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What are the Risks of Being a Registered Agent?

Even though you are allowed legally to be your own registered agent, this responsibility can bring up so many issues especially in terms of your privacy and time. Nonetheless, here is a list of the risks that stem from being a registered agent.

  1. You Must Be Available at Your Place of Work Throughout the Entire Business Day

The rules for a registered agent state that they are always expected to be present at the place of business where the address is registered to. Therefore, if you are not an employee or even part of the business itself, this is not the most practical of situations. Note that from Monday through to Friday, from 9 am until 5 pm; you will have to remain on the business premises.

This is to make sure you are there to take delivery of the necessary documents, as only the registered agent can sign for these. This also entails no wandering off for lunches or nipping out to run any errands, no matter how quickly you think you’ll be. It also means you won’t be able to take a day off. Should delivery be attempted, and you aren’t there to receive it, you risk being oblivious of potential lawsuits against the business until it becomes too late to act.

  1. You Could Become Served in Front of Employees and Customers

If your business has to endure the trauma that comes from having a lawsuit filed against you, having an outsourced registered agent at least eliminates the process of being served in public. However, if you become a registered agent yourself, this is a potential scenario that, if played out, will more than likely take place in front of customers and employees. Thus, the stress and, indeed, humiliation is significantly increased here. It could stain the way they think of you and your business. You get to avoid this scenario if you outsource your registered agent instead.

  1. Under No Circumstances Can You Miss a Delivery

Some registered agents make the mistake of believing they can get around having to be present on the business premises from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Examples here can include calling up when the documents turn up to re-schedule another time or asking them to be handed over to someone else should you be unavailable. Notably, this is not how the process works, and under no circumstances will such documents be signed over to anyone else other than the registered agent.

Also note that even if you are in the building itself but can’t quite physically make it to the handover, you will be deemed to have missed the delivery. In the United States, this applies irrespective of whether you were on the phone, in a meeting, speaking to another person in the building, or even in the bathroom.

Additionally, the individual delivering the documents will not make any exceptions. Therefore, if you are away from the site when they arrive and get someone to call you, the person delivering will not wait for you. Either way, you cannot afford to take the risk of missing a delivery.

  1. Your Personal Address Will Become Public Knowledge

A concept that mainly concerns many people when becoming a registered agent is that their address is immediately made public for all to see. Additionally, if your business is a home-based one, this can trigger many an obvious privacy issue.

For those businesses whereby the company address is out of the home, this isn’t a problem. Yet, for those running a business from home, there is no other option than to declare the address when registering as an agent. Indeed, there’s no getting around this one, and if putting such information on the record isn’t viable, then you won’t be able to fulfill the registered agent’s role.

  1. You Can Only Conduct Business in Your Own State

By serving as a registered agent, you will not be able to undertake business anywhere other than in your own state. Have it in mind that the rules state that each business in each state must have its own registered agent. So, you can’t just expand your company into a new state without putting in place yet another registered agent beforehand.

The limitations of having a registered agent for each state extend to those areas whereby you cannot expand your business should you hire an accountant or a lawyer to act as your registered agent. Furthermore, this rule reduces the likelihood of selecting a family member, friend, or business associate to act as your registered agent.

  1. You Have to Deal with Extra Hassle

There are chances that your information will be made public and can be accessed so you have to deal with spam mail, junk mail, and unwanted solicitations from other marketers or local groups. In addition, you have to keep track of all the deadlines in order to make sure that your business will remain compliant with the laws of the state.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent can be either a business or an individual. Certain states have their own requirements so businesses are advised to check with local laws to determine whether or not to use an individual or a business. This individual or business is designated to receive any service of process notices, official government notices including any correspondence from the Secretary of State, tax forms, notices of lawsuits, and other documents for an LLC or corporation.

Note that it is a requirement in all states for businesses formed within that state to have a registered agent. The primary reason for this requirement is so that the state will have an official contact. This contact will be the person with which the state communicates all important filings to as well as any changes in organization requirements, at the very least.

Also, note that this individual or business is also tasked with accepting a notice of lawsuit on behalf of the business. In addition, if you intend on expanding your business to another state, you are expected to have a registered agent in that state according to the legal statutes.

As part of this, you will need to notify the state of who your registered agent is and who they should contact at any time. The state will need to have an actual address of this individual especially since a P.O. Box address is not an acceptable address for registered agents.

It is more or less legal for you to serve as your own registered agent, but you will have to check with local laws to verify this. Even if it is legal, you may not want to do it that way. This is because most states have a requirement that any registered agent must be someone present during business hours. Some states require the agent to have an office or actual business location.

In the United States, it is recommended that you designate a third-party individual or business to take on this role for your business. The primary reason behind this is that you will know that no matter where you are, you have someone who can easily accept your tax and legal documents on behalf of the company.

If you outsource the responsibilities of a registered agent, you get to have peace of mind knowing that you cannot be bothered and that you will not be missing important deadlines because you will be getting a reminder from your registered agent.

Due to these risks highlighted above, many people decide to employ the services of professionals when it comes to a registered agent. By doing so, not only do all the above problems become void, but the company you select will be able to offer you increased services and features as standard.