Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in North Dakota, you need to appoint an official point of contact so that your business can receive legal notices and state correspondence. That person (or company) is called a registered agent. We’ll tell you below what the registered agent is, their duties, and the requirements for being one.
What is a North Dakota Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company the LLC designates to receive important legal documents on behalf of the business. This position is needed because it ensures that the correct people within an LLC are notified in person in the event of time-sensitive events such as service of process for lawsuits.
Who can be a Registered Agent in North Dakota?
By state law (ND Registered Agents Act 10-01.1.), every North Dakota LLC must submit a filing designating both a registered office (actual street address or rural route box number in the state) and registered agent. The filing must state:
- The name of the commercial registered agent of the represented entity; or
- If the entity does not have a commercial registered agent, then the name and address of the noncommercial registered agent of the entity.
Should you be your own North Dakota Registered Agent?
Although it may seem like the simplest and cheapest option is to be your own registered agent, there are some very good reasons to instead use a registered agent service, such as:
- 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. Obviously, that could be bad for business.
- 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.
- Compliance Reminders – Some registered agent services (like ZenBusiness) provide reminders of upcoming state requirements, such as filing annual report filings. Forgetting compliance obligations can get you in trouble with the state.
- 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 administrative dissolution.
How is a Registered Agent appointed in North Dakota?
You must list your registered agent when you complete the official paperwork with the state to form your LLC, so you need to decide who your registered agent or registered agent service is going to be before you begin that process. Always be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.