What is a resident agent and do you need one?

By: Esqueda Law PLLC

The terms resident agent and registered agent are used interchangeably to mean the same thing: A person or company, whose official role is to relay communication of Service of Process between the state and your business. The requirements to be a resident agent are rather straightforward but sometimes we are not so sure. When it comes to hiring a resident agent (RA), these are some frequently asked questions that you are probably asking yourself right now: 

  1. Who can be a resident agent? 
  • An individual who resides in the same physical location or state as the business’s state of operation 
  • A registered third-party company, qualified for this post. This company can be domestic or foreign. 
  • Anyone currently working within your company who has been assigned to this task, or sometimes an attorney can be hired to fulfill this role. 
  1. What jobs does the RA do? 

The RA is the official liaison for official state correspondence with your business. The RA receives documents such as subpoenas, lawsuits, IRS tax notices, withholding of wages notices, court summons, and corporate filing notices 

  1. Can I be my own RA? 

Yes, you can, but there are reasons to avoid this. While being your own RA can be a cost effective and simple-seeming solution, it is usually wise to separate business and personal affairs. As the RA, your name and address are put on file and no longer private. As business owner, you most likely will not be sitting around waiting much, and this could cause you to miss vital information from the state. 

  1. Do I need to hire an RA? 

The short answer is yes. But if it’s not clear to you, consider the following reasons why you should have an RA 

Reasons why you need a resident/registered agent. 

Firstly, since many states legally require a resident agent, not having one could result in fines against you and your business.  While sole proprietorships in some countries may opt-out of this post, in many states, a resident agent is compulsory for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Corporations.  

A second point to note is that having an RA allows your business to be in good standing. This works in your favor if you want to expand your business across states or file a lawsuit against someone. Your RA can be authorized to work across all states and can serve as a single point of contact when seeking business expansion. 

Thirdly, an RA is crucial to the timely flow of sensitive information. Time-sensitive information such as court summons and complaints fall under the service of process. If such vital information is missed, cases go on without representation of the defendant and lead to loss of a case that may have otherwise been in the defendant’s favor. 

Now that you have the facts, you can see the importance of hiring an RA for yourself. My name is Liza Ann Esqueda and I specialize in this field. 

Need to strategize? Schedule a free constellation TODAY. Book a free 15-minute call: HERE Liza Ann Esqueda is a trademark & small business attorney specializing in trademarks, copyrights, and contract templates. Liza Ann runs a virtual attorney, serving clients nationwide. Visit: LawyerLizaAnn.com for business tips, free downloads, and course information.  

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