What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a third party who has been designated by a corporation or LLC, to receive important documents like service of process notices and tax forms on behalf of a business. They handle lots of documents for the business, and good registered agents even notify businesses when things are due.
A registered agent can be an owner of a business, in most states, or a member of a corporation, or a registered agent service. Here we’ve discussed why you really need a registered agent – whoever you choose.
To receive service of process
Your registered agent is designated to receive federal and state legal documents and service of process. These can include things like summons or a subpoena, on your behalf. It’s not enough to just mail one of these documents to you, as the state can never be sure that you’ve actually received it, or are purposefully ignoring it, which can slow the process down. Having a registered agent means they can acknowledge they have received it, and there is always someone who can sign for these documents.
It’s also a good idea to have a registered agent because when they receive summons or subpoenas on your behalf, you don’t have to do so in front of clients or family and friends, which can be damaging to your reputation.
To give you a location within the state
If you run a business across many states, you’ll need a registered agent to give you a location in the state. A P.O. box is not enough – there needs to be a physical person to collect all documents on your behalf. Having a registered agent in a state means not having to put someone into a state for that reason, or securing a location there either, saving you a lot of money and manpower.
If you are living in the state you work in, but work from home or are web based, then it’s likely that you don’t have a location in the state. This means that if you elect to be your own registered agent you will have to put your location down – in this case, your house. This means that your address goes on permanent record, which is dangerous for you, as it could be circulating around the web and anyone that wants to find you will easily be able to. So you’ll need a registered agent if you don’t want your privacy to be at risk, as their address will then go down instead.
To file documents for you
Services offer to track official notices and annual report due dates within the state. Hiring a registered agent service means your registered agent will have a system to track and notify you when reports are due to keep your business in good standing and compliance with the state.
Having a registered agent also means all your important documents are in one place so they are looked after for you.
You don’t want to maintain normal business hours
Often people working from home work off business hours, and so might not always be available to collect documents during normal business hours. Registered agents are required to always be available during normal business hours, so hiring one means you can keep your flexibility.
You don’t want a strict schedule
Registered agents have two key requirements: they need to be available in one location for all business hours. Many people hire registered agents because they move around a lot, and staying in one location to never know when you could receive important notices can be frustrating. Having a registered agent means you have the flexibility to come and go as you please.
TRUiC has more information into the question: is a registered agent necessary? Visit their site for more.