Choosing Your Registered Agent
How do you choose a registered agent? Consider why you have a registered agent in Texas for your company in the fist place.
Your registered agent is your point of contact for:
- Citations and petitions when you are sued
- Notices from the Secretary of State
- Notices from third parties, like creditors
- Junk mail
To choose a registered agent for your corporation or limited liability company we’ve made the list of things to consider below. While the registered agent is usually an afterthought for most people, you should give serious consideration to the following items when choosing:
1. How long has the company been around?
You don’t want a fly-by-night company. The registered agent will be the first point of contact for official business and if you’re sued. How bad would it be if you got sued, didn’t find out about it because the registered agent folded, and then had a judgment taken against you. Our law firm has been operating since 2003.
2. How does the company handle mail?
Most mail received by the registered agent is junk mail – will they save it and forward it to you or throw it away?
We throw junk mail away unless you tell us otherwise. Regular mail (bills, invoices, etc) should not be sent to us as we do not forward that kind of mail.
3. How does the company handle official mail?
The rubber meets the road when citations are served, return-receipt mail comes in the door, or government notices arrive. Will the registered agent scan and email them to you? Will they overnight them to you? Will they mail them to you? How quickly? Who pays and what are the fees?
For the most part, all of your legal paperwork associated with your business will be sent to your registered office address. This includes correspondence from the federal and state government and tax documents from the Internal Revenue Service. We’ve heard of some registered agents throwing this stuff away or mark it with “Return to Sender.” Make sure that your registered agent includes unlimited forwarding of government mail in their service.
We will scan and email you official notices. We will also call you if a lawsuit is served. You will be liable for overnight shipments or mailings at the cost we incur on your behalf.
4. What if you are sued?
The timing to file an answer is critical when you are sued. Delay is not an option. We can review the petition, tell you when the answer is due, and possibly file an answer on your behalf (Texas only).
5. What is the initial cost?
Our fee in each state is a flat fee without any hidden costs (there are extra fees for overnight delivery or forwarding mail since we have to pay someone else to do that). That fee has not changed since we started the registered agent service in 2007.
7. Are there any hidden fees?
Be careful, as some companies have hidden fees, like charging for any documents they forward beyond a certain page count (we’ve heard of some charging for anything above five pages). There are no hidden fees with us.
8. Is anything else included beyond forwarding notices?
We work hard to be your agent. Here are some of the things we do above and beyond everyone else:
- If you are sued, we will call (US only) in addition to forwarding you the petition.
- You can optionally be notified by a text message upon service of a document or lawsuit
- You can designate an unlimited number of people to get copies of notices and petitions and each one will get an email copy (and optionally a text message)
- Coming Soon – you will be able to generate some reports required for the state you are registered in. For example, in Texas you would be able to generate a “No Franchise Tax Due” statement each year if you don’t owe franchise taxes.
9. Do they shield your information?
One of the benefits of having a registered agent is that they will often use their address as the officer/directors and member/managers addresses. This offers some much-needed privacy by preventing roving attorneys from properly identifying the individuals behind the company (you!) in an effort to attach them to the lawsuit. Also, it is a few hundred extra pieces of junk mail you won’t have to sort through every month!
We don’t give out your contact information without your permission. Period.
10. Do they have a legitimate working office?
Your registered agent needs to maintain regular business hours. Why? Because your lawsuit can be serviced at any time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Don’t think that not receiving your lawsuit is a good thing. If your registered agent is not able to be served, you would probably lose the lawsuit by default because you never received notice.
11. Document Organization
What happens to the notices and petitions after they are emailed to you? What if you need to access them again and it’s after business hours?
All documents sent to you are stored in a secure cloud server and available in your dashboard 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.
Furthermore, you can look at all your companies at once, and each document for each company based on the state it is registered in.
12. How are renewals handled?
We send you an email notice and invoice 30 days before you are due to renew, so you won’t be surprised.
13. What is their reputation?
Check their rating and reputation. Ask around.
You simply cannot get that service from just any registered agent. Consider that our prices are extremely competitive and it’s really a simple choice when you list the factors of how to choose a registered agent.