In Florida, all businesses—including limited liability companies and corporations—are required to have a registered agent. The agent must have a physical address in the state and be available during business hours to receive legal documents.
A commercial registered agent service can provide you with a legal address in the state, scan and upload important documents to your online account, and alert you to compliance deadlines.
The state of Florida requires all business entities like LLCs to appoint and list a registered agent. This is a person or entity that has a physical address in the state and is available during normal business hours to receive service of process notices, official government correspondence, tax forms, and legal documents on behalf of the LLC.
An individual associated with the LLC may act as its own registered agent, but it is generally a good idea to hire a professional service. These services provide better privacy as their name and address will not become a public record (like your home or office address) and they will be more likely to scan and upload important documents to online storage for easy access.
Beyond the bare necessities, these services often provide additional valuable services like mail scanning and forwarding, answering telephones during regular business hours, virtual office services, and more. The risk of not having a reliable registered agent is losing your ability to defend against lawsuits or lose your business status as an LLC due to the Florida Department of State dissolving your company.
Choosing a Registered Agent
A Florida registered agent is a person or business that agrees to receive legal documents, known as service of process, on behalf of a Florida LLC. The agent must also have a physical street address in the state and be available during regular business hours. The agent must forward legal documents and certified mail to the appropriate LLC representatives promptly.
A professional company can serve as your Florida registered agent, allowing you to focus on growing your business. They will handle all important documents and notify you of any legal action taken against your LLC. They can also help you avoid common mistakes, like forgetting to file an annual report, and provide valuable peace of mind.
Individuals can act as a Florida registered agent, but there are several drawbacks. The biggest is that their personal information becomes public and they may miss important notifications and filing deadlines. Also, individuals often travel and take time off, making them less reliable as a Florida registered agent.
Filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent/Registered Office Change
If you need to change your registered agent, there are specific procedures that must be followed. Florida LLCs must file a statement of change of registered agent with the Division of Corporations. This can be done online, through the state’s SunBiz website. The form is different depending on the type of business entity. Generally, you’ll need to submit your current information along with the name of your new agent and their address (a P.O. box is not acceptable).
The reason it is important to follow these procedures is that failure to do so can result in penalties, including fines and even dissolution of your business. A registered agent is an individual or business that agrees to accept legal documents and official mail on behalf of your LLC. It is an essential service, and one that every LLC must appoint and maintain. It is also referred to as an agent for service of process, resident agent, or statutory agent.
Changing Your Registered Agent
If you are an LLC or corporation that wants to be your own registered agent, you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the Florida Department of State’s Corporations Division. You will also need to file a new Articles of Organization. This method is expensive and time consuming and may limit your ability to expand into other states.
It’s best to hire a company that offers registered agent services, like IncParadise, that can take over this responsibility for you. This is especially true if you’re working from home or want to avoid exposing your personal address in the public domain. Hiring a professional service will also give your business credibility, and you’ll know that all important documents are being handled promptly, ensuring compliance with the state’s incorporation laws. In addition, your business will be able to focus on growing its core operations. This will be a much easier task than trying to manage all aspects of the business at once.