What is a registered agent in Florida?
As long as your company is in operation, there will be a channel of communication between you and the authorities. It helps them keep an eye on your operations and figure out where you stand. Moreover, it’s also a way for you to inform the authorities where you would need any changes made. The state cannot communicate with your company directly and it needs someone in between who can do this for the entity. This point of contact stands between the company and the state and is known as a registered agent in Florida. The responsibility of this Florida registered agent is to receive legal documents that pertain to your operations and forward them to you so that you can act upon them.
Do I need a Registered agent for LLC in Florida?
The law dictates that you must elect a Florida LLC registered agent who will take on this representation role. Thus, it is not optional but something you have to do for you to get your company approved. However, this does not mean that you must hire a registered agent service to stand in between you and the authorities. People have enjoyed success by representing their entities or even hiring someone from their organization to do this. You might want to consider this if you would rather not spend money to get such services. Please note though that a registered agent for an LLC role is quite intensive and it requires someone who will be available quite a lot. The lack of good representation can strip you of your license to operate by threatening your good standing. Additionally, if you do not get legal documents on time, you can end up being sued and losing a battle in court that you did not even get to attend. You need must make sure that your Registered Agent in Florida can handle this for you.
Who can be a Registered Agent for your Florida LLC?
Given that the requirements for a registered agent LLC are not very strict, it’s possible for you or someone from your organization to represent the company. You can even have a friend or a member of your family taking on this role. Most people choose to hire a company that deals with such services because of the convenience it affords them. It means you can even leave your work and go on vacation or handle other matters without posing a risk to your operations. It’s something to consider.
A professional service is also important if:
- You would like to keep your address private, especially if you run your operations from the comfort of your home.
- You are not sure if you can or would not like to have to be at your business premises during working hours.
- You want to enjoy some privacy by not having law enforcement officers visiting you at your operations base.
- You want to have a registered agent who will make sure that you get your documents on time and someone you can hold accountable.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Florida?
Whether or not you pay money for these services depends on whom you choose to represent you. If you’re going to do it yourself or you’re going to have someone in your organization do it, you will probably not spend a dime on this. If you go to hire a professional company, you can expect to pay anything between $30 to $300 per year on a recurrent basis. By choosing to go for the paid option, be sure to look at what else the company can offer your LLC. Some even offer legal services as part of the package and this can be helpful to you if will face legal hurdles in the future.
Registered Agent Requirements in Florida
The state is very lenient on who can represent you. This person or company must:
- Be an adult who is residing in the state or a company that has a license to operate in the state and be available during business hours.
- Stays in the office during working hours. It ensures that law enforcement officers can find this person or company at the designated address when serving legal papers.
- Have a physical address in Florida. A mailing address is not enough and you must make sure that the person or company has a physical location where they can be found as needed.
What Is the Best Registered Agent Service In Florida?
There are many options in the market but some seem to have warmed their way into the hearts of entrepreneurs operating in the region:
How do I choose a registered agent?
This decision does not come easy because it affects how well you will conduct your business. If you don’t make the right one, you’re at risk of non-compliance and can end up losing your license to operate. It helps to choose a registered agent company based on:
- Professionalism. You want to work with a company that is not only experienced but also handles its clients professionally. This is important because even a small slip can end up costing you greatly. For example, if your point of contact decides to go on vacation and does not leave anyone in charge of receiving documents, you can end up getting sued and the ruling going against you without even your knowledge. You need someone or a company that will observe business hours and will make sure that you receive communication as needed. The authorities ensure that they send you notices and reminders every so often. It would thus be a shame if you ended up not receiving them because you choose a person or company that was not up to the task.
- Value for your money. Often, especially with a budding company, there is an inclination to save money by going for cheaper options. However, there is more to a point of contact than the price. You want to work with a company or person that actually delivers what they promise. That means a company that is immediate with sending any documents that pertain to the operations of your business and giving you notices and reminders as needed. Otherwise, you can end up paying very little money but getting services that are reflective of that amount.
- Coverage. If you plan to operate in more than one region, you need a company or person licensed to represent you in all those regions. It reduces the paperwork on your account and makes it easier to track any due filings. Keep in mind that losing your good standing not only threatens your business license but it can also get in the way of establishing a good relationship with your bank. It would get very hard for you to acquire a loan facility if the institution feels that you were a risk.
- Service tiers. When looking for a rep, you will notice that companies offer services at various levels. You need to look through what’s available for every package and whether you would require it for your business. Some companies try to hide charges behind hidden fees and this can rack up your costs. Also, be wary of buying items you might not necessarily need, and watch out for the upsells.
- The technology. Given that you will be accessing your documents online, you want to work with software that’s intuitive to make your work easier. You also need to find out how you can get in touch with tech support if any issues arise. The immediacy of the processes also matters because delays can end up costing you quite a great deal.
Thanks to the digital age, you can assess any potential representatives by looking at reviews left by past clients.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent in Florida?
If you feel that you have not made the best decision for your business, you are always free to change registered agent in Florida. People do this for many reasons. Maybe your point of contact has left your organization, moved out of the state, or even decided that the workload is too much, and they would like this role delegated to someone else. Whatever the reason is, making this change is not hard as the authorities have laid down some methods through which you can affect this.
The default mode is to file your annual report where you can make changes as needed. However, if you have already filed your report, you can make do with a statement form to change business registered agent in Florida. The difference between the two is the filing method. With an annual report, you can get the change handled online. But if this ship has already sailed, you will need to make the change in-person or by mail.
The annual report is the best method where possible. Not only does it reduce the processing time because you can find it online, but it also cuts back on the documents required. After all, whether or not you’re making a change, filing this document is a statutory requirement. Moreover, even the authorities prefer it and have set it as their default.
The statement of change would be better if you’re OK with many documents and is trying to save some cash. It will cost you $25, which is much cheaper than the default method.. Please make sure you use the right one depending on whether you are a domestic or foreign company.