In this week's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to talk about another topic that comes up a lot with prospective clients who are interested in starting a new business, and also this comes up with prospective clients who are interested in either restructuring their business, or who have legal issues with maintaining their business. This is the issue of identifying a registered service agent. Many of my clients ask, “What's a registered service agent?” or “Why do I need a registered service agent?” In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I'm going to answer the question, “Why do you need a registered service agent?”
If you're forming any kind of business entity, be it an LLC, corporation, or something else, the Oklahoma Secretary of State is going to require you to designate a registered service agent as part of the application process. The registered service agent you choose will be a person or entity which can receive service of process on behalf of your business if your business gets sued or needs to be served with other important documents. While there are several options in choosing your registered service agent, the two primary requirements are that the person or entity must be located within the State of Oklahoma, and that the registered service agent must have a physical address (can't use a P.O. Box address).
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 disadvantage is that if you have a home office, the process server will knock on your front door. Another disadvantage is if you have a store front, you might get served while you have clients or customers on the premises, which 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.
It is very important for you as a small business owner to choose a reliable registered service agent. If your small business gets sued, Oklahoma law requires the lawsuit be served on your business in a certain way, i.e. through your registered service agent. The person or entity you choose to be your registered service agent needs to be a company or someone you trust, because if you choose someone or a company other than yourself, you need to trust them to be able to contact you and let you know that you were served, as well as to deliver the documents that were served. If you do get served with a lawsuit, you only have a limited time for you to hire an attorney to file a legal response to the lawsuit.
At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we offer a registered service agent program for our small business clients. For an annual fee of $150.00, we will serve as the registered service agent for your business, and if your small business is an LLC, we will file the annual certificate for you, as well as keep you advised of any service of process.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or you already have a small business and are looking to grow, please contact me at [email protected] for a FREE consultation.
For more information regarding Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at http://www.libertylegalok.com