Seriously? That's essentially what a registered agent does – receive official mail and correspondence for the corporation. But don't be too quick to reject the idea of paying someone to be your registered agent. As it turns out, there are a lot of great reasons why paying for a registered agent is a great business move.
Legally, any individual with a physical address in the state qualifies to be a registered agent. Although registered agents are required to be available during normal business hours and are expected to expeditiously forward documents to corporate officers, many companies delegate this important responsibility to friends or family members just to save a few bucks. Other corporations assign the task to a corporate officer or a key employee for the same reason.
What's the problem with that? Nothing–except for the fact that personal acquaintances are often unprepared for the responsibility that comes with being a registered agent and in-house registered agents mean that law enforcement will show up at your company's headquarters every time you're served process documents.
Paid registered agents really are the way to go. And in most cases, they aren't nearly as expensive as you might think. Consider these points about registered agents and registered agent fees:
- Capacity vs. availability. Registered agents are unique in that you're not compensating them for the amount of work they do for your business. Instead, you're compensating them for their availability. It is expected that your registered agent will be available to receive documents during normal business hours and be available to address questions or concerns from within your company.
- Public record. The address of your company's registered agent is a matter of public record. That means anyone–including marketers–will have access to their contact information. Most registered agents receive a steady avalanche of junk mail. That alone is enough reason to pay someone a nominal fee to be a registered agent.
- Average fees. Given all the hassles associated with being a registered agent, the individuals who serve in this capacity are worth every penny. Fees for registered agents range from $50-$200 per year. At the low end are online registered agent companies who meet the bare minimum requirements of a registered agent. On the other hand, the high end of the range is occupied by private attorneys. If your corporation already employs an attorney, he will probably also serve as your registered agent for an additional charge.