Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in Louisiana, you need to appoint an official point of contact so that the state and others can get in touch with your business. That person (or company) is called a registered agent. In this article, we’ll tell you what the registered agent is, their duties, and the requirements to be one.
What is a Louisiana Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company designated by the business entity to receive important legal documents on behalf of the company.
What does a Louisiana Registered Agent do?
Louisiana’s registered agent requirements are outlined in the Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 12, Section 1308. It states that every LLC must appoint and maintain both a registered agent and a registered office in the state. The primary responsibility for a registered agent is to receive service of process on behalf of the entity. This position is imperative because it helps ensure that the appropriate people within an LLC are notified in the event of time-sensitive events, such as service of process for lawsuits, garnishment notices against employees, a notice of annual reports, or tax notices.
What are the benefits of an LLC in Louisiana?
LLCs are one of Louisiana’s most popular business structures because they provide limited liability protection, operational flexibility, and pass-through taxation. For an in-depth explanation of how the LLC structure might be the right fit for your business, check out our comprehensive article.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Louisiana?
Louisiana’s registered agent laws are different from most other states. The state requires the appointment of at least one registered agent who must be one of the following:
- A citizen of the state who resides in the state.
- A partnership or professional law corporation, which is authorized to practice law in the state.
- A domestic entity authorized to transact business in the state.
An LLC must name at least two individuals to act as agent of the LLC for service of process at its address in the state, and file a certificate affirming this with the Secretary of State.
Should you be your own Louisiana Registered Agent?
Being your own registered agent is a burden many LLC owners would rather not deal with, so they often turn to a registered agent service. Below are some of the reasons to consider hiring a service to act as a registered agent instead of doing it yourself.
- Avoiding Embarrassment – If you serve as your own registered agent and a lawsuit is filed against the business, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. Obviously, that could be bad for business.
- 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 need to keep consistent office hours or has owners who travel.
- Compliance Reminders – Some registered agent services provide reminders for upcoming state requirements, such as annual report filings. Remembering to file an annual report can be easily overlooked, so reminders like this can help keep your company compliant.
- Penalties and Fees – The LLC could face fines and other penalties by not continuously maintaining a current registered agent. In some cases, the business could be dissolved.