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Top 10 Reasons to Use a Registered Agent Service
Published on Dec 2, 2011
Read 'Top 10 Reasons to Use a Registered Agent Service' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Are you acting as your own Registered Agent?To follow are the top ten reasons why you might want to consider using a Registered Agent Service instead of performing the job yourself. But first, let’s define what a Registered Agent is.
What is a Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent is as someone who “receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of a business, including important mail sent by the state (annual reports or statements), tax documents sent by the state’s department of taxation, and Service of Process—sometimes called Notice of Litigation, which initiates a lawsuit.”This may seem simple and straight forward, but there are certain things to consider before you decide to take on this role yourself (or have someone within your organization do so).
Top 10 Reasons to Use a Registered Agent
When utilizing a Registered Agent Service, all of the following contingencies are met every business day — year in and year out. This alleviates any stress or inconvenience that may occur when these responsibilities fall on you or someone within your company.
Availability. The Registered Agent must be available during normal business hours.
Physical Presence. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in the state of incorporation or Foreign Qualification. Post office boxes and private rented mailboxes are not acceptable.
Doing Business in Multiple States. Growing your business? If you’re expanding into an additional state (or states), having a Registered Agent in every state you do business is one of the contingencies a company must meet to remain compliant.
Frequent Change of Address. Every time your business moves, your must update your Registered Agent address with the state. Changing it requires a formal state filing and possibly a state fee.
Working from a Home Office. The Registered Agent address is a matter of public record. That means any documents, including Service of Process that may be delivered by the sheriff, would be delivered to your home.
Privacy. Tagging on to the previous point, having a Registered Agent Service handle receipt of documents allows you to retain privacy. This is true with a home-based business or in an office space (or storefront) where you would prefer that neighbors, employees and customers are not privy to document delivery.
Overlooking Important Documents. It is very important that Service of Process be handled in an expedited manner to avoid a default judgment, which will signal that the other party wins, and your company may need to pay damages. If your Registered Agent is in house, they must be diligent in responding promptly and accurately.
Non-traditional Business Hours. If your business is not open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, your Registered Agent may not be present if papers are served. In some instances, attempt to deliver papers may only occur once.
Mobile Office. If you don’t have a permanent worksite, or your business requires you to move around, it could be very difficult to perform the duties of a Registered Agent.
Taking a Vacation. If you, or someone in your company is acting as the Registered Agent, taking a vacation becomes more difficult because, as mentioned above, the Registered Agent is required to physically be present at all times. Certain types of business formations can transfer the Registered Agent from a person to the company, but that involves additional work. Most importantly, do you really want these types of docs being seen by an employee who’s “on-call” to receive them?