Pennsylvania Registered Agent

The Pennsylvania Department of State requires all business entities to have a registered office address for receiving legal communications. According to 15 Pa.C.S. § 135(c)(1), registered office addresses must be a physical place or rural route box number, not a post office box. Sometimes, a business or association may want to operate in Pennsylvania but lack a physical street address or mailing address. In such cases, they must liaise with a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP), who will act as an agent for receiving formal documents and legal correspondence. 

Despite their importance, a registered agent is not a prerequisite for registering a business in Pennsylvania, unlike in many states. Pennsylvania does not recognize registered agents and Commercial Registered Office Providers (CROPs) as the same. However, because they perform similar functions, the term “registered agent” is commonly used to refer to the role CROPs play in Pennsylvania.

Is a Registered Agent Required in Pennsylvania

No, but registered offices are required. Sections § 8825 and § 1507 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes maintain that limited liability companies and business corporations must have and continue to sustain a registered office within Pennsylvania, which may or may not be the same as the business address. Per this provision, corporations and LLCs in Pennsylvania must have a registered office maintained by the business owner or any other person of their choosing (an agent) upon agreement.

Moreover, registered agents may act as agents for service of process (246 Pa. Code § 310 (3) and 231 Pa. Code § 424. However, a registered agent is not required in Pennsylvania for sole proprietorships and general partnership businesses.

What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is legally contracted by an organization (corporation, association, or LLC) to receive service of process on their behalf under the Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of process is the delivery of document(s) that provide notice of legal action filed against a business. If a registered agent is an individual, they must be resident in the state. If they are an organization or corporation, they must be registered and qualified to do business in the state.

Per the Pennsylvania statutes 15 PA Cons Stat § 8825 and 15 PA Cons Stat § 1507, registered entities must have and continuously maintain a Registered Office within the state to receive correspondence and deliver them to clients promptly. Registered businesses and out-of-state companies in Pennsylvania may use any of the following as their Pennsylvania registered office:

The registered agent for an LLC in Pennsylvania has one basic function: to be an agent for service of process and receive other important correspondence on behalf of the company, and forward it to the concerned client.

A Pennsylvania registered agent must be:

What Does a Registered Agent Do?

Some services that registered agent provides for their clients include

LLC Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company (also called Limited Partnership) in Pennsylvania, is a type of business that provides liability protection for its members or partners. 

Under 88 pa cons stat § 8821 (b) (2) of the Pennsylvania State Assembly code, one of the documents to be filed when registering a new LLC is the name of a Commercial Registered Office Provider recognized as an alternative to the business’s registered address.

Also, per the provisions of 88 pa cons stat § 8825 (Registered Office), every LLC must have a registered office within the state, which may or may not be the same as the place of business. Suppose, for some reason, a company decides not to host their registered office on the business premise. In that case, they need a registered agent with a physical office in the state to serve as their registered office.

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My LLC in Pennsylvania?

No. As long as the business entity provides a registered office address that the service of process may be sent to, they do not necessarily need a registered agent. LLCs can choose their registered office address as their business premise (with an employee as an agent) or a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP) as their agent.

Registered Agent of a Corporation

The Pennsylvania state provisions for registered agents of a corporation (15 PA Cons Stat § 1507) are similar to the ones for LLCs. According to these requirements, registered agents for corporations are to:

An individual or corporation may consider using a registered agent if they do not have a street address in the state, will be unavailable for correspondence during working hours, desire more privacy in their business, or just for convenience.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, businesses may appoint consenting adult individuals (18 years or older) to use their home or office addresses or friends or family members’ addresses as registered offices. In reality, it is not the person but their physical address that is the agent. Individuals serving as registered office agents must meet the following criteria: 

Another business corporation can also serve as the registered agent for a business entity if they fulfill the state criteria, including:

Legal Requirements of a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

Per Pennsylvania state law Title 15 §109, all business entities must provide a registered office address and may enter into a contract for the service of a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). However, Commercial Registered Office Providers may not be used for filings where a principal place of business is required (e.g., Fictitious Name registrations).

The legal requirements for a Pennsylvania registered agent include the following:

How To Choose a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania business owner selects a registered agent or registered office by listing it on the Certificate of Organization or Articles of Incorporation when filing their registration records for the LLC, corporation, or partnership. Choosing a Commercial Registered Office Provider or a Registered agent requires meticulousness for a business owner. One risk of selecting the wrong office agent includes legal action for failure to receive or respond timely to service of process, leading to a default judgment that disfavors the business.

Some of the qualities to look out for when choosing a registered agent in Pennsylvania are:

Some of the advantages of using a registered agent are that it provides convenience, inspires peace of mind, minimizes the risk of business place embarrassment (like having a legal notice served in front of clients), and allows business owners to enjoy flexible work hours without the risk of missing any correspondence.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Service Cost in Pennsylvania

A registered service agent in Pennsylvania can cost anywhere from almost $0 to around $300, depending on who provides the service.

Suppose the agency service is provided by the business owner, employees, or family members. In that case, they may wind up paying almost nothing.

Suppose a business decides to employ the services of a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). In that case, they should note that the prices of CROP agents are competitive in Pennsylvania, with an average of between $100-$300. However, some agents offer service for as low as $39 to $49. Before signing the contract with a registered agent, business entities should research and thoroughly vet agents to reveal hidden charges.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

Yes. Suppose a business owner fulfills the state requirements. In that case, no law in the state stops them from registering themselves as their registered agent. In other words, their physical home or office address will be the business’s registered office. The significant advantages of being one’s registered agent are cutting costs and delivering documents straight to the founder. 

However, a person acting as their registered agent has quite several cons, including:

How To Change a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

To change a Pennsylvania registered agent means to update the registered office address. The Pennsylvania statute allows business entities to apply for a change in the location of their registered office. Per (15 pa sta comp § 8825 (b), after an organization applies for a change of registered office before the change of registered office application becomes effective, the company shall amend its certificate of organization to reflect the change, including the change in an annual report, or file with the department a certificate of change of registered office setting forth:

(1) The name of the company.

(2) The address, street, and number, if any, of its then-registered office.

(3) The address, including street and number, to which the registered office will change to.

Most commercial office agents will offer to file the change of registered office for new clients for free. However, business owners who want to change their registered agents themselves must complete and file a Change of Registered Office By Agent form with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Corporations Bureau, and Charitable Organizations. According to the Department of State’s website, the filing fee costs $5 and is nonrefundable. Upon completing the form, it can be filed online or by mail.

By Mail: To change a registered agent by mail, forward the completed form along with $5 to:

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Phone: (717) 787-1057


To change a registered office address online, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Business Services Filings webpage. Then, log into the online account, search and select the desired business, complete the form, and submit it along with the $5 filing charge.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

Neither registered agents nor Commercial Registered Office Providers are a must in Pennsylvania. The most vital thing is that the business has a registered office on its record. Some cons of not having a registered office in Pennsylvania include the following: 

How To Become a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

Becoming a registered agent for an LLC or corporation in Pennsylvania is as simple as entering into a contractual agreement with the business entity. Interested persons must meet the minimum requirements of being resident in the state, being at least 18 years old, having a physical address, and being authorized to do business within Pennsylvania..

Pennsylvania Registered Agent Search

Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations, through their Business Filing Services (or Business Entity Search) tool, provides an online searchable database that allows users to search for registered agents, including Commercial Registered Office Providers (CROPs), that are registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State. A simple search on a registered agent using the entity’s name reveals the active or inactive status of the agent, their registration date, CROP number, and business address. An advanced search menu lets users input other search filters like the registration date, county, and agent type.

In addition, searchers may place a call request to the bureau by calling (717) 787-1057 from 8:00 am to 4:45 pm to request information on active companies. Callers must provide the correct entity name or entity number (but not the business entity owner’s name).

 Inquirers may also send written requests to the bureau to obtain the complete filing history of an entity at $15 per entity number. Written submissions should be forwarded to 

The Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

PO Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Along with the name and address of the entity to be searched.

A third alternative to searching registered business agents in Pennsylvania is manually scrolling through the list of Commercial Registered Office Providers (CROPs) provided by the Department of State.

Is Registered Agent Information Public Record in Pennsylvania?

Yes, registered agent information is added to the public record in Pennsylvania. The documentation, including the name and physical address of the business’s registered office address, is filed with the Secretary of State upon registering a company. These documents are to be publicly listed.

Pennsylvania’s registered agent information is publicly available on the Department of State’s website.