In Texas, each LLC or corporation must appoint a registered agent. This individual or company is responsible for receiving legal documents (service of process) and official mail on behalf of your business.
Choosing the right person or company to serve as your registered agent is crucial for ensuring you get all your tax and legal documents. In addition, it can help protect your privacy and keep you compliant with state laws.
A Texas registered agent is the person or company you designate as your business’s point of contact for receiving government and tax documents on behalf of your entity. They are also responsible for accepting service of process, which is when a person serves legal papers on your business in case of a lawsuit.
You may be able to choose yourself, another owner or an employee as your Texas registered agent if they meet the requirements in the state’s Business Organizations Code. You can also hire a professional registered agent service to fulfill the role for you.
Having a Texas registered agent ensures your business receives important legal documents in a timely manner and avoids embarrassment. It can also help you stay on top of deadlines and avoid penalties. Many registered agent services will even send proactive reminders about upcoming state requirements.
Choosing a Registered Agent
Every LLC formed in Texas is required to appoint a registered agent. This can be an individual or an artificial legal entity (corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership).
Unlike a post office box, a registered agent must have a physical location within the state where the business is registered to receive important paperwork. They are tasked with accepting and forwarding documents from the Secretary of State, legal notices, and other time-sensitive compliance notices.
Businesses often choose to use a service to handle this process. This is an effective way to reduce the amount of time and effort required for managing registered agent responsibilities.
Some small, local services specialize in serving only Texas companies, while other larger, nationwide providers offer a full range of service options. The benefits of using one company to manage all your registered agent needs are numerous, including consistency and convenience.
Maintaining Your Agent’s Information
The Texas Secretary of State requires that all registered entities (including LLCs) have a registered agent. This individual or business entity is responsible for receiving and accepting legal documents from government regulatory agencies, such as service of process notices.
A registered agent can be an individual, an organization or an attorney. In order to be a registered agent, the individual or business must be a resident of the state of Texas and consent to serve as the registered agent.
Some small business owners choose to act as their own registered agents in order to save money. While this is usually a good option, there are several issues to consider.
One issue is that registered agent addresses are public records with the Texas Secretary of State. If you don’t maintain an updated address with the state, it can be difficult to find your information when needed. Additionally, you could miss important legal documents and compliance notifications, which can result in a negative impact on your business.
Keeping Your Address Private
The address you list for your Texas registered agent can be public record, so it’s important to keep it private. You can either be your own Texas registered agent or use a professional registered agent service.
A registered agent service provides you with a professional legal address to be used for all your corporate documents (including the Certificate of Formation). This way, your name and address will remain private from the public record.
Another benefit of using a professional Texas registered agent is that they are always available during business hours at the provided address to accept service of process and other legal notices. They can then scan and mail these documents to you in an expedited fashion.
However, remember that the information you provide for your Texas registered agent will be publicly available through the TX SOS website. This could be embarrassing, especially if your customers or clients see your address listed on the corporate filing.