There are over 1.6 million traditional C corporations in the United States. If you’re planning on forming an LLC or corporation, you’ll need a registered agent. This is one of several requirements you’ll need to fulfill before your state lets you register your new business.
You can name yourself as the registered agent, but this isn’t always the best idea. The other option is to hire someone, but you don’t want to just hire anyone.
Follow this guide and find a registered agent for service of process.
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a person you hire to be your corporation’s legal representative in a particular state. They are the official person who can accept official mail on behalf of your business. This is important should your business become involved in legal matters.
Should You Hire or Be Your Own?
Technically, you could be your own registered agent. However, there are several reasons to consider hiring a registered agent.
When you hire a registered agent, they handle all of your official notices and give you a layer of privacy. If your business doesn’t have a physical address, your hired agent will provide you with one.
A registered agent will operate normal business hours, which is helpful when your business has odd hours. It’s also helpful when you have business locations in several states. You’ll need to register an agent in each state, and a hired service makes this easier.
How to Hire a Registered Agent
Once you decide that you want to hire a service, you’ll want to look for the best registered agent service. There are a few requirements your chosen agent needs to fulfill.
- At least 18 years old
- Has street address in the state
- Physically present at that address during normal business hours
You’ll want to find an agent that’s legitimate, reputable, and reasonably priced. The easiest way to start your search is to call your secretary of state’s office for a list of recommendations. However, keep in mind that no one vets these lists, and there’s no guarantee of their performance.
National or Local
A few national companies can provide you with registered agents in every state that you need. They vary in price and are generally more technologically advanced than smaller services.
Local services will provide registered agent services in a single state. These are smaller and can be a more affordable option for a business that only operates in one state.
Evaluate Your Options
Find out how the agent handles legal paperwork and lawsuits. Ask how they deliver communications to you and ensure this process works for you. Businesses that are well established will have a strong reputation for dependability and professionalism.
Be careful when considering an attorney. While they can serve as your registered agent, their fees tend to be significantly higher than agent services.
Hire a Registered Agent for Service of Process
Hiring a registered agent for service of process will give your business several benefits. This makes them well worth the extra expense. Look for an agent that fits your budget, is reputable, and can provide you with the type of service you’re looking for.
Check out our other business articles for more guidance on running your business and addressing legal tasks.