Appointing your Florida LLC’s Registered Agent is the first thing you will need to do. This must be done before you file any Articles of Organization with the Florida State Department.
Your LLC’s Florida Registered Agent can either be an individual or a company that accepts all legal correspondence in the event that your LLC faces legal challenges.
Your Registered Agent in Florida will also be able to receive all payment reminders, tax notices and any other important documents for your business. They will have to have a registered Florida street address as P.O. boxes are simply not accepted.
Your registered agent in Florida will also need to be available to accept all Services of Process during ordinary business hours. Service of Process is the delivery of all manner of legal documents including but not limited to subpoenas, summons, etc.
Basically, the Florida Legal System works like this. The delivery of legal mail and court documents is easily tracked through the use of a registered Florida street address. It works much in the same ways as a ‘certified mail return receipt’, by providing a physical record of where the document or correspondence in question was delivered in Florida.
Can I be my own Registered Agent in Florida?
So long as you meet all the requirements outlined in the next section, you may indeed act as your own LLC agent in Florida.
But, you actually have 3 options to choose from when you are looking to form an LLC in Florida and you should consider them all.
Option 1: Be your own LLC’s Registered Agent in Florida – but, are there any risks?
Option 2: An acquaintance, friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Florida.
Option 3: Then, there are Florida Registered Agent Services, better known as Commercial Registered Agents that can perform this duty, for a price.
Important Note: If you will choose an individual, like yourself, your friends or a family member, this person will need to be a registered Florida resident and be over 18 years old.
What’s the best type of Registered Agent option to choose?
– If you have a registered location in Florida, like your home or office, and will be there to receive Services of Process during regular business hours, you can be your own Registered Agent.
– If you do not personally have a registered address in Florida, you may use the address of a friend or family member. But, it is important to remember that they will need to be available to receive mail during working hours.
– Finally, if you do not have a property, or a friend or family member with a property, or simply prefer not to use the one you have, you may hire a Florida Registered Agent Service Company. This option allows you a measure of privacy as you will not have to register under your own property.
Florida Registered Agent Services
Before we continue, please note that the terms “Florida Commercial Registered Agent” and “Florida Registered Agent Service” mean exactly the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
A Florida Registered Agent Service Company is in place to receive the mail and perform the duties of a registered Agent for your LLC. The charge is nominal and will amount to no more than $300 a year, many times it will be much less.
Once you sign on with a Registered Agent Service Company in Florida, all your Services of Process will be funneled through this service. They will then forward all correspondence to you or scan and upload the files to an online account.
The Risks of acting as your own Registered Agent in Florida
As mentioned, you can choose to be your own Registered Agent in Florida. Or, you can also choose to have this job performed by a friend or family member available. But, what are the risks of handling this task yourself in your own name and with your own property?
To be sure, there are some risks that you want to be aware of. They are not likely to occur, but knowing what the risks are will help you make a more judicious decision. Also, the Florida Department of State could shut your LLC down. You will be able to avoid losing liability protection by knowing what the risks of acting as your own Registered Agent.
This can happen if you don’t maintain a Registered Agent on your team. If the State Department is not able to reach your Florida Registered Agent you also run this risk.
Some of the reasons this could happen include:
– You or your choice of Registered Agent is not available during the business hours described.
– You or your Registered Agent have left town or are on Vacation
– You or your Registered Agent have moved and forgotten to Register the change of Address with the State
As you can see, using Florida Registered Agent Service is a more reliable option and offers some important advantages.
For example, you will have the freedom to come and go from your personal property and take vacations without the fear of penalization from the State Department for not being at your location if Services of Process show up at your door.