What is a Georgia Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company designated by the entity to receive important legal documents on behalf of the business. All registered business entities, including LLCs, must have and maintain one according to Georgia law.
What does a Georgia Registered Agent do?
A Georgia LLC must appoint and continuously maintain a registered agent and registered office within the state. The laws that apply to registered agents are found in 14-11-209 and 14-11-703 of the Georgia Code. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to forward any service of process, notice, or demand pertaining to the entity to the appropriate individuals. This 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, or important tax notifications.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Georgia?
A registered agent in Georgia may be:
- An individual resident of this state;
- A domestic corporation or another domestic limited liability company; or
- A foreign corporation or limited liability company having a certificate of authority to transact business in Georgia.
The agent must also:
- Have a street address in Georgia, and the agent must be located at that address. This can be the actual address of the business; the home address of an owner, friend, or family member; the address of an accountant or attorney; or the address of a registered agent service, just as long as it’s in the state of Georgia. The office of the registered agent doesn’t have to be the same as the business’s address. Only physical addresses are permitted, no P.O. boxes or mail drop services.
- Be available to receive Service of Process on behalf of the LLC during normal business hours. Service of process refers to the delivery of legal documents, such as a 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 Georgia and are fully available during all business hours.
Should you be your own Georgia Registered Agent?
Maybe not. There are a few reasons to consider hiring a service to act as your registered agent:
- Availability – A registered agent needs to generally be available at the principal address during normal business hours. This could be a challenge for a business that doesn’t keep consistent office hours. Plus, it ties you to the office all day.
- Annual Notices – Some registered agent services give you reminders about upcoming reports that are due, such as annual reports. It’s easy to forget to file these.
- Penalties and Fees – By not continuously maintaining a current registered agent, the LLC may be responsible for penalties such as fees or even the dissolution of the business.
How is a Registered Agent appointed?
You will need to decide on a registered agent or registered agent service prior to filling out your Articles of Organization. Listing the agent in this document makes it official.