Is a Registered Agent a Member of an LLC? We discuss everything you need to know in this complete guide by Go Vitru.
You must create a registered agent whenever you create a limited liability company, also known as an LLC. However, it’s important to note that if you are an LLC’s registered agent, that doesn’t make you or your company a member or an owner of the LLC.
What Does Registered Agent Mean?
An LLC must designate a registered agent. When you have a registered agent on file, it means a person is always on hand to receive necessary government or legal documents on your behalf. It doesn’t matter if you designate an individual or a company to be your registered agent. It can be either one.
Rules for Serving as a Registered Agent
Every state has its own rules for being listed as a registered agent. Whoever that may be, the person to be a registered agent has to be over 18. The person must also be a state resident where the LLC filing occurs.
Whether an individual or a company is the registered agent, they must satisfy the following criteria:
Physical address: The registered agent you choose has to have a physical address in the state where the LLC was filed. It can’t be a private mail service or a post office box in the state where the LLC was filed.
Business hours availability: The registered agent must always be available at whatever address listed in the filings during business hours. This rule ensures an individual is always available to receive important documents or services delivered during regular business hours.
Any of the members of your LLC are eligible to be your LLC’s registered agent. However, they must fulfill the specified criteria. That means that an individual can own the LLC where they are the registered agent if they are a member of the LLC.
Should I Act As My Registered Agent?
You or any member of your LLC can be the registered agent. However, it’s important to keep these points in mind:
Public record: You must list the person you have as your registered agent’s physical address on your LLC filings whenever it is a matter of public record. This means that everyone is privy to this information, which can create privacy concerns for the individuals involved. An example of this is if you owned a web-based business that runs out of your home. In this situation, you probably have to use your home address as your contact information since private mailbox services and post office boxes can’t be used as a physical address.
Hours of business: You must be available during regular business hours to accept delivery of communications given to you in your role as a registered agent and to accept service of process. Such a situation can be tricky for small business owners who do not have full-time employees. These business owners may have to attend to business matters that take them out of the office during the workday, making them unavailable to receive.
Multiple states: A registered agent must exist in every state where your LLC does business. Unless you can have a physical place of business in every state where you do business, the use of a registered agent service could be more efficient and alleviate headaches. These services can act as registered agents in more than one state.
The registered agent can also own the LLC, providing they meet the rules for acting as a registered agent. However, a registered agent doesn’t automatically have ownership rights in the LLC.