How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Michigan

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Coming up with a great business idea is exciting, but entrepreneurs who are looking to launch a business in Michigan need to ensure that they understand the processes to make it legal. As in other states, you’ll be required to file LLC formation paperwork in Michigan in order to ensure your venture is legal. This is true whether you’re planning to form a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

No doubt, it’s exciting to think about starting a new business. But it’s vital that you know the steps necessary to keep everything legit. For example, you’ll need to select a registered agent when you file your LLC formation paperwork. A registered agent is either a person or company who will be charged with accepting important paperwork on behalf of your business. 

If you’re not clear about how to choose a registered agent in the Wolverine State, read these frequently asked questions and answers.

What is a Michigan registered agent?

A registered agent is the individual or business entity that has agreed to accept important documents on your LLC’s behalf. 

How does an owner select a registered agent in Michigan?

The registered agent’s name and address are listed on the LLC formation paperwork. 

If you plan to select a registered agent service, do a quick search online to turn up options in the state of Michigan. Just compare their rates, offerings, and reviews before paying one to represent your LLC. You’ll be required to list it on some of the forms for the State of Michigan.

Who can be a registered agent in Michigan? 

Just like in other states, Michigan has certain criteria you’ll need to meet in order to be a registered agent. The criteria are as follows:

  • You (or your registered agent) must be at least 18 years old.
  • That person or entity must have a physical address in Michigan. (Post office boxes are not allowed.)
  • The registered agent must always be available during regular business hours in order to receive important paperwork.

Can I be my own registered agent in Michigan?

It’s actually common for a business owner to serve as their own registered agent in Michigan. 

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

Sure, representing yourself instead of paying a registered agent can save you a little money. But before you make that decision, consider the following advantages to hiring a registered agent:

  • Local options. If you’re starting a new business in Michigan but don’t have a business, office or residential street address yet, you won’t be able to fulfill the requirements to be your own registered agent. Luckily, there are lots of affordable options in Michigan when it comes to registered agents.
  • Availability. Money might be tight, but time is often even tighter when you’re the owner of a start-up. Be realistic in considering how busy you might be in terms of running errands, attending meetings and traveling to meet investors, contractors of vendors. Can you really commit to being in one place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. just to be available to accept delivery of paperwork?
  • Privacy. If you’re a first-time business owner, you may not know that law enforcement is sometimes used to deliver important documents. Even if your paperwork isn’t a lawsuit, but rather, something “innocent,” your employees, neighbors, and customers won’t know the difference. If you choose to pay a registered agent instead of representing yourself, you’ll be assured privacy.
  • Experience. How knowledgeable are you on Michigan’s state and federal regulations and deadlines? If you’re new to starting or running a business in the state, it’s probably safe to assume that a registered agent service knows more than you do about keeping your limited liability company compliant.
  • Time savings. Even if you have the knowledge and/or experience to fill out confusing forms, do you really want to commit that kind of time?

How much does a registered agent service cost in Michigan?

Registered agent services in Michigan range from $49 to $125. The cost will vary based on the features offered by the service. Companies that simply forward mail and alert owners to new documents are cheaper than services that offer online portals, document scans, and assistance with compliance reports and documents. 

List of Michigan registered agent services 

You should have no problem finding a registered agent for your LLC in Michigan, but here are a few choices to get you started: 

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but they’ve grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company offers worry-free compliance too, to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Incfile: Incfile is another trusted name for business services, including its registered agent services. Business owners can get a registered agent free for a year. That’s right, free. After the first year, the price kicks in at $119. An online dashboard, automatic mail forwarding, and tailored notifications also come with the service.

Michigan registered agent FAQs

Yes, every LLC in the state of Michigan is required to list a registered agent on certain forms. 

To change your registered agent in Michigan, simply fill out a change form and pay the $5 fee.

In Michigan, you may hear the term “resident agent” used interchangeably with “registered agent.” The name varies by state. In some states, like Arizona, the commonly used title is statutory agent. 

If you’re asked, on a form, whether your registered agent is commercial or non-commercial, heed this general guideline: If you’re paying a business or individual to serve as your registered agent, choose commercial. If you’re representing yourself, choose non-commercial. 

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