If you have a business that is registered with your state as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or a Corporation, then chances are you have someone acting as your registered agent.
Since business owners can’t be in more than one place at a time, or may be in situations where they can’t immediately respond to a time sensitive situation regarding their business, having a registered agent to handle important matters is often an invaluable asset.
This post answers frequently asked questions about registered agents so you can better understand why they are so important to have for your business.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent, also known as a statutory agent or agent of process, is an individual who has been designated by an LLC or a Corporation to receive state and federal legal documents, and in some cases, handle filing of other important business documents. They can even provide reminders for important dates when documents need to be submitted to the state or federal government by, such as annual taxes. A registered agent would also handle service of process documents.
Service of process generally means that notification of a lawsuit, subpoenas, summons, and other legal matters that pertain to your business need to be delivered in person, which is why a registered agent needs to be available to receive these important documents.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
While you can technically be your own registered agent, it isn’t recommended since you are putting yourself in a situation where you would need to be available at all times. For instance, if you need to travel outside of the country for business, and during that time your LLC or Corporation is served with a legal document that needs to be delivered in person, there won’t be anyone available to accept it, which could lead to issues for you or your business.
In addition, you may not feel comfortable receiving certain legal documents, such as a notification of a lawsuit or subpoena, in a workplace setting where your employees may accidentally intercept the documents or become privy to information that you would have preferred to keep private.
A registered agent can accept these documents on your behalf and proceed with any necessary action, so you can continue to run your business with the knowledge that your legal affairs will be handled.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent for My Business?
A registered agent can be a corporate director, certified public accountant (CPA), an attorney, or a representative from a third-party company that specializes in providing registered agents for businesses.
The Importance of a Registered Agent
Every LLC or Corporation should have a registered agent that can accept state and federal legal documents on behalf of the business. Having a designated person to handle your business’s important legal and financial needs gives you, as a business owner, the peace of mind that your financial and legal affairs will be handled professionally.