Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?

Posted by Samantha Miller on Aug 17, 2012 12:16:00 PM

When you were forming your business, you probably heard the term “registered agent” tossed around. During that time, you probably also asked yourself, “Why do I need a Registered Agent?” Although Registered Agent service can go unexplained or overlooked, it is a very crucial component of maintaining your company. 76132042

Let’s answer why you need a Registered Agent by breaking down their 3 most common requirements and responsibilities.

  1. Location. Nearly every state requires that you maintain a Registered Agent that is physically located within the state of your corporation or LLCs state of creation or formation. For example, if your LLC was formed in Delaware, your Registered Agent cannot be located in Maryland. Your Registered Agent’s Registered Office must be in the state of your company’s formation.
  2. Duties. Your Registered Agent is required to forward you all legal documents, state notifications, state fees, and state tax notices. Examples of these documents may be: Service of Process (lawsuits), Annual Report Notices, State Announcements, Annual Tax Notices, State Fee Late Notices, Company Status Notifications, and so on.
  3. Availability. Because many of the above mentioned documents are extremely time sensitive, your Registered Agent must always be available during common business hours, Monday through Friday. For this reason, your Registered Agent must also be a physical person with an actual location – PO Boxes will not be accepted as Registered Agent’s Registered Office by any state.
  4. Privacy. Your Registered Agent’s address is public record. This means that if you were to use your own address as the Registered Agent’s address, the public can access that information. Maintaining a separate Registered Agent other than yourself provides privacy and protection from unwanted parties finding your address.

Keep in mind that you can still incorporate your business in any state. American Incorporators offers a nationwide network of Registered Agents that are available to represent you in any state. A Registered Agent is there to make sure you receive all notifications in a timely manner. Essentially, your Registered Agent’s main purpose is to make maintaining your business a little easier for you.

These articles provide great highlights regarding Registered Agent service.

Being Your Own Registered Agent Can Be Risky

Maintaining Registered Agent Service & Other Compliance Tips

If you have any questions about Registered Agent service, feel free to post them below. Don’t forget to visit our Learning Center, where you can find more overviews of Registered Agent functions and requirements.

Topics: LLC Creation, Corporation Creation, Registered Agent

Where Do I Incorporate?

Posted by Samantha Miller on Aug 3, 2012 5:17:00 PM


“Where do I incorporate?” is a question that our incorporation specialists answer on a daily basis – and it’s a very good question to ask.

88583312 (1)The fastest answer is “it depends.” When you’re deciding to incorporate your business, there are many things for you to consider. We’ve compiled these 3 important questions for you to ask yourself when deciding what state is best for incorporating your business.

  • Where will you be conducting business?

We recommend incorporating your business in the state where you will be handling the majority of your business transactions. For example, if you live in Connecticut and will be conducting your business primarily in Connecticut, we would suggest Connecticut as your state of incorporation. Keep in mind that this is not a requirement, but is highly recommended to avoid any possible complications.

  • Where do you plan on opening your business bank account?

Some banks may require that your business be incorporated or qualified (defined here)  in that bank’s state. So, if you’ve incorporated your business in Texas, but you try to open the bank account in Oklahoma, your bank may deny your request to open a business bank account. This is not always the case. It is best to review this with your bank of choice prior to incorporation. Try asking them if they require you to be incorporated or formed in that state in order to open a bank account.

  • Are you familiar with the desired state of incorporation’s annual compliance requirements?

Nearly every state requires corporation and LLCs to pay a variation of an annual fee in order to keep your company in good standing. The name of this fee varies by state, but may be referred to as “Annual Report,” “Franchise Tax,” or “Annual Registration.” The following components of the annual compliance may vary as follows:

Price. Some states have annual fees as low as $9, while others can reach upwards of $500.

Due Date. Certain states only require you to file once every 2 years, while others require a yearly filing. You’ll find that the actual due date can vary from a specific date or month, to simply the anniversary of the company’s incorporation.

Filing Options. Many states are offering online filing options, but some states still require reports to be sent in through mail.

Our State Specific Information section is a great resource to find thorough information regarding incorporation requirements and annual report information. If you do your research and ask the necessary questions, you’ll successfully incorporate your business in your state of choice. These inspirational articles are great examples of entrepreneurial success across the nation:

John Pepper’s Boston Burrito Empire

Chicago Cupcake Makeover Success

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or share your incorporation success story!

Topics: LLC Creation, Tips & Tricks, Corporation Creation, State Specific Information

Deciding if You Should Make a Corporation

Posted by Samantha Miller on Jul 20, 2012 11:29:00 AM

Last week, we did a brief overview of the characteristics of a Limited Liability Company. This week, we’ll outline some of the key characteristics of “Corporations” – another type of entity that may be best for your business.

A Corporation can be defined as an artificial entity created under and governed by the laws of the state of incorporation. Similar to an LLC, you must file the appropriate documents with the state in order to have your Corporation legally recognized.

90138204If the following traits sound pertinent to your business, you may want to consider forming a Corporation as opposed to an LLC…

  1. Corporations issue stock. Stock can be used to raise capital (operating funds) to run or expand your business.
  2. Corporations are owned via shares of stock.
  3. When maintaining a Corporation, you’re required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders and directors. During these meetings, you must keep written minutes, or notes.
  4. The profits of the General Corporation (which are distributed to the shareholders of the corporation as a dividend) are taxed at the corporate rate. The dividend is subject to personal income taxes.

These characteristics describe the general functionality of a Corporation, but it is best to fully research and understand your options before deciding which entity type is best for your business. While Corporations are one of the more common business entity types, there are a few other types that you may want to consider.

Along with our Answer Desk, there are many great resources for you to utilize while researching your development options. Entrepreneur Magazine provides a great overview of business structures and is a consistent resource for industry updates.

After you’ve reviewed your options, you may be ready to form your corporation online. If you’d like to receive information on doing so, or if you’re ready to incorporate, visit our Quick Quote section to get started!

What resources have you found helpful when developing your business or corporation? 

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Corporation Creation