When you start a limited liability company (LLC), in most situations you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). In Indiana,the ...
What Is a Registered Agent for an LLC?
In most states, when you form an LLC, you need a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business that is authorized to accept legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business. You can check your state’s website to see if you are required to have a registered agent for your LLC.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
You can be your own registered agent for your LLC, or it can be another member of the LLC. You can also choose to have another individual who is not a member, or a professional agency that offers registered agent services.
The requirements to be a registered agent are:
- Age 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state where your business is formed
- Be available during normal business hours to accept correspondence personally
- If the agent is a business entity, it must be registered to operate in your state
Many LLCs choose a member who is highly involved in the business to be the registered agent, although a registered agent service can save you time and ensure compliance with the law.
What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent?
Essentially, the purpose of a registered agent is to ensure compliance with state laws and that all legal, tax, and financial matters are handled in a timely manner. Having one person or entity to handle important documents helps to ensure nothing is missed, helping avoid any potential potholes.
Documents that the agent may receive include:
- Tax forms and documents
- Government correspondence
- Legal documents
- Summons documents in case of a lawsuit
What Is a Registered Agent Service?
A registered agent service is a professional service that will handle official correspondence and documents for your business. They will ensure that all correspondence is handled on time and keep copies of documents for you. They will keep track of deadlines for you and send you reminders of things you may have to file, such as tax forms or annual reports.
A registered agent service will help keep you in compliance with the law and save you time by keeping track of key documents and filing deadlines. This also frees you up to focus on growing your business. The agency will also offer support if problems or questions come up.
Utilizing an agency enables you to have flexible hours. If you are your own registered agent, you must be available from 8 AM to 5 PM at your registered agent address. If you use an agency, they are available during those hours so that you don’t have to be.
If you use a national agency, you can also form an LLC or corporation in another state or multiple states where you do not have residency.
An agency also offers you a level of privacy, as you would never be served with a summons at your business in front of customers or employees.
How to Elect a Registered Agent
To elect yourself or another individual as your registered agent, you will simply fill in their information on the LLC fTo elect yourself or another individual as your registered agent, simply fill in the relevant information on the LLC formation forms or Articles of Incorporation when you set up your business. If you choose an agency, the agency will tell you the information to include on the forms.
Can I Change My Registered Agent Later?
If you decide to change your registered agent, you can do so at any time. You just need to file the appropriate paperwork with your state, and in most cases, you can do this online. There may be a small fee involved.
States have varying requirements about changing a registered agent, so check your secretary of state website to see how to file the change.
How to Choose a Registered Agent Service
You need a service that has an office in your state, but you may want to choose a national service so that as you grow and expand you have the flexibility to form LLCs in other states. Other than that, you should choose a service that offers the following:
- Compliance management – a plan to send you reminders of important deadlines to stay in compliance.
- Document copying and digital storage so you can access documents online.
- Availability during the required hours, and prompt customer service.
- Service in all 50 states.
When you form your LLC, choose your registered agent wisely. That person or business entity will be responsible for all your important correspondence and keeping track of deadlines to ensure compliance with the law.
A registered agent service can save you time and allow you to focus on your business growth while keeping you in compliance. If you choose a service, shop around to find the best option for your company.