Choosing your California registered agent is a crucial decision when putting up a business in the state. Sure, on paper, your registered agent is just a legal entity (person or business) that receives your legal mail. But, at the core of this seemingly basic function is a key component of how you and your business deal with the legal system.
Before you go to the California Secretary of State to file your Articles of Organization, you need to pick your Registered Agent. Here is the skinny on how to pick the best one for your business.
What Do You Look For in CA Registered Agents?
Finding a qualified California agent is actually the easy part. All a person or an entity needs to have is a physical address in the state.
Of course, this comes with the ability/ responsibility to receive legal mail during the state’s office hours (9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon). This is a must. Your registered agent’s address is going to be used as your legal point of contact for official notices.
Thus, for this task, your registered agent can’t just use a PO Box address. Someone has to be physically onsite to receive official notices, summons and subpoenas.
The extras that you get when it comes to your chosen registered agent in California come with how your agent conducts its role and tasks. Do they make it a point to communicate with you regarding your official notices? Do they keep important issues, dates, anniversaries and such on file? Can you rely on them to be on top of your legal responsibilities, dutifully reminding you of these?
Why Your Choice California Registered Agent Matters
Since your registered agent is practically going to work as your liaison with the California State Department, the person or business entity that you choose for this job matters. A responsible California registered agent has to keep track of your summons and notices, as well as deliver these to you promptly.
Your registered agent is your process servers, which plays a crucial role in your ability to abide by and take advantage of “due process.” Thus, you need to choose wisely.
Because, let’s face it, practically anyone who lives in California can function as your registered agent. The difference is whether they’d be good at the job. Your registered agent has to be able to make a difference in your organization.
Who Can You Choose as Your Registered Agent?
You can actually be your own registered agent in California. If not yourself, you can also assign a friend, relative or colleague as one.
But, keep in mind that you or any other person you assign will not be physically present at their California address all the time. There are going to be sick days, vacation days, emergencies and such. You can’t risk your legal standing on this possibility.
The better option is to assign a California Registered Agent service for the job. A registered agent service is also referred to as a Commercial Registered Agent. Such as a commercial entity does the responsibilities of a registered service as a business. They would know how to do it best.