Business Law in Florida: What is a Registered Agent?
How do you set up a business in Florida? If you are going to set up a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), then you will need a registered agent in the state. A registered agent is an individual that has been designated by the business to receive official legal documents. Here, our Miami business lawyer explains what a registered agent is and why it matters in Florida.
Registered Agent: Know the Basics
In Florida, a registered agent is an individual or entity designated by a business to receive legal documents and government correspondence on behalf of the company. Most businesses that are set up in Florida must have a registered agent who is located within the state.
What Types of Businesses Need a Registered Agent?
What types of businesses need a registered agent? Most different entities are covered, including:
- C Corporation;
- S Corporation;
- Limited Liability Company (LLC); and
- Limited Partnership (LP).
Who Can Serve as a Registered Agent for a Business in Florida?
In Florida, a registered agent can be either an individual residing in the state or a business entity authorized to operate there. They must have a physical address in Florida. To be clear, the registered agent does not have to be the actual owner of the business in question. In fact, the registered agent does not have to have any other associated with the business at all, but for their status as an agent.
Four Core Responsibilities of a Registered Agent in Florida
What are the actual day-to-day responsibilities of a registered agent in Florida. While it can depend, in part, on the business in question. State law mandates that all registered agents in Florida must satisfy these four core responsibilities:
- Maintain Address: A registered agent must have a physical address in Florida, known as a registered office. To be clear, a P.O. Box is not good enough to satisfy this requirement. It needs to be a place where they can physically receive documents.
- Be Available: As a general matter, the registered agent or a representative of that agent must generally be available during regular business hours.
- Receive Official Documents: One of the primary roles of a registered agent is to accept official documents on behalf of the business, including legal paperwork like lawsuit notices, subpoenas, and government correspondences.
- Notify Business Entity: Finally, after receiving any documents, the registered agent must promptly notify the business and forward these documents to them. A company cannot use a registered agent that does not actually provide them with documents in a timely manner.
Contact Our Miami, FL Business Law Attorney for Guidance and Support
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami business attorney provides solutions-forward legal guidance and support to clients. If you have any questions about registered agents, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up your confidential initial appointment. Our firm handles commercial law matters in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and all across the surrounding region in South Florida.