Why do I need a registered agent?

Understanding the requirements.

When you formed an LLC or corporation, you turned your business into its own separate legal entity. It was then capable of carrying its own debts and being sued directly. Since you no longer directly represent your company, most states will not allow you to undergo the service of process for your company if it is the target of a lawsuit.

They thus require that you name a registered agent as an impartial party to receive legal paperwork. Now a handful of states do not require that registered agents be from outside of the company, and some merely ask for an address that paperwork can be delivered to, but in most cases you will need a registered agent that is not a director or member of the business.

However a registered agent is useful for other reasons as well as providing you with a bit of privacy. Legal papers are handed off to the registered agent, who in turn contacts you. There is no need for anyone to come into the office to serve you with papers, allowing you to handle legal matters with a bit more discretion.

So even if you can act as your company's registered agent, it may be wise to designate a separate agent anyway. Registered agents also receive reminders from the state. This can be very useful in reminding you to do everything you need to in order to stay compliant with state laws.

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What is a registered agent?