The advantages of a third party Registered Agent are numerous and, for businesses that do not have a physical location in the state in which the business is registered in (i.e., a California business incorporated in Delaware), required by law.
What is a Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent (RA) is a designated individual or third party physically located in the same state in which a business was established. On behalf of the business (corporation or LLC), an RA receives legal and tax documents, service of process forms when the business entity is a party in a legal action, and paperwork from the state and federal government (i.e. Secretary of State and IRS).
In many U.S. jurisdictions, business entities that begin its business and/or maintain its business within the country must appoint and keep a “Registered Agent.” The registered agent, who must be a resident of the state or a corporation that is qualified to act as a registered agent in the state, serves to provide both a physical address (P.O. Boxes cannot be used) and an ‘individual’ who can be present during general business hours in order to receive legal service of process being served if a lawsuit or any legal action should arise. While it may be legally possible to serve as your own Registered Agent, it is generally advisable to designate a third-party to perform this critical role.
It is the duty of the Registered Agent to ensure that all necessary documents are forwarded on to the entity and that the business remains in good standing with the state.
Benefits of a Registered Agent
The benefits of having an outside Registered Agent include:
With an RA at a different physical address from the business, the business is able to move locations without filing mandatory (and costly) changes of address.
The service of potentially embarrassing documents (such as a summons) will not have to be accepted in front of clients and/or employees.
The business owner is free to travel and/or keep unusual business hours without the danger of a default judgment from a lawsuit that was missed.
The Registered Agent’s address is on public record, meaning an extra layer of privacy for your business, particularly if you work from home (and less junk mail).
Designating a Registered Agent
While filling out articles of incorporation or organization, a business owner is generally required to list a Registered Agent. If you hire a professional Registered Agent service, the company will have a system in place to track and notify you when annual reports are due, so you don’t miss and important deadline, and your important paperwork in one place.
At Legalinc, we have Registered Agents in all 50 states. What’s more, our software is intentionally designed to do the heavy lifting for you, by automating every tedious and complicated process. Contact us today to see how we can assist you.