If you want to own and operate an LLC in Michigan, you need to have a registered agent. In the state of Michigan, a registered agent is someone who acts as a communication point between the state of Michigan and a privately-owned LLC. Registered agents also have other responsibilities, which makes it unappealing to be the owner of an LLC and the registered agent of an LLC.
That said, there are many options for LLCs in Michigan. Owners of LLCs can choose to be the registered agent, or they can choose a third party (person or entity). Still, the best option for most companies is to use a third-party registered agent service. These are registered agent services that provide LLCs with features that make it easy to manage a company without worrying about registered agent duties.
If you own an LLC in Michigan, read on. We're going to take you through everything you need to know about registered agents for the state of Michigan.
What Is a Michigan Registered Agent?
A registered agent in the state of Michigan is someone who acts as the point of communication between the state of Michigan and an LLC. Every company that operates as an LLC needs to have one in order to remain in compliance with Michigan laws. Without a registered agent, companies have to pay fines, fees, and other legal processes. Registered agents also handle other duties like filing reports and making sure an LLC is in good standing.
Here are some examples of duties performed by registered agents in the state of Michigan:
- Filing the Michigan annual statement
- Managing the legal process if/when it occurs
- Keeping the LLC in good standing with Michigan compliance regulations
- Ensuring there are records on file if the state needs them
While there are other duties that registered agents provide, these are some of the basic ones that every registered agent needs to do. That said if you work with a third-party registered agent company, you can get other benefits.
Can the Owner be a Registered Agent in Michigan?
Anyone who has a primary address in the state of Michigan can be the registered agent of an LLC. This includes the owners of LLCs, other people, and even other companies. For example, many LLCs in Michigan use registered agent services that provide a registered agent for a fee.
Why Do Businesses Need a Registered Agent in Michigan?
Michigan requires that LLC and other companies have a registered agent. While this is a requirement, it's also the law. Therefore, not having a registered agent leads to legal fees, penalties, and other problems. For a company to be compliant in Michigan, it needs to have a registered agent who manages reports, legal processes, and deadlines.
That said, working with a third-party registered agent service also comes with other benefits. These include:
- Legal process
- Data storage
One of the biggest perks of using a registered agent service is that you get the benefit of privacy. This is big in Michigan because Michigan law states that you need to have a public address listed as the registered agent. The address has to be residential and can't be a post office box. If you're the owner of an LLC as well as the registered agent, you have to list your address as public information.
The good news is that if you work with a registered agent service, this is not the case. When the registered agent service becomes the registered agent of your company, they become responsible for listing their address. This is important because it makes it easier to have privacy and keep your address away from the public, which allows you to keep your company and personal life separate.
The legal process is another reason that working with a professional registered agent service is important. While owning an LLC shields you from liability, that doesn't prevent the company from being sued. If this occurs, the legal process is handled and carried wherever the registered agent can be found. Unfortunately, this can include the address of a registered agent's home or the address of your LLC.
Working with a registered agent service prevents companies from going straight to your home or business. Business owners will naturally want to avoid these awkward situations. While there have been cases where papers are served directly to the owner, it is often handled by the registered agent, and the owner is discreetly informed later.
Flexibility is also a concern when it comes to registered agents. Registered agents play a role in the operations of an LLC by being available when the state needs information. This includes being available five business days per week, excluding holidays. For LLC owners who also operate as the registered agent, this would create a lack of flexibility because there would be no time for a vacation.
The good news is that working with a third-party registered agent service can prevent this loss of flexibility. Registered agent services take on this role, so they would become responsible for these needs. Therefore, you can enjoy more time with your family and focus more on your company. Plus, you don't have to worry about filing dates or missing deadlines.
The next factor is data storage. Data storage is important because it's how an LLC holds and stores documents for the state to view. While it's easy to store files, keeping files separate is challenging. It's also hard to send and receive documents from the state when you don't have the right software. These are a few of the reasons that make it challenging to be the registered agent for an LLC.
That said, people can always use a registered agent service instead. Many registered agent services provide clients with cloud-based data storage that makes storing and sending state documents easy.
Being the owner of an LLC and the registered agent of an LLC is challenging. This is why we always recommend working with a third-party service instead.
What To Look for When Choosing a Michigan Registered Agent
Shopping for a registered agent in Michigan is challenging. There are dozens of options to choose from, with some LLC owners choosing themselves to be the registered agent. That said, it's almost always best to use a professional and reputable registered agent service. We're here to help you narrow down your options.
Some factors to consider before choosing a registered agent in Michigan include:
- Professional service
- Data management
First and foremost, you want to work with a professional service. There are several professional services to choose from, but our favorite is ZenBusiness because of the packages and services they offer. You should choose a professional service over yourself or a family member because it prevents deadlines from being missed.
When looking for a professional service, there are a few things you need to consider. The first thing is that the company should have a national reputation. A national reputation and reach make it easier to change states if you need to. Moreover, you should look for a company that has good credentials, reviews, and ratings for LLC services.
The next thing to focus on is value. While there are many registered agent services, they don't always provide the same value. This is because some companies offer more services than others. For example, some companies have several packages that can add value to your company. These packages vary but can include tax services, accounting, and even help with starting a company.
You should also compare the price options. We recommend companies that offer discounts in the first year and companies that make it easy to change packages if you need more services. It's also important to remember that paying more for a higher quality company is often worth it, especially if they have great customer service and data storage.
Finally, data management is important. Working with a good registered agent company can offer you clever and innovative data management solutions that make sending and receiving information easier. While most registered agent services offer some type of data management options, they don't always offer cloud-based solutions.
Cloud-based solutions are important for several reasons. First and foremost, cloud storage allows you to store more data for a longer period. Secondly, it makes it easier to send and receive data. This prevents issues with filing reports and other legal documents with the state. Therefore, you should always look for a registered agent service that provides a good data management solution.
How Much Do Michigan Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents in Michigan vary in price. These prices vary based on what you need from a registered agent. For example, being the registered agent of your own LLC doesn't cost anything. On the other hand, using a professional registered agent service costs between $50 and $500. The price range is vast because it depends on what you're looking for from a service.
On the one hand, a registered agent company can cost as little as $50 for a basic package. But on the other hand, registered agent services can cost upwards of $500 if you request additional services like tax filing, accounting, and others. That said, you don't have to opt for these things if you don't feel you need them.
When it comes to the cost of a registered agent service, many people consider becoming their own registered agent to save money. While this is a good strategy, it has some flaws. This is because fees and penalties can add up rapidly when deadlines are missed, and things aren't filed properly. While it costs more in the short term, we always recommend choosing a registered agent service to save you time and money in the long term.
What's the Best Registered Agent Service in Michigan?
There are several options to choose from when it comes to registered agent services in Michigan. Each service has benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to evaluate each one carefully. The good news is that we did the research and discovered that ZenBusiness is the best registered agent service in Michigan. We reached our conclusion based on ZenBusiness' customer service, registered agent options, and ratings.
ZenBusiness is one of the few LLC services that has national coverage and good ratings. The company has ratings of over 4 out of 5 stars according to most rating services. For customer service, the company has a chatbot for quick communication and a service you can call and email.
ZenBusiness is also the best registered agent service when it comes to package options. This is because it's one of the most customizable options you can choose. There are packages for most things that you need and you can add things onto the basic registered agent package. ZenBusiness offers LLCs additional things like tax assistance, accounting, and more.
If you're looking for a registered agent service in Michigan we highly recommend ZenBusiness. Moreover, ZenBusiness is a great resource to use for other LLC-related needs.
Read our in-depth article here
to find out more about our comparisons of the best registered agent services.