Every business that operates within Texas must appoint a registered agent. This person or company will essentially serve as the business’s physical home. The address of the registered agent is where the Texas business will receive legal notifications, including services of process.
By appointing a separate registered agent instead of using your own address, you can separate your personal life from your business. Essentially, your registered agent in Texas lets you operate as a company with a person running and owning it, without the need to mix your personal life into your business.
It is natural to wonder why you need a registered agent as a Texas business entity. Simply put, the state wants to ensure that every business has a method of receiving legal notifications. If there was not a requirement of some sort, it would be possible for a business to just hide their information from the public. With a registered agent requirement, anyone can find the relevant contact information and has a method of legally complaining to the business.
Texas outlines a few key requirements for any registered agents. There are two main categories of entities that can be your registered agent. These include an individual who is a Texas resident and any business entity with a registered address for an office in Texas.
The registered agent cannot be the Secretary of State. It also cannot be any other Government Agency of the state, like the Comptroller. Furthermore, the registered agent cannot have an identical company name to the one you are registering or forming or be a transient.
When choosing a registered agent, you should avoid services that offer this for free; they are unlikely to do a good job. Most registered agent services charge very affordable fees anyway. Similarly, it is better to work directly with the local Texas office instead of a national service for registered agents.
The registered agent of a Texas company serves several key purposes. The most important is to accept legal notices and mail on behalf of your business entity, whether that entity is a corporation, LLC, or something else. The registered agent then forwards the documents so that the business receives them.
Additionally, the registered agent will appear on your company’s registration paperwork. This refers to the paperwork that the Secretary of State receives.
A Texas registered agent must be physically at their registered office address during the typical business hours. This last role is a common reason that owners of Texas business entities choose to hire their registered agent instead of acting as their own. This way, there is not any need to be at your business during regular business hours.
Because having your own registered agent is a requirement for business entities in Texas, the relevant information for an agent will appear on multiple documents. If you are a Texas LLC or Corporation, it will appear on your Certificate of Formation. If you are completing a registration outside the state, it will appear on the registration application. It is additionally required for any business entity that wishes to register at your Secretary of State.