According to the Texas Secretary of State, any individual Texas resident or organization registered to do business in the state can act as a Texas registered agent. However, the business office of the registered agent must be registered at the same address as the registered office.
Therefore, an officer, employee, or owner of a business can be a registered agent, but the entity itself cannot be a registered agent. A business entity can contract the services of a Texas-registered agent from another business entity if wished.
Duties of a registered agent
Every registered agent has the primary function of acting as the main point of contact with the state for any business entity. They receive important documents about the day-to-day running of the business and must notify the owner about them. The most important documents that a business usually receives include tax notifications, compliance information, and service of process if the LLC is ever sued.
Who cannot act as a registered agent in Texas?
A business entity cannot serve as its own registered agent in the state of Texas, nor can any other state authority or government agency act as a registered agent.
Requirements of a registered agent
If you have decided to be the registered agent for your own entity, you need to meet certain requirements.
You must be older than 18 years of age and must have a physical address where your business is conducted in the state of Texas. You must ensure that you are always present at the address during normal business hours to receive any important or official correspondence. This may include accepting service of process, compliance documents, and IRS notifications.
Importance of maintaining the duties
From the moment you decide to act as your business’s registered agent, you must ensure that you responsibly meet the duties required of you. Failure to do so may result in heavy fines or penalties and even the withdrawal of your business registration.
If your business operates from home, you must know that your address will be listed on the public records. All correspondence, even summonses, will be coming to your registered address. If you do get sued, you may not want your family or employees to see the papers served.
You will have to ensure that you are at the address during normal working hours to receive these documents. If you ever need to be away for business appointments, you may not receive important notifications.
All notifications received must be acted on promptly. If you have received a summons, you must ensure that you meet the date to appear in court. Also, all your compliance and tax commitments must be met before the due dates.
One of the biggest problems for most business people is that they often need to be away from their office during certain business hours. If you cannot be there to receive documents, they will not be delivered. You also need to consider that these documents may be lost, misplaced, or forgotten, to the detriment of your business.
As your business grows, you may also decide to expand to another state. That means that you will have to appoint someone else in that state to act as your registered agent.
Hiring a professional registered agent service
Even though hiring a professional registered agent service may be more expensive than acting as your own registered agent, they offer many advantages for you and your business entity.
First, you are ensured of privacy since your personal or office address is not on the public records. You will also benefit from the convenience of not having to always be present at the address you have registered. If you ever need to accept any service of process, the paper goes to your registered agent’s office, ensuring discretion for you. You can be sure that you will receive timely notifications about all important correspondence and the deadlines that must be met. Finally, as you grow your business, a national registered agent will be able to continue its service to your business in another state.