One requirement of starting a new business is selecting a registered agent. A registered agent acts as the company’s point of contact between the state and your business. Many first time entrepreneurs are unaware of this prerequisite, which leads to a hasty decision that may not be in the best interest of the company. Someone incorporating a business for the first time may be tempted to list himself or herself as this contact, but that is often an unwise decision.

The individual chosen to act as your registered agent is required to be available during all regular business hours (9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday), with no exceptions. Because most people are busy running their company (and not sitting by a phone), there are numerous reasons to hire a dedicated outside professional to be your registered agent.  

Here are ten reasons to hire a dedicated registered agent that you may not have considered:

1) You do business in more than one state.
By law, you must identify a registered agent in every state that you’re registered to conduct business in. As your business grows to include more and more states, finding a representative in each state that willing to take on this responsibility can be daunting. Hiring a dedicated registered agent solves this problem, and allows you to allocate your labor and time.

2) You are incorporated in a state other than your own.
If you choose to register your company in a state other than where you’re physically located, you cannot register as your own registered agent. The registered agent is required to live in the state of registration. For obvious reasons, the most cost efficient and logistically sound solution to this problem is to hire an outside specialist.

3) You value privacy.
The name and address of your registered agent is considered public record. For this reason, many business owners elect to enlist a third party to hold the position, in order to keep their personal and professional lives as separate as possible.

4) You keep irregular business hours.
Even if your business typically operates at night or on weekends, your registered will still need to be available during traditional business hours (9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday). These types of businesses often have little choice but to look outside their ownership and employees when choosing a registered agent.

5) You work from home.
If you work from home, it is often an extremely prudent decision to hire a professional registered agent. Privacy often becomes an even bigger issue for individuals with home based businesses, as many unwanted solicitors often use public business records to build their marketing lists.

6) Your business is mobile.
Mobile businesses are becoming more and more popular, but it can be difficult for them to maintain a reliable registered agent due to the lack of a static location.  

7) You lack knowledge of formal business processes.
Learning and upholding all the legal requirements of a registered agent can take time and effort away from your day-to-day operations. By hiring a professional registered agent, you can forgo this added responsibility.

8) You change locations often.
If your business grows quickly, it’s commonly necessary to change office locations relatively often. Every time this happens, you will need to go through the process of filing paperwork establishing your registered agent with the state, even if it will be the same person. Hiring an outside professional can eliminate this time-consuming inconvenience.

9) Your business address is a P.O. box.
Your registered agent’s address cannot legally be a P.O. box. If you have been using a P.O. box as your company’s main address, hiring an outside registered agent may be your cheapest and most effective solution.

10) You value security.
A registered agent’s main purpose is to handle important and time-sensitive documents. By hiring a dedicated professional, you can rest easy. A knowledgeable and experienced individual is handling the communication between your business and the government.

Swyft can help!

As you can see, there are tons of reasons to consider hiring a dedicated registered agent. Want to know more? Talk to one of our business experts!