Can you Be Your Own Registered Agent?
It is entirely possible for you to be your own registered agent in Delaware, as it is permitted in this state for an entity to act as its own registered agent. However, there are a few requirements to be kept in mind if you are considering becoming your own registered agent, as it plays a vital role in keeping your corporation or LLC in good standing.
The Legal Requirements Of Being A Registered Agent
- You must have a physical address in the state where the business is overseen.
- You must be at least 18 years old or above.
- You must always be available during business hours in order to physically accept deliveries and service of process (P.O. Boxes not an acceptable form of an address), and deal with any issues that come up.
- If you happen to move out of state, it will be necessary for you to file additional documentation for your updated address with the secretary of state.
- You will also be in charge of receiving all crucial documents and tax documents every year.
The Advantages Of Being Your Own Registered Agent
It is cost-efficient
Since you won’t be having to pay a third-party to deal with the responsibilities of being a registered agent, you will be able to save money annually.
Saves you from potentially getting scammed
Becoming your own registered agent can save you from the risk of being scammed, as many registered services are known to try to scam small businesses.
Relatively easy if you are an organized person
If you are a naturally organized person and take work you are responsible for seriously, then receiving time-sensitive paperwork and handling it meticulously should come easily to you.
The Disadvantages Of Being Your Own Registered Agent
Having to be available at all times
You will have to be present at your registered address from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, to receive important paperwork. Meaning, you won’t be able to take any days off or be anywhere else for that matter, even in cases of emergency.
You may have to use your own address
Becoming your own registered agent, you may have to use your own address (if you have a home-based business), which will make your address public, raising a lot of privacy concerns. There may also be paperwork you might not want to deal with at home.
Raised risk of missing important deliveries
Running a business whilst being your own registered agent may cause you to be distracted. Despite being at your physical address you could still accidentally miss important deliveries while having to pay attention to your business and having to put aside your registered agent duties even for a mere five minutes.
Your business will be restricted to the state you are in
You will be limited to running the business in your home state as every business has to have a registered agent in each and every state it operates in, and won’t be able to expand to a new state unless you are able to designate an agent with a registered address in that state.
Address changes require prompt notice
If you consider relocating your business location, you will have to notify the state every time you change addresses. This can be time-consuming and you will have to pay a certain fee for changing addresses every time.
The roles of a registered agent
- Holding responsibility for accepting and sending important legal and tax documents.
- To be available during the times you may not be i.e. business hours, in the cases of someone filing a lawsuit against your business or any sort of legal action is being taken.
- Receive important papers at their registered address so that they aren’t sent to yours, or in the case that you do not have one.
Taking into consideration all these prerequisites to becoming your own registered agent, ask yourself, is it all worth it? While the cons of being your own agent outweigh the pros, it is really in your hands whether you want to go down this route or not. You can read more about registered agents here.