To do business in Florida, you will need a registered agent. A registered agent is your official representative for any service or process that could be delivered to you or your company while doing business in the state.
The term registered agent is equivalent to terms used in other states, including national registered agent, statutory agent, or resident agent.
Businesses are required to have a registered agent in this state, and there are fees associated with this service.
This post will discuss what a registered agent in Florida does and why you need one, what duties and responsibilities they have, what good qualities to look for in a registered agent, and how to find a good one for your company in Florida.
The Duties of Florida Registered Agent
Florida registered agents or registered agent services for LLCs are required to maintain their registered office address.
The agent should receive all legal documents and official notifications sent by the Florida Department of State and other government or non-government agencies.
These will be delivered in person or via mail service.
Registered agents must keep records regarding any document received on behalf of your Florida LLC so they can forward it to its registered office.
Furthermore, registered agents must notify the company's managers and members of any legal actions that have been taken against the limited liability company within a reasonable amount of time.
A Florida registered agent can be an individual or a business entity.
If you choose to appoint an individual, they must reside in Florida and be available during regular business hours.
A business entity registered in Florida may be used as a business agent for your LLC.
Registered agents must maintain their information with the Secretary of State and inform them if they change any details such as the physical address of the office, name, or status (i.e., whether it is active or inactive).
The state will then update its records accordingly.
Registered agent services are legal entities that provide registered agent services for a fee.
If you choose to use this service, be sure to do your research and select a reputable entity.
A list of registered agent duties includes some of the basic items, such as:
- Signing the LLC formation documents
- Sending Florida annual report reminders and filing the annual report on behalf of the company
- Receiving essential legal documents and forwarding them to the company
- Informing the state of any changes in contact information or status
- Maintaining records of all received documents and tax notices
- Notifying the company's managers and members of any legal actions taken against the LLC within a reasonable timeframe.
How to Choose the Best Florida Registered Agent Service?
Some Florida registered agent requirements dictate who can be a registered agent in Florida.
The company you choose to be your registered agent must have a physical street address in the state of Florida and be of legal age.
You can search for a professional registered agent service online or through an attorney.
The Chamber of Commerce offers a list of verified registered agents and the registered agent's information you may find helpful.
When choosing a Florida registered agent service, it is important to consider the following:
- The cost of services
- The company's experience and reputation
- The company's customer service
- How easily you can reach the company if you have questions or problems
- What kind of resources the company has to help you with compliance issues.
Make sure to ask any questions you may have before signing up with registered agent service.
By doing your homework, you can be confident that you are choosing the best service for your needs.
Why Do I Need a Registered Agent in Florida?
The state requires every Florida business to have one - it's the law. Without them, you can never really set up your Florida LLC legally.
This agent is responsible for receiving important service of process and tax documents on behalf of the company.
If you don't have a registered agent, the state will mail these documents to the business owner instead.
This can cause delays in getting the information you need to run your business.
Most registered agent services act as a point of contact for members of the public who may have questions or concerns about your company.
By having a registered agent in Florida, you'll be able to focus on running your business and not worrying about administrative details.
A registered agent can also help you file the necessary documents when first setting up your LLC or Corporation.
Lastly, your registered agent can help you keep track of important deadlines and ensure that all your paperwork is filed on time. This can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
The Cost of Florida Registered Agent Services
The cost of Florida registered agent services varies depending on how many services you want.
For example, if you only want the company to receive mail and file annual reports, your fee will be less than a full-service package.
The cost of Florida registered agent services also depends on whether or not they charge set-up fees when signing up online.
The cost of Florida registered agent services depends on the amount you need.
If it is a one-person company, then paid registered agents will not be worth your money, but if you have an LLC or Corporation, they become more important and can save you from unnecessary penalties in the future.
This is another reason why many individuals opt for full-service packages when they choose a registered agent service.
Accounting professionals often advise business owners to have one or two full-time employees in order for them not only to take advantage of the company's lower tax rate but also because they never know when a government agency will show up at their door asking questions about how much money is coming in and out of their business.
This is why it makes sense to have a full-service registered agent in Florida, so you are not playing catch-up when that day comes.
Generally speaking, the annual rate for registered agent service starts at $40 and goes up.
However, this does not mean that you should choose the cheapest option available because there is a reason why they are cheaper than their competitors.
This means that if you find an online registered agent service offering a package for as little as $20 per year, then chances are your company won't get a lot of help when it comes to legal services.
So, make sure to do thorough research before choosing a registered agent in Florida and always read the fine print so that you know what is covered by their service agreement.
If anything seems suspicious, go with another company or ask for clarification from customer service representatives.
Florida Registered Agent FAQs
How Do I Appoint a Registered Agent in Florida?
When you file your Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State, you will be asked to fill in the details about your registered agent (registered agent's address, email, and phone number).
Before you can do that, your registered agent has to consent to the appointment.
You can find a consent form on our website.
They will also have to sign the "Registered Agent Signature" section contained in the LLC's Articles of Organization form.
Can the Business Owner Be the Registered Agent in Florida?
Yes. A business owner can be their own registered agent, provided they live in Florida and meet the other qualifications listed in the statute.
If you decide to be your own registered agent, you must maintain a physical street address in Florida where official state mail can be delivered and be available during regular business hours.
This is also where legal notices from the state will be sent. You can't use your registered agent address as a PO box or commercial mailbox service.
How Do I Add a Registered Agent to My LLC in Florida?
To add a new registered agent for your Florida LLC, you need to file a Statement of Change of registered agent form that is found on the Florida Division of Corporations website and pay a $25 filing fee, unless you have another form of business entity (a Florida corporation, for example).
In that case, your filing fee is $35.The form can be filed online or by mail.
Keep in mind that your new registered agent must consent to this change in writing.
Can a Florida LLC Have More Than One Registered Agent?
No, a Florida LLC cannot have more than one registered agent.
Can a Registered Agent Have a PO Box?
No. A registered agent in Florida must have a Florida business address. This can be their home or office address.
They are not required to have a PO Box for mail to be delivered there; however, they can have one if they wish. In order to receive service of process, their primary mailing address must be their physical street address, not a PO box.
Does EIN Use a Registered Agent Address?
No. Business entities can't use their registered office address to apply for the EIN.
The Internal Revenue Service associates the EIN with your principal office or place of business.
Can I Use My Registered Agent as My Business Address?
No, you cannot use your registered agent as your business address.
Your registered agent is only responsible for receiving service of process on behalf of your company.
You must have a separate, designated business address to receive mail and packages.
Is the Registered Agent Address Public Records?
Yes, your registered agent's name and registered agent information is a matter of public record. This means that anyone can access this information, including your competitors.
Most business owners forget how important it is to keep this in mind when choosing your registered agent.
You want to make sure that you are working with someone who will protect your privacy and confidentiality.
What Is a Non-commercial Registered Agent in Florida?
A non-commercial registered agent is an individual or business entity that has not filed a Commercial Registered Agent Listing with the Florida Secretary of State.
Non-commercial registered agents typically represent only a small number of business entities, and they operate in only one state or a handful of states.
Commercial registered agent service is a registered agent company doing business in Florida and will typically handle hundreds or thousands of clients.
Registered Agent for a Florida LLC: Conclusion
If you need a registered agent to handle your legal documents, it is important to find one with excellent customer service that can respond to your requests in a timely manner.
A reputable company will also provide some legal advice if needed.
You can conduct thorough research on the internet for reviews of different companies' services.