You Need a Registered Agent for Your Corporation
By Howard Giske
You need a registered agent for your new corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company), whether you are having professionals do your incorporation, or it's a do-it-yourself incorporation. The purpose of a registered agent is to receive papers, "service of process" and information from the state, and perform other functions related to paying taxes and other fees. You can choose a registered agent if you live in that state, and you certainly have to have a registered agent if you live out of the state that you are incorporating in.
Many new entrepreneurs realize they need to form a corporation or an LLC. By having a legal entity, one's personal property and assets are shielded in the event of one's business going bankrupt, or suffering some type of disaster. For some types of legal suits and debt collections there is an advantage of having some sort of corporate identity or at least an LLC.
Business people are cautioned that the registered agent of a company is a matter of public record and can be looked up. Westlaw has a combined corporate record's data base which is pretty inclusive except for the states of Nevada and Delaware. These two states tend to have the most business friendly corporate laws in any case. The databases are listed under CORP-ALL and CORP-(state abbreviation). Other resources for looking up company agents are the websites of the Secretary of State for each state. The registered agent accepts any legal service of process document, record the service in your company file, and then is to forward the documents to you. That includes any official documents and tax notices received from the Secretary of State and/or Department of State.
There are other things that can get complicated about being incorporated. If you are a retail store, or are selling things, you have to register to pay sales tax. On the federal level you have to register with the IRS and get a tax ID number. You may have to pay registered agent fees and keep updated about state regulations in the state where you are incorporated. Also, remember a corporation is an independent legal entity and must pay its own taxes.
According to the IRS, an S-Corporation is exempt from Federal Income tax except for taxes on certain capital gains and passive income. On their tax returns, the shareholders, which are under 70 people, include their portion of the corporation's income, loss, etc. You can get more detailed information at http://www.irs.gov. A regular corporation, a C-Corporation, which is incorporated in your state, can be changed into an S-Corporation, by having the shareholders sign and submit a form 2553 to the IRS, to request that status. After that it is a pass-through entity for tax purposes.
Selecting a registered agent for your company is not only smart business, in most states it's required by law. You protect your privacy as well as keep yourself in good legal standing by getting registered agent services. They accept "service of notice" on your behalf and promptly forward all legal documents and official state correspondence via overnight shipping.
About the Author
Howard Giske works on Incorporation services , Quickbooks bookkeeping and Registered agents
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