What is a registered agent?

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Forming a limited liability company (“LLC”) or corporation is a way to separate your personal and business assets (“the corporate veil”).  Whether it be a LLC or a corporation, the business is statutorily required to have a registered agent within the state for service of process.  The registered agent can be one of the business owners or a third-party service.  The registered agent’s office can be at the principal office of the business or could be at a different locale so long as it is within the state.

The registered agent is who would be served if the business is sued, receives correspondence from the respective secretary of state, and receives tax notifications (state and federal).

If the business owner is serving as the registered agent and the registered agent’s office is the principal place of business, that would save the cost of having to pay a third-party service.  But the cost of such service is relatively small on an annual basis and utilizing such service can prevent process servers from storming your place of business to serve legal documents.

Another alternative is having the attorney who forms your business serve as the registered agent and his/her office utilized as the registered agent’s office.  Some attorneys may charge an annual fee for this service.

In forming your business, give due consideration to who will serve as the registered agent and where the registered agent’s office will be located.

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