When you first started your business, you were likely able to carry out many of the necessary tasks personally. As your company grew, you felt the need to hire employees, and you may even have changed your business entity from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company, a partnership or a corporation.
When you change business entities, it may mean that you need to appoint individuals to new roles. For instance, your company may now need a registered agent. You may not be entirely sure how this agent could help your business, but if you register your company with a corporation commission in Louisiana, it is a requirement that you have a registered agent.
What is the agent’s role?
Typically, a registered agent is needed to receive important correspondences that individuals or entities need to send to a physical address. The agent provides that address, which is not a P.O. box, and is available during work hours to receive those correspondences on behalf of your company. Having this agent allows for the assurance that important documents end up in the hands of a person and not lost in the mail.
What does the agent receive?
The correspondences that a registered agent receives on behalf of your company may vary. However, some notices your agent may receive include the following:
- Tax filings
- Legal documents
- Litigation service of notices
- Other important business-related documents
The agent often needs to sign for the documents, which allows for a record of receipt to exist. This record may be important later if a dispute arises regarding the delivery of the documents. The agent will then contact you or another designated person to provide notice of a delivery and forward the documents as needed.
Who acts as agent?
Commonly, a company’s board of directors can appoint a registered agent from the officers. However, the president should not take on this role. When taking this route, the company does not have an obligation to pay a fee to the agent. If the board does not appoint a member, your company could utilize a service that provides registered agents, but fees will likely apply.
Once you have a chosen agent, your company needs to provide the address, name and organization (if applicable) of your agent to the corporation commission. This information then becomes part of the public record.
Where can you get more information?
As with any type of business decision and change, it is important that your company complies with the law. Therefore, you may want to consult with your legal counsel regarding the necessity of a registered agent and to gain more information about this person’s role.