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For entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in New Mexico, you’ve come to the right place. Setting up a business entity, like an LLC, is fairly easy. A company owner must pick a name for the business, select a registered agent, file LLC formation documents, create an operating agreement, and obtain an identification number from the IRS. It might sound like a long list, but it moves pretty quick.

As mentioned, one of the steps in the process is to select a registered agent. If you’re new to the business world, that term may be new to you. A registered agent accepts official documents on behalf of your company. These documents could be something like tax notices, government correspondence, or documents served during a lawsuit. 

To help new entrepreneurs get their New Mexico LLC up and running, we’ve created a guide that’s full of useful information on the topic.

How is an LLC formed in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, an LLC is formed by filing Articles of Organization with the state. These are referred to as LLC formation documents. However, there are a few things that an LLC organizer must do before and after filing this document with the state to legally operate in the Land of Enchantment. Here are the steps to follow: 

1. Name the company

Before any documents are filed, your company needs a name. Even if you have a name in mind, it’s not a done deal. The State of New Mexico, like all other states, have rules about naming a company. 

For starters, your company name can’t be the same as another company in the state. Every New Mexico LLC must have a unique name. So, the first place an entrepreneur should go is to the New Mexico Secretary of State website and run a business name check.  

If the name is available, you’re good to go – almost. The state has a few other rules you have to follow. The rules you should be aware of are: 

  • The company name must have “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” in its title.
  • The company name shouldn’t refer to the government or any government agencies. In other words, the name can’t mislead the public. 
  • There are some names that may require additional approval from the state. A state representative will reach out if this is the case. 

If the name you want is available, but you’re not ready to file the documents and pay the filing fee, you can reserve the name. To do so, fill out a reservation form on the New Mexico Secretary of State website and pay $20. This will reserve the name for 120 days.

Don’t forget to look into a company domain name too. For a company website to match the company name, you’ll have to buy the domain. If the domain isn’t available it could be a game-changer for some owners. It’s something to check on during the infant stages of formation. 

2. Pick a registered agent

Aside from picking a company name, one of the first official decisions that an owner will make is the company’s registered agent. The registered agent is the point of contact that will receive company documents from official sources. The documents delivered to a registered agent could be mailed or delivered in-person. 

As the owner, you have the power to elect a person or company to this position. The position can be held by the owner, an employee, or a registered agent service. The choice is yours.  

3. File the Articles of Organization

It’s time to go online and file the Articles of Organization. This document will legally establish your business in the State of New Mexico. This document will ask you for the company name and address, the registered agent’s name and address, the company start date and end date (if applicable), a list of products and services, a list of managing members, and the signature of the LLC organizer, which is usually the owner. 

The document is filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State and costs just $50, which is one of the most affordable filing fees in the nation. Some states charge upwards of $300 to file LLC formation documents.  

4. Create a company operating agreement

The next item on the list is optional. The state doesn’t require owners to create an operating agreement, but it is advisable. An operating agreement offers management and ownership details. It’s meant to explain the roles and rules that apply to the business in an effort to prevent problems once the company opens. 

5. Obtain an EIN

Next, head to the IRS website to get an EIN or an employer identification number. That’s next on the entrepreneurial to-do list. An EIN is a nine-digit number that’s issued to your company from the federal government. The number is required to get your business up and running. The number is needed to file taxes, pay employees, open bank accounts, or get a business loan. 

The IRS has created a fairly simple process to get the number. Just go to the IRS website, answer a few questions, and an EIN is issued at the end of the session.

6. File an annual report

New Mexico LLCs don’t have to file an annual report or pay a filing fee. This is rare. Most states require this and charge owners between $50-150 to file it. 

What is a New Mexico registered agent?

A New Mexico registered agent is a person or company that accepts sensitive documents for a company. The owner selects the registered agent. The state does have some rules regarding who can and can’t serve in this role, which we’ll explain below.

Do I really need a registered agent in New Mexico?

Yes. The State of New Mexico requires LLCs to list a registered agent with the Secretary of State. It’s not an option. If LLC formation documents are submitted without a registered agent listed, they won’t be approved. You’ll be asked to add the registered agent before the state will give the go-ahead. 

Can I be my own registered agent in New Mexico?

Yes. The owner of a company can serve as the company’s registered agent. Many owners do this. It’s especially true for owners who work at the company office. However, there are other people and even companies that can hold the position of registered agent. 

Who can be a registered agent in New Mexico? 

In New Mexico, a registered agent can be any adult citizen with a physical street address or any company that’s in good standing with the state and has a street address. Any person or company with a P.O. box isn’t allowed. 

The person or company must be available during regular business hours to accept documents as needed. 

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

A registered agent service can accept your company’s documents and notify you when something comes in. There are many reputable businesses that offer this service. For owners interested in working with a service, the benefits include: 

  • ConvenienceThere’s nothing easier than letting a registered agent service collect documents. When a document arrives, the service will open it, scan it to your online portal, and notify you about it. Simple.
  • Peace of mindA business owner can ask an employee to be the company’s registered agent, but what if he or she gets busy and misplaces the document or puts it on your desks and forgets about it? Sometimes it provides more peace of mind knowing that a trusted agency is handling the job.
  • PrivacyService of process documents, which are served during a lawsuit, are handled by a registered agent. Given the sensitive nature of these documents, some owners prefer that a registered agent be offsite. It’s something to consider. 

List of New Mexico registered agent services 

New Mexico has many registered agents available, but here’s a list of three possible choices. All of these companies offer additional business services too, which could be helpful as your business grows. 

  • 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.

How much does a registered agent service cost in New Mexico?

Cost is always an important factor to weigh, especially for newly-formed LLCs. The cost of a registered agent service will vary, but can be as little as $50 a year. For this fee, the company will serve as your registered agent and notify you of any deliveries. There are companies that offer more services and charge larger fees. 

How does an owner select a registered agent in New Mexico?

The LLC formation documents, which are the Articles of Organization in New Mexico, require the name and address of a registered agent. 

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. The state requires the change to be completed through the Statement of Change of Registered Agent form. It’s filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State and costs $25 to file online.

What’s a statutory agent?

A statutory agent, resident agent, and service of process agent, are all the same as a registered agent. The name varies by state. In New Mexico, it’s referred to a registered agent. 

What’s a commercial registered agent?

A commercial registered agent is a registered agent service. If your company hires a service it’s said to have a commercial registered agent. If the owner or a friend is the company’s registered agent, the company has a non-commercial registered agent.