Wisconsin Registered Agent: If you wish to start a Wisconsin LLC, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to Wisconsin State Law, it is mandatory to have a Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a Wisconsin Registered Agent.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is a Wisconsin Registered Agent
- Cost of a Wisconsin Registered Agent
- How to Change a Registered Agent in Wisconsin
What is a Wisconsin Registered Agent
A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.
Hiring a Registered Agent in Wisconsin
You may have several options for hiring a registered agent in Wisconsin. To become a registered agent, one has to meet the basic eligibility criteria. If the minimum requirements are fulfilled, anyone residing in Wisconsin can represent your LLC as your registered agent.
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 Wisconsin 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,
- 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.
Recommended: You can get the best registered agent service at a reasonable price with online LLC service providers. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – $99 Per Year
How to Choose a Registered Agent in Wisconsin
You can choose a Wisconsin 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.
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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin
At the time of submitting the Wisconsin Article 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.
Appoint Registered Agent Online
To appoint a registered agent online, you have to go to the Wisconsin LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.
Appoint Registered Agent By Mail
To appoint a registered agent in Wisconsin by mail, you need to download the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Articles of Organization.
Cost of a Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.
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 Wisconsin
To change the Wisconsin registered agent, you must file a Change of registered agent or office by entity form. This form can be submitted to the Wisconsin Secretary of State via mail or email.
For online filing, you need to get the online form, which is available on the Wisconsin 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.
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 Wisconsin 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: State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0348
In-person Submit: State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate & Consumer Services
201 W. Washington Ave, Suite 300
Madison, WI 53703
How to Pay: The filing amount is payable to the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Need a Registered Agent Service
There are several reasons why a business should appoint a registered agent in Wisconsin. Some of the most important reasons are listed below,
- Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin to publicly upload their address to the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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.
Wisconsin Business Laws for Registered Agents to Note
Registered agents are responsible for handling all the business laws and other legal issues related to Wisconsin LLC. Every state has its own business laws. Wisconsin is no exception. It has its own set of different business laws to follow. Here are some of the important business laws every business should follow.
Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Antitrust laws prohibit any agreement in restraint of trade, quantity fixing, acquisitions executed to reduce competition in the market, price-fixing, and any unfair methods of competition. The time limit to bring in such claims is 6 years. The State allows citizens to initiate lawsuits against offenders via the Department of Justice or local district attorney, and a successful plaintiff is permitted to recover attorneys’ fees.
Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Laws:
The State of Wisconsin 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. Wisconsin has its own Consumer Act that specifically prohibits false advertising and odometer tampering. The Remedies available in such cases range from recovery of the original amount paid by the customer, fine up to $2000, injunction, and attorney’s fees. In case of odometer tampering, the offender can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $5000.
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 Wisconsin will help you handle your business in a smooth and legally compliant manner.
How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Wisconsin
A registered agent for LLC in Wisconsin can be removed by filing a Registered Agent and/or Registered Office Change Form with the Wisconsin Secretary of State with a filing fee of $10.
Changing a registered agent for your LLC is easy and inexpensive in Wisconsin. To change your registered agent, file the required paperwork with the Wisconsin Secretary of State. It may be as simple as naming yourself as the new agent or hiring a service to handle it for you. In any case, you will need the name and address of the new agent.
There are three ways to change a registered agent in Wisconsin. You can change it using an amendment to your articles of organization or by filing an annual report. For the former, filing an amendment will cost you $10. For the latter, you’ll need to pay a $20 filing fee and $40 for a for-profit corporation.
Changing your registered agent in Wisconsin costs $10, and you can use your credit card, money order, or prepaid account to do it. Depending on your business needs, you might want to change your registered agent from time to time. Remember that your business’s situation may change or you may be busy.
If you’re planning to run a business in Wisconsin, you need to choose a Registered Agent who lives in the state. This person will be your official contact with the state. The Registered Agent will receive correspondence regarding your LLC and forward it to you. Choosing a family member to serve as your Registered Agent may save you money, but there are also risks.
If you’d like to change your Registered Agent in Wisconsin, you can do so by filling out the required form with the Department of Financial Institutions. The change form can be submitted online or by mail. You’ll need to pay a small fee to the DFI for the service.
After completing the paperwork, you can change the Registered Agent on your company’s annual report. This form is similar to the form used by domestic corporations. The fee for filing is $10. In addition, you must include the new Wisconsin address of the new agent when filing the form.
In Wisconsin, there are specific requirements for the formation of an LLC. The process includes a number of documents, which you should carefully review. It is very important that you follow state law in choosing the name of your LLC. You must choose a name that includes the words “limited liability company” and is not already used by a business in the state. The Wisconsin Secretary of State’s website offers a tool to check whether your chosen name is available in the state.
In Wisconsin, the DFI will require you to choose an individual who meets certain requirements to become the LLC’s registered agent. This person must be at least 18 years old and have a Wisconsin address. They must also be physically present at the address during normal working hours. If you don’t meet these requirements, the DFI may revoke your LLC’s status.
All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in Wisconsin are required by state law to appoint a Wisconsin registered agent. Wisconsin registered agents provide a reliable way for the Secretary of State and state courts to contact a corporation or LLC.
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.
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.
Before you choose a registered agent for your Wisconsin 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.