Registered Agents

It’s important to grasp general legal concepts and definitions as a startup founder. This page is sourced from Clerky’s Legal Concepts for Founders page.

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The certificate of incorporation filed with the Delaware Secretary of State must name a registered agent for the corporation.

The registered agent of a Delaware corporation must be physically located in Delaware, and is responsible for receiving legal and government communications for the corporation. There are many companies in Delaware that provide registered agent services for a fee. Most startups use one of these registered agent companies.

Although registered agents provide your corporation with an address in Delaware, they typically only allow the address to be used for communications from the Delaware Secretary of State and court-related notices, and return other mail to the sender. Consequently, startups should have a separate business address and use it exclusively whenever asked for an address (unless asked specifically for the registered agent's address).

Registered agents typically also serve as a filing agent for their customers. Filing agents make filings with government agencies, such as the Delaware Secretary of State. Registered agents charge a fee for their filing agent services.