Registered Agent Service

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What is a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is a representative that a business appoints to communicate with a jurisdiction’s government on its behalf. The agent can be a member of the company or a professional advisor to the business, such as a lawyer or an accountant. Dedicated registered agent services are also available.

The agent provides the registered address of the business, and is responsible for accepting legal or official documents on its behalf. Registered Agents sort and organize these documents for future reference, and pass them along to the business owner.

A Registered Agent is also known as a:

  • Statutory agent
  • Agent for service of process
  • Resident agent

What are a Registered Agent’s responsibilities?

A Registered Agent accepts legal notices, legal proceedings, or official government communication on a company’s behalf. In some cases, a Registered Agent is also responsible for filing corporation paperwork.

Registered Agents receive many important documents for businesses including:

  • Renewal reminders
  • Lawsuit summons and court filings
  • Annual reports
  • Subpoenas
  • Franchise tax forms
  • Other important legal, government notices, and tax documents

Registered addresses can also receive unsolicited mail, so a Registered Agent must ensure they don’t overlook any important documents.

Do I need a Registered Agent?

It’s mandatory across most of the United States to have a Registered Agent for your business. In Canada, it’s only required in certain provinces. If your business operates in multiple jurisdictions, it will need to comply with the legislation of every individual jurisdiction, meaning you will need an agent in each state where you do business.

If you choose not to designate an Agent in a jurisdiction that requires it, your business could face a lawsuit for failing to comply with the law. For example, if a customer or client gets hurt at your place of business and decides to sue, you could miss court deadlines and have judgment awarded against you in default. You could face penalization by the jurisdiction, causing your business to fall out of good standing and your business license revoked.

Can anyone be a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent must be a legal adult or business entity. A business can’t act as its own agent. If the Registered Agent is an individual, they must be a resident of the jurisdiction in question.

A PO box is not an acceptable address for a registered agent to use. The agent also must agree to be available at the address they provide during general business hours.

Can I be the Registered Agent for my business?

Yes. While many businesses appoint an Agent outside of the company, some business owners choose to act as their own Registered agents.

Having a corporate third party registered agent can be a great choice. They understand the role of an agent on a comprehensive level and keep track of any legislative changes or requirements that may affect your business.

Choosing a corporate agent service as your Registered Agent service also allows you, as a business owner, more freedom. By appointing a company as a Registered Agent, you have the freedom to leave during the day, and attend to other important matters during business hours. Not to mention, it may be almost impossible to be your own agent if you regularly travel for business or ever plan to take a vacation.

A third party agent also allows you to maintain a level of privacy. Depending on the structure and size of your business, you may be using your personal address as your office. As a result, your home address will be available to marketers, putting your privacy at risk. Additionally, any lawsuits are served on the agent, allowing you to avoid receiving them in front of employees or neighbors.

How do I choose a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent should be a person or service you trust with confidential information regarding your business. Because Registered Agents handle many business documents, this person should also have some knowledge regarding corporate paperwork.

Because a Registered Agent must be available during business hours, many people will choose an attorney or accountant. However, business owners should also consider stability and future endeavors when they choose an Agent. What happens if your business moves or switches banks? The process of designating a new Registered Agent can add stress and inconvenience.

For this reason, many business owners will appoint a company that specializes in Agent services to be their legal Registered Agent. These third party companies understand their role on a deeper level, allowing them to expertly manage your legal paperwork.

Related Documents:

  • LLC Operating Agreement: Outline the rights and responsibilities of each LLC member and to establish other operational details for a limited liability company.
  • LLC Articles of Organization: Start the legal paperwork necessary for forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
  • Corporate Bylaws: Create a set of rules that govern the internal management of a corporation, including corporate meetings, voting requirements, and responsibilities of officers.
  • Articles of Incorporation: Start the legal paperwork filed with the state government when you are incorporating a business.
  • Partnership Agreement: Create a general partnership using our Partnership Agreement. Set out guidelines and rules for business partners to follow to avoid conflict in the future.
  • Business Plan: Establish goals and financial plans for your business partners to follow using a Business Plan.
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