New York Registered Agent

The state of New York takes a very interesting route on the LLC formation process in general. Yes, this means they have an interesting take on the New York Registered Agent as well. Most states make it mandatory for LLCs to maintain a registered agent. 

However, the state of NY insists that the secretary of state take on the role of every LLC’s registered agent. LLCs being formed in New York must designate the NY Secretary of State as their registered agent. Without this information, the state will not approve the LLC Articles of Organization. 

But that’s not all! The state will still allow you to appoint and maintain a separate registered agent for your LLC. 

Weird? Well, that’s just how NY handles LLC requirements. Let’s see how it all adds up for your NY Registered Agent requirements!

New York Publication Requirement And The Role Of The Registered Agent

One good reason for being careful in selecting a New York Registered Agent is the state’s publication requirement. All NY LLCs must complete a New York publication requirement within 120 days of the approval of the Articles of Organization. 

The associated cost of newspaper advertisement can vary quite a bit between the various counties of the state. New York state says that the publication should be completed in the county where the LLC’s office is located. 

A lot of people try to save some money by choosing a registered agent located in a county where the expense for the publication requirement is low. This can be a legitimately useful way to save a good chunk of money. You can simply imagine the cost difference between having to publish in newspapers that service Manhattan versus those publishing in Albany county. 

Service Of Process And NY Registered Agent

An NY Registered Agent is a person or business entity that agrees to receive the service of process on behalf of your LLC. Service of process generally pertains to legal documents like lawsuits, summons, subpoenas, etc. 

The state allows a pretty wide berth for the selection of a registered agent. The requirements are:

  • An adult who has a physical street address in the state of New York.
  • A business entity that is allowed to do business in the state and maintains an office in New York.

Either way, the registered agent must have a physical street address in New York. PO Box addresses and similar services aren’t accepted.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Registered Agent?

Any LLC in New York must continuously maintain a registered agent in the state. The registered agent is responsible for:

  • Maintaining a registered office in the state where service of process can be delivered.
  • Receiving the service of process and forwarding it to the relevant person/department in the LLC.
  • Receiving other important communication on behalf of the LLC (for example, tax notices).
  • Being available during regular business hours (9 am to 5 pm).

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In New York?

Yes, it is possible to be the registered agent of your own LLC in New York. However, you should meet all the requirements of being the registered agent. Additionally, you should also consider if you (or your friends/family working as the registered agent), would be able to handle the responsibilities of the Registered Agent.

How To Change My NY Registered Agent

When the Articles of Organization of an LLC are filed, the Secretary of State becomes the registered agent of the LLC. While this is helpful, you may want to have a more specific registered agent.

Filing online via NY Business Express may provide an opportunity to select your own Registered Agent. However, the downloadable form DOS1336 currently doesn’t have this option.

There can be several reasons to change the agent, from trying to save money on the publication requirement to getting things handled more to your liking.

To do this, you can complete the process online using the NY Business Express system or file a form with the NY Department of State. The filing fee of the form is $30, irrespective of the method you use. If you’re paying by check or money order, it should be made payable to the Department of State.

This form is useful not only in changing the NY Registered Agent for your LLC from the Secretary of State to someone else but for changing the Registered Agent in general. For example, if you’re unsure how to change registered agent in Westchester NY, file this form and make the changes!

Should I Hire A Commercial Registered Agent For My NY LLC?

Given the requirements of a Registered Agent, you (or your friends/family) can take on that role. However, it’s not always possible for individuals to fulfill that role. Besides, if your intent is to save some money on the Publication Requirement, you will need someone with an address in the right county.

Hiring a commercial registered agent offers several benefits. However, it can cost you a few hundred dollars every year. The cost of commercial registered agents varies and so does the quality of service. So make sure you search and check reviews of registered agents before hiring them. 

Why Hire A Commercial Registered Agent?

Some advantages of hiring a commercial registered agent in NY are:

  • Publication Requirement: A commercial registered agent may be located in a county that makes it possible to get substantial savings in the NY Publication Requirements.
  • Professional Service: Commercial agents are likely to have a well-staffed office and offer good professional services in handling their role and requirements.
  • Privacy: Hiring a registered agent means that your address isn’t published in the public record. That’s useful for privacy and can save you from a lot of junk mail.
  • Discreet: It’s better to have a commercial registered agent rather than doing it yourself or through your friends/family. This way, the service of process arrives at the commercial agent’s address, without causing any disturbance for your LLC employees, clients, or customers.

There are several other advantages to hiring commercial agents. Their services can vary, depending on the company. Many offer help with setting up the LLC, while others can offer assistance with other facets of running your NY LLC. There are some that simply cover their role as registered agents.

Plus, there are national and local registered agents. The local agents might have a good understanding of local/county/city laws and requirements. While national companies/agents might also offer similar services. Besides, hiring national companies can be more convenient if you choose to expand your LLC to other states.

You could simply have the national registered agent company be the registered agent in the new state(s) as well. That way, all relevant business mail would move from a single source. 

Or, you could just keep the process at its default consideration and let the Secretary of State stay on as your LLC’s New York Registered Agent.