How to Be Your Own New Hampshire Registered Agent
The state of New Hampshire requires that someone be designated as the one who officially accepts your business’ mail. Did you know that person can be you?
It may seem like an odd requirement, but in New Hampshire (and all 50 states, for that matter) the state requires that you designate someone to accept official mail and documents on behalf of your business. This person is referred to as the registered agent.
When you start a New Hampshire business, you will file articles of incorporation if you are forming a corporation, or a certificate of formation should you decide to form an LLC. Both of these documents provide space for you to fill in your registered agent’s name and address. After this is done, and the documents are filed by the secretary of state, that is your business’ registered agent.
Who can be a registered agent?
A business can be your registered agent: You can designate another business as your registered agent on your formation documents. There are commercial registered agent services that exist to be official recipients of mail and service of process for companies.
A person can be your registered agent: This person does not need to be associated with your business otherwise. If you write their name and address on the formation documents, they are your registered agent. Make sure, however, that they are reliable and someone you would trust with your business’ time-sensitive documents.
You can be your registered agent: Your name and address can be written down as registered agent for your business. However, a New Hampshire business cannot act as its own registered agent. It must be an individual. If this is the case (as it is if you appoint another person), there are some important requirements you need to ensure are met.
What are the requirements for being my own registered agent?
The process of appointing (or changing) your registered agent is all relatively straightforward; however there are two major requirements that must be met:
You need to have a physical New Hampshire street address. If you wish to act as your own registered agent, it is imperative that you have an actual street address (in New Hampshire), and not a PO Box. Should your business be sued, the state requires an actual location where process servers can serve your business. This way the judge will know you have officially been served your lawsuit.
You need to have regular business hours. This means you need to maintain normal, regular business hours at your physical address. It will not suffice to be available haphazardly at irregular after-business hours.
How do I change my registered agent if I already have an established business?
If you have already formed a New Hampshire business, the state of New Hampshire furnished a Statement of Change document for corporations, and another similar document designated for LLCs. Fill out the information requested and send the document, along with the $15 filing fee, to:
Corporation Division, Department of State
107 North Main Street
A few things to consider before acting as your own registered agent:
Once you put your name and address on either your formation documents or the change of agent form, it is searchable public information. Also, you must not only ensure that you are able to keep the regular business hours and physical location required, but that you don’t mind process servers showing up on your door step.