Learn more about what a statutory agent is in business.
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When starting a new business, you need to meet several legal requirements before registering with the state. One piece of information you need to list on your company formation documents is the name and address of the person or company who will act as your statutory agent.
The statutory agent is called “statutory” because the law requires every business to have one. This page will explain everything you need to know about the statutory agent definition.
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. Until 2017, Connecticut used “statutory agent” in its Limited Liability Company Act, but it now uses “registered agent.” Regardless of the term, this agent supplies an in-state address where the company will receive legal notices.
When you register to do business in a state, the law 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.
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.
As stated, only Arizona and Ohio use the term “statutory agent.” Other states call the person appointed to receive service of process as a:
No matter what term your state uses, your business needs to have an agent on file for service of process.
What are the notices a statutory agent might receive on your behalf? Your statutory agent is there to receive these types of legal notices and more:
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.
Also known as a registered agent, every business needs a statutory agent — meaning they need an individual or legal entity who is appointed to receive legal notices for the company. You can name yourself as your statutory agent, but consider the advantages of hiring a commercial registered agent for your small business.
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Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational 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.