Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in Mississippi, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent. But what is a registered agent? What are they required to do, and who can be one?
What is a Mississippi Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company that is designated by the entity to receive important legal documents on behalf of the business. This position is needed because it helps ensure that the correct people within an LLC are notified in the event of time-sensitive events, such as service of process for lawsuits, important tax notices, and garnishment notices against employees.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Mississippi?
A Mississippi LLC must have a registered agent and must confirm this with the state, as per MS Code § 79-35-5 (2019). The filing must give:
- The name of the represented entity’s commercial registered agent; or
- If the entity does not have a commercial registered agent, the name and address of the entity’s noncommercial registered agent.
- Affirmation of the appointment by the agent.
Mississippi also allows separate registration for commercial registered agent services. This allows those looking to form LLCs an easy way to find a company that can act as their registered agent. MS Code § 79-35-6 (2019).
Should you be your own Mississippi Registered Agent?
Many business owners decide to use a registered agent service instead of being their own agent. Here are some of the reasons to consider hiring a service to act as a registered agent:
- Availability – A registered agent needs to generally be available at the principal address during normal business hours. This could tie you to the office all day when and prevent you from meeting up with clients, running errands, etc.
- 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.
- Reminders – Some registered agent services (like ZenBusiness) provide reminders of upcoming state requirements, such as annual report filings. Forgetting compliance events like this can cause issues with the state of Mississippi.
- Penalties and Fees – By not continuously maintaining a current registered agent, the LLC may be penalized, fined, or even dissolved by the state.
How is a Registered Agent Appointed in Mississippi?
You’ll need to name your registered agent when you complete the official paperwork with the state to form your LLC, so you’ll need to decide who your registered agent or registered agent service will be before then. Of course, you need to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.