Statutory Agent Definition

A statutory agent, also known as a registered agent, is an individual or entity designated by a business to receive legal and official documents on behalf of the company, ensuring that important communications are properly delivered and processed.

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What is a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is an individual or legal entity appointed to accept service of process on a company’s behalf. Most states use the term “registered agent,” but Arizona and Ohio use “statutory agent” to describe this designated representative. Regardless of the term, this agent supplies an in-state address where the company will receive legal notices and service of process.

Statutory Agent Benefits

When you register to do business, state law in Arizona and Ohio requires you to name a statutory agent and list their address. According to the definition of a statutory agent, the person or entity must be available during business hours at the registered office. When someone sues or summons your company, they will send service of process to your statutory agent. Your agent will ensure your company receives the notice, so you can prepare for any legal action that lies ahead. 

Statutory Agent Considerations

You can list yourself as your company’s statutory agent, but this has disadvantages. The statutory agent definition requires you to be present at your office during all regular business hours. Therefore, most small business owners hire a statutory agent service to avoid being tied to the office. Commercial agents are also beneficial for multi-state businesses because you must have a statutory agent in every state where you operate.

What are other names for a statutory agent?

As stated, only Arizona and Ohio use the term “statutory agent.” Other states call the person appointed to receive service of process a:

  • Registered agent
  • Agent for service of process
  • Resident agent

No matter what term your state uses, your business needs to have an agent on file for service of process and government document deliveries. 

Statutory Agent Responsibilities

What are the notices a statutory agent might receive on your behalf? Your statutory agent may receive these types of legal notices and more:

  • Service of process for lawsuits
  • Annual report reminders
  • Official government correspondence
  • Legal subpoenas for information
  • Court summons
  • Wage garnishment requests

Your company needs to know about these legal notices ASAP, so it’s essential to choose a reliable statutory agent service in the state where you want to do business.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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