What You Should Know About It Non-Profit Registered Agent
The agent for service of process also referred to as a nonprofit registered agent, is provided with a physical office where government notices are delivered, typically during business hours, which are then forwarded to you from that state office. Time-sensitive documents are delivered in this manner, and that is why you need to work with a registered agent that is absolutely reliable for your nonprofit business.
Most people have heard registered agents before, especially when incorporating a nonprofit, or perhaps they have seen this terminology as they are expanding into a new state. Legal entity registration is another name for this. Registrations that happen in this manner will go through the Secretary of State.
If you have ever registered a state fundraising license before, this is likely familiar terminology as well. In this case, you would refer to it as a charitable solicitation registration. These are sent directly to the attorney general instead.
For both reasons, you will need to have a registered agent for your nonprofit. In the following information, you will have access to answers to questions that you may have as a nonprofit entity when working with registered agents.
Will You Need to Have a Registered Agent For Your Nonprofit?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Regardless of the state that you are operating in, your nonprofit must have a registered agent if you have gone through the incorporation process. If you don’t have one, the articles of incorporation, which are mandatory when forming a nonprofit, will be rejected.
As you start to see some growth for your nonprofit, it might be advantageous to register in additional states as what is called a foreign entity. This will give you foreign qualifications. This process will require you to also use a registered agent that will be appointed, an individual that will have a physical address in that particular state.
All of this must be kept in public record for it to be legal. Maintaining your nonprofit registered agent is not that hard to do. If their information does change over time, you need to file paperwork to indicate that the change has occurred, as this will be the point person for receiving your legal documents.
From your perspective, they are your legal entity, and this is true for any nonprofit that has a registered agent. If you register to solicit contributions, a registered agent will also be necessary. A state charity official can assist you with these appointments, and this could include the attorney general for that state. These special agency appointments are not that hard to accomplish.
Are Nonprofit Registered Agents Individuals?
Most states will allow a single individual to be the registered agent for a nonprofit. So the answer is yes. In fact, there are many nonprofits that may want to use an employee, or even a board member, to act as their registered agent. Though this may work in certain circumstances, this can be problematic for certain reasons.
Why a Registered Agent For a Nonprofit is a Legal Appointment
These individuals will interact between your nonprofit, the courts, and the state. During regular business hours, they must always be available, in order to receive service of process. If they have a personal schedule or even a professional one that is too busy, they may not be able to meet this requirement. That’s why you may be at risk as a nonprofit when using someone like this that could actually miss a service of process.
A registered agent service can offer you, in any state, a registered agent. We have many offices that you can contact, during regular business hours, to receive documents for your organization. Best registered agent service for LLC.
Why it Can be More Expensive For Individual Registered Agents
If you decide to appoint a registered agent that is an individual, it might be more expensive than hiring a registered agent provider. For some, using an employee, or a board member, might be a good idea at the beginning, but this can lead to long-term costs that will likely be higher.
Personnel turnover, or even board members that leave, also represents an ongoing cost, especially when trying to maintain nonprofit registered agents. If they are suddenly no longer available, the nonprofit must update the state on these changes. This will require a fee, which is $25 every time that you file. If you do forget to file, you will miss your chances of receiving service of process while they are gone.