What is a registered agent?
You’ve taken the first steps towards starting your new business by selecting a business entity, but now you need to choose a registered agent for your business. Naming a registered agent may seem like a formality, but it can have important implications for your business in the future. As such, it is imperative that you understand the role of a registered agent and what you should know before choosing your agent.
Registered Agent Defined
A registered agent is a representative of the business that agrees to receive notification of any lawsuits or important legal documents. Texas requires that all businesses keep the name and address of a registered agent on file. If your business is ever sued, the registered agent will receive a copy of the lawsuit, either in person or through the mail. Without an up-to-date registered agent, your business could miss critical notifications, which may cost the business money and affect its reputation.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Texas?
Under Texas law, a business can select any individual who is a Texas resident or an organization authorized to do business in the state with a business address that is the same as your organization’s registered office to be the registered agent. The registered agent must consent to this role. Alternatively, you can contract with a company that offers registered agent services. Your business’s owner, officer, or employee can be the registered agent, but you cannot name the entity itself.
Selecting a Registered Agent If You Live Out of State
If you are from out of state and cannot provide a local registered agent, you still have options. You can engage the services of a registered agent company for a fee. Your attorney or CPA may be able to fulfill your registered agent needs. Be sure to obtain consent before naming anyone as your registered agent.
Updating Your Registered Agent
If your registered agent moves or resigns, it is critical that you update your agent with the Secretary of State. Failure to do so could result in termination of your filing entity. Keep accurate records and take action right away if your registered agent changes.