Generally, every business entity, including LLCs and corporations, must designate a registered agent. This person or company is legally responsible for receiving service of process and official state correspondence on behalf of the entity.
A great registered agent will also help companies stay compliant with state requirements by reminding them of deadlines for filing annual reports or other legal documents.
Delaware requires businesses to maintain compliance by filing annual reports and other government documents. By providing timely reminders about these obligations, registered agents make sure businesses don’t miss critical deadlines and can avoid penalties.
A registered agent’s job is also to forward service of process and act as a liaison between a business and the state. By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on a company’s behalf, a registered agent frees up the time of the business to focus on growing its operations.
While it’s possible for a business to serve as its own registered agent, that is not recommended. A business that goes 30 days without a registered agent will lose its good standing status with the state of Delaware. Using a third-party service that specializes in registered agent services can save money, protect privacy and give business owners peace of mind that their company’s information is protected. They can also provide additional services, such as compliance reminders and document scanning.
Having a trusted registered agent is important because it’s the person or business entity that is required to receive service of process and legal notices for businesses that are registered in Delaware. A good registered agent will also be able to provide companies with reminders for annual report filings.
Additionally, a good registered agent will have a commercial address and office and be open during regular business hours. This is important because if a company wants to sue someone they need to be able to have that lawsuit served on them.
While it is possible for a business to act as its own registered agent, this is not recommended as it can create problems. If a lawsuit is received and the agent is not available to respond, it can cause delays in responding. It can also be dangerous since a sheriff or law enforcement officer must be able to physically receive the lawsuit at the address (no P.O. boxes).
For any organization that operates across local boundaries, the role of a registered agent is incredibly important. These agents provide a physical point of contact during business hours and are mandated in many jurisdictions to ensure that entities can receive legal and official correspondence.
Managing the various compliance requirements can be overwhelming and a registered agent’s services can really make a difference to companies by providing expertise in these areas of law and helping to create visibility around annual compliance due dates. This frees up the corporate secretary and legal operations teams to focus on higher level strategic issues.
For example, Delaware’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers to notify employees that they are entitled to job protection if they take leave to address pregnancy complications. Also, they must provide interactive sexual harassment training to all employees and separate training for supervisors. Registered agents can help with these laws and many others. They can even assist with the drafting and filing of required business forms and other state documents.
A registered agent’s job is to accept service of process notices, mail, and other legal documentation on behalf of a business. This is important because it allows a business to stay compliant by not missing deadlines for filings and taxes.
While businesses can act as their own Delaware registered agents, a professional registered agent is more cost-effective and secure than having an employee or owner serve. Additionally, acting as a registered agent means that your name and address will be listed in public records.
A quality registered agent will also help you manage compliance documents by storing them and providing reminders. They will also provide you with the proper forms to file reports and other time-sensitive documents. This helps you to save time and focus on running your business. A good registered agent will even resign properly in the event that they no longer serve your business. This will protect you from unplanned fines or penalties for failure to comply.