As global entrepreneurs increasingly set sight on the U.S., registered agents are busier than ever handling surging demand. Here are the latest facts about this phenomenon:

Where it all started: In recent years, Arkansas became one of the first states to pass a Registered Agents Act, a piece of model legislation submitted by the NCCUSL and the American Bar Association only a few months before. Today LLCs in every U.S. state must have a registered office where legal documents can be delivered. 

Basically, a registered agent is a person assigned the authority to receive these documents. The LLC must have a reliable street address in the state where it is formed in order to have a registered office.

During normal business hours, the registered agent should be available to receive documents such as a summons, complaints, and even subpoenas. As a result, selecting the right service agent for your LLC is critical. The SBA states that every business in the U.S. is required to appoint a registered agent.

What is a registered agent?

According to specialists at Incorporation Rocket, a registered agent is a person or business who receives critical information, official documents, and correspondence from the state, federal, and other government agencies. They forward this information to your LLC or corporation so that you can respond correctly and on time. The registered agent serves as the primary point of contact for all legal documents and communications.

Incorporation Rocket Incorporation Rocket Photo: Incorporation Rocket

There are three options when appointing a registered agent:

  • The owner of the startup can serve as its own registered agent

  • A close friend or family member can serve as the startup registered agent

  • A registered agent service can be hired to handle correspondence on behalf of the startup

There are a few requirements that must be met before the owner or a friend or family member can serve as your own registered agent:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • The corporation must have a physical address in the state in which it operates.

  • During the corporation's working hours, you must be available to receive documents.

Do startups need a registered agent?

All legal entities that are formed must appoint a registered agent. These are the business types: Limited Liability Company, S Corporation, C Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, and Non-Profit Organizations. Regardless of the state in which they are registered, all of these business entities must have a registered agent.

If you choose to be your own registered agent, you must be available to receive documents and correspondence during the hours you specify, limiting your flexibility and freedom. That is why using a registered agent service is more advantageous. Hiring a registered agent service has a number of advantages. There are legal requirements for filing reports and other government documents; a registered agent is responsible for informing the LLC of these requirements and notifying them of deadlines. This ensures that the LLC complies with the law.

Every entrepreneur would want to find the best registered agent services in the U.S. This list might be a good place to get you started:

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest, the more expensive option, offers an incorporation package for $225 plus state fees. This may appear to be a lot of money, but what is included makes it well worth it. Northwest has corporate guides who handle all of your filing requirements as well as annual report compliance. They provide premium registered agent services for free for the first year. Northwest goes above and beyond to protect your company's data; they even set up compliance calendars to remind owners of important dates. They create an online profile for LLC owners to use in order to access important information and business documents. Northwest scans every document that comes into the office. When we combed through Northwest's online reviews, we only found positive comments. Customers write that Northwest was very responsive when they sent queries and that they were helped right away. Northwest has been in operation for over 20 years. During this time, they have had the opportunity to fine-tune their services so that they know exactly what companies require. Despite their higher fees, their experience and years of service make them ideal for any LLC.

IncFile

IncFile, unlike Northwest, offers three packages: silver, gold, and platinum. Silver is the entry-level package, and it costs nothing except the state fee. Incfile's Silver package includes preparation and filing of your formation articles, as well as a full year of registered agent service. Furthermore, you will receive a corporate tax consultation, which Northwest does not offer. More features are available if you choose the gold or platinum packages. A legal form collection, as well as a business website and domain name, are among the features available.

The Benefits of Using Northwest and IncFile Services

Both of these companies have years of experience, and their knowledge of the industry allowed them to complete the job correctly. Northwest and Incfile both provide comprehensive business services to help you stay compliant in the long run, and if you need assistance with other LLC formation and maintenance requirements down the road, they are there to assist. Both of these businesses provide excellent customer service. Their staff is well-informed and eager to assist. You'll have access to an easy-to-use website with information, service options, and useful tips with either company.

Final Thoughts

Handling legal documents and tax forms is not something that everyone is comfortable with, and most people are undereducated in this area. A registered agent takes care of this for you, allowing you to concentrate on other areas of your business that are more interesting to you. It is preferable to have an expert do the job correctly the first time. There is always the option of handling mail in-house, which saves money for the company. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether you want to save time or money. International companies know that in the U.S. they can rely on these agents to take care of business.