One of the things you’ll need to determine before filing your paperwork to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Michigan is who will serve as your resident agent. The state requires all LLCs to have one, but what is a resident agent? What are their duties, and what are the requirements to be one?
What is a Michigan Resident Agent?
A resident agent (often called a “registered agent” in other states) is an individual or other business entity that is designated by the LLC to receive important legal documents on behalf of the business.
What does a Michigan Resident Agent do?
The duties and requirements of the resident agent are found in Michigan Statutes Section 450.4207. These say LLCs will have and continuously maintain a resident agent and registered office within the state. The primary role for this agent is to receive any service of process on behalf of the LLC. 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 Resident Agent in Michigan?
The resident agent may be an individual resident in Michigan whose business office or residence is identical with the registered office, or any of the following:
- A domestic corporation;
- A foreign (out-of-state) corporation authorized to transact business in the state;
- A domestic limited liability company; or
- A foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in the state.
Should you be your own Michigan Resident Agent?
Being your own resident agent can be problematic. There are several reasons to consider hiring a service to act as a resident agent.
- Availability – A resident agent needs to generally be available at the principal address during normal business hours. This could be difficult for a business that doesn’t need to keep consistent office hours.
- Compliance Reminders – Some resident/registered agent services provide reminders on state requirements such as annual report filings. Remembering to file an annual report can be easily missed.
- Avoiding Embarrassment – If you serve as your own resident agent and a lawsuit is filed against the business, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. That could hurt business.
How is a Resident Agent Appointed in Michigan?
You’ll need to name your resident agent when you complete the official paperwork with the state to form your LLC, so you’ll need to decide who your resident agent or registered/resident agent service will be before you begin that process. Of course, you need to be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.