When registering a business, owners must list a registered agent for service of process, but what are they and what qualities should they possess?
What is a Registered Agent for Service of Process and Why do I Need One?
A process agent (also called a registered agent for service of process or registered agent), is an individual or entity that accepts legal paperwork associated with lawsuits. The procedure through which process agents receive legal paperwork such as subpoenas is called the service of process. No business owner wants their staff or clients to know that they are being sued. Hiring a process agent spares business owners the embarrassment of having lawsuit-related paperwork served to their public business address.
Can I be My Own Process Agent?
While business owners can list themselves as process agents and have their place of business listed under the address for service of process, it is not wise to do so. When business owners list themselves as process agents, they are served court documents in public by sheriffs or process servers, which is never good for business. Hiring process agents shows professionalism and is indicative of an established business.
What Makes a Good Process Agent?
There are a few key qualities to keep in mind when selecting a process agent.
A good process agent is available during regular business hours. This is usually recognized as Monday through Friday and within the hours of 8AM to 5PM. Papers can be served at any time so there can be no exceptions made such as being sick, vacation days, or any other unexpected events.
Compliance Management and Document Organization
A good process agent will keep business owners in compliance and up-to-date with all state-required filings. Proper document organization can help business owners stay on top of important deadlines and court dates.
Mail Forwarding and Confidentiality
Responsible process agents forward general correspondence in addition to legal, tax-related, and time-sensitive documents. Of course, confidentiality can only be kept if process agents work off-site.