Guides

Registered Agent Basics

If you’re incorporating your business or expanding into other states, part of the process is designating your registered agent – also known as a statutory agent, resident agent or statutory representation. A business entity like a corporation or LLC has to have a registered agent in the state where it was formed and in any other states where it’s registered to do business. 

Although states vary in their precise requirements, generally registered agents have a business office in the state and are either a resident individual or a domestic or qualified corporation. The registered agent’s office address typically has to be a physical address in the state – it can’t be a P.O. Box.  

The state sends a company compliance information and official correspondence through the registered agent. Your state registered agent receives things like service of process and also annual report, tax or other correspondence that impacts your company’s compliance status. 

Essentially, the state wants a contact – name and address – for your business that’s reliable and available. Often state or governmental official documents include deadlines or timelines for responding.

CT Tip: If your business requires you to move around or you have a mobile office, a professional service company as your registered agent helps you receive critical compliance information – and have the time to respond to it. 

What to Look for When Choosing Your Company’s Registered Agent

Among other things, your registered agent should be reliable, accurate and consistent. Your registered agent should: 

  • Always be available and physically present at the registered office during normal business hours. This ensures any hand-delivered legal documents get proper attention.
  • Know your state’s business entity and compliance rules. Each state’s rules differ. 
  • Know about LLCs, corporations and other types of business entities.
  • Be a compliance expert. It should have resources and trained professionals on hand to expertly manage compliance activities. 

Professional service companies, like CT, often provide full-service registered agent services for LLCs, corporations and other types of businesses. 

CT Tip: A good registered agent helps your business keep its good standing status with the state. 

The right professional services company can help you stay in compliance and make sure all of your documents are handled correctly.  Full-service registered agent services typically: 

  • Provide automated entity monitoring tools and services
  • Present information on new compliance procedures
  • Give you notice if your good standing ever changes, so you could promptly address any problems as soon as possible
  • Monitor and track state-by-state compliance events, changes and developments
  • Provide your business with alerts of changes

For example, if a business misses an annual report filing (which isn’t hard to do when you’re busy), that oversight jeopardizes its good standing status – and needs immediate attention before the problem worsens. Monitoring services help prevent these kinds of problems.  

Service of process (SOP). SOP handling is the one RA service you hope you’ll never need. The registered office address is usually where a sheriff delivers a lawsuit’s SOP papers if one has been filed. 

CT Tip: Keep this in mind, especially from a public relations perspective, if your business has a physical location used by customers or if you’re working out of your home.

But, if the unexpected ever does happen, the service of your registered agent makes a difference in your long-term results. A good registered agent will have professionally trained staff with expert knowledge on how to properly handle and deliver SOP papers. 

CT Tip: Someone should always be physically present at the registered office during normal business hours. Professional service companies providing registered agent services ensure that things like personal emergencies, vacations, business trips, meetings, etc. never leave your company without this physical presence protection. 

As you can see, it matters who you choose as the designated agent for your LLC or corporation. Having the right registered agent for your company helps you keep your business entity compliance in good shape – and your business in good standing.

Learn More

What Is a Registered Agent?

What Types of Business Structures Require a Registered Agent?

Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?

What Is Required to Become a Registered Agent?

How Your Registered Agent Can Protect You

Service of Process

What Happens When Your Business Gets Sued or Otherwise Served Service of Process?

Registered Agents and Annual Reports: Essential Elements of Good Standing

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