While you’re researching and seeking advice on hiring a registered agent, you might have thought to yourself, “Should I become my own registered agent, or should I just hire a registered agent service?” In this article, we’ll be discussing a few of the topics that should influence your decision.
LegalZoom defines a registered agent as follows:
“An LLC registered agent is an individual or entity which has been designated by the LLC to receive service of process notices, government correspondence and compliance-related documents on behalf of the LLC. While generally the term “agent” means someone who’s authorized to represent an individual or an entity, or enter into transactions for an individual or an entity, registered agents don’t have a similar mandate. Instead, the registered agent for an LLC has one primary function: to be an agent for service of process, as well as receiving other important correspondence on behalf of the LLC. Additionally, a registered agent must also forward such materials to the LLC in a timely manner.”
This is a clear and precise definition of exactly what a registered agent is and how they will benefit your company.
Let’s discuss three major, dividing points between being your own registered agent and hiring another registered agent service: cost, locations in multiple states, and time.
On average, hiring a company to fulfill your registered agent needs will cost a decent sum of money. For large, well-established companies, this might not seem so scary. However, for small businesses or start-ups who’s owners have already poured their life saving into their company? The cost might be a significant turn-off.
Typically, you’ll be shelling out anywhere from one hundred to three hundred dollars annually on your registered agent services. As we mentioned, this has the potential to be a turn-off, but if you look at the tasks that are being completed out of your hands and on someone else’s time, it might just equal out.
Legally, if your business operates across a wide range of states, your company will need a separate registered agent for each state you do business in. If you have a few friends and family members who happen to be located in the states you would like to operate out of; you’ll be all set. However, in the more likely scenario, if you choose to be your own registered agent, you might have a difficult time standing in for each of these locations. This is when hiring a company to handle all of your registered agent needs might come in handy.
Lastly, as we all know, time is money. When you hire someone to take over the responsibilities of a registered agent, you are simultaneously freeing up your company time for more critical tasks. A registered agent should be available during all typical business hours to accept incoming documents. If you, as a business owner, are trying to manage communication interception as well as the multitude of other tasks you have on your plate, balancing all of this could get a little tricky.
So, you’ve heard just a few of the topics that should be considered when you are debating on whether or not to hire a professional registered agent service or do it yourself. You’ll want to keep the cost in mind as it could be a little steep for some small business owners. You’ll also need to be aware that if you decide to operate outside of the original state your business was founded in, you’ll have to find some help. And finally, being a business owner doesn’t necessarily mean that you have much leftover time on your hands. By taking on the responsibilities of a registered agent, you’ll be left with a considerably smaller amount of time for other aspects of your business.
If you decide to be your own registered agent, more power to you, it can most definitely be done, and it does allow more freedom and hands-on experience with your company. However, if you choose to hire someone, there are plenty of companies ready and willing to handle your every need. All you have to do is find the best fit for your company and then sit back and allow them to take over.