What is a Registered Agent? | Do I need One in Alabama?

Before forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a
Registered Agent has to be identified in Alabama.  Learn who the
registered agent is, their job duties and the requirements to be one.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is an individual or company, designated by the entity to receive important legal
documents on behalf of the business.

What does a Registered Agent Do?

The duties and requirements of the registered agent are found in Alabama Statutes Section 10A-1-5.31. These state LLCs must have and continuously maintain a registered agent and registered office in the state of Alabama. The agent must be available during normal business hours to accept service of process, notices, and demands related to the business entity, and deliver them to the appropriate parties. In essence, a registered agent serves as the public representative to deliver legal paperwork and other notices.This position is necessary because it ensures that the correct people within an LLC are notified in the event of time-sensitive events such as service of process for lawsuits, garnishment notices against employees, notice of annual reports or notifications of taxes.

Who can be a Registered Agent in Alabama?

A registered agent in Alabama
can be any individual resident of the state who is 18 years or older, a registered Alabama
domestic business entity, or a foreign (out of state) business entity authorized to do business
in Alabama. An entity cannot designate itself as its own registered agent.

The registered agent
needs to have a physical address (often referred to as a registered office or
principal office) in the state of Alabama. 
This can be your home address, the address of an accountant or attorney,
the address of the business, or a registered agent service. This must be a
physical address in the state, no Post Office Boxes or mail drop services are                                                                                                                  acceptable, since someone has to be available to sign and accept documents. 

The agent will also
need to be available to receive Service of Process on behalf of the business
during normal business hours. Service of Process refers to the delivery of
legal documents, such as a summons, subpoena, or lawsuit filed against the business
entity. 

Can I be my own Registered Agent?

You can be your own
agent, as long as you are a resident of the state, over 18 years old and are
generally available during business hours.

Should you be your own Registered
Agent?

Provided you live in Alabama, it’s very common
to be your own registered
agent.  This option is fine for
most businesses, however there are a few reasons to consider hiring a service
to act as a registered
agent.

How much does a Registered Agent
Service cost?

The cost for registered agent services vary, but companies like [xyz-ihs snippet=”ZenBusiness-link”] include it in their low-cost LLC formation packages. In addition to performing the state requirements, they also include limited mail forwarding, alerts when documents are received and notifications when reports, like the annual report are due with the state.

How is a Registered Agent Appointed?

A registered agent is
initially appointed when forming
the LLC and is appointed in its Certificate of Formation. The entity must name one before the Certificate of Formation is accepted by the Secretary of State.

 

Can a Registered Agent be changed?

A registered agent can be changed by filing the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity Form with the Secretary of State.