In this week's Freedom Friday blog and e-mail newsletter, I want to talk about a topic that comes up pretty much with every new business (or new nonprofit) client I have here at Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC. Whenever a client is interested in starting a new business, or a nonprofit, or any business organization in Oklahoma, the topic of having a registered service agent always comes up, because its required in Oklahoma. In this week's Freedom Friday blog and e-mail newsletter, I want to talk about what a registered service agent is, what your options are with choosing a registered service agent, and most importantly, why a registered service agent is important for your small business in Oklahoma.
So, first of all, what is a registered service agent? If you're forming any kind of business entity in Oklahoma, regardless of whether that's an LLC, a corporation, a nonprofit, or whatever, the Oklahoma Secretary of State is going to require you to designate a registered service agent with the Secretary of State's office, and this is a part of your application to form the business entity you need. The registered service agent you choose will be a person or entity which can receive service of process 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 different options in choosing your registered service agent for your business, the two primary requirements are that the registered service agent must be located within the State of Oklahoma, and that the registered service agent must have a physical address (you can't use a P.O. box).
Next, I want to discuss what your options are in choosing a registered service agent for your small business. If you're forming an LLC, for example, you can be your own registered service agent. So long as you have a physical address within the State of Oklahoma, the LLC itself can be its own registered service agent. However, if you're a busy small busines owner, maybe you don't have time to be able to receive service on behalf of your LLC. There are other options if you don't want to be your own registered service agent. One option is that there are many companies out there, some on a national basis, which will be your registered service agent for you. You can designate one of these companies as your registered service agent and use their physical address. A good example of a national company which handles this service is the “CT Corporation,” which have physical locations all across the country. You pay a fee and they become your registered service agent. A third option if you don't want to choose a national company (which may not always be reliable), and you don't want to be your own registered service agent, is that if you are having an attorney assist you in setting up your small business, your attorney can also serve as your registered service agent. This is something that I provide for my clients; they pay me a relatively small, annual fee and I take care of everything for them regarding their registered service agent.
Lastly, I want to discuss why having a registered service agent is important, especially if you are a small business owner. If your small business (your LLC or whatever business entity you created) 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 designate 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 contact you and let you know that you were served, but also to deliver whatever documents were served. If you do get served with a lawsuit, there is a limited time for you to hire an attorney and file a legal response to the lawsuit, so it is very important for you to choose a trusted company or person to receive service of process on your behalf.
At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we offer registered service agent services for small businesses at $150 per year. We provide this service for many of our small business and nonprofit clients, especially those which we form for our clients.
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] to schedule a FREE strategy session.
For more information regarding Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at http://www.libertylegalok.com