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


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Tennessee Registered Agent: If you wish to start an LLC in Tennessee, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to Tennessee State Law, it is mandatory to have a Tennessee 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 Tennessee, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a Tennessee Registered Agent.

What is a Tennessee Registered Agent

A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.

Hiring a Registered Agent in Tennessee

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

You can choose a Tennessee 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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$99 Per Year

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$125 Per Year

  • Free registered agent service for 1 year with LLC formation package

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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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee

At the time of submitting the Tennessee Articles 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 Tennessee LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

To appoint a registered agent in Tennessee by mail, you need to download the Tennessee 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 on Tennessee Articles of Organization.

Cost of a Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

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 Tennessee

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

File Online

For online filing, you need to get the online form which is available on the Tennessee 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: $20

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 Tennessee 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: Tennessee Secretary of State
ATTN: Corporate Filing
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

How to Pay: The filing amount is payable to the Tennessee 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 Tennessee Need a Registered Agent Service

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

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  • Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in Tennessee 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 Tennessee to publicly upload their address to the Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee or any other state usually takes an 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.

Tennessee Business Laws for Registered Agents to Note

A registered agent, also known as a statutory agent, is an LLC’s most important member. Business owners must choose a suitable agent when incorporating an LLC; otherwise, the secretary of state may punish them. Of course, while choosing an agent, they must follow state requirements.

When the state creates legal and tax paperwork, as well as when lawsuits are filed, the Tennessee registered agent must be present. Only a resident of the state would be aware of the restrictions and provide services within it. Tennessee’s business laws are as follows:

Tennessee Antitrust Laws

Tennessee antitrust law prohibits the following actions:

  • Agreements on pricing (for example, two or more competitors agree on keeping prices artificially high)
  • All “commercial arrangements, contracts, agreements, trusts, or combinations” are geared at limiting competition at the expense of consumers.
  • Underpricing or giving away goods with the goal of “disrupting fair competition.”
  • Discrimination in pricing, access, and other areas by news vendors and distributors
Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations

States place time limits on civil proceedings and processes, such as lawsuits and verdicts, known as “statutes of limitations.” In Tennessee, like in other states, different types of civil actions have varied time limits. Plaintiffs, for example, have one year to file a personal injury claim, three years to initiate a lawsuit concerning personal property, and six years to collect rent and obligations.

Tennessee Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

False advertising and bait and switch scams are examples of “deceptive trade practices” prohibited under state legislation. Tennessee enforces the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 rather than the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The legislation defines 44 different sorts of activities that can be punished as Class B misdemeanors if they are improperly “affecting the conduct of any trade or commerce.” Among them are:

  • Taking another’s goods or services and passing them off as your own (counterfeiting)
  • Being untrustworthy about the origins of products or services
  • Selling worn or “altered to the point of diminishing value” products as new
Tennessee Interest Rates Laws

State rules limit the amount of interest a creditor can charge, but there’s a catch: consumers frequently agree to pay more interest by accepting the terms presented, thereby bypassing any legislative limits. Furthermore, most state laws regulating interest rates contain exclusions. In Tennessee, for example, a creditor is allowed to charge a maximum of 10% interest.

Tennessee Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Laws

Tax evasion or tax fraud is the deliberate failure to pay for underpayment of taxes. Filling out tax documents incorrectly in order to owe the state less money is one type of tax fraud. White-collar crime includes tax fraud.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue is in charge of tax collection in the state. The Department of Revenue may seek tax fraud prosecution if a citizen fails to repay their required taxes or is knowingly underpaid.

Tennessee Pyramid and Ponzi Scheme Laws

In most cases, these scams entail putting money into a system in which a few at the top make a lot of money, whereas many new people are duped into joining the plan by others. The goal is to persuade people to join rather than sell them stuff. In Tennessee, pyramid or Ponzi schemes are illegal.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Tennessee

A registered agent for LLC in Tennessee can be removed by filing a Registered Agent Change with the Tennessee Secretary of State with a filing fee of $20.

If you own an LLC in Tennessee, you may have noticed that your business no longer responds to your registered agent’s correspondence. For various reasons, you may need to change the Registered Agent for your LLC in Tennessee. Perhaps you’ve moved out of state or a former employee no longer wants to take on the role of Registered Agent. Maybe you’re unhappy with your current Registered Agent service and want to change it to a different one. Whatever the reason, here’s how to remove the Registered Agent from your LLC.

Having a registered agent can be expensive, so you’ll want to consider whether you’re sure you need this service. Adding a registered agent can cost as much as $100 per year. If you’d rather change your Registered Agent in Tennessee, you can easily switch it out by filing a form with a $20 fee. Alternatively, you can search the state’s database to find a business name that is available. For $20, you can even reserve the business name for four months. This is great for startup businesses.

Changing the Registered Agent of an LLC in Tennessee is simple and painless if you know how. You can choose to use the services of a top registered agent service or do it yourself. Northwest and ZenBusiness are two of the top registered agent services available online. If you’re using LegalZoom, you may want to look at other options, like ZenBusiness, as you’ll be saving over $100 by choosing one of these two companies over the other.

In Tennessee, LLCs are required to hire a registered agent, who receives state mail on their behalf. To be legally compliant, the registered agent must be physically located in Tennessee, accept state mails as soon as possible, and be able to accept them as soon as they are sent. New businesses often try to name themselves as the Registered Agent, but many experienced business owners use a registered agent service to save money on costs.

In Tennessee, changing the Registered Agent is as easy as filing an amendment. However, you may need to check the availability of the name that you wish to change. Changing a name is not as simple as just contacting the state; it’s also important to update all the state records to reflect the new name. You can also change the address of your LLC by contacting the Division of Business Services in Tennessee.

The Registered Agent acts as the proof that your LLC is a legal entity. An attorney or corporation can serve as your registered agent. However, it’s important to remember that the Registered Agent’s name and address are public records. This is why it’s vital to have a comprehensive operating agreement when you register your LLC. This document will prevent any disputes in the future and ensure that your business is legally compliant.

F.A.Q.

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

All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in Tennessee are required by state law to appoint a Tennessee registered agent. Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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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