A Texas Registered Agent is an individual or company that receives legal documents and correspondence on behalf of a business. They are responsible for handling varying state matters and providing compliance reminders.

Choosing the right RA can save businesses money and keep their private information safe. Here are some tips to select the best one for your business: .

1. Availability

A registered agent is a person or company that a business designates to receive official documents and service of process on behalf of their entity. It is not required that a Texas business have its own registered agent but many choose to hire one to avoid embarrassment should they be sued.

If a business serves as its own registered agent, it must be available to accept service of process at its address during regular business hours. This could make it difficult for a business to run errands, meet clients and take a lunch break without having someone available at the office to handle these important tasks.

A registered agent service can be a great solution to this issue. While it is more expensive than an individual acting as their own registered agent, it is a safer option in case of a lawsuit. For example, LegalZoom offers a full-service registered agent option and identity theft protection for $299 per year.

2. Reputation

If you run a business that is sued or served, it is important for your Texas Registered Agent to have a good reputation. They need to be able to receive service of process and official state documents on your behalf and be available during business hours. They also need to be able to forward any documentation to you as soon as possible.

If your Texas registered agent is not reliable, you could lose your business if they miss legal documents or a court summons. You might even find yourself in a difficult position if papers are delivered to your business during client meetings.

If you choose a well-reviewed company, like Northwest Registered Agent, you can trust they will have a great reputation and will forward any documents to your business as soon as possible. Some companies, like LegalZoom, may have more name recognition, but their prices are higher and they don’t provide as much customer support or a simple system.

3. Cost

The cost of a Texas Registered Agent is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your business's personal information and privacy are protected. A registered agent can be a person or business entity authorized to do business in Texas and must have a physical address in the state. The state law requires that the selected party consents to serve as the agent.

It's possible to serve as your own registered agent but this can be risky. If you're out of the office to run errands, meet with clients or take a vacation then documents could be delivered to an incorrect address. Using a service like Northwest Registered Agent ensures that important legal documents are received in a timely manner and that your privacy is protected.

Other services like LegalZoom may offer lower prices but they don't offer the same level of customer support and data privacy that Northwest offers. A full-service option like ZenBusiness may be more expensive but they offer streamlined solutions like compliance reminders that can help your business stay in good standing with the state.

4. Ease of Use

A Texas Registered Agent provides a legal presence for your business in the state. Without one, you risk having important legal documents served to your business at an address other than your own home or office. This could jeopardize your privacy and cause you to lose out on tax-deductible expenses.

A quality registered agent will offer 24/7 online access to your account and can scan and forward documents to you promptly. They will also keep you in compliance with state requirements like annual reports.

I looked for companies that have easy-to-use computer systems and that can quickly answer questions about state filings. Those with outdated, slow, confusing systems didn’t make the cut. I also assessed the quality of customer service. The best services, such as ZenBusiness and Northwest, have knowledgeable and helpful customer service representatives that can answer any question you might have. They also have great prices. They are less expensive than large companies, such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer.