The short answer is, yes. If you own a corporation or LLC in Florida, you must have a registered agent within the state. The Secretary of State will reject your business filing if there isn’t a registered agent appointed.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent (RA) gives the state of Florida a live person to send official state and legal documents to. They are accountable for following all statutory requirements. A RA can be an individual who lives in the state, or, an entity that is authorized to conduct business in Florida. A RA ensures that your business maintains a reliable way of being contacted.
Requirements of a Florida Registered Agent
The RA must accept the appointment in writing. In doing so, they accept responsibility for the obligations of a RA. The RA must keep accurate records according to the Department of State requirements.
Registered agents must remain available during normal business hours to receive legal and important documents. They must maintain a physical address in the registered state and be listed in public records. And, they must promptly forward state correspondence and legal notices to the LLC or corporation.
Failure to follow the above requirements can result in legal and financial liability. RAs should track and notify you when annual reports are due to keep your business entity in compliance with the state of Florida.
What Does a Registered Agent Do for a Business?
Registered agents receive legal proceedings, wage garnishments, subpoenas for records, official state correspondence, and other business requests.
Why Do I Need a Registered Agent?
Because registered agents follow all statutory requirements, they help your business avoid legal fines and headaches.
Your business may follow odd or irregular business hours. In this case, it’s best to choose a third party to act as your RA as they will be available to accept documents during normal business hours.
Maybe your business doesn’t have a physical address. Rather than having to list your home address, you can enlist a third-party RA. That way, the RA’s address will be listed in public records, protecting you from receiving junk and unwanted mail to your home.
Why Can’t an Employee or Manager be the Registered Agent?
Some companies can be their own registered agent by choosing an employee or manager. This is ill-advised due to a few concerns.
Privacy. Your RA’s address must be listed publicly. In most cases, you won’t want your staff’s or manager’s address displayed publicly.
Turnover. If the chosen employee or manager leaves the company, you will have to appoint a new RA immediately. Delays in doing so can cause legal and financial consequences.
Reliability. Registered agents must be available during working hours at the address on file. Since your staff will likely be at your business during working hours, you can’t ensure they will be available to receive documents as needed.
Due to these concerns, we advise that you appoint a third party like Midland Forms to be your business’s registered agent. For more information about Midland Form’s registered agent services, please reach out to us at (239) 472-0074.