New York law is different from other states in that your limited liability company (LLC) is not required to appoint a registered agent but has the option to do so. A registered agent is a company or person authorized to accept official correspondence on behalf of your business, such as legal or tax documents.
In New York, the Secretary of State is your registered agent if you decide not to name one. However, if you go that route, you’ll still need to provide what the state calls to service of process contact information, where correspondence can be sent.
Remember that a registered agent ensures your business receives all key documents and notices and complies fully with state regulations.
Registered Agent Requirements in New York
In New York, an LLC owner, known as a member, can be the registered agent, or you can choose an individual that meets state requirements. In New York, registered agents must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state
- Be available during regular business hours
- Be registered to operate in the state (if the agent is a business)
Registered Agent Services
Many business owners hire a registered agent service to ensure all important documents are received and addressed promptly. A registered agent service also offers convenience.
If you choose to be your registered agent, you’ll have to be available at your registered agent’s address during regular business hours. However, a registered 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 Registered Agent Service
Some registered 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 New York.
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 registered agent services vary, which may affect your decision. Registered agent services generally run $50 to $300 annually.
How to Appoint a Registered Agent in New York
In New York, you’ll officially appoint your registered agent when you form your LLC by filling in the registered agent information or your service of process contact information on your articles of organization.
If you choose not to appoint a registered agent, this is where you will provide the service of processing contact information. If you do so, the Secretary of State will receive your LLC’s official correspondence and forward it to your service of process address.
You can file your articles of organization on the New York Business Express website by creating an account and filling out the form.
Alternatively, you can download the form and file it by mail.
The mailing address is:
New York State
Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001
Once your LLC is approved in New York, your registered agent is officially appointed. You do not need to do anything further in terms of registering your agent.
New York does not require your LLC to have a registered agent, but you must provide contact information for the service of process if you don’t appoint a registered agent. Some LLCs appoint a member as their registered 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 registered agent later if you decide to do so, though it does require additional paperwork.
New York Registered Agent FAQs
Can I be my registered agent in New York?
Yes. When filling out your Articles of Organization, simply put your name and address in the space for a registered agent.
What does a registered agent do for an LLC in New York?
A registered agent receives all government notices and documents for your LLC and must be at the designated address during business hours. You can be your registered agent, but designating someone else helps you maintain privacy and gives you greater freedom of movement.