Do You Need a Registered Agent?
With so many online options available to the world, starting an LLC has never been so easy. But if you have never started your own business before, even trying to do it online can seem like you’re trying to cut down the biggest tree in the forest.
Most people are fine until it’s time to appoint a registered agent, then they come to stand still because they have no idea what to do at this point. Most LLCs consist of the owner of the business and when they look around to see who else they can appoint, they’re usually short on names.
You’re probably thinking that as an entrepreneur you’re doing everything else anyway. Why can’t you also be the registered agent? Well, you can. But would you even want to?
Let’s talk a bit about the registered agent. Exactly who is this person and should you appoint yourself as your own registered agent.
What Is A Registered Agent?
A registered agent is someone you appoint as the official point of contact for your business. This requirement for a business came about as an aspect of due process. A business must first be properly notified before it can move forward in court with any lawsuit brought against it. That person notified would be the registered agent.
Some specific characteristics of the registered agent are:
They must be over 18 years old.
They must be available during regular business hours.
They must have an address in the state the LLC was formed.
Why Would I Need to Hire a Registered Agent?
Most small businesses don’t hire a registered agent and you might wonder why you should. Here are some reasons why businesses hire registered agents:
Too Many Hats
A registered agent could cost a few hundred dollars over the course of the year. That’s not a lot of money to have someone handle any legal documents, including partnership agreements, operating agreements, official notices, annual reports, etc. that are due during the year or need to be originated as a result of the business. Most registered agents already have a system in place for tracking certain documents and dates for ensuring you’re aware of when annual reports are due. Because this is what they specialize in, they’re prepared to keep your business compliant with your state laws. That’s one less hat for you to wear in your business.
Maintain a Level of Privacy
Registered agents have to be listed and that means their address is available to anyone who wants to officially contact your business. Your business address becomes an open market for anyone who wants to contact you and flood your mailbox with all types of correspondence. For some entrepreneurs, their business address is their home address.
Making your home address available as a registered agent also makes it available to websites pulling off data from state databases, putting it on the web, and selling your information to anyone who wants it. This limits your privacy and can be problematic, especially if you’re using your home address.
No Physical Address
If your business address is your home address, one of the best ways to solve the problem of registering your home address as the registered agent, is to hire a registered agent. This keeps your address off of public records.
Irregular Business Hours
Registered agents maintain irregular business hours since they need to be available during regular business hours. This is when official notices are rendered, and the expectation is the registered agent will be available … at all times. If you’re the registered agent, that would mean you’d need to be available all the time.
Needed in Multiple States
If you have a business in multiple states, you will need to have a registered agent for those states. To comply with state regulations and stay within legalities, it’s important that a registered agent be named in every state your business is formed. That way, you don’t have to pretend to be in multiple places at the same time.
I Need a Registered Agent
You could definitely be your own registered agent, but I’d like you to know that in case you don’t, you have options. If you’re considering hiring a registered agent for your business, visit here and select your state to learn more about what registered agents do and how you can find one for your business.