A registered agent is the representative for a company that receives its legal (and other important) documents on behalf of their employer; it can be an individual or company. They are required for a business to incorporate and register (e.g. as a limited liability company or corporation).
This job is extremely important as a whole because it is what allows small businesses to incorporate into LLCs, which are the backbone of the US economy and comprise the largest business entity type. Given that 35% of businesses in the US relied on this service for formation, registered agents clearly perform vital work.
This article will explore the requirements of a registered agent before further analyzing the importance of their duties to the economy and some revered registered agent services.
Who Needs A Registered Agent?
Businesses hoping to register themselves as a specific business structure are required to appoint a registered agent, which may also be referred to as a statutory or resident agent in some areas. The specific structures required for which a registered agent is required are as follows: LLCs, corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships.
During the registration section of incorporating a business, these structures will have to nominate a registered agent. A registered agent’s details are normally meant to be filled out in a delegated box on a business’s articles of organization.
It is not necessary for general partnerships or sole proprietorships to designate a registered agent since neither of these business structures are registered with the state. Naturally, they are still required to maintain their tax liabilities and respond promptly to legal summons (the duties that a registered agent would carry out on the business’s behalf).
What Are They Used For?
The necessity for registered agents has been present for over 20 years. The primary reason for their mandation by most states is to make certain that various parties (such as the public, courts or government) can contact such companies.
As soon as the obligated company has dispatched the information for the government to store, the public can freely access these records. The government’s business entity databases can be freely searched through by anyone to bring light to a company’s registered agent.
The reasons for registered agents’ importance can be briefly condensed into three points. The first of these three reasons is so that a business can receive any and all legal documents (this enables people with legally legitimate complaints to make a claim against a business).
Secondly, it is important that the government has a means of contacting these businesses in a way they are sure can be received by the company. This is cardinal because without this, there would be no reliable method for a government to be able to contact a business that’s shirking its tax responsibilities or is otherwise non complying with business laws.
The final reason is to enable businesses to stay in compliance. Since official papers notifying a business of any legal, tax and other official mail are received by the registered agent, who then forwards such documents to their address, they should always be aware of any deadlines they are required to meet.
Image Credit: Incorporation Guru
Reputable Registered Agent Services
ZenBusiness is a renowned name in the registered agent services industry because of the incredibly low price point they offer; an LLC and incorporation service can cost as little as $39. This contains a free registered agent service as part of the package, which is far cheaper than most alternatives will charge, and even includes a full year of registered agent service.
As a standalone feature, their registered agent service is rather appealing as well, as ZenBusiness prices this service at a reasonable $99 per year.
Northwest Registered Agent
While there are cheaper offers out there, Northwest delivers a top-quality offering for businesses looking to incorporate. Services are delivered in a professional and simple manner; they place a significant focus on their registered agent service.
With the volume discounts they offer, Northwest’s services are able to be purchased for around $100/year per state if their services are required in multiple states. They also have the added benefit of being the only national registered agent service provider to offer local scanning of all documents received on their clients’ behalf – not just those they are legally required to.
Incfile’s registered agent service is one of its most impressive packages offered by the company. Alongside any of their incorporation packages, they include 12 months of registered agent service for free. Their customers will also appreciate their annual renewal fees – which are the lowest available.
Evidently, registered agents are vital for the US economy, they act as the gatekeepers for small and medium sized businesses to incorporate and become LLCs and corporations, the two biggest proportions of all business types. Please refer to this link for more information on reputable registered agent services.