Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Choose an LLC Registered Agent

It is a must for your LLC to appoint a registered agent. That is because this person is responsible for sending and receiving documents on behalf of your company. And like any person you want to work with during the course of your business, you must choose your agent carefully.

Consider Your Capabilities and Resources

You can be your own LLC registered agent, but it's not advisable unless processing LLC papers is your specialty. Also, avoid choosing agents on the sole basis of fees; as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Don't forget to consult with the other LLC members during your search.

Gather Recommendations

Don't know where to start looking? Use your business network and ask for feedback from others who have experience hiring a LLC registered agent. Narrow down your recommendations to those who look like they suit your purposes. You should have three to five prospects on your "to interview" list by the time you're done with this step.

Visit your Agent's Physical Office

LLC registered agents who are worth their salt should have a website where you can learn everything there is to know about them. If you have spare time, though, it wouldn't hurt to pay your prospect a visit. That way, you'll get an idea how your agent operates based on the general "feel" of their office. For example, an agent with a messy, disorganized table is likely to treat business transactions the same way as well.

Ask Questions

Quiz your prospective agent on the process of organizing LLCs. A good one must be able to provide satisfactory answers regarding the theoretical and practical aspects of LLCs. Keep in mind that you'll never know when you'll need your agent's services, so inquire about operating hours and contact information as well.

Make Your Decision

All registered agents have their respective pros and cons. It's up to you to decide what strengths you need from your agent, and what weaknesses you can put up with. You can change your agent if you wish, but you'll have to contend with additional paperwork and fees.

Search for an agent the way employers screen employees: Let the right people know that you're searching, analyze your prospects carefully, and narrow your choices down to those who can gel with your LLC's culture. The steps outlined above are applicable not only for LLC registered agents, but also for other professionals you'll need aboard your boat too.

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