Does the Registered Agent Own the LLC?

By Tom Streissguth

The business laws in all 50 states require licensed business entities to use the services of a registered agent for the purpose of receiving service of process and to accept legal documents. A registered agent ensures that the state government and private parties can communicate with the company and deliver any necessary paperwork to the company.

Member/Owners

By the state laws governing limited liability companies, business owners are designated as members. In filing for a business license from the state, the member or members of the company must list their names and usually their addresses as well.

Registered Agents

State laws also require the designation of a registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or company authorized to accept service of process and other legal documents on behalf of the LLC. If a party wishes to claim damages in court, for example, a court-issued summons must be delivered to the registered agent. If the state needs a tax or license filing and must send the necessary papers to the LLC, the registered agent is responsible for receiving those papers and forwarding them to the responsible officers of the LLC.

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Location

Most states require that registered agents have a physical address in the same state where the LLC operates. The registered agent must be present at that address and must be available during normal business hours throughout the year to accept court process and other papers. A passive post office box cannot serve as a registered agent's address.

Owners

A registered agent may or may not be a member, owner, employee or manager of the LLC. The registered agent may be an entirely separate organization or individual. An attorney handling the affairs of the LLC, for example, may serve as its registered agent. Some companies function solely as registered agents and serve a roster of clients, who pay monthly or annual retainer fees for the service.

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What Are the Duties of an Agent of an LLC?

References

Related articles

What Is an LLC License?

A limited liability company is a type of business structure that shields the owners of the company from personal liability for the financial dealings of the operation. An LLC does not pay federal taxes since the profits are only reported on the owner's tax return as personal income. The creation of an LLC is governed by state law and members must file certain documents with the appropriate state department to gain approval to operate as an LLC.

Parent LLC Vs. Stand-Alone LLC

A limited liability company protects its members from liability for business debts. The LLC also provides a simple tax life for members: the company is not taxed separately and passes income directly to the members, who report earnings on their personal tax returns. One LLC can own another LLC -- or several of them -- as a subsidiary. There are upsides and downsides to these arrangements that members should consider.

How do I Get Out of an LLC Partnership?

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a form of business entity created by state LLC statutes. An LLC combines the flexibility and pass-through taxation of the traditional partnership with the limited liability protections of a corporation. An LLC's flexibility provides partners, called members, the ability to draft their own procedures for withdrawing from the LLC by executing an operating agreement. If an LLC does not have an operating agreement, state LLC statutes provide a default procedure for member withdrawal from an LLC.

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