While you can serve as your own registered agent, there are extreme advantages to appointing a third party to act as your registered agent.
A registered agent is a party designated to accept legal service and official notices on behalf of a corporate entity. A corporate entity is required to appoint a registered agent. This requirement, for example, applies to corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other registered entities.
If for some reason the registered agent appointment lapses, catastrophic legal consequences could follow.
Some businesses opt to use one of the owners or shareholders as its registered agent. This compromises the company’s privacy. For a nominal annual fee, a business can access the benefits of a professional registered agent. The annual fee for a law firm to serve as a registered agent is surprisingly affordable. The annual fee is so affordable, in fact, that it doesn’t make sense to not use a law firm as your registered agent.
The first advantage is privacy and perception. Bear in mind that information, name and address, relating to a company’s registered agent is public information available on the internet. Businesses that list an individual owner as the registered agent essentially say a business is unsophisticated. It also indirectly discloses who the owners of the business. A business embroiled in a lawsuit effectively makes the owners a target by using an owner as the registered agent. In contrast, listing a professional agent conveys a message to prying public eyes that your company is among the ranks of sophisticated companies who almost universally use a professional registered agent. Using a law firm as a registered sends an even more powerful message. It says to anyone looking at your public company information that your company has a law firm in the wings.
A professional registered agent’s address is different than your company’s address. Imagine a constable or sheriff deputy coming to your work and demanding to speak with a business owner. Even if the visit is to serve a legal notice, the optics from an employee or client present is at best concerning, at worst embarrassing. A scenario where a constable shows up at your front office can be avoided by having a registered agent with a completely different address.
Travel and business relocation without missing official notices is another reason to engage a professional registered agent. The odds are your business will likely move from its present location. You may travel. Either may cause you to miss important notices. It is not uncommon for a process server to leave a complaint with an employee. You may find out all too late when a default judgment shows up. Another advantage here is a company can avoid expensive updates to its corporate filing if it moves.
The conclusion to take away is that the advantages of using a professional registered agent vastly outweigh the nominal annual cost. A business law firm that offers this service is even better and its annual fees will also be very affordable.
To learn more about Johnstun Law’s registered agent services, click here. If you’re looking to make Johnstun Law your registered agent, click here. Like this article? Subscribe to Johnstun Law’s email alerts for startup information, business updates, and relevant news.