Nonprofit organisations in Pennsylvania will almost certainly need to designate and have a registered agent.

A registered agent receives any official documents from the State of Pennsylvania, as well as any service of process that may be served on a firm in a lawsuit.

What Is a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

Unlike other states, Pennsylvania does not keep track of individual registered agents (also known as statutory agents, resident agents, or agents for service of process). Instead, it establishes a registered office where your company will receive communications such as compliance information and tax alerts, as well as service of process papers. This simply means that if your organisation is sued, your registered office will receive the court summons and paperwork.

The following are the prerequisites for registered offices in Pennsylvania:

They must have a physical address in Pennsylvania (not simply a P.O. box).
They must be located at a location where someone is accessible during normal business hours.

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In Pennsylvania, may I act as my own registered agent?

You may opt to use your own address as the registered office for your organisation. You may also use the address of a member of your board of directors or a trustworthy friend. As long as the state standards are met, any address may serve as your nonprofit’s registered office.

If you want to utilise your personal address as your nonprofit’s registered office, you must recognise the significance of this position. If you miss a filing date or misplace a document, your nonprofit’s compliance status may be jeopardised, and the Department of State may revoke your nonprofit’s corporate registration.

Many organisations and other companies engage a professional registered agent service to guarantee that their company is always in compliance.

Should My Nonprofit Hire a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania?

Before you engage a Pennsylvania registered agent service — also known as a Commercial Registered Office Provider in the state — think about the benefits and drawbacks of this method.

Advantages

There are various reasons why you should consider employing a registered agent service for your nonprofit organisation. This strategy, in particular, can:

Save Time: When you initially launch your Pennsylvania charity, you must concentrate on doing everything possible to ensure its success. Hiring a competent registered agent service allows you to concentrate on what matters most while the registered agent handles all incoming mail and official notifications. Furthermore, they will often remind you of approaching key files or deadlines.
Protect Your Personal Privacy and the Reputation of Your Company: Unfortunately, your company may face a lawsuit at some point. All service of process notifications will be sent to a business address if you engage a professional registered agent service. If you operate as your own registered agent, law enforcement officers may deliver these notifications to your home or place of business, depending on the address on file.

Registered agent services are used to receiving and correctly processing legal documentation, in addition to preserving your privacy and the reputation of your firm. This will assist to guarantee that your company does not lose a lawsuit on a technicality because you failed to submit anything on time or handled something incorrectly due to a lack of understanding of how the legal system operates.
Ensure that your business mail is handled promptly: Because the major function of a registered agent service is to act as a registered agent for a variety of organisations, you can be certain that any mail they receive will be addressed quickly. They will also be accessible during regular business hours to address any queries you may have concerning these papers.
Maintain Your Nonprofit’s Compliance: You must keep your organisation in compliance with the laws of the state of Pennsylvania and the federal government (if you are granted 501(c)(3) status). Hiring a registered agent service can assist you avoid missing any filings.
Provide Convenience: During business hours, registered agents must be present at their specified address. That is, using a registered agent service will enable you to take time off as required and work on a flexible schedule if wanted.
Provide National Serve: If you believe your organisation may desire to expand nationally, choose a national registered agent service that will continue to support you as your firm expands.

Disadvantages

The sole downside of using a registered agent service is that it is expensive, while you may serve as your own registered agent for free.

Is a Professional Registered Agent Service Required?

While employing a professional registered agent service is a good idea for many reasons, in other cases it is required. If you answered “yes” to any of the following questions, your organisation should use a registered agent service.

Is your non-profit open at odd hours? As previously stated, your nonprofit’s registered agent must be accessible during normal business hours at their provided location. If your organisation operates outside of typical business hours, you’ll need to engage a registered agent service.
Do you reside in another state? The registered office of your nonprofit must be in the state in which it was established. If you are not a Pennsylvania resident, you must locate a registered office in Pennsylvania to represent your organisation.
Is your charity now or will it be situated in many states? If your organisation now operates in many states or intends to do so in the future, you must select a registered agent in each state where it will do so. You must employ a registered agent service since you cannot be in two locations at the same time.
Will you continue to function without a physical address? If you want to run your charity entirely online or without a physical location, you will lack a business address to provide on your Articles of Incorporation and other crucial legal papers. By using a registered agent service, you may provide their actual address on all papers.

How Do I Select a Pennsylvania Registered Agent?

When you submit your Pennsylvania nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation, you must name a registered agent. In Pennsylvania, the basic nonprofit creation document is the Articles of Incorporation.

Choosing an Online Registered Office

You may register your nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation and pay the $125 filing fee online via the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop website. You may choose your nonprofit’s registered office when you complete the Articles of Incorporation online.

Choosing a Registered Office in Person or by Mail

Download the Articles of Incorporation form, fill it out completely, and return the original plus one copy (together with the $125 filing fee) to the Pennsylvania Department of State to incorporate your Pennsylvania nonprofit by mail or in person. In Article 2, you will give your registered office address.

How Do I Change the Registered Agent of My Nonprofit in Pennsylvania?

Simply fill out an Alter of Registered Office form and send it to the Pennsylvania Department of State along with the $5 filing fee to officially change the registered office of your Pennsylvania charity.

Conclusion

When you work at a charity, you have more essential things to worry about than monitoring the mail, submitting legal paperwork, and remembering compliance deadlines. A registered agent can help you with that. When you engage a professional registered agent service, you can put these responsibilities in their skilled hands and completely concentrate on what is most important to your firm.

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