In the State of Texas, all partnership, limited liability companies and corporations must file their business structures with the office of the Secretary of State. These filings have significant legal implications.
One of the requirements for these entities is that they have a registered agent. This person has the responsibility of receiving service of process and other important correspondence on behalf of the entity.
Requirements for a Registered Agent
A registered agent is a person or business that the state requires every business entity to designate and maintain. The purpose is to receive service of process in the event of a lawsuit against the business, and to provide an address for government correspondence.
A company that doesn’t maintain a registered agent is subject to various penalties under state business law, including being denied the ability to conduct business in the state or being placed on notice of dissolution by the state. State statutes also require a company’s name and address to be on file with the state for all annual reports filed by the business entity.
Some business owners may choose to be their own registered agent, provided they meet the state’s requirements. However, this can have negative implications in the event of a lawsuit against the company. Additionally, if the owner’s home address is listed, it can jeopardize privacy. For these reasons, many businesses opt to use a professional registered agent service, such as CorpNet.
Responsibilities of a Registered Agent
The choice of a registered agent is one of the most important decisions an LLC or corporation will make. In addition to the state laws and regulations regarding registration, the registered agent must be able to accept service of process notices, government correspondence and other official notifications on behalf of the entity. Check for Texas registered agents LLCs.
If the agent is not available, they must be able to forward the notices and documents on to someone else who can. Additionally, a registered agent must have a physical address in the state where the entity is registered and must be present at that location during regular business hours.
Some people and businesses serve as their own registered agents, but this can be problematic for multiple reasons. For instance, the individual may not be available when the lawsuit is served or they might forget to forward the documents to the company’s attorneys. Choosing a nationally recognized registered agent, like CT Corporation, provides consistency and convenience.
Registered Agent Requirements for a Limited Liability Company
Typically, an LLC’s registered agent will be an individual selected by the company or a third-party registered agent service. This person or company will maintain a physical address in the state where the business is registered to operate and must be available during normal business hours for hand-delivery of legal documents and government correspondence.
Alternatively, an LLC may choose to designate itself as its own registered agent, however this does not always provide the level of privacy and security many companies desire, especially since the business owner’s home address will be made public. Additionally, an LLC’s personal address may be served in a lawsuit or even receive junk mail, which can be distracting and inconvenient for the company.
A professional registered agent services can offer the privacy and reliability required by most business owners while also ensuring that all important paperwork is received in accordance with state laws. In addition, many registered agent services can provide nationwide coverage for a small additional fee.
Registered Agent Requirements for a Corporation
It is important that you carefully consider who will act as your registered agent. The person or business must be a Texas resident and must agree to be the registered agent by signing a consent form that is available through the Secretary of State. This form is 401-A.
It is important that the registered agent be available during normal business hours because they must be able to accept service of process notices, tax forms and other government correspondence on behalf of your entity. In addition, a registered agent must be able to keep your information confidential. Some registered agent services will also provide compliance reminders to help you stay current on state requirements like filing annual reports. This can save you the time and expense of having to hire a lawyer to do this work for you. It can also avoid the embarrassment of having papers served on you at your office in front of clients.