A registered agent is an individual or entity that has been appointed by a business to receive legal documents on behalf of the business. For example, if an LLC is sued, the party doing the suing will have to “serve” the LLC with the court summons and complaint. The registered agent will accept the service of process on behalf of the LLC.
While the specific laws vary by state, EVERY state requires that LLCs and corporations appoint a registered agent. The requirement applies to any state(s) in which the business is registered as a foreign entity or authorized to conduct business as well as the state in which the LLC is registered.
Who can be the registered agent?
Most states only have three requirements:
- At least 18 years of age (if an individual),
- Consent to the appointment, and
- Have a physical street address in that state (not a P.O. box).
For instance, if you have an LLC in Colorado, you will need a registered agent with a physical address in Colorado. If the business is also registered in California as a foreign LLC, then you need a registered agent with a physical address in California, too.
For most small businesses, the best choice is to use a registered agent service. Here are a few registered agent services that we recommend*:
Check out this episode of All Up In Yo’ Business to learn more about registered agents for LLCs and Corporations.
Want more information on navigating your business? Check out: What To Do After You Form Your Business.
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