Once you’ve formed a business, you are usually asked to appoint a registered agent. This person is basically somebody who can receive legal papers on behalf of your business. A registered agent is an important part of your business, and it will have to be someone you can trust to receive official letters and pass them on to you.
So how do you decide on a registered agent? This article will give some tips on how to choose a registered agent.
Documents Received by Registered Agents
More specifically, these are the documents that a registered agent will have the responsibility of receiving:
- Documents regarding lawsuits or court summons
- Mail sent by the state, which includes annual reports
- Tax documents
Who Can Become a Registered Agent?
While there are requirements to meet, almost anyone can become a registered agent. An individual can become an agent if they:
- Have a street address in the state (not just a delivery address or a P.O. box, but a physical address)
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are available during normal working hours throughout the week, at the listed address
Even employees or owners of the company can become a registered agent.
How to Choose a Registered Agent
What should you look for when choosing a registered agent? Here are a few things you can consider when deciding on someone:
- They need to be generally available during business hours throughout the week. This ensures that they can pass you the documents quickly.
- They have a basic understanding of the rules and regulations regarding your business operations.
- If you may look to expand your services beyond the state, you can look for someone who has physical addresses in different states so that you only need one registered agent.
- They have the necessary resources to guarantee the prompt delivery of the documents
- They need to know the necessary procedures to properly deal with certain documents such as court summons or subpoenas
It is ultimately important that you choose an agent who you know will be able to pass those documents to you, come rain or shine. You will have to consider aspects such as if they take vacations often, or travel often, and how responsive they are when you call them.
This is necessary especially in cases where you have an important notice from the state, or when you have a lawsuit. In the event of a filed legal claim, time is of the essence, and if you don’t receive the document in a timely manner, you won’t be adequately prepared to defend yourself in court.
If you don’t have anyone as dependable in your company or personal life, you can approach companies that provide registered agents, and find out why they can give you peace of mind when dealing with your documents.
Choosing a Registered Agent
Overall, the role of a registered agent may seem minimal, but it’s crucial to get right. If they are not present when you need them most, this can spell out a disaster for your company.
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