When forming a business, such as a corporation or LLC, you need a designated party who is responsible for receiving legal notices. This can be an owner, a manager, or a third party that is located in the same state that you established your business.
Registered agents must be available during business hours and be able to receive notices from the government. This might include tax forms, notices of lawsuits, or any other important documents. Without a registered agent, you cannot legally form a corporation or LLC.
What Does a Registered Agent Do?
Registered agents ensure that you or your business do not miss any important documents. This means they are required to accept tax and legal documents on behalf of your business. This is important because if you do not respond to documents like tax payments or lawsuits, you could find yourself in deep trouble.
Why You Need a Registered Agent
Registered agents are required in some states and they aren’t in others. Whether they are required by state guidelines or not, your company can benefit from appointing a registered agent.
Here are a few of the many reasons why your small business should have a registered agent.
Should you act as your own registered agent, your listed address would be either your home or place of work. The same can be said using an employee. If you happened to be sued, legal action might be placed against you in the form of a summons. This could be served to you at your place of business, or at your home. Consider the embarrassment of being sued with a lawsuit in front of customers, friends, or family.
Peace of Mind
Using a registered agent means that you will have professional experience. It will also ensure that your documents will get to you in a timely manner.
When listing someone as a registered agent, it is not a great idea to do so if that is someone who moves a lot or changes their information. This is because, with any changes to this person’s information, you will need to update it with the state. If you do not maintain a registered agent, your business can lose your good standing with the state.
Form in Multiple States
If you wish to do business in more than one state, then you want to avoid needing multiple registered agents. Instead, you can use a registered agent service to act for you in different states.
How to Choose a Registered Agent
The registered agent plays an important role in your company. That's why it’s essential that you know what to look for when choosing your registered agent. If you are going to hire a registered agent for your company, make sure they are a reliable and trustworthy agent.
Requirements of a Registered Agent
There are a few requirements of a registered agent. The laws can vary, but typically the registered agent needs to be at least 18 years old, have a legal street address within the state of formation, and be available during business hours.
Qualities to look for
Your registered agent should be reliable, but they can be one of many forms. Registered agents might be someone who is your friend, spouse, manager, or owner of your company. They can also be a company that is registered in your state to provide registered agent services, such as a lawyer. You can even assign yourself as the registered agent if you wish, but you will release some of the freedom of being able to travel whenever you want to.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent
If you do not have a registered agent, you will suffer the consequences. This might include not knowing that your business is being sued. If you do not see the summons then this could lead to a judgment against you, without being able to defend yourself. You will also lose your status of “good standing” with the state.
Why a Business Lawyer should be your Registered Agent
Although choosing a registered agent may seem like a simple task, it is incredibly important. Not only are they available to accept documents on your behalf, but they also act as a place of reminder for paying fees and filing documents.
Using a business lawyer as a registered agent is one of the best and most reliable options. Business lawyers know what to do when responding to the summons, and are able to give you advice along with providing the notices.
Overall, you will need a registered agent to do business, why not work with someone who knows how to give you legal advice as well. Registered agents come in many forms, but using a lawyer as a professional registered agent will allow you to have your needs met.