Every business which is incorporated in the state of Florida is required to have a registered agent. This is an individual or business entity that, “is designated to receive service of process notices or other correspondence” from the Florida government. The registered agent is the bridge between a company and the state and they are required to be available during business hours every business day of the year. The registered agent is also required to have an address in Florida which is not a PO Box for the delivery of documentation. Because of the onerous nature of the requirements for the registered agent many businesses use a registered agent service which provides a business with a registered agent for a small annual fee. This has several benefits which will be discussed below.
The address of a registered agent is a matter of public record and in Florida these addresses can be found online through the Florida Record Search. This means that anyone can learn of the address of a registered agent with ease. This often results in the address receiving spam mail and other forms of unsolicited communication. Additionally, if a business owner is operating their business from their home they would need to disclose this address to the public which would mean that their home address is easily accessible. This is undesirable and why many businesses choose to use a registered agent service instead of being their own registered agent.
The registered agent of a company is legally required to be available at the address which they have specified during business hours every single business day of the year. This is an overly demanding requirement for most business owners as they may not necessarily maintain normal business hours, need to travel for their business or wish to take an occasional holiday as reward for their hard work. As a result a business owner will be greatly inconvenienced by a registered agent service as this service is certain to be available throughout the year to receive documentation on the behalf of the company.
Registered agent services maintain a compliance calendar to ensure that a business meets its important compliance requirements such as its annual report. These services can also assist a business with the filing of these reports to increase their convenience of operation. Failing to meet compliance requirements can result in fines and other penalties for a business which are highly undesirable. Additionally, there may be significant legal consequences to not responding in a rapid manner to service of process notices and other legal notices which a registered agent receives on behalf of a company. A registered agent service will ensure that a company receives these notices timeously allowing a business to be able to respond to them quickly and avoid penalties.
A service of process notice is typically delivered by local law enforcement agencies. Most businesses do not want the police to arrive on their doorstep unannounced especially while dealing with customers. This does not look professional and also has the potential to create a degree of suspicion about the activities of a business in the minds of a customer. A registered agent service will be the recipient of all service of process notices which will keep the police away from a business and allow the business to deal with their service of process notices discreetly and in their own time.
5. Online Storage
Quality registered agent services will diligently scan the important documentation which they received on behalf of a business and store this documentation online for a business to easily access. This allows a business to keep a digital record of their important documentation while taking all the pressure off the business to handle this administrative work. Additionally, as many registered agent services are also LLC or corporation formation services they will also have digital copies of formation documents for easy access for the business owner. Some of these documents are necessary for starting a business bank account or applying for a small business loan.
The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC) offers a wide variety of resources to companies looking for more information about registered agent services in Florida.
A registered agent service can provide a business with a wealth of convenience and peace of mind which cannot be achieved without one. Keeping a personal address out of the public record will increase privacy for business owners. Similarly, having a registered agent service receive service of process notices will increase the discretion with which these notices can be dealt. A registered agent service will provide a business owner with greater flexibility as they will not need to present every business day of the year in case they need to receive important documents. Compliance can be handled more easily thanks to the assistance of registered agent services. Additionally, the online storage of important documentation can make it easier for a business to access these documents later when they need them.