What is a Registered Agent? Everything You Need to Know

A registered agent is a type of company agent. A registered agent is usually an attorney or company lawyer. Registered agents, on the other hand, are individuals who have a business related to their work.

Registered agents act as representatives for their limited liability companies when conducting negotiations in order to avoid more expensive legal fees for the corporation and trade secrets from getting out to the public at large.

Other Names for a Registered Agent

There are many other names for the registered agent’s role. These include:

  • commercial registered agent
  • statutory agent
  • company lawyer
  • resident agent
  • service of process agent

Statutory agent

A statutory agent is a person who is appointed by a corporation’s certificate of incorporation in order to act on behalf of the corporation.

This person must have the power to do all things necessary to carry out the business of the corporation on behalf of its shareholders. A statutory agent is responsible for:

  • keeping the corporation’s records and
  • receiving money and property on behalf of the corporation.

Company lawyer

A company lawyer is an attorney who works for corporations as a registered agent.

These individuals also assist in maintaining proper corporate records and filing incorporation paperwork (such as annual reports, articles, and other documents) with the state where they are based.

They also provide advice on specific legal issues needed by people, who are their customers, and represent them in court if necessary.

Resident agent

A resident agent is an individual who the corporation’s board of directors has appointed to represent the corporation’s interests in a particular state or country.

This person has the authority to carry out business transactions for the corporation.

Service of process agent

A service of the process agent is an individual who a corporation has appointed to receive legal documents or paperwork for that corporation.

A service of process agents carries out the corporate duties related to legal documents that are delivered to them.

Commercial registered agent

A commercial registered agent is a registered agent that works for corporations to act on their behalf. Commercial registered agents have a wide range of responsibilities, including making sure that the corporation is properly incorporated and filing paperwork to get a business formation license.

They also maintain corporate records, supervise stockholder meetings, and keep up with federal and state regulations governing the corporation.

What is the service of the process?

Service of process is one of the legal actions performed by registered agents. This is when a public official (such as a sheriff, bailiff, or constable) gives a person in legal proceedings with another person or business entity filing office a document (service) that formally starts court proceedings.

The individual receiving the service is referred to as “the defendant” and can be notified in either physical or written form.

What Does a Registered Agent Do?

An incorporator of a corporation appoints a registered agent to act on behalf of the corporation during negotiations with other parties. The registered agent is responsible for:

  • representing the corporation
  • conducting negotiations on its behalf
  • reporting back to the corporation on all negotiations that have taken place
  • receiving the government correspondence

Where Does the Registered Agent Get His Authority?

The registered agent gets his authority from the LLC or corporation through its charter documents. The corporation must designate a registered agent in order to conduct business.

The law that states this is called Section 220 of the Texas Business Corporations Act. It states: “A corporation must have a registered agent.” (TBCA 220.002).

Can I use my registered agent as my business address?

You can use your registered agent as your own business address. However, you should keep in mind that if you do so, you may be subject to fines or civil penalties if a court later finds out that the business is not allowed to have an office address at the location.

If you have questions about doing this or any other legal matters, please contact a registered agent experienced in working with corporations to assist you.

Do I need a registered agent?

If you are planning on opening a corporation for your business structure, it is important to hire a registered agent. Corporations need registered agents in order to be able to carry out official corporate actions.

If a corporation does not have a registered agent, the courts may order that the corporation be dissolved as they are not legally allowed to operate.

Advantages of having a registered agent

  • You avoid the cost of hiring attorneys to send out money, give notifications, or receive mail on your behalf.
  • You have a single point of contact for all corporate matters.
  • They provide a comprehensive service for a single fee.
  • They ensure that your business documents are filed with the appropriate authorities.

Disadvantages of Having a Registered Agent

There are no real disadvantages to having a registered agent. You should, however, make sure:

  • that you ask the registered agent whether they provide their services in the home state where you are based or plan on opening an office. This can help save on legal fees and ensure that all of your paperwork is filed with the correct state agencies.
  • to find someone that you trust and can work with well. Make sure that they are properly trained in handling business matters.

Who can be a registered agent?

Any individual who is over the age of 18 can be a registered agent.

The person must also have a clear criminal record and must hold no other positions in corporations that may conflict with their duties as a registered agent and other obligations they may have.

Can I serve as my own registered agent?

It is not recommended to serve as your own registered agent because you are considered the company’s principal business contact.

You will then be held directly liable for any legal problems or issues that arise related to the corporation.

How much does a registered agent cost?

There is a wide range of prices for registered agents, and some registered agents offer free services. The prices vary based on the service that they provide. For example, some may file paperwork with the state for a fee, while others may not.

Some may be cheaper than others. Another consideration is the extent of their knowledge and experience with corporate matters.

Once you establish the desired level of service, there are many professional registered agent service companies that offer rates and services at competitive rates. There are also many online options for finding a registered agent that suits your needs and budget.

Average cost depends on factors such as the size of your business, the location, and the service in which you are requesting.

The average cost for a registered agent:

  • $150 – $500 an hour.

How do I choose a registered agent?

Search for services on the internet. You can also ask friends, family members, and business associates if they know of any registered agents in your area.

You can find a registered agent by searching online for service providers in your area. Most businesses will also take direct referrals from other business entities, as long as you have been a client of their past services.

Registered agent requirement

  1. Be at least 18 years old and must be able to provide verification of this age.
  2. Have a valid driver’s license
  3. Have no prior criminal record
  4. Be of good moral character for over two years, and not be related to any corporation you propose to act on behalf of
  5. Must not be an employee or shareholder of any corporate they act as a registered agent for or hold shares in any corporation for which they are the registered agent.
  6. Maintain an office or mailing home address in the state they register.

Are there any federal regulations regarding registered agents?

The office of the Secretary of State has federal regulations that require the registered agent and agent for service of process to be a US Citizen and resident in the state of registration.

They also must keep regular business hours at their address in order to receive official documents for the corporation, as required by law.

How long does it take to become a registered agent?

Becoming a registered agent in most states takes only a few days.

After the Secretary of State’s Office has approved you, it takes 3-5 business days to get your business started as a registered agent.

To become an agent in the state of Delaware, it takes 3-4 business days after the Department has approved you of State Division of Corporations.

The time varies from state to state. However, on average, you will need to allow yourself one week to become a registered agent.

Are there any penalties if my corporation does not have a registered agent?

Yes. If your corporation does not have a registered agent, it may be ordered by a court to dissolve itself and dispose of all its assets. This is because the business will not be able to legally carry out official corporate actions as required by law.

How do I change my registered agent?

In order to change your registered agent, you must first file a copy of the corporation’s articles of incorporation and by-laws with your Secretary of State’s office that originally issued your certificate of incorporation. You will also need to provide a replacement registered agent’s name, address, and contact information.

Online, you can request documents for this change in person at the Division of Corporations during business hours.

Is a registered agent required in all states?

It is not required in all states, but it is recommended. It is often beneficial to have a registered agent, especially if the company wishes to take on financing or if they are operating under certain federal laws such as S.E.C reporting or environmental compliance, etc.

The procedure of hiring a registered agent for your LLC

To hire a registered agent, you need:

  1. A copy of your limited liability company (LLC) Articles of Incorporation in the state where you are registering and also a copy of the Secretary of State’s certificate.
  2. The name and address of the registered agent that you will be hiring.
  3. A power of attorney or some other type of written authorization to act on behalf of the company for a specific purpose, such as filing for business taxes.
  4. A certified copy of the registered agent’s Articles will be filed with your state.
  5. Filing fees, which vary by state. Some states charge a filing fee to register a foreign LLC or add names to an existing LLC. You will have to check with your Secretary of State’s office regarding fees and regulations in your state.
  6. Business bank information and checking account information for the registered agent, or if you choose, their company account and deposit.
  7. A letter from the registered agent stating that they are the authorized representative for your LLC.
  8. Proof of being a US Citizen. This could be a copy of their passport, two forms that show they are legal immigrants, or a birth certificate and photo ID (driver’s license).
  9. Insurance or bond certification for the registered agent and his/her company.
  10. A copy of your Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, powers of attorney, and other formation documents.
  11. There is a written agreement about what the registered agent will be paid for services and how often they will bill you or deduct from the fund account.
  12. A check/cashier’s check for a specific amount to be deposited each month in the independent account (fund account) into which the agent’s fees are deducted.

Does a registered agent need to be bonded?

Yes, although not all states require this. However, if your state does require it, then this requirement must be met by the registered agent and their company.

In such cases, proper procedures must be followed in order for the bond to be approved.

Using a Registered Agent Service Company

Companies like Agent registration service can offer these services. They are often a good choice for those that do not want to go through the process of getting a registered agent themselves.

These companies will not only offer the registered agent service, but they also provide other services as well, including:

  • Setting up your business bank accounts.
  • Preparing state and federal business tax documents and paying taxes on your behalf
  • Collecting your corporate disbursements and depositing them into your business bank account
  • Preparing and filing S.E.C. and state and federal tax returns

What Registered Agent Service Company to choose?

You can choose a company that offers these services for you. However, make sure that the company you choose has a good reputation and has been in business for at least 5 years.

ZenBusiness is one well-known company that caters specifically to small business owners. Their agents have been in the business for many years and are qualified to provide these services. They will also be able to help you with any other legal needs related to starting your business.

They offer flexible payment plans that fit into any budget. They also have a program they call ‘business bundle’ that gives you all the services listed above, at a special price, along with accounting and tax preparation services.

ZenBusiness Packages

ZenBusiness offers several packages for small business owners. They are:

ZenBusiness – $299.99/month

This package includes all of the business bundle’s services plus federal and state tax preparation services for up to 10 employees, one year of accounting services, and one year of registered agent service for one business location.

ZenBusiness Home Office – $299.99/month

This package is designed specifically for home-based businesses, including professionals such as lawyers and doctors. It includes all of the business services listed above and one free consultation with one of the registered agents.

ZenBusiness Home Office Professional – $399.99/month

The same package as ‘ZenBusiness Home Office’ but includes a dedicated registered agent for your home-based business.

ZenBusiness Unlimited – $599.99/month

This package includes all of the services that the business bundle and home office packages offer. It also includes a dedicated registered agent for your home-based business and unlimited consultations with registered agents.

ZenBusiness Unlimited Professional – $849.99/month

The same package as ‘ZenBusiness Unlimited’ but includes a dedicated registration agent for your home-based business as well as unlimited consultations with registered agents.

ZenBusiness Unlimited Commercial – $999.99/month

This package includes all of the services that the business bundle, home office, and unlimited packages offer. It also includes a dedicated registered agent for your company as well as unlimited consultations with registered agents.

ZenBusiness Commercial Plus – $1499.99/month

This package includes all of the services that the business bundle, home office, unlimited and commercial packages offer, including a dedicated registered agent for your company as well as unlimited consultations with registered agents.

ZenBusiness Commercial Plus Professional – $1999.99/month

The same package as ‘ZenBusiness Commercial Plus’ but includes a dedicated registration agent for your company, unlimited consultations with registered agents, and designed specifically for those interested in incorporation.

ZenBusiness Commercial Plus Corporate – $3999.99/month

The same package as ‘ZenBusiness Commercial Plus Professional’ but includes a dedicated registered agent for your company, unlimited consultations with registered agents, and designed specifically for corporations interested in incorporation.

ZenBusiness Commercial Corporate Plus – $5999.99/month

This is a package specifically designed for corporations that are interested in incorporation while offering the same services as ‘ZenBusiness Commercial Plus Corporate.’

It includes a dedicated registration agent for your company, unlimited consultations with registered agents, and it includes operating agreements.

The packages are updated from time to time depending on increased costs. All services are subject to change without notice.

You can contact ZenBusiness by e-mail at [email protected] or call them at (800) 827-8299.

ZenBusiness can save you a lot of money and time by providing all the services that you need to run your business.

To learn more about ZenBusiness or to sign up with them, you can visit their website: http://www.zenbusiness.com.

Conclusion

An essential step to remember when it comes to LLC formation is that the process can take a considerable amount of time.

You can do many things to cut down on the time it takes, and one of these is to use a registered agent service.

The main reason to use registered agent services is that they will have the proper paperwork ready and waiting for you when you set up your business.

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