What is a Registered Agent?

Registered Agent

When forming a corporation or LLC, be sure to consider who will serve as the company's registered agent.

January 9, 2017

Almost all states require corporations and LLCs to have a registered agent who is responsible for accepting important legal documents on their behalf.

Registered agents must typically be available from 9-5 daily at a physical address in the state where the corporation or LLC is located.

Do I Need to Hire a Third Party Registered Agent?

Not all companies need to hire another company to serve as registered agent. If privacy is not a concern, and you are regularly available at a physical address in your state, you can serve as agent for your own company. However, if privacy is important or you are not regularly accessible at a physical address, a third party agent might be necessary.

Can I Serve as My Own Registered Agent?

Yes. You can definitely serve as registered agent for your own company. As long as you are okay with your name being on the public record, and are available from 9-5 daily at a physical address, in the state of corporation or LLC formation. You can also have another individual serve as agent, as long as they consent and are available from 9-5 daily at a physical address, in the state of corporation or LLC formation.

What Happens If I am Not Around to Accept Service of Process?

A process server (someone who delivers lawsuits) is required to make a reasonable effort to attempt to serve the agent during business hours. If nobody is available at the address listed on the public record, the plaintiff can try to obtain a default judgement. This basically means that they ask the judge to grant them an immediate victory since the defendant failed to have a person available to accept service of process. This can have devastating consequences.

What Type of Documents Are Delivered to a Registered Agent?

The most common type of documents received are summons in connections with any lawsuits filed against the company. Examples of other types of documents delivered to registered agents include official government notices and tax notifications.

Will I Have More Privacy With an Agent?

Hiring a registered agent will provide your company with more privacy since your information would not be on the public record.

Can a Business Serve as its Own Agent?

No. A corporation or LLC cannot serve as its own agent. The agent must either be an individual or a 3rd party that is authorized to serve as agent.

What if I Don’t List an Agent?

Failing to designate an agent can result in suspension or revocation of your entity.

Is serving a designated agent the only way to serve a corporation or LLC?

No. Many states, like California for example, provide alternate methods to effectuate service of process.