Massachusetts law requires your LLC to hire a resident agent (also known as a registered agent in other states), a person or company authorized to accept official correspondence on behalf of your business, such as legal or tax documents.
A resident agent ensures your business receives all key documents and notices and complies fully with state regulations.
Resident Agent Requirements in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, an LLC owner, known as a member, can be the resident agent, or you can choose an individual that meets state requirements. In Massachusetts, resident agents must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state and be a resident of Massachusetts
- Be available during regular business hours
- Be registered to operate in the state (if the agent is a business)
Resident Agent Services
Many business owners hire a resident agent service to ensure all important documents are received and addressed promptly. A resident agent service also offers convenience.
If you choose to be your resident agent, you’ll have to be available at your resident agent’s address during regular business hours. However, a resident agent service will allow you the flexibility to run and grow your business wherever you need to be.
An agency also offers privacy. Since they will receive all official correspondence for your business, you would never be served with a summons for your business in front of customers or employees.
Choosing a Resident Agent Service
Some resident agent services operate nationally, allowing you to form LLCs in other states if your business expands. However, if you don’t choose a national agency, you’ll need one with an office in Massachusetts.
You’ll also want an agency that will:
- Send deadline reminders for things like annual reports to ensure your LLC stays in compliance
- Digitally store your documents so you can access them at any time
- Offer great customer service
Prices for resident agent services vary, which may affect your decision. Resident agent services generally run $50 to $300 annually.
How to Appoint a Resident Agent in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, you’ll officially appoint your resident agent when you form your LLC by filling in the resident agent information on your Certificate of Organization.
You can file your certificate of organization on the Corporations Division’s website by filling out the form.
Alternatively, you can download the form and file it by mail.
The mailing address is:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1512
Once your LLC is approved in Massachusetts, your resident agent is officially appointed. You do not need to do anything further in terms of registering your agent.
Massachusetts requires your LLC to have a resident agent. Some LLCs appoint a member as their resident agent, but hiring a professional service offers many advantages.
You’ll likely need to decide on whichever route you choose before you form your LLC. You can change your resident agent later if you do so, though it requires additional paperwork.
Massachusetts Resident Agent FAQs
Can I be my resident agent in Massachusetts?
Yes. When filling out your Certificate of Organization, simply put your name and address in the space for the resident agent.
What does a resident agent do for an LLC in Massachusetts?
A resident agent receives all government notices and documents for your LLC and must be at the designated address during business hours. You can be your resident agent, but designating someone else helps you maintain privacy and gives you greater freedom of movement.