In the day-to-day operations of a business, the Registered Agent plays a key role. A Registered Agent accepts any legal notifications or service of process sent by the Office of the Secretary of State, the IRS, or any government agency. The Registered Agent is your business’ representative.
As the representative, the Registered Agent ensures that all legal notifications are received and are organized properly. It is also the Registered Agent that keeps track of these paperwork and inform you, the business owner, of any legal notification that needs immediate attention.
Since a Registered Agent is a statutory requirement upon registering a business in Rhode Island, choose the right individual or business entity for the job.
As mentioned earlier, a Registered Agent is a statutory requirement upon incorporation and also for continuous compliance when business is in operations.
Each state has different policies and regulations regarding the criteria for Registered Agent. In Rhode Island, the following rules should be observed for the agent to qualify for the position:
1) An individual who is a resident of Rhode Island;
2) Or a business entity legally registered with the RI Secretary of State to conduct business;
3) A physical street address must be provided by the Registered Agent upon designation.
Without a Registered Agent, your home or business address will be used as the default information for where service of process and other legal documents will be mailed.
Additionally, this very same address will also be officially used for anyone who needs to contact your business, and this information will be made public record. Exposing your home or business address may not be a very good idea. Whereas when hiring a Registered Agent, it is the agent’s address that will be used and made into public record.
Legal notifications are delivered any time of the day during business hours. However, if the nature of your business requires flexible hours, there would be a possibility that a few notifications and papers slip past your notice.
Hiring a Registered Agent solves this dilemma because the agent always keeps business hours ready to accept legal notifications round-the-clock during these hours.
A Registered Agent comes in handy when having several businesses in different states. For each state that you conduct business, a Registered Agent is required. When you have several different business sites, you cannot possibly be there at all places in one time to receive service of process and legal notifications. A Registered Agent in each of your business’ location will then fulfill this vital role.
There are several small businesses that operate online or are web-based; hence, there is no brick-and-mortar store where legal notifications can be served. In cases like this, a Registered Agent service is valuable in that the agent’s physical address can be used.
Keeping track of legal notifications and sorting all these out can be quite tiresome especially if you’re also running a business full time. Hiring the services of a Registered Agent means that you can delegate all these extra paperwork and solely focus on taking care of your business and its operations all the time.
Since a Registered Agent holds a sensitive position in the success of your business, it is paramount that a thorough understanding of the requirements and good research be done to hire the best for the job.
Aside from statutory requirements you need to look into, also take into consideration credibility, track record, and reliability. Also, it is important to verify that the Registered Agent has a legitimate physical office since this is where all legal documents are delivered. The Registered Agent must also be in that working office during workdays from 8 AM to 5 PM.
With the many considerations necessary for Registered Agent Services, you can look into a couple of the recommended services below.
Be informed that this article is only an informational guide, and it should never be considered as a legal document or legal advice. Please consult the expertise of a business lawyer for questions on Rhode Island Registered Agent Services or starting a business in general.