What is a Registered Agent?
When you form an LLC or Corporation in the state of Florida you are required to designate an individual or legal entity that will accept legal documents and notifications, such as an appropriate notice of a lawsuit, on behalf of your business. This designated individual or legal entity is the registered agent for your business. If another individual or entity wished to pursue legal action against you, they would have to inform your registered agent.
Who Can be a Registered Agent?
Registered agents can be part of the organization they represent, or an individual/entity separate from your business. However, while an individual from your own business may be designated as it’s registered agent, the entity itself cannot be its own registered agent. Often when businesses are looking to hire a registered agent, they look for professional registered agents who are highly knowledgeable or specialized in a specific field. One of the best types of professional agents commonly hired are lawyers. Before we can understand why lawyers make such good registered agents, we must first understand what is asked of a registered agent.
Requirements of a Registered Agent.
In order for an entity or individual to be a registered agent for a business in Florida, they must first meet some requirements.
- The registered agent must live in Florida or have a physical registered office in Florida. PO Boxes are not a valid option.
- The registered agent should be easily reached. This means that the registered agent should be easily contacted and readily available as they are the ones who can accept notification of legal action against your business.
- A registered agent must accept the service of process, meaning that registered agents must accept things such as a complaint which often leads to legal action being taken.
Why a Lawyer Should be Your Registered Agent.
With these requirements in mind, we can now examine why lawyers are preferred to be registered agents. Lawyers will have physical offices within the state of Florida and often operate within normal business hours, meaning 9-5 office hours. This also means that lawyers can be easily reached by any party looking to take legal action. However, the real advantage of having a lawyer as your registered agent is the legal experience and knowledge they possess. While many other professionals, like an accountant, can fulfill the first two requirements without issue they probably will not know how to properly respond to a service of process. Having a lawyer as your registered agent however can help you avoid litigation through their experience and knowledge or sometimes just through the reputation of their profession. Individuals will be much more hesitant to seek legal action against a business with a lawyer as their registered agent.
Managing your own business is a complex and often daunting experience which can place enormous amounts of strain on an individual. Because of this many business owners would rather have an experienced professional serving as their registered agent thus allowing them to fully devote their time and concentration to the growth of their business. We believe that having a lawyer as a registered agent not only helps owners mitigate risk, but it also allows them to feel secure knowing they will be able to appropriately respond to any legal action taken against them.
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