Blog

Categories

6 Risks to Being Your Own Registered Agent

Leily Zhu
,
VPM Staff
Last Updated
September 3, 2021

You’re wondering about your registered agent, right? You’ve come to the right place. You’ve already picked out a business name and looked into registering your business. As an LLC, you are required to have a registered agent in the state in which your business is established.

A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents, compliance information, and any official documents on behalf of your business. Think of it as your company’s official contact with the state. If you want to make sure your business launches without any hiccups, such as problems with the law, then you need a registered agent.

Requirements for Being a Registered Agent

As can be expected, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to be a registered agent. For starters, the registered agent must be a resident individual in the home state where your business is established. Not only that, but their office address must be a physical address in the state. Sorry to all of you PO box-lovers out there, but this means that your PO box address won’t work in this case. PO boxes do not qualify as an in-state address.

Plus, registered agents must be available to receive correspondence during normal business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (local time).

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent

It is not uncommon at all for you to act as your own registered agent, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. As long as you meet the above-mentioned requirements, you are allowed to be your own official contact with the state. This option can save you money and the hassle of asking a friend or finding a service. However, there are more disadvantages than benefits to this option.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

While there are some advantages to being your own registered agent, the disadvantages outweigh them. Take the following into consideration.

1. You will always have to be available during business hours

Because registered agents are expected to receive legal documents and relevant correspondence (which comes through the mail), you must always be available at the office during business hours. This means that you will have to be present at your place of work every weekday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Translation: no clocking in on your own hours, and for those of you who aren’t morning people, no sleeping in! You also won’t be able to leave the office early on Fridays to enjoy an early start to your weekend.

Speaking of enjoying breaks, say goodbye to spontaneous vacations. You’ll have to plan your vacations with national holidays. Not to mention, your lunch breaks will need to be planned so you can ensure that you don’t miss mail arrivals. What’s the point of being an entrepreneur if you’re restricted to a strict corporate-like schedule?

2. You’ll miss important legal deliveries

Even if you are present at your place of business during standard business hours, there’s still a chance that you could miss a delivery. Maybe you’re on an important phone call with a customer or helping a client in person - there’s a chance that you can miss the service of process, while distracted. Or, the person who attempts the service of process may determine that you are unable to accept the documents because you are not free to sign off on the delivery, even if you are present. You don’t want to risk such situations occurring with the type of documents that are sent to registered agents.

3. You cannot expand your business

If you serve as your own registered agent, you will be limited to conducting business in your home state. Even if you wanted to expand to another state, there’s no way you can operate as your own registered agent there because you won’t meet the necessary requirements. Plus, you can’t be in multiple locations at once so that option goes out the window. Don’t limit your business operations to one location.

4. Your address will be on public records

Your address as a registered agent is available on public record for anyone to access. This means you will be making your home address available to the public. This will increase the risks of your invasion of privacy and can even endanger your safety. Starting a business out of your own home is normal. Releasing your private information to the public is not, which is why you shouldn’t be your own registered agent. You don’t want to risk letting an angry customer stalk your house because they can’t get ahold of their package.

5. You won’t have a professional business image

In the worst-case scenario that you get sued, you don’t want clients, employees, or business partners to witness it. Imagine getting served while you’re helping a customer. That’s just awkward. That’s a situation that you want to keep private. If you act as your own registered agent, you run the risk of such individuals observing you getting served, which can be damaging to your business’ professional business image and reputation. If you want to avoid this scenario, you should hire a registered agent service.

6. You’ll risk your business compliance

The role of a registered agent is to deliver and notify the process of service on behalf of the LLC. Running a business takes a lot of time and energy. You’re dealing with many moving parts at once. If you are uncomfortable or don’t have the time to stay on top of legal matters, you should hire a registered agent service. Failing to stay compliant can result in fines, losing your “good standing” with the state, or even the dissolution of your business. Don’t run the risk of your business being closed down because you tried to take on too many responsibilities and were too overwhelmed to stay compliant as your own registered agent. Get a registered agent service instead.

Need a Registered Agent Service?

Being your own registered agent means abiding by standard business hours, limiting the expansion of your business to new locations, and risking your privacy, missed deliveries, and business compliance. You don’t want to do that.

Instead, if you’re looking for a registered agent service to take care of those immense responsibilities for your business, check out VirtualPostMail (VPM). VPM offers FREE registered agent services along with selected virtual mailbox plans (that means you get a permanent business address to protect your privacy, professional image, and ensure your business complies with regulations. VPM’s registered agent service is the answer to all of your registered agent problems!

https://www.virtualpostmail.com
Leily is a corporate journalist at VPM with expertise in the topics of remote work, small businesses, and startups. Her writing style is in the art of conversational marketing with a journalistic approach. She has experience from writing for her university newspaper and freelancing writing.