The state in which you set up your limited liability wants to know the name of a real human being who resides within the state or the name of real business staffed by real human beings whom the state can contact if and when it needs to communicate with the limited liability company. This “real human being” is called a registered agent.
Some of the paralegal services who provide incorporation services for you and many attorneys will agree to be your registered agent. But if you’re setting up a limited liability company in the state in which you reside, you can and probably should be your own registered agent.
Note: Typically, as part of filing your annual report on the limited liability company’s business address, operation and members, you also need to give the name and contact information for your LLC’s registered agent.
One caution, however, about deciding to be your own registered agent: The registered agent’s name and address is usually public information available at the Secretary of State’s web site. One can therefore imagine situations where someone may not want to be their LLC’s own registered agent. For example, if you operate out of your home and once suffered through a “fatal attraction” – type relationship with and old girlfriend or boyfriend, you don’t necessarily want the entire world knowing exactly where you and your pet bunny live. And in this special case, you may not want to be your own registered agent.
If you’re setting up a limited liability company some other state, you’ll need to pay someone in that other state to be your registered agent. Often this costs you a few hundred dollars a year in additional fees. You can probably find a registered agent by doing an Internet search. If you use an accountant or attorney in that other state, that person or firm will probably also happily and easily act as your registered agent.