Do You Need a Registered Agent in Indiana?


In most places, it’s not only necessary for businesses to have a registered agent, it’s also just a smart business move. 

Registered agents are a crucial part of the business formation process, and they can ensure that you don’t miss compliance filing deadlines with the Secretary of State. 

You’re probably wondering by now what precisely a registered agent is, how you go about choosing the best one for your company, and whether you actually need one. 

What Is a Registered Agent in Indiana?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that receives service of process, mail, and legal documents on behalf of your business during normal business hours at your registered office address. You can also use a registered agent’s name and information in place of your own on formation documents for privacy reasons. 

At first, a registered agent might seem counterintuitive. Why would you send your mail to someone else at a different address, and wouldn’t that mean you don’t receive it? That’s where the second half of a registered agent’s job comes into play: mail forwarding services and online document management systems that give you access to your mail and documents. The really good registered agent services even send out compliance notifications to let you know about important filing deadlines with the Secretary of State. 

If your company is legally registered as a business entity, then it’s required to have a registered agent—a fact true in every state in the United States. If your company happens to conduct business in multiple states, then it’s required to maintain a registered agent in each state it conducts business in. This can either be addressed by choosing a national registered agent service (which allows you to use the same registered agent for multiple states) or designate someone who’s already at these locations as your company’s registered agent. 

Sometimes a registered agent is also referred to as a resident agent or statutory agent. So if you see these terms somewhere, you’ll know that they’re all different names for the same type of service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Indiana?

Now that you know the definition of a registered agent in Indiana, you might be wondering if you can just set up a PO box and frequently check it to meet your Indiana registered agent requirements. Well, you can’t, and here’s why. 

Indiana law requires that every registered agent in Indiana must list a physical street address. So the stipulation of a street address and physical office means that you can’t use a PO box as your business address. Without a physical business address, a business owner has no choice but to list their home address on public record, which is definitely not the best option. A registered agent takes care of this. 

But there’s more to the services of an Indiana registered agent beyond accepting legal documents and service of process during normal business hours and providing you with a registered agent’s name and address to use on formation documents. 


There are lots of compliance filing deadlines to keep track of for your business, not the least of which is your business entity report (or annual reports in other states). But a major component of your registered agent’s job is making sure that your Indiana corporation or LLC is aware of compliance deadlines. Most registered agent services accomplish this by sending compliance notifications. 

Think of your Indiana registered agent as a sort of intermediary between you and various government agencies (like the Indiana Secretary of State) and your business. When the Secretary of State sends you reminders for things like annual reports, or you receive legal notices, your registered agent in Indiana will alert you so that you can meet filing deadlines and deal with legal issues for your Indiana business in a timely manner. 

Management of Important Documents

The address you list for your business is important because that’s where your documents and mail will be sent, and of course you want to keep those for your records. Some of the best Indiana registered agent services provide online document management portals that allow you to not only see your mail and documents using an online account, but manage and store them online as well. This is, of course, preferable to receiving and sorting mail yourself and finding a safe place to store your documents. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Indiana?

Here’s the short list of registered agent requirements that your registered agent in Indiana must fulfill: 

  • 18+ years old. Every registered agent in Indiana must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Physical address. Your registered agent address must be a physical address in the state. No PO boxes are allowed. 
  • State laws. Some states have laws specifically for registered agents. So to make sure your registered agent meets the legal requirements, you should check out laws in Indiana regarding registered agents. 
  • Who you can designate. As long as they meet all the other requirements, you can name anyone as your registered agent in Indiana. This includes a friend or family member that you trust, an employee, or even your lawyer. Just make sure that whomever you choose is available to be at your business address during normal business hours, and that they’re reliable. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

If a registered agent isn’t posted at your registered agent’s address to receive legal notices during regular business hours and a process server comes to issue your company service of process, then they’ll move on to deliver it to the Indiana Secretary of State instead. 

In this instance, you don’t have access to this important notice, the Secretary of State does. And because you’re not aware of the legal proceedings against your company, a court could simply move forward with legal actions against your company without you there to defend it. It could even result in a default judgment against your company, which isn’t the best outcome you could wish for. 

Failure to maintain a registered agent in Indiana or to meet your compliance filing deadlines could result in the revocation of your company’s good-standing status by the Indiana Secretary of State. This could cause loads of problems for your Indiana business, like no longer qualifying for business loans, not being allowed to expand to other states, and being barred from business transactions in the state.

If you’re the business owner of an Indiana LLC, there could be even more blowback from losing your good-standing status. The Indiana Secretary of State could dissolve your LLC through what’s known as administrative dissolution, which is when a government agency removes the legal rights of a business in the state because it failed to meet its legal obligations. If your LLC has been dissolved, then it doesn’t retain the legal right to use its business name. This means that businesses can swoop in and take your business name for their businesses. Even if you deal with this administrative issue swiftly, there’s a chance that you’ll never get your business name back. 

Conducting everyday business operations once your LLC has been dissolved is risky, too. The owner of a limited liability company is both personally and financially liable for the company without the safety net of liability protection. And without the LLC, their personal assets are vulnerable if the company should be sued. 

The consequences of not maintaining a registered agent in Indiana aren’t exclusive to LLCs. Many of the legal issues listed here also apply to corporations, sole proprietorships, and other business entities as well.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Indiana? 

There’s no state in the United States in which you aren’t allowed to be your own registered agent, so the answer is, technically, yes. But you should know about the pros and cons of being your own agent in Indiana and weigh them against hiring a registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


One of the biggest disadvantages of being your own agent is the implication of missing a service of process. Some of these issues include the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division removing your business’s good standing and court proceedings or default judgments being issued against your company without your knowledge. None of those outcomes are good for your business. 

Lack of Privacy

When you’re your own Indiana registered agent, you’re required to list your personal information on the public record. Since everyone can access public records, this means that cybercriminals and hackers can access your information, which is less than ideal. You’re more susceptible to identity theft and other forms of cybercrime. Not to mention the definite creep factor that comes with everyone knowing where you live. 


One of the biggest headaches you’ll get from being your own registered agent is the sheer amount of time it requires. As a registered agent in Indiana, you’re required to be present at your company’s registered office address during normal business hours to receive mail, legal documents, and service of process. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realize that their businesses also operate during those same hours until it’s too late. And until someone develops technology that allows us to be in two places at once, you can’t do both of these jobs efficiently. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

There’s only one advantage to being your own registered agent: you won’t have to pay fees to a registered agent in Indiana. 

But usually, when a business owner finds out about the catastrophes that could befall their business as the result of missing a service of process, and the time-consuming nature of being their own registered agent, they typically choose to hire an Indiana registered agent service. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

Some of the reasons to hire a registered agent service include: 

  • You’ll stay up to date on your compliance filing deadlines with the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division. 
  • You’ll lessen the likelihood of the Secretary of State revoking your good-standing status, you missing a service of process from a process server, and the court issuing default judgments against your company. 
  • Because you won’t be burdened with the additional stress of performing registered agent services and business management, you’re free to run your business at your best. 
  • If you run a business that operates in multiple states, choosing a national registered agent service can save you the hassle of hiring an additional registered agent for each state it expands into. 
  • Hiring an Indiana registered agent is one way to circumvent the obstacles facing business owners without a physical street address, or with only a PO box. Listing your registered agent’s information not only provides your business with a physical address, but also keeps your personal information off the public record. 
  • Businesses are sent a ridiculous amount of junk mail every day. If you’re your own agent, it will all be sent to your home and you’ll have to sort through and toss it all yourself, but a registered agent service will handle all the tedious junk mail for you. 
  • Some registered agent providers offer premium services, which consist of things like identity theft protection and payment of state fees. 
  • Some registered agent services also offer business formation services, which means you can take advantage of promotions like a year of registered agent service free when you use their formation services. 

Ultimately, you’re the only person that can truly decide whether a registered agent service is the best decision for your company. But I will say that I always recommend that new businesses use registered agent services. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are a lot of considerations that go into choosing the best registered agent service. Here are some of the factors you can use to choose the best registered agent service for your business: 

Service Features

There’s no reason to hire an Indiana registered agent service that doesn’t have the services you need. There are loads of Indiana registered agents with full service lists, so you don’t have to settle. 

Some registered agent services only provide you with a pre-filled compliance calendar that makes it easy to forget important compliance filing dates, while others provide compliance notifications. Some providers only offer mail forwarding, while others have online document management systems that make storing legal and tax documents a breeze. 

Make sure you choose an Indiana registered agent that has all the registered agent services you need. 


If you want to determine the quality of a registered agent service, compare both its list of services and its price. If it has a disappointing service list and a high price, that agent doesn’t offer much value. 

With that being said, you should avoid “budget agents.” These tricky registered agent providers lure in new clients by promising low start-up fees ($39–$59) and then charge ridiculous hidden or additional fees for essential services (like compliance alerts or online document management systems). So trust me when I say that you’ll be better off giving these registered agents a pass. 

Easy Sign-Up 

No one wants to feel like their time is being wasted, and that’s no less true for business owners. Some Indiana registered agents have complex sign-up processes that require loads of paperwork from you and can take weeks or months to complete. Nobody has time for that! You can avoid that hassle by choosing an Indiana registered agent service with a streamlined sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Your registered agent’s system is something that you’ll use with a degree of frequency, so it’s critical that it’s easy to use. Some Indiana registered agents have outdated systems that are slow, full of glitches, and have confusing layouts. You should look for a registered agent service that has a straightforward interface, instead. 

Customer Service 

Even if you find an Indiana registered agent service that meets all your requirements and has great services, technical problems and questions about your service are inevitable. And considering that your registered agent is such a crucial professional service that its negligence could cost you your livelihood, good customer service is imperative.

I determined that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service by using these five rating factors, as well as my special four-stage investigative process. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services or about how to choose the best registered agent service for your Indiana business, read my guide to the best registered agent services


New business owners are hit with information overload when they’re first starting out. They have to learn everything from new business management techniques to legal and business terminology, as well as laws and regulations. In addition to that they have to remember important compliance filing deadlines for things like their business entity report. An Indiana registered agent, statutory agent, or resident agent can be massively beneficial because they take care of so many of the back-end operations for business owners. 

If you’re still deciding on your business’s structure and want to learn more about LLC formation, read my guide on how to start an LLC. And if you’d like some guidance to navigate through all the red tape during the formation process, read my guide to the best LLC formation services

Indiana Registered Agent FAQs

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?

The difference between a commercial registered agent and a noncommercial registered agent was spelled out in the Model Registered Agents Act, an attempt by the American Bar Association to create a national set of standard regulations for registered agents. Basically, a commercial registered agent is one who has registered with the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division as a commercial agent. In some states, it’s a legal requirement that every professional registered agent service register as a commercial registered agent. 

A noncommercial registered agent is any individual or business that hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent with the Secretary of State. This means that if you’ve appointed a family member, like your retired dad, as your Indiana registered agent, then he’s a noncommercial registered agent. Good for you, helping him keep busy!

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

It’s quite easy to change your LLC’s registered agent in Indiana. All you have to do is get your hands on a Change of Registered Agent form, add your new registered agent information, and submit it. You can submit the form either in person or by mail but not online. However, there aren’t any state fees to file the form, so that sort of makes up for the inconvenience. It’s important to note that your newly appointed registered agent must confirm their consent to be your new registered agent with a signature.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

The cost of your Indiana registered agent service depends on a variety of factors, such as the registered agent company you choose and the services you require. In general, though, a registered agent service can cost between $39–$299 (plus state fees) per state, per year. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent pricing, read my guide to the best registered agent services

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