The Roads You Should Take: Deciphering Registered Agent Fees and Annual Franchise Tax Destinations

Posted by Gennine Cooper
September 26, 2018

Road iStock 534887545 300x268As the poet Robert Frost said, “two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by…” navigating where important documents should be filed/sent can be a difficult journey (Frost 1916). Sometimes, paths cross causing confusion and frustration. Other times, we become so comfortable with one road, we forget there are scenic routes. It is my hope that this article can be a map to help direct you on your journey.

One question we frequently receive is, “Doesn’t my registered agent fee cover the cost of my Annual Franchise Tax?” For instance, when filing your personal taxes, the accountant’s fees differs from the taxes owed to the state. The Annual Renewal Registered Agent fee is simply the cost for Incorporating Services, Ltd. (Incserv) to act as your registered agent in your incorporated or qualified states and runs at a rate of $120 per entity, per appointment. As with most registered agent companies, Incserv’s registered agent services renew annually, and the payment’s destination is the registered agent.

Although you receive the Delaware Annual Franchise Tax Notice from your registered agent, as we are required to forward them to the current address we have on file, the fee is owed to the state of Delaware. Furthermore, clients should follow their compass to ensure taxes are paid in a timely manner. Incserv does not have the authority to accept payments as the Delaware Secretary of State, issue refunds, or waive late fees/penalties; these requests must go directly to the state of Delaware.

Incserv does have a portal called Snapshot in which you can file your Annual Report and pay your Annual Franchise Tax for an additional fee. As an added bonus, Snapshot will save your Annual Report information from year to year so filing the report is efficient and won’t leave you wandering in the woods. Should you wish to use our portal, an invoice will be generated apart from the annual renewal invoice for registered agent services. If you would rather have Incserv captain your ship, we have a service called Annual Report Filing Service (ARFS) in which we file the annual report for you and bill for the services. Please contact Incserv for more information about these services.

Unlike Frost’s poem, choosing to venture down one road is not as effective when traversing the Registered Agent versus Delaware Secretary of State terrain. In this case, both paths need to be walked to ensure success in keeping your entity in compliance not only with your registered agent but also with the Secretary of State. For more information on our services, please call (800) 346-4646 or email and one of our representatives will assist you.

Amanda Archambault, Registered Agent Associate

Frost, Robert (1916). Road Not Taken. The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved on 11 September 2018 from