Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need a registered agent?
The bottom line is that you have to have one. When you form an entity like an LLC or a corporation in any state, you will be required to appoint a registered agent for service of process. This is the person that is authorized to accept service of process if there is a lawsuit or official notices from the state. It is sometimes referred to as a statutory agent, resident agent, or corporate service of process agent. Most states will not allow you to form an entity without making such a designation.
Who can be a registered agent?
First, the registered agent must have a physical address within the state for whom the registered agent is serving. In other words, if you have a Texas company, the registered agent must have a physical location to receive mail. If you are a Delaware company, but are foreign qualified to do business in Texas, then again, you will need to appoint a registered agent with a physical address in Texas. If you are foreign qualified in a number of states, you may need a registered agent in each one of those states – we can do that for you and make your paperwork simple.
Assuming you have a physical address in your state of incorporation and where you are doing business, you can serve as the registered agent. There are many reasons, however, you may not want to be the registered agent. Read more below.
You can appoint us to be your registered agent. We have offices in 50 states ready to serve you. The offices are staffed during regular business hours and any notices from the states or notices about lawsuits will be quickly sent to you. We serve as our own registered agents in these states and treat you like we treat ourselves.
Who Needs a Registered Agent?
New entity formation — If you are doing business, you should set up a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or another corporate entity rather than simply being what is referred to as a “sole proprietor.” Forming the corporate entity usually shields you from personal liability should something go wrong with your company. This protects your personal assets like your home or car and only puts at risk the assets of your company. To form a corporate entity, you will have to have a registered agent.
Foreign qualification — “Foreign qualification” does not mean qualifying to do business outside of the United States of America. Foreign, in this context, refers to another state within the United States, other than the one where you formed your company.
If you are already doing business in your home state, but want to do business in another state, or hire employees in another state, you may need to “foreign qualify.” Also, if you formed a company in the popular states of Delaware, Nevada or Wyoming, but are based in another state, you will likely have to foreign qualify in your state of operation.
Foreign qualification is registering to do business in that state. When you do that, you will have to appoint a registered agent with a physical address within that state. LegalCorp Solutions can do that for you.
Why Hire Us?
Dependable commercial offices — Our registered agent offices are in commercial spaces and staffed during regular business hours. That means someone will be available to receive and process your documents upon arrival. You don’t have to worry that they are sitting in a mailbox or that a certified letter is delayed because no one actually occupies the office or home addresses other services may use.
Affordable No Frills Service — We are cheaper than many other options because we don’t include a lot of fluff. Other than initial sign-up, occasional compliance reminders and your annual renew, we don’t hassle you or send you emails you don’t need. We aim to be a part of the machinery in the background that makes your business work. You don’t need ubiquitous alerts or additional services.
Fast and efficient electronic document delivery and account access — With our strategic partners, we provide immediate access to your scanned documents. This helps make sure no time is lost through mail delivery or snafus so you can respond if a crisis like a lawsuit hits you. Having them available online also means you don’t have to worry about the dog eating your homework or misplacing that mailed piece of paper.
Knowledgeable about state requirements — We know business formation and compliance. Our experience allows us to answer your questions and, if you want us to, find the right resources to get your filings done and done right.
Why you may not want to be your own registered agent
Privacy — The address of the registered agent is public information and easily findable for people curious about your business. If you run a business out of your home, then you may not want to publish your home address to the world. Most states allow you to list the business address with a P.O. Box, but won’t let you do the same for a registered agent. You can list one of our many commercial addresses.
Dependable availability — Our commercial offices are staffed during regular business hours so you don’t have to worry about missing a delivery or a notice. We will send you electronic notification of a notice so that if you have access to email, you will always know what is going on. You can maintain flexible hours or take that month long vacation and take comfort in the fact that you will receive electronic notification of important events.
We don’t lose paper — We scan and make available the documents so you will always have access to them. You don’t have to worry about what happened to that piece of paper. And, you can access them from anywhere you have computer access.
You won’t be served with papers at home — The most common way lawsuits are served on businesses is by and through the registered agent. If you list yourself, an officer could show up at your office or home and serve you in front of your family or friends. By listing us, we get served and then discretely notify you of any lawsuits.
Do I have to foreign qualify?
To answer that question, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1. Are your operations primarily in a state other than the one where you originally formed?
2. Do you have a physical presence in another state like leased space or owned property?
3. Do you have employees in another state?
4. Do you do business such as take orders or earn revenues from another state?
5. Do you have a bank account in another state?
If you answered any of these with a “yes,” you may need to foreign qualify. You can call our registered agent specialists if you have questions or ask your accounting or legal professional.
So what happens if you don’t foreign qualify and you should have?
Yes, it does cost money to foreign qualify, but it can cost you much more if you try to get away with not doing it when you should have. Many state laws require it and will charge you a penalty on top of “making up” for the past due fees. You may also not be able to adequately pursue or defend a lawsuit in courts of the states where you are transacting business without registering and foreign qualifying.
An alternative to foreign qualifying is to incorporate your business or form your LLC in the other state(s) in which you plan to do business. The primary difference is that when you incorporate or form your LLC in multiple states, your company becomes domestic in each of those states, thereby creating separate entities. Consider the following in making your decision:
By foreign qualifying, you don’t have to form a new corporate entity for each state in which you operate. This avoid the unnecessary costs and administrative headaches.