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Resident Agent FAQ

What is a Resident Agent?

The Corporation's resident agent is simply a person designated by the corporation to receive important legal and other documents on behalf of the corporation. The resident agent must be a resident of the company's state of incorporation and the resident agent's address must be a physical address (not a PO Box) within the state of incorporation.

The primary reason states require their corporations to maintain a resident agent within the state is so that each corporation has someone designated to receive important legal and other documents on its behalf, even if the company does not otherwise have a physical presence within the state. Resident agency is a legal mechanism set up for the protection of consumers and others who may be harmed by the corporation's products and services. It is not necessarily a mechanism that benefits the corporation.

When do I need a Resident Agent?

Every corporation or LLC must appoint a resident agent in its state of incorporation. Therefore, your company will always need a resident agent. The issue is whether you or someone associated with your company should serve as resident agent, or whether you will be required to contact an outside party to be your resident agent.

The outside party will charge a fee for the resident agent services. The service generally consists of the agent forwarding unopened documents received on your behalf to your company's office. Although this seems like a superfluous, time-consuming step, there is a situation where it is necessary to pay the fee and appoint an outside party as your resident agent. See below.

Whom should I appoint as my Resident Agent?

Virtually any state resident can serve as a corporation's resident agent. However, it is strongly encouraged that the corporation appoint someone who is closely associated with the corporation so as to ensure that the corporation is alerted to all important documents immediately. Corporations commonly appoint an owner, director, or officer of the company to serve as the initial resident agent. Appointing such a person as your resident agent is usually only an option when you incorporate in your state of operation.

When you incorporate in a state in which you do not have an office, it may be necessary to contact an outside party to serve as your resident agent. Since it is required that the resident agent have a physical street address within the state of incorporation, this may be the only way to fulfill the requirement. Appointing an outside party as your company's resident agent will add cost and time, but may be necessary in order to receive the benefits of incorporating in Delaware or Nevada.

If you wish to incorporate in Delaware or Nevada and your company does not have an office within the state, Direct Incorporation can provide you with a dependable resident agent as part of our incorporation service.