Registered Agent: A Physical Office for Your Businesses

Every Minnesota business needs to have an address on record with the Secretary of State. This is called the registered office. Instead of providing a physical address, you can use a registered agent service. This article explains the details.

What a registered office?

A registered office is the address for your business on record with the Minnesota Secretary of State. It cannot be a virtual address. It needs to be a physical address (not ajust a mailbox) where legal papers can be hand-delivered to a human.

What is a registered agent Service?

A registered agent service provides business owners with an address to use for their registered office, so they don’t need to use their actual business address. In other words, you can use your registered agent service as the registered office for your business.

What are some options for registered agents in Minnesota?

Here are some options sorted by least to most expensive:

The links above are affiliate links. You don’t pay more for these services, but a small percentage is paid to us if you use these links.

Why do business owners use a registered agent service?

You might not want your actual business address used for a number of reasons:

  • You work from home and don’t want your home address listed.
  • You don’t want your address to be public information.
  • You don’t want your actual address associated with your business.
  • You want a more professional address.
  • You just want more privacy.

Why not just use a PO box?

Minnesota law requires an actual physical address for your business. The address needs to have someone available to personally accept legal documents on your behalf.

What law requires a registered address?

The specific requirements for a registered address are as follows:

 A business entity shall continuously maintain a registered office in this state. A registered office need not be the same as the principal place of business in this state or the principal executive office of the corporation. If the current registered office address listed in the records of the secretary of state is not an actual office location, or is solely a post office box, the business entity must provide a new registered office address that includes an actual office location and that may be also include a mailing address or post office box.

Minn. Stat. § 5.36, subd. 1. In other words, the registered office address must be an actual location (i.e., a street address), but a business may have a P.O. box as a mailing address.

What law allows using a registered address?

Minnesota law allows using a registered agent to receive legal documents and service of process:

The registered agent may be a natural person residing in this state, a domestic corporation, or a limited liability company, or a foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in this state. The registered agent must maintain a business office that is identical with the registered office.

Minn. Stat. § 5.36, subd. 2. Any address for a registered agent must be publicly accessible, so that anyone who wants to contact the business can do so.

Does a non-Minnesota business need a registered agent?

Yes. Having a proper registered agent will also ensure that the business will not miss any deadlines if the company is actually sued in a lawsuit. If you don’t have a registered agent in Minnesota who will forward a lawsuit to you, you can end up being sued in Minnesota without knowing about the case. This means the plaintiff would likely win with a default judgment against your company. Having a registered office or registered agent service gives business owners peace of mind that they will not miss important government documents or notifications.