If you’re a Texas-based business, your company must have a registered agent in order to legally conduct business in the state. A registered agent serves as an individual or company that has been legally appointed to act on behalf of another in any legal capacity where the party cannot appear for themselves. This might include processing legal documents and notices on their behalf, acting if the party is unable to do so, and even appearing as a representative in court.
Why Businesses Use a Texas Registered Agent Service
Whether you are an individual or a business, it is essential to have a place to accept communication from the state.
Texas registered agent service offers the following services for every type of business to help with any issues.
The registered agent service gives a location for any notices and announcements from the state. It also provides you with someone who can receive and handle your package.
The registered agent also provides you with a copy of all your legal documentation to keep it safe if there is a fire at your facility, which means you will not lose any of your essential documents.
How much does forming an LLC in Texas cost?
There is no set cost since several factors can impact the final cost of forming an LLC. All types of businesses use a Texas-registered agent service.
Incorporating or operating a business name will also need to be processed through a Texas-registered agent as well.
Pricing varies depending on how quickly you want information back from the state and what kind of service you want to have.
Using the registered agent service is much cheaper than the charges that businesses receive from the Department of State.
Using a registered agent will only be around $100 and save you hundreds in fines over time since they can handle all communication with the state and keep you updated as to what should be done at any given time.
3 Top Texas Registered Agent Services & Description
1. Zen Business
Zen Business Services is one of the top services in Texas, offering a wide array of options to individuals and businesses.
They offer customized packages that allow companies to choose how they would like their service handled.
1. You have a centralized location for any communication from the state to be received
2. Your mailbox is checked, and your packages are handled for you by the registered agent service
3. All of your legal documentation will be stored in case of emergency, so you never have to worry about losing anything important
4. They keep an updated copy of all your legal documentation so that they can move it if you ever need to without you having to worry about where it is located
A bit more costly, but if you are a business that is concerned with following the law and keeping your documentation all in one place, Zen Business Services is a top Texas registered agent service.
2. Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is a Texas-registered agent service that offers numerous benefits to businesses. They will handle all communication with the government and keep documentation of everything for you, so you never have to worry about losing anything important.
- You can choose from several different options to keep your business in compliance, all while making sure they are low in cost
- You have one contact for all communication from the state
- All of your legal documentation will be stored and kept up to date, which gives you a centralized location that is easy to access whenever it may be needed
- They handle all of the communication with the government on your behalf, keeping track of everything and making sure you never have to worry about missing deadlines
A bit more costly than other registered agent services, but they can handle all communication with the government on behalf of your business. That way, you never have to worry about receiving fines or letters from the state due to a missed deadline.
Incfile is one of the top services providers in the United States. They handle numerous aspects of running a business, including Texas registered agent service. They offer customized packages that allow you to mix and match what you would like done from their diverse selection of services.
Pros Incfile vs Zenbusiness
- ZenBusines – They offer customized packages that allow you to choose how you would like your services handled, and their prices are low for what they offer. You have one contact for all communication from the state, and your mailbox is checked, and packages are handled for you. All of your legal documentation will be stored so that you never have to worry about where it is.
- Incfile – They offer a wide array of packages to meet the needs of any business owner, and they also handle Texas-registered agent service. All of your communication with the government will be taken care of by them on behalf of your business, and all legal documentation will be stored so that you never have to worry about not knowing where
What are the next steps after forming an LLC?
- First, you need to choose a registered agent service for your business
- You will also want to consider a company that can provide accounting services as well as bookkeeping for your business
- Additionally, you may want to get legal assistance for any paperwork that you have not previously filed
- A good business plan and marketing strategy are also crucial for any business
- Finally, you will want to get insurance coverage so that if anything happens to your property or products, you are covered and do not have to worry about losing money
- A good website is also crucial because it is the first thing many people see after they Google something related to your business,
Looking to form a business?
I highly recommend that you form an LLC. It offers some benefits, and the process is relatively easy. I have partnered with LegalZoom to provide discounts on their products which can help form your company.
Can a business be its registered agent?
The laws are a bit fuzzy on this point, and it is best not to risk it if you can avoid it. It would be better to hire an actual service to handle the task for you in case of any legal issues that come up.
Can business owners be their registered agents?
Business owners can be their registered agents, but they must use an agent address separate from their business location. Some businesses choose to put their home address as the registered agent, but this can cause problems with sending and receiving mail, resulting in fines or other consequences.
How do I get registered as a Texas Registered Agent?
Please fill out an application and submit it with a $225 fee. There are two options for applying:
Either mail your payment and application to the Texas Secretary of State, along with a copy of your Business Certificate. You can find their address here http://sos.state.tx.us/corp/forms/pdf_fill/rt-518c1.pdf.
Or you could apply through one of the companies listed above that offer registered agent services, and they will handle the application process for you.
How do I become an LLC?
The first thing to do is file “articles of organization,” which can be found at http://sos.state.tx.us/corp/forms/pdf_fill/ltc3np.pdf
You are required to include the following information:
- Name of LLC;
- Purpose of Business Description (A statement describing in general terms the purpose or character of your business) File a copy with the Secretary of state, along with a $150 fee and form LT-CC3NP
How do I find out what type of business entity I should start?
The first step is to sit down and do a bit of brainstorming. This includes deciding on a name, determining the purpose of the business, and choosing whether you will incorporate or register your business as an LLC.
It is also a good idea to check with your lawyer if there are any legal implications involved in your choice of business structure.
How do I choose a name for my business?
Before choosing a name, it is best to ensure that no one else in Texas has already taken the name you have chosen. You can select any available LLC name, but keep in mind that some are not as easy to remember or fit well with your company’s branding.
How do I determine what type of entity I should form?
If you are not interested in incorporating and just want to register a business name at the state level, forming an LLC is a good option.
LLCs are considered to have pass-through taxation. They are easy to administer because you only need one document, the Articles of Organization, which is also referred to as a certificate of formation.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Texas?
This varies depending on the service you choose. Some services charge $50-125 to register a business, while others charge by the month with fees between $8-18 per month.
How do I get my Texas registered agent information?
Registered agents are required to send annual updates to their clients for each year after their initial registration. These include all of your contact information, as well as a physical office address and email where customers can reach you directly.
If you have no intention of handling your registrations or other tasks related to running a corporation yourself, there are several companies that offer services as a corporate registered agent.
Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service?
Some businesses choose to put their home address as the registered agent, but this can cause problems with sending and receiving mail which may result in fines or other consequences.
A registered agent service will be more reliable in handling these tasks so that your business can continue to grow.
How do I find a corporate registered agent service?
A corporate registered agent service provides a number of services that allow you to focus on running your business. Some of the most common registration/administration tasks include:
- filing articles (certificate) of incorporation/organization
- maintaining the official records for each business entity
- acting as the address where legal documents are delivered by various organizations and state agencies
- handling tax paperwork at both state and federal levels
- taking care of all annual or semi-annual reports including but not limited to sales & use tax returns
- withholding tax returns, franchise tax returns, unemployment compensation filings…and more.
The very first step is choosing an LLC name before officially forming your company.
Choosing a name should be fun, but it is also a serious matter. The name must fit your company’s branding, and you need to make sure that it is available for use in your county of formation as well.
What about small, Texas-only registered agent services?
Many clients who use smaller, Texas-only registered agents are often surprised that they do not have much experience when it comes to handling the paperwork associated with a corporation.
And since filing your own paperwork means something went wrong, perhaps this is why many of their customers decide to cancel the service and find someone else to work with.
Some companies even end up telling you what you need to do because their policies force them to be so picky about it (because they don’t want any problems from the state).
This approach may seem helpful in the short term, but if you’re going this route, it’s important to remember that things may change at any time.
If for example, you hire someone new or otherwise your business structure changes, and then these services
Can a company change its registered agent?
Yes, a company is free to change its registered agent. There are many reasons that a business may decide to do this:
- The current registered agent isn’t available during the hours you need them or the services provided don’t meet your needs and expectations.
- The service you are using doesn’t have the staff or resources to help your business grow. The company may not be providing the specific services you need ( filing taxes, handling legal paperwork, handling tax returns…etc)
FAQ. How It Works: Texas Registered Agent Service
My Company formation process is broken down into 4 steps:
- Decide on the legal structure of your business. You can choose to form an LLC, Corporation, Nonprofit, or any other type of organization that you want. If you’re unsure what structure would be best for your needs, I advise that you read my guide here on how to pick a legal entity.
- The second step in the process is researching your name. You need to make sure that your company name is available for use in Texas and cannot already be taken by another company. There are some restrictions on who may use certain names, so it’s important to make sure this isn’t the case and if there are other names out there with similar spellings that you don’t want to be confused with.
- You will need to fill out your Articles of Organization paperwork, get it notarized, and file it with the state in Texas. (You can learn more about this process here .)
- Once you receive an EIN number from the IRS (tax ID) for your business, you will need to choose a Registered Agent service. There are some very important factors that go into making sure you choose the right one, such as: Are they available when I need them? How much experience do they have? What are their services like? Cost is also an important factor but only comes after these other aspects are considered.
Your registered agent provides a variety of services to your business. These include:
- Handling the paperwork for your company on a day-to-day basis
- Assisting you in handling legal matters and paperwork that pertain to your company (such as tax returns, filing fees, etc)
- Communicating with government agencies on behalf of your company
- Handling tasks such as change of address filings or articles of the amendment (In other words they will file any updates that are needed without you having to send them yourself.)
- Receiving mail for your business
- Be sure to find out what services come with using their registered agent service before signing up so you know what to expect!
Once all the paperwork has been filed and processed by the state, it is time to choose how you want to receive your EIN number. I recommend choosing to have it mailed to you because that way you can make sure everything is done correctly and there are no mistakes!
Completing these steps will allow you to form a Texas-based company in any legal entity of choice and register it with the state! Once this process has been completed by using my registered agent service (or another one), the business is now “official” or legitimate.
It’s important to remember though, that if for some reason the state requires you to provide proof of your business legitimacy, they will require you to verify all of these details, including:
- Your Legal name
- The type of organization (LLC, Corporation, etc.)
- The location & address where the business takes place
- Proof that the business was created ( This is done by showing that you filed the Articles of Organization with the state.)
- Your Tax ID (EIN number)
- The addresses where your business receipts are sent
- Proof that a Registered Agent Service has been chosen and they continue to work on behalf of your business
If I’m the Registered Agent, am I liable for the LLC?
A registered agent is basically a “proxy” for your business. They receive the mail from your company, file paperwork on behalf of your company, and make sure the necessary requirements are met by handling taxes, etc.
If you need an address to send things to or have multiple businesses that require registered agents, then this service can be very beneficial because it saves you the hassle of having to do this on your own.
A registered agent is not the same as an officer or director, though, even if they are also a member of your company.
Registered agents just help with the day-to-day administrative task so you can focus on growing and managing your business instead!
How does an owner select a registered agent in Texas?
To select a registered agent, you must first form your Texas LLC. The state of Texas requires that the company’s articles of organization include the name and address of the business’s registered agent.
This information is not considered public information, which means that it doesn’t have to be listed on any published documents, but it does need to be included in certain places such as the Articles of Organization.
It is not considered fraud or a crime for your registered agent to be an employee. The Texas Franchise Tax Board has stated that it is completely legal and acceptable to use your employees as the Registered Agent, so long as they are authorized by you.
Should you be your own Texas Registered Agent?
If you’re considering choosing yourself as the Texas registered agent for your company, there are a lot of factors that should be taken into consideration first.
This could work well if: Your business is small and not expected to create much paperwork or generate many significant problems, taxes, etc.
You have enough time on your hands to manage these things on behalf of your company. You have a trusted employee that you are able to authorize on your behalf.
There are some businesses however, that should not self-manage and while there is no “official” guideline about what kinds of business would fall into this category, it usually comes down to the company’s size/revenue and whether or not they’re likely to create a lot of paperwork, taxes, and problems on a regular basis.
What If I Don’t Maintain a Registered Agent?
There are a few things to consider if you plan on trying to form your Texas LLC without a registered agent.
If you are the only member of your business and do not maintain a Registered Agent that is following up and helping with the necessary paperwork, filing fees, communication with government agencies, etc., then you will be personally responsible for any paperwork or problems that arise.
This means that if your business is audited and you didn’t file the necessary paperwork, were not able to be contacted by an auditor or a government agency, then you will need to take care of any fines, fees, or problems on your own.
Our Registered Agent Consents Required?
Registered agents are required by Texas state law to sign a letter of consent before acting as the Registered Agent on your behalf.
This is known as Form SB-1 and should be signed along with a notarized statement which includes their jurisdictional address, physical address, phone number, and an acknowledgment that they understand the duties of being an agent for another company.
The consent can be as simple as a letter stating that they agree to the position, but it must be notarized and include all of the information listed above.
How is an LLC formed in Texas?
To form an LLC in Texas, you must file formation documents with the Secretary of State’s office.
The exact steps and paperwork required will depend on what county you are forming your LLC in, but generally, all Texas filings require:
- Articles of Organization (Form #101)
- Registered Agent Consent (SB-1)
- Filing fee
How do I form an LLC in Texas?
“How to form an LLC in Texas.” has a very simple answer: Online. The easiest way to form an LLC anywhere is online now.
What is a Texas LLC?
A Texas LLC is a “Limited Liability Company” which means that the owners will receive limited liability protection in any legal action or lawsuit.
What Kinds of Businesses Should Form an LLC?
There are many kinds of businesses, types, and varieties out there but generally speaking, an LLC is only suitable for businesses with more than one owner/member.
What’s the Difference Between an LLC and an S-Corp?
LLC owners are not taxed on their share of income, but they do pay self-employment taxes like any other business owner.
The advantage for some businesses comes in the form of pass-through taxation, which means that profits of your company are reported as personal income instead of corporate income. These corporations are often referred to as “S-Corporations.”
What is the Difference Between an LLC and a Corporation?
A major difference lies in their levels of liability protection if they were to be sued or face any legal action. Corporations receive more extensive liability protection than LLCs, meaning that if they were to face any legal trouble, a corporation could potentially lose more money than an LLC.
However, because corporations are taxed as a whole entity (not on profits/income like individuals), they can save money by having corporate income tax applied to their profits instead of the individual owners’ share of profits.