What is a registered agent anyway?
Registered agents receive the important legal and tax documents for a business, corporation or LLC. In addition, they can receive services of process (SOP) when the business is involved in any legal action (i.e. a lawsuit or summons). Registered agents also receive paperwork from the state for yearly renewal of the business’ charter.
Companies can hire a third party (for instance a lawyer or service company) or a member of the business/company can act as a registered agent.
Why Do Small Businesses Need a Registered Agent?
Owning a small business is a hard job—requiring you to work 24/7. Chances are you work all day and think about work even when you’re not on the job. Being this busy means that you do not have time to put on another hat (the hat of registered agent).
So, what happens if you’re served a summons, lawsuit or official state documents and you’re not at work? According to U.S. business law, a registered agent must be present at all times in order to receive these kinds of documents—all in an attempt to keep people from claiming information “was lost in the mail”.
For this reason, many companies/businesses elect to hire a registered agent who is not on their premises. That way, you are free to focus on your business and, occasionally, take a vacation (if you’re lucky). Furthermore, having a registered agent off-site to receive your documents allows you to head go to off-site meetings without having to worry that you’ll miss an important document delivery.
Even though the role is small, it is important; therefore, it is imperative that you hire a reliable registered agent—because it may be the smartest hire you ever make.
Let’s imagine that a product you sell or produce injures a customer and they decide to sue. The problem is, you never receive the paperwork because you’re out of the office or you’ve hired a subpar registered agent. Since you haven’t received the paperwork, you don’t know when to appear in court, fail to appear and lose the judgment—all due to an easy-to-remedy oversight.
Starting a business is no small feat. It takes time, expertise and planning to bring a fledgling idea into a strong business. One such way is to hire a registered agent to handle the receipt of important business documents. Here at MaxFilings, we can help you make decisions like this in order to make your new business a success. If you are just starting a new business or are looking to help your business flourish, do not hesitate to check out our Knowledge Center to learn everything you need to know about incorporating a business along with other helpful information.