5 Questions To Consider Before Hiring A Registered Agent

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When hiring a registered agent, you need to ask the right questions to ensure that you appoint the best provider. Here are some you should keep in mind!

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When establishing a new business, it’s important that you get off to a good start. You need to meet government requirements in order to operate legally. And hiring a registered agent is essential for ensuring smooth business operations.

In case you’re unfamiliar with what registered agents are and what they do, here’s a short definition from Business.com:  

“A registered agent acts as a state’s means of communicating with a corporation or limited liability company. Your registered agent accepts legal and official documents on behalf of your business, including franchise tax forms, annual reports, renewal reminders, and legal notices ranging from court summons to lawsuit paperwork.”

Different states have different regulations regarding registered agents.

For example, the state of Delaware requires all companies to have their own registered agents. Meanwhile, some states only require limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships – along with corporations and LLCs – to have registered agents. 

Although sole proprietorships and general partnerships aren’t legally required to appoint registered agents in certain states, they may also benefit from having one. Besides, registered agents can help business owners avoid the risks of non-compliance.

Registered agent services may be provided either by individuals or companies.

So how do you choose the best individual or service provider to be your own registered agent? Here are some key questions to consider:

1. What specific services does the registered agent provide?

First and foremost, you want to learn about the scope of services provided by the individual or company.

Before hiring a registered agent, visit their website and browse around to find more details about what they can offer your company. See if they have other services aside from receiving and notifying you about legal notices and state correspondence. Also, check with them if they can assure you of a speedy turnaround time. Legal compliance is crucial, so you want the guarantee that they’ll help you meet deadlines and avoid unnecessary delays.  

2. How much do they charge?

Next, you also need to look up their pricing details. Do they only require a one-time payment or do you have to pay separate fees depending on which services you use? Registered agent services vary in their offerings so it’s advisable that you dig out some details first. For instance, do they charge by the hour? Also, do they ask additional fees for Service Process intake or for compliance monitoring?

Simply put, it’s important to do your research if you want to make the most of your budget when hiring a registered agent. Reading the fine print allows you to avoid extra costs and hidden charges.      

3. Can they provide you with continued support as your business grows?

Another vital aspect you should look into is if the individual or company is ready to grow with you. As you strive to achieve success in your industry, you want to appoint a registered agent who can keep up with your progress.

photograph showing two professional women in animated discussion about hiring a registered agent

Image source: Pexels

Your registered agent shouldn’t only be helpful in your startup stage. They should also consistently deliver quality service as your business expands.  

As Forbes reminds entrepreneurs:  

“Businesses that aspire to expand their companies into more than one state can benefit from finding a registered agent that is authorized in all 50 states.”

4. What is the agent’s background or who are the people behind the company?

Of course, it’s important to know the background of the individual or the firm you’re hiring as a registered agent. Before officially signing up for their service, you want to be familiar with their profile. 

So if it’s a company-owned provider, find out who owns the company and what other businesses they own. You may even run a background check on their reputation with others in the industry. 

5. What sets them apart from other registered agent services?

Lastly, you should also take time to ask your shortlisted options what makes them unique from their competitors. At this point, you may have already gathered enough information from your research but it’s still a good idea to ask this question.

photograph of an entrepreneur doing research on his laptop to learn about hiring a business agent
Image source: Unsplash

This will give them the chance to share any unique features and perks that might have not been mentioned on their sites. Also, can they offer you a discount if you avail of more than one service?

Final thoughts on hiring a registered agent

By hiring a skilful and experienced registered agent, you can be sure you’ll always be legally compliant. You can likewise protect your privacy and simplify not only your legal paperwork but also your document management process.

As a result, you’ll be able to focus on your company while having the peace of mind of knowing that a reliable provider has your back.  

Featured image source: Tima Miroshnichenko

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