What is a Registered Agent and How Can I Find One?

If you’ve recently started your own LLC (Limited Liability Company), you are most likely already aware that you will need someone to handle all of your business’ legal documents. A registered agent will do just this for your company. In this article, we’ll answer a few questions such as, “Who can be my registered agent?” “What exactly will my agent be handling?” “What happens if my business does not have a registered agent?” and “What companies provide the services of a registered agent?

Who can be my registered agent?

The rules are rather simple when it comes to finding someone to be your business’ registered agent. 

Your business’s agent can be either a separate “registered agent” company, such as “Northwest” or “LegalZoom,” or an individual who has agreed to handle your legal correspondence. You’ll need to make sure that whomever you select as your registered agent is a resident of the state in which your company has been incorporated. As well as ensuring that you’ve chosen a registered agent entity or individual within your business’ state, you’ll need to check with your provider to confirm that they are in possession of a physical address for all of your legal work to be mailed to, not a P.O. box, unfortunately. If you are hiring an individual as your agent, they’ll also need to be eighteen years old or older. 

What exactly will my agent be handling?

Your LLC’s registered agent will be responsible for accepting legal documents such as tax notifications, urgent deadlines for your company, as well as any legal documentation for any lawsuits your business may become entangled with. Your agent will be responsible for promptly delivering the appropriate documents to any companies that are unfortunately involved in the same lawsuit. 

When you go to file your Articles of Incorporation, your registered agent’s name should be listed on the Articles. In the event that your agent decides to move locations, they will be held responsible for contacting the Secretary of State to approve this change in address. Additionally, if your agent chooses to back down from the position, they will also be responsible for all communications with the state. 

What happens if my business does not have a registered agent?

If your business fails to appoint a registered agent, your business could be in danger of being shut down or fined. 

Failing to hire a registered agent can result in having an insufficient level of information as you will not have someone to transfer your legal documents between businesses and individuals. You’ll also lose rapport with your business’ state of incorporation as well as falling into the world of fines and penalties. On top of all of this, your business may be forced to lose its limited liability protection status, which will make you personally liable for all issues involving your corporation. 

What companies provide the services of a registered agent?

As mentioned in this “LLC Registered Agent” article by TRUiC, there are a few features you should look into when it comes to choosing your registered agent provider. Within this article, you will also have access to additional resources, information, and FAQs on working with your company’s registered agent.

When comparing companies for your registered agent needs, you should ensure that these four basic requirements are met: compliance management, document management, availability, and thorough coverage. These consist of ensuring that all deadlines and annual commitments are met, the ability to scan business documents and provide them to your company on demand, a customer service team that is available for any questions you or your company may run into, and the ability to work with any LLC located all across the United States. 

Companies such as ZenBusiness, LegalZoom, Incfile, and Southwest, along with others, all provide registered agent services. You can see a comparison of ZenBusiness and Incfile in TRUiC’s registered agent article if you are considering using either of these companies. 

Regardless of whether you choose one of these previously mentioned companies or you reach out to companies such as Rocket Lawyer, InCorp, or Swyft Filings, there’s a perfect registered agent for your Limited Liability Company.

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