A registered agent is a business or person who accepts service of process (legal documents and government notices) on behalf of a business. Almost every state requires corporations and limited liability companies to have one.
A registered agent must have a physical address in the state and be available during normal business hours to receive important paperwork. A post office box does not count.
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a business or individual that you designate to receive official papers for your company, including court papers if it’s sued (what lawyers call “service of process”), tax notices from the state, and other important correspondence.
Most states require that LLCs, corporations, and other business entities name a registered agent during formation or registration. This person or business should have a physical address in the state.
Some businesses elect to be the registered agent themselves or to appoint someone else within their company to do so. However, this can be time-consuming and inconvenient, so many owners prefer to hire a professional registered agent service.
Companies like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and IncFile offer these services for a fee. These firms know the business entity and compliance rules, have professionally trained staff with expert knowledge on how to properly handle and forward SOP papers, and have state-of-the-art processes in place to deliver crucial documents to you.
What are the requirements to be a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or company that your business designates to receive legal and official correspondence on behalf of your business. This could include court papers, tax notices, Secretary of State business registration renewal notices and more.
You can list yourself, an employee, a lawyer or a commercial service as your registered agent. The key is to make sure you meet your state’s requirements for your chosen agent.
Having a professional registered agent handle these important communications can help you avoid fines and penalties. And they will ensure you receive all official mail and notifications promptly.
A registered agent should have a physical address in your business’s state, be available during standard business hours and accept service of process. They should also have a team that is knowledgeable about your business and its compliance needs, and follow up with you if there are problems receiving documents.
What are the benefits of having a registered agent?
Having a registered agent is a vital part of maintaining your business’s good standing with the state. Not having one means that your company could fall out of compliance and face fines or penalties.
A professional registered agent service can help you avoid these situations by handling your vital legal communications and ensuring that they are sent on time. They also take care of important administrative tasks, so you can focus on building your business instead.
Many states require that you designate a registered agent during the formation or registration of your business. This is because it gives the public, courts and government a reliable way to contact you.
A registered agent is also required to be available at your business address during regular business hours. This can be difficult for businesses with non-standard work hours or those that travel frequently or operate online.
How do I find a registered agent?
Choosing a registered agent is an important part of forming a business in New York. The person or company you choose will receive legal, tax and government notices on your behalf, forward them to your business address and notify you of any deadlines or actions required.
You can appoint yourself, someone else within the company or an outside service to act as your registered agent. Make sure the person you select meets all the requirements of your state and you are comfortable with their role as a registered agent.
The best way to find a registered agent is to call the secretary of state office. They will have a list of possible agents and can usually give you a recommendation if they are able to do so.
A good registered agent should understand your business and its legal compliance rules, have a professional staff to handle the paperwork, have processes in place to ensure timely delivery of time-sensitive documents, and follow up with you regarding the delivery of important papers. They should also be available during regular business hours to answer your questions or concerns, if necessary.