What Is a Registered Agent?
In most states, business entities (LLCs and corporations) are required to name a registered agent during incorporation or registration. These agents are responsible for receiving court papers if the entity is sued, business registration renewal notices from the state and tax notices.
The registered agent must have a physical address in the state where the business is registered. This location is usually called the “registered office.”
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company that your business has chosen to accept service of process (legal documents and government notices) on its behalf. Almost every US state requires corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and other business entity types to appoint a registered agent.
A professional registered agent is an effective way to keep your business compliant with the governing business entity laws and avoid costly legal penalties. They should know the business entity and compliance rules, have professional staff with expertise on how to properly handle and forward SOP papers, and have state-of-the-art processes in place for delivering crucial documents to you.
Often, businesses use an owner, a member, a lawyer, or an employee to serve as their registered agent. However, if that person changes jobs, moves, or becomes unemployed, they must be replaced as registered agent.
What are the requirements for a registered agent?
Every corporation, LLC, limited partnership, and other statutory entity formed under the laws of a state or the District of Columbia is required by law to designate a registered agent. The registered agent is an individual (over 18 years old) or a business that has been designated by the company to receive legal process, government correspondence and compliance-related documents on behalf of the company.
To comply with this requirement, the registered agent must have a physical address in the state where the business is registered and must be available to accept legal notices during regular business hours. This can be difficult for individuals who work from home, have multiple locations or are frequently traveling.
This makes it important to have a reliable and trustworthy registered agent on your side who is always at your statutory address during business hours and is available to receive service of process or other legal notices. A professional registered agent will also keep your business private – avoiding embarrassing moments when you receive legal notices in front of customers or employees.
How can a registered agent help my business?
Using a registered agent saves you the time and stress of sorting through official mail on your own. A good registered agent will accept, process and forward legal, tax and other important correspondence to you or your mailbox of choice.
A reputable service will also provide you with other benefits such as a compliance calendar and reminders of pending deadlines or actions your business needs to take in order to remain legal in its chosen jurisdiction.
The right registered agent can even help you decide which states to do business in. They can also assist with a multitude of other small business related tasks, such as filing tax returns and obtaining bank and credit card accounts, among others.
To find the best registered agent for your company, be sure to look for a company that has a proven track record of providing these services and offering superior customer support. There are many excellent options on the market, so be sure to choose the one that will keep you protected and on the right track.
What are the benefits of using a registered agent?
Registered agent services make it easy to comply with business requirements and keep important documents in one place. They also help you avoid fees and fines and maintain your good standing with the state.
You can choose to appoint yourself or another member of your business as your registered agent, but we recommend you use a professional service instead. A commercial registered agent service will regularly check your mail, notify you when they receive legal and official documents for your business and provide a convenient way to access these documents in digital form.
Using a registered agent service also provides privacy for your business. If you run your business from home, you might not want your residential address to be on the public record with the state.
You can also avoid the hassle of maintaining multiple addresses if you expand into other states. A national service like CorpNet will offer you one point of contact to handle your registered agent needs in all the states you do business.