Top California Registered Agents – Comprehensive Guide (April 2024)

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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California Registered Agent: If you wish to start a California LLC, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to California State Law, it is mandatory to have a California Registered Agent if you are conducting business in the state. In California, the Registered Agent is known as the agent for Service of Process. 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 an agent for service of process in California, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a California Registered Agent.

What is a California Registered Agent

A registered agent (known as an agent for service of process) in California is an individual or a business representing your LLC 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 state’s registered agent’s official address. While forming an LLC, it is mandatory to appoint a registered agent.

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

Note: In California, a registered agent is called an Agent for Service of Process. The Agent for Service of Process is an individual or a business that receives all the legal and state-related documents for your California LLC. An LLC must maintain an Agent for Service of Process till the LLC shuts down or gets dissolved. In California, the requirements and duties of an Agent for Service of Process can be found in the Cal. Corp. Code § 17701.13(a).

Hiring a Registered Agent in California

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

registered agent service

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 California 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 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 –


LegalZoom – $299 Per Year

How to Choose a Registered Agent in California

You can choose a California Registered Agent in two ways: either 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 to 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.

LLC Service

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$99 Per Year

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$125 Per Year

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  • Flat Rate

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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 LegalZoom Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package.

What to Consider While Choosing a California 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 California

At the time of submitting the California 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.

registered agent

Appoint Registered Agent Online

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

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

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

Cost of a California 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 California.

Registered Agent services that also provide LLC formation packages can provide the same service at a lower price. For example, LegalZoom offers standalone registered agent service at $299 per year, but if you buy their LLC formation package at $0 + state fees, you might get a registered agent at a low cost.

How to Change a Registered Agent in California

To change the California registered agent, you must file a Change of registered agent or office by entity form. This form can be submitted to the California Secretary of State via mail or online filing. Read more on how to change a registered agent in California.

File Online

For online filing, you need to get the online form, which is available on the California 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 California 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 State
Business Programs Division – Statement of Information
P.O. Box 944230
Sacramento, CA 94244-2300

In-person Submission: Secretary of State
1500 11th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

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

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

  • Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in California 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 California to publicly upload their address to the California 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 California 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 California 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.

California Business Laws for Registered Agents to Note

Registered agents are responsible for handling all the business laws and other legal issues related to California LLC. Every state has its own business laws. California 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,

Interest Law

Every state in the United States has an Interest law for businesses. Normally, the general interest rate guidelines are lesser than the legal threshold of interest rate. The reason behind this is that most businesses agree on higher interest rates. In California, the interest rate on Sales is 12%, while the interest rate on judgment is 7%.
There is another law in California called Usury Law. In this law, a higher rate of interest is charged for loans and advances. This interest rate falls under the legal guidelines. Up to a 12% rate can be charged when the regular rate is 7% in California.

Antitrust Law

In general, Antitrust law detects the formation of cartels in any open market. When competitors come together and influence the market price and supply in illegal ways, they form a cartel. Cartels are illegal in any market. In California, like any other state, there is an Antitrust Law to prevent this.
The time span to bring the claim under this law is 4 years in California. Also, a successful plaintiff can recover the fees of his/her attorney under this law.

Deceptive Trade Practice Law

California does not have Deceptive Trade Practice Law directly. However, it does have penalties for trade malpractice and other deceptive practices in the state. Any attorney general can raise the case. The penalty can be up to 6 months in jail and/or fines up to $2,500 or both.

Civil Statute of Limitation Laws

The Civil Statute of Limitations Law in California is no different than in other states. Up to 10 years of imprisonment will be given to the accused under this law. Unde Civil Statute of Limitation Law, there is a limited time within which lawsuit filings should be filed. Failing to do so, penalties and other steps are to be taken.

The registered agents are the ones who take care of these cases and laws for you. Hiring a registered agent in California will help you to handle and cope with all these business laws.


How To Change Registered Agent In California?

The California Secretary of State must receive the RA change application form before you may change the registered agent in that state. Depending on what option is most convenient for you, you may submit this online, by mail to the Secretary of State, Business Programs Division-Statement of Information, P.O. Box944230, Sacramento, CA94244-2300, or by fax. In California, it costs $20 to switch a registered agent.

How To Become A Registered Agent In California?

In California, it is simple to register as an agent. You must be above 18 and a resident of the state in order to register as an agent. A certain educational background is not necessary to work as a registered agent in California.

Who Can Be A Registered Agent In California?

A registered agent in California may be anybody. Any person who meets the requirements, including your spouse, family, LLC members, and you, may act as the registered agent. The applicant must be a resident of California and an adult in good standing.

How To Change Registered Agent Address In California?

In California, you must submit the RA Change Form with the new address listed in order to change a registered agent’s address. You may submit the form in three different ways, depending on what method is most convenient for you: online, by mail to the Secretary of State, Business Programs Division – Statement of Information, P.O. Box 944230, Sacramento, CA 94244-2300, or by fax. To the California SOS, you should send this form.

How To Find A Company’s Registered Agent In California?

You must go to the California Secretary of State’s website to locate a company’s registered agent there. The option to search for the company by name will be provided. You may choose the registered agent’s name after entering the company name to see the data.

What Does A Registered Agent Do In California?

In California, a registered agent is in charge of obtaining legal notifications and permits as well as serving any processes on behalf of the business. In California, it is required to have a registered agent. In California, you have the option of working with a professional or acting on your own.

How To Appoint Someone As The Registered Agent In California?

Companies must provide their name, address, and contact information at the time of company registration in order to formally designate a registered agent in California. The registered agent is mentioned separately in the article of incorporation. How to designate a registered agent in California is as follows.

How To Search For Registered Agent Address In California?

These actions must be taken in order to look for a registered agent’s address:
1. Visit the Secretary of State’s website for California
2. Look up a business using its name
3. Examine the Registered agent section and the address list.
You may then look for the California address of the registered agent in this manner.

How Do I Look For A Business In California By The Registered Agent Name?

Visit the California Secretary of State’s website to look up a company in that state. The “Search” option may be found. You may look for a company using both its name and the name of its registered agent. To get the business information, choose “registered agent” and input the name of your registered agent.

What Is Required Of A Registered Agent In California?

You must meet three requirements in order to be a registered agent in California. The first requirement is that you must be older than 18 years old. Second, you have to be a state resident. In other words, you must have a real street address in California. The right to do business in California is the last requirement.

How To Look Up The Registered Agent Of a Corporation In California?

Finding a registered agent for a company in California is simple. Visit the California Secretary of State’s website to complete this. Visit the Business Search menu. You may search for a company using its name by choosing the Look up by name option. You may look up the registered agent information after you have the company.

How Do I Resign As A Registered Agent In California?

A registered agent in California must write a letter of resignation to the business that they are currently working for if they wish to quit. A resignation notification should be given to the California Secretary of State to confirm the registered agent’s resignation after a certain number of days, along with the resignation letter.

How To Update Registered Agent In California Online?

You must submit the RA Change Form to the California Secretary of State in order to change a registered agent there online. Not all states provide an online system for changing a registered agent. If the online approach is offered, check the California SOS website.

How To Get A Free Registered Agent In California?

In California, there are three methods to get a free registered agent. Becoming your own registered agent is the first option. Second, if any member of your family, partner, or acquaintances is appointed as a registered agent. In California, free registered agent services are also offered by certain company creation firms.

How To Research For Registered Agent Information In California?

A registered agent in California is simple to find online. You must go to the California Secretary of State’s official website. The “search by name” option is available if you know the company name. You may investigate a registered agent’s information from the list when you discover the firm facts.

Where To Mail Registered Agent Forms In The State Of California?

California’s Secretary of State, Business Programs Division – Statement of Information, P.O. Box 944230, Sacramento, CA 94244-2300 is the address to send the registered agent form. You must choose a registered agent for your company and provide all of their information on the formation paperwork when you register it. Send it via mail to the aforementioned address.

If a Company Does Not Have a Registered Agent In California, Who Is Served?

In California, you must have a registered agent for your business. However, you can run into legal issues if your firm doesn’t have a registered agent. Therefore, it’s crucial to work with a registered agent in California (you may alternatively serve as your own registered agent).

How To Serve A Deceased Registered Agent in California?

Your business won’t have a registered agent if a registered agent passes away. A registered agent for your business is required in California. If he or she passes away, all of the power will be lost. Companies must immediately inform the SOS if their registered agent changes or is replaced.

How To Hide Registered Agent Name From Sos California?

Whether or whether the name of the registered agent may be concealed cannot be answered with certainty. In certain states, it is permissible to keep the names of LLC owners or members private. If your LLC is anonymous, that may happen. The registered agent’s name cannot be concealed in several states. For further information, see the California Secretary of State’s company registration rules.

Who To Call To Identify Registered Agent Information In California?

Call (916) 653-6814 to get the registered agent details for California. The California Secretary of State’s regular business hours are 8 am to 5 pm (central time). To contact the division you’re searching for, dial this number and follow the instructions.

What Is Registered Agent’s Consent In California?

The consent of a registered agent is a statement in writing that the agent is prepared to act as the company’s representative. If you replace the registered agent in California or appoint a new one, the new agent must get the SOS’s approval first.

What Is The Difference Between Registered Agent And Resident Agent In California?

Between a registered agent and a resident agent, there is no such distinction. The registered agent may also be referred to as a resident agent in California. Generally speaking, a resident agent is referred to as a registered agent. Several states refer to agents as residents.

What Happens if The Registered Agent Does Not Give Consent In California?

A legal sanction and obligation may be placed on the person appointing a registered agent without the permission of a person who has been appointed as such in California without their consent. Furthermore, they are free to refuse any obligations imposed by the procedure.

Can An LLC Be Sued If There Is No Registered Agent In California?

The answer is that your LLC may still be sued even if it has no registered agent in California. Any corporate company may be sued in California in a number of ways. Another method of suing the firm will be available if no one is available to accept the court filings.

How To Reject The Registered Agent’s Designation In California?

In California, the designation may be accepted or rejected by a registered agent. The statement of rejection may be signed and sent to the Secretary of State in order to reject the designation. On the SOS website, you may get the declaration of refusal.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in California

A registered agent for LLC in California can be removed by submitting a Resignation letter by the existing registered agent with California Secretary of State.

There may be various reasons why you may need to remove a registered agent for your LLC. Perhaps they are no longer available or reliable, or maybe you have decided to take on the responsibilities of being your own registered agent. Regardless of the reason, it is essential to follow the proper procedures to ensure your business remains compliant with state regulations.

The process of removing a registered agent for your California LLC is relatively straightforward, but it does involve a few key steps. The first step is to review your LLC operating agreement, as it may include specific provisions or guidelines for removing a registered agent. It is crucial to follow the guidelines outlined in your operating agreement to avoid any potential disputes or conflicts.

If your operating agreement does not provide any guidance on removing a registered agent, you will need to file a Statement of Information (Form LLC-12) with the California Secretary of State. This form allows you to update the information of your LLC, including the appointment of a new registered agent or the removal of the current agent.

When completing Form LLC-12, you will need to provide the name of your LLC, your LLC number, and the name and address of the current registered agent you wish to remove. You will also need to provide the effective date of the removal and the name and address of your new registered agent, if applicable.

It is important to ensure that all information provided on Form LLC-12 is accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays or complications in the processing of your request. Once you have completed the form, you can submit it to the California Secretary of State either online or by mail, along with the applicable filing fee.

After submitting Form LLC-12 and the filing fee, the California Secretary of State will review and process your request to remove the registered agent for your LLC. Once the request has been approved, you will receive confirmation of the removal of the registered agent and any updated information regarding your LLC’s registered agent.

In conclusion, understanding how to remove a registered agent for your California LLC is essential for maintaining compliance with state regulations and ensuring the smooth operation of your business. By following the proper procedures outlined by the California Secretary of State, you can effectively remove a registered agent and update the necessary information for your LLC. It is important to be diligent and thorough in your approach to ensure a seamless transition and continued success for your business.

In Conclusion

Before you choose a registered agent for your California 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.

2 thoughts on “Top California Registered Agents – Comprehensive Guide (April 2024)”

  1. Sorry, I intend to be my own registered Agent because I see no point in finding someone else to be a registered agent for me and wasting a chunk of money for a service I can self-serve.


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