Corporate Law Article

Registered Agents

If you are starting the process of forming a business in Florida, you will need to familiarize yourself with all the requirements. One of those requirements is to designate a registered agent for your business. 

In Florida, every business entity is required by law to have a registered agent. A registered agent must either be Florida resident or a business entity with an active Florida filing or registration. An entity cannot serve as its own registered agent, but an individual or principal associated with the business may serve as the registered agent. 

The responsibilities of a registered agent are to receive official legal documents, papers and notices on behalf of your business. Therefore, the registered agent must have a physical street address in Florida. They must be available during standard business hours in order to receive important legal notices or accept service of process. 

There are a few factors to consider when deciding who to name as your registered agent. If your business has a physical street address located in Florida and is open during business hours, you can actually serve as your business’ registered agent. If you don’t have a street address in Florida, you can ask someone close to you, such as a family member or your lawyer to serve as your business’ registered agent. If you don’t have anyone in Florida wiling to serve as your registered agent, you can hire a Florida registered agent service company. 

When weighing all of your options, make sure to consider the importance of receiving legal documents that may have a response deadline. If a person who serves court documents and notices of lawsuits (also known as a process server) is unable to reach your registered agent, a law suit can proceed in your absence and you may not even know about it. Missing important information regarding tax payments, lawsuits, or judgments involving your business could lead to serious financial and legal consequences. Make sure to immediately update your registered agent if there is a change in address or if you designate a different person or entity. 

The many decisions that business owners must make can be challenging, but consulting with a local attorney is always the best option to make sure your personal and business needs are met. 

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