Virginia is a great state to set up your business. It has been consistently voted as one of the best business environments in the US. It has also been voted as one of the best states for small business owners. This state has the highest concentration of workers in Tech e.g. software developers, data scientists, etc., and has the 4th highest number of tech workers after big cities like New York, California, and Texas.
If you plan on setting up a business in the Old Dominion, 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.
According to 13.1-1015 of the Code of Virginia, all companies doing business in the state of Virginia must have a registered agent or resident agent to ensure tracking of all legal mail sent within the state. To become a registered agent in the state of Virginia, 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 Virginia. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.
Registered Agent in Virginia, who can work as one?
A person must meet certain requirements before he/she can work as a registered agent in Virginia. These requirements are made by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- 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 Virginia and has a valid street address in Virginia. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) cannot be their registered agents. However, if you have are a resident and of legal age in Virginia, 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 Virginia, you must first have the authorization to do business.
Changing your Registered Agent in Virginia
If you decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in Virginia, 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 and free. All you need to do is follow the following steps, as outlined by the Commonwealth of Virginia:
- Fill up a Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent of a Corporation form. Note that it has to be signed by a person who is associated with the company.
- File the form in the Clerk’s office either by mail or online. Unlike other states, this is entirely free, and all you need to do is create a user account at SCC eFile. You can request a copy of the Statement of Change form from the Clerk’s office through the SCC eFile or by getting in touch with the Clerk’s office.
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 Virginia 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 Virginia. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business.
Advantages of Using a Virginia Business Address vs. Personal Address
- A business address Minimize 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 Virginia. 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 Virginia.