When you’re starting an LLC in Florida, or any other state, you might wonder if you should be your own Registered Agent. The answer is that while you can do the job yourself, there are some great reasons why you might not want to.
If you want to be your own Florida LLC Registered Agent, you need to be aware of some risks and downsides. We’ll help you decide whether you really have the time and capacity to do that in addition to running your business.
What Are the Florida Registered Agent Requirements?
When you serve as the Registered Agent for an LLC in Florida, it means you're a legal, designated point of contact. You must be available to receive official correspondence, requests and legal notices for your business. It’s an important responsibility, and not every LLC owner wants to handle it themselves or spend their valuable time being the Registered Agent for their own business.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent for a Florida LLC?
Yes, the Florida Division of Corporations does allow an individual in an LLC to act as the Registered Agent for the business. But, it’s an added responsibility on top of all the tasks a business owner has to carry out, so many entrepreneurs use a dedicated Registered Agent service instead. Please note that a Registered Agent service is slightly different to a virtual office service.
What Does a Registered Agent Do for an LLC in Florida?
You might be wondering whether it’s really necessary to have a separate Registered Agent service, if you can just handle the duties yourself or what exactly a registered agent does.
There are several types of business-critical documents and legal notices that your Florida LLC might receive, and many of them require immediate or time-sensitive responses. Your Florida Registered Agent can help you stay up-to-date and aware of any urgent situations with your business, such as:
Official documents, notices and correspondence from the Florida Division of Corporations
Service of process notices (in case someone sues your business or if you are summoned to appear in court)
Notifications and correspondence from the federal government or Florida state government
Tax forms, requests for business permits and other company filings and reports
Registered Agents must be available at all times during regular business hours.
What Are the Risks of Serving as Your Own Florida LLC Registered Agent?
It’s true that if you're a Florida LLC owner and you permanently reside in Florida, you can choose to serve as your own Registered Agent. But there are a few potential risks and downsides to handling this role by yourself:
Your Name and Address Will be in the Public Record
As a Registered Agent, your name and address are published as public information. If you would prefer to preserve your privacy and confidentiality, hiring a Registered Agent service allows you to protect your identity.
You'll Get Lots of Junk Mail
As a Registered Agent for an LLC, you can expect to receive a lot more junk mail from companies trying to sell your business products or services. It can be harder to get off of mailing lists for B2B sales than it is as a regular individual consumer; if you’d rather not sort through piles of junk mail, hiring a Registered Agent service for your Florida LLC might be a better solution.
You May Forget Business Filing Deadlines
What if you receive an urgent notice from the Division of Corporations, and it gets lost in the shuffle of your daily business operations? A Registered Agent service can help ensure that your urgent business filing deadlines don’t fall through the cracks.
You Might Miss a Court Date
Getting sued is a worst-case scenario for a small business owner. If it happens to you, a Registered Agent service will ensure you promptly receive the service of legal process. This is the official “notice” and summons from a court that notifies you of your lawsuit and gives you an opportunity to appear in court to defend your company. A Registered Agent service will receive and quickly forward any service of process notices to you.
Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?
If you’re a permanent resident of Florida, you can be your own Registered Agent for your Florida LLC. But before you decide to do it alone, be sure to consider the time investment, complexity and possible expenses that can be incurred by not using a Florida Registered Agent service for your business.
Many small business owners know the value of outsourcing and getting help with various administrative tasks, freeing up their time to do what they do best and invest their energy into running their business. A Registered Agent service can do the same.
What Is the Best Registered Agent Service in Florida?
For a small annual fee, Incfile offers a Registered Agent service that helps Florida LLC owners get the peace of mind of knowing that this essential aspect of doing business in Florida is already covered — while helping to preserve their privacy. If you're starting a business with Incfile, your first year of Registered Agent service is included at no cost.
Paul is a freelance writer, small business owner, and British expat exploring the U.S. When he’s not politely apologizing, he enjoys hats, hockey, Earl Grey Tea, mountains, and dogs.