A registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives important legal papers on your behalf.
All LLCs are required to obtain a registered agent. While you are legally allowed to act as your own registered agent — or nominate one of your employees — this option isn’t widely recommended.
Serving As Your Own Registered Agent
Many small business owners choose to serve as their own registered agent. For some, this is the easiest and most cost effect option.
However, it’s important to be aware of what’s involved. If you work primarily from home and serve as your own registered agent, you may need to make your personal home address a matter of public record, which can raise privacy concerns.
Additionally, you will need to be available during all standard business hours to receive any official correspondence sent to the registered agent address listed in your Articles of Organization.
Since this will likely be your place of business, serving as your own registered agent opens you up to the possibility of being issued a court summons at your place of work, potentially in front of your customers. For these reasons, hiring a registered agent service is often a good idea.
Hiring A Registered Agent Service
If you choose to hire a professional registered agent service, there are many reputable companies available. Most professional registered agents provide a range of services that may include:
- Receiving service of process documents (includes court documents, secretary of state notifications, tax notices, and annual report notifications)
- Scanning and forwarding these documents via email
- Keeping compliance calendars for important filing deadlines such as annual reports and tax returns
The biggest benefit of hiring a professional registered agent is the flexibility. You do not need to be available during all standard business hours, and you can form your LLC in any state or states you choose, regardless of your residency. Professional registered agent services are also highly convenient for online businesses that don’t have physical locations.
Professional registered agents take on the important task of handling all critical business documents received through the mail. This can provide peace of mind, knowing that you’re not letting anything fall through the cracks while taking care of your day-to-day business responsibilities. They also provide your business with the privacy and discretion to deal with legal issues and other problems outside of your home or place of business.
Finally, hiring a registered agent ensures that you remain compliant with your state. They can send you reminders for any state filing requirements, help you find accountants and legal professionals, and back up your vital business documents.
Get a Registered Agent
As a business owner, there are bigger and better things for you to focus your attention on than filling out legal documents and doing other tedious tasks.
That said, the success of your business depends on these tasks being done, and done well. We highly recommend hiring a professional Registered Agent service to take care of them for you so you can continue doing what you do best.
Get Northwest’s Registered Agent Service ($125)
Form an LLC + Get a Free Registered Agent ($225 + State Fee)