Registered Agent vs Organizer (Key Differences Explained)
Forming an LLC entails appointing certain individuals to act as an organizer and a registered agent to launch and maintain the company.
As an LLC consultant with over a decade of practice, I am familiar with the business formation process and assisted several entrepreneurs in maintaining their businesses.
After consulting our team of legal professionals, we'll share our insights on the roles and qualifications of a registered agent and organizer.
- A registered agent conducts Service of Process while an organizer signs and files the Articles of Organization, both on behalf of the LLC
- The LLC has the option to appoint a member or employ a professional service to act as the registered agent and organizer for the company.
- A registered agent is required to maintain a physical address within the LLC's operating state and stay accessible during standard business hours, unlike the organizer, who faces no such stipulations.
- For new business owners, I advise you to employ a legal professional to draft, sign, and file the Articles of Organization to ensure its legality.
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a person or business that conducts service of process and receives vital legal documents on your entity’s behalf.
An LLC registered agent also has the following responsibilities:
- Serving as the official point of contact for the company.
- Being available at all times throughout regular business hours.
- Ensure that necessary paperwork is processed and delivered to the business owner.
- Be authorized and available to receive and handle legal documents during business hours
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a physical address in the same state where the company transacts business.
The qualifications vary depending on the state, that’s why I advise business owners to determine specific state business laws.
What Is an LLC Organizer?
An LLC organizer is an individual who prepares, signs, and files the Articles of Organization on behalf of the company. The document is the legal basis for the creation of an LLC as a registered business entity in the state .
The organizer may be a member of the LLC, a friend or family member (above the age of 18), or a professional third party, such as an attorney or accountant.
Differences Between an LLC Organizer and a Registered Agent
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
You can be your own registered agent, however, running your business entity simultaneously can be challenging, which is why I advise business owners to hire a professional.
There are several reasons why you should avoid being your registered agent, including:
- Time: Registered agents must be available during regular business hours, limiting your schedule.
- Privacy: If you are listed as your registered agent, your personal information becomes a matter of public record. Colleagues of mine were served important documents at their residential address.
- Location: Registered agents must live in the same state where the business operates.
- Inability to Expand: Acting as your registered agent limits your company from expanding to other states because you cannot open many offices and be available during business hours in each of them simultaneously.
How Many Organizers Does an LLC Need?
An LLC needs one organizer to handle the formation process.
Can My LLC Organizer Be My Registered Agent?
Yes, your LLC organizer can be your registered agent. All 50 states allow you to name the same individual as your LLC's registered agent and organizer.