What Are the Risks of Being Your Own Registered Agent?

What Are the Risks of Being Your Own Registered Agent?

Missouri business owners are required to have a registered agent on file, but the requirements for a registered agent are low. To be a registered agent, the person must be at least 18 years of age and must be available during regular business hours. With low requirements, this does mean business owners can be their own registered agents, but it is not always a good idea. Some of the risks of a business owner being their own registered agent include the following. 

Legal Paperwork Served in the Office

The legal paperwork that is served for the business owner or the company will be served in the office. This means it’s going to be potentially served in front of employees or customers and clients. If a business owner is served with a lawsuit, others will know about it. The lawsuit may be baseless and dismissed because it has no merit, but the damage will already be done. Employees may wonder if there’s a serious issue with the business that could mean it’s closing, and customers or clients may wonder if they should get the help they need somewhere else. 

Must be Available During Business Hours

The registered agent for the business must be available during regular business hours. Most business owners, especially during the first few years after a company launches, will work long hours. When a break is needed, they should be able to take the break. However, if they go on vacation or are otherwise not available, they will need someone to be there for them. This is fine if it’s planned ahead of time, but it can be more difficult if the business owner needs to take the afternoon off for something important or has any emergency, it may be more difficult to make sure there is coverage. 

Responsible for Deadline Reminders

A registered agent often offers deadline reminders for legal concerns or compliance issues. Without these reminders, it can be all too easy to end up missing something important. With legal concerns, a missed deadline can mean being unable to fight a case or automatically losing it. Losing a lawsuit can mean thousands of dollars – or more – of expenses that may have been avoided if the business owner hadn’t missed an important deadline. If the business owner is their own registered agent, they must be able to keep on top of everything to avoid potential errors that could be costly. 

Must Accept Complaints In-Person

Complaints are going to happen for any business. When a customer has a complaint, they should be able to contact the registered agent to provide feedback and look for a resolution. When the business owner is their own registered agent, complaints are handled in-office, which means others can hear the complaint. This could lead to lost business for the company or other concerns. Instead, when the business owner hires a registered agent, all complaints can be handled off-site at the agent’s office instead of the company’s offices. 

Junk Mail Delivered to the Office

Junk mail is inevitable, but for businesses, going through all of it can be exhausting. Business owners will need to review all mail that comes in to determine if it’s junk or something important. When there’s a lot, especially if the business owner is distracted with other tasks, it can be easy to overlook something crucial and end up throwing it away. By having someone else be the registered agent, the business owner won’t have to worry about junk mail or accidentally missing out on something important. 

Personal Information Publicly Available

Perhaps one of the biggest risks for business owners is that their personal information will be publicly available. The name of the registered agent is included in files the public can view, so anyone will be able to see the business owner’s name. This could be a concern if the business owner doesn’t want to be identified as the owner. If the business is run out of the owner’s home, and they are their own registered agent, the home address will be listed as the registered agent’s office. This will also be publicly available, so anyone can see it. This could be a huge risk and privacy concern for business owners, as it means employees, customers, and more can find out where the business owner lives. 

Though it’s possible for a business owner to be their own registered agent, it’s not always a good idea. In fact, there are quite a few risks associated with this. Instead, business owners may want to work with a registered agent service. By doing so, business owners can make sure everything is handled properly and avoid any of the risks mentioned here. Those who are ready to look into working with a registered agent service can contact Missouri Registered Agent Services now. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business management operations.



By |2022-11-01T15:32:12+00:00November 1st, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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