In a world where budgeting and cutting costs is almost crucial for people to make ends meet, cutting the $40 cable bill and replacing it with the $11 Netflix bill is just one of the many ways people are revamping their budget to ensure they are not living paycheck to paycheck. Business owners are not alone and often have to make these types of decisions for their businesses. One question that frequents our office is, “Do I have to have a registered agent?”
Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?
In short, if you do not have a physical presence in the state you are conducting business then you are required by law to have a registered agent in most states. The states need a way of contacting you for business matters such as tax notices, legal documents, and service of process (SOP). Although this is the most common reason to have a registered agent, it is not the only reason. Some companies require a registered agent due to the infrastructure set up. Other times companies will appoint an agent so that process servers are not showing up at the place of business to serve the company an official notice of a lawsuit. No matter the reason you have an agent, Incorporating Services is equipped to represent your company in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in most international locations.
What Does a Registered Agent Do?
A registered agent is an entity or individual named with the governing office to accept SOP, governmental mail, annual reports, and tax documents from the jurisdiction on behalf of the company. The latter are just some of the basic services a registered agent can provide. Incorporating Services offers enhanced services such as our Annual Report Filing Service (ARFS) where we proactively compile and maintain the necessary information to prepare, file, and make payments regarding your annual reports; Mail Forwarding, forwarding mail outside of what the registered agent typically sends out; and, Virtual Office, providing your business with a commercial business address and unique suite number so that you can conduct business from anywhere. These enhanced services help to keep your company in compliance and eliminates worries.
Why is Having a Registered Agent So Important?
The state needs to know that businesses have a contact person at a physical location (not a P.O. Box) to contact regarding any of the aforementioned notices/documents. If a registered agent is not appointed or maintained, state can take action to administratively dissolve or cancel your company for failure to appoint a registered agent. Once that action is taken, the result renders your company unable to legally conduct business until brought back into good standing. Additionally, time-sensitive material requires immediate attention. A professional registered agent allows you to focus on your clients while we handle the critical paperwork. Furthermore, having an agent separate from your business address protects your business’ image; being served notice of litigation at the business’ physical location can be detrimental to the client/business relationship.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
In most states, so long as you have a physical address (not a P.O. Box) in that state, and are available during normal business hours (Monday through Friday), you can be your own registered agent. However, this leaves you solely responsible for obtaining and maintaining your company’s compliance. With Incorporating Services’ many locations, enhanced services, and dedication to you and your company, we are equipped to handle the formalities so you can focus on your customers.
Amanda Archambault, Registered Agent Associate