What is a Registered Agent: A registered agent plays a crucial role in efficiently functioning a Limited Liability Company (LLC). As a point of contact between the state and the LLC, the registered agent ensures that all official and legal communications are received and processed promptly. Essentially, a registered agent acts as a representative authorized to accept legal documents, including tax forms, lawsuits, and other correspondence on behalf of the LLC.
A registered agent can help reduce the administrative burden on the LLC’s members by handling important communications, forwarding them promptly, and ensuring that deadlines are met. Overall, a knowledgeable and dependable registered agent is an indispensable asset for any LLC, ensuring that it remains in good standing with the state and allowing its members to focus on the core operations and success of the business. In this article, you will find all the information about registered agents and how they work.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What Is a Registered Agent?
- Why Should I Use an LLC Registered Agent?
- What is the Best Registered Agent Service?
- How to Choose a Registered Agent
What Is a Registered Agent?
To summarise, a registered agent is a third-party individual who will represent your business and receive government correspondences, compliance reports and documents, and the service of process agreement when forming the LLC with a particular US state government.
What is a Service of Process?
The purpose of appointing a registered agent is to ensure that the LLC remains compliant with state regulations, facilitates the receipt of legal notices, and protects the LLC’s privacy by providing secure and reliable communication. Service of Process can be considered as a notifying document where one party prepares a formal notice to inform another party or corporation about a pending lawsuit that has been filed recently.
What Does the Job of a Registered Agent Entail?
A registered agent’s job isn’t limited to only receiving certain documents on your LLC’s behalf; it does a lot more than that. The primary job of the registered agent (aka resident agent or agent for service of process) is to manage everything related to the LLC’s operations. Be it informing the members about newly filed or pending lawsuits, preparing formation documents to file, or making reminders, they are responsible for everything.
At the time of LLC formation and registration, an agent must handle all the legal work, from obtaining the Name Registration certificate to submitting files for the Articles of Formation certificate. The registered agent also must obtain the EIN number on your behalf.
Once the LLC is formed, the agent will be entitled to receive and process several essential documents, such as:
- Tax forms, files, and reports
- Any types of legal documents, including license renewal statements, subpoenas, and so on
- Any official government-issued correspondence
- Legal summons for pending lawsuits filed by another party
Why Should I Use an LLC Registered Agent?
The U.S. government has made it mandatory to appoint a registered agent at the time of setting up your new business. This person can be a third-party individual, a company member, a manager’s family member, or the owner himself. It is recommended to appoint a third-party individual who is not only experienced in the relevant field but also be able to dedicate their whole time to the agent’s responsibilities.
Without a registered agent in your LLC, you wouldn’t be able to carry on with the legal procedures, filing of documents, and other such functions relatable to the LLC business registration and operation.
Can I Be My Own LLC Registered Agent?
If you are not willing to choose a registered state agent from another LLC agent corporation, you will have two options:
- Appointing yourself as the registered acting agent
- Nominating a member of the LLC to take on the role of the agent
No matter which steps you are choosing, there are certain prerequisites that you need to fulfil to step in the shoes of an LLC registered agent.
- The nominated person must be 18 years old or above.
- The person should have a legal, physical address in the state where the LLC will be operating.
- The person must be available during normal working hours in a physical state.
Note: Anyone fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements can be a registered agent for their LLC. However, a registered agent handles all legal documents, including filing and LLC formation certificates. So, it is recommended to hire an experienced professional rather than doing it all by yourself. LLC formation service providers offer registered agent service at a reasonable price. Some services provide standalone registered agent services where you don’t have to buy their formation package. You can purchase only the registered agent service.
Advantages of Having a Registered Agent
Compliance with the law: One of the major purposes of assigning a professional registered agent to your LLC business entity is to have a hundred per cent compliance with the changing state laws. The agent will notify you about the recent changes in state laws, set reminders for the annual report filings, process the license renewal and member transference documents, deal with a registered office address change, and so on. This way, you can avoid any delay or misinterpretation of the legal terms and hence, avoid lawsuits or, worse, losing the entire LLC business.
Peaceful operations: With a registered agent for service doing all the tax-related and legal works, you will be able to focus on your part of the job, i.e., supervising the LLC operations, working on designing annual reports, notices, business expansion plans, and others. A professional LLC resident agent will help you:
- Maintain a balance between different parts of the LLC.
- Offer solutions to any tax and law-related problems
- Preserve the legal notices and financial documents for future referrals.
Highly flexible: Since an LLC agent should always be present to receive the Service of Process service and the government correspondences, it can become a little bit difficult for you to manage your job as an LLC member and an agent simultaneously. This is why hiring a third-party registered LLC agent will provide you with more flexibility in the proper operations of the businesses.
- The third-party registered agent service will be able to present physically to receive the legal and government documents and keep track of reminders.
- The resident agent service will help you interact with more people as customers of your business in the physical location.
- You can even establish a foreign business entity in more than one state with the help of a registered agent.
Disadvantages of Being Your Own Registered Agent
- You need to be available in person during normal business hours in anticipation of receiving a legal document.
- You will have to have an existing physical address in the state of the business.
- To change the LLC location, you need to obtain permission from the government.
What is the Best Registered Agent Service?
Rather than being your own registered agent, it is better to hire a third-party LLC agent service. They are professionals and take no time to handle all your paperwork and business laws associated with your business and LLC. We have picked the top three most popular and best LLC services for you.
How to Choose a Registered Agent
The hiring process of the registered agent will depend on the state where you want to establish the LLC. For example, you can choose the agent in California after applying the Articles of Organizations to the California State of Secretary. But in Connecticut, the choice of the registered agent should be made before submitting the Articles of Organization. There are some points you need to check while choosing a registered agent,
- Registered Agents are responsible for filing all kinds of documents for the organization. Your company must trust the registered agent you are hiring as they will handle all company-related documents and sensitive information. Be it an LLC or a corporation, it is required to have an efficient registered agent who can represent your organization.
- You can also be your own registered agent by law, but it won’t be wise to handle everything, including important documents, by yourself. Hiring a registered agent will always be a smart choice. Be it formation or dissolution, having a professional who understands the law and other regulations.
- If you hire an LLC and corporation formation service, then you must know that trust is the key factor here. Many can have a fancy web portal or say big words, but it is up to you who to trust. All the private information, law, and tax-related documents will be shared with them. So, be careful while choosing a registered agent for your LLC or corporation in the US.
- We have shared a list of the best LLC services here. You can check and compare their service of process and the dishes they offer on their menu. Their privacy policies, refund, pricing, options, service of process, and other formation services – compare everything to know which is best for you.
How to Change Registered Agent for LLC
Yes, changing your registered agent for the LLC in the meantime is possible. For this, you need to apply with the Secretary of State along with a nominal fee that varies from one state to the other. Also, you need to submit a form signed by your new agent.
Yes, you need a registered agent to form an LLC. Registered agents are responsible for handling all your filing documents.
A US resident with a street address in the state you are forming your LLC in and who is 18+ years old can be a registered agent. One has to submit the name and physical street address of the applicant chosen for a registered agent in front of the Secretary of State while filing the Articles of Organization.
If you want to hire a registered agent in your state, check the best LLC services to find and compare the best-fitted registered agent for your LLC.
A few factors are to be considered.
-First, choose from the best LLC services available in the market.
-Check and compare their price and value. Is it worth paying them or not?
-Check their service of process. What is on their menu?
-Evaluate users’ review, privacy, refund policy, and other security measures.
Once you are sure, you can select the one for your LLC.
How to Become a Registered Agent
To become a registered agent, one should meet the state requirements. These includes that the person should be 18 or above years of age, should be a resident of the state within which the business operates and must sign the Consent form.
How to Become a Registered Agent
In the vast sea of legal and bureaucratic requirements for starting and running a business, becoming a registered agent is often overlooked. But make no mistake, a registered agent holds a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of a company. They act as the official point of contact for any legal or official matters, serving as a bridge between the business and the state. Whether you are an entrepreneur starting a new venture or an established company looking to streamline its operations, understanding the process of becoming a registered agent is essential.
Before delving into the intricacies of becoming a registered agent, let’s first clarify the role itself. A registered agent, also known as a resident agent or statutory agent, is an individual or entity designated to receive important legal and tax documents on behalf of a business. This includes official notifications from the Secretary of State’s office, such as lawsuits, tax notices, or service of process. By designating a registered agent, businesses ensure that they don’t miss critical documents that may have serious legal implications.
Now, let’s explore the steps one needs to take to become a registered agent. Firstly, it’s important to note that the requirements may vary from state to state, so thorough research on the specific regulations of your state is paramount.
The initial step often includes legal compliance, such as age and residency requirements. Most states require registered agents to be at least 18 years old and have a physical address within the state where the company is registered. Apart from these legal criteria, there might be additional requirements, such as obtaining a business license or certification.
Secondly, aspiring registered agents should familiarize themselves with the obligations and responsibilities associated with the role. Officially accepting legal documents, maintaining a physical address during regular business hours, and promptly forwarding any received notifications to the appropriate parties are some of the essential tasks performed by a registered agent.
Next, you need to decide whether to designate yourself or hire a professional registered agent service. While serving as your own registered agent may seem like a cost-saving measure, it may not always be the most efficient solution. Hiring a professional service can provide benefits such as better time management, expert knowledge, and enhanced privacy, especially if you operate from a home address.
If you do choose to designate yourself, ensuring reliability and availability becomes paramount. As the responsibility of a registered agent requires being available during regular business hours, interruptions due to personal obligations or vacations can have considerable consequences.
Lastly, once you satisfy the necessary requirements, you are ready to file the appropriate paperwork with your state’s Secretary of State or similar governing bodies. This generally involves filling out a form, paying the required filing fee, and providing any additional supporting documents requested by the state. It’s crucial to ensure the correct and accurate submission of this paperwork to avoid any delays or legal complications.
Becoming a registered agent is a critical step towards establishing a well-functioning business structure. By understanding the responsibilities and following the necessary steps, you can ensure your company is well-equipped to handle legal matters and maintain compliance with state regulations. Whether you decide to designate yourself as a registered agent or opt for professional assistance, it’s an investment that can contribute to the long-term success and credibility of your business.
A registered agent is the most important person in an LLC. Without having one you cannot establish your LLC. The person in charge is not only responsible for handling your legal and official documents but also handles your lawsuits. In the above article, we shared basic details of a registered agent and how you can appoint one for your LLC.
Hiring a registered agent from outside rather than your own is recommended, as it might hamper many activities in your business. It will be a constant juggling from handling papers to handling your clients. Get the best Registered Agent available in the market according to your business needs.