Every corporation or LLC must have a registered agent in each state where it’s registered to do business. A registered agent accepts service of process and official state government and judicial documents on your behalf, and transmits those documents to your company quickly and efficiently. The larger your business, the more likely you are to receive a high volume of these documents, which usually need to be handled in a short timeframe before they start costing you time and money.
As businesses grow, many will appoint different registered agents as they expand into new states. You may use an attorney in your home state, then appoint an employee in a satellite office across state lines, and then appoint a professional registered agent company in another state where your business has no physical presence. Relatively few professional registered agents operate in all 50 states, so you may even appoint different professional registered agents in different states.
It might feel easier to manage the registered agent requirement in this haphazard way… but it’s almost definitely causing you more difficulty in the long run. Here are five reasons why it makes sense to use the same professional registered agent in every state where you do business.
1. Single Point of Contact
Using the same registered agent provides a single point of contact who knows your business and gives you correct, consistent information about your compliance responsibilities in each state. Of course, for this to work in your favor, you have to select a registered agent that has extensive compliance experience and makes its knowledge available to its customers. For instance, CT Corporation has a Government Relations team that monitors upcoming state legislation and lets you know about legal changes that can affect you.
2. Simplified Billing
Your single point of contact should be able to simplify your billing, for instance by creating a single renewal date for all services. This cuts down on your internal costs: fewer purchase orders you have to fill out, checks you have to cut, and reimbursements you have to submit. Some registered agents, like CORPSMART™, can simplify your life even further by offering bundled services that let you consolidate your annual reports and corporate document filings onto a single annual flat fee.
3. Tools and Options to Fit Your Workflow
Having dedicated tools to manage your entity compliance helps reduce risk and save time. Do you want to go paperless for all your SOP? Do you want customized delivery options, like sending all garnishments directly to the payroll department? How about a single website to monitor the compliance status of all your entities? Streamlining and customization like this isn’t available to businesses using multiple registered agents.
4. National Reach
Of the hundreds of professional registered agent providers in the country, relatively few operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. But when you select a professional registered agent who does, there’s someone to help you no matter where you expand to next. That said, you have a responsibility to vet who you’re putting in charge of some of your most important legal documents. Some professional registered agents outsource their SOP intake offices in some states to third parties. But CORPSMART™ has staffed offices in every state, and every piece of SOP is received by a trained expert.
5. Maintaining Good Standing
When you use a single registered agent, you have a built-in partner who can see the length and breadth of your compliance obligations, and can help you with so much more than just your registered agent requirements. For instance, CORPSMART™ offers services to help you file and track your annual reports, corporate document filings, and business licenses.
To Sum Up
As your business has grown, you may have chosen different registered agents in different states. But there are distinct benefits to choosing a single registered agent to represent you everywhere. If any of the points above sound appealing to you, it may be time to switch your registered agent strategy.