If you're looking to start an LLC in Texas or already have one, you need to work with a registered agent. Registered agents are required by law in Texas and you need one for every type of formal business. Therefore, it's important to educate yourself about registered agents so you know what to expect.
The good news is that we're here to help. We're going to take you through everything you need to know about registered agents in Texas. Read on to learn about why you need one and how registered agents can be an asset for your LLC.
What is a Texas Registered Agent?
A registered agent is someone who handles all of the paperwork for your LLC and someone who communicates with the state on behalf of your company. Registered agents in Texas can be any individual or entity with a physical address in the state.
Registered agents also perform duties on behalf of your company. This includes tasks like:
- Handling the legal process
- Keeping the LLC in good standing
- Helping you avoid fees by filing documents
- Storing files
- Filing the Texas annual report
- Franchise taxes
- Texas certificate of good standing
Keep in mind that these are only a handful of things registered agents can do for your company. Depending on who your registered agent is and if you use a professional service, registered agents can do even more.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Texas?
According to Texas state law, anyone who's over the age of 18 can be a registered agent in Texas. This makes finding one simple because you don't have to look far. In addition, business owners can appoint themselves to act as the registered agent or even other employees of the business.
While Texas law allows you to go this route it's not always recommended. Working with a registered agent company can take the stress away from you or someone else within the company.
Why Do Businesses in Texas Need a Registered Agent?
Businesses in Texas need a registered agent because it's required by law. If you fail to have a registered agent, you'll face penalties, and it can even result in the dissolution of your LLC.
That said, registered agents from reputable companies can help you in many ways.
First and foremost, using a registered agent service gives you privacy. In Texas, registered agents have to list their home address, and it becomes public information. This can attract unwanted attention and lead to other privacy issues.
Another important part of privacy is the legal process. When you use a registered agent service, you don't have to worry about getting served at your place of business, which can expose your clients and customers to unwanted attention. Instead, the registered agent service receives all legal documents and then delivers them to you conveniently and discreetly.
Registered agents also offer flexibility. When you're the registered agent, you have to be available during normal hours on each business day. While holidays are excluded, you don't get to be unavailable for vacations or other major events.
Working with a registered agent service gives you the flexibility to not worry about these issues. Most registered agent services have a full staff that's available each day to represent your company.
In Texas, being compliant is important. You want to make sure your reports are filed on time and that you're following all of the state's tax laws and codes. Unfortunately, this tends to be challenging to manage on your own while focusing on your company.
Registered agent services can manage compliance for you. This is accomplished by keeping compliance calendars to make sure you don't miss critical due dates.
Registered agents can also scan your documents to send them wherever they need to go quickly, which prevents fees.
Registered agents in Texas also help with data storage. Storing data properly tends to be the difference between paying fees and remaining compliant. Storing important documents isn't always simple, especially if you lack the software to do so.
Registered agent services can provide you with cloud storage systems and store your documents for you. This allows them to scan the documents to the state or you whenever documents are needed.
While you don't need to have a registered agent service represent your company, it makes operating an LLC much more simple.
What To Look for When Choosing a Texas Registered Agent
If you're interested in using a registered agent service, there are a few things you want to look for, especially in a big state like Texas. There are dozens of registered agent services, but some are better than others. We're going to show you how to separate the good from the bad to narrow down your options.
First and foremost, make sure the service is professional. Instead of choosing yourself or a friend, make sure you look at reputable companies like ZenBusiness. A reputable registered agent service will have good reviews, a national reach, and high levels of customer satisfaction.
Professional services also tend to have more benefits than smaller registered agent companies. This is because they typically have a larger workforce. Therefore, they can manage your needs faster and more efficiently.
Registered agent services vary in price, so it's important to be careful when you're looking at prices. Services usually charge annually, so you want to make sure you're prepared for that. They typically charge between $100 and $300, depending on who you work with.
While it's tempting to go with the least expensive option, this isn't always a good idea. If you're going to pay for a registered agent service, it's worth it to get what you pay for. Companies that charge more will offer better benefits like proficient customer service, better data storage, and better software.
When looking at registered agent services, you should also make sure they have a national reputation. When companies are national, it's a good sign because it shows success and growth–the last thing you want is for a registered agent service to close down on you without notice.
Moreover, registered agent services that have national coverage can move with your business as you expand or if you need to relocate. This makes the process much easier.
A quality registered agent service will provide you with above-average data management. Managing your data is crucial to remain compliant with state laws and regulations. Such services will manage compliance calendars and file your annual report for you.
Good data management also allows registered agent services to send you documents and data instantly. The company can also store these documents long-term for you.
Many people fail to consider software when looking at registered agent companies. This is because software is an afterthought compared to data storage and cost. Still, software options are important because they can protect your data and prevent failures.
A worthwhile registered agent company will have modern software. This prevents people from hacking into the software and stealing your data. Good software also makes it easier to sign in and manage your files remotely.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
The cost of registered agents varies. In some cases, a registered agent can be free. This occurs when you choose yourself, a friend, or a family member. You can even choose other members of the LLC, which drives the cost down. While you can choose someone you know to be the registered agent, we always recommend working with a registered agent service instead.
These companies cost money to work with, but it's always money well spent. In Texas, registered agent services can cost between $49.99 and $299.99, depending on who you work with and how you pay. For example, some companies will charge you a monthly fee, while others will charge you an annual fee. Some companies will also offer both options, but the monthly fee typically costs more in the long term.
What's the Best Registered Agent Service in Texas?
Texas is one of the biggest states in the country, so there are many options for your registered agent needs. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to determine which company is the best and how these companies are different. The good news is that ZenBusiness is the leader in registered agent services in Texas, and it's not even close.
ZenBusiness is a comprehensive service that offers many features to keep your company safe and compliant. There is a worry-free guarantee that alerts you when your company falls out of compliance, which can save you money in fees.
ZenBusiness also has excellent customer service representatives and state-of-the-art software. Data storage is easy to work with, and the company can send data where it needs to be in seconds. Overall, it's one of the best companies to work with–especially in its low-cost price range.
For more about ZenBusiness and other registered agent services, check out our full guide