Every corporation and LLC in Florida is required to have a Registered Agent with the state. The purpose of the agent is to give the state of Florida a live person to send official state and legal documents to. The Registered Agent is accountable for following all statutory requirements. Having an appropriate Registered Agent helps companies avoid legal headaches and fines.
Understanding Florida Registered Agents
Florida has several requirements surrounding the registration of Corporations and LLCs. Each one must have a registered office (which can be the place of business), and a Registered Agent. The Registered Agent in Florida can be an individual who lives in the state or an entity authorized to conduct business transactions in the state.
Florida Registered Agent and Service of Process requirements are clear: the agent must accept the appointment in writing and must accept responsibility for the obligations of that position. The Department of State expects that accurate records will be maintained so that the service of legal documents and other needs will be uninterrupted.
A Florida Registered Agent has a lot of responsibility, and failure to follow through promptly on legal documents received can result in legal and financial liability. The Agent must:
- Remain available during normal business hours to receive legal documents
- Maintain a physical address in the state where the business is located
- List their name and address in public records
- Promptly forward state correspondence and legal notices to the business
While some companies may expect that they will not receive many legal notices and discount the importance of having a Registered Agent in Florida, it's important to keep in mind that it isn't just legal proceedings that cause deliveries.
Other types of documents the Florida Registered Agent can expect to receive include:
- Wage garnishments
- Subpoenas for records
- Official state correspondence and other common business requests.
Why Choose a Florida Registered Agent?
When choosing a Registered Agent for Florida, LLCs and Corporations should consider their options carefully. Some companies default into being their own Registered Agent, choosing one of their employees or managers. However, there are a lot of pitfalls with using a Registered Agent from within your company.
The first has to do with reliability. When an individual is designated as a Registered Agent, no one else can fill in for them if an official delivery arrives. It's important to make sure the individual is always available during work hours, every day, and never out of the building. With a member of your own staff, that is basically impossible.
It can also be difficult to choose a staff member due to turnover. If that employee leaves the company, an entirely new filing of Registered Agent is required immediately by the state. Any delay can cause costly legal or financial consequences.
Finally, privacy is a major concern. The address of the Registered Agent has to be listed publicly. In general, you don't want the address of your staff or senior management on public display. In addition, receiving official communication from a sheriff in front of customers or neighbors can be embarrassing and send the wrong message.
As a result, many who are looking for a Florida Registered Agent use a third party like incorporate.com. incorporate.com has operated in Tallahassee since 1976. When you work with us, the privacy and reliability concerns of an in-house Registered Agent are eliminated. The LLC or Corporation can rely on incorporate.com to receive and forward legal notices discreetly, promptly, and affordably.