It doesn’t matter where you choose to form a business, or whether it’s a corporation, a non-profit, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). When you create a business entity, you’ll want to have a registered agent to accept documents on behalf of your company. There are many services an agent can provide, on top of being the communication link between your business and the state government.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is known by a few different names, but ultimately it is an agent for service of process. The necessity of an agent by law changes from state to state, but in Utah it is required. An individual or a business entity with the right qualifications can serve as a registered agent. Other names for a registered include:
- Agent for Service of Process
- Corporate Agent
- Statutory Agent
- Resident Agent
The main purpose for a registered agent is to receive legal notifications from state and federal governments. They are the point of contact who can keep a business owner informed of legal matters in a timely fashion.
What Does a Registered Agent Do?
The United States Constitution has due process clauses which prevent courts from overseeing lawsuits unless the defendant has been properly notified. Since a business entity is considered an entity, there needs to be a designated individual who is available during daily work hours who can accept services of process. This is the registered agent’s primary duty. They accept legal documents and communications from Utah’s government on our behalf.
There are other routine tasks that a business must do to maintain good standing. A majority of states require some form of yearly update, or an annual report. A good registered agent will help keep track of important due dates for vital legal documents. Here’s a list of documents a registered agent can help keep track of:
- Tax Information
- Legal Document Copies
- Government Communications
- Annual Reports
- Service of Process
- Business License Renewal Dates
There are reminder tools a registered agent can use to keep up with important dates and prioritize the next upcoming deadline.
Why Do You Need a Registered Agent?
Having a registered agent to manage legal matters is highly recommended for any business. The pros far outweigh the cons. For under $100, depending on the service you purchase, you can free up your schedule to focus on the things that matter to your company. If you buy an LLC through us, we provide a registered agent for the first year of operations. Here’s what an agent can cover:
When you file the Utah LLC Certificate of Organizations, you must provide a Utah address. This address becomes available to anyone who publicly searches for your business information. If you use a registered agent service, their personal address is listed with the Utah Department of Commerce - Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, instead of your personal address.
You must have someone available during standard business hours who can accept legal notices from the government. If you pass off this responsibility to a registered agent, you can free up your schedule and run your business at the hours that work best for you.
Meet State Requirements
Most states like Utah require having a registered agent. Other essential requirements include filing annual reports, and a good agent can provide a reminder to fulfill other requirements as well.
Maintain Good Standing
Having someone in charge of legal documents and business license renewal deadlines is essential to keeping your LLC in good standing. If you fall out, then you can lose business permissions, and your company might eventually be dissolved. It can also rack up penalty fees and cost unnecessary finances.
You might face a lawsuit. It can happen to anyone in this country. Being notified in front of friends, family, or even potential customers, might have a significant impact on your business. A tactful agent can discreetly notify you in a timely manner, while minimizing the impact a lawsuit might have during the notification process.
An agent who can be in charge of storing documents can use a secure digital storage server, making it easier for you to have complete access to all of your important documents at all times. The ability to access documents with a personal device can save time based on what you need and when you need it.
If your business takes off, you might expand operations into other states. Since every state will have some kind of registered agent requirement, it’s beneficial to use a registered agent service. Most have access to an address in each state, providing each state with an agent for service of process.
How to Choose a Registered Agent
If you purchase a Utah LLC with us, you won’t have to worry about the first year of having a registered agent. Who serves as your agent afterwards will depend on your needs, but they must meet certain requirements. An agent for service of process in Utah must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a Utah street address.
- Be listed as the registered agent for the business you represent, with your name and street address included.
You can serve as your own registered agent as long as you meet these requirements. You’ll end up spending nothing, but that comes with a new set of responsibilities. It might be better for ease of mind to have a service that can handle the expectations that come along with this role. What’s most important is that the state of Utah government knows you have a designated person who can receive service of process.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
If you don’t have an agent for service of process in Utah, then your business application will be outright rejected. If you somehow lost your agent, it is imperative to update your information immediately. Without a designated agent, you might miss crucial notifications. Failure to respond to a lawsuit can result in default judgment against you.
You can change your LLC’s registered agent at any time for a $15 filing fee, and by filling a Registration Information Change form with the Utah Department of Commerce.
Why Should a Business Lawyer be Your Registered Agent?
Having a qualified attorney who knows the importance of deadlines and the consequences of not following through is the best person for the job. If you purchase a Utah LLC using our services, then we can provide you with the first year. Contact us today and we’ll get your LLC started!