By Mike Enright, Operations Manager, BizFilings
While a business owner can choose to serve as his/her own registered agent, there are a number of compelling reasons why business owners―even the smallest ones― choose a registered agent service provider to assist with this important requirement.
Every business situation is different, and not all of these reasons will apply to all businesses, but if only one of the reasons below matches your particular situation, having a professional firm like BizFilings act as your registered agent may be the best choice for your business.
- You prefer to spend your time and attention
onbuilding your business. Compliance requirements can be both time- and labor-intensive, often requiring the completion of lengthy and sometimes confusing forms using information from various sources. Most business owners prefer to have an outside source deal with the minutia of compliance so they can focus on building and running their business.
- You want to avoid the risk of non-compliance. Compliance matters are not likely to be your area of
expertise,or interest. BizFilings' expertise is in compliance and we are intimately familiar with state and federal regulations and deadlines. As your compliance partner, BizFilings will help you stay in compliance, avoid unnecessary state penalty fees, and maintain your company's good standing in your state of formation and/or qualification.
- To ensure private receipt of lawsuits and other legal documents. When a company is served with a Service of Process, it is often delivered by local law enforcement. Most business owners do not want police officers showing up in front of customers, employees, or neighbors (in the case of home-based businesses), to serve them notice that their company is being sued. Using a professional registered agent ensures you receive any Service of Process both promptly and privately.
- Your business is home-based. The address of a company's registered agent is a matter of public record. That means anyone, including marketers, can access it. It is not uncommon for the registered agent to receive a significant amount of "junk mail" for the business. Using a registered agent service provider will reduce the amount of unsolicited mail your business receives.
- You don’t maintain normal business hours. The registered agent for a business must be available during normal business hours to accept important documents as they are delivered. If you set your own hours, you may wish to consider using a professional registered agent service provider, so that you never miss these important communications.
- You are incorporating in a state other than where your business is located. You are legally required to have a registered agent with a physical address in the state where your company is incorporated. If you formed a Delaware corporation or LLC, for instance, but your company is physically located in another state, you could use BizFilings as your registered agent in Delaware to satisfy this requirement.
- You travel frequently or do not have a permanent worksite. If your business requires you to be out of your office frequently, for
instanceif you're a real estate agent or an electrician who is making service calls all day, using a registered agent service provider ensures that important documents will still reach you and your business.
- Your company does business in several states. When you register your company to transact business in states other than your state of formation (foreign qualification), you need a registered agent in each of those states. By using a registered agent service provider like BizFilings, one company is handling this important service for you in each state.
- You use a Post Office Box as your business address. You cannot serve as the registered agent for your business if you have a P.O. Box or a private mailbox as your only address. The registered agent must have a physical address.
- Your address is likely to change. The address on record with the state for the registered agent must be current. Changing the address requires a formal state filing and often a fee to be paid to the state. When you use a registered agent service provider, you never have to worry about updating with the state the registered agent address for your business or the associated filing fees. Whether you move once or change your address frequently, you only have to notify your registered agent of your change of address.
How registered agent services differ
Not all registered agent service providers are created equal, nor do registered agent providers offer the same level or quality of service. When choosing a professional registered agent, look for a company with a long history of providing compliance services to companies of all sizes, and one operating its own nationwide network of offices, thereby providing compliance expertise in all states.