North Carolina is a great state to set up your business. It’s one of the best business environments in the US. If you plan on setting up a business in the State of North Carolina, one of the foremost requirements of the state government is having a registered agent.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent can be a business or an individual appointed to receive legal documents for your company. These legal documents include tax notices, subpoenas, lawsuits, and others.
All companies doing business in the state of North Carolina must have a registered agent to ensure tracking of all legal mail sent within the state. To become a registered agent in the state of North Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to receive mail during business hours at an office
- Be present to receive the legal mail intended for the business you represent
- Have a physical address within North Carolina. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.
Registered Agent in North Carolina, who can work as one?
A person must meet certain requirements before he/she can work as a registered agent in North Carolina. These requirements are made by the Secretary of the State of North Carolina.
- A registered agent can be an employee of the company or third parties such as lawyers and registered agent service companies that is a resident or an organization that is located in North Carolina and has a valid street address in North Carolina. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) cannot be their registered agents. However, if you are a resident and of legal age (more than 18) in North Carolina, you are allowed to register as your business’s registered agent in a case whereby you have a start-up business or you are a small business entrepreneur.
- If you are a business owner based outside North Carolina, you must first have the authorization to do business.
Changing your Registered Agent in North Carolina
If you have decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in North Carolina, maybe because your previous registered agent moved out of the state, no longer wants the responsibility, or he left your company for another. Changing registered agents is easy, all you need to do is follow the following steps, as outlined by the Secretary of the State of North Carolina:
- You can change your Registered Agent in North Carolina by either filing for the Statement of Registered Agent or Registered Office form which can be found on the Forms webpage of the North Carolina Secretary of State or you can change your Registered Agent when you submit your Annual report to the State of North Carolina. You can learn more about how to submit your annual report here.
- The Statement of Registered Agent/Registered Office you’ll fill will require information such as the name and address of your new and your current registered agents, an authorization signature from the new registered agent.
You have the option of submitting the forms online, through the mail, or in person. The form must be correctly filled, note that there’s a fee of 5 dollars must be paid for the document to be processed. The payment can be made through money order or a check that is made payable to the “North Carolina Secretary of State”, or you can also choose to pay with a card (if you’re submitting in person or online). If you’re submitting through the mail, the document, check, and a completed Cover Sheet for Corporate Filings (which is available here) will be mailed to the address:
Business Registration Division
PO Box 29622,
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622.
You can also choose to submit the forms and the payment in person, if you’re submitting in person, you’re to deliver the documents and the payment to the address:
Business Registration Division
2 South Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601.
You have to know that you cannot change your registered agent in the State of North Carolina by just making changes to your Articles of Organization. You can only follow the process explained above.
Should I Get a Professional Registered Agent Service Company?
Getting a professional registered agent company can reduce a lot of effort and time for any business owner. There are numerous benefits to it whether you are an established company or a small business owner. Some of these benefits are:
- Making use of their address instead of your home address, especially if you don’t have an office yet. This detail will be included in public records.
- Registered Agent processes paperwork for you
- Notify you immediately if you receive any new legal mail
- Notify you of mandatory filing of North Carolina annual reports
- Help you to avoid penalties for delayed filings
- Assist you with forms and instructions needed to set up your business
- If you operate a small business out of state, they fill in as your local contact in the state.
Several agencies offer registered agent services in North Carolina. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business.
Advantages of Using a North Carolina Business Address vs. Personal Address
- A business address minimizes exposure of your home address as public information
- Some city municipalities may not allow using home addresses as business offices
- Using your personal address can probably link you to business liabilities
- Using a business address can help you separate business and personal transactions
Having a registered agent is your gateway to setting up a business in the state of North Carolina. Doing it yourself is possible, but it can eat up a lot of your time, money, and energy. It is better to get a registered agent service and use the resources to build your business instead. Let them help you do business hassle-free in North Carolina.