If you're starting a small business in Oklahoma, whether you're forming a limited liability company (LLC), a corporation, or even a non-profit entity, Oklahoma state law requires you to list a registered service agent with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This is an important part of the business formation process.
So, what is a registered service agent, anyways, and why is one required? If your company ever gets sued, is issued a court summons, or needs to receive some other kind of legal notice, the registered service agent is the person or company which will receive service on behalf of your company. For instance, if you sue somebody, you are required to serve them with process (a copy of the Petition and the summons) within a certain number of days after the lawsuit is filed. This way, the person or company you have sued knows that they have been sued, and then they have a deadline for filing a response with the Court. The registered service agent is the person or company which will accept service on behalf of your company in the event of a lawsuit. That is the sole responsibility of the registered service agent; they do not have any ownership or management interest in the business, just because they are your company's registered service agent.
As a small business owner, you have options as to who can be your registered service agent. One option is that you or your business can be your own registered service agent. Another option is to choose a company or law firm that offers registered service agent services, often for a small annual fee. There is nothing legally wrong with being your own registered service agent. Merely being your own registered service agent does not expose you to any legal risks or liability. However, there are some possible disadvantages to being your own registered service agent. One such disadvantage is that if you have a home office, the process server will knock on your front door. Oklahoma law allows any person 15 years of age or older to receive service of process. If you have a teenage son home, and you're not, he might receive service of process and need to give it to you. Another disadvantage is if you have a store front, you might get served while you have clients or customers around, and that could be embarrassing. A third disadvantage is that many small business owners do not want to waste their time being their own registered service agent, and since they do not wish to be bothered, they choose to invest in hiring a third party to handle that task for them.
Choosing to use a registered service agent company or law firm helps avoid possible issues these companies are usually reasonably priced. For example, my law firm, Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, offers registered service agent services for small business clients in Oklahoma, for a fee of $150/year.
It is important that your business has a registered service agent who will be around during normal business hours, and who will contact you if and when you are served. Oklahoma business attorney Jonathan Krems with Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, offers registered service agent services starting at $150/year.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or if you have a small business and you are looking to grow, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website http://www.libertylegalok.com.