How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Your State
Having a registered agent may be a general requirement for businesses anyway, but there is much value in making the effort to find a great agent with a lot of experience. The role they play in ensuring compliance cannot be understated, especially at a time when inflation and supply chain issues are making operations more complicated.
The cost of non-compliance is extremely high for both your finances and brand repudiation. On average, the cost for businesses across the United States amounts to $14.82 million. Consider how easy it is to slip up in states where you face thousands of guidelines and regulations. Illinois Policy reports that Illinois has double the country average for state regulations at a whopping 278,475 for small businesses, and even then it’s just the third-highest in the country.
Thankfully, Stuff in Post has spoken on the benefit of workflow management to improve communication, reduce errors, and ensure adaptability. This will come in handy when keeping your business in check, as long as you know exactly how to find the best registered agent in your state for the job.
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Consider Getting Opinions from Other Business Owners
You can get a lot of insight from the opinions and reviews of others. So, who better to ask than fellow business owners? You share the unique requirement of having a registered agent, so it’s worth taking the time to talk to other entrepreneurs operating in your state.
It may be easier in some states that have fostered a community and made things easier for new business owners. For instance, Thumbtack’s survey finds South Carolina one of the top friendliest states for SMBs. What makes this result stand out is that, unlike the weighted metrics of other rankings, these results came from actual local business owners and how they view their state and community’s friendliness. Either way, don’t shy away from asking around to see whose services have been tried and tested.
Use a Commercial Registered Agent Service
If you are uncertain about the best way to go about finding your agent, you can’t really go wrong with using a commercial registered agent. There are plenty of providers who have a presence across all states, so it’s very likely that you can get things set up in no time. While it does mean a few more fees, it’s a worthy investment to ensure that you get the best one for your needs.
A guide by Namechk on finding the best registered agent in Oregon breaks down the benefits in more detail, hinging on the state’s rigid requirements for agents to legally operate. The process can be done online, but agents must reside in their state, be of legal age, and have the know-how to handle the service of process. With a commercial agent service, you don’t have to worry about all the filing and screening that would usually come with this process.
Look Outside Your Inner Circle
It can be tempting to stick to family or friends when looking for an agent. After all, it saves on costs and effort. However, it’s still better to look outside your inner circle and simply have a thorough screening process. This opens you up to candidates who likely have more experience and know the ins and outs of business regulations for your respective state.
It’s also a safer bet in terms of privacy and compliance. Some states don’t allow you to serve as your own registered agent and have legislature regarding who or what kind of entity can actively take this role. Montana’s Model Registered Agent Act (MORAA) notes that commercial registered agents be distinct from noncommercial registered agents. This also requires commercial agents to file listing statements with the Secretary of State and means that business entities cannot serve themselves.
Make Sure You Also Know Your State’s Requirements
Not all states share the same regulations. Although the point of getting a registered agent is being able to rely on their expertise, the process should be simpler if you also start out with your own knowledge bank. This helps you ensure that you are interviewing someone who actually exceeds or at least shares the same level of knowledge as you. You’ll want to be able to check how aware they are of state and business compliance that applies to your business.
One of the ‘Key Aspects of Management By Values’ is being able to discern the candidate’s value system, corresponding behavior, and perception. You’re more likely to have a longstanding working relationship if you are aligned in these aspects.
If you use all of these tips to guide your search, navigating the world of compliance may be a simpler task. With business costs skyrocketing in Alaska and other noncontiguous states, entrepreneurs must be more mindful than ever of who they work with.