The coronavirus pandemic may have achieved something that a decade of economic progress could not: it sparked a surge in entrepreneurship in the United States. According to a survey published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Americans started 4.4 million firms last year, up 24% over the previous year. It is by far the largest increase in history.

Registered agents in the U.S have played a great role in the growth of business startup numbers. By assisting in startup formation, they have helped many entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting travel, many foreign entrepreneurs have opted for registered agent services to help them digitally with the business formation.

Research shows that a very popular business structure chosen by startups is the formation of an LLC. In an interview about LLC formation, the president of the LLC University, Matt Horwitz, says: “LLC formation is about 5 to 6 times the corporations formed”. 

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It is a state requirement that you appoint a Registered Agent when incorporating an LLC. This is how the legal and judicial systems in the United States work. If someone wishes to sue a firm, they'll need a trustworthy person, a registered agent company like Northwest Registered Agent, as well as a trustworthy street address where court paperwork like a subpoena, summons, petition, or complaint can be sent.

Registered Agent requirements

If the LLC's Registered Agent is a person, he or she must be a resident of the state in which the LLC is formed, be at least 18 years old, have a street address in the state in which the LLC is formed, and be available during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the LLC's Registered Agent is a company, it must be registered to do business in the state where the LLC is formed. A physical street address is required for the Registered Agent. The use of Post Office (PO) boxes is not permitted.

It's worth noting that the Registered Agent's name and address will be published by your state's Secretary of State's office. When you form an LLC, you'll file an "Articles of Organization" also known as a "Certificate of Organization" or "Certificate of Formation", which is a public document. This isn't to say that if you employ a different person or another company as your LLC's Registered Agent, your address will be hidden from the public. The reason for this is that, in addition to the Registered Agent's name and address being made public, many states also require the LLC Members' or Managers' names and addresses to be made public.

Hiring a Registered Agent Company will not provide much privacy if your state requires you to reveal the names and addresses of the LLC Members or Managers. However, in states where the Registered Agent's name and address is the only name and address on the Articles of Organization or similar document, appointing someone else as your Registered Agent or hiring a Registered Agent Company known as a "Commercial Registered Agent" provides you with privacy by keeping your personal information and home address off the public record.

Although you or a friend or family member can be listed as your LLC Registered Agent, if you or that person is not going to be at the street address you supplied during typical business hours, you could be putting your LLC at risk. It is a necessity in most jurisdictions to "continuously maintain" a Registered Agent, who must be available during business hours if a legal document is to be served on the corporation. If you cannot be reached to serve a legal or court document on your LLC, the court case can proceed in your absence/

Hiring a registered agent service

Hiring a Business Registered Agent if you don't have an address in the state where you're forming an LLC or if your state allows you to choose someone other than yourself as the LLC's Registered Agent, is recommended.

A Commercial Registered Agent is a business that specializes in receiving Service of Process on behalf of LLCs and promptly passing it to the respective owners, usually by scanning and emailing the letter. The majority of Commercial Registered Agents will charge anywhere from $100 to $300 per year.

Advantages of a registered agent

Compliance with the Law

Registered agents assist businesses in staying up to date with state regulations by sending periodic reminders and, on occasion, making yearly report filings and other official government notifications. Copies of your corporate documents will be kept by registered agent services. You'll have a backup of all your crucial business and legal documents in case of theft, natural disaster, or other unexpected losses.

Peace of Mind

Registered agents provide you with peace of mind, allowing you to devote your time, energy, and attention to running your small business. A competent, third-party registered agent service can let you relax by doing the following:

  • Make expanding your company your first focus. Important tax and legal documentation for your LLC will be sent to you automatically and securely kept.

  • Assist you in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Business and personal mail are kept separate to avoid work from taking over your personal life.

  • Personalize your advice. If your company encounters an issue or has any inquiries, you have further support.

Flexibility

If you choose to be your own registered agent, you must be accessible to receive official government letters and service of process notices at the physical address you indicate during regular business hours. Instead of keeping track of deadlines and being available during business hours, designated registered agents to allow you to focus on your business.

Privacy

We all appreciate our own space. The actual address of your registered agent service will be displayed on the public record, not your personal or business address. If you run a business out of your house, this is very crucial to consider. A registered agent service for an LLC will protect your privacy by:

  • Keeping you from being personally served with a lawsuit. You don't want to get a summons in front of your family, coworkers, or, even worse, customers.

  • Making their physical address, rather than yours, public. As a result, you'll be less likely to get spam messages.

Final Thought

The impact that the Coronavirus had on business startups is surprising. The future of business looks bright and now is a great time to start a business.  Making use of a registered agent in these uncertain times can be of great help.