An S Corp registered agent serves as a point of contact during normal business hours to handle official, regulatory business documents like tax forms, the annual report, and notice of service of process, along with other government correspondence.
Most states require businesses, including S corps, to choose a registered agent. This article will provide more details about what a registered agent for an S Corp does, who can be a registered agent, and the benefits of hiring a registered agent service.
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What Is an S Corp Registered Agent?
An S corp registered agent is sometimes called a resident agent, statutory agent, and agent for service of process. Registered agents are people or entities that S Corps, LLCs, and corporations designate to receive important business correspondence, including regulatory obligations from the federal government and state agencies.
Registered agents are required by law in most states, although there are some exceptions.
What Does an S Corp Registered Agent Do?
A registered agent is available during normal business hours to receive important documentation such as service of process, government correspondence, and regulatory compliance documents on behalf of a business. These documents can include, for example:
- Legal documents
- Tax forms
- Summons (service of process), which is a notice of a lawsuit
- Official correspondence from the government
- Annual Report or Biennial Report notifications
A registered agent can also help your business comply with applicable laws and regulations forwarding legal notices and sending reminders of filing deadlines. This allows you to take appropriate action in a timely manner.
How Does an S Corp Designate a Registered Agent?
In most states, an LLC, partnership, or corporation must designate a registered agent at the business formation stage. After choosing your business structure, you must add a registered agent office when you file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State or other official government agency.
Can You be Your Own Registered Agent as an S Corp Owner?
As the owner of an S corp, you can be your company’s registered agent. In fact, generally speaking, anyone who meets the following criteria can be a registered agent:
- 18 years of age or older
- Physical address in the state where the business is formed
- Availability to receive documents in person during standard business hours from 8 am - 5 pm.
How Does an S Corp Change Its Registered Agent?
You can change a registered agent if you choose to do so. A registered agent can be changed at any time using a form provided by the state. Check with your Secretary of State website or other government site.
Should an S Corp Use a Registered Agent Service?
Although you can serve as your own registered agent, there are definite advantages to choosing someone else. Below, we cover the major advantages of using an affordable, national, third-party registered agent service. These include:
- Compliance With the Law
- Peace of Mind
For more information, see our guide Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?
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- Managing your monthly accounting (payroll, bookkeeping)
- Personalized service with a back office team
- Keeping your business compliant by managing your regulatory obligations
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Compliance With the Law
It can be difficult and time consuming to keep up with all the laws and regulations that affect your business. A registered agent can help with this by sending reminders of filing deadlines such as annual report filings.
A registered agent can also store copies of important company documents in case the originals are destroyed or stolen.
Peace of Mind
A professional, third-party registered agent helps you focus on growing your business while letting someone else handle official paperwork. That way, you don’t have to spend time and energy keeping track of things like filing deadlines.
A registered agent is required to be available during normal business hours so that official documents can be delivered. If this doesn’t work with your schedule, that’s a good reason to hire a registered agent service.
States require the physical addresses of registered agents to be listed publicly. Hiring a registered agent service will keep your home address out of the public eye if you work out of your home.
Alternatively, if you have a separate office, a court summons or other sensitive documents will be delivered to your registered agent’s office, rather than to your office in front of your employees or customers.
S Corp Registered Agent Frequently Asked Questions
Can an S Corp or LLC act as its own registered agent?
An S Corp or LLC can act as its own registered agent. However, to save time, increase flexibility, and help with corporate compliance, we recommend hiring a registered agent service.
What are the risks of being a registered agent?
Being your own registered agent carries risks. In particular, you might miss filing deadlines or service of process, which could result in fines or a default judgement against you. You also might not be available to receive official government documents when they are delivered, which could also result in fines.
What are the costs of using a registered agent service?
The costs of using a registered agent service range from about $50 to $300 a year, depending on the company, and a host of useful related services are often available for an extra charge.