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What Does a Registered Agent Do And Do I Need One?

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If you’re new to business formation, the idea of having a registered agent can be a little confusing. With so many titles and roles within a corporation, it’s easy to get tangled up. 

Keep reading to find out what is a registered agent and what is the registered agent’s role. And whether hiring a registered agent service is your best option. 

What Is a Registered Agent?

First of all, don’t be confused by the many names registered agents go by. Registered agent, resident agent, agent for service of process, and statutory agent all mean the same thing in the world of business. 

A registered agent is an individual or an organization that will accept official mail or notices on behalf of your business. 

You, as the business owner, appoint a registered agent. You can appoint yourself, any other individual, or an organization as your registered agent. 

Your registered agent will receive documents like regulatory and tax notices, court orders, and other official correspondence. 

To summarize, a registered agent is a person or a company that receives important state documents on behalf of your company. 

What Requirements Does the Registered Agent Need to Fulfil?

The registered agent for your business must have an address in the same state your business is formed. You cannot use a postbox for this because legal notices are usually served in person. 

How Do Registered Agent Services Work?

You can find hundreds of companies in the United States that offer a registered agent service. These companies usually only specialize in company formation and registered agent services.

This type of business has a physical office with administration staff. It acts as the registered agent for hundreds of different companies. The staff will receive your correspondence and notices and alert you of any proceedings and deadlines. They usually charge an annual fee. You renew your contract once a year. 

In summary, registered agent companies act as the registered agent for multiple businesses. They charge an annual fee in exchange for their service. 

What Is the Difference Between a Registered Agent And a Managing Member?

A managing member is somebody who is involved, and has an interest in, the daily running of your business.

A registered agent is just somebody responsible for receiving the official paperwork on behalf of your business.

A registered agent and a managing member can be the same person. This is because you can appoint anyone as your registered agent.

But, in terms of paperwork, a registered agent and a managing member have different responsibilities within your business. 

In summary, a managing member is somebody who is managing the business. A registered agent is someone who receives the legal paperwork. 

Do I Need a Registered Agent?

Yes, by state law you need to appoint a registered agent for your business. If you don’t, the state can dissolve your business or impose penalties. 

You can appoint anybody as your registered agent, including yourself. 

But, if you’re a nomad, or running your business remotely, you don’t want to appoint yourself as the registered agent. 

The registered agent has to be available at the listed physical address, during business hours. 

This would mean goodbye to location freedom. 

You can appoint anybody as your registered agent, as long as they’re in the same state that your business is formed in. But wait! Before you appoint your mom or aunt…

You probably don’t want your aunt Susie as your registered agent. 

Their information will be accessible to the public. So, they could receive a bunch of junk mail and phone calls that are meant for your business. Also, they could forget to alert you of important mail, deadlines, or proceedings. That’s a sure-fire way to ruin the next Christmas dinner. 

Most businesses hire a professional registered agent service. It can save your time, money, and family gatherings. 

In summary, yes. Every business needs to have a registered agent. And it’s best to hire a professional registered agent service. That way you can keep your location freedom and peace of mind. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Registered Agent Service

You Can Be Remote

Businesses are required to have an address at which they can be served legal notices if there’s a need. If your goal is to be remote, the last thing you want to do is tie yourself down to a physical address. A registered agent service is your perfect solution. For a small annual fee, your business will have a physical address with someone always present to receive notices. 

All Your Official Paperwork Is In One Place

Owning a registered business means you have to file annual reports. Registered agent services will remind you of the filing date so that you don’t end up with a fine. One less thing to worry about. A registered agent service will keep all your paperwork organized. 

Your Name and Address Stay Private

Whoever is appointed as your registered agent will have their name and address in the public domain. For anyone to access. Anyone. The worst thing about this is that the only people that will use this information are salesmen and lawyers. A registered agent service will keep your information private and put itself out there instead. 

Your Business Doesn’t Have to Adhere to Standard Office Hours

Let’s say that you run your business remotely but you also have a physical business location in the US. You can appoint an employee as your registered agent to receive the documents at your business location. Only if your business is open during standard business hours.

If you have different or unstable operating hours, it’s an issue because notices of proceedings would be difficult to serve. So, it’s safe to say that it’s frowned upon by most states. 

This is a typical situation during which you would hire a registered agent to comply with the requirements. And it’s the easiest solution. 

Is a Registered Agent Service Worth It?

Absolutely. This is why most businesses hire a registered agent.

It’s easy, saves you time and money in exchange for a small fee. 

For nomads or remote business owners it’s the perfect solution. It’s like having your back office backed up in the cloud. 

How to Choose a Registered Agent Service?

There’s plenty to choose from. The problem is that 99% of registered agents are the same. Outdated. Their websites look like they haven’t been updated since 95’ and their service feels like that too.

‘Modern and streamlined’ should be the motto, instead, it seems to be ‘clunky and clunkier.’  

That’s why businessanywhere.io was born. To bring these basic services up to date, or even into the future. Keeping in mind digital nomads, and modern entrepreneurs.  

The Smooth Solution

We have designed a complete platform for digital nomads and remote business owners.

You can hire a registered agent or form a company in just minutes. Anytime, from anywhere in the world. 

You’ll have a complete business dashboard where you can manage your paperwork, even for multiple businesses.  

We didn’t stop there though, we also provide a virtual mailbox and an online notary service. You can manage your business from a single, easy to use dashboard.

View Our Registered Agent Pricing

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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