WHAT IS A REGISTERED AGENT
A registered is a person or business you indicate as having permission to receive legal mail on your behalf. You must designate a Registered Agent on your LLC registration, so this is a non-negotiable requirement of owning an LLC.
WHAT IS "LEGAL MAIL"
It's the mail you'll receive, potentially by hand delivery, if someone wants to sue your business or send your business a demand letter or other legal notice. (Note: "legal mail" is not a legal term, its our own term of art).
WHO CAN BE A REGISTERED AGENT
But just because anyone can do it, doesn't mean anyone should. Yes, you can act as your own Registered Agent, but we recommend you don't for a few reasons:
1/ A registered agent must be at the listed address during all normal business hours (think 9-5, M-F). Unless you plan to stay home all day everyday, this may not be a good fit for you.
2/ The mail your registered agent receives is extremely important. Unless you can guarantee it won't get lost in the piles of junk mail and bills we all get on a daily basis, we recommend you let a third party handle it.
3/ A registered agent address becomes relevant when you're being sued. If you don't have a business address, then acting as your own registered agent means listing your home address. Which means the person who wants to sue you now has your home address. (PS - your registered agent cannot be a PO Box, so if that's your business address, it won't work)
4/ Apart from people who want to sue you having your home address, the registered agent address is public record. Meaning anyone in the world can access your home address if you list yourself as your registered agent and don't have a separate business street address.
5/ If you list your home address or a business address that may change, you'll have to update your address with the Texas Secretary of State every time you move. Again, the mail that comes to this address is extremely important, so forgetting to change your address could have dire consequences.
With all of that in mind, you may be wondering - so who can be my registered agent?
That part's easy - we can. You can sign up on our LLC Formation page.
And that's it!
Author: Ashley Hymel, attorney and cofounder of The Corporate Legal Ltd. Co, published 12.16.2022