The registered agent is a responsible third-party to your business, who is located in the state in which you formed your business. As a Delaware business, you will be required to have a registered Delaware agent that is designated to receive legal documents, process notices, and correspondence from the Secretary of State. Your registered agent should also be available to receive government documents such as tax forms and summons on behalf of your LLC, corporation, or partnership.
What Does a Delaware Registered Agent Do?
Registered agents provide a physical presence in Delaware, in order to accept service of process for your business. Having a great registered agent means that they will provide more services than simply receiving mail.
Great registered agents will also aid in company formations, book-keeping, and accounting, act as a virtual office, notify you of lawsuits or judgments involving your business, and accept legal documents on your behalf.
Overall, a registered agent will be there to accept tax documents, mail, and make sure you do not miss important business information.
Why You Need a Registered Agent in Delaware
Benefits of a Registered Agent
- Maintain privacy: Using the services of a registered agent means you can avoid putting your address online. Your registered agent’s address will serve as the public address of your business, keeping your LLC disconnected from your personal life.
- Avoid being served in front of family and friends: In the case that you are served with a lawsuit, having a registered agent means you will not be served at your home or place of work. This can save huge amounts of embarrassment.
- Stay in compliance with the law: Your registered agent should help you stay up to date on legal requirements in Delaware. This includes annual report filings and other government notifications. This helps you avoid legal fees or lawsuits due to non-response.
- Assistance with additional services: Your agent should help you with additional services as well, such as keeping copies of corporate and legal documents. They can also allow you to focus on your business while knowing your LLC or corporation is in good hands.
- Flexibility to travel, or reside outside the state of Delaware: By employing a Delaware registered agent, you will be able to reside wherever you wish. You will not be constrained to living in the state where your business was formed.
Why You Are Required to Have a Registered Agent
Your registered agent should be the main point of contact for all business-related mail. It is essential that you have a registered agent who lives in the state of Delaware. Your registered agent should also have a legal residential address in Delaware (where your business is formed).
How to Choose a Registered Agent
Requirements of a Delaware Registered Agent
When appointing a registered agent there are three main requirements:
- Must be over the age of 18
- Hold a physical address in the state of Delaware
- Be available during business hours
Qualities to Look for in a Registered Agent
Hiring a professional registered agent has many advantages. Specifically, there are a few main qualities to look for.
- Compliance management: Ensures that you are given reminders for filing annual reports, and for other important business deadlines.
- Management documents: Being able to scan official legal documents in order to access them remotely is essential. This means you can access any of your business mail as soon as it arrives without delay.
- Availability: Your registered agent must be reliable. They should be available during business hours to answer any of your questions through the phone or email communication.
- Multi-state coverage: Having the ability to provide registered agent services in more than just Delaware allows you to expand your business without restrictions.
Assigning Yourself as a Registered Agent
As long as you live in the same state where your business was formed, you can legally be your own registered agent. This means that if you formed your business in Delaware, you will be required to have someone at a Delaware address to receive mail or live there yourself.
Other requirements of being your own registered agent involve being over the age of 18 and being available during normal business hours.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent in Delaware
Not having a registered agent means that your company will be dissolved. Whether you appoint yourself, or leave this responsibility to a third party, having a registered agent is essential to the formation and operation of your business. Every business owner a part of an LLC, corporation, or partnership should operate with a registered agent.