Importance of a Registered Agent
The Answers You Need
What is a Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent is a third party appointed to accept legal process, tax notices, and government communications on behalf of your business entity. The Registered Agent maintains a physical presence in the state your are registering to do business in and is the point of contact to accept documents on your behalf during business hours. It is important to appoint an agent who is reliable and can keep the business informed of any service of process served on the entity. Timely notifications mean you have time to respond to court summons, pay/file annual reports and taxes before penalties are assessed. At Telos Legal Corp., we provide express courier delivery along with electronic notification for any legal documents served on your business entity. We keep track of all documents received and the entire history from acceptance to delivery is logged into our database.
Do I Need a Registered Agent?
Yes, if you are not able to physically accept legal documents during normal business hours in the state of registration. The entity itself cannot be its own agent. In fact, all states require an agent in order to register to do business and it is a huge responsibility that is best entrusted to a third party expert. Our staff is versed and experienced on providing quality and timely registered agent service to our clients.
Want to Change Your Existing Agent?
Telos Legal Corp. can assist anyone who wishes to change their current registered agent to us. We complete the required forms and all applicable state filing fees relating to the change is included in your annual rate. There are no hidden costs or fees, just one flat fee and we take care of the rest. A copy of the filed Change of Agent filing will be provided to you upon completion.
How We Compare to the Competition
Telos Legal Corp. staffs industry experts who have worked with large corporate service companies and bring years of invaluable experience to you at affordable rates.
CT, Wolters Kluwer
Approx. $319 per year
Approx. $340 per year
Telos Legal Corp.
$150 per year
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Notifying Your Agent of Appointment
By: Tami Gerardi, Delaware Office Mgr.
Can I file on my own and name Telos as agent?
Yes, you absolutely can! Many states now offer electronic filing capabilities of corporate documents. However, it is important to notify the agent of the appointment. Please see the next question and answer to get more details.
I want to file on my own, how will you know of the agent appointment?
The Importance of notifying the Registered Agent when filing directly in a State
If your organization is filing a business entity document directly with a Secretary of State’s office, the document may require the appointment of a registered agent. Once the document is filed it is very important to the necessary steps to notify the registered agent of the appointment. Failing to do so could result in negative consequents for the entity.
The registered agent will need to be aware of the appointment to ensure that current contact information is on record. In most cases, the agent will require a contact name for billing, tax and legal communications purposes. Not only is this information often statutorily required, but lack of this information could result in costly delays for the company in the event that legal documents or annual report notices are received by the registered agent. Some of the areas that could be impacted include:
Forwarding of legal documentation:
In the event that the entity is involved in a legal action, legal documents may be served upon the office of the registered agent. The registered agent would then forward the documentation to the most recent legal contact it has on record. If the registered agent does not have the name or current address of an individual to whom the document can be sent, it may not be received in a timely manner. In turn, a delay may adversely affect the entity in the underlying legal proceedings (for example, failing to respond by a specific deadline could lead to a default judgment).
Annual report notifications:
Most states will forward annual report filings and/or filing notices directly to the registered agent and, again, the registered agent would send the notice in a timely manner directly to the designated entity contact. Maintaining accurate and up to date information is vital for the registered agent to successfully deliver these notices. When an entity does not file its annual report by the due date established by the state, costly penalties, lack of good standing status and potentially even revocation could occur.
Additionally, some states will allow a company to change its registered agent by indicating the new agent on the annual report. In those cases, it is very important to review and check this information carefully. It is not uncommon for a registered agent to be accidentally changed when the incorrect agent is listed on the annual report. If a change of agent was intentional, it is essential that both the new and prior agent be notified. (Most registered agents will provide the notice to the prior agent on your behalf.)
The registered agent needs to know who to bill for annual registered agent services. For the entity, it is far better to receive an annual invoice than to receive one for multiple years once the registered agent learns of the appointment. Or, worse yet, the registered agent could resign for non-payment which could lead to involuntary dissolution in states that require a registered agent.
By making your registered agent aware of a new entity appointment and providing current contact information, you will be assured of expeditiously receiving legal process and legal notices. You’ll also be better able to maintain your entity’s good standing status by ensuring that the right person in the company receives tax notices so that franchise taxes and/or annual reports are paid/filed on a timely basis.