Owning a business is often a 24/7 job. Day-to-day operations may happen between 9 and 5, but the blood, sweat, and tears that keep it running are shed around the clock. While you continue to problem solve and strategize, you need a legal representative protecting you and your business. When you form a business and file for a Certificate of Formation, you are typically asked to designate someone as the official contact person for all legal documents. This person is your registered agent.
Choosing a registered agent can be difficult. This person or entity will be responsible for state and legal documentation that may be vital to the success of your business. In some circumstances, the best option for you may be a law firm. To find out if this option is right for you, contact the North and South Carolina business lawyers at Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. to find out whether a law firm may be the right choice for your business.
Registered Agent Duties
A registered agent may seem like a minor role because receiving state, federal, or legal documentation doesn’t happen every day. It isn’t. A registered agent is the point person for receiving paperwork such as lawsuits, summons, other legal mandates, annual reports, tax forms, license renewal forms, and other crucial documentation. The smooth and orderly intake of these documents can be critical for businesses.
In general, a registered agent in North Carolina must:
- Maintain a street address in the state of North Carolina
- Be available during regular business hours
- Receive official notices and documents on behalf of the business they represent
- Notify the business of any important documentation received
While these duties seem straightforward, it is also important to consider other factors when deciding who should serve as a registered agent for your business. You may want to consider:
- Communication style
- Speed of communication
- Quality of service
Why a Law Firm Might Be Right to Serve as a Registered Agent
A registered agent does not need to be a specific individual, and could instead be a designated third party. This third party could be a law firm or a registered agent service company. However, selecting a law firm to be your designated registered agent has several benefits.
First, a law firm understands the importance of official documents. After all, the receipt and handling of legal documents is how they make their money. Yet the benefits go beyond the obvious. A registered agent must be available to receive and accept paperwork 52 weeks a year. What happens if you want to go on vacation, or the office needs to close for a few days. Who will be on hand to protect you? A law firm is constantly staffed, meaning someone will always be available during regular business hours to accept vital documentation on your behalf.
Another important benefit to consider is your personal privacy. A registered agent’s street address becomes a matter of public record. If you decide to designate yourself or a family member as the registered agent, the chosen person’s home address may become a part of the public record and may be readily available to others.
Finally, while no one wants to think about being the target of a lawsuit, it can and does happen. When a law firm acts as a registered agent, not only can they notify you immediately about the lawsuit or summons, but they may also be able to provide legal advice to help you through the situation. You don’t have to spend time searching for a lawyer or advocate, as the attorneys with the law firm that acts as your agent may be able to counsel you or provide valuable connections to another firm in the appropriate field.
Contact Mullen Holland Cooper P.C.
Talk with the experienced North Carolina business attorneys at Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. if you are starting a business and need help finding a registered agent. We can review your situation and determine if hiring a law firm to act as your registered agent is the right move for you and your growing business. Contact us today to find out how Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. may be able to help you.