What is a Registered Agent?
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Your Tennessee Registered Agent provides various services, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the TN SOS.
Your LLC must have a Registered Agent at all times. You appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Tennessee Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.
Tennessee Registered Agent Requirements
- Every domestic and foreign corporation must maintain a Registered Agent, with a registered office within the State of Tennessee, at all times.
- The Registered Agent can be either a natural person or a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (Corporation, LLC, LP or LLP).
- The Registered Office must be located at a street address within the State of Tennessee (a P.O. Box alone isn’t acceptable).
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Tennessee.
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be allowed to conduct business in Tennessee.
- The Registered Agent must be present in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.
Note that the address for your Tennessee agent doesn’t need to be the same as your Tennessee LLC business address.
What a Tennessee Registered Agent Does
A Registered Agent's main function is to accept official documents and mail.
- Official correspondence from the TN SOS
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your business is sued or required to appear in court)
- Official state and federal government notifications and correspondence
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Bizee Provides Free Tennessee Registered Agent Service for the First Year
Bizee provides a complete Tennessee Registered Agent service for any LLC that’s formed in TN. Even better, if you form your business 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 Tennessee and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Registered Agent service includes:
- An always-available Tennessee Registered Agent who can receive documents, correspondence and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
- An online dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
- Email notifications whenever we receive documents for your business
- Direct and automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information
Appointing a Registered Agent for Your LLC
When you first form your LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent, and you can change it at any point after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this two ways:
File Articles of Organization with the TN SOS
You’ll need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Articles of Organization. This is the form you file with the TN SOS to formally create your business.
Form Your LLC Through Bizee and Get a Free Registered Agent
When you start your business through us, you’ll get free Registered Agent Services for the first year and we’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Organization for you.
Assign a Different Registered Agent Service After Formation
There are a couple of ways to change your Tennessee Registered Agent after you’ve formed your LLC, including:
Choose a New Registered Agent Service and File with the TN SOS
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can complete the Statement of Change of Registered Agent/Office form available on the TN SOS website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Secretary of State with a fee of $20 so they can update your records.
Sign Up for Bizee’s Tennessee Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf
When you use our Registered Agent service, we’ll collect important information about your business, and complete and file the form for you. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.
Tennessee Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you may want to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another LLC in the state. You can conduct a business information search to find that information.
If the Registered Agent isn’t available, contact the Secretary of State directly and request the information.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you don't appoint or provide details of a Registered Agent to the TN SOS, there may be several ramifications, including:
- Getting served or sued and not finding out about it. If your LLC is sued, you may not know about it. You could lose to a default judgment if you don’t respond.
- Falling out of good standing with the TN SOS. If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as the request for your annual report), the state may revoke your right to do business.
- Losing your status as an LLC in Tennessee. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business is real. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
If you have an address in Tennessee, you can be the Registered Agent for your LLC. We don’t recommend this approach for many reasons, including:
- The Registered Agent is required to have a physical street address in Tennessee. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you'll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- Someone will always need to be available during business hours at the address to sign for important documents.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Secretary of State's website. If you prefer your name and address stay private, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you’ll need to file additional documentation with the TN SOS for the new address.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Tennessee Registered Agents
Do I Need to Appoint a Tennessee Registered Agent?
Yes. All LLCs in the state are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Tennessee Secretary of State. You'll find more details above.
When Should I Assign a Tennessee Registered Agent?
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your Tennessee business with the Secretary of State. You can change your agent later. If you form your business through Bizee, we file all necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Tennessee?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Does the Registered Agent for My Tennessee-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Tennessee?
Yes. Additionally, if they're a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state. You'll find more information above.