Top Massachusetts Registered Agents – Comprehensive Guide (Jun 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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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 (often known as a Resident Agent in Massachusetts) 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.

Note: In Massachusetts, a registered agent is called a Resident Agent. The Resident Agent is an individual or a business that receives all the legal and state-related documents for your Massachusetts LLC. An LLC must maintain a Resident Agent till the LLC shuts down or gets dissolved. In Massachusetts, the requirements and duties of a Resident Agent can be found in the Massachusetts Statutes Chapter 156C, Section 5.

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.

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 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.

Recommended: You can get the best registered agent service at a reasonable price with online LLC service providers. We recommend using –

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LegalZoom – $299 Per Year

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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$125 Per Year

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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 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, 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 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.

FAQ

How To Change Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

You must submit the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s RA Change Application Form in order to change the registered agent in Massachusetts. Depending on what option is available to you, you may submit this online, by mail to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, One Ashburton Place, Room1717, Boston, MA02108-1512, or by fax. In Massachusetts, it will cost you $25 to alter your registered agent.

How To Become A Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

A registered agent in Massachusetts may be obtained with ease. You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state in order to register as an agent. In Massachusetts, being a registered agent doesn’t call for any particular educational preparation.

Who Can Be A Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

Anyone is eligible to serve as a registered agent in Massachusetts. Anybody who meets the requirements, including your spouse, family, LLC members, and you, may serve as a registered agent. The candidate must be a legal adult and a resident of Massachusetts.

How To Change Registered Agent Address In Massachusetts?

You must fill out a RA Change Form and provide the new address if you want to change a registered agent’s address in Massachusetts. Whichever option is most convenient for you, you may send the form by fax, mail, or online to the Secretary of the Commonwealth at One Ashburton Place, Room 1717, Boston, MA 02108-1512. To the Massachusetts SOS, you should send this form.

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

Visit the Massachusetts Secretary of State website to see who the registered agent is for a corporation in Massachusetts. The option of finding the company by name will be presented to you. You may choose the registered agent’s name to see the data if you input the company name.

What Does A Registered Agent Do In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, a firm must have a registered agent who will be tasked with both receiving and serving legal documents on its behalf. Massachusetts requires all businesses to have a registered agent. In Massachusetts, you have the choice of working with an expert or acting on your own.

How To Appoint Someone As The Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

At the time of Massachusetts business registration, registered agents may be designated by providing their information. There is a part in the formation document where you must provide information about the registered agent, such as name, address, and contact information. Don’t forget to provide your personal details if you’re acting as a registered agent.

How To Search For Registered Agent Address In Massachusetts?

The official website of the Massachusetts Secretary of State is where you may look up a registered agent’s address in that state. The following procedures may be used to seek the registered agent’s address:
1. Visit the Massachusetts SOS webpage.
2. Use the business name to get information about the firm
3. Look for the list of registered agents’ addresses
The registered agent’s address will be simpler to locate this way.

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

Visit the website of the Massachusetts Secretary of State to do a company search. The “Search” option is where you’ll find it. The name of the registered agent and the name of the company may both be used to find it. To acquire the information about your company, choose “registered agent” and input the name of your registered agent.

What Is Required Of A Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

You must meet three requirements in order to be a registered agent in Massachusetts. You need to be older than 18 years old, to start with. A resident in the state is a requirement two. To put it another way, you need a Massachusetts street address. The right to do business in Massachusetts is the last requirement.

How To Look Up The Registered Agent Of A Corporation In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, finding a corporation’s registered agent is simple. The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website must be accessed in order to achieve this. Navigate to the Business Search menu item. You may look for a company by name by choosing the option “Look up by name.” The registered agent information may be checked after you have the company.

How Do I Resign As A Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

Registered Agents in Massachusetts must write a letter of resignation to the business that they are currently working for if they wish to quit. The Massachusetts Secretary of State should receive a resignation notification, along with the resignation letter, to confirm the registered agent’s resignation after a certain period of time.

How To Update Registered Agent In Massachusetts Online?

The Massachusetts Secretary of State must receive the RA Change Form in order to make an online change to a registered agent in Massachusetts. It’s not possible to update a new registered agent in every state online. To see whether the online option is available, visit the Massachusetts SOS website.

How To Get A Free Registered Agent In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, there are three free registered agent options. As your own registered agent, you may take the initial step. The second is if any of your friends, family members, or partners choose to register as a registered agent. Last but not least, there are businesses that help with company creation in Massachusetts that provide free registered agent services.

How To Research For Registered Agent Information In Massachusetts?

A registered agent in Massachusetts may be readily found online. The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s official website must be accessed. The “search by name” option is available if you know the company name. You may look for a registered agent’s information from the list when you discover the business information.

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

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, One Ashburton Place, Room 1717, Boston, MA 02108-1512, is the address to which the registered agent form must be delivered. You must choose a registered agent and provide all of their information on the formation paperwork when registering your firm. After that, send it via mail to the aforementioned address.

If A Company Does Not Have A Registered Agent In Massachusetts, Who Is Served?

It is required that your business in Massachusetts have a registered agent. In contrast, you could run into legal issues if your firm lacks a registered agent. Because of this, it’s crucial to work with a registered agent in Massachusetts (although you may alternatively serve as your own registered agent).

How To Serve A Deceased Registered Agent in Massachusetts?

A deceased registered agent will leave your firm without a registered agent. It’s required that your firm in Massachusetts have a registered agent. 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 Massachusetts?

If the registered agent’s name can be hidden or not is difficult to answer certainly. An LLC member’s or the owners’ identities may be concealed from public registration in certain states. If your LLC is unidentified, it can happen. The registered agent’s name cannot be concealed in several states. Consult the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s business registration rules for further information.

Who To Call To Identify Registered Agent Information In Massachusetts?

You may phone 617-727-7030 to find out the registered agent’s details in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Secretary of State is open from eight in the morning until five in the evening (central time). The division you’re searching for may be reached by dialing this number and following the instructions.

What Is Registered Agent’s Consent In Massachusetts?

The permission of a registered agent to act as the company’s representative is a written declaration that the agent is prepared to do so. If you replace or appoint a new registered agent in Massachusetts, the SOS must get written authorization from the new agent.

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

A registered agent and a resident agent are not distinguishable in this way. The resident agent is another name for the registered agent in Massachusetts. A resident agent is referred to as a registered agent in the majority of states. Resident agents are used in a few states.

What Happens If The Registered Agent Does Not Give A Consent In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, if a person is appointed as a registered agent without their agreement, there may be a legal consequence and obligation placed on the person making the appointment. Additionally, individuals have the ability to reject any obligation imposed by the procedure.

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

The answer is that your LLC may still be sued even if it has no registered agent in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, there are several legal avenues for suing any company. There will be an alternative method of suing the corporation if nobody is available to accept the legal paperwork.

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

In Massachusetts, the designation is revocable by the registered agent. By signing the declaration of refusal and delivering it to the Secretary of State, the individual may reject the designation. On the SOS website, you may get the rejection statement.

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.

The first step in removing a registered agent is to review the Massachusetts state laws regarding the appointment and removal of registered agents. Each state has its own requirements and procedures, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific rules governing registered agents in Massachusetts. In general, the process involves filing the appropriate paperwork with the Massachusetts Secretary of State and notifying the existing agent of the change.

One common reason for wanting to remove a registered agent is dissatisfaction with their services. If your current agent is unresponsive, unreliable, or simply not meeting your expectations, it may be time to make a change. When choosing a new registered agent, be sure to do your homework and select a reputable and reliable company that can help you meet your business needs.

It’s also important to consider any legal or contractual obligations you may have regarding the appointment of a registered agent. Some contracts or agreements may require you to provide notice or obtain consent before making a change, so be sure to review your documentation carefully and comply with any relevant provisions.

Once you’ve selected a new registered agent, it’s time to initiate the removal process. The specific steps involved will vary depending on your situation, but generally, you will need to file a formal statement with the Massachusetts Secretary of State declaring the change and providing the necessary information about the new agent. You may also need to notify the existing agent in writing and obtain their consent to terminate the relationship.

After filing the required paperwork and notifying the appropriate parties, it’s essential to follow up and confirm that the change has been processed successfully. Make sure to verify that the Massachusetts Secretary of State has updated the registered agent information for your LLC and that the new agent is aware of their responsibilities and duties moving forward.

Overall, removing a registered agent for an LLC in Massachusetts is a straightforward process that can be completed efficiently with careful planning and attention to detail. By understanding the state requirements, choosing a new agent wisely, and following the necessary steps, you can successfully make the transition and ensure that your business has the support it needs to thrive. If you encounter any challenges or have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from legal professionals or business advisors who can help you navigate the process smoothly.

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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