Are you done with choosing your business structure? Have you chosen a registered agent for your business? Having a registered agent for your business is strongly recommended. Registered Agents are required by law in almost every state these days. Even if your state doesn’t demand a registered agent, you should hire one. Now that you see the importance of having a registered agent, let’s address the registered agent’s purpose. How can a registered agent benefit you? Why is a registered agent needed? Get all your questions answered here!
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is also referred to as a “Resident Agent,” “Agent for Service of Process,” or “Statutory Agent”, depending on the state you are forming your business entity. A registered agent is a person or a business entity, named in the articles of incorporation/organization. A registered agent is expected to receive legal documents such as Service of Process, important state communication and all the notifications from a state office on behalf of a corporate entity. Please note, a post office box cannot be counted as a physical address by statutory requirements. Specify your company’s registered agent when you file your Articles of Formation. All LLCs and corporations are required to choose a registered agent. However, there are a few restrictions on who can be your registered agent. Hence, it’s important that you choose a reliable company as your registered agent.
While the exact requirements for registered agents may vary in many states, these are the rules that apply generally:
- The Registered Agent must be a domestic or qualified out-of-state corporation or a resident individual.
- The Registered Agent should be available during “normal” business hours, i.e., nine to five, Monday through Friday.
- The office address of a registered agent must be a physical address in the state, which means that a P.O. Box cannot be considered as an in-state address. Some states demand you to choose a “Registered Office” in addition to naming a Registered Agent.
What Services Does a Registered Agent Provide?
There are some of basic levels of service that a registered agent provides. If you hire a registered agent, you can expect the following services from them:
Legal Working Office
Your registered agent is expected to maintain regular business hours. Because your lawsuit can be serviced at any time from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. It’s necessary for your registered agent to be available for receiving lawsuits. And if your registered agent is not able to serve you, you would probably lose the lawsuit by default.
Being in business demands a lot of corporate filings from every bureaucratic body of the government. Sometimes it’s difficult to manage all these along with the ongoing business. A professional registered agent will be aware of all these filings, and without any fail, he will make sure that you remain in compliance with the state(s) they represent your company in. In short, a registered agent would assist you in getting your documents submitted on time.
During the growing stage of your business, you may be so involved in making profits that sometimes you may forget to keep a record of all the important documents such as your Articles of Incorporation/Organization, your company minutes, Bylaws or Operating Agreement, and your state reports. A professional registered agent will keep copies in hand when you need them. Many registered agents will scan these documents and allow you to access them online via a secure login. It makes it easy for you to access the documents when you don’t have them in hand, if required. Moreover, you need not check a few hundred extra pieces of junk mail every month!
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
It may be fascinating to act as your own registered agent for your LLC or Corporation, but it’s usually not a good idea to do so. The answer to “Can you be your own registered agent?” is yes, but probably you shouldn’t.
Advantages of Hiring a Professional Registered Agent
If you are not aware of the bureaucratic world of business entities, it can be confusing and frustrating to deal with them. With a professional registered agent service, you can manage all the stress because they can help you to provide all the information you need to get the business running and will do everything hassle-free. Check out the perks of hiring a professional registered agent:
One of the main benefits of hiring a registered agent is that his address will be listed in the public documents filed with the state, not yours! Also, if in any case your business gets sued, the attorneys will not come to your business place or house; they will deliver the service of process to your registered agent.
Annual Compliance Reminders
It’s vital to file annual reports with the state. If you do not pay attention to this, you may have your entity dissolved by the state. If it happens, it can cost you a pretty penny to re-instate your business. By hiring a registered agent, you can save your hard earned money as they can remind you of the annual compliance regularly.
All Documents Organized
A professionally registered agent provides you with your own online account where you can track all your documents easily, no matter where you are. All you need is to log into your account, and you will have all the information.
Regular Office Hours
If you are unable to work during the normal working hours, hiring a registered agent is recommended. He can receive all the important documents on your behalf and even if your company is sued, you may receive a judgment about it during working hours.
Various registered agents offer different quality of services. When looking for a professional, registered agent, make sure to choose a company that is reputable with a good history of serving all types of businesses promptly and efficiently. Having a registered agent provides the peace of mind and assurance that your work won’t be mishandled.