What is a Registered Agent?

Definition, responsibilities and requirements

Because every Texas entity must have a registered agent, we often get the question: What is a registered agent? The Texas Business Organizations Code defines the registered agent as an agent of the entity on whom may be served any process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served on the entity. Generally speaking, the registered agent is the person or entity designated to receive important tax and legal documents (including lawsuits) on behalf of the entity. In reality, the registered agent receives a great deal of junk mail.

Who Can be the Registered Agent?

The registered agent may be a consenting individual who is a resident of Texas or a consenting organization that is registered or authorized to do business in Texas.

What Address Must the Registered Agent Use?

The office of the registered agent or "registered office" must be a street address in Texas (not a P.O. Box or mail service). The registered office does not have to be the entity’s place of business. If the registered agent is an organization, the registered agent must have an employee available at the registered office during normal business hours to receive lawsuits and other important notices.

The Registered Agent Must Consent

The person who appoints a registered agent without the consent of such registered agent commits a Class A misdemeanor (or a felony, if the intent was to harm another). In addition to the criminal offenses, the person appointing a nonconsenting registered agent can be liable for damages as a result of the appointment.

Professional Registered Agent

For $120 per year, our preferred professional registered agent company (Registered Agent Solutions, Inc.) can serve as the registered agent for your business. Technically, anyone who meets the requirements above can serve as the registered agent, but many of our business formation clients prefer to have us appoint a professional registered agent.

Read more about professional registered agents →

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