One of the things you’ll need to decide before filing your paperwork to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Montana is who will be your registered agent. The state requires all LLCs to have one, but what is a registered agent? What are their duties, and what are the requirements to be one?
What is a Montana 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 to help ensure that the right people within an LLC are notified in the event of time-sensitive events, which could be service of process for lawsuits, garnishment notices against employees, notice of annual reports, or notifications of taxes.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Montana?
An LLC in Montana must submit a filing that states:
(a) the name of the represented entity’s commercial registered agent; or
(b) if the entity does not have a commercial registered agent, the name and address of the entity’s noncommercial registered agent.
In addition, the registered office must be an actual street address or rural route box number in the state (Montana Code 35-7-104).
Should you be your own Montana Registered Agent?
There are various reasons to consider hiring a registered agent service to act as your registered agent instead of doing it yourself, such as:
- 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.
- Compliance Reminders – Registered agent services sometimes provide reminders of the state requirements, such as annual report filings.
- Penalties and Fees – By not continuously maintaining a current registered agent, the LLC may be responsible for penalties and fees, in addition to the potential for the state of Montana dissolving your business.
How is a Registered Agent Appointed in Montana?
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 you begin that process. Be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.