Delaware is a popular state for company incorporation because of its many unique perks.
- Well-developed business law statutes and a separate corporation court unit that handles all corporate cases.
- Effective online filing system and fast application document processing.
- An extra layer of anonymity for LLC members as you aren’t obliged to disclose all owners’ names to the state authorities.
- No corporate incomes tax for companies who are not doing business in this state but only hold a registered office address there.
- Permission to incorporate a business as a non-resident — business stakeholders don’t have to live in the state.
However, one thing that Delaware has in common with other states is the registered agent requirement.
Every Delaware LLC must appoint a registered agent with a local physical address in the First State.
This requirement can be a nuance for out-of-state business owners. That’s why many choose to use a professional registered agent service instead.
Table of contents
- Who can be a registered agent for an LLC in Delaware?
- Delaware registered agent services list
- How do I appoint a registered agent in Delaware?
- How do I change my registered agent in Delaware?
- FAQs about Delaware registered agents
Who can be a registered agent for an LLC in Delaware?
According to General Corporation Law in Delaware, any private person can be a registered agent for a Delaware LLC provided that they:
- Are over 18.
- Have a street address in the state (a P.O. box won’t do, it has to be a physical address).
- Can be available during regular business hours year-round in case service of process notice arrives.
Business entities that have been authorized to operate in the state of Delaware can serve as registered agents as well.
It’s also worth noting that an LLC can be its own registered agent in this state. However, you must have an in-state registered office address in this case.
Why use a professional Delaware registered agent service
The primary role of a registered agent is to accept important documents on behalf of your LLC, such as:
- Official correspondence from the Delaware Secretary of State such as any document requests, annual report reminders, or business license expiration due dates.
- Tax notices from state and federal authorities, including any notifications on tax arrears.
- Various legal documents such as service of process legal notices for lawsuits and subpoenas issued to your business.
Note that failure to maintain a registered agent for your LLC might lead to losing good standing with the state.
Moreover, any missed document can lead to financial and legal penalties, especially if you fail to accept a “hand-in” document.
You can be your own registered agent, but this approach has several significant drawbacks:
- You need to stay on top of all compliance due dates, incoming messages, and legal notices, which is hard without a business management background.
- Your business address becomes a part of public record, raising serious privacy concerns if it’s also your home address.
- You must be available during regular business hours (9 am to 5 pm) at your registered office every working day of the year in case a Service of Process notice arrives. Your physical presence is required, which means that you’re tied to that location.
Of course, you could appoint another private person, such as a family member or an employee, as your Delaware registered agent. But then they will have to deal with the issues above.
You should also consider the risk of them not taking their registered agent duties seriously. You don’t want to miss important correspondence because your registered agent went on vacation.
That’s why many Delaware business owners choose to pay for a registered agent service instead.
- The registered agent service provider receives all the correspondence addressed to your LLC, notifies you about every document, and then uploads scanned copies to your online account. Some providers also forward the documents to you via regular mail.
- The registered agent designates their address as your LLC registered office address, protecting your privacy.
- The registered agent service provider ensures that someone is always available at the location during normal business hours year-round. Meanwhile, you’re free to live wherever you want, travel for extended periods, and take vacations without having to worry about missing important documents.
Given that Delaware registered agent service providers typically charge between $50 and $100 per year, paying someone to handle business correspondence for you is an attractive offer.
Also, many registered agents provide add-on business services such as accounting, tax preparation, operating agreement creation, business licenses application, and more! So you can unload even more tasks off your hands.
Many providers also double as LLC formation services. But this is something you can do yourself.
Check out these resources to learn more about forming an LLC in Delaware:
Delaware registered agent services list
Ready to get relieved from the admin burden of business administration?
Here’s our list of 16 professional registered agent service providers based in Delaware.
1. A Best Registered Agent LLC
A Best Registered Agent LLC is a Delaware registered agent service operating out of Dover.
They are “modestly” advertising themselves as the best on the market, but this claim is backed by positive client reviews.
The company also offers LLC formation and incorporation services.
- Costs: $99/year
- Address: 8 The Green, Ste E, Dover, DE 19901
2. LegalCorp Solutions
LegalCorp Solutions is another highly-rated registered agent service provider based in the city of Wilmington.
The company was founded by serial entrepreneurs who weren’t happy with the registered agent services that were available at the time. So they decided to launch their own venture.
It’s worth noting that LegalCorp Solutions is the most expensive registered agent service provider on this list.
At $149/quarter or $596/year, they charge 15x more than the most affordable provider on this list.
- Costs: From $149/quarter
- Address: 300 Delaware Ave. Suite 210, Wilmington, DE 19801
3. American Incorporators Ltd
American Incorporators is a business services provider based in the city of Wilmington.
The company has been in business for over 40 years, making it one of the most experienced registered agent service providers on this list.
Apart from RA services, the team can also help you with compliance, marketing, administrative, and financial planning tasks.
- Costs: $129/year
- Address: 1013 Centre Road, Suite 403-A, Wilmington, Delaware 19805
4. Best Delaware Registered Agent
Best Delaware Registered Agent is a registered agent service provider based in Dover.
The company has a straightforward signup process where you can order their registered agent service on their website.
There are no extra add-ons – you just pay for their document handling services.
- Costs: $99/year
- Address: 8 The Green, Suite F, Dover, DE 19901
5. Cheapest Delaware Registered Agent LLC
The name says it all — Cheapest Delaware Registered Agent LLC competes on pricing.
Our research confirmed that at $39/year, they are indeed the most affordable registered agent service in the state of Delaware.
That makes them a popular choice with small business owners and startups.
- Costs: $39/year
- Address: 8 The Green, Suite G, Dover, DE 19901
6. Delaware Registered Agent Service
Delaware Registered Agent Service LLC is a registered agent service provider based in the city of Wilmington.
The company also offers a free incorporation service. They will incorporate your LLC for free if you cover the state fees and sign up for a year of a registered agent service ($170 in total).
- Costs: $50/year
- Address: 1521 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803
7. Delaware Registered Agents and Incorporators
Delaware Registered Agents and Incorporators is a business services provider based in Newark.
It has been representing companies since 1984 and has never raised the price of its registered agent service in all that time.
Given their long-term record in excellence, the annual fee is very competitive.
- Costs: $75/year
- Address: 19 Kris Court, Newark, DE 19702
8. Harvard Business Services Inc.
Harvard Business Services Inc. is a business services provider based in the city of Lewes.
Although the company claims to offer the lowest registered agent fee in the industry, that doesn’t seem to be the case since this list features several cheaper options.
That being said, $50/year is still a great price for a registered agent service. Plus, Harvard Business Services Inc. guarantees that it will remain fixed for the entire life of your company.
- Costs: $50/year
- Address: 16192 Coastal Highway, Lewes, Delaware 19958
9. Registered Agents and Incorporators of Delaware
Registered Agents and Incorporators of Delaware Inc. is a business services provider based in the city of Milford.
The company provides LLC formation, incorporation, and registered agent services.
They have a good reputation and positive reviews from local LLCs, limited partnerships, and corporations.
- Costs: $100/year
- Address: 203 NE Front Street, Suite 101, Milford, DE 19963
10. Registered Agents Legal Services LLC
Registered Agent Legal Services LLC is a nationwide business services provider based in Wilmington.
The company offers LLC formation, incorporation, registered agent, document retrieval, trademark, and other administration services.
It has been in business for over 20 years and has some talented staff in its ranks.
- Costs: $99/year
- Address: 1013 Centre Road, Suite 403S, Wilmington, Delaware 19805
11. Delaware Corporate Headquarters
Delaware Corporate Headquarters is a business services provider based in the city of Dover.
The company offers company incorporation and registered agent services. The latter includes free mail forwarding and a free 60-day trial of virtual phone service. They also promise not to make any cheeky up-sales.
It also serves international clients who want to create a Delaware LLC or a Delaware corporation.
- Costs: $45/year
- Address: 8 The Green, Ste A Dover, DE 19901
12. Dash Incorporators LLC
Dash Incorporators LLC is a business services provider based in Dover.
The company offers LLC formation, incorporation, and registered agent services at affordable prices.
You can also review all the incoming correspondence on the same day through a secure online customer portal.
- Costs: $48/year
- Address: 8 The Green STE H Dover, De 19901
13. Advantage Delaware LLC
Advantage Delaware LLC is a business services provider based in Wilmington.
Co-founded by two tenured business administrators, this provider knows its way around many of the state intricacies of company incorporation, legal compliance, and entity conversion.
It has been in business for over 25 years and works with domestic and international clients.
- Costs: $100/year
- Address: 3524 Silverside Road, Suite 35B, Wilmington, DE 19810-4929
14. Agents of Delaware, Inc.
Agents of Delaware Inc. is a business services provider based in the city of New Castle.
The company stands out from the other registered agents on this list because it offers not one but two pricing plans: $9.99/month and $99/year.
This makes it an excellent option for those hesitant about committing to a year-long contract.
- Costs: $9.99/month or $99/year
- Address: 257 Old Churchmans Rd., New Castle, DE 19720
15. Corporations USA
Source: Corporations USA.
Corporations USA is a business services provider based in Camden, Delaware.
The company offers LLC formation, incorporation, registered agent, LLC tax, and annual franchise tax filing services.
It was founded in 2002 and has been in business for 20 years.
- Costs: $55/year
- Address: 4034 Willow Grove Rd, Camden Wyoming, DE 19934
16. The Incorporating Company LLC
Source: The Incorporating Company LLC.
The Incorporating Company LLC is a business services provider based in Middletown.
It claims that you won’t find a lower annual registered agent fee in the industry, but slightly more affordable options are available.
Still, you can’t complain about a $50/year fee, especially when the provider guarantees to keep the price fixed for the lifetime of your business.
- Costs: $50/year
- Address: 221 N. Broad Street, Suite 2A, Middletown, DE 19709
National registered agent service providers
Didn’t find a local “match” for your business?
In that case, you may also want to check out these four popular national registered agent service providers. Their main selling points are cross-state coverage + fully digital services.
- Harbour Compliance. Annual costs: $99.
- LegalZoom. Annual costs: $299.
- IncFile. Annual costs: $119 after the first year.
- Northwest registered agent. $125 per year.
How do I appoint a registered agent in Delaware?
You’ll need to name your registered agent in the Certificate of Formation — the main incorporation document for your LLC. It’s a simple document requiring you to list two things: your LLC name and registered agent’s name plus office address.
Add a state fee and file the form with the Delaware Division of Corporations. Once it’s approved, your registered agent appointment becomes official.
How do I change my registered agent in Delaware?
You can change your registered agent provider at any time. But you must notify the state about that decision.
To do so, complete the Certificate of Amendment Changing Only the Registered Office/Agent of Limited Liability Company. Then send it to the Division of Corporations with a $50 filing fee. You can also complete the registered agent office change procedure online.
FAQs about Delaware registered agents
Here are the frequently asked questions about registered agent services in Delaware.