Last updated: May 24, 2023

Corporations seeking state registration need a registered agent. This agent will handle all legal communications from the government, individuals, and other entities on their behalf.

As an expert who has been in the business for years, I will explain what a registered agent is and why it is so important for corporations to have one.

Quick Summary

  • A registered agent for a corporation is an individual or entity appointed to receive legal notices on behalf of the business entity.
  • Failure to get a registered agent for your corporation will attract fines and penalties, which might be detrimental.
  • A registered agent must be available at all times during normal business hours to receive information from the government or other organizations.

What Is a Registered Agent For A Corporation?

Woman talking on the phone as a registered agent for a corporation

A registered agent for a corporation is an individual or company that is appointed to handle all external affairs of the business entity.

The agent would be responsible for receiving legal notices from the government on behalf of the corporation and would serve as a means of contact for individuals who are seeking to get in touch.

Why Do Corporations Need A Registered Agent?

Legal gavel on table to show a legal document for a registered agent

Corporations need a registered agent simply because it is required by law for them to have one. If this wasn’t legally enforced, some corporations might not have a registered agent unless they deem it necessary.

Foreign corporations or corporations operating out of state will require the services of a registered agent so that individuals or companies doing business with them can reach out to them through their agents.

Another reason a registered agent is needed is when the corporation is under a contractual agreement with another entity.

The agent will only be known and available to both parties in the contractual agreement and will receive service of process on behalf of the corporation.

This is also the case in other situations, such as loan agreements, indentures, and franchise agreements.

What Is The Role Of A Registered Agent?

Legal notice on paper to show the role of a registered agent

The role of a registered agent is primarily to receive legal notices and service of process on behalf of a corporation.

The service of process is a summons, a document that tells the corporation that another party has taken legal action against it. The service of process is then delivered by a process server or by mail in some states [1].

Now, because of how difficult it can be in some cases for an individual or entity to get in touch with the owner of a corporation or with an authorized individual in that corporation, a professional registered agent is required to fill this gap.

This is why the name and physical residence of professional registered agents must belong in the public records and be known to the state.

Another important role of a registered agent is to serve as an intermediary between the state’s secretary of state and the corporation.

This is because a corporation registered in a state is required under law to submit certain documents to the Secretary of State from time to time, who will use these as assessments to know if the entity is still functional in the state.

For example, a corporation can be required to submit annual reports and tax reports through its registered agent, who will take them to the Secretary of State and receive information that they will relay back to the corporation [2].

This is why documents containing sensitive information should be given to the statutory agent, who is the right person at the right time.

How Does A Corporation Appoint A Registered Agent?

A corporation appoints a registered agent during the registration process at the business entity filing office. This is needed before the state can approve the articles of organization or articles of corporation of the entity.

The registered agent must also accept the appointment, and the corporation’s annual report must contain the registered agent's information, such as name, business address, or physical address.

If the agent moves to a different location, the corporation will have to hire another agent and inform the state about it.

What Happens If A Corporation Does Not Have A Registered Agent?

Department of state building for registered agents

If a corporation does not have a registered agent, the state will take it as a sign that the business entity does not want to abide by the laws. This will attract penalties and fines, which can be detrimental to the corporation.

The same is also the case if the corporation does not notify the state of a change of registered agent.

This could also cause the state to dissolve it if it is a domestic corporation or to revoke its authority to conduct business within the state if it is a foreign corporation.

A corporation that does not have a registered agent could also lose its good standing, making it difficult to partake in state incentives, and the clients will lose trust in the business once they hear about it.

What Are The Benefits Of Having My Own Registered Agent?

Legal documents showing a registered agent

The benefits of having your own registered agent include the following:

  • The agent will be able to receive legal documents on your corporation’s behalf.
  • The agent will also be able to relay information quickly and efficiently to your corporation, the government, and other individuals and businesses.

You will feel confident knowing that your registered agent is always available to receive legal notice during business hours.

Also, you won't have to worry about the agent being out of the office or not receiving these documents on time.

It is important that you receive information quickly, especially when a lawsuit is involved, and the registered agent will make that possible. Failure to do so will result in a default judgment, which will be detrimental to your corporation.


Can I Be Penalized For Not Having A Registered Agent For My Corporation?

Yes, you can be penalized for not having a registered agent for your corporation. This could come in the form of fines or outright dissolution.

Why Do Corporations Require Registered Agents?

Corporations require registered agents to represent the entity and serve as a means of contact for the government, individuals, and businesses.

Can I Be A Registered Agent Service For My Corporation?

You can be a registered agent service for your corporation, but you should hire a third party so that you can focus on the more important parts of your business.

Is A Registered Agent The Same As A Resident Agent?

Yes, a registered agent is the same as a resident agent. They are often interchanged with the resident agent to imply that they reside in the state.

Get A Registered Agent For Your Corporation Today

A registered agent is very important for your corporation because it will help you receive legal documents from the government and other entities quickly and efficiently.

To help you get started, our team of experts has compiled a list of the best registered agent services for your corporation.

These registered agent services are the best in the business, and they offer premium services that will give your corporation the right look and recognition.



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