Why You Should Hire An Attorney To Be Your Registered Agent.
1. Do not be your company’s registered agent!
If you serve as your own registered agent, you may save some money, but you put your company at risk. You risk having a summons being served without your knowledge and a critical deadline may pass before the summons reaches the appropriate party. Without an independent, affiliated registered agent, a summons is generally permitted to be served on any (adult) person at your principle place of business – and you have no assurance that the summons will not wind up sitting in some one’s inbox for days. Worse yet, you may suffer the embarrassment of having a summons served on you in front of your employees or at your home – since some jurisdictions permit a summons to be served at the home address of a company’s officers/shareholders.
Additionally, from an attorney’s perspective the first thing some attorneys do when we are investigating whether or not to take a case against a business is to see how sophisticated the business owner is. And if you are your own registered agent it’s usually an indication that you are the exact type of person an attorney may be willing to take a contingency case against.
2. Engage a lawyer to be your company’s registered agent.
With an experienced, business lawyer serving as the registered agent for your corporate entity, you will have the peace of mind that you will receive timely and prompt notice if your corporate entity is served with a summon and an attorney will be able to immediately review and assess the lawsuit and provide you with legal advice on how to answer the summons.
3. A business lawyer will help you with your corporate governance requirements
Having a business lawyer serve as your registered agent is also beneficial because he or she will be able to help you separate your personal assets from your corporate debts and liabilities- a “corporate shield”. In order for a corporate entity to maintain this separate legal identity for liability and tax purposes, it must comply with certain statutory requirements, including, but not limited to filing an annual report and/or corporate franchise tax return. A business lawyer will also help address any recommended corporate formalities generally required or recommended in your jurisdiction. An important, but often overlooked, corporate formality is producing corporate minutes for the annual (and special) meetings of a company’s governing board and its stakeholders (i.e., shareholders or members). With a good business lawyer serving as your company’s registered agent, you should receive the legal advice you need to maintain your corporate shield and protect your personal assets.