Delaware may not be the biggest state in the country. In fact. It’s known for being the second smallest. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that over 66% of Fortune 500 companies have flocked to it and declared it as their legal home.
This is all thanks to the 1899 Delaware General Corporation Law, which made it easy for businesses to incorporate in the state. Since then, the corporate-friendly law has been updated by law makers for modern times. As a result, it has motivated increasing numbers of entrepreneurs to establish their companies there – even those who live outside Delaware.
In such cases, having a registered agent in Delaware is a legal requirement.
Why you need to have a registered agent in Delaware
First, let’s define what a registered agent actually is, along with its roles and functions.
A registered agent acts as your company’s liaison to the state where it is incorporated. In this case, a registered agent in Delaware is your representative as you conduct official business with the state’s Division of Corporations. Among the agent’s responsibilities is the handling of legal documents for you such as Franchise Tax reports, late notices, and others.
Again, having a registered agent in Delaware is required by the law. According to the Delaware code, every corporation “shall have and maintain in Delaware a Registered Agent.”
In case you’re wondering, yes, business owners (or their employees) can be their own registered agents if:
- They are at least 18 years of age, and;
- They have a Delaware street address.
Otherwise, you will definitely need to hire someone before you can file as a corporation or LLC.
Advantages of having a registered agent in Delaware
Beyond compliance to local laws, there are certain benefits of using a registered agent in Delaware as you incorporate in the state.
1. Registered agents can receive and process legal documents for you
Registered agents receive documents and letters from the Delaware Division of Corporations and the Secretary of State. Some examples of these documents include Franchise Tax reports, late notices, void notices, and more.
In turn, your registered agent immediately informs you about them and takes any necessary action as needed. The agent punctually completes legal documents on your behalf, which helps you avoid fines.
Your company will remain in good standing with the relevant authorities.
2. You can protect your privacy
When acting as your own registered agent, your home or office address gets listed on the Delaware General Information Name Search. This database is open to the public.
Similarly, receiving legal notices and lawsuits to your address might cause confusion or distress among your employees, clients or family members.
Working with a registered agent in Delaware allows you to avoid these concerns. You’ll be able to maintain your privacy at all times. All documents are delivered to the address of the agent, who then discreetly forwards you scanned copies online.
3. You get digital copies of important documents
As pointed out, scanned copies of documents are sent straight to your inbox when your registered agent receives them. Keeping digital files of important documents simplifies your organizing process. They’re easily available when you need them in the future. Plus you avoid accumulating extra clutter in your office.
4. Registered agents are always available to work
Of course, it’s possible to be your own registered agent. However, you’ll probably be too busy for more paperwork after a long day building your business.
A registered agent typically works daily during business hours. In short, they’re always available to work on your documents. You’ll never miss important notices as they will constantly send you updates when new documents arrive.
5. You can focus on what matters most: growing your business.
Lastly, you can devote greater time to your startup. With all the paperwork out of your way, you can spend more time doing what you love most. You can focus better on your day-to-day operations and on dealing with your customers.
Thinking of forming a Delaware business? A registered agent in Delaware will help you be compliant with state regulations. What’s more, the best registered agents will assist in a multitude of useful ways, from business set up and tax filing to bookkeeping, invoicing and even virtual mailbox services. You’ll soon appreciate how hiring these professionals will give you much-needed peace of mind while you focus on your business.