What is a Registered Agent?
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A Registered Agent in Delaware provides various services, such as accepting correspondence and formal documents from the Department of State in Delaware. Your corporation must have Delaware Registered Agent services at all times. You appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Registered Agent after formation, provided there is no period during which your business is without a Registered Agent.
Delaware Registered Agent Requirements
- Every corporation, domestic or foreign, must have a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Delaware at all times.
- The Registered Agent can be a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (corporation, LLC, LP or LLP) or a natural person.
- If the Registered Agent is a company, they must be authorized to conduct business in Delaware.
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must live in Delaware.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person to sign for any correspondence during regular business hours.
- The Registered Office must be located in the State of Delaware at a street address (a P.O. Box is not acceptable).
The address for your Registered Agent in Delaware doesn't need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a Delaware virtual mailbox for your business address. Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.
What Delaware Registered Agents Do
A Registered Agent’s primary function is to accept official correspondence and documentation, including but not limited to:
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your corporation is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the DE Sec State
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Registered Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Bizee Provides Free Delaware Registered Agent Services for the First Year
Bizee provides complete Delaware Registered Agent services for any corporation formed in the state. Even better, if you form your corporation through Bizee, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Bizee is authorized to conduct business in Delaware and able to legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Delaware Registered Agent services include:
- Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
- An always-available Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your corporation's behalf
- A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
- Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
Appointing a Registered Agent for Your Corporation
When you're incorporating in Delaware, you must appoint a Registered Agent at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your Corporation
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
File your Certificate of Incorporation with the DE Sec State
When you create your business, you must include your Registered Agent's information in your Certificate of Incorporation.
Get a Free Registered Agent When You Incorporate with Bizee
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Registered Agent service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Certificate of Incorporation for you.
Assign a New Registered Agent After Incorporation
After you've incorporated, you may replace your Registered Agent in Delaware with someone else. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Choose a New Registered Agent Service and File a Form with the DE Sec State
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can complete the Certificate of Change form available on the Division of Corporations website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the DE Sec State with a filing fee of $50 so they can update your records.
Sign up for Bizee’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf
When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the forms for you. We’ll collect the pertinent information about your business, complete the form and send it to the DE Sec State on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Registered Agent.
Search for Delaware Registered Agents
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another DE corporation. You'll find this information in the state's Registered Agent database.
If you can’t find the Registered Agent information there, you can request it from the Division of Corporations.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you don’t assign or provide a Registered Agent's details to the Division of Corporations, you may be subject to certain ramifications, including but not limited to:
- Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your corporation is sued and you don’t respond.
- Losing your status as a corporation in the state. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your corporation may be dissolved.
- Falling out of good standing with the DE Sec State. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual registration).
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You can be the Registered Agent for your Delaware corporation if you have a business office in the state. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Delaware address to sign for important documents.
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Delaware. If you’re forming a corporation outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the DE Sec State website. If you prefer to keep your personal information private, you should use a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Division of Corporations for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Delaware Registered Agents
Do I Need to Secure Delaware Registered Agent Services?
Yes. All business entities are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the DE DOC. You'll find more information above.
When Do I Need to Assign a Registered Agent in Delaware?
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your business with the Division of Corporations. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Bizee, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Does the Registered Agent for My Delaware-Based Corporation Need to Have an Address in Delaware?
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.
What Are the Rules on Naming My Delaware Business Entity?
Delaware business entities do have to follow some general and specific naming rules. We’ve covered the main ones above.