7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent
Updated August 29, 2023
Julie Bawden-Davis
Written byJulie Bawden-Davis
Catherine Cohen
Edited byCatherine Cohen
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If you’ve decided to legitimize your small business and form your LLC, paying attention to all the details is essential. One such task is designating a registered agent who’s responsible for several vital functions and is required by state law.

The primary role of a registered agent is to receive formal correspondence, including legal notices and important documents, from government agencies for your LLC formation. No matter the size of your company, it is essential to remain compliant and in good standing with all aspects of the law. 

Many new business owners overlook or disregard the necessity of having a dedicated registered agent. Though it might seem like an easy job to take on yourself, many roadblocks come with being your own registered agent. 

Performing the functions of a registered agent will take time away from running your business due to the need to be available at your physical address during normal business hours.

While it is possible to become your own registered agent or elect an employee to this position, doing so isn’t advisable for the following reasons.

1. You must have a physical address in every state you do business.

Suppose you register your company to conduct business in other states than where you are incorporated. In that case, you must have a registered agent present at physical addresses in each state. Opening offices in several states to comply with this requirement would not be cost-effective.

If you do business in more than one state, your best recourse is to use a professional third-party registered agent service. Companies such as Swyft Filings serve as registered agents in all 50 states. This ensures you have a registered agent in every place of business in any state.

2. You will compromise your privacy.

It’s a state requirement to have a physical address as a registered agent. This is necessary so that your registered agent can accept legal notices. That means your home address gets listed in public forums as your business address if you work from a home office instead of providing a registered agent’s address. This creates privacy concerns.

If, for instance, your company becomes involved in a lawsuit, an angry litigant could end up on your doorstep because they will have access to your home address. This is potentially embarrassing for you and your family members, and such a situation could also create safety concerns.

3. You must be available during normal business hours.

Even if your company works off hours, such as evenings and weekends, as your own registered agent, you must be on hand at the office address listed during business hours. This means you need to be able to answer the door from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. 

For many business owners and entrepreneurs, this may be impossible—primarily if you work offsite or visit clients. Acting as your own registered agent could not only prove inconvenient but doing so could affect your company’s profitability if you aren’t able to function in regular business hours as needed.

4. Your employees could see sensitive information.

Even if you run your business from a physical address that is an official office, your employees may end up seeing sensitive information that you would rather they didn’t. For instance, another entity could serve your company during the proceedings of a lawsuit. This is an occurrence that you don’t want your employees, or even worse, your customers, to witness. 

If you use a registered agent service, you will receive all documentation and official notices in a confidential manner that does not raise attention.

5. You will have significantly more mail to process.

If you decide to become your own registered agent, plan to receive a significant influx of mail. While much of the correspondence due to your business entity is often junk mail, it will be necessary to open every envelope to check for valid mail.

Processing an influx of mail can become overwhelming and tedious, resulting in required notices getting lost in the pile. Professional registered agents sort through all your company’s mail as soon as it arrives at their offices. This ensures that you receive every vital notification promptly.

6. You may end up missing important notices.

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When you run your own business, things get busy. On hectic days, you might not have time to check your mail carefully. This could result in important mail getting shoved aside and misplaced.

If you miss important government notices, such as deadline dates for filling and fees due, you risk no longer being legally compliant. You may also incur substantial late charges and may lose certain privileges. For instance, failing to pay taxes on time can be very expensive. And not responding to pending litigation could threaten your company’s wellbeing.

A registered agent service ensures that you get all critical notices on time. This means you can quickly react and do what you need to do for the best interests of your company.

If you serve as your own agent, it’s also possible that you could miss an important delivery. Even if you work at your physical address on file, you might be on the phone or dealing with an employee and not hear the delivery person. None of these are scenarios you want to chance.

7. You’re responsible for reporting address changes.

Serve as your own registered agent, and you are responsible for keeping a current address with each state in which you are doing business. If you change street addresses, you must promptly file your new address in each state where you do business. 

Making changes to your address can be time-consuming. There are often fees associated with address changes, as well. When you use a professional third-party registered agent, you never have to make any address changes or pay additional fees.

No matter the size of your business, if you incorporate, the state requires that you designate a registered agent. Given that becoming your own registered agent comes with a variety of responsibilities you may not be able to fulfill, it makes sense to use a company that provides professional registered agent services.

Our registered agent service is available in all 50 states. We provide organizations of all types and sizes with an efficient and professional option to fulfill their registered agent requirements. Save time and ensure peace of mind by checking out our registered agent services for your incorporation today.

Originally published on October 20, 2022, and last edited on August 29, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much does it cost to form a corporation or LLC?

You can form a corporation or LLC with our help for as little as $0, plus state filing fees for incorporation. Filing fees vary depending on the state you incorporate in. For more information on specific states, check out our state guides on the Swyft Resource Center. You can also email us with specific questions or contact us at 877-777-0450.

What payment methods do you accept?

Swyft Filings accepts payment through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, checks, and money orders. You can send any questions about payment to our email address or contact us at 877-777-0450.

Will I have to pay additional fees to Swyft Filings after completing my order?

It depends on what you ordered. If all you did was file your corporation or LLC, the price you paid when ordering is all you pay. You will have no further fees after that.

However, if you signed up for the Swyft Filings Registered Agent Service, you will be charged its initial fee three days after you place your order. From then on, you will be charged according to the terms of your subscription until you change your registered agent with the state or dissolve your company. If you change your agent or dissolve your company on your own, let us know so we can discontinue billing.

Other potential subscription-based options include SnapMailbox, 360 Legal Forms, and ComplianceGuard. If you opt for SnapMailbox or 360 Legal Forms, you will be charged a monthly fee after their respective 30-day free trials end. ComplianceGuard has an annual fee after a 14-day free trial. All three of these services are completely optional.

When will my order be processed?

Our team processes all Standard orders on a first come, first served basis. If you opt for Express or Same-Day Processing, we prioritize your order and send it to the front of the line. However, no matter how fast we get it out the door, you’ll still have to wait for your state to address your filing.

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