During regular business hours, the government will contact your nonprofit’s registered agent to send formal papers such as tax forms and service of process.

Most states require companies, even nonprofit entities, to choose a registered agent. This article goes through what a registered agent performs for a charity, who may serve as a registered agent, and why you would want to employ a registered agent service.

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What Is a Registered Agent’s Role?

A registered agent, also known as a resident agent or statutory agent in certain jurisdictions, is a person or organization that a nonprofit (or other formal company structure) selects to accept service of process, government communications, and compliance paperwork on the firm’s behalf. Documents that a company may get include:

Legal documentation
Forms of taxation
A summons (also known as serve of process) is a notification of a lawsuit.
The government’s official communication

A registered agent also assists your firm in adhering to the regulations that govern it by reminding you of filing deadlines and transmitting legal notifications to avoid fines for noncompliance.

How Does a Nonprofit Choose and Replace Its Registered Agent?

Most states require a nonprofit to name a registered agent when it is formed. Then, when you submit your Articles of Incorporation with the proper state agency, you must provide the name of your registered agent and/or the registered office address.

You may also replace your registered agent later by filling out a form provided by the state.

Can a Registered Agent be a Nonprofit Owner?

A nonprofit’s registered agent may be themselves. Alternatively, a registered agent might be anybody who fits the following criteria:

Being at least 18 years old
Having a physical location in the state where the company is established (i.e., not just a P.O. box)
Being accessible in person within regular office hours to receive papers (typically between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)

Should a Nonprofit Hire a Registered Agent?

A charity owner may choose to utilize a reputable and reasonably priced registered agent.

Observance of the Law
Flexibility and peace of mind
Privacy

Observance of the Law

States sometimes vary the dates for completing yearly reports and other legal obligations. A registered agent can help you remain on top of these laws by giving you reminders on a regular basis.

Furthermore, a registered agent may store copies of critical company papers that you don’t want to lose in the event that a fire, flood, or other calamity damages the originals.

Mind Relaxation

The last thing you want is to miss a crucial deadline or document when you’re spending so much time and energy operating your company. A skilled, third-party registered agent allows you to concentrate on growing your company while handling formal documentation.

Flexibility

A registered agent must be ready to accept papers during regular business hours by law. If you want to work on a different schedule, you may accomplish it by using a registered agent service.

Privacy

All registered agents’ physical addresses must be published in a public database. If you serve as your own registered agent and work from home, your home address will be made public. Alternatively, if you have a separate office, you may wish to avoid having sensitive papers delivered there in front of clients or staff.

Hiring a registered agent service eliminates both of these privacy problems since all papers are sent to the service’s publicly accessible location.

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