For many, forming a business can be a life-long dream. Some motivated entrepreneurs start young, while others may decide to become business owners later in life. For each intrepid businessperson, the road may be different. The goods and services sold may vary. The size and reach of the business may range from a small "mom-and-pop" shop to franchises with multiple locations. However, whether it's a corporation, partnership or limited liability company (LLC), one of the required steps in forming a business entity is having a Registered Agent.
What Is a Registered Agent?
Before we get into the importance of having a Registered Agent, and the risks of being a Registered Agent, let’s quickly review what a Registered Agent is.
Also known as an agent of process or statutory agent, a Registered Agent is the person or entity that accepts and signs for all of your federal and state documents on the behalf of your business. These documents may include compliance reminders, document filings, tax notices and even lawsuits or subpoenas. A Registered Agent keeps things running smoothly and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks when it comes to keeping your business compliant.
Why You Might NOT Want to Act as Your Own Registered Agent
Some business owners may be tempted to take on the role as their own Registered Agent. Even though you can act as your own Registered Agent — or designate a family member, friend or employee to fill the role — here's why it's a risky move.
How to Pick the Right Registered Agent
When looking for a Registered Agent or Registered Agent service, make sure that they have a good reputation. Do some research and look at online reviews. It is also important to know what services you will be receiving and how much those services will cost. If you already have a Registered Agent and are not happy with the service provided, you can always change and find a new agent at any time.
Incfile provides a Registered Agent service across all 50 states. If you form your business entity with Incfile, you get a Registered Agent for free for the first year and only pay $119 a year to renew. Our service seeks to provide convenience, reassurance and accountability when it comes to managing your legal documents. If you sign up for Incfile's Registered Agent service, you'll have an always-available agent to receive correspondence and documents on your LLC's behalf, a digital dashboard to access important documentation as it comes in, email and SMS notifications when documents are received and automatic mail forwarding directly to you.
To guarantee the success of your business — and compliance with the law — the best option is to trust a professional agent with a strong track record to ensure your best interests. Incfile has helped business owners across the country achieve this balance, allowing small business owners and entrepreneurs to focus on their jobs and TCB — take care of business.
Peter Mavrikis is an author and editor with over 25 years of experience in publishing. He has worked as the Editorial Director for Barron’s Educational Series, as well as Kaplan Test Prep, where he ran the test prep, foreign language, and study guide divisions. Peter has also written several books on history, exploration, science, and technology.