North Carolina Registered Agent

A North Carolina Registered Agent is a person or entity appointed by an NC LLC. The role of this agent is to accept service of process, legal documents, and government notices on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent doesn’t have to be an employee or member of the LLC. The company can appoint a third party to fulfill this role.

Appointing and maintaining a registered agent in the state is a mandatory requirement for all NC LLCs. This agent must maintain a physical address within the state.

What Are The Requirements For An NC Registered Agent

The state’s laws give a pretty wide berth for choosing an NC Registered Agent

  • The registered agent must have a physical street address in North Carolina. Use of PO Box addresses and similar services aren’t accepted.
  • Registered Agents in NC can be individuals or a business entities.
  • If the registered agent is a business entity, they must be allowed to do business in NC and have an office in the state.

In most cases, the business entity as a registered agent is a Commercial Registered Agent. These are businesses that offer their service in exchange for a fee.

Who Can Be A North Carolina Registered Agent?

As long as the above requirements are fulfilled, anyone can be the NC registered agent. For example:

  • You can be the registered agent of your North Carolina LLC.
  • Friends/family members can be appointed as the registered agent.
  • You can hire a commercial registered agent.

Whatever path you choose to take, make sure that the registered agent is capable of handling the responsibilities that come with the role. Generally, a registered agent need not be a full-time employee of the LLC. Their primary role is to receive service of process or notices and forward them to the LLC.

Even so, the agent must take on the following responsibilities:

  • Receive service of process on behalf of the LLC.
  • Any lawsuits (service of process) or notices received by the Registered Agent should be forwarded to the LLC as soon as possible.
  • The agent should be available during normal office hours (9 am to 5 pm).
  • The agent should maintain the registered physical address where service of process arrives.

Are There Advantages To Being The Registered Agent For My NC LLC?

Commercial registered agents will charge a fee for their service. It can vary depending on the agent and the services offered, but it usually goes to $100+ annually. Doing the job yourself or having friends/family do it can save you that money.

However, this means that you will also have to fulfill the responsibilities of the registered agent. This involves being available during normal work hours. For many people, this might not always be possible. 

For example, you (or your friend/family member appointed as the agent) might be away on vacation when service of process arrives. Alternatively, you may have stepped away for a while when the process servers arrive. 

There’s a very low chance of this happening but is important to weigh the risks involved.

Another point to consider is privacy. The address and details of the registered agent become public record. That means this information will be freely and easily accessible by anyone who wants it. 

You (or your friends/family) may not be comfortable having your details so easily accessible to the general public. 

Should I Hire A Commercial North Carolina Registered Agent?

There are advantages to hiring a commercial registered agent in NC. The only aspect to consider is the cost involved. The exact cost depends on the registered agent you choose. Several commercial agents also offer additional services, which affect the pricing of their services. 

Of course, you’ll have to see if the services and agents are worth spending that money on. It’s usually a good idea to check for customer reviews and see if the agent has performed well with their previous/existing clients.

Other advantages to hiring a commercial registered agent are:

  • Privacy: Since the address of the commercial agent forms part of the public record, you don’t have to worry about your privacy.
  • Professional Service: A commercial agent will likely have a well-staffed office. They’ll be able to receive the service of process if it arrives and forward it to the LLC.
  • Discreet: Since the agent is a third party with their own office, an element of discretion is involved. If the LLC is served papers, it won’t be a spectacle in front of employees, clients, or customers.
  • Convenience: Hiring someone to do the job is usually more convenient than doing it yourself.

How To Change My North Carolina Registered Agent?

Initially, any NC LLC will designate a registered agent when it files the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. However, if you wish to change the registered agent, you may do so by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Corporations Division.

This requires filing and submitting Form BE-06. The filing fee for this form is $5. The appointment of a North Carolina Registered Agent must include signed consent from the person/entity being appointed as the agent.