What is a Registered Agent?
A LLC or corporation is almost essential for any business owner to protect their assets, attract investors, and get certain tax treatment. If you want to run your business "properly" most lawyers and CPAs would recommend that you file either LLC, S-Corp, or Incorporate. The reason that they typically recommend this, is for the reasons that were mentioned up above. Once you've decided to learn how to form an LLC, the next part is to take the steps to prepare and provide the necessary information to the Secretary of State that is required for filing. Let's discuss the Registered Agent(RA) and what it means for a corporation.
Required in All 50 States
The registered agent provides an essential function for the corporation or LLC. It provides such an integral part of having an entity, that having a registered agent is required in all 50 states. Every state in the United States will require that each LLC and corp have a valid RA. If you don't have a valid RA, essentially your corporation can and probably will be administratively closed down. The reason for this, is that the registered agent is the primary method by which a corporation is contacted by the Secretary of State. The way that this works, is that every year you will receive 1-10 mailings typically related to your corporation. Each state has different requirements, so don't feel that you are missing any mail, what you have to do mainly is make sure that your registered agent is setup properly and that you are receiving all the mail that is expected for the business.
How do I pick a Registered Agent?
The registered agent (RA) serves a special function for a business as we have described above. So, choosing a registered agent is really a choice that must be carefully selected. As we mentioned above, the registered agent will effectively be the person and address who will receive some of the most important correspondence for your business.
Who Can Serve as a Registered Agent?
In general, you want to have a Registered Agent who is very responsible, professional, and trustworthy to hold this role for your corporation or LLC. Historically, many attorneys, lawyers, would serve as this role for their clients. The idea here, is that if the company is getting sued, then the service of process paperwork will go directly to your attorney. This will save time, and link the attorney directly into the process of any lawsuit.