Can I Name My Wife As LLC Registered Agent?

By Brian Richards

An LLC's registered agent is an individual or entity that the LLC's creator names to act as the recipient of communications surrounding a lawsuit, as well as other official correspondence. Once the registered agent receives information, the courts will presume that the LLC will also receive the information. Therefore, it is crucial to select someone responsible and who the LLC's members trust.

Registered Agent Duties

The registered agent is the person who will receive documents pertaining to court actions such as a summons. This does not mean the individual herself is being sued; she only acts as the messenger between the court and the LLC. Your wife does not necessarily have to have any duties with the LLC other than acting as the messenger if you decide to name her as your registered agent.

Requirements

The only requirement of a registered agent is that the individual reside in the state in which the LLC was formed. If your wife does not reside in the state, she cannot act the registered agent. Your wife does not have to have any special training or abilities to function as your LLC's agent.

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Limitations

No state disqualifies potential registered agents on the basis of familial status. Additionally, no state requires that the agent work for the LLC, act as a manager or member of the LLC, or possess any decision-making power in the LLC.

Considerations

Though there is nothing preventing you from naming your wife as your LLC's registered agent provided she is a resident of the state in which you formed your LLC, it may not be the wisest course of action. Though registered agents need no special skills, the individual may be contacted by a court or another state agency and will need to be comfortable coordinating communication between the LLC and these departments. You should be realistic about your wife's ability to perform these tasks. Additionally, you may risk the integrity of business communications if you and your wife have a domestic disagreement or if you separate and forget to appoint a new registered agent. Sometimes an agent with whom you have only a business relationship is preferable.

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