A registered agent is an individual or entity designated by an active company, such as a limited liability company (LLC) or C Corp, to receive service of process notices, government correspondence, and compliance-related documents on behalf of the company.
Almost every state requires corporations, LLCs and some other entities to designate a registered agent. However, general partnerships and sole proprietorships do not need to have one.
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company that receives legal, tax and official notices on your behalf. These include service of process (a document that gives notice to the defendant that a lawsuit is filed against them), annual reports and tax correspondence.
Many states require businesses to designate a registered agent when forming a business entity or changing an existing business name. The person or company serving as your registered agent will have a physical address in the state of registration and be available to accept and deliver important documents.
Depending on the state, you may be able to appoint yourself as your registered agent, or another person in the business or a third party. But you’ll need to be sure the agent meets all of the state’s requirements and can accept and deliver all official paperwork, including any legal, tax or other paper that requires you to take action.
Ideally, your registered agent should be located in the state where your business is registered and have office hours that are open during normal business days 52 weeks a year. They should also be knowledgeable about the business entity and compliance rules of that state, have staff who are experienced in handling SOP papers and have processes in place to quickly forward documents to your business.
What are the duties of a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or company that has been appointed to receive official mail, legal documents and service of process on behalf of a business. They are typically required by law in almost every US state.
A registered agent’s duties vary depending on the state, but their primary job is to accept service of process from a lawsuit and forward it to the individuals in charge of the business. They also receive annual reports, tax notifications and other legal notices from the government.
The duties of a registered agent are important for keeping your business compliant and out of trouble. This is especially true if your company has operations in multiple states or you conduct online business.
Choosing a registered agent for your LLC or corporation can be one of the earliest and most important decisions that you make. Hiring a professional registered agent service can alleviate some of your responsibilities, help you maintain a barrier of privacy and ensure that all official paperwork gets handled on time.
How do I appoint a registered agent?
If you’re a small business that operates in New York, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent. This will ensure that you receive legal process, court documents and notices from the state.
Your registered agent must be at least 18 years old, have a New York address and be available during normal business hours to accept documents. This is essential to ensure that you can be served with any lawsuits that may be filed against your business, and that you’re not late on filing tax forms or missing state compliance obligations.
You can appoint yourself or an employee, partner or family member as your registered agent. This can be a more cost-effective option than hiring a registered agent service, but you should always choose someone who meets all the required qualifications in your state.
Your registered agent should be available to receive official documents during the hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. They should also be able to receive documents electronically.
What happens if I don’t have a registered agent?
Whether you’re a newly formed or qualified business, it’s essential to designate a registered agent early on. Failure to do so can lead to a domino effect of problems, including fines and revocation of your entity’s good standing with the state.
A registered agent is a person or business that accepts legal documents and official communications from the state. This includes franchise tax forms, annual reports, renewal reminders and a wide variety of notices from government agencies and courts.
Having a registered agent is one of the most important decisions you can make as a business owner. Not having a registered agent can result in a host of problems, including losing your business’s certificate of good standing and losing the ability to secure financing.