How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

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by How to Start an LLC Team
Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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This guide will help you find the best registered agent in Pennsylvania. 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 Pennsylvania registered agent?

In Pennsylvania, a registered agent is also referred to as a registered office or CROP (Commercial Registered Office Provider). The Pennsylvania Department of State characterizes a registered agent as an individual or business entity that receives services of process and official correspondence for a business organization.

Your registered agent (or CROP) will be the point of contact that the Secretary of the Commonwealth requires.

The central role of a registered agent is to receive legal notices and important documents, including:

An agent is a physical presence in Pennsylvania

The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires registered agents to be physically available to receive official documents and tax notices from the state.

The street address that a registered agent provides allows you to list it as the business address in the Pennsylvania public record rather than a private office or home address.

A registered agent is the state-required point of contact

The Pennsylvania Department of State requires a business to have a point of contact to ensure that someone is available during regular business hours to accept time-sensitive documents such as subpoenas.

Pennsylvania law gives a person or business 20 days to respond to a subpoena.

If you fail to respond, your business could face default judgments and even contempt of court proceedings.

CROP keeps a compliance calendar

The decennial report fee is $25 every ten years due to the Pennsylvania Beaurue of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

Missing that ten-year mark and not submitting the report fee can result in losing good standing and asset protection.

Hiring a CROP in Pennsylvania means you have someone to keep up with due dates and help you file the paperwork on time to avoid losing liability protection.

Cost of a registered agent in Pennsylvania

A registered agent in Pennsylvania must be at least 18 and have a street address.

The Department of State allows you to appoint yourself, a friend, or even a family member for free if they meet the registered agent requirements.

A CROP in Pennsylvania will cost between $50 and $500.

When to appoint a registered agent

A business appoints the registered agent or CROP when submitting formation documents to the Pennsylvania Beaurue of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

An LLC provides registered agent information on the Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization.

Corporations list the registered agent name and address on the Articles of Incorporation.

How does a Pennsylvania LLC appoint a registered agent?

File the Certificate of Organization

You will complete the Certificate of Organization form (form 15-8821) and submit it by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

Mailing address:
Pennsylvania Department of State
Corporations and Charitable Organizations
PO Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Or, you can use the Penn One-Stop Shop filing system to submit the Certificate of Organization online.

Appoint your registered agent or CROP

Section 2 of form 15-8821 will ask you to provide specific information.

  • Registered agent address
  • Or CROP name

Pay your Pennsylvania filing fees

The cost to file a Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization is $125.

The Department of State does not offer any expedited business filing services.

The cost to file your LLC Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania is $125.

How to change your registered agent in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State requires you to officially notify them when you change registered agents or if a registered office address changes.

Submit the Pennsylvania change of registered office form online

You will use the Department of State Business One-Stop Shop to submit the change of registered office form online.

Submit the change of registered office form by mail

You will complete the change of registered office form and submit it by mail to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

The cost to switch registered agents in Pennsylvania is $5.

How to resign as a registered agent in Pennsylvania

You will complete the statement of change of registered office by agent and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of State to withdraw consent to act as a registered agent.

You will also send a copy of the statement of change to the company that you’re resigning from.

The statement of change in Pennsylvania will ask you to provide information.

  • Return postal or email address
  • Business entity name
  • Current agent name
  • Address of the current agent

The Pennsylvania Department of State charges $5 to withdraw consent to act as a registered agent.

Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Pennsylvania

  • You maintain asset protection in Pennsylvania

The decennial report fee is due every ten years, making it easy to miss. And you can’t always rely on receiving notifications from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

If you miss the deadline, you can lose good standing in Pennsylvania, which means no liability protection.

By appointing a registered agent service, you ensure you submit your company’s fees and documents on time.

  • You’re protecting your personal address from the public record

If you work from a private office or home address, you risk the personal address becoming public record.

Appointing yourself as your own registered agent means it’s listed on your formation documents as the business address.

Anyone can use the Pennsylvania Business Entity Search and search by business name or file number.

When you appoint a CROP, you can use the service address as the business address and list it in the Pennsylvania Department of State business database.

  • You safeguard your reputation

Pennsylvania process servers do not have to alert you that they’re attempting to serve your papers.

The appointment of a CROP means that someone is physically available to receive sensitive documents for you out of the sight of customers and employees.

  • You aren’t stuck in the office

According to Pennsylvania state law, a registered agent must be available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, to accept official correspondence from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, law firms, and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

You are responsible for physically being in the office during those mandated times if you’ve appointed yourself as the registered agent.

A CROP is available during the required normal business hours so that you can keep a flexible schedule.

  • You have 24-hour access to your Certificate of Subsistence

Financial institutions in Pennsylvania will require you to submit proof of your good standing with the Department of State.

CROPs give a business owner constant access to the Certificate of Subsistence and other formation documents to make doing business convenient.

  • Foreign LLC expansion into other states is simple

Expanding your LLC’s reach beyond Pennsylvania means you must appoint a registered agent before the formation process.

If you have a CROP already appointed, you can begin the foreign LLC formation process in a different state immediately.


What is a commercial registered office provider in Pennsylvania?

Commercial registered office providers (CROP) and registered agents serve the same purpose and responsibilities. A CROP is a professional registered agent service registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Is a Pennsylvania registered agent liable?

A registered agent in Pennsylvania is not responsible for a company’s misconduct or debt. A resident agent is only a representative that accepts legal service of process or documents from Pennsylvania.

Can I use my Pennsylvania registered agent information for the IRS?

The Internal Revenue Service requires that you use the physical address of your principal office when you apply for an employee identification number (EIN). All of your federal tax notices will come to your office address.

How does an LLC owner choose a registered agent in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, you have the choice of appointing yourself, a commercial registered agent, or a noncommercial agent (CROP) when you submit business formation documents. If you appoint an outside registered agent or service, you’ll want one with national coverage and a good reputation.

What is service of process in Pennsylvania?

The procedure of serving legal documents, including subpoenas, is known as service of process. One of the primary responsibilities of a registered agent is to receive service of process.

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