Do You Need a Registered Agent in Minnesota?


Every business that’s listed as a business entity in the state is required to have a registered agent, but they’re also quite a useful business service that all business entities should utilize. 

Registered agents are so ingrained in the business formation process that it’s practically impossible to get through it without one. And when it comes to compliance, they prove invaluable by issuing compliance alerts and making sure you know about upcoming filing deadlines. 

Since most people have never even heard of registered agents, I’ve provided this guide for Minnesota business owners who want to know more about picking the right registered agent.

What Is a Registered Agent in Minnesota?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that is present at your business address to receive mail, legal documents, and service of process on behalf of your company during normal business hours. 

It may seem screwy to send your mail to another person at a different address. Enter the other half of registered agent duties: document delivery. Your registered agent will keep you apprised of important mail and documents that are sent to you through either online document management portals or mail forwarding services. 

If your company does business in other states, it’s required to maintain a registered agent in each of the states it does business in. So, you’ll need to either designate someone as a registered agent who’s already present at each of your office branches or hire a national registered agent service to meet your legal needs. 

A registered agent is also referred to as a statutory agent or resident agent by some people. If you run across either of these terms, just know that they’re referring to the same service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Minnesota?

Some people read my definition for a registered agent and immediately try to find a loophole by setting up a PO box and checking it occasionally for mail and service of process. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s not going to work, and there are two reasons why. 

First, since your registered agent is required to be present at a physical address during normal business hours to receive service of process, your registered agent address has to be a physical address—and that excludes PO boxes. 

Second, your registered agent can do a lot more than just supply a physical address and accept mail on your behalf. Here’s a look at some of the other services your registered agent can provide. 


Businesses are required to meet several compliance filing deadlines throughout the fiscal year. So, it’s a good thing that your registered agent will keep track of these dates for you and remind you about them with compliance alerts.

Your registered agent is a sort of middleman between you and various government agencies as your point of contact. It will remind you about filing dates so that you don’t accidentally forget to file something, like your annual report. 

Management of Important Documents

Your business address is important for reasons beyond simply satisfying the physical address stipulation of the Secretary of State. 

It’s also where all your mail and important legal documents are sent. And it’s pretty important that you get your hands on such things and keep them for your records. Many registered agent services offer online document management services, where they scan and upload your mail and legal documents for you to view the day they’re received, instead of having to wait days for snail mail with basic mail forwarding. 

You’re also able to store your documents online with these portals, which is much preferable to floor-to-ceiling stacks of manila folders and filing cabinets. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Minnesota?

Many of the requirements for registered agents in the United States are the same across the board. Here are some of the requirements your registered agent in Minnesota will be required to fulfill: 

  • State requirements. Some states have laws on the books exclusively for registered agents. To make sure that your registered agent in Minnesota meets all of its requirements, you should brush up on the laws in your state.
  • 18+ years old. Every registered agent in Minnesota is required to be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Physical address. State law dictates that your registered agent must have a physical street address, which means you can’t use a PO box. Sorry!
  • Who You Can Designate: So long as they meet all the requirements, you’re allowed to designate anyone you want as your registered agent, be it a family member, friend, or your lawyer. But this isn’t a decision you should take lightly. Your registered agent should be someone you can trust with your business’s livelihood. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

If your registered agent isn’t stationed at your business address during business hours to receive legal notices and service of process when a process server comes to deliver it, the process server will deliver the service of process to the Minnesota Secretary of State. 

In this instance, because you don’t have access to your legal notices, you won’t have any knowledge of the legal actions being taken against your company. 

After that, a judge could issue a default judgment against you. 

The Secretary of State could nullify your company’s good-standing status, which could have several detrimental legal and financial consequences. Your company could be barred from expanding to other states, disqualified from business loans, or forbidden from conducting business in the state. 

The loss of good-standing status can be a crippling blow for LLCs. Without good standing, a Minnesota LLC is vulnerable to what’s known as “administrative dissolution,” which is when the Secretary of State dissolves an LLC due to its not meeting legal requirements, like maintaining a registered agent in Minnesota or filing annual reports. 

Upon the revocation of good-standing status, your limited liability company automatically forfeits its business name reservation. So while you’re busy working to fix all the legal issues surrounding your Minnesota LLC, another company could snag your business name and use it themselves. No matter how quickly you deal with these legal issues, you may never get your business name back. 

A limited liability company operating without legal recognition doesn’t have liability protection. This means that the business owner takes on legal and financial responsibility, and if the company is sued their personal assets and finances are on the line. 

Every business entity in the state of Minnesota (corporations, sole proprietorships, etc.) must maintain a registered agent in Minnesota, so the consequences of not designating a registered agent aren’t exclusive to LLCs. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Minnesota? 

There are no laws that prevent you from being your own Minnesota registered agent. But you should learn more about the pros and cons of being your own agent before you decide to take on that duty. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


The biggest disadvantage of being your own registered agent is the fallout of missing a service of process. You could have a default judgment issued against your company without your knowledge or representation in court, or you could lose your company’s good-standing status—both of which could be catastrophic for your Minnesota business. 

Lack of Privacy

One aspect of being your own agent that gives a lot of people pause is the fact that your personal details, like your name, phone number, and address, will be listed on public records. This means that you’ll be left vulnerable to identity theft and cybercrime. What’s more, it’s unsettling to think that just anyone could gain access to your address and phone number. 


Being a Minnesota registered agent is a time-consuming job.

Since most businesses also operate during normal business hours, it’s nearly impossible to properly manage a business and simultaneously be your own agent, especially if you have a business that requires you to be away from the address or deal with a steady flow of customers. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

The only upside of being your own registered agent is that you won’t have to pay fees to a Minnesota registered agent service. 

But thanks to the perils of missing a service of process, the additional workload, and the security risk involved with being your own registered agent, many business owners agree that it’s worth paying the fees of a Minnesota registered agent. 

Plus, most registered agent services don’t charge enough to warrant taking on all that risk and additional workload just to save a few bucks. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are various reasons that business owners choose to use a Minnesota registered agent service: 

  • You won’t have to worry about missing filing deadlines with the Minnesota Secretary of State because your registered agent will issue compliance alerts.
  • With your trusty Minnesota registered agent posted up at your business address during normal business hours, the probability of missing a service of process and therefore losing your company’s good-standing status or having default judgments issued against it are reduced. 
  • You’ll be better able to manage your business because you won’t be held back by the additional workload of assuming the registered agent role as well. 
  • If your company operates in multiple states as a foreign business entity, then a national registered agent service can help you meet all your compliance needs. 
  • Any business owner that owns a business that operates outside of regular business hours (bars, dance halls, convenience stores) will appreciate a Minnesota registered agent service. 
  • A Minnesota registered agent service will not only meet the physical address stipulation of the Secretary of State, but also keep your information off the public record. 
  • As a new business owner, you’ll probably be surprised to discover the staggering amount of junk mail that’s sent to businesses. If you don’t have a Minnesota registered agent service, you’ll have to throw that out yourself. 
  • When you use a Minnesota registered agent service, you can choose one that supplies premium registered agent services, like identity theft protection or paying for state fees. 
  • If you haven’t completed the formation process yet, then it’s a good time to shop for Minnesota registered agent services that also provide LLC formation services. Many of these multipurpose companies offer bundle deals and promotions, like a year of free registered agent service. 

Ultimately, you’re the only one that can make the decision about whether a registered agent service will benefit your company. But I always recommend using registered agent services for new businesses. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are a number of criteria involved with choosing the best registered agent service. Here are some of the considerations you should make when choosing the Minnesota registered agent service for your business. 

Service Features

Don’t choose a Minnesota registered agent service that doesn’t provide everything you want. There are so many registered agent services on the market that have padded service lists that it doesn’t make sense to choose one that doesn’t supply the services you need. 

Some Minnesota registered agents provide online document management portals as their medium for document delivery. They allow you to view your documents the day they’re received and conveniently store them online. Whereas other providers only offer mail-forwarding services. 

Some Minnesota registered agents offer compliance alerts or annual report reminders, while others only provide you with a compliance calendar, which could be easily lost or forgotten about. 

Don’t choose a Minnesota registered agent that doesn’t meet your needs. 


One good way to test the mettle of a registered agent service is to consider both its service list and its price. If a registered agent service provider has a service list that leaves a lot to be desired but charges astronomical prices, it’s not a very good value. 

While we’re discussing value, be sure to avoid “budget agents.” These dubious registered agents will use prices as low as $39–$59 to attract new clients and then spring ridiculous extra fees on them for essential services like online document management systems and compliance alerts. You don’t want to get mixed up with a budget agent. 

Easy Sign-Up 

No one likes their time being wasted, and that’s especially true during the sign-up process. Some Minnesota registered agents make you wait weeks or even months to complete the sign-up process and make you fill out tons of paperwork. Save yourself some time and hassle and choose a Minnesota registered agent that has a quick and automated sign-up. 

User-Friendly Interface 

You’ll use your registered agent’s system a LOT, so it’s important that it be something that’s easy to use. Some registered agent service providers have systems that are so confusing that even their technical support teams don’t understand them. You’ll want to make sure that you choose a registered agent in Minnesota that has a user-friendly interface. 

Customer Service 

Technical problems and questions about your service are inevitable, even if you choose the best possible registered agent in Minnesota. And because your registered agent service is in charge of so many crucial business operations, good customer service is a necessity. 

I took all these factors into consideration, along with my four-stage investigative process, and used them to choose the best registered agent service, Northwest Registered Agent. If you’d like to know more about registered agent services, how to choose your company’s registered agent, or my process, check out the Best Registered Agent


As a new business owner, the learning curve is sharp and lots of information will come at you at lightning speed, like how to run different types of business software or equipment, business management techniques, legal and business terms, and the laws and regulations of the state. The good news is that registered agent services can ease some of your workloads. 

If you haven’t decided on a business structure for your new company, check out my guide How to Start an LLC. And if you’d like some guidance through the LLC formation process, read my guide to the Best LLC Formation Services

Minnesota Registered Agent FAQs

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

A commercial registered agent service is any professional registered agent service that’s registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State as a commercial agent. Some states require all professional registered agent service providers to designate themselves as commercial registered agents. 

A noncommercial registered agent is any person or business who hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. This means that if you’ve designated a family member (like your cousin Tom) as your registered agent, they’re a noncommercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

All you have to do to change your registered agent is file a Change of Registered Office/Registered Agent form with the Minnesota Secretary of State. 

Just enter your new registered agent’s address and your registered agent’s name, and pay state fees (somewhere between $35–$70) to submit the Change of Agent form.  

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

The cost of your Minnesota registered agent is based on a number of factors, like the services your company needs and which registered agent provider you choose. Very generally speaking, registered agent services can cost anywhere from $39–$299 per state per year. If you want to know more about registered agent prices, read the Best Registered Agent Services.  

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