As the holidays approach, one thing many of us consider is how many people is too many at the Thanksgiving table? Sure we all love grandma and grandpa, but we all have that hesitation with the crazy aunt or weird uncle. Similarly, having too many people handling your company can be overwhelming. But deciphering when you can take the reins and when to let go and let someone else steer is tough. One burning question that Registered Agent companies often receive from clients is, “Can I be my own registered agent?” The answer is yes; however, there are specific ingredients needed to legally operate your business and they must be followed in order to keep in compliance with the state statutes.
Where’s Your Table?
Just like your Thanksgiving meal, your company must have a physical location in the state in which you are conducting business. The reason being is service of process and state/government mail must be able to be delivered to a person at all times. You can have an employee/representative in that particular state, but you also must be willing to permit that person to accept service of process and state/government mail, and rely on them to handle properly. Additionally, registered agents are also required to keep normal business hours so that any service of process or state/ government mail can be delivered to a person.
Who’s at the Table?
Due to the infrastructure of your company, you may need to have a registered agent in place. For example, if your pumpkin pie company operates out of your home, this could mean your home address would need to be your physical address on file with the state, and available as public record. In short, a process server, litigant, or even sheriff could serve documents, not cranberry sauce, to your front door. Having a registered agent keeps your private life private, and your business fully operational.
Cost Per Plate
Third, being your own registered agent also leaves you as the centerpiece for remembering any annual reports, statements of information, annual list of officers, etc. and paying your taxes every year. Because you do not have a registered agent, all notices and reminders will be sent directly to you, rather than having the added help of a reminder from a third party.
The Main Course
Of course, there are multiple benefits to having a registered agent even if you are physically located in the state in which you are conducting business. For example, for states such as Delaware, an LLC that is one day late paying their Annual Franchise Tax is assessed a $200 penalty plus interest that accrues monthly. Having a registered agent on file and taking care of these items for you, for an additional fee, could eliminate the possibility of late payments/filings. Incorporating Services, Ltd. offers such as service called Annual report Filing Service (ARFS) for an additional yearly fee. Furthermore, your registered agent can conduct UCC searches, retrieve Good Standing Certificates, complete formation/qualification documents, among a cornucopia of other documents. Incorporating Services, Ltd. can also assist you with registering your boats that are sailing toward Plymouth Rock!
All the Fixings
Keep in mind, whether you act as your own registered agent or you hire a registered agent company to provide you with representation, address changes are vital in keeping your entity in compliance. When a-dressing the contact updates, don’t forget to include your contact’s name, physical address, telephone number, email address, and fax number (if possible).
Amanda Archambault, Registered Agent Associate