While a business owner can choose to serve as registered agent for his or her corporation or LLC, there are a number of compelling reasons why business owners―even small business owners―choose a registered agent service provider to act as the registered agent instead.
Top Reasons for Using a Registered Agent Service Provider
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 situation, having a professional registered agent may be the best choice for your corporation or LLC.
- You need to spend your time and attention building 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. Many business owners prefer to have an outside source deal with the minutia of compliance so they can focus on building and running their business. Some corporate service companies cannot only provide the registered agent but can assist in other compliance tasks.
- You want to avoid the risk of non-compliance. Compliance matters are not likely to be your area of expertise. 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. Process is sometimes served by local law enforcement. Most business owners do not want a police officer 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. If you use a professional registered agent, then the process server will go to the professional registered agent’s address (also called the registered office) instead of the business address or owner’s home.
- 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 company. Using a registered agent service provider will reduce the amount of unsolicited mail sent directly to your business.
- You don’t maintain normal business hours. The registered agent for a corporation or LLC must be available during normal business hours to receive important documents when they are delivered. If you set your own hours, you may wish to consider using a professional registered agent service provider, so that you don’t miss these important documents or communications.
- You are incorporating or forming an LLC in a state other than where your business is located. You are required to have a registered agent with a physical address in the state where your company is incorporated or formed. The registered agent’s address is referred to as the registered office in some states. 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 company’s registered agent and its address as your company’s registered office 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—which may be the case if you're a real estate agent or an electrician who is making service calls all day—using a registered agent service provider helps ensure that important documents delivered to the registered agent will not be returned because there was no one to receive them.
- 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 trusted registered agent service provider, one company is handling this important service for you in each state.
- You use a Post Office Box as your business address. If you use a PO Box or a private mailbox as your only address in a state, you cannot use that address as your registered office/registered agent’s address. That address must be a physical location. By appointing a professional registered agent, you will have a registered office that meets statutory requirements.
- 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. The states impose penalties for failing to update the registered agent’s address in a timely manner. Furthermore, a failure to update the address can lead to important, time-sensitive documents being delivered to the wrong address. You can solve this issue by appointing a professional registered agent since their address is the one on record.
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.