Every limited liability company is required to have what is known as an LLC registered agent. However, most business owners do not know exactly what this agent is or is supposed to do.
Some people think it is a legal advisor while others think it is a mailbox address.
This Article explains exactly what you need to know to ensure that you have the right person or entity serving as the registered agent for your company.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED AGENT
This role is pretty simple. It is a person or legal entity that must be available at a designated address to accept legal papers or any official documents sent to the LLC. The registered agent must have a permanent physical address located within the state where the limited liability company has been formed.
The agent is merely an administrative appointment with the limited role of accepting deliveries made to the limited liability company and forwarding the documents, packages, papers to the last known business address of the business.
The person or business serving in this role has no duties to advise or consult the LLC and does not even have to open the packages received. But because any delivery made to a registered agent will usually be important documents, it is important that every company appoint a reputable and reliable service to serve this role.
WHY IS ONE NECESSARY?
The LLC, just like the corporation, is a fictitious being which means that it only exists because the law says so. It does not have its own physical being and presence the way a natural person has a body.
Because of this, there can be confusion by other parties or the public generally as to how to officially communicate with the company. This becomes really important when a state agency or another party needs to serve legal papers or official notices to the business.
WHO CAN SERVE AS A REGISTERED AGENT
Each state varies when it comes to determining who is qualified to serve as a registered agent for a legal entity registered in the state. For most states, there is a requirement of a permanent physical address located within the state. The person or entity should be present at such address during business hours to be able to accept any deliveries made.
Some states impose additional requirements such as mandating that the designee also be a member or manager of the company, a lawyer licensed in the state, and/or a legal entity that is properly registered and authorized to do business in the state.
CHOOSING A REGISTERED AGENT PROVIDER
If an owner of an LLC has a permanent address within the state and does not mind disclosing it on the public corporate records, he or she can serve as the registered agent of a limited liability company.
However, the better decision is to retain the services of a professional and credible national provider of RA services. By doing so, you can have more peace of mind that there will always be a person present to accept legal papers on your behalf of your business and notify you promptly of any activity. Some services also offer additional valuable services such as notifications about state filing requirements and online tools for ensuring your legal entity always remains in compliance.
When choosing an LLC registered agent provider, insist upon using a reputable and national provider. Do not trust just any company to serve in this role because this agent is going to be the officially appointed person or entity for receiving important legal papers on behalf of your limited liability company.