Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in New Jersey, 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 New Jersey Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company that is designated by the LLC to receive important legal documents on behalf of the business. This position is needed because it helps ensure that the correct people within the 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, and important tax notifications.
Who can be a Registered Agent in New Jersey?
A New Jersey LLC must designate and continually maintain in New Jersey a registered office and agent for service of process (N.J.S.A. 42:2C-14(a)). The registered agent must be:
- a New Jersey resident; or
- a person or entity authorized to transact business in New Jersey.
Should you be your own New Jersey Registered Agent?
Being your own agent can be a hassle and generally problematic, which is why many business owners instead use a registered agent service. Here are some reasons to consider hiring a service to act as your LLC’s registered agent:
- Availability – A registered agent needs to generally be available at the principal address during normal business hours. This makes it difficult to leave the office to run errands, meet up with potential clients, etc.
- Avoiding Embarrassment – If a lawsuit is filed against the business and you are the registered agent, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. Obviously, that could be damaging to your business’s reputation.
- Compliance Reminders – Some registered agent services (like ZenBusiness) provide reminders of upcoming state requirements, such as filing annual report filings. Forgetting compliance obligations can land you in trouble with the state of New Jersey.
- Penalties and Fees – Failing to continuously maintain a current registered agent could result in fines or even the dissolution of your business.
How is a New Jersey Registered Agent Appointed?
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 start that process. Be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.