Do You Need a Registered Agent in Louisiana?


Maintaining a Louisiana registered agent is not just a requirement for business entities, it’s also a good idea, for a number of reasons. 

It’s nearly impossible to legally establish your business without a registered agent because it’s an integral part of the formation process. Beyond that, it’s quite helpful when it comes to compliance because a registered agent alerts you to important filing deadlines—for things like annual reports—with the Louisiana Secretary of State Commercial Division. 

But what is a registered agent? How do you find the best-registered agent services? And why is it necessary to have a registered agent in Louisiana? 

What Is a Registered Agent in Louisiana?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity who is present at your business address and is available during regular business hours to receive mail and correspondence from government agencies (like the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Internal Revenue Service), as well as accepting service of process on behalf of your business. 

Sending your mail to a different person at a different address may seem counterintuitive, because of course you need that stuff. But another major component of a registered agent’s services is document delivery. This is accomplished through either mail forwarding or technological innovations like online document management portals. Many registered agent services—the best ones anyway—also offer compliance alerts that will let you know about crucial filing deadlines to keep your company in the good graces of the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

It’s not uncommon for people to also refer to a registered agent as a statutory agent or resident agent, so if you run across either of those terms you’ll know that they’re referring to the same service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Louisiana?

Upon reading the definition of a registered agent in Louisiana, it’s understandable that you may wonder if you could more simply meet this requirement by establishing a PO box for your company and checking it frequently for government correspondence and important documents. But that’s not going to work and here’s why. 

The Louisiana Secretary of State stipulates that a registered agent in Louisiana must be present at your mailing address and that your registered agent’s address must be a physical address. This means a) there has to be a real live human present to receive the mail and service of process, and b) you can’t use a PO box as your business address. 

But your Louisiana registered agent also does more than simply receive your company’s mail. Here’s a look at some of the other things a registered agent service can do for your business. 


Unless you’re new to business ownership or have been living under a rock you’re likely aware that compliance filing deadlines are vital, and they’re also hard to remember because they usually only happen once a year. Louisiana registered agents can make compliance easier by supplying you with compliance alerts about filing deadlines. 

The Louisiana Secretary of State will send out a letter or postcard to tell you about filing deadlines, and then your registered agent will see this and issue a compliance alert for you so that you don’t miss the deadline. 

This keeps you from misplacing your notices and missing filing deadlines.

Management of Important Documents

The address that you list on your formation documents will be where service of process, mail, and legal documents are sent. Obviously, the organization and storage of documents is important. 

Many Louisiana registered agent services offer online document management systems. They’ll scan and upload your mail, legal documents, and service of process the same day they’re received and you can access them with an online account. You’re able to access your mail a LOT faster this way because basic mail forwarding means you’ll have to wait for it to be sent through snail mail—twice. But you’re also able to store and manage your documents online. 

Using online document management portals to store important business documents is a lot more efficient than keeping stacks of documents piled to the ceiling, or rooms full of filing cabinets that are so full that you never have a chance of finding documents when you need them in a hurry. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Louisiana?

Many of the requirements for Louisiana registered agents are standard nationwide. Here are some of the requirements your registered agent in Louisiana will need to meet: 

  • State laws. Some states have laws pertaining to the requirements of registered agents in the state, so to ensure your Louisiana registered agent is fully qualified you should brush up on the laws about Louisiana registered agents. 
  • 18+ years old. All registered agents must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Physical address. Your registered agent in Louisiana must have a physical street address, not a PO box. 
  • Who you can designate. As long as the person you’ve chosen meets the requirements, you’re allowed to designate anyone you like as your registered agent in Louisiana, even a family member, friend, employee, or lawyer. But make sure that your registered agent is someone that’s dependable and that they’re available during business hours. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

In the event that a process server comes calling and no one is present at your business address to accept service of process, their protocol is to deliver it to the Secretary of State next. 

This isn’t a good outcome because in that scenario, the Secretary of State has the notice of impending legal action against your company (and probably other legal documents, as well), and you don’t, so you have no idea what’s happening. A court can proceed with legal action against your company without your presence or legal defense, and they can issue a default judgment against you as well. 

If you don’t maintain a registered agent in Louisiana or meet filing deadlines for annual reports, then you aren’t complying with Louisiana state law and the Louisiana Secretary of State can revoke your company’s good-standing status. Some of the devastating consequences of losing your good-standing status include not qualifying for business loans or financial assistance, not being allowed to expand your business beyond the state of Louisiana, and even being barred from conducting business in Louisiana. 

Limited liability companies are uniquely affected by losing their good-standing status. The fallout of losing good-standing status can include what’s referred to as the administrative dissolution of the limited liability company. This is when the Secretary of State removes the legal authority of an LLC because it hasn’t complied with administrative filing (e.g., missing an annual report or other deadline) or laws pertaining to maintaining a Louisiana registered agent. 

Continued operation of a limited liability company without its LLC status is perilous. Without the safety net of limited liability protection, business owners and their personal and financial assets are vulnerable if the company is sued. 

Of course, the consequences of failing to maintain a registered agent in Louisiana aren’t exclusive to LLCs. Any business entity (corporation, sole proprietorship, etc.) can experience many of the results I’ve listed here.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Louisiana? 

You’re not expressly forbidden from being your own registered agent in the United States. But before you do, you should know about the pros and cons of being your own Louisiana registered agent vs hiring a Louisiana registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


One of the biggest drawbacks of being your own agent is the negative effects of missing a service of process. Some of these include default judgments against your business and losing its good-standing status—both of which could be incredibly detrimental to your business. 

Lack of Privacy

If your business doesn’t have a physical street address and you haven’t hired a registered agent service, your only option is to list your home address on your formation documents. It will then be listed on the public record, and once it’s there everyone can get their hands on it—no matter how criminal their intent is. Hackers and cybercriminals can access your information, which makes you vulnerable to identity thefts and other types of cybercrime. Besides all of that, there’s something creepy about supplying the whole world with your phone number, private address, and other information. 


Being your own Louisiana registered agent is massively time consuming. Do you feel like you could take on another full-time job? That’s essentially what being your own agent means. 

Most business owners who opt to be their own registered agent in Louisiana realize too late that as a registered agent they’re expected to be present at their listed registered agent’s address during normal business hours—the same hours that their businesses are open. And unless you’ve invented a time machine or some other fantastic feat of technology that allows you to be in two places at once, there’s no way to accomplish this and perform both jobs effectively. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

There’s only one advantage of being your own Louisiana registered agent: you won’t have to pay fees to a professional registered agent service. 

Because of the risks involved with missing service of process, as well as the time-consuming nature of the job, most business owners are happy to pay the fees of a registered agent service for the peace of mind it provides. On the plus side, registered agent services usually don’t cost much. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are a variety of reasons for hiring a registered agent service: 

  • Hiring a registered agent service means you’re guaranteed not to miss compliance filing deadlines. 
  • Because your Louisiana registered agent is stationed at your business address, you won’t miss a service of process or deal with the fallout of missing important legal notices. 
  • Hiring a registered agent service means you’re free to run your business without the additional workload and time constraints of being your own Louisiana registered agent. 
  • Louisiana requires that any business entity that operates in other states must maintain a registered agent in every state it conducts business in. This can easily be achieved by choosing a national registered agent service that can meet all your needs no matter how many states you expand to. 
  • If your business doesn’t keep normal hours, choosing a Louisiana registered agent service is a great way to meet your business’s legal obligations and also get some sleep during the day. 
  • If your business doesn’t have a physical location, a Louisiana registered agent can supply you with a registered agent’s name and address to list, preventing your home address from being on the public record.
  • You can choose a registered agent with premium registered agent services, like special business insurances or payment of state fees. 
  • You may find a registered agent service or statutory agent that doubles as a Louisiana LLC formation service. Not only can they help you with formation documents (like your Articles of Organization and operating agreement), they’ll typically throw in a year of registered agent service free. 

Ultimately, you’re the only one that can decide whether a professional registered agent service is right for your company. But, as a rule, I do recommend that EVERY new business should use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are a number of factors you should think about when determining the best registered agent service. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing your company’s registered agent: 

Service Features

Let me be very clear here: Don’t hire a Louisiana registered agent service if it doesn’t do everything you need it to do. There are loads of registered agents on the market today with padded service catalogs, so there’s no reason to settle. 

Some agents merely supply you with a compliance calendar, which you can easily lose or forget about, while others will provide you with compliance alerts for worry-free compliance. Some companies only offer basic mail forwarding, which is slow and outdated, while others offer online document management portals that notify you when they receive legal notices and allow you to view every piece of mail and legal notice your company receives. 

Choose a Louisiana registered agent service whose services meet your company’s needs. 


A good way to identify a quality registered agent in Louisiana is to consider both its service list and its price. If the resident agent has scant service offerings and a high price tag, then it’s not very valuable. 

With that being said, I feel like I should warn you to avoid “budget agents.” These sneaky agents pull a fast one on unsuspecting business owners by advertising low start-up fees ($39–$59) and then charging loads of additional fees for essential services like compliance alerts and online document management systems. Avoid budget agents like the plague. 

Easy Sign-Up 

Starting a business is stressful enough, so no business owner wants to feel like someone is wasting their time during the formation process. Some registered agent services require you to complete tons of paperwork, and their sign-up processes can take weeks, or even months, to fully complete. It’s important to choose a registered agent with a quick and easy sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Have you ever worked for a business that had an interface that crashed all the time and was so confusing that even senior members of the IT department didn’t fully understand how to operate it? 

Some registered agent services have systems that are just as frustrating to use. This is a service you’ll use on a daily basis. So, unless you feel like pulling your hair out every day, you need a registered agent with a user-friendly interface that’s easy to understand. 

Customer Service 

You could choose a registered agent service with the highest customer ratings, all the services you need and a price you can’t beat and you’ll still inevitably have questions or encounter a technical issue. During these stressful situations, quality customer service is paramount. 

I used these factors as well as my four-stage investigative process to determine that Northwest Registered Agent is the best-registered agent service. If you’d like to learn more about different services offered by registered agents, or how to choose the best agent for your company, read my guide to the best-registered agent services.


New business owners are hit with a barrage of new information when they first start out, like new management techniques, how to use new industry-specific software and equipment, legal and business terminology, and laws and regulations. The cherry on top of all of that is that they also have to remember important compliance filing deadlines so that they don’t miss one and lose their company’s good-standing status. But a registered agent service can alleviate much of that workload and make life as a business owner a bit easier. 

If you’ve yet to determine a structure for your business and you’d like to learn more about LLC formation, check out my article on how to start an LLC. If you haven’t formed your Louisiana LLC yet and you’d like a little extra support through the formation process, check out my article on the best LLC formation services.

Louisiana 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 established in the Model Registered Agents Act, which was created by the American Bar Association in an attempt to create a unified set of national regulations for registered agent conduct. A commercial registered agent is a registered agent that has registered as a commercial registered agent with the Secretary of State. Some states require every professional registered agent service to register as a commercial registered agent. 

A noncommercial registered agent is an individual or business entity that hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. If you’ve enlisted a family member to act as your registered agent, then congratulations, your great aunt Sybil is considered a noncommercial registered agent. (Just make sure she understands that a registered agent receives service of process and mail on your company’s behalf and must be available during normal business hours!) 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

If you ever become dissatisfied with your registered agent service, the good news is that it’s easy to change registered agents in Louisiana. All you have to do is file a Notice Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent form with the Louisiana Secretary of State Commercial Division. While it has a ridiculously long name, the change of registered office form is quite easy to file. Just enter your new registered agent information (like your registered agent’s name and address) to be listed on the public record and submit the form. There is a state filing fee. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

Lots of factors affect a registered agent’s price, such as which provider you choose and the services you need. In general, most registered agent services cost between $39–$299 per state, per year. If you’d like more information on registered agent pricing, check out my article on the best-registered agent services

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