has its perks. Other than to keep up with legal requirements, it also has some benefits. Let’s consider hiring a registered agent for LLC to do this. It should be a person or business qualified to offer representation services in the state. Such a person/ company can afford you:

  • Privacy – if you work from home or would prefer to keep your address private, hiring a professional will afford you an alternative address to list in your public records. If someone looks you up, they will not immediately know where they can find you.
  • Discretion – most of the documents you receive will be highly sensitive and you would not want most people handling these. You want them handled in a professional manner, organized and easy to find, as opposed to having a relative handle these and likely misplace them. Hiring a professional NYC LLC registered agent service will accord you accountability and you can rest assured that the company or individual will do their level best to keep the records accessible. Additionally, you can avoid having law officers showing up at your place of work with summons. Instead, these will go to the professional, enabling your employees and clients to be aloof about any legal goings-on.
  • Expansion – if you ever want to expand to other states, having a professional will enable you to do so fast because most of these companies operate nationwide.

Furthermore, you get to enjoy the perks of fast filing and having someone else worry about the paperwork as you go about other vital activities. The only downside to hiring a professional is the service cost. But thanks to the competition, you can get a good deal and spend less money on this essential service.

Can I be my own registered agent in NY?

The law does not have many restrictions as to who can represent your company and you can choose to do this yourself. You can even hire an individual to take care of this on your behalf. It can be a manager of the company or another individual. As a self rep, you would enjoy:

  • Convenience – you will not need to go through another person to get your documents as you will directly receive them. Also, there will be no issues of contact as you will not need a go-between.
  • Reduced costs – by not hiring a third party, you can go about your business operations devoid of the service costs. If you want to save money, this would be a good option.

As much as self-representation is cheaper, it comes with the downsides of:

  • Availability – the New York state registered agent must always be available. It means that if you want to step out of the office, take a vacation or handle an emergency, you will be at risk of not receiving important documents. It puts a bit of a damper on your scheduling.
  • Reliability – having a pro ensures that you get your documents on time which is a plus to using pro services. But when dealing with the documents yourself, you can misplace them or even fail to file on time which can threaten your good standing. It’s hard to juggle representation services alongside other critical business activities and doing all these by yourself can be overwhelming.

What are the requirements for New York registered agents?

When choosing who gets to take on this vital role, you must make sure that the person or company:

  • Is a resident of the state (if it’s an individual); or
  • Has the license to do business in the state (if it’s an entity)
  • Has a physical address in the state where the authorities can serve them with papers. The authorities will not accept a PO Box
  • Has a mailing address in the state

If you, someone in your organization or a company you have in mind meets these requirements, you can task the said person with this task. Please note that these registered agent New York state requirements are not negotiable.

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service In New York State?

The best choice comes down to your company’s needs and if the service tiers in the given organization match what you want. Some of the best registered agent services NY choices in the state are:

  • ZenBusiness – with two pricing tiers, customers can choose what works for them, and go for the basic or feature-filled option. Given that the company mainly focuses on helping people start their businesses, it lacks some representation services that are present in its competitors.
  • Harbor Compliance – this full-service NY registered agent also ranks highly in the market. It provides its clients with addresses, information protection and uploading and scanning services. Additionally, it keeps you up to date with any upcoming deadlines. The ease of navigating the site is another perk of this company.
  • Northwest Registered Agent – you can get all the basics with their first tier, making it one of the most affordable options in the state. Charges start at $125 a year, enabling you to get access to tons of features alongside technical support. You will be happy to note that this company has dealt with many businesses in the past. The company offers information and document privacy, deadline notifications and reliable customer support which features real people as opposed to chatbots. It thus has the knowhow to handle technical matters present in any industry.
  • LegalZoom – for a company that has been operating for two decades, you can expect a lot from this premium service. Not only does it offer the basic formation and representation services but it also goes a step further to offer identity theft protection.  What’s more, they offer legal document templates to help with navigating legal business aspects.
  • IncFile – if you want basic features without extra add-ons, this would be a good choice. Their price point is reasonable, though other companies offer better services at lower prices. However, if you are not interested in getting a lot of help, this would be a good choice.
  • Rocket Lawyer – this NYC registered agent offers both representation and legal services. However, for non-members, the packages tend to be steeply priced. Their lack of comprehensiveness makes them ideal for people who are looking for basic offerings. However, if you are interested in getting legal help, this company is a good idea.
  • Sundoc Filings – the charges are pretty steep in this case and are not coupled with many features. But as far as receiving documents goes, this service will have your back.
  • Incorp – suppose you would rather not wait and prefer to have things done fast, this would be a great option. There are numerous expedition options, allowing you to get started on your business fast. Additionally, the company offers packages at fair prices, ranging at $99 a year.
  • Incfile – when you form your LLC with this company, you get to enjoy a year of free services. That allows you to spend that money elsewhere. Furthermore, you can also enjoy next day processing advantages as well as free tax consultations.
  • Thomas Law Firm PLLC – with this agent, you can also look forward to legal aid to help you navigate legal matters. How great is that? This downtown firm also offers phone consultations, doing away with the need to be physically present. Charges start at $125 a year.

How much does a registered agent service cost in NY?

Costs vary based on the registered agent LLC services rendered and whether you get a good deal. Typically, you should expect to spend about $100 each year.

How Do I Search for A Registered Agent In New York?

Suppose you want to contact an organization via their New York registered agent service or want more information about a company you want to hire, you can find the agent via:

  • Visiting the NY Department of State site and doing a New York registered agent search with the company’s name. The site will provide details of their representation.
  • If you already have the registered agent name, you can type this in and you will get their registered office address and other key details.

How Do I Change My Registered Agent Service in New York State?

If your choice of representation does not work out, you always have the chance to change registered agent in NY and find someone more suitable for your business. All you need to do is file the certificate of change and send this to the authorities in person, via mail or by fax. If you want to speed up the process without paying extra fees, fax the form to change business registered agent. In all cases, you will be subject to a fee of $30.

Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray
(323) 789-5289
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray

In this IncFile vs ZenBusiness review, we're going to compare two of the most popular LLC formation services based on pricing, features, and drawing out differences and similarities to let you see which is most suitable for you and your business.

You can learn more about @Mike here.

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