Operating an LLC (Limited Liability Company) will require the services of a registered agent to handle important legal documents and manage files that need to be delivered or accepted. As an LLC business owner you may ask: can I be my own registered agent? Maybe it will save time and money if you do it yourself, but there are benefits to hiring a registered agent, these are discussed below.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent, also referred to as a resident agent, agent for service of process or statutory agent, can be a person or a company that offers services to deliver and accept any legal documents or notices for a business, for example governmental correspondences like annual reports, tax forms, or notices of lawsuits (Service of Process) – this entity will be the primary contact regarding an LLCs business processes.
There will be specific criteria to meet to become a registered agent, additionally, each state requires a business to have a registered agent. A business can include a registered agent once they have formed their business structure and are filing their Articles of Organization.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent
There are several benefits when using a registered agent, for example, it will keep the business up-to-date with all legal notices and announcements, it will save the business owner time and effort, and it will also offer business privacy.
Up-to-Date with the Law
Using a Registered Agent will allow the business owner to be kept abreast with the latest legal announcements or notices that relate to any business operations or processes, for example, reminders about official documents that need to be filed. Registered agents can assist business owners with searching for any professional services like accountants or lawyers. Additionally, registered agents can store copies of any important documents for the business in the event of theft or any other damages like fires or unforeseen losses.
Save Time and Effort
Using a registered agent will give a business owner more time to focus on other important aspects of their business. All legal documents or paperwork can be mailed directly to the registered agent, which allows the owner to have a healthy balance between their business and personal life. Business owners won’t have to make themselves available on a daily basis to receive documents in person, which will give them more freedom of movement.
Business and Personal Privacy
A registered agent service will use their address to receive documents or announcements, and not the business or owner’s personal home address. This is advantageous if the owner works from home or in the case of being served a summons, preventing it from being delivered to the owner’s home.
How to Choose a Registered Agent
There are various factors to consider when choosing a registered agent:
- Ensure that they reside in the same state the business operates in, and offer services across multiple states if the business is in more than one state.
- Ensure that they are available and reliable when delivering and accepting documents on your behalf. Usually the timeframe will be during normal working hours, from 8 to 5.
- Ensure that they effectively manage your documents and make them easily accessible, specifically if you need to access them from an online account.
- Ensure that they place importance on staying up-to-date with deadlines and announcements.
Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?
If you are still debating the question, ‘Should I be my own registered agent?’ – it is possible, it can also be a trustworthy friend or business colleague, however, you will need to be over 18 years old, have in-person availability within regular office hours, as well as have a physical address of the business and the state it is in.
Visit TRUiC’s website for more information and detailed comparisons of the best registered agent services available and how much they cost.