Before you form a limited liability company (LLC) in Oklahoma, you 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 an Oklahoma Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or company that is designated by the business to receive important legal documents on behalf of the company. This position is crucial because it ensures that the correct people within an LLC are notified in person for time-sensitive events, such as service of process for lawsuits. The agent also receives important notices from the state, such as garnishment notices against employees, notice of annual reports, and tax notifications.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Oklahoma?
According to state law (18 OK Stat § 18-2010 (2019)), every Oklahoma limited liability company must continuously maintain:
- A registered office, which may be, but need not be, the same as its principal place of business; and
- A registered agent for service of process on the limited liability company. That may be the domestic limited liability company itself, an individual resident of this state, or a domestic or qualified foreign (out-of-state) corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership. Each registered agent shall maintain a business office identical with the registered office, which is open during regular business hours to accept service of process and otherwise perform the functions of a registered agent.
Should you be your own Oklahoma Registered Agent?
Although it may seem like the simplest and cheapest option is to be your own registered agent, there are some compelling reasons to consider hiring a service to act as your registered agent, including:
- 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 as well as embarrassing.
- 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.
- 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 Oklahoma dissolving your business.
How is a Registered Agent Appointed in Oklahoma?
You must name 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 will be before you begin that process. Of course, you need to be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission to serve in that role.