Best Massachusetts Registered Agents 2022 (How to Add Self as RA)


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Massachusetts Registered Agent: If you wish to start a Massachusetts LLC, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to Massachusetts State Law, it is mandatory to have a Massachusetts Registered Agent if you are conducting business in the state. A registered agent receives all the official and legal documents from the State. They also receive the service of process if there’s any lawsuit in concern.

In the following guide, we have shared all the required information regarding hiring a registered agent, why you need a registered agent in Massachusetts, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a Massachusetts Registered Agent.

What is a Massachusetts Registered Agent

A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in Massachusetts is an individual or a business that represents your business in receiving official documents. These official papers include formation documents, business renewal documents, tax filing, and any legal document if the LLC gets sued by other companies. All these documents go straight to the registered agent’s official address in the state. While forming an LLC, it is mandatory to appoint a registered agent.

When you file the Massachusetts LLC formation papers with the Secretary of State, LLCs have to mention their registered agent’s name and address. When you choose a registered agent in Massachusetts, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.

Hiring a Registered Agent in Massachusetts

You may have several options for hiring a registered agent in Massachusetts. To become a registered agent, one has to meet the basic eligibility criteria. If the minimum requirements are fulfilled, anyone residing in Massachusetts can represent your LLC as your registered agent.

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Who Can Be a Registered Agent

  • The person must be above 18 years old.
  • The person must have a legal and physical address in the state where the LLC will operate.
  • The person must be physically present during normal working hours.
  • Anyone who fulfills the above requirements can act as a registered agent.
  • Recommended – You should use a professional registered agent in Massachusetts always.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent

Yes, you can be your own registered agent. In fact, any member of the LLC, managers, and the owner can be a registered agent. Besides, someone from the owners’ family, such as a spouse, relatives, or other family members, can also act as a registered agent. As mentioned above, anyone who is representing the business as an agent should fulfill the basic criteria.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

Many small businesses do not hire a registered agent to save a chunk of money. However, it is not recommended to be your own registered agent. There are a bunch of problems one has to face while being a registered agent of his own LLC. Following are some of the issues you face,

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  • If you are operating your business from home or you are into web business, then your home address will be shared on the public portal. This address will be used for mailing and other official purposes. This will hamper your privacy.
  • A registered agent has to be physically available at the official address during working hours on working days for 52 weeks. Being your own registered agent might restrict your other work due to this.
  • The registered agent’s address must be up to date in the Secretary of State portal.

It is recommended to outsource the registered agent service to ease your work as it protects your privacy, especially if you conduct your business from home. It is always wise to outsource the RA service than be your own registered agent.

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How to Choose a Registered Agent in Massachusetts

You can choose a Massachusetts Registered Agent in two ways, either you can employ an in-house RA or outsource the service. Another option is to be your own registered agent. However, it is recommended to outsource the service as it is less worrisome and hassle-free.

In-house Registered Agent

As far as the in-house registered agent is concerned, it can be anyone from the LLC, including you, or you can employ an individual for this position. In that case, your office or home address will be the Registered Agent’s office address. Every LLC has to share its principal office address, mailing address, and registered agent’s office address to the state public portal. Hiring a registered agent service will make it easier as you can use the RA’s address as a mailing address.

Outsourcing Registered Agent Service

You may also avail yourself of professional registered agent services. Doing so ensures that you will have the best service provider to represent your business. Following are the best Registered Agent services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries.

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Note that availing of the services of professional registered agents would be your best option since you are guaranteed that whoever is handling your legal affairs knows their stuff well. If you are forming your LLC from scratch, then with Northwest Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package, including 1-year FREE registered agent service.

What to Consider While Choosing a Massachusetts Registered Agent

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a registered agent.

  • Service Fee: Since most states require formal businesses to have registered agents, selecting the best-registered agent is critical. Hiring a registered agent typically costs between $99 and $300 annually. When you consider how much time it will save you, this is a small price to pay.
  • Tenure in Business of Registered Agent: You want the registered agent to have established and time-tested procedures for handling documents. We recommend Registered Agent Services that have been in business for a long time. They are experienced and well capable of handling all your documentation.
  • State Jurisdiction Limitation: If your company expands to another state, you should use the same registered agent in all states to reduce the administrative burden of dealing with multiple registered agent service providers. Check out the best Registered Agent Services to consider for this job.
  • Offer Monitoring and Follow-up Services: You want to receive up-to-date information and alerts from your registered agent as soon as possible so that you are aware of the various statutes, rules, and regulations that apply to your company. Some of the service providers offer this service. Make sure to choose an RA service that includes this service.

How to Appoint a Registered Agent in Massachusetts

At the time of submitting the Massachusetts Certificate of Organization, the registered agent can be appointed by the LLC. It can be done online or by mail. No additional fee is charged for appointing a Registered Agent. Only the state filing fee should be paid.

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Appoint Registered Agent Online

To appoint a registered agent online, you have to go to the Massachusetts LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

To appoint a registered agent in Massachusetts by mail, you need to download the Massachusetts LLC filing form (PDF). Fill up the “Registered Agent” section with appropriate details of the agent and submit it to the SOS office. For more information, read the Massachusetts Certificate of Organization.

Cost of a Massachusetts Registered Agent

The cost of having a registered agent can be variable. It depends on whether you are employing an in-house registered agent, being your own agent, or outsourcing the service. The cost of having a registered agent can start from $99 and go up to $300 per year. It will be cost-effective if you outsource the registered agent service in Massachusetts.

Registered Agent services that also provide LLC formation packages can provide the same service at a lower price. For example, Northwest Registered Agent offers standalone registered agent service at $125 per year, but if you buy their LLC formation package at $39 + state fees, you will get registered agent service free for 1 year.

How to Change a Registered Agent in Massachusetts

To change the Massachusetts registered agent, you must file a Change of registered agent or office by entity form. This form can be submitted to the Massachusetts Secretary of State via mail, online, or fax.

File By Email

For online filing, you need to get the online form, which is available on the Massachusetts Secretary of State portal. Fill in all the necessary information of LLC as well as current and old registered agents. This form must be completed and signed by the newly appointed registered agent and any authorized member of the LLC. The signature of the new registered agent acts like the consent to be appointed as one. Submit it online.

Fee: $25

File By Mail

You can also choose to file the form through the mail. You need to download the Change of registered agent or office by entity form from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s portal. Fill in all the details on your computer. The completed form is to be signed by the newly appointed registered agent. The duly signed form must be sent to the following address,

Mail to: Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place – Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108-1512

Fax: (617) 624-3891

How to Pay: The filing amount is payable to the Massachusetts secretary of state through a credit card when filing online/by email. For paper filing, you can choose to pay through money order or check.

Why Do LLCs in Massachusetts Need a Registered Agent Service

There are several reasons why a business should appoint a registered agent in Massachusetts. Some of the most important reasons are listed below,

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  • Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in Massachusetts ensures the complete privacy of your business and related documentation. Appointing a registered agent company instead of an individual gets you privacy and confidentiality contracts beforehand.
  • Up-to-date Compliance: LLCs and corporates have plenty of paperwork and compliances that are to be updated on time. With a registered agent service, you don’t have to worry about those compliances, as your registered agent will maintain a compliance calendar.
  • Privacy: It is mandatory for businesses in Massachusetts to publicly upload their address to the Massachusetts Secretary of State. If you are using the home address for your business, then it would not be safe to make your private address public. On the other side, appointing a registered agent service will cover you up here as they have to provide their address to the Massachusetts SOS and not yours.
  • Availability: Every registered agent has to be available during office hours of work on business days. If you hire a registered agent service, then they can be available at the required time without harming other tasks at the company.
  • Online Safe Backup: Every registered agent in Massachusetts or any other state usually takes online backup of all the documents and paperwork. This ensures the LLC papers are securely saved in a central system.
  • Lawsuits or Summons: Getting summoned or involved in a lawsuit does not leave a good impression on the employees. With a registered agent, all the related papers will be delivered to the Registered Agent’s official address. Hence, owners do not have to receive any such papers in their office in front of their employees.

Massachusetts Business Laws and Registered Agent

Registered Agents are responsible for handling the business laws related to your LLC and other legal issues related to your Massachusetts LLC. Every state has its own business laws. Massachusetts is no exception. It has its own set of standard business laws to regulate businesses in the State. Here are some of the important business laws every business should follow in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Antitrust Laws

Antitrust laws regulate and prevent anti-competitive practices in any open market by levying heavy penalties and punishment against such activities. These laws counter the formation of cartels, monopolies, or any barrier created for new entrants in the market. The Massachusetts Antitrust Act prohibits any agreement in restraint of trade or commerce, price-fixing, scheme of arrangements executed to reduce competition in the market, and any other unfair methods of competition. The State allows the filing of private lawsuits and a successful plaintiff to recover attorney’s fees as well. The time limit to enforce such claims is 4 years.

Massachusetts Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

The State of Massachusetts aims to protect its residents from unfair business practices. Such practices mislead the consumers into investing in invaluable market products by selling them with twisted statements and lies such as false advertising. The laws specifically prohibit false advertising and odometer tampering.

The remedies for such acts include injunction, double or treble damages in addition to the attorney’s fees and costs, and any other additional relief necessary to compensate the victim. In case of odometer tampering, the offender may be liable for three times the actual damages of $1500, whichever is greater, attorney’s fees and a criminal penalty from $500 to $1000, and imprisonment from 30 days to 2 years.

The Registered Agents are the people who act as points of contact between your business and the State Authorities. They assist your business in ensuring compliance with all regulations and codes of the State. Hiring a registered agent in Massachusetts will help you handle your business in a smooth and legally compliant manner.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Massachusetts

A registered agent for LLC in Massachusetts can be removed by submitting a Certificate of Statement of Change of Resident Agent/Resident Office with the Massachusetts Secretary of State with a filing fee of $25.

In Massachusetts, if your LLC has a foreign resident agent, you can remove them as a Registered Agent. The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website provides instructions for changing your registered agent. However, it’s important to note that you must use a physical address and not a PO Box, as this is a serious violation of the LLC’s formalities. Regardless of the reason for changing your registered agent, you must follow the proper procedures in order to remain compliant.

In order to operate legally, you need a registered agent in Massachusetts. These agents act as your representative for your business, accepting official documents from SOCs. They receive important legal documents, tax forms, lawsuit notices, and official government correspondence. In Massachusetts, LLCs are required to have a registered agent. If you decide to change your agent later, you must make sure that the change is seamless.

To change your registered agent in Massachusetts, you can download and fill out a Statement of Change of Registered Office. Forms are available online, by mail, or at the SOC. You must type the information on the statement of change. You cannot send a handwritten version, so you should print a copy. You can also drop in at their office or mail it to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Once you have a registered agent, you should file your annual report with the state’s tax agency and pay quarterly taxes. Additionally, you will need a business credit card, business license, and trademark protection. You should check with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to make sure that you don’t have a similar business in the state. You should purchase a domain name if you think you will no longer need it in the future.

Before you remove the registered agent for your LLC in Massachusetts, you should create an operating agreement between you and the other members of your company. This agreement is the legal document that lays out the rules of your company. It outlines who has what jobs, and provides standards for how to add new members. It can help protect you and your LLC from litigation. To remove a registered agent for your LLC in Massachusetts, follow the instructions in the Operating Agreement.

You should also consider changing your LLC’s registered agent if you’re planning to change the name of the business. An LLC is an ideal way to protect your assets from liabilities, but there are some situations where you might want to change your name. If you want to change the authorized signatories or manager, you must file an amendment. Most of the process can be completed online. You should check with the Secretary of State for more information.

To remove a registered agent for an LLC in Massachusetts, you should first check if you’re eligible for this. First, you must decide if your business will operate in the state. In order to operate in another state, you’ll need a Certificate of Authority. This document is like the birth certificate of your company. Once you’ve obtained this document, you can begin signing leases and buying goods in another state.

F.A.Q.

Do you need a Registered Agent for your LLC in Massachusetts?

All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in Massachusetts are required by state law to appoint a Massachusetts registered agent. Massachusetts registered agents provide a reliable way for the Secretary of State and state courts to contact a corporation or LLC.

Who qualifies to be a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is simply a person or entity appointed to accept service of process and official mail on your company’s behalf who lives in the state of service and is over 18.

Why you should not act as your own Registered Agent?

If you intend to be your own registered agent, you may be forced to use your home address (especially if you run a home-based or web-based business), making the address public for mailing and other official purposes. This might harm your privacy. Hence, it is recommended to outsource the RA service. Also, if you outsource it to professionals, it will be hassle-free.

In Conclusion

Before you choose a registered agent for your Massachusetts LLC, compare their price and services from the table. They will be responsible for all your documentation, filings, and other LLC-related tasks. Hence, choose the best one for your business that provides 100% accurate service at a reasonable price.

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