Registered Agent — Does your business need one?

A “Registered Agent” is also known as a “Statutory Agent.” This is a person or entity that has been designated on the Articles of Incorporation for Corporations or the Articles of Organization for LLCs. A statutory agent for a business can be any individual who lives in the state or any entity licensed to do business in the State of Ohio with a business address in Ohio.

Typically, a statutory agent is responsible for accepting service of official and legal documents on behalf of the business, and for promptly providing the business and owners with these documents. It is important that the statutory agent complete a signed written acceptance of appointment with his/her current address and submit it with the filing of the Articles of Incorporation or Organization.

A question that often arises is, “Do I need a registered or statutory agent for my business, or can I just do it?” Well, it depends on whether privacy is important for the business owner. If you as a business owner don’t mind if customers, clients, or consumers know your identity and who you are, then I can confidently say no, you don’t need one as long as you keep your information with the Secretary of State current. However, if you’re like most business owners who set up an LLC or a Corp. to protect their personal assets from the business assets, then I can confidently say yes, you need one.

Let’s say, for example, a company is sued and the legal documents go directly to the Statutory Agent, who is also the owner running their business out of their home. Now the creditor or debt collector knows where they live and can quickly determine the amount of assets that you have by a simple drive-by of their home. However, if there’s a Statutory Agent, then all the creditor or debt collector knows about is the registered agent’s address.

You see, within those important official and/or legal documents that the agent receives on behalf of the business may be information regarding a lawsuit or important information for registering a business license, permit, or something of similar nature. It may be beneficial to you to have someone else receive those documents and then forward them to you.

If, after reading this article, you have any additional questions or concerns regarding statutory agents or if you’re ever in need of one, feel free to contact us at 740.346.2899 and a member of our team will be glad to assist you.

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