California Registered Agent

A California registered agent is the key person or designated corporate entity responsible for receiving legal documents (like court papers) if a business gets sued. They provide a physical address where important state notices and legal mail for a business can be delivered. California Corporations Code Chapter 17 explains that registered agents must forward these documents to the primary contact on file for the entity they represent, which is considered valid legal service on the business. The right registered agent can help keep you ahead of legal action and support your business, so we’ll cover your options below.

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What Is the Role of a California Registered Agent?

A California registered agent is the main contact for a business entity in the state. They receive vital state notifications and legal documents on behalf of the business, ensuring correspondence is promptly delivered to the business. Additionally, they play a key role in keeping the business informed about any legal issues that may arise. They may do this by reaching out to the business using the contact information provided for members or officers, or by forwarding correspondence directly to the attorney for the business. This allows for a seamless hand-off of any time-sensitive information.


Is My Business Required to Have a California Registered Agent?

Yes. The California Corporations Code specifies that all entities doing business in the state must appoint a registered agent to accept incoming state notices and service of process. Serving documents for a company to the registered agent listed on state records is legally equivalent to delivering them directly to the recipient. This makes selecting a reliable and efficient registered agent even more important for the success and development of your business.

Who can be a registered agent in California?

An individual or a company can be a registered agent in California, and they must have a physical address in the state that is not a P.O. Box. Active California corporations can also be registered agents by meeting these address requirements and having a Corporate Registered Agent (1505) application on file with the Secretary of State. Note: Your legal entity cannot serve as its own registered agent.

Can I appoint myself as a registered agent in California?

Yes. If you are over 18 and have a physical address in California, you can list yourself as a registered agent on the state records. You must be available at this address during normal business hours to accept documents as needed. Appointing a corporate registered agent can simplify the process so you don’t miss out on any important documents.


Why Hire a Commercial Registered Agent?

Appointing an individual registered agent isn’t always the best option for busy companies. When documents get lost in the daily shuffle, your business is open to legal consequences. Let’s weigh the benefits of individual and corporate registered agents:

  • Privacy for your business.
    California allows registered agent addresses on state records, so corporate registered agents provide an extra layer of protection since your address won’t be available to the public. Individual registered agents by comparison have to supply their addresses on public records.
  • No missed documents.
    While individual registered agents have to juggle their responsibilities with other needs, a dedicated corporate registered agent prioritizes accepting your documents and forwarding them to you. It’s easy to proactively address legal actions when you can trust your registered agent to keep you informed.
  • Service in California and beyond.
    Individual registered agents must meet the state’s requirements but are often limited to providing service in California alone. It’s not uncommon for corporate registered agents to operate within one or more neighboring states, providing registered agent support for your next move.

What Are the Perks of Hiring Registered Agents Inc?

Registered Agents Inc is a serious contender in the realm of California corporate registered agents. Hiring us gives you access to the following:

  • Quick document uploads
    Worried about deadlines? We upload every document to your secure online account on time, whether we receive it by mail or delivered by hand. This is the best way to guarantee you don’t miss any important legal updates for your business.
  • Online access
    Are you on the go? It’s easy to view and download new documents using your secure online client portal, where you can view documents in real-time as they become available. You can revisit them 24/7 from your desktop or mobile device.
  • Automatic updates
    Fear of missing out? We automatically send you email updates when we receive new documents on your behalf, alerting you to critical state and legal documents and avoiding any issues that may be on the horizon.
  • Local offices
    Ready to make a move? With offices in California, plus 51 other jurisdictions, we’re here with personalized support when you’re ready to expand or take your business to new states.
  • Compliance help
    Too busy to deal with compliance? We’re ready to file your annual or biennial report in California, and we’ll send upcoming filing reminders if you’d like to tackle it on your own.
  • Human experts
    Tired of robots? Registered Agents Inc has been around for years, and our team of real people is dedicated to making things as easy as possible. We’re experts at California business filings and can provide the details for any next steps you may have.

Our Wholesale Program allows you to provide your clients with solutions for registered agent service while we take care of the documents for you, so be sure to check it out!


How Do I Appoint a California Registered Agent?

You can appoint your California registered agent while forming your new California LLC or Corporation by providing the agent’s contact details in your formation filing. This lets the agent automatically receive documents for your business from day one and provides peace of mind that your correspondence is in good hands while you start your venture.

How do I change my California registered agent?

You can change your California registered agent by filing a Corporate Statement of Information for corporations, or a Statement of Information for Limited Liability Companies. This can be completed when your Statement of Information is due or between due dates. Statement of Information filings can only be submitted online using a BizFile account on the Secretary of State website.

What is the fee to change my California registered agent?

If you’re filing between Statement of Information due dates, it’s free to file this update. If you’re filing this when your Statement of Information is due, the standard filing fee of $20 for LLCs, or $25 for corporations applies.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to have a registered agent in California?

Registered agent service in California can cost between $50 and $300 a year and our premium registered agent service costs $200 annually. We also offer other standalone services like business formation, domain services, and VoIP phone service to help bolster your business.

Do I need to pay franchise taxes in California?

Yes. The California Franchise Tax Board assesses a $800 fee for entities in the state each year, and it’s unavoidable. This is the standard cost of operating a business in California, but nonprofits may apply for exemption using Form FTB 3500.

Can you run a California business from out of state?

Yes. You can form a company in California if you don’t live there, but you’ll need to hire a registered agent in the state you cannot provide a physical address in the state. Using a registered agent address in California meets this requirement and also allows you to keep your address off the public record.

Can you file a California Statement of Information online?

Yes. You must submit your California Statement of Information through the Secretary of State’s Bizfile portal. Setting up an account takes just a few moments and allows you to submit all filings online with direct payment using your credit or debit card.

How do I serve process on a California registered agent?

The California Secretary of State Business Search allows you to look up a business and provides the name and mailing address of their registered agent. Legal documents directed to the registered agent address will be forwarded to the business and constitute valid legal notice.