How to Find an LLC Registered Agent
When setting up an LLC, or limited liability company, there are several important steps, including selecting an LLC registered agent. A limited liability company is a business entity with elements of both a partnership and a corporation. An LLC offers the owner protection of their financial assets as they are not responsible for the finances of the business, such as debts. It also has a particular structure and set of processes.
To be considered a limited liability company, or LLC, the company must have received a certificate from the state to confirm the LLC. You can do this by registering your business and filing your articles of organization on your Secretary of State website.
What is an LLC Registered Agent?
You might be wondering, ‘What is a registered agent?’ A registered agent is a person who will receive legal documents relating to the business. These documents include licensing details, renewals, legal documents, etc. You will need to have a name and address for your registered agent so you can put these details on all the relevant documentation when setting up your LLC. The name and address of your registered agent are required for the legal documentation when you form your LLC on the Secretary of State website.
The legal agent will ensure you receive legal documents within the specified time. You will need to check their policies and procedures so you are aware of how they operate. Find out how and when you will need to be made aware of legal proceedings, like lawsuits, for example.
Why do you Need an LLC Registered Agent?
When you are setting up your LLC, you will need to include the details of an LLC registered agent when you register your business on the Secretary of State website and file your articles of organization. The registered agent could be yourself, another manager, or you could hire a registered agent for your business.
The advantage of using an external registered agent is that you can receive legal documents for your business at any time, so they can spare you from receiving documents at home when spending time with friends and family or at your place of work, perhaps in front of customers. If you own a restaurant and are head chef, for example, you would not be in a position to accept legal documents in the middle of service. If you use a registered agent, it will appear far more professional.
If you plan to expand your operations to other states, you will need to register with the other states as a foreign LLC. You will be required to provide the name and address of your registered agent each time you register as a foreign LLC.
When do you Appoint an LLC Registered Agent?
You will need to have selected your registered agent before you register your business and file your articles of organization. Both the name and address of your registered agent will need to be included when you are setting up your LLC.
It is important to ensure you retain the services of your registered agent. You might pay a certain amount for a particular length of time or a regular payment to retain their services. Either way, it is a legal requirement that you have a registered agent if you are an LLC, so you must keep up to date with any service renewals, or if you change your registered agent, you should notify the Secretary of State online or via the correct form.
How to Find a Registered Agent?
You can see if there is a list of registered agents on your Secretary of State website. You might also get recommendations for a registered agent from other people in business you are acquainted with. If you are looking online, check their reviews and social proof. This might be additional profiles on social media, a regularly updated website, etc.
There are some very well-known, national registered agent companies you might wish to consider using if you plan to expand your business into several states and register as a foreign LLC.
Final Word: How to Find an LLC Registered Agent?
You must select a registered agent when forming your LLC. You could be the registered agent yourself, or another manager. This will save you money but is a less professional option. You can select an LLC registered agent either from recommendations, searching online, or looking on your Secretary of State’s website. When you have chosen your registered agent, you can go ahead and register your business and file your articles of organization.
The Legal Stepz LLC course can guide you through the process of incorporating a business or forming a limited liability company. You can also take a look at our Starting a Business in California checklist for more information.