Incorporating a business is no easy task. There are several details you need to iron out before finishing the process. One of these is your registered agent, who will act as the intermediary between your new company and the government.
However, the question is, do you really need one for your business? The short answer is yes, you do. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that every US state requires it from all business legal entities operating in their state.
With that said, aside from being mandated by law, why else would you need a registered agent? Moreover, do you really need to hire one, or could you serve as one yourself?
What Do Registered Agents Do for Companies?
Registered agents are persons or businesses that serve as intermediaries between your company and the government. They are responsible for accepting essential documents on your behalf and forwarding them to you later on.
They are required to keep a physical address and operate in the same state your corporation was formed in, allowing the government and other parties to contact them if they need something handed to you.
Aside from this, registered agent services should be present at their office during business hours to receive any necessary documents for you. This is because the state can only deliver these documents during typical business hours (usually around 9 AM to 5 PM), and someone needs to receive them.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
Being a registered agent entails few restrictions, but this can vary from state to state. However, the general qualifications for a registered agent are:
- Has a physical address within the state of formation
- Is at least 18 years old
- Can be physically present in that address during business hours
Considering these, it’s entirely possible for you to serve as your company’s registered agent. However, this can result in various issues, which is why most advise against doing it.
There are plenty of companies offering registered agent services. Most incorporation service providers even include the service in their packages for a limited time.
Some incorporation services include this in their packages, usually around six months to a year. Meanwhile, others have this service as an add-on to their existing packages.
Do You Need One?
As mentioned, the answer to this is yes, you do. This is because all US states require this from businesses seeking to incorporate and form their companies. In fact, some states won’t accept your articles of incorporation if you don’t have a registered agent.
As such, if you want to incorporate and continue operating as a company, you need a registered agent for your business. There are other benefits to hiring a registered agent service, some of which will be highlighted below.
Benefits of a Registered Agent Service
Besides needing one to comply with state requirements, why else would you need a registered agent for your newly formed company?
a) Privacy Concerns
Hiring a registered agent service from outside your company can help ensure your privacy and secure your identity.
This is because a registered agent’s address is accessible in public records, which can pose a problem if you want to keep your private and work life separate.
Moreover, an outsourced registered agent can mean fewer potential embarrassing moments for you and your employees. You can avoid scenarios like being served legal action while dealing with clients or employees.
b) Ongoing Compliance
Running a business can be challenging as there are many aspects of the company you need to supervise. Because of this, it can be easy for compliance deadlines and reminders to fall through the cracks.
A registered agent can help you keep track of deadlines and remind you when you need to file the documents to meet state requirements.
Moreover, professional registered agents are inherently familiar with the ins and outs of compliance requirements, allowing them to optimize the system and ensure you stay on track while running your business.
One of the perks of running a business is that you don’t strictly conform to regular business hours. However, if you decide to serve as your own registered agent, you will have to do so.
Hiring an external company for registered agent services can give you more flexibility with your time and schedule, not needing to stay in the office during business hours.
This can allow you to utilize this time and direct your energy to more critical aspects of your business.
Essential documents aren’t the only types that companies receive; they also receive junk mail and spam.
With a registered agent, they can sort through all your mail for you, making sure that you receive only crucial documents needed for the business.
You can just focus on running your business and leave the hassles of sorting through mail to your registered agent.
If you’re conducting business in states beyond your original state of formation, you will need a registered agent in every state. They can help you keep things in order in every state your business is operating, allowing you to focus on other and more critical aspects of your company.
States require that businesses update their registered agent’s information whenever there’s been a change in their address or identity. If you appointed an individual, it could be challenging for them to remember to do this.
With a registered agent service, you don’t have to worry about updating the information yourself, as they will be the ones to do it for you.
g) Professional Services
Suppose you appoint yourself or another individual to handle this task. In that case, some details may fall by the wayside, especially if they have other obligations.
Hiring an external registered agent service will ensure that the job is being done well. You don’t have to micromanage everything they do. You can just focus on running your business and making sure it’s successful and thriving.
When it comes to the question “do you need a registered agent service,” the answer is usually yes, you do.
However, if you’re incorporating in the US, then you absolutely need a registered agent for your company. Not only is it a requirement by US states, but it can also help you address several concerns you may encounter as a newly formed company.
From sorting through your junk mail to ensuring that you comply with state requirements on time, a registered agent service can help you conserve your time and energy so you can direct it towards other vital aspects of your business.