One of the things you’ll need to determine before filing your paperwork to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Vermont is who will serve as your registered agent. The state of Vermont requires all LLCs to have one, but what is a registered agent, exactly? What are their duties, and what are the requirements to be one?
What is a Vermont Registered Agent?
A registered agent is an individual or business that is designated by the LLC to receive important legal documents on behalf of the company. This position is crucial to ensure 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 garnishment notices against employees, notice of annual reports, and important tax notices.
Who can be a Registered Agent in Vermont?
The only qualification to be a registered agent is that the agent has a street mailing address located in Vermont. A registered agent may be either:
- An individual person
- A business or nonprofit entity (i.e., not an assumed business name), other than the represented business itself, that is registered and active with this office.
Should you be your own Vermont Registered Agent?
There are a few reasons to consider hiring a registered agent service to act as your registered agent instead of doing it yourself:
- Avoiding Embarrassment – If you serve as your own registered agent, if and when a lawsuit is filed against the business, you could have papers served to you at your office in front of clients. That wouldn’t reflect well on your company.
- Compliance Reminders – Some registered agent services (like ZenBusiness) provide reminders when there are 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 fined and otherwise penalized, in addition to the potential for administrative dissolution.
How is a Registered Agent Appointed in Vermont?
You must designate your registered agent when you complete the official paperwork with the state of Vermont to form your LLC, so you need to decide who your registered agent or registered agent service will be before starting that process. Of course, you need to be sure to inform whomever you’re appointing and get their permission before appointing them.