Do You Need a Registered Agent in Missouri?


A registered agent in Missouri is not only a requirement for many businesses, it is also vital to the overall success of your business. 

Missouri registered agents provide such a valuable business service that it’s virtually impossible to complete the formation process without one. They also issue compliance alerts so you won’t miss any filing deadlines with the Missouri Secretary of State or forget to file annual reports. 

This article will tell you what a Missouri registered agent is, how to find the best one for your company, and why you need a registered agent. 

What Is a Registered Agent in Missouri?

A registered agent in Missouri receives service of process, legal documents, and mail on behalf of your Missouri business during normal business hours. It will also notify you about upcoming filing deadlines with the Missouri Secretary of State. 

To get your documents and mail to you, your Missouri registered agent will either use mail forwarding or an online document management portal to get your documents and legal notices to you. 

If your company is registered as a business entity (limited liability company, limited liability partnership, corporation, or sole proprietorship), it’s required by law to maintain a registered agent in every state it operates in. 

You can either designate a different registered agent or registered agent service for each of your local office branches or you can use a national registered agent, which is a convenient way to make sure all of your legal bases are covered. 

Some people refer to a Missouri registered agent as a statutory agent or a resident agent, but they’re all terms for the same type of service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Missouri?

You’re probably thinking about setting up a PO box and checking it every so often for service of process or other correspondence. While that plan may seem good in theory, there are three reasons why it won’t work. 

First, the Missouri Secretary of State requires by law that your Missouri registered agent be not only available at your registered office address during regular business hours, but also physically present during those hours. The operative words there are physically present. So, a PO box won’t work because no one is actually stationed there to accept legal documents and service of process. 

Second, the Missouri Secretary of State Corporations Division specifies that a registered agent’s address must be a physical street address, which further rules out PO boxes. 

And third, your registered agent can do a number of things beyond simply receiving mail for your business. Here are a few:


Because most of them only occur on an annual basis, it can be difficult to remember compliance filing deadlines. But a Missouri registered agent service will send you compliance alerts or annual report reminders so you don’t have to remember when to file your annual reports.

These notices are important because if you miss an annual report deadline, you could lose your company’s good-standing status. As you’ll see later, this could have serious consequences for your business.

Management of Important Documents

Your company’s business address is important, and not just because of the physical address requirement. This is also where your company’s mail will go, and you’ll want to hang on to every service of process or business document for accurate record keeping. 

These days most registered agent services offer online document management portals where you can digitally view, manage, and store your important records. It’s an excellent alternative to traditional physical document storage methods. With a few clicks in your online account, you can quickly view your documents the day they’re received, manage and store them—all from the same portal. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Missouri?

There are a handful of universal registered agent requirements that your registered agent in Missouri will need to meet: 

  • State laws. Some places have instituted state-specific regulations for registered agents. You should read up on the laws in Missouri to make sure your Missouri registered agent meets its legal requirements. 
  • 18+. Every registered agent in Missouri must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Physical address. The Missouri Secretary of State requires a registered agent address be an actual physical address, which means no PO boxes.
  • Who you can designate. You can designate anyone you like, as long as they meet all the legal requirements of a registered agent in Missouri. This means you could designate your lawyer, a close friend, or a family member. (Like your Grandpa Bill who recently retired and needs a new hobby.) 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

Suppose that your Missouri registered agent isn’t present at your business entity’s registered office address during normal business hours and misses a service of process from a process server. What then? The process server will deliver the service of process to the Missouri Secretary of State, which isn’t good for your business. 

This means that the documents explaining legal action against your company aren’t in your hands, so you aren’t aware of them and can’t legally defend your business as a result. A court can proceed with the litigation against your company, and that may result in a default judgment. 

Furthermore, if your company doesn’t maintain a registered agent in Missouri or keep up with its compliance filing deadlines, then it isn’t meeting its legal requirements and the Missouri Secretary of State can revoke its good standing. This can have some immediate and drastic consequences for your Missouri business, like no longer being eligible for business loans, not being permitted to expand to other states, and being forbidden to transact business in the state. 

When your Missouri corporation or business loses its good-standing status, it simultaneously loses its business name reservation. This is a big deal because until the situation is resolved, your business name is up for grabs and other businesses can take advantage of the unfortunate situation by reserving the name themselves. If that happens, it doesn’t matter how quickly you move to retain your good standing, you may lose your business name forever. 

Limited liability companies are uniquely affected by the loss of good-standing status. An LLC without a Certificate of Good Standing could face “administrative dissolution,” which means it could be forcibly dissolved due to either noncompliance or failing to meet the legal requirements set by the Missouri Secretary of State. 

Limited liability companies that operate without legal LLC status are tempting fate. Without legal recognition of your Missouri LLC, you’ll no longer have personal liability protection. This means that if your company is sued, you’re personally and financially responsible for the company and all your assets are vulnerable—a situation no business owner wants to find themselves in. 

Of course, the fallout of failing to maintain a registered agent in Missouri doesn’t just affect LLCs. There can be damaging repercussions for limited liability partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietorships as well. So no matter the structure of your business entity, it’s important you maintain a Missouri registered agent. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Missouri? 

You’re not expressly forbidden from being your own registered agent in any state. But before you make that call, you should learn about the benefits and pitfalls of being your own agent and how it compares to hiring a professional registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


Many business owners are most afraid of the consequences of missing a service of process. This could result in losing your company’s good standing, default judgments, administrative dissolution, and more. It’s a legal headache that no business owner wants to deal with. 

Lack of Privacy

If you’re your own registered agent and your business lacks a physical location, then you’ll have to list your private address on public record. Cybercriminals and hackers can access that information, and they can use it to steal your identity and rack up thousands of dollars of debt in your name. 

But beyond that, it’s just creepy to know that everyone has your phone number and address. It’s frightening to think that any old weirdo could show up to your doorstep for who knows what reason. So, it’s best to avoid that security breach. 


One of the most precious resources to business owners is time, which is unfortunately the resource that being a Missouri registered agent eats up most. Because a registered agent in Missouri must be present at their registered agent address during normal business hours, it’s nearly impossible to efficiently perform both jobs simultaneously. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

There’s one positive aspect of being your own registered agent: no Missouri registered agent service fees. 

Most business owners consider registered agent service fees quite reasonable once they learn about the pitfalls involved with missing a service of process and the amount of time that’s required to be their own registered agent.

When it comes down to it, you’re the only person that can decide whether hiring a Missouri registered agent service is the right move for your business. However, I always recommend hiring a registered agent service to new businesses. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are dozens of reasons to hire a Missouri registered agent service: 

  • You can rest assured that you won’t miss important filing deadlines with the Secretary of State thanks to compliance alerts and annual report reminders.
  • Delegating the Missouri registered agent job to a professional reduces the probability of missing service of process, losing your company’s good standing, or having default judgments issued against your business.
  • If you use a Missouri registered agent service, you won’t have to work two jobs (business owner AND registered agent), which means you’re able to run your business more efficiently. 
  • If your business is operational in multiple states, a national registered agent service is an easy way to make sure that your company meets its legal requirements in every state.
  • If you have a business that doesn’t observe standard business hours, a registered agent service can prevent you from working late hours running your business and then losing sleep during the day as a registered agent, as well.
  • With a registered agent service, you’re able to list your registered agent’s name and information on the public record rather than your own, protecting your privacy.
  • Hiring a registered agent service means you won’t have to deal with the mountains of junk mail that businesses are sent.
  • You can choose a registered agent that supplies premium registered agent services, such as paying for state fees or offering specialty insurances (like identity theft protection).
  • If you haven’t established your business yet, you can choose a registered agent service that also offers formation services. They’ll help you with things like your operating agreement and filing your formation documents, and some of these Missouri registered agents also offer a year of registered agent service free. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are many factors to account for when choosing the best registered agent service. Here are some of the criteria you should take into consideration when picking your company’s registered agent. 

Service Features

No one should choose a registered agent that doesn’t offer all of the services to meet their needs. There are so many Missouri registered agents with low price points and loads of registered agent services that you don’t need to choose one that doesn’t do everything you need it to. Choose a registered agent with a comprehensive list of registered agent services. 


A good way to determine the quality of a registered agent in Missouri is to compare its services to its price. Missouri registered agents with minimal service lists and high prices don’t provide much value. 

With that being said, avoid “budget” registered agents. These companies use the promise of low prices ($39–$59) to attract new customers, and then they tack on additional fees for essential services like compliance alerts or online document management systems. 

Easy Sign-Up 

Some registered agent companies require you to fill out endless paperwork, and their sign-up process takes weeks or months to complete. No one has that sort of time! Choose a registered agent in Missouri that has a quick and easy sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Some registered agent providers have systems that are so slow, glitchy, and confusing that they’re a pain to use and not even tech support seems to understand how they work. When choosing a registered agent in Missouri, look for one with a user-friendly system to save yourself some headache. 

Customer Service 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve chosen the best registered agent in the country, technical problems and questions are an inevitable part of any business service, so you’ll eventually be forced to call customer service. These instances can be quite stressful because your registered agent is such a crucial part of your business. It’s imperative that your registered agent has good customer service. 

I used all five of these rating factors, as well as my four-stage research process to determine that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services, or how to choose the best registered agent for your business entity, you can read my guide, Best Registered Agent Services


Business owners have a lot going on. You have to learn everything from laws and regulations and business and legal jargon to proper business management techniques and how to use new software and equipment. You’re also expected to remember important filing deadlines. But registered agent services are designed to make some of these tasks a bit easier. 

If you’ve not yet established your business and are interested in learning about the LLC formation process, check out my guide, How to Start an LLC. And if you’d like a bit of additional guidance through the complicated and messy LLC formation process, read Best LLC Formation Services.

Missouri Registered Agent FAQs

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

A commercial registered agent is one that has registered with the Secretary of State as such. Some states stipulate that all professional registered agent services register themselves as commercial registered agent services. 

A noncommercial registered agent is any person or business that isn’t registered as a commercial agent. So, if you’ve designated your retired Grandpa Bill as your registered agent, then not only have you given him a productive way to spend his time, he’s officially a noncommercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

Good news: you aren’t stuck with your current registered agent service provider! You can change your registered agent at any time by submitting a Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office By a Domestic or Foreign Cooperative Association form. Yes, that’s the name of the form. For simplicity’s sake we’ll call it a Change of Registered Agent form. 

You’ll need to add your new registered agent information (like your registered agent’s name and address) before submitting the Change of Registered Agent form to the Secretary of State along with your $10 payment for the filing fee. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

How much your registered agent service costs depends on several different factors, like which registered agent provider you choose, and which services your business requires. But generally speaking, registered agent services typically cost somewhere between $39–$299 per state, per year. 

If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services or pricing, read Best Registered Agent Services

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