How to Choose a Registered Agent for your Business
03 December, 2018
Are you about to form a corporation or a limited liability company? If so, start figuring out a registered agent for your business as it is a vital step in the formation process. As, you would require to file documents with the state including the agent's name and address, which is mandatory in each state for every registered business.
A registered agent will be working as your company's official contact person to fulfill your state's legal requirements. The agent, on behalf of your company, will be responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents.
Therefore, choosing a right agent is very important for any business since making the wrong selection can critically damage the business. So, here are the things you must know about the registered agents and the key points you need to remember while choosing them.
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent can be a person or an entity that has to be available all the time during the business hours to manage the proper handing over of the documents or the business lawsuits (if someone sues a business). Sometimes it becomes difficult to recognize the right individual who would be responsible for receiving the essential documents on behalf of the company. So, the business entities have to mention the registered agent's name and address on the file to be submitted. It is a great way to determine the right person or the agent who is intended for receiving a lawsuit against an LLC or corporation.
A registered agent may also be called as a "statutory agent," depending on the state you have registered your business. Also, the registered agent's business address may also be called as a "registered office."
To make the concept simpler, let us say that the registered agent or "statutory agent," (depending on what state you're in) will receive the lawsuits and other important documents, subpoenas, tax notices, etc. at their registered office on behalf of your company and it will be referred to as "process,". And then they will hand it over to the appropriate person at the LLC or corporation.
In addition, always remember that every corporation and LLCs requires registered agents in every state wherever they are registered to do business.
Who Can Act as Registered Agent?
The requirements for the registered agents varies by state, we have mentioned below some of the generalized rules for selecting a registered agent.
- Official Address: The registered agent must have a physical address ( street address ). The P.O. box cannot be considered as an address.
- Availability: During the business hours, an agent must always be available to receive the lawsuits or other official correspondence.
- Age Limit: The registered agent can be a person with minimum 18 years of age, or it can be a company, which provides certified or registered agent services.
An LLC or a corporation cannot serve as an agent in most of the states. But, if it is allowed in your state, and you want to save money for hiring a registered agent or an agency that provides registered agents for your business, you can name any of your employee or even an owner to represent as a registered agent along with an assurance that documents will reach the appropriate person in time. But it may have several downsides also, which are mentioned as follows.
Here are several downsides of serving as your own agent.
- The first and unavoidable drawback of serving as an agent is that there may be chances that the lawsuit can be delivered to you (at your place of business) regardless of the presence of your customers and employees.
- Your name and address can become part of the business's public records if you act as a registered agent and in case you have a home-based business, you might have to face various concerns as it becomes hard to keep your information private.
- As a registered agent, you might receive unwanted notices, solicitations, documents, and junk emails, etc. in bulk.
- You have to compulsorily update your registered agent information with the state, every time you change your business location (wherein you shift to).
- As it is necessary to be available at your registered office during the business hours, it may be not possible for you to spend a significant amount of time outside the office. And if you travel frequently, then also being a registered agent will be troublesome for you.
- If you have business in more than one state then you must hire a registered agent provider because you cannot act as an agent in the state where you cannot be physically present.
How to Select an Outside Registered Agent
The registered agent is not only essential to receive important documents, lawsuits and other official correspondence on your company's behalf but also makes sure that it should promptly reach your hands. If the agent fails to do so,
you might have to be considered as a defaulter for ignoring a subpoena. You may also lose a lawsuit and could be subjected to the court sanctions.
Now, the most important thing here is to select an agent who is reputable and has a clean track record providing you with genuine registered agent services.
Has your second cousin agreed to you for doing it for you at no cost? If so, do not name them, because a proper list of companies is maintained and timely updated by the business filing departments, providing with the information about the all the registered agent services in that state.
Also, consider hiring an agent who can work as your agent in each state whereby you have registered your business (to do business in multiple states).
Your registered agent will ensure that court documents, lawsuits, and other essential documents like notices are promptly brought to your attention. A timely handover can save you from any default judgments and penalties.
How may IncParadise help you?
Now that you have understood that you should take sufficient time for figuring out a right registered agent for your company who can fulfill all your business requirements, as any wrong decision can cause severe damage to your business.
Have you yet not started your business but got your business plan ready? IncParadise can provide you with the proper assistance for registration and incorporation of your dream business.
Also, we can assist you with other valuable services like mail-forwarding or so for your business. Check out the details on the website and choose the customized package depending on your requirements and needs. For more information contact us now.
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