Choosing a Delaware Registered Agent for Your Business

This guide explores the crucial points of appointing a registered agent when forming an company in Delaware.

Updated on
Jan 23, 2024
min read
Starting a Company
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Understanding the Role of a Delaware Registered Agent

What is a Delaware registered agent?A Delaware registered agent is an individual or a company designated to act as the central point of contact for your business to receive vital state correspondence and legal notifications. If an individual serves as the agent, they must be a Delaware resident and at least 18 years old. If it's a company, it must be authorized to conduct business in Delaware. Maintaining a registered agent is not just a choice; it's a legal necessity for your business.

The Duties of a Delaware Registered Agent

What does a Delaware registered agent do?Delaware Statutes Title 6 § 18-104 outline the specific requirements for registered agents. According to these statutes, LLCs are obligated to have and consistently maintain a registered agent and office within the state. The registered agent must be available during regular business hours to accept service of process and official communications from the state of Delaware.

The state mandates the presence of a registered agent to ensure that the appropriate individuals within an LLC are promptly informed in time-sensitive situations. These situations may include service of legal documents for lawsuits, garnishment notices concerning employees, and tax-related notifications.

Can You Act as Your Own Delaware Registered Agent?

Can I be my own Delaware registered agent?Yes, you can serve as your own registered agent, provided you meet specific criteria: you must be a Delaware resident, at least 18 years old, and available during regular business hours. Delaware differs from most other states in that it permits the LLC itself to function as its registered agent.

Should you be your own Delaware registered agent?While it's legally permissible to act as your own registered agent, it might not always be the best choice. Here are some compelling reasons to consider employing a registered agent service:

  1. Availability: A registered agent must be consistently available at the principal address during regular business hours, which could pose challenges for businesses with flexible schedules or frequent absences.
  2. Avoiding Embarrassment: Being served with legal documents at your place of business, in front of clients, can be both embarrassing and detrimental to your business's reputation.
  3. Reminders: Registered agent services often provide reminders for crucial state requirements, such as annual report filings, helping prevent missed deadlines.
  4. Penalties and Fees: Failing to maintain a current registered agent can result in penalties, fees, and potential administrative dissolution for your LLC.
  5. Convenience: If your business relocates, having a registered agent service can save you the hassle of updating registered agent information with the state.

Appointing a Registered Agent in Delaware

How is a registered agent appointed in Delaware?For a Delaware LLC, you appoint a registered agent in the Certificate of Formation, the document that formalizes your LLC with the state. For a Delaware corporation, the registered agent is designated in the Certificate of Incorporation.

Choosing the right registered agent is a crucial decision for your Delaware business. Consider the factors mentioned here to ensure your business remains compliant with state regulations and operates smoothly.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. Seek the counsel of a licensed professional for specific questions related to these topics.

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