How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Delaware

Last updated: March 17th, 2024
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This guide will help you find the best registered agent in Delaware. We’ll explore key factors to consider, evaluate top providers, and equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your business’s registered agent needs.

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What is a Delaware registered agent?

According to the Delaware Secretary of State, a registered agent is an individual that accepts official documents and service of process on behalf of a company. Delaware requires all formal businesses to appoint a registered agent upon formation.

As the point of contact for a Delaware business, an agent must be available during normal business hours to accept legal documents and other official notices, including:

A registered agent is always available

A registered agent is physically present and available to receive documents in Delaware due to having a required street address.

The agent or service’s address can also be listed in the Delaware public record search rather than your private office address.

An agent is the point of contact for a business

The role of a registered agent includes accepting service of process and other important notices.

If you fail to respond to a civil lawsuit in Delaware within 20 days, it may result in a default judgment and other financial liability.

Registered agents are a time saver

Registered agents use a compliance calendar to remind you before the annual report/franchise tax is due on March 1. An agent also offers a filing service to save you time completing and filing the forms.

The reminders give you the opportunity to focus on other business issues rather than worry about due dates.

Cost of a registered agent in Delaware

The registered agent fee in Delaware can cost between $50 and $500.

You can nominate to elect yourself as your business’s registered agent for free. You must be 18 years old and have a street address in Delaware.

If they meet Delaware state law requirements, you can appoint family members and friends you trust as your registered agent.

When to appoint a registered agent

Section 132(a)of the Delaware General Corporation Law states that all businesses must appoint a registered agent upon business formation.

During LLC formation, you will provide the registered agent’s name and contact information when filing the Certificate of Formation.

Delaware incorporations will list the registered agent offering incorporation services and formation services on the Certificate of Incorporation.

Other business structures include:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Nonprofit

How does a Delaware LLC appoint a registered agent?

You will list the appointed registered agent on the Certificate of Formation that you submit to the Delaware Department of State Corporations Division.

1
File the Certificate of Formation

You will download and complete the State of Delaware Certificate of Formation of Limited Liability Company form and submit it to the Division of Corporations.

Mailing address:
Delaware Division of Corporations
401 Federal St.
Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901

Or, you can use the Delaware OneStop portal to file the Certificate of Formation online.

2
Appoint your registered agent

Section 2 will ask for up-to-date information about the Delaware registered agent.

  • Registered agent name
  • Registered agent address

3
Pay Delaware filing fees

The state filing fee for the LLC formation form in Delaware is $90.

Delaware offers expedited LLC services.

  • 1 hour$1000
  • 2-hour$500
  • Same day$200
  • Next date$100

The cost to file the Certificate of Formation in Delaware is $90.

How to change your registered agent in Delaware

When you switch registered agents, or there is an address change, you must officially submit the updated information to the Delaware Division of Corporation.

Submit the change of agent form online

You will use the Document Filing and Certificate Request website to submit the change of agent form online.

Submit the change of agent form by mail

You will download and complete the appropriate change of agent form and submit it to the Delaware Division of Corporations.

You will have a different change of agent forms depending on your business structure.

Delaware requires you to include a cover sheet when you submit the change of agent form.

Mail:
Delaware Division of Corporations
401 Federal Street – Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901

The processing time for switching registered agents is two to three weeks. You can opt for expedited services for an additional fee.

The cost to change a registered agent in Delaware is $50 and is payable with a check, by mail, or online with a credit card.

How to withdraw consent to act as a registered agent

You will complete and submit the certificate of the resignation of registered agent form to the Delaware Secretary of State.

You must list the new agent if you’ve decided to appoint a successor

Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Delaware

  • You remain in compliance and in good standing

You will receive a notification before March 1 when your franchise tax and the annual report are due, and an agent will assist you with the business filings.

Your business must remain in good standing to conduct business in Delaware.

  • Your personal address remains private

Some small business owners and entrepreneurs appoint themselves as registered agent. It risks their private addresses becoming public records and searchable using the Delaware General Information Name Search.

The State of Delaware public can search business entity records by name and file number.

By appointing the best-registered agent, the service’s address is listed rather than yours.

  • You secure your good reputation

If a lawsuit happens, a registered agent will receive subpoenas and summons from legal services on your behalf at their registered office so that customers, clients, and employees won’t see the company served.

  • You don’t have to be at the office

Delaware corporation bylaws require a registered agent to be available during normal business hours during every workday of the year. If you appoint yourself, you are responsible for that availability.

Registered agents make themselves available during those regular business hours, so you aren’t stuck in the office.

  • You get quick access to the Certificate of Good Standing

Banks and creditors require a Certificate of Good Standing and business licenses to open new business bank accounts and apply for credit cards.

A registered agent service company will make those documents available on your online account so that you can access them anytime, anywhere.

  • You can form a foreign LLC easily

You must appoint a registered agent if expanding your business outside of Delaware.

If you’ve appointed a resident agent already, forming a foreign LLC is quick and straightforward.

FAQs

Are there any free registered agent services in Delaware?

The only free registered agent is yourself. All the best Delaware registered agent services charge for business services, but many organizations find the cost worth it to avoid missing deadlines and accruing fines and fees.

Can I be my own registered agent in Delaware?

Delaware law states that you must be 18 years old and have a physical street address in Delaware to become a registered agent. You can act as your own agent free of charge, but it has drawbacks.

Can I use a PO box for my Delaware business?

You can’t use a PO box as the business address is in Delaware. But you can use a PO box for your Delaware LLC mailing address. A registered agent has a street address and offers free mail forwarding.

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