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Every LLC has someone with a fancy name, “the agent of service of process”. The LLC’s agent is the person, business, or government agency that gets legal papers on behalf of the LLC.
What legal papers do they get? Usually the kind of documents that come with a lawsuit (or threatened lawsuit). These might be documents filed with the court. Or letters from someone claiming that the LLC has done something legally wrong.
Who is allowed to act as the LLC’s agent varies by state.
In some states, like New York, only the state can serve as the LLC’s agent. In other states, the agent must be someone on an approved “Agent of Service of Process” list. And in other states, any adult that lives in the state can function as the LLC’s agent.
The LLC appoints this person either on the initial paperwork or shortly after. And you can change who this is from time to time.
There are three reasons why I often encourage my clients to spend ~$100 a year to hire a commercial registered agent.
- The LLC records are in a free, easily accessible, public, online database
- The LLC’s agent is required to have a physical street address in the state (no P.O. Boxes or mailboxes at places like the UPS Store)
- The LLC’s agent is required to be at that physical street address M-F during normal business hours
So unless you have a brick and mortar and you (or your employees) are always around during business hours, you aren’t complying with the laws by being your own registered agent.
And even if you don’t take the course, you can get the deal by heading here.
(I’m a big fan of working with companies that value customers’ privacy. And Northwest Registered Agents is a Privacy First company that does everything they can to protect your personal information and use theirs instead. Learn more about their Privacy by Default policy here. )