Do You Need a Registered Agent in Utah?


For most businesses, maintaining a registered agent in Utah isn’t just a legal requirement. For many reasons, it’s also a smart business move. 

It’s nearly impossible to complete the LLC formation process, or even your formation documents, without a registered agent in Utah because registered agents are so ingrained in the process. They’ll also help in other ways.

Keep reading to find out what a registered agent is, what its duties are, and why your Utah business needs one. 

What Is a Registered Agent in Utah?

A registered agent in Utah is a person or a business entity that agrees to receive service of process (which is hopefully not something that happens often at your business), mail, and other documents for your business at your registered office address during regular business hours. 

It probably seems backward to send your mail and documents to another address since you need them. But the second half of registered agent services involves document delivery. Your registered agent makes sure you get your documents via either mail forwarding services or online document-management systems. And the really good ones also issue compliance alerts to keep you informed about upcoming filing deadlines. 

If your company transacts business in other states, you’re legally required to maintain a registered agent in each of the states it conducts business in. You can accomplish this by either designating a different registered agent in each state and maintaining a fleet of agents, or hiring a national registered agent service so that you can use one service to meet all of your legal requirements. 

A registered agent is also referred to as a statutory agent or resident agent in some instances. These are largely older terms to refer to the same job or business service. So if you see these terms, you’ll know they all refer to the same thing. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Utah?

If you’ve read my definition of a registered agent and thought you might just set up a PO box and check it every day to meet the requirement, well, you can’t do that.. Here’s why:

Your registered agent is legally required to be physically present at your business address during business hours to accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your company. The takeaway there is that you have to be physically present at your business address to meet that stipulation, so checking a PO box at the end of the day isn’t sufficient. 

Your registered agent is also required to have a physical street address, which further disqualifies PO boxes. So, no, a PO box isn’t going to cut it. 

But there are a lot of things your registered agent can do besides just supply you with a physical address to make the Secretary of State happy and accept your mail!


It can be difficult to remember compliance filing deadlines. Afterall, your Utah annual report is only filed once a year. The good news is that your registered agent will keep track of these dates for you. 

Your registered agent is your business’s point of contact, which means it works sort of like a middleman between your business and government agencies, and because of that the best registered agent companies issue compliance alerts to keep your company up to date with its compliance obligations. 

Management of Important Documents

The physical address requirement for registered agents in the state may seem petty to you, but it’s important that you choose a business address that you can reliably keep up with. This is where your legal documents and mail are sent.

Some of the best registered agent companies offer online document-management systems. They’ll scan your mail and court documents and upload them the same day, which means you’ll be able to have your documents delivered to you much faster than basic mail forwarding allows for. 

Even better, these systems allow you to store all your documents online, which means you don’t have to buy filing cabinets and figure out where to store physical copies of everything. 

Service of Process

When you research registered agents, one of the terms that frequently pops up is “service of process.” And a lot of articles make it seem like this is something that happens on a daily basis. But the truth is that a service of process is the formal delivery of a notice that informs you you’re being sued. That definitely shouldn’t be something that happens with any degree of frequency! 

But if your company is issued a service of process, you definitely don’t want to miss it, and a registered agent will receive it on your behalf and make sure you know about it. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Utah?

Several registered agent requirements are standardized across the United States. Here are some of the Utah registered agent requirements that your registered agent will need to meet: 

  • State laws. Some states have drafted laws that specify the guidelines for registered agents in their jurisdictions. To make sure your registered agent in Utah meets all of its requirements you’ll need to read up on laws about registered agents in Utah. 
  • 18+. Your registered agent in Utah must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Physical address. Every registered agent in Utah is required to have a street address in the state, which means they can’t list a PO box. 
  • Who you can designate. As long as the person you’ve chosen meets all of the legal requirements, you’re allowed to designate anyone you want as your registered agent. This means you can designate a lawyer, employee, friend, or family member as your registered agent in Utah. 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

Let’s suppose your company is actually issued a service of process. What happens if your registered agent in Utah isn’t posted at your business address when the process server comes? The protocol for this is that the process server will then deliver the service of process to the Utah Secretary of State. 

When this happens, it’s like tapping the first domino and setting off a Rube Goldberg machine. Because you didn’t receive notice about the legal actions being taken against your business, you’re completely unaware of everything going on, and you can’t defend your company in court, or even be present to hear about the proceedings as they happen. This means that a judge can issue a default judgment against your company and you’ll just have to comply with it. 

Because failure to maintain a registered agent in Utah is illegal, the Secretary of State can rescind your company’s good-standing status. When that happens, your company could become ineligible for financial assistance and business loans, lose permission to expand to other states, or be barred from conducting business in Utah. 

One really annoying aspect of losing your company’s good-standing status is that you automatically forfeit your company’s business name reservation. This allows other companies to take the business name for their own businesses. And it really doesn't matter how fast you move to correct this legal issue; if another business takes the name for themselves, you may never get it back. 

If you own a Utah LLC, you should vigilantly avoid losing your good-standing status for a number of reasons. Without good standing, the Utah Secretary of State Division of Corporations and Commercial Code could move forward with “administrative dissolution.” This is when a governing body removes a limited liability company’s authority to conduct business in the state because it fails to meet the legal requirements I’ve described. 

Conducting business as usual without legal recognition or good-standing status is playing with fire in a legal sense. You no longer have limited liability protection—which separates the company’s liabilities and finances from the business owner’s. So if your company is sued, the plaintiff is within their rights to list your personal assets and finances as compensation. 

Don’t think that if you don’t own an LLC that you’re safe from the consequences of failing to maintain a registered agent. Any business entity—corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships, etc.—can experience many of these repercussions, as well.  

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Utah? 

There’s no legal reason you can’t be your own registered agent. But there are a number of drawbacks to this decision, so you should learn about the pros and cons of being your own agent vs. hiring a registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


The disadvantage that most often gives business owners pause is all the legal pitfalls associated with missing a service of process. If your registered agent happens to miss a service of process, you could lose your company’s good-standing status, have to comply with default judgments issued against your company, and more. Many business owners feel that these risks aren’t worth it. 

Lack of Privacy

As your own registered agent, your personal information will be listed on the public record. This includes things like your phone number, name, and if your business doesn’t have a physical address, your own address. 

The problem with your information being listed on the public record is that you don’t have control over who can access your information. Cybercriminals and hackers can not only access your vital information but also use it to steal your information or commit crimes with it. They could quickly wipe out your bank account or wreck your credit score and there’s not a thing you can do about it. 

Besides all of that, it’s just creepy to think that other people can access your home address and phone number. There are so many horror stories about cyberstalkers that start that way! 


As your own registered agent, you’re required to be physically present at your registered office address during business hours so you don’t miss important correspondence from government agencies. 

The problem is that most businesses (and likely your own) also operate during normal business hours. So it’s not possible for you to perform both of these jobs effectively in two different places at the same time. 

Being your own registered agent means having two different full-time jobs—business owner and registered agent. Most business owners won’t love that idea, but more power to you if you do. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

There’s only one benefit to being your own registered agent: you won’t pay a registered agent service. 

When it comes to the overall success of your business, it’s worth it to pay for peace of mind and a lessened workload. The good news is that most registered agent services don’t cost much. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are numerous reasons that business owners use registered agent services: 

  • If you choose a leading registered agent service, you’ll receive either compliance alerts or annual report reminders, which means you won’t have to worry about missing important filing deadlines. 
  • Because your registered agent in Utah is guaranteed to be present at your registered agent address during regular business hours, you don’t have to worry about missing a service of process or other important legal notices. 
  • You won’t be working yourself to the bone at two full-time jobs (registered agent and business owner), so you’re free to manage your business without the additional stress and earn yourself some “World’s Best Boss” mugs! 
  • If you own a company that conducts business in multiple states then you can choose a national registered agent service, which is an easy way to meet your company’s legal requirements. 
  • If you own a business that doesn’t keep normal business hours, then using a registered agent service allows you to burn the midnight hours at your business and let your registered agent meet your legal requirements during the day.
  • If you don’t have a business with a physical location or physical address, you can keep your personal information off the public record (including your personal address) by using a registered agent service and listing your registered agent’s name and information instead.
  • Inexperienced business owners may not know about all of the junk mail that businesses receive. It’s a ridiculous amount! Without a registered agent service, you’ll have to sort through it all and throw it away yourself, but a registered agent can do it all for you.
  • You can choose a registered agent in Utah that supplies premium registered agent services, such as paying for state fees and offering specialty business insurances (like identity theft protection).
  • If you haven’t established your business entity yet, you’re in a unique position to take advantage of dual-service registered agents that also supply business formation services. Not only will they help you file your formation documents, you can benefit from special promotions, like a year of registered agent service free when you sign up for formation. Nice! 

No one can tell you what’s best for your company or make decisions for you. But I will say that I always recommend new businesses use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

Choosing the best registered agent service is a complicated process involving a lot of factors. Here are some of the different criteria you should consider when choosing your company’s registered agent. 

Service Features

To get the very best out of your Utah registered agent, it’s important that you choose a registered agent that provides all the services your Utah business needs. 

Some Utah registered agent service providers only offer a compliance calendar pre-filled with important filing deadlines, which is a nice gesture, but it’s easily forgotten or lost. Other registered agent service companies provide convenient compliance alerts to let you know when to file your annual reports with the Utah Secretary of State. 

Some Utah registered agent service providers only supply basic mail forwarding, which is slow because of the limitations of the postal service. (There’s a reason they call it “snail mail”!) Other registered agent companies supply online document management systems so that you receive your legal documents faster and have a safe and easy storage system for your mail. 

Choose your company’s registered agent service based on whether it provides the services your company needs.  


An effective way to determine the quality of a Utah registered agent is to compare the quality and number of registered agent services it supplies with its price. If you find a Utah registered agent service that offers a huge catalog of fantastic registered agent services and a reasonable price, you’ve likely found a registered agent service that provides a good value. 

While we’re on the subject of value, stay far away from “budget agents.” These Utah registered agent services deceptively advertise prices as low as $39–$59 but tack on loads of additional fees for essential services, like online document-management systems and compliance alerts. So, in your efforts to find the best deal make sure you don’t choose these companies. They’re really not worth it.

Easy Sign-Up 

Sometimes when signing on with a new company, it wastes your time. That can be especially annoying when you’re going through the formation process or trying to set up a new business. Some Utah registered agent companies require you to fill out paperwork for days and then the sign-up process takes weeks or even months to complete. That’s why it’s important to find a Utah registered agent service that has a fast and automated sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

If you’ve ever dealt with a user-unfriendly interface or computer system with any degree of frequency, then you know it’s a real pain. Some Utah registered agents have systems with obsolete servers and complicated navigation systems that are lousy with bugs and glitches. To save yourself some frustration, choose a Utah registered agent service with a user-friendly interface. 

Customer Service 

It’s possible to choose a registered agent service that supplies all the registered agent services you need, like a speedy sign-up and a user-friendly interface, but technical problems are inevitable. You’ll eventually have a question about your service. Your Utah registered agent is in charge of duties that could be the difference between the success of your business or permanently closing your doors, so good customer service is absolutely imperative. 

All these services were combined with my four-stage research process to choose the best registered agent service, Northwest Registered Agent. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services and how to choose the best one for you, read the Best Registered Agent Services


New business owners have to deal with tons of work and learning loads of new information when they establish their companies. And to top it all off, they’re also responsible for meeting compliance filing deadlines with the Utah Secretary of State. But registered agents exist to reduce the workload and stress of business owners. 

If you’ve yet to decide on a structure for your new business entity and would like to learn more about LLC formation, read How to Start an LLC. If you’d like guidance from specialists throughout the formation process, read my guide to the Best LLC Formation Services.

Utah Registered Agent FAQs

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

A commercial registered agent is usually a business that has registered with the Utah Secretary of State as a commercial registered agent. Some places require all professional registered agent service companies to register as commercial agents. 

A noncommercial registered agent is a person or business entity that hasn’t registered as a commercial agent. So, if you’ve chosen your best friend as your Utah registered agent, they’re officially a noncommercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

To change your Utah registered agent, you need to file a Corporation Registration Information Change form, and while that is a mouthful, it’s not difficult to file. Just add your registered agent information (like your new registered agent’s name and your registered agent’s address) and file it with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. 

Conveniently, you can file online, in-person, by mail, or by fax. And you’ll need to pay $15 in state fees. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

A number of factors affect how much your Utah registered agent costs. These include things like which registered agent provider you hire and which services you need. Generally speaking, registered agent services cost somewhere between $39–$299 per state, per year (plus state fees). If you’d like to learn more about registered agent pricing, read the Best Registered Agent Services.

About The Author