Having a registered agent is mandatory when forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Missouri. Below we’ll explain what the registered agent is, their duties, and what the requirements are to be one.
What is a Missouri 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 intended to ensure 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 tax notifications.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Missouri?
Missouri LLCs must continuously maintain a registered office in Missouri that may but is not required to be a place of business (§ 347.030.1(1), RSMo) and must continuously maintain a registered agent in Missouri whose business office is identical with the registered office and that is:
- an individual resident of Missouri; or
- a domestic or foreign corporation authorized to do business in Missouri (§ 347.030.1(2), RSMo).
Should you be your own Missouri Registered Agent?
Being your own registered agent can be a burden, which is why many LLCs instead use a registered agent service. There are several reasons to consider hiring a service to act as a registered agent.
- Availability – A registered agent needs to 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, not to mention a business owner who needs to occasionally leave the office during the day.
- Avoiding Embarrassment – If you serve as your own registered agent and a lawsuit is filed against your company, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. Obviously, that could be bad for business.
- Penalties and Fees – By not continuously maintaining a current registered agent, the LLC may be subject to penalties and fees, in addition to the potential for administrative dissolution (the state dissolving your business).
How is a Registered Agent Appointed in Missouri?
You’ll need to name your registered agent when you complete the official paperwork with the state of Missouri to form your LLC, so you’ll need to decide who your registered agent or registered agent service will be beforehand. Of course, you need to be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.