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What does a registered agent do?

A registered agent serves as your legal service representative in that state. In other words, if someone sues you, the agent in that state is the one who will receive the summons. Each state has its own requirements for legally registered LLC agents. In some cases, the agent may have to be lawyer or a CPA if he is not an actual member of your business. But in some states, like Delaware, the agent just has to be a legal resident of Delaware and able to run a business in the state during regular business hours.

Why do I need a registered agent?

All states require physical addresses for businesses because service of process cannot be completed through a post office box. Service of process is simply the giving and receiving of a summons in a lawsuit. It is not enough for a person who wants to sue another to file the lawsuit in court. The person suing must also hand over legally-mandated information about the lawsuit to the person they are suing. Many states refer to an acceptable address as a street address. Most of the time, the agent must be available during all regular business hours to receive service of process.

How do I evaluate a registered agent service?

When you are considering your LLC registered agent, look in particular to the agent's organization and notification skills. Some businesses work only as registered agents for various corporations and LLCs. Always make sure that the service you choose has a good reputation and no customer reviews complaining about untimely delivery. When you're served through your agent, the court considers you properly served. This means that you could be found liable through default judgment, even if you've never heard about the case. Default judgments cannot be appealed because of an ineffective or incompetent registered agent, so make your choice carefully.

If you have any questions about registered agents or need answers to other questions about your business, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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