A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf. Such papers include service of process of legal action and state filings, such as annual reports. In some states a registered agent is also known as a statutory or resident agent, or an agent of service of process.
You can be the registered agent for your own company. However, the address of the registered agent is on public record, so you may want to consider using a registered agent service.
A registered agent is absolutely required to form your LLC. Before filing the articles of organization, a company must nominate a registered agent for the company. An LLC must have a registered agent with a physical address in the state where your business will be located.
The registered agent must be a resident of the state or a corporation authorized to transact business in the state. This means that a member of the LLC can act as the registered agent of the LLC. However, a company may not act as its own registered agent.
There are many benefits when it comes to having a registered agent other than yourself. A few include:
- You may not want to be open from 9-5 each weekday. A registered agent service is always open during regular business hours. This ensures that they can accept important legal documents, taking the pressure off of you to always be available.
- Having a registered agent service allows you to form an LLC in any state you do not reside in. For example, if you live in California and you want to take advantage of the tax laws for businesses in Delaware, you would use the address of your registered agent’s office in Delaware (this works well for online businesses who do not have a physical location).
- Finding a registered agent that is located in multiple states is useful if you plan to have a physical presence in more than one state.
- You may not want your home address public so that any customer, client or employee can easily find you. A registered agents address is a public record. Choosing a registered agent service ensures your privacy.
- On a related note, you can use the office address of the registered agent service as your business headquarters.
- In the unfortunate case you are sued, lawsuits will be served to the address of your registered agent rather than your place of business in front of your employees.
Compliance With the Law
- You have the option to choose a service that will remind you of any State filings that are due and make sure you stay in compliance.
- The registered agent service can assist you in finding state-specific accountants and legal professionals.
- The registered agent service can keep copies of your corporate documents in case of theft, loss, or natural disaster.
Not all registered agent services are created equal. In addition to having a legitimate office in the state of your LLC, it is suggested to find one with the following four features:
- Compliance management, including reminders for filing annual reports
- Document management, such as local scanning of all official documents that you can access from your online account.
- Availability: readily accessible to answer any questions you may have
- Thorough Coverage: ability to provide registered agent services in all 50 states
You can trust INCFILE to provide the most comprehensive service for their price. You will never get charged for a service you did not order. No hidden fees - No gimmicks. Registered agent service is free for the first year if you form your LLC using their service.
You'll also get online document management and compliance alerts. INCFILE will scan through all documents, and also physically mail you any important legal documents.