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If you are forming a business or considering expanding your business into other state/s you may want to consider designating a professional registered agent. Having a presence in a state for receipt of legal proceedings is required if you are incorporating or registering to do business in a given state. In many states the corporation may not serve as its own registered agent and must designate an individual or another business entity that is of record in that state to receive service of process.

Designating an employee as the agent to accept service may be problematic, potentially when there is a personnel turnover.  If you designate a professional registered agent then there is no need to be concerned about filing a document if there is a change in personnel. If there is a change in personnel and you fail to file a change of agent, you could wind up with a mishandled service of process, resulting in a default judgment.

In addition, a professional registered agent may offer ancillary services such as an online history of service of process, and dates when annual filings were mailed out, electronic SOP transmitting, as well as other value-add tools.

Below are some tips for choosing a professional registered agent:

  1. Does the registered agents’ capability meet your needs? Example: some professional registered agents offer services you do not need. Can they be purchased ala carte or do you have to take the whole package?
  2. How long has the registered agent been in business?
  3. Does the professional registered agent have a quality reputation in the industry? Do you have a point person at the company?
  4. Are you looking for an agent in just one state?  Or perhaps in the future you will be expanding your business and will need to consider this factor and the convenience of having one provider, one set of invoices, and one contact as opposed to having multiple providers.
  5. If you have the need to do nationwide or multi-state transactions such as amendments, mergers, withdrawals, etc.  – does your registered agent have a network of document filing and retrieval specialists in those states?

Have you used a professional registered agent? Or have you experienced problems caused by not designating one?

The information provided is for informative purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or a legal opinion.  For legal advice, please consult an attorney.

April Brady

Manager, Corporate Services Department

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