News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. May 15, 2021: Businesses in the Caribbean often have their sights on the bigger markets of the U.S. Businesses with a U.S. presence require the services of registered agents since they are essential to running a business effectively. It is also particularly important for companies not based in the state they are doing business in to have a designated agent for all legal purposes.
Businesses cannot act as registered agents for themselves. However, their owners or someone close to them can. One of the drawbacks to this for Caribbean-based businesses is that their owners or those they have appointed may not always be available to receive lawsuits, subpoenas, state, and federal notifications on time. These important documents need immediate attention to prevent costly delays.
Registered agents and their services
Small businesses may prefer to not hire a registered agent and sometimes the owners appoint themselves as registered agents. But any business with a presence in more than one country needs the invaluable services of a registered agent.
Also, when a business is registered in any U.S. state as a legal entity (partnerships, LLCs, or corporations), it must provide the name and address of its registered agent during the business formation process.
Importance of hiring a registered agent
In the U.S., registered agents are also known as statutory agents or agents of process. One of the main services they provide is the physical premises where they receive services of process and other communications on behalf of a business, always during normal business hours. However, they also provide businesses with other invaluable services.
Caribbean businesses in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Tobago, and the Bahamas continue to seek growth opportunities, and many of these head toward the large markets of the U.S. for their expansions. Juggling all the paperwork for all their branches back from their head offices in the Caribbean can appear impossible and requires excellent organization. This is where the services of a registered agent prove invaluable.
Advantages of hiring a registered agent
There are several advantages to hiring a registered agent.
The business paperwork is always up to date. For a small annual fee, the registered agents track all the official notices and annual report due dates for a company. Each business owner is notified about all due dates, ensuring they remain compliant in the states they operate in. Additionally, important documents are all kept in one place, so they are safe from prying eyes and cannot be misplaced.
Another important aspect of having a registered agent is that the business owner declares the agent’s address as a point of contact during the business registration. This information is listed on public record, and can easily fall into the wrong hands. The business owner’s home address remains private and the business won’t receive piles of junk mail.
Some businesses don’t operate from a physical address, and many Caribbean-based businesses only keep a PO Box for correspondence. Most official documents can only be delivered to a physical address, and registered agents always have one.
Another major advantage of using these services is avoiding the embarrassment of having legal papers served to the actual location where the business is run.
Finally, some registered agents are licensed to do business in all states. Businesses that may need to change their location need to still make sure notifications are received promptly. Companies that do business in multiple states are assured their business receives the registered agent services at all its locations. In the case of multiple states, a different address is used in each state.
For a small fee, companies are sure someone is tracking all important papers on their behalf.
Deciding on a registered agent
Registered agents must meet certain criteria for the states they operate in. They must be residents of the state they are registered in. They are also liable for losses to a business if they fail to notify them of service of process documents in time.
Before deciding on a general agent, business owners should find what services are included in their price and make sure these have offices at a legitimate business location. Compare registered agents to see what they offer.
Caribbean business owners with interests in the U.S. spend a lot of time traveling between the two areas and can’t be sure that they will receive all important correspondence. Registered agents are reliable, offer privacy, discretion, and convenience. Above all, national registered agents also offer their support nationally within the U.S., making it easier to grow.