I’m going to expand this question a bit…
Why does a startup need to have a Registered Agent in Delaware?
It’s required by law. If you’ve incorporated in Delaware, you must have an address in that state that can be served papers if you’re sued.
What are the most common startup Registered Agent companies?
Here’s a list of the most common Registered Agents that we see and their prices:
Harvard Business Services $50/year
CSC Global $194/year
CT Corporation $275/year
Why the variance? How much should a startup pay for a Delaware Registered Agent?
As little as possible! You just need to have one, and I have yet to see any of our 200+ startups actually use the Registered Agent for anything.
When there’s so many to choose from, what’s the best Delaware Registered Agent for my startup? How do I compare Delaware Registered Agents?
Go with the Registed Agent that your lawyer recommends. Our startups typically work with premier law firms like Orrick, Gunderson, Perkins Coie, Goodwin Procter, etc. and we’ve seen those firms recommend HBS, Incorp, CSC, and CT as the most common registered agent for startups.
Anything else I should look out for?
YES! YES! YES! KEEP READING! Note that these companies will try to upsell you on many other services like DE Franchise Tax Filings (~$150+) and reminders and all sorts of bells and whistles that you don’t really need. The Registered Agents are really good at wording these “tax notices” to make them look official. Scam companies have joined the parade too; be on the lookout for “tax notices” that demand payment.
Bottom line, when in doubt, ask your lawyer or CPA.
A few examples…
This bill is legit. Pay It:
Screenshot below is an “Up-Sell” (You can do it yourself. Don’t Have to Pay the Registered Agent to do it):
AND THIS BELOW IS FRAUD!!! Dont Pay!