- What is a non commercial registered agent?
- What is a commercial registered agent?
- What kind of registered agent is best for your business?
Q: What is a non commercial registered agent?
A: A non commercial registered agent is any registered agent that hasn’t filed a special listing statement with their state’s corporation authority. Non commercial registered agents mostly function the same way commercial registered agents do. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right registered agent for your business.
If you’re forming an LLC, you have to designate a registered agent before you are able to officially register your business.
Even if you fully understand what a registered agent is and have already registered your business, you may want to hire a new agent to avoid dealing with government correspondences yourself.
As you explore your options you’ll come to realize there are multiple types of registered agents. You’ll probably see the terms “commercial” and “non commercial” mentioned as you do your research.
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If you’re wondering “what is a non commercial registered agent?” you’re not alone.
This article will explore the difference between commercial and non commercial registered agents so you can make the right choice for your business.
- What is a non commercial registered agent?
- What is a commercial registered agent?
- What is the benefit of being a commercial registered agent?
- Which registered agent is right for your business?
What is a Non Commercial Registered Agent?
A non commercial registered agent is any registered agent that has not filed a special listing statement with their state’s corporation authority.
This kind of special listing simplifies the process for registered agents to add new businesses to their roster. It makes it faster and easier for them because the state already has records for the agent.
Most registered agents are non commercial registered agents. Since the only difference is the agent filing a special listing, registered agents are non commercial by default.
Most often, non commercial agents don’t work with an extensive number of businesses.
This isn’t because they can’t, but rather, because many registered agents that do work with a lot of businesses file the special listing to make the process easier on themselves.
Are Non Commercial Registered Agents Unprofessional?
Just because a registered agent is non commercial doesn’t mean they can’t provide a great service to your business.
Whether you’re in Nevada or in DC, a non commercial registered agent can be just as professional and worthwhile as a commercial registered agent.
In fact, if you choose to serve as your own registered agent, you’ll likely fall under the category of non commercial registered agents.
You’d likely bring your full attention to any business function you’re fulfilling. Just because you’d be non commercial doesn’t mean you wouldn’t bring your all to the task.
Hired registered agents are just the same. They may choose to stay non commercial just because they don’t mind the additional work associated with not filing a special listing.
This is particularly true for individual registered agents that only operate within a single state. In these cases, there’s often no reason for the agent to file a listing.
The bottom line: non commercial registered agents are not necessarily any less professional than their commercial counterparts.
Can Non Commercial Agents Have Multiple Clients?
Non commercial agents don’t have to serve just one business. Professional registered agents normally handle multiple businesses at once.
Remember, non commercial doesn’t mean unprofessional.
A non commercial agent can serve many businesses if they want to.
That said, non commercial registered agents might tend to have smaller numbers of clients simply because non commercial agents tend to operate in fewer states.
The special listing that commercial registered agents file becomes significantly more impactful on their work if they operate nationwide.
For this reason, many registered agents that start taking on large numbers of clients will become commercial agents.
Again, this is not always the case, just a general trend.
Can Non-Commercial Clients Operate Across States?
Non commercial agents can operate in multiple states, but they tend to have much smaller geographic diversity than commercial agents.
With the realization that remote work is highly effective, everyone from lawyers to registered agents are expanding their practices through the internet.
Non commercial agents are no exception. They can serve clients in multiple states.
That said, they are often limited in the number of states they can serve in.
A non commercial registered agent probably won’t be part of a network. This means they won’t have addresses in multiple different states.
A non commercial registered agent could serve clients across the US who want to register their business in the state the agent lives in, but they probably won’t be able to serve for businesses registered in multiple different states.
For the most part, this doesn’t pose a problem to you.
If you want to register your business in Washington, you’re only going to look at agents in Washington anyway.
Pretty much any issue surrounding non commercial status for a registered agent will be on the registered agent’s end, not yours.
What is a Commercial Registered Agent?
A commercial registered agent is a registered agent that has filed a special listing with the state’s corporation authority.
These commercial agents make things easier on themselves by filing this listing, as it streamlines the process for agents to represent new businesses.
When they file a special listing, they inform the state of their address and contact information. This means that they don’t have to resubmit this information every time they take on a new business.
This doesn’t matter much for smaller agents, but for agents serving tens or hundreds of businesses, that time adds up.
While commercial registered agents aren’t necessarily bigger than non commercial registered agents, they do tend to have more clients.
This is entirely corollary though. Big registered agents tend to file to become commercial because of the headache involved in submitting their information each time they take on new clients.
If you’re familiar with how the process of registering your LLC with the state, you understand that filling out government forms can get tedious.
If you had to do that on a regular basis, you’d probably look for shortcuts as well.
That’s what the special listing is. It’s a shortcut the agent can use to make their life a little easier.
The Benefits of Being a Commercial Registered Agent
Commercial registered agents are in a better position to take on a large number of clients.
When they file a special listing with the state’s corporation authority, they provide the state with much of the information needed to file as a registered agent.
This means they don’t have to submit this information every time they begin serving as the agent for a new business.
Not only does this make their lives easier, but it can also speed up the pace with which they take on your business.
Because the state has less information to go over, the process for registration is streamlined. They can approve the agent quicker, which can lead to quicker approval for your LLC.
This is especially helpful to the agent if they serve in multiple states.
Since every state has a slightly different procedure for filing an LLC and appointing a registered agent, agents serving in multiple states need all the help they can get.
Are Big Registered Agent Businesses Always Commercial?
Big registered agents don’t have to be commercial.
A non commercial registered agent is capable of serving a large number of clients in multiple different states if they want to.
That said, doing so is very clunky for the agent. They’ll need to submit all of their information for every new client and navigate various state procedures.
While they can do so, it’s often a slow and painful procedure.
For that reason, most big registered agents choose to file special listings with the states they serve in.
It’s not necessary, but it makes their process significantly easier. This helps them scale their businesses faster, as they can focus more on their actual registered agent duties instead of filing paperwork with the state.
What is the Model Registered Agent Act?
The Model Registered Agent Act is the piece of legislation passed that allows registered agents to become commercial.
The act essentially allows registered agents to submit the information the state needs once instead of every time they take on a new client.
The state then holds this information so the agent can file a simplified version of their paperwork when they begin representing a new business.
The act also makes it so that the registered agent doesn’t have to physically sign documents when they take on a new business.
This can cut down the time between initial filing and approval by weeks.
Not all states acknowledge the act. Some still require agents to submit the full forms every time they take on new clients.
The states that have passed the Model Registered Agent Act are:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
While these are the states currently acknowledging commercial registered agents, other states may make the switch in the near future.
It’s also important to note that just because the state you live in isn’t on the list doesn’t mean you can’t find a commercial registered agent for your business.
If you live in a state that hasn’t passed the Model Registered Agent Act but you want to file your business in one that has, your agent will be able to use the act to become commercial.
The Model Registered Agent Act is the dividing line between commercial and non commercial registered agents.
Without the act, this distinction wouldn’t exist, as the designations are entirely legal.
What is the Difference Between a Commercial Registered Agent and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?
So, what is the difference between a commercial and non commercial registered agent?
If you’re considering hiring a registered agent, you’re likely wondering how the differences between commercial and non commercial agents will impact your business.
Let’s look at the differences in detail so you can better understand which is right for your business.
The Direct Differences
The deciding factor separating commercial agents and non commercial agents is whether or not they have filed a special listing with their state’s corporation authority.
This means that the distinction between the two types of registered agents is entirely legal.
In other contexts, the term “commercial” refers to business. A commercial rental compared to a residential rental is a great example.
That isn’t the case with registered agents though. Commercial registered agents are just registered agents that have filed a certain form with the state.
This means non commercial agents are no less legitimate or professional. They simply haven’t filed the same forms with the state.
It’s also important to note that some states don’t allow registered agents to file these forms. In these states, all registered agents are non commercial registered agents.
The form that commercial registered agents file allows the state to keep their information on file, simplifying their process every time they take on new businesses.
It also makes the process faster, as commercial registered agents don’t have to physically sign forms when they take on new clients.
Since these forms are delivered through the mail, this can cut down the waiting time for both you and the agent significantly.
Again, commercial agents are no more professional or legitimate than non commercial registered agents.
The Indirect Differences
The only inherent difference between commercial and non commercial agents is their filing a special listing with the state.
That said, there are some corollary differences between the two. These things aren’t always the case, but they are trends you can use to guide your understanding.
Non commercial registered agents tend to be smaller.
If a registered agent is serving numerous businesses, they stand to save themselves a lot of time by filing the special listing with their state.
For this reason, commercial registered agents are more likely to have more clients.
Additionally, since not all states allow for special listings, commercial registered agents also tend to serve larger geographic areas.
If a registered agent is serving businesses in multiple states, there’s a better chance that one of the states they serve in will allow them to become a commercial registered agent.
Commercial registered agents also tend to be more established. The longer the registered agent has been serving clients, the more likely they are to look for ways to make the process more efficient.
Since being a commercial registered agent saves significant time in some cases, established registered agents are likely to go commercial.
Again, none of this is true in all cases. When evaluating a registered agent, it’s better to look at their individual reviews and practices than judge entirely on their commercial status.
Simplifying the Decision
If you’re looking to hire a registered agent, the number of options can be overwhelming.
You may want to use simple criteria to narrow your list of considerations.
In this case, it’s typically a good idea to just stick with commercial registered agents.
While there is absolutely no reason that a non commercial registered agent can’t be great, the commitment to attaining commercial status shows you that the agent takes the job seriously.
Additionally, most of the big registered agent companies provide commercial agents to their clients.
Big businesses like Inc Authority provide professional, helpful registered agent services to all their clients, making it easy for you to register your business.
*Inc Authority is a partner of Alliance Virtual Offices. Alliance Virtual Offices may receive compensation, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase services using the link in this article.*
While there are plenty of other options, if you’re simply looking for good service and don’t want to wade through thousands of choices, Inc Authority is a great option.
However, if you do want to find a smaller agent, non commercial agents can be ideal. Just be prepared to do significant amounts of research before making a decision.
Your registered agent is absolutely crucial to your business. They handle important legal documents that ensure your business stays registered and doesn’t face fines.
Non commercial registered agents might also take longer to get your documents signed, meaning you may have a bit of a wait before your LLC is official.
Wrapping Up: What is Non-Commercial Registered Agent?
What is a non commercial registered agent?
Any registered agent that hasn’t filed a special listing with the state corporation authority.
Both commercial and non commercial registered agents can provide great service for your business.
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That said, commercial registered agents tend to be bigger and have more experience.
If you want to skip the research and get a registered agent you know you can trust, Inc Authority is the perfect choice. They provide knowledgeable commercial registered agents for businesses across the US.