Every Florida LLC must have its own registered agent. This can be a business or a person, and they receive as well as send legal documents for your LLC. You may also hear registered agents referred to as resident agents, agents for services of process, or statutory agents.
Many LLCs in Florida decide to hire professional services that act as registered agents. These can provide privacy and give you one less thing to worry about.
The primary function of the registered agent for your Florida LLC is to be the state's main contact. Registered agents will receive compliance information, tax notifications, plus other important communications from the state for the LLC.
Additionally, your registered agent will accept any services of process for you. In other words, if someone sues your LLC, the registered agent accepts the relevant legal documents for you.
Although Florida requires all LLCs to have registered agents, the state does let you take up this role yourself if you wish. Alternatively, you can opt to have an LLC member or a friend be the registered agent. Just ensure that you trust whoever serves this role.
The requirements for registered agents are that they must be at least 18 years, have their physical address within Florida, and be available throughout typical business hours.
Some people are hesitant to hire professional services to be their registered agents due to the slightly higher cost. The reality, however, is that professional services will typically save you money over time by preventing legal trouble or fees associated with missing crucial notices or documents.
If at some point you wish to change the registered agent listed for your LLC, you can do this via a simple form. Find the form on the Florida Secretary of State’s website or ask for it in person. You can likely submit it via mail or online. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a fee for changing registered agents. During the process of filing for the new agent, ensure you include the consent form with the appropriate signature.
Since Florida lets you act as your own registered agent, it is common to wonder why so many people choose to hire a professional service instead. There are actually numerous advantages of hiring a professional service that will more than make up for the slight cost.
These services will assist you with legal compliance, including state requirements. This includes providing you with reminders for your regular filings. That can prevent things like penalties and legal fees. Professional services can also help LLCs find legal professionals and accountants that specialize in Florida LLCs. They will even maintain copies of the LLC’s key documents so that you have an additional backup.
Registered agent services also provide reassurance, letting you focus your efforts on actually running the business. They can also assist with the balance between work and life and even offer some personal guidance in certain situations.
Using a professional service also allows for flexibility, such as the ability to pick your business hours. They even enhance your privacy by including their address and contact information on the public record instead of your personal information.