Do You Need a Registered Agent in New Jersey?


Every business entity must keep a registered agent in New Jersey, but having one is also a good idea regardless of legal requirements. 

Registered agents are incredibly helpful when it comes to compliance. They issue compliance alerts to remind you about annual reports and other important filing deadlines so that you avoid trouble with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. 

Keep reading for more information about what a registered agent is, what it does, and if you really need one for your business. 

What Is a Registered Agent in New Jersey?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity whose job is to remain present at your registered office address during regular business hours to receive service of process, legal mail, and official documents on behalf of your business.

I know it seems counterintuitive to send your important mail and documents to another person at a different address, but that’s where the other aspect of registered agent duties comes in: document delivery. 

Through either mail forwarding or online document management portals, your New Jersey registered agent will keep you informed about the mail and documents that are sent to your business, as well as reminding you about important compliance filing deadlines for things like annual reports.

If your company operates in multiple states, you’re required to maintain a registered agent in each state. You can accomplish this by either designating a different agent at each branch or choosing a national agent to meet all your compliance obligations. 

Sometimes, a New Jersey registered agent is called a resident agent or statutory agent. All three terms refer to the same basic business service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in New Jersey?

You might think you can set up a PO box for your business and call it a day, but that won’t work. 

Since your New Jersey registered agent is required to be present at a physical street address to receive service of process and official mail during regular business hours, you can’t check a PO box at your convenience. 

However, you’ll find having a registered agent is good for more than just fulfilling legal requirements. There are a number of other things that your New Jersey registered agent service can do for you. 


Compliance filing deadlines typically only happen once a year, so they can be difficult to remember. But the good news is that keeping track of filing deadlines falls under the job duties of your New Jersey registered agent. 

Your New Jersey registered agent is your business’s official point of contact and an intermediary between you and government agencies. Because of this, it issues compliance alerts so that you won’t forget your annual report or lose the good-standing status of your company.

Management of Important Documents

Your business address doesn’t just meet the criteria of the physical address, it’s also where your official mail and service of process is sent. You need to keep track of all your business documents for record-keeping purposes, so the document delivery services that your New Jersey registered agent provides are important.

A lot of the best New Jersey registered agent services upload your mail and documents to an online document management system. With these systems, you can access your official documents whenever you need to, eliminating the need for walls of filing cabinets. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in New Jersey?

Many of the requirements for registered agents are the same in every state. Here are some of the New Jersey registered agent requirements: 

  • State laws. Some states have created laws that specify the requirements of registered agents in their jurisdiction. Make sure you brush up on state law so that you can ensure your registered agent in New Jersey meets all the requirements.
  • 18+. Your registered agent in New Jersey has to be at least 18 years old.
  • Physical address. When you choose a registered agent in New Jersey, it’s important that you check that the registered agent address is a physical address that you can use for your New Jersey registered office address.
  • Who you designate. You’re allowed to designate anyone as your registered agent in New Jersey, so long as they meet the registered agent requirements. It can be a family member, close friend, or even your lawyer. But don’t take this decision lightly. Your registered agent should be available during business hours and someone you can trust with your business in New Jersey. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

Suppose for a moment that your registered agent in New Jersey wasn’t available at your business address during normal business hours to accept service of process from a process server. What then? The process server will deliver the service of process to the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services in an attempt to reach your business in New Jersey. 

This isn’t a good situation for your business because now a government agency has your paperwork, not you, and you’re unaware of the legal actions being taken against your company, which means you can’t set up a proper legal defense against them. And in this scenario a judge could make a default judgment against you. 

In such cases, the Division of Revenue could revoke your company’s good-standing status. The fallout of this is pretty extensive. Your company could lose its ability to expand to other states, no longer be eligible for financial assistance and business loans, or be completely barred from doing business in the state.

You could lose your business name reservation, as well. When you lose your good-standing status, you give up the right to use your business name in the state. While you move to rectify this, other companies can take your business name to use for their own companies. No matter how quickly you fix the situation, you could permanently lose your business name. 

If you own a New Jersey LLC, you should know that your company will be particularly affected by losing your good-standing status. Without the legal good-standing designation, a limited liability company is vulnerable to what is known as “administrative dissolution.” 

This is when a government agency removes the authority of a limited liability company because it’s failed to meet its legal obligations (e.g., maintaining a New Jersey registered agent, filing an annual report, etc.)

There are lots of risks involved with running a New Jersey LLC without legal recognition of the company. One of these is that you’ll no longer have liability protection. Without it, the business owner (you), will be both personally and financially responsible for the company. If the company is sued, your personal assets and finances are at risk. 

Of course, because all business entities are required to maintain a New Jersey registered agent, these consequences aren’t limited to LLCs. Many of the negative results listed here also pertain to other company types, like New Jersey corporations, limited liability partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in New Jersey? 

It’s not illegal anywhere in the US to be your own agent. But you should research the pros and cons of this job before doing so. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


If you miss a service of process, it can lead to several disastrous consequences for your New Jersey business. Some of these include default judgments and losing the good-standing status of your business in New Jersey. 

Lack of Privacy

If you decide to be your own New Jersey registered agent, important bits of your personal information will be listed on the public record. An unfortunate part of information being listed on the public record is that the public can access it. Nefarious individuals, such as hackers and cybercriminals, can get hold of your information and use it for identity theft or other crime-related activity. 

Plus, there’s just something eerie about everyone having access to your address and phone number, and therefore knowing where you live and how to contact you. 


You’ll be expected to be present at your registered office address during business hours. It’s a safe bet that your New Jersey business is also open during normal business hours, which means that there’s no way for you to efficiently do both jobs at the same time—unless you’ve mastered the art of being in two places at the same time. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

The only upside of being your own registered agent is that you won’t have to pay a New Jersey registered agent service. But as a business owner, it will likely be worth it to you to pay fees to a New Jersey registered agent service due to the fact that it will save you a lot of time, work, and stress. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are many reasons that a business owner may choose to use a registered agent service in New Jersey: 

  • Most registered agent services provide compliance alerts, which means you won’t have to worry about missing important filing deadlines.
  • You’re not as likely to miss a service of process or deal with any of those nasty consequences.
  • You’re free to manage your business efficiently, rather than working two full-time jobs (as a business owner and New Jersey registered agent).
  • If you have a business entity with multiple branches in different states, a national registered agent provider will meet your legal obligations in each state. 
  • If your business doesn’t observe what are considered normal business hours, you can use a registered agent service so that you can catch some z’s in your downtime. 
  • If your business entity doesn’t have a physical street address located in New Jersey, you can use a registered agent service, which will allow you to protect your information by listing your registered agent’s name and address on the public record in place of your own.
  • Your New Jersey registered agent will receive the ridiculous volume of junk mail that’s sent to your business and deal with it so that you don’t have to.
  • Some New Jersey registered agent services that provide premium services, like certain specialty business insurances and covering state fees. 
  • If you’ve yet to legally establish your business entity, you can choose a New Jersey registered agent that also supplies formation services. Many of these dual-service businesses offer promotions like free registered agent service for a year. 

I can’t tell you whether using a New Jersey registered agent service is right for your business. Only you can make that call. But I can tell you that I recommend that all newly established New Jersey businesses use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are many aspects that go into choosing the best-registered agent service. Here are some of the criteria you should consider when weighing your registered agent service options. 

Service Features

You should never settle for a registered agent service that doesn’t supply all the services you need. There are so many registered agent services on the market with comprehensive service lists that there’s no good reason to settle for less. 

Some New Jersey registered agents offer an online document management portal to view and store legal documents, legal mail, and service of process. Others simply supply basic mail forwarding. Some New Jersey registered agents issue compliance alerts for reminders about filing deadlines, while others only supply a compliance calendar, which can be lost or forgotten about. 


A good way to determine whether a registered agent service is a good value is to compare its service list to its price. If your registered agent service offers few services and has a steep price, then it’s likely that this registered agent doesn’t offer much value. 

While we’re on the topic of value, you should avoid “budget agents.” These New Jersey registered agents promise low prices ($39–$59) and then charge their clients loads of additional fees for basic services, like online document management portals or compliance alerts. So, avoid these registered agent services. 

Easy Sign-Up 

Some New Jersey registered agent service providers have sign-up processes that take weeks or months to complete and make you fill out mountains of paperwork. Choose a New Jersey registered agent with a quick and simple sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Some registered agent services in New Jersey have systems that are so slow, glitchy, outdated, and full of technical issues that even their IT teams seem to be confused by them. And since you’ll be using your New Jersey registered agent provider’s system quite frequently, it’s a good idea to choose one that has an intuitive interface. 

Customer Service 

Your New Jersey registered agent can have a major effect on your business and could determine whether you stay in business or have to close up shop. Because of this, you need to choose a New Jersey registered agent that provides great customer service. 

I used these factors, along with my four-stage investigative process, to choose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services, or about how to choose your company’s registered agent, read the Best Registered Agent Services.


Business owners in New Jersey are required to learn a ton of new information, such as cutting-edge business management techniques, business and legal terms, state and federal laws, and even how to use different types of equipment and software. But New Jersey registered agent services exist so that you don’t have to work as hard to manage your business. 

If you haven’t yet established your New Jersey business and you’d like to learn more about the formation process, read How to Start an LLC. If you want a bit of added help during the formation process, then read the Best LLC Formation Services

New Jersey 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 New Jersey Secretary of State as a commercial registered agent. Some states require all professional registered agents to register as commercial registered agents. 

A noncommercial registered agent is an individual or business entity that has been designated as a registered agent but hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. So if you’ve designated a family member, like your Great Aunt Gertrude, as your registered agent, then Auntie Gertrude is technically a noncommercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

You’re not permanently stuck with your current registered agent. You can change your registered agent by filing a Certificate of Change—Registered Name or Address, or Both for LLCs. And while that name is insanely long, the process to file it isn’t. 

Just add your new registered agent’s name and address and send it off to the New Jersey Division of Revenue along with a payment of $25 for the state fees. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

The cost of your registered agent varies according to different factors, like which company you choose and the services you want for your business. Generally speaking, registered agent services can cost somewhere between $39–$299 per state, per year. If you’d like to know more about the pricing practices of registered agents, read the Best Registered Agent Services

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