All business entities must have a registered agent for service of process.
A registered agent is an authorized individual or business organization that accepts process of service and other documents on behalf of a corporation, LLC, LLP, or LP. A registered agent is also known as an agent for service of process, process agent, resident agent, or statutory representative.
The primary function of the registered agent is to receive official legal papers such as subpoenas, lawsuit documents, and wage garnishments. They may also receive official government documents including annual reports or franchise tax notices. Once received, the agent will forward the documents to the appropriate person at the organization. This is usually the company lawyer who will then draft a response on behalf of the company. In some cases, the registered agent may send the papers to a representative who will then forward them to the legal team.
Compliance with the law
Jurisdictions require entities that do business within their borders to appoint and maintain a corporate registered agent. Non-compliance can result in hefty penalties and even a revocation of a company’s authority to do business. Failure to notify the state about a change in the agent’s address can also lead to costly violations.
Appointing a registered agent is not enough. The agent must also exhibit efficiency and integrity on the job. Instances where the registered agent misses the process server or mishandles the papers can cost the company thousands of dollars in default judgments.
Who can be a registered agent in New York?
The registered agent must be an individual with a physical address in New York or a corporation or LLC that is registered in New York.
A New York registered agent must maintain a street address also known as a registered office in New York, and not just a P.O. box. He or she should be physically present at that address during regular business hours to receive notifications or service of process.
The owner or an employee of the organization can be named agent. Due to availability and privacy concerns, most entities choose to outsource their agents. They would often hire a lawyer or an organization that offers professional agent services. Companies who conduct business in multiple states will need to appoint an agent in each state.
How is a registered agent appointed?
The registered agent’s name and address are indicated in the official business records including the articles of organization, articles of incorporation, statement of LLP registration, or certificate of limited partnership. These details are also declared in the application for authority filed to do business in other states.
A registered agent is an essential element of any corporate organization’s structure. By appointing a trusted agent, you can ensure that your company is notified about legal actions and official correspondence in a timely fashion. This way, you don’t miss critical paperwork or deadlines that can be detrimental to your business.