How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Minnesota
What is a Minnesota registered agent?
The Minnesota Secretary of State defines a registered agent as an individual or business entity that works as a third-party representative and accepts service of process and official correspondence on behalf of a business. According to Section 5.36 of Minnesota Statutes, businesses formed in the state must appoint and maintain a registered agent.
The primary role of a registered agent is to receive legal notices and important documents, including:
- Articles of Organization – the documents submitted when forming an LLC in Minnesota
- Articles of Incorporation – the formation documents for a corporation
- Annual renewal fee– due by December 31 each year
- Certificate of Good Standing – proof of good standing required to open business bank accounts
- Annual franchise tax – due the 5th day of the 9th month following the end of the Minnesota tax year
Registered agent service is a bodily presence
The Minnesota Secretary of State requires a registered agent to have a physical address in the state so that someone is always available during regular business hours to receive notices and official correspondence.
As a physical presence, you can use the registered agent or service’s address rather than yours in the public record.
Your agent is a point of contact between you and the state
Your point of contact accepts legal notices, including court summons from law firms or the Minnesota secretary of state.
You only have 48 hours in Minnesota to respond to a subpoena.
You can face contempt of court charges and default judgments if you don’t respond.
An agent is a reminder you need
The annual renewal fee is due by December 31 of every year.
You must pay the annual report fee on time or risk losing good standing and the ability to do business in Minnesota.
When you appoint an outside registered agent, the service will keep a compliance calendar so that you don’t miss the due dates for the annual renewal fee or annual franchise tax.
Cost of a registered agent in Minnesota
For no cost, you can appoint yourself, a spouse, or a friend to act as the registered agent as long as they meet the Minnesota registered agent requirements.
The Minnesota Secretary of State requires a registered agent to be at least 18 and have a physical address.
Appointing a professional registered agent service in Minnesota costs between $50 and $500.
When to appoint a registered agent
When you file formation documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State Business Services, you provide the registered agent information.
If you are forming a limited liability company (LLC), you produce the contact information on the Articles of Organization.
For corporations in Minnesota, supplies the agent’s contact details on the Articles of Incorporation.
According to Minnesota state law, you must appoint and maintain a registered agent regardless of business structure.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Minnesota LLC appoint a registered agent?
File the Articles of Organization
You will complete the Minnesota LLC Articles of Organization form and submit it by mail or in person.
Minnesota Secretary of State — Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103
Or, you can use the Secretary of State Business Portal to submit the LLC formation documents.
Appoint your registered agent
Article 2 of the Minnesota Articles of Organization form will ask you for information.
- registered agent address
- registered agent name
Pay your Minnesota filing fees
Filing your LLC Articles of Organization in Minnesota costs $155 if you file online and $135 by mail.
The Secretary of State will expedite the business filing for an additional fee.
The cost to file Articles of Organization is $155 online, or $135 by mail.
How to change your registered agent in Minnesota
If you switch registered agents or there is an address change, you will send an official notification to the Minnesota Secretary of State Business Division.
Submit the notice of change of agent online
You can use the Secretary of State website to submit the change of registered office or agent form.
Submit the notice of change of agent by mail or online
You will complete the notice of change of registered office or registered agent and submit it to the Minnesota Secretary of State Business Division.
Switching agents in Minnesota costs $35 for LLCs and corporations and $50 for foreign corporations.
It will take 5 to 7 days for the Minnesota Secretary of State to process a change in agents or address. The Business Division does offer expedited business filing services for an additional cost.
The cost to switch agents in Minnesota is $35 for limited liability companies.
Submit the change in registered agents on the annual report or amendment
If it’s near the filing period for the annual renewal report, you can submit any registered agent changes by specifically filing an amendment of articles.
How to resign as a registered agent in Minnesota
The first thing you must do when withdrawing consent is sent a notice of resignation
You will then submit the statement of resignation to the Minnesota Secretary of State in person or by mail.
The statement form will ask you for specific information.
- business entity name
- name of the resigning agent
- statement of resignation
The cost to withdraw consent to act as a registered agent in Minnesota is $35 by mail and $55 in person.
Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Minnesota
You maintain good standing in the state
The Minnesota annual renewal fee is due by December 31, and business owners can’t rely on reminders to show up in the mail.
If you don’t pay the fee on time, you risk losing your business‘s good standing in Minnesota and the ability to do business there.
When you appoint an outside agent, you ensure you don’t miss important dates and chance losing liability protection.
Private offices remain private
Small business owners just starting often work from private offices or home addresses.
The business address you use becomes a public record and searchable using the Minnesota Business Search.
The public can search the business database using the business name or file number.
The registered agent service you appoint must have a physical street address, which means you can use the agent’s address as the business address to avoid being listed.
Your good reputation remains intact
When a law firm files a lawsuit, you likely won’t know until a process server arrives at the office.
An outside registered agent will accept those sensitive legal documents so that you maintain your good reputation with customers and employees.
You get a flexible schedule
Section 5.36 of Minnesota Statutes mandates that a registered agent be available during normal hours to accept important notices from the Secretary of State.
Appointing yourself as your own registered agent means that you must be in your office from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
An appointed commercial registered agent service is available during those hours and allows you to come and go from the office.
24/7 access to the Certificate of Good Standing
Financial institutions such as banks require the Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing to open a business bank account or borrow money.
Registered agent services allow you to view and download the Certificate of Good Standing and other formation documents when needed.
Fast and easy LLC formation
You may want to expand your business into other states. You will have to appoint a registered agent when starting the formation process.
An already-appointed agent can start the process quickly and keep forming a foreign LLC simple.
What is a registered office address in Minnesota?
A registered office address is the one you have provided to the Minnesota Secretary of State. It must be a physical address, not a PO box or virtual office.
Should I hire a registered agent before or after I start my small business?
You appoint a registered agent before business formation. The Minnesota Secretary of State requires that you have one listed on the documents. And hiring a registered agent makes the filing process simple.
What happens if my Minnesota registered agent resigns?
When you receive an agent’s resignation statement, you must appoint a new registered agent or service and notify the Minnesota Secretary of State.
How do I choose a registered agent service in Minnesota?
Suppose you don’t appoint yourself as your own registered agent. In that case, you will want to find a nationwide coverage that is dependable and offers the business services your Minnesota business needs.
How do I become a registered agent in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Secretary of State doesn’t require a particular form or fee to be a registered agent. Your company, or the company that’s appointed you, will provide the registered information on the formation documents.
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