Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of Utah, you need to designate an official point of contact so that the state and those with legal notices can get in touch with your business. That person (or company) is called a registered agent. We’ll tell you below what the registered agent is, their duties, and the requirements to be one.
What is a Utah Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or business that is designated by the LLC owners to receive important legal documents on behalf of the company. This position is essential for ensuring that the correct people within an LLC are notified in person when there are time-sensitive events, such as service of process for lawsuits. The agent also receives important notices from the state, such as notice of annual reports and tax notifications.
What does a Registered Agent do in Utah?
The duties and requirements of the registered agent are found in Utah Statutes, Chapter 17 of the Model Registered Agents Act. These say LLCs will have and continuously maintain a registered agent and registered office within the state. The agent must be available during normal business hours to accept any service of process, notice, or demand pertaining to the LLC and forward it to the appropriate individuals. Basically, the registered agent is the LLC’s mailbox for legal and other important notices.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Utah?
Under Utah Code 16-17-203, every Utah LLC must submit a filing designating both a registered office (actual street address or rural route box number in the state, not a P.O. box or something similar) 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 Utah Registered Agent?
At first glance, it may seem like the simplest option is to be your own registered agent, but there are some compelling reasons to consider using a registered agent service instead, such as:
- 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’re serving as your own agent, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. Obviously, that could be bad for business.
- 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 – Not maintaining a current registered agent could mean penalties and fines for your LLC, in addition to the potential for administrative dissolution.
How is a Utah Registered Agent Appointed?
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 then. Of course, you need to be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission first.