What is a Registered Agent, and Why Do You Need One?
If your own a small business – especially a business that keeps you on the road most of the time – hiring the services of a registered agent can save you a lot of headaches. Some states require you to have one if your form an LLC, but even if your state doesn’t, the benefits of having someone to receive official mail, lawsuit notices and other critical business information is valuable.
An Official Agent for Your Business
More and more companies sell products online and in branch offices in other states. Having an official agent in each state where you do business gives you a physical address and a place to receive government and business-related mail. You can use your agent’s address when filing lawsuits or being served with a civil summons.
Your agent can keep track of all your business deadlines – such as when to file estimated tax payments, unemployment insurance forms and annual insurance audits. The agent helps you stay on top of business duties that include making payroll, paying independent contractors, paying insurance premiums and filing all types of paperwork.
What to Look for in a Registered Agent
The requirements for a registered agent are pretty simple. The agent must be a resident of the state where you registered your LLC and have a physical address where mail can be delivered. Agents can’t use a P.O. mailbox as an official address.
The agent must always be available to receive official notices and requests for information. That means the agent must be on the premises during normal business hours. At LLC Formations, our partners maintain the strictest office schedule, confidentiality of your personal information and efficient notices about upcoming deadlines.
They accept documents, lawsuits, deliveries and judgments on your behalf. It’s the same as having a dedicated office in your state without all the overhead expenses. The costs are affordable for small business owners and those who sell products in many states.
Registered Agents Serve to Insulate Your Business
Even if you have an office or retail store in the state, official service of lawsuit notices, tax issues and other business-related interruptions can look bad in front of customers and/or employees. That’s why many business owners hire an agent to shift business operations away from the place where you serve your customers.
Starting an LLC
Most business owners who operate in multiple states create limited liability companies, which are called LLCs, for the tax benefits. When you start an LLC, you will usually need to list or designate a registered agent at that time.
The consequences of not having an agent in place to receive mail from the state’s secretary of state could be severe. Your LLC could face fines and penalties or lose its right to do business, sign contracts and file lawsuits in the state.
Receive Official Mail for Your Business
If you fail to receive official mail or notices that you are being sued, you could miss your hearing date. When that happens, judges usually issue a default judgment in favor of the person who is suing you. Receiving official mail might seem like a simple thing, but the results can be extremely important. Your business, reputation and sales opportunities could be at risk if you don’t have a reliable business address.
Hire your registered agent at the best price
Hire your registered agent at the best price
What Happens if You Don't Have an Agent
If you don’t have an agent, government agencies, insurance companies and vendors might have no way of contacting you with important information. Federal and state taxing authorities need an official address for tax documents, tax payments and questions that they might have. You might not be notified of an important court date or a business deadline – such as filing a mandatory annual report.
The state can dissolve your business, and you will lose the tax benefits and protection of your LLC. Even if you don’t think that you will be sued, unexpected things happen. It’s important to maintain an official place of business just to keep track of compliance issues, business deadlines and changes in your reporting requirements.
The benefits of an official agent working for you include:
- You Have a Home-based Business
People who work out of their homes don’t want to share their personal addresses with the public and disgruntled customers. You certainly don’t want process servers and salespeople hanging around your front porch.
- Business Privacy
Business issues with the government should be confidential, and having an agent screens you from lots of annoying daily issues and those whom you’d prefer to avoid like salespeople and collection agents.
- More Time to Spend on Your Business
Keeping track of all the paperwork and deadlines can take a lot of time away from your business. Getting an outside associate to keep track of the details, sign for deliveries and receive official mail gives you more time to make money.
- Your Business Hours Aren’t Normal
With online sales, flexible shifts and telecommuting becoming more popular, your business hours could be all over the place and change daily. Knowing that someone is available during business hours to act on your behalf gives you peace of mind.
- Frequent Traveler Miles
If you travel in your business, you could be away for days or even weeks at a time. Our agents are always available during standard business hours.
- Operations in Multiple States
Lots of business owners do business in several states – especially companies that are located in areas that border lots of states. Hiring an agent in each state is much cheaper and more efficient than trying to staff full offices or stores in each state.
- Your Address Will Likely Change
If your business address is likely to change, hiring an agent keeps your business operations in the same place. If you move your business frequently, our services make the moving process simple. All you need to do is let us know your new address.
- You Operate a Mobile-type Business
There are many mobile businesses in today’s markets. These include providing independent contractor services, transportation services like Uber, lawn care, packing and unpacking services, flyer distribution, personal shopping services and hundreds of others. Some business owners set up pop-up shops to attract young people to raves, parties, food services, etc. Food trucks are popular businesses that have no permanent address. Independent truck drivers spend all their time on the road. All these types of businesses benefit from our services as registered agents.
- Keeping Your Documents Safe
We receive and keep your documents safe and remind you of important deadlines in time to meet the deadlines. We keep records of your business that include company bylaws, the articles of Incorporation, operating agreements, employment contracts and even business agreements and notices.
- Mail Forwarding
Busy business owners are often hard to reach, but all you need to do is let us know where you are. We can forward your mail and keep track of critical information.
- Acceptance of Deliveries
Receiving deliveries from suppliers is often difficult when you’re on the road most of the day or out of town frequently. We can receive deliveries for your business so that you don’t have to rely on neighbors to accept your packages or experience big delays to reschedule deliveries.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Situation
We offer expert service, reliability and a permanent legal address for your small business. Contact us today to learn more about our services, business ethics and guarantee of personal confidentiality.