5 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Your Own Registered Agent

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Your Own Registered Agent

Is Being Your Own Registered Agent a Good Idea?

When you file your paperwork for an LLC or corporation, one important detail you must include is your registered agent. A registered agent performs many key roles, including receiving annual filing notices from the state and handling other legal notices. They also serve as the initial contact for accepting any services of lawsuits. A registered agent might also be called a resident agent, RA, or statutory agent. Every state has its own defined requirements for a registered agent, but many of the important criteria remain the same.

Generally, the entity cannot serve as its own registered agent, but that does not mean the business owner cannot. You can also elect a friend, family member, or employee to handle the role. Many businesses offer registered agent services. There are some key reasons why you do not want to serve as your own agent and will find working with a professional RA service is the better option.

  • 1. Never Miss Important Notices

    The purpose of a registered agent is to receive your important legal notices, including filing information from the state, tax documents and notices of impending lawsuits. You do not want to risk missing these notices because they could get misplaced when you or your employees go through your mail.

    Companies that offer specialized RA services have a process in place to recognize important notices and handle them correctly, including alerting you to the notices. This reduces your risk of penalties because if you do not respond accordingly to any legal documents, this could become very expensive and cause additional problems.

  • 2. Ensuring Your Privacy

    When you file your business, certain components become public, including your registered agent's address. If you serve as your own registered agent, then your home address becomes listed in public forums. This not only means you will end up with more junk mail than you wish, but it also brings up privacy concerns.

    Perhaps you become involved in a lawsuit. Someone could find your home address and visit you. Even if you use your business address instead, you still risk some level of exposure from the public. Additionally, you risk your employees seeing the official notices and potentially having information you do not wish them to have.

  • 3. Agents in Every U.S. State

    If you conduct business in more than one state, you must have a registered agent in every one of the states where you conduct business. This could become difficult and expensive because you might need to increase your employee numbers in these states to handle the work. By working with a dedicated national registered agent service, you benefit from a system already set up in each of the states in which you conduct business.

  • 4. No Address Worries

    When you initially file the paperwork for your business, you use one address for your registered agent. What happens when you move? Every time you move, you must file your address change with the state to ensure that you continue to receive important notices. Not only can this take time, but it also might include a fee for each filing. Rather than worry about having to alert the state any time you change addresses, work with a company providing RA services. Then you may move or change your business address as much as you want without having to worry about filing new paperwork with the state to change the address.

    Additionally, you do not have to worry about ensuring you have a physical address for your business. Even if you choose to use a post office box for your normal business dealings for your company, your registered agent needs to have a physical address. A mailbox with a physical address or another type of private mail service does not fit the requirements. Rather than renting a space or using your home address, you should use a registered agent service that has a physical address.

  • 5. Business Hours

    Depending on the type of business you run, you might not keep regular business hours. Perhaps you provide your services at different hours or sell your products online. You might have limited staff members who are always out of the office meeting with clients or otherwise conducting business. This could mean you do not adhere to one of the requirements of a registered agent: regular business hours.

    In order to serve you with a lawsuit, someone must be at the address ready to accept it during regular business hours. If you do not have the staff power to handle this, then you must have someone else. Working with a professional RA ensures you always have someone ready to accept any service of an impending lawsuit at any time.

    No matter the size of your business, it is essential to remain compliant with all aspects of the law. One important component that many new business owners overlook is a registered agent. This might seem like a trivial part of setting up your business, but it could have a major impact on your legal compliance. By using a service, you do not have to worry about ensuring you receive the documents on time so you can act appropriately. Instead, you have a Registered Agent with a physical address that works within business hours and will secure your privacy while ensuring you get your notices on time.

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