What is a Registered Agent? In United States federal law, an agent is any person or company designated by an act of Congress to receive service of processing a transaction or process by a principal business entity. In the words of the dictionary, an agent is “one who gives legal advice to another.” A registered agent does not give legal advice but is an actual legal representative of the principal in certain matters. It is the duty of the registered agent to sign documents and legal forms related to the business of the agent and to complete all necessary filings with the appropriate authorities.
Why do we need a registered agent? Without a registered agent, businesses are limited in the number of people that they can hire and in the amount of money they can spend on advertising and marketing. Without a third-party representation, it is difficult for businesses to seek out customers or investors. This prevents small businesses from expanding and provides the maximum protection for investors.
Why do we need a third-party representation? Without a registered office, it becomes difficult to do business, traveling to meetings and speaking with potential clients. A registered agent keeps both the principal and the agent’s personal and business email addresses on file so that there is only one person responsible for both operations. Without a Secretary to act as the Secretary would for the business, there would be no way for the business to conduct business.
How do we appoint a Registered Agent? The most common method of how a person becomes a Registered Agent is to incorporate their business entity as a limited liability company. To incorporate, one must register the business entity with the appropriate state in which they reside and pay the required fees. After incorporation, the business must designate an individual to serve as its Registered Agent until such time as the Limited Liability Company takes effect and it can designate another such individual to serve as its Registered Agent.
What are the duties of a registered agent? A Registered Agent is responsible for receiving service from corporations and LLCs wishing to do business in the state of the entity’s incorporation. He or she will receive documents and requests and then forward these to the principal that lives in the address provided by the client. He or she must keep accurate records of all communications; he or she must forward these requests and documents to the principal as promptly as possible.
How do we utilize the services of a Registered Agent? Business entities may utilize registered agent services whenever they wish to incorporate, obtain limited liability protection for their business, or change their corporate status. They may also use these agents when they wish to complete a transfer of their business to another individual. They may use these agents to receive service at any time. A variety of business entities may utilize these services and they include: real estate professionals, investment firms, limited liability partnerships, international corporations, LLCs, corporations, partnership, unincorporated companies, partnerships, proprietorships, LLC owners, and partnership owners.
Suggested Resource for Entrepreneurs: While the most common method of becoming a registered agent is to incorporate the business entity as a limited liability company, the one of the easiest ways to register a professional LLC in 50 US states can be found here.
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