What is a registered agent and what do they do?
A registered agent is a very important third-party person or service that is located in the same state as your LLC, and is designated to receive service of process notices, tax forms, and other official government notifications, on behalf of your LLC.
A registered agent is required on your Articles of Organisation, for all the reasons listed above, as well as their address being listed too.
Can I be my own registered agent?
While North Carolina does allow you to be your own registered agent, there are multiple reasons why you should appoint a registered agent instead. By having someone else responsible to receive things like tax and legal documents you can assume peace of mind that someone else has the important information, which means you don’t need to stress about it, and don’t have to be at your office all the time to receive documents.
As well as this, if you ever do get sued, having a registered agent can save you from the embarrassment of this being done in front of clients.
What are some reasons for hiring a registered agent service?
When you become your own registered agent, you’ll need to put your person or office address down for public record. So if you’re a small business operating at home, this means putting down your personal address, which endangers your privacy. If you have a registered agent, their address will be listed on public record instead of yours, so you’re safer.
If you become your own registered agent you won’t be able to choose flexible work hours for yourself and choose when you can pop out quickly. You will constantly need to be available to receive official notices during 9-5 business hours at the address you have given. If you hire a registered agent, they will always be at their location, so you don’t have to.
A good registered agent will send you regular reminders to make sure you’re on top of things, tell you when deadlines are coming up and notify you of requirements needed to keep your LLC in good standing. As a result of this, you can stop worrying about other things and put your full attention into running your business.
If you are your own registered agent you will have to receive service of process for yourself, if you’re ever sued. Because a registered agent needs to be available at all times during regular working hours, you could end up being served in front of your customers, family and employees, which can take a hit at your reputation and maybe even lose you some business. But with a registered agent service, you will be notified immediately and discreetly, to save you the embarrassment.
If your LLC is doing well and you’d like to expand to maybe another state, a registered agent will be a ridiculous amount of help. If you choose not to have a registered agent in the state, you’ll need to have a location there and someone always available to receive important documents. But if you have a registered agent there, their address will be used and they will alway be available, so there is no extra stress – they will look after everything for you there.
What are some of the best services out there?
There are many great registered agent services out there, but here are the ones that we think are great:
The only downside of having a registered agent is the fact that it costs more than having yourself as your registered agent. But, they save you a lot of time and help you stress less, so we think they can be well worth the money.
TRUiC has some great information on having an LLC in North Carolina. Read more here.