North Carolina registered agents are individuals or businesses who can physically be found at the address you have listed for your business during regular business hours to receive tax documents, legal mail, and other correspondence (such as the North Carolina Secretary of State) on behalf of your North Carolina corporation, LLC, or business.
North Carolina registered agents also have to do mail forwarding. This ensures that you are up-to-date on important information and can meet compliance deadlines (for annual reports).
Other terms for a North Carolina registered agent is statutory agency and resident agent. If you come across these terms in your research or on your formation documents, remember that they all have the same meaning.
Companies that are registered as business entities must designate and keep a resident agent, statutory agent, or registered agent. If your business is located in more than one state, you must have a registered agent for each of those states. You can either designate someone to act as your registered agent at these locations or hire a registered agent service. These rules are applicable to all US states.
How to Appoint a Registered Agent in North Carolina?
The answer to this question depends on what type of business you’re starting, but with either a corporation or an LLC, you’ll need to designate your registered agent when you form your company.
When establishing a corporation in North Carolina, you’ll be asked to designate your registered agent when you complete the Articles of Incorporation. Alternatively, if you’re in the process of forming an LLC, you’ll need to list your registered agent when completing the Articles of Organization (both of which may be filed by mail or online).
If you’ve already established your LLC or corporation and you’ve found yourself without a registered agent due to a resignation or other cause for an end of an agent’s appointment, you may designate a new agent by completing the Designation of Registered Office Address and/or Registered Agent document (form BE-05) which can be found here.
How Do I Change a Registered Agent in North Carolina?
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is pretty simple.
In North Carolina, you must simply fill out a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent (form BE-06) which can be found in a PDF form in this compilation of files or and either mailed or filed online through North Carolina’s PDF filing portal.
The form is a relatively short, straightforward one that has a small filing fee of $5.00.
What is the purpose of a registered agent?
You might be wondering if you could set up a PO Box and have it checked frequently without the need to register an agent in North Carolina. This is not an option. You can’t use a PO Box as your registered agent because you must have a physical address. These companies offer many services, including service of process and receiving mail.
Your North Carolina registered agent will ensure that your company meets all compliance filing deadlines set by the North Carolina Secretary Of State. Your registered agent service will send compliance notifications to you for annual reports and your annual franchise taxes report.
Your registered agent in North Carolina acts as a mediator between you and the government agencies. Good agents can help you meet all your legal compliance obligations, and meet deadlines quickly. You don’t need to be concerned about missing important deadlines and not receiving notifications regarding legal issues when you have a professional registered agent.
Management of important documents
If you are a new business owner who runs your business from home, or have no street address, the requirement of a physical address to register agents may be a problem. The exemption of PO boxes can make it even more difficult. Your address on the formation documents will be where mail, service of process, and other official documents will go.
Online document management portals are a common feature of many registered agent services. They scan, upload and then provide an online account that allows you to access your documents quickly and easily.
Registered Agent Requirements
These are the requirements North Carolina registered agents and North Carolina registered agent services must meet.
- You can choose who you want to designate. North Carolina allows you to name anyone as your registered agent. This includes your friend, family member, employee or lawyer. Many North Carolina businesses prefer to use registered agent services over a registered agent because they know that your registered agent must be available during business hours in order to receive mail or serve process on your limited liability business.
- Age 18+ North Carolina must have at least 18-year-old registered agents.
- Physical address. North Carolina Secretary of State requires that the address of your registered agent must be a physical street address within North Carolina.
- State laws. Many states have their own laws regarding registered agents. It’s worth reading about the North Carolina Secretary Of State laws and regulations.
What happens if my business does not have a registered agent?
North Carolina registered agents must be appointed if your company is registered in North Carolina as a business entity. This includes all corporations, sole proprietorships, and North Carolina LLCs. This applies to all businesses, not just North Carolina.
It’s possible to miss important legal notices if you don’t name a registered agent in North Carolina, or if you don’t list the address of your registered agent on your formation documents.
A process server might try to deliver the service to the Secretary-of-State if they are unable to deliver the process to your company. This could cause serious problems for your company. Without your consent, the Secretary of State may take legal action against you company. This could lead to a default judgment against you business.
Your company’s good standing could be affected if you fail to register a North Carolina agent or don’t comply with the legal compliance requirements. This status could prevent you from expanding to other states, or conducting business in North Carolina. You may not be eligible for business loans.
Immediate dissolution is one of the worst things that can happen for an LLC that has lost its good standing. A dissolution of an LLC means that it can no longer use the business name in the state. Other businesses may be able to use the name for their own business. Even if you quickly resolve the issue that caused your company to dissolve, your business name could be lost and it may not be reclaimed.
After an LLC is dissolved, there are additional risks associated with operating a business. The business owners are legally responsible for any company that doesn’t have an LLC status. In the event that the company is sued, the LLC members’ personal assets and the business owners are at risk.
These consequences aren’t just for LLCs. If a corporation, sole proprietorship, or other business entity doesn’t have a registered agent, they can suffer many of the same consequences.
Can I be my own registered agent?
You can be your own registered agent in any US state. There is no law to prevent you from doing so. You can be your own North Carolina agent. Before you rush to make the decision to become your own North Carolina registered agent, it is important that you understand the pros and cons.
The cons of being your own registered agent
One of the biggest disadvantages of being your own agent over hiring a registered agent is the severe consequences of missing a process. A default judgment against your business could result if you fail to provide a service of procedure for your company. You won’t be able to defend your company in court because you won’t know about the legal proceedings being brought against you. You will be obliged to comply with any ruling made against your company.
Privacy is not protected
If your business does not have a street address, you will be required to list your private address in the public record. This is another disadvantage of having your own registered agent. You should not list your name as your registered agent on public records. This is a huge violation of privacy and can lead to identity theft or cyber-attacks.
Being your own agent has its drawbacks. Being a registered agent in North Carolina is time-consuming. North Carolina registered agents must be available during normal business hours to receive correspondence and official mail for their business. It may prove difficult or impossible for you to do business in North Carolina and fulfill the duties of North Carolina registered agents depending on your industry.
The benefits of being your own registered agent
The only positive thing about being your own registered agent is that you don’t have pay for registered agent services. Despite knowing the risks involved in being your own registered agent it may not seem appealing.
Do I need a registered agent service?
A professional registered agent is a service that many people choose to use for a variety of reasons.
- Compliance notifications will be sent to you, which will ensure that your business is in good standing and can legally operate in the state.
- You can reduce the risk of being sued and losing your company’s good standing status by having someone from your registered agent service available during business hours to collect mail and serve process on your behalf.
- You can work and manage your business without having to be a registered agent.
- Companies that have multiple locations won’t need to do a miracle to get to both.
- For convenience and time management, businesses that operate beyond normal business hours should employ a registered agent.
- If you don’t have a street address or a PO box, a registered agent service will be the best option to fulfill your registered agent requirements. A registered agent service allows you to list your registered agent’s address and name on the public records, instead of your own.
- Your personal information will be secured when you use a registered agent to represent you. Instead of listing your information, you list the name and address of a registered agent on your formation documents.
- Many people are shocked at how much junk mail companies actually receive. You will have to manage it yourself if you are your own agent and not hire a registered agent. This hassle is eliminated by registered agent services.
- Professional registered agent service providers may offer premium services. These services include specialty insurance or coverage for state fees that you pay when you switch to their services.
- Numerous professional registered agents offer business formation services.
You can choose to use a registered agent service or do your own registered agent duties. However, I always recommend that new businesses use a registered agent service.
What is the best registered agent service?
When looking for the best registered agent services, there are many things you need to consider. These are some of the factors you need to consider when looking for the best registered agent services for your company.
If the registered agent you choose doesn’t offer the services you need, it is not a good idea. Some agents provide compliance alerts, while others only offer a calendar with dates that are easily lost or forgotten. While some providers scan all mail sent to your company, others only scan the legal documents and upload them.
The services provided by the company and the cost it charges to them is a good indicator of the quality of registered agent service. You should avoid “budget agents.” These people lure customers with low sign-up fees of $39-$59 and then charge exorbitant fees for the necessary services such as compliance alerts or online document management portals. These services should be avoided.
Sign up in minutes
Register agent providers can take up to a year or more of your time and require you to spend a lot of time filling out paperwork. Instead, you should look for a company with an automated and simple sign-up process.
It is important that your registered agent system for your company is easy to use. Many companies have outdated systems with confusing layouts and complex navigation systems. Avoid companies with complicated systems and opt for one that is simple to use.
Although your registered agent provider may be great and offer a wide range of services, you will still encounter technical problems or have questions about the service. Good customer service is essential when you are dealing with business services that can make or break your company.
These factors were combined with a four-stage investigation process that I used to determine Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent in America. You can read my top registered agent services to learn more about registered agents and how to select the right service for your company.
There is a lot to learn when you start a business. Business owners can have their work made easier by using registered agent services.
North Carolina Registered Agent FAQs
What is the difference between a commercial and a noncommercial registered agent?
In your research, you’ll most likely come across the term “commercial register agent”. It is easy to tell the difference between a commercially registered agent and a noncommercial registered agent. A commercial registered agent has filed a statement as a commercial agent with the appropriate state government agencies.
Some states require that all registered agent services must register as commercial registered agents. The Model Registered Agents Act was an attempt by the American Bar Association to create a uniform set of regulations for registered agent services across the country. It made the distinction between noncommercial and commercial registered agents.
A noncommercial registered agent is any person or company (in the case that state laws do not require registered agent services be registered as commercial agents), that hasn’t been registered as a commercial registered agent.
How do I change the registered agent for my LLC?
You’ve come to this page because your registered agent is not working for you and you are wondering if you really need one. As long as your business is properly registered, you will be able to change your registered agent. It’s easy to update your North Carolina registered agent.
You only need to fill out and submit the Notice of Change in Registered Agent Information form to the Secretary of State. You may also need to submit a signed consent form for registered agents with your agent’s signature in some states along with your Change of Registered Agent Information. To submit the document, you will also need to pay a filing fee.
What is the Cost of a Registered Agent?
The cost of a registered agent depends on the services you need and the provider you choose. A registered agent typically costs $39-$299 per year in each state (plus any state fees). You can find out more information about the best registered agents.
Business808, a renowned consulting organization that aids startups in scaling and growing, is led by Andy Brooks as Editor-in-Chief.
Andy has over 12 years of consulting experience and is a pro at creating and managing profitable businesses. He has experience working with several LLCs and Registered Agent services and has a degree in business management. Andy enjoys providing useful information for Business808.
In addition to writing for Business808, Andy is a well-known author and speaker, and an active contributor to several online business publications, imparting his knowledge on how to grow an LLC.