Appointing a New Jersey Registered Agent is mandatory for all LLCs operating in the state. This agent is a person or business entity that receives service of process on behalf of an LLC. The state will not accept a company’s Certificate of Formation if a registered agent hasn’t been appointed.
Service of process involves receiving legal documents like lawsuits, summons, subpoenas, etc. the state might also contact the registered agent for delivering tax notices or relevant documents to your LLC. Therefore, it is important for any LLC to appoint and maintain a Registered Agent in NJ.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in NJ?
Short answer: yes. Long answer, yes, provided you fulfill the requirements for holding this position. Not just you, but you can also appoint your friends, family to be the registered agent of your LLC in New Jersey.
However, the registered agent must fulfill the requirements laid down by the state.
Requirements For NJ Registered Agents
New Jersey’s requirements for registered agents are fairly simple and straightforward. These give LLCs excellent leverage in selecting and appointing a registered agent.
- The registered agent can be an individual who is a state resident or business entity that provides registered agent services.
- If the agent is a person, they must be at least 18 years of age.
- If the agent is a business entity, they must be allowed to do business in the state and have an office in New Jersey.
- The NJ Registered Agent must maintain a physical street address in the state. This is the registered office of the company and its address can’t be a PO Box or similar service.
So, provided you fit into these requirements, you can be your own registered agent for your LLC in New Jersey. But, that’s not all! While these cover the necessary requirements, the agent should also be capable of handling the responsibilities of the appointment.
Responsibilities For New Jersey Registered Agents
Before you appoint someone as a registered agent for your New Jersey LLC, consider how well they can handle this role. Whether the agent is you, a friend, family member, or a commercial registered agent, these responsibilities must be considered.
- The agent must maintain a registered office for the LLC (having a physical street address is a must).
- NJ Registered Agents must receive service of process on behalf of the LLC. This should be forwarded to the company as soon as possible.
- The agent may also receive notifications or notices from the state. These too should be delivered to the company.
- A registered agent should be available during normal business hours (9 am to 5 pm) in case the service of process arrives.
A registered agent doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time employee of the company. Their primary role is to receive the service of process if and when it arrives.
Considerations For Being Your Own Registered Agent
If you believe you’re capable of being the registered agent or have a friend or family member who can take the responsibility, your search and requirements would become way easier. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind.
As we know, a registered agent should remain available during normal business hours in case service of process arrives. However, people go away on vacations and could have stepped away for a while when process servers arrive. This can cause problems. Though to be fair, the chances of something like this happening are fairly low.
Another aspect to consider is privacy. The details of a registered agent are part of the public record in New Jersey. As such, the details remain freely available to anyone willing to search for them. Apart from the state’s services, several websites or offline publications may publish this information.
You may not be comfortable with your personal details being so easily available to anyone. If any of these considerations seem troublesome, you should consider hiring a commercial registered agent.
NJ Commercial Registered Agents
If hiring friends or family for the role of a registered agent is not possible, you should look into hiring a commercial registered agent for your NJ LLC. Generally, these are companies offering their services as registered agent(s) for a fee. This can cost anywhere between $50-$500 annually, but the actual numbers vary.
When going down this path, you should do a New Jersey registered agent search to see available options. You’ll find several local and national companies offer their services as commercial registered agents. Checking their reviews from previous and existing customers before hiring them should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Many NJ registered agents offering commercial services also provide additional benefits and services. These might be useful and smoothen the process of forming and managing your Limited Liability Company. Be careful of the usability you expect from these services, as they will cost money.
Some Considerations For Hiring Commercial Registered Agents In NJ
While the exact services on offer can vary depending on the agent and options you pick, there are some elements that commercial registered agents usually provide. These are:
- Professional Services: A commercial agent is likely to have a fully staffed office. They will receive service of process and forward it quickly to the LLC. Additionally, they’ll have no trouble maintaining conventional business hours.
- Convenience: It is often more convenient to let a commercial registered agent handle these duties.
- Discreet: If service of process were to arrive, it would reach the office of the commercial agent. For several businesses, this might be more desirable than potentially receiving service of process in front of their employees or customers.
- Privacy: Since you’ll be using the address and details of the commercial agent, your own address remains private and out of public record.
How To Change An NJ Registered Agent
To change the registered agent, an LLC will have to file relevant forms and documents with the New Jersey Division of Revenue.
One way to do this is by going online and making the change through New Jersey’s Online Annual Reports and Change Services. If online filing isn’t convenient for you, consider filing the Certificate of Change – Registered Name or Address with the Department of Revenue. This document can be filed in person, via mail, or through fax. The filing fee for this form is $25.
The state should always have updated address information of the LLC’s New Jersey Registered Agent. This is important for receiving the service of process and other documents from the state. The NJ Portal can be used to file annual reports, manage other regulatory requirements, change registered agent, or update the address of your NJ Registered Agent.