How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Texas
What is a Texas registered agent?
A registered agent is a person that’s available during regular business hours that receives all official documents and service of process. The Texas Secretary of State mandates a registered agent is a person or business entity that is the point of contact for a business.
The agent must be available during regular business hours to receive official government correspondence and legal documents:
- Certificate of Formation – the formation document for LLCs in Texas
- Franchise tax – due May 15 of every year
- Certificate of Status – required to open a business bank account in Texas
- Other tax forms
- Legal documents
A registered agent is physically available
The BOC and Secretary of State require a registered agent to be physically present in Texas.
A registered agent is always physically available during regular hours to accept legal and official documents.
And because an agent is physically present, you can choose to have the street address of the registered agent’s public record instead of your private address.
An agent accepts important documents on your behalf
As the point of contact for a company, the primary responsibility of a Texas registered agent is to receive service of process.
You have 14 days to object to a subpoena in Texas. If you fail to respond, it may result in a default judgment or possible involuntary dissolution.
Registered agents save time and lessen stress
A registered agent comes with the added benefit of freeing up a business owner’s time so they can focus on more important business decisions.
Your registered agent will remind you when the Texas annual report fee is due May 15 each year and assist you in submitting the form and fees.
Cost of a registered agent in Texas
You can act as your own Texas registered agent for no charge. Registered agent services in Texas cost between $50 and $500.
The registered agent requirements in Texas are that you must be 18 years old and have a physical address. A business owner can even choose a trusted family member or friend if they meet the prerequisites without paying any fees.
When to appoint a registered agent
When you form a limited liability company (LLC) in Texas, you must elect a registered agent when completing the Certificate of Formation (Form 205).
Texas corporations will provide the registered agent information on the Certificate of Formation for an incorporation form.
According to the BOC, all businesses must appoint a registered agent regardless of the structure.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Texas LLC appoint a registered agent?
A Texas LLC will file the Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State to begin the formation process.
File the Certificate of Formation
You will download and complete the Certificate of Formation form (Form 205) and submit it with the $150 to the Texas Secretary of State.
Texas Secretary of State
PO Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711
James Earl Rudder Office Building
Austin, TX 78701
Or, you can use the Texas Secretary of State website to file the Certificate of Formation online.
Appoint a registered agent
You will list your chosen Texas registered agent on the Certificate of Formation form.
Section 2 of form 205 will ask you for the registered agent address and name.
The registered agent must consent to the appointment
The registered agent you choose must consent to the appointment and complete and submit Form 401-A.
The filing fee is $15. You do not have to file the form with the Texas Secretary of State unless you opt to. You must keep a copy in your internal records in case of future issues.
The Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent will ask you to provide certain information.
- Company name
- Name of the new registered agent
- Registered agent’s signature
You may face penalties if you make a false statement and appoint an agent without their consent. A registered agent appointed without permission can file the Rejection of Appointment (Form 428).
The cost to file the registered agent consent form in Texas is $15.
Pay Texas filing fees
The state fee for filing an LLC Certificate of Formation is $150.
The Texas Secretary of State will take 5 to 7 business days to process the Certificate of Formation.
If you file by mail, you can opt for expedited services for an additional $25.
The cost to file the Certificate of Formation in Texas is $150
How to change your registered agent in Texas
Texas requires you to officially change your registered agent if you switch services or choose to appoint yourself.
Submit the change of registered agent form online
You can use the SOSDirect system to complete the change of registered agent/office form to update registered agents or agent addresses.
The change of registered agent with go into immediate effect when you file form 401 online as long as you also file the registered agent consent form with it.
Submit the change of registered agent form by mail or in person
You will download and complete the change of registered agent/office form (form 401) and submit it to the Texas Secretary of State.
You can pay the $15 filing fee for the change of agent form by credit card, cash, or money order.
If you file by mail, it will take the state 3 to 5 days to process the form. You can expedite the process for an additional $25.
Texas charges $15 to submit the change of registered agent form.
How to withdraw as a registered agent in Texas
In Texas, you must send a resignation notice to the company you have been representing.
Within ten days of sending the notice, you will submit two copies of the resignation of registered agent form and submit it to the Texas Secretary of State by mail or in person.
Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Texas
You remain in good status
You’ll receive notifications when documents from the state arrive or when fees are due.
Your registered agent will remind you that the annual report is due every year on May 15 and help you file the appropriate forms and pay the correct fees to remain in good standing in Texas.
It keeps your personal addresses private
If you appoint yourself as the registered agent, your address will become a public record and searchable using the Texas Taxable Entity Search.
The public can conduct business entity searches by tax ID number, business name, or file number.
When appointing a registered agent, the Texas service’s registered address is used instead of yours in the business listing.
It will bring you peace of mind
Suppose a process server has legal documents to serve your company.
In that case, a registered agent will receive legal notices or summons on behalf of your business so that you aren’t served while clients and customers are around.
You have a flexible work schedule
The Texas Business Organizations Code states that a registered agent must be available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. You are responsible for that availability if you appoint yourself.
With an agent or service, you can rest assured someone is available to receive any official correspondence during the required regular hours so that you can work when you choose.
You can access the Certificate of Status anytime
An LLC’s Texas Certificate of Formation and Certificate of Status is available online, so you can access them when needed.
For example, you must have the formation documents to open new business bank accounts and apply for business loans.
You can quickly form a foreign LLC
A registered agent is necessary to expand your Texas business out-of-state.
Forming a foreign LLC is quicker and easier if you already have an agent or service.
Can my Texas LLC be its own registered agent?
A Texas LLC cannot act as its registered agent. You can appoint another LLC or company to act as your agent or even an employee, just not the company itself.
How do I register as a registered agent in Texas?
You don’t have to register to be a registered agent in Texas. You list yourself as the agent on the certification of formation and keep a copy of form 401-A in your internal files.
Does Texas require a registered agent for corporations?
The BOC clearly states that all formal businesses in Texas must appoint a registered agent upon formation. You can nominate yourself or opt to pay for the best-registered agent service.
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