A New York registered agent helps your business with receiving official and legal documents from the state department. You need to provide a registered agent’s name during business registration with the SOS. Our NY registered agent guide will explain what a registered agent does, how to appoint one, and the legal requirements of a NY agent.
What is a New York Registered Agent?
A New York registered agent is a person or a company that receives official & legal documents (service of process)from the NY SOS on behalf of your company. For a new New York business, SOS acts as your default registered agent. However, you can always choose a professional individual/organization for the job. A registered agent will help your business in the following ways.
- Officially represent your business to the state department.
- Keep your business in good standing.
- Receives legal documents from the state.
- Responds to legal notices on time.
- Works efficiently with the SOS to avoid future litigations.
Note that having a registered agent in New York is mandatory for registered businesses in the state.
Why is it Mandatory to Assign a New York Registered Agent?
You cannot form your business in New York without assigning the Secretary of State or your preferred candidate as an agent. A registered agent is a prime necessity to handle service of process during lawsuits. The absence of a registered agent can cause serious issues for your business. Such as, –
- You may not receive timely notice when your LLC or corporation is being sued. If you fail to respond, the court may pass a judgment against your business.
- You could miss important tax filing deadlines, resulting in penalties & fines from the NY secretary of state.
- If your agent resigns, you’ll have to assign a new one before specific deadlines. Otherwise, your business can lose its good standing status.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In New York?
Yes, as an owner, you could elect yourself to be your own agent. You need to be over the age of 18 with a physical New York address where you can receive documents in person. However, this has its own challenges.
Risks of Being Your Own Agent –
- You need to be physically present at the location to important receive paperwork during normal business hours.
- If your business eventually expands out states, you’ll eventually assign a different agent. This is because the agent should be a resident of the state where the business is being formed.
- A registered agent’s address is available in public records. You could face serious privacy issues.
- When your business is dealing with lawsuits, you’ll have to receive service of process in front of your employees & customers.
Can My Business be its Own Registered Agent In New York?
No! Any business (including LLCs & corporations) cannot be its own registered agent in New York. You may choose any individual like a friend, employee, or other organization that qualifies under the New York laws.
What Should You Expect From Your Agent?
Any individual or organization you choose for your New York registered agent should make sure of the following requirements.
- Reliable enough to securely handle your service of process.
- Always available at his/her location during normal business hours.
- Notify you timely after receiving legal documents of your business.
- Review and send you essential paperwork from the NY Secretary of State.
Who Can Be My New York Registered Agent?
As we discussed, you may act as your own agent but that it’s not desirable for business expansion. Besides yourself, you can choose an employee or associate of your business to be your agent. You may also ask a trusted friend or family member for the job. However, assigning a professional individual or organization that operates in major states is an ideal choice for a registered agent in NY.
What Are the Rules To Appoint a New York Registered Agent?
Any individual or organization that you choose as your New York registered agent has to fulfil the following legal requirements set by the state of NY.
- If it’s an individual, he/she must be a resident of New York.
- The individual should be okay with their name & accurate street address being available in public records of NY.
- If you’re appointing a business as your registered agent then it has to be an LLC or corporation legally allowed to do business in the state.
- NY registered agent’s address, called “the registered office” must be a physical location and not a P.O. Box service.
- Your NY agent has to be present at the registered office to receive documents during normal business hours
How To Appoint a Registered Agent in New York?
For all new businesses in the state, the NY Secretary of State can act as a statutory agent (default registered agent) by default. However, business owners are free to appoint an appropriate candidate as a registered agent in the formation document.
To form an LLC, one has to file the NY Articles of Organization ($200 filing fee) and to form a corporation one has to file the NY Articles of Incorporation. ($125 filing fee). Both of these formation documents require your designated registered agent’s details. Fill out all the details and file the application online with the New York SOS.
How to Get a Free New York Registered Agent?
A professional registered agent in New York may cost you anywhere around $100 to $350 per year. However, there is a way for new businesses to avoid paying for this. You may assign a professional business organizer to form your business in New York. They’ll take care of filing the formation documents and also assign a reliable registered agent for your business. This way, you’ll get all the necessary help to form & run your business.