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Definition of Registered Agent

A registered agent is a business or individual designated to receive service of process when a business entity is a party in a legal action. The registered agent's address may also be where the state will send the paperwork for the periodic renewal of the business entity's charter. The role of the registered agent is to ensure that there is always a physical address (not a P.O. box) where legal documents can be sent. Registered agents are typically required by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the business entity is registered. For example, in the United States, every state requires that a business entity have a registered agent.