- What Is an Arizona Registered Agent
- Why Businesses Need an Arizona Registered Agent
- What To Look for When Choosing an Arizona Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Arizona?
If you’re planning on starting a business in Arizona, then you’re going to need a registered agent. A registered agent receives communication from the state of Arizona on behalf of your business.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about registered agents. You’ll learn exactly what they are and what they do, why you need one, and what to consider when choosing a registered agent for your business. We’ll also share our recommendations for registered agents in Arizona.
What Is an Arizona Registered Agent
A registered agent is a point of contact between a state and a business. They are also called resident agents and statutory agents. Registered agents receive all communication and notices from the state of Arizona on a business’s behalf. This includes service of process in the case of a lawsuit.
Having a single point of contact helps both the state and the business avoid confusion. It makes it easy for the business to receive important notices because they will always be sent to one specific person. It also keeps the business accountable for meeting deadlines such as those for annual reports.
For these reasons, the state of Arizona (and most other states) require businesses by law to appoint a registered agent. Most registered agents are elected upon a business’s formation.
What Are the Requirements to Be a Registered Agent?
Believe it or not, just about anyone can become a registered agent in Arizona. That means you, your business partner, your spouse, or one of your employees could act as the registered agent for your business.
The requirements to be a registered agent are that you must be 18 or older, have a street address in Arizona, and be able to maintain regular business hours. As you can see, these requirements aren’t very strict at all.
While you can save money by having yourself or a friend act as your registered agent, there are some reasons why you might want to hire one instead. Let’s talk about that.
Why Businesses Need an Arizona Registered Agent
As we explained, it is required by law for your business to have a registered agent. However, there are many other reasons why it’s great to have one. We’ll discuss their benefits as well as why hiring a registered agent can sometimes be more beneficial than acting as your own registered agent.
Companies have to meet certain deadlines set by the state. One of the best examples of this is annual reports; a company must file their annual report by the deadline, or they can lose their good standing with the state.
If a company loses its good standing, it’s also at risk of incurring fees and losing certain protections, such as limited liability.
However, a registered agent can help you avoid getting in trouble with the state in the first place. This is because registered agents maintain compliance calendars — meaning, they keep track of deadlines for you. They’ll send you reminders of important deadlines so that you don’t miss them. In addition, some registered agents can even help companies get back on track if they do lose their good standing.
A registered agent’s address becomes public record and is thus easy to access. For some business owners, this is not ideal.
Not only does it become easier for third parties to collect your address for mailing lists (even though a registered agent’s address is only supposed to be used for correspondence from the state), but your personal mail will get mixed in with legal business mail.
Another aspect of privacy is discretion. If your company has a building, then you wouldn’t have to worry about your personal address and could use the business’s address instead. However, this means that if you aren’t careful, employees could witness things you don’t want them to witness, such as service of process.
This would not only be embarrassing but may lower the morale of workers who might start wondering if their jobs will be impacted. Hiring a registered agent is a great way to keep both your address and important company matters private.
The internet has taken the world by storm. According to the 2018 census, 85% of households in the United States had a broadband connection. Thanks to this, it is no longer necessary for businesses to have a building.
Not only are online marketplaces incredibly popular and successful ways to sell products, but a lot of office work can also be done from home. If your business is online-only and you do not want your personal address on public record, then hiring a registered agent is often the best option.
Irregular Business Hours
As we explained earlier, registered agents must be available during regular business hours to receive communication from the state. Being able to keep regular hours isn’t always possible for busy entrepreneurs.
If you work irregular hours and you cannot or do not want to change them, then you won’t be able to be your own registered agent, even if you want to. This is another reason why businesses hire registered agents.
Registered agents do more than just receive your business’s mail and then tell you about it. They actually go through the trouble of organizing documents to keep everything straight. Usually, registered agents will upload documents onto a server where you can access them immediately.
They’ll organize these into folders on the server as well, so you can find exactly what you need without having to hunt for it. Of course, registered agents also keep track of important deadlines as well as reminders for said deadlines.
Could you do all of this yourself? Certainly, but this type of work can be a bit of a headache, and paying someone else to do it frees up your already busy schedule for more important things.
Locations in Different States
If your business operates in more than one state, then you will need a registered agent for each state. Even if you’re happy to be your own registered agent in Arizona, you will still need to hire registered agents in any other states your business operates in.
What To Look for When Choosing an Arizona Registered Agent
There are a number of companies dedicated to providing registered agent services. You certainly won’t be without options.
So how do you choose the right registered agent for your business? We recommend considering these three factors during your decision-making process: price, services provided, and time saved.
Registered agents don’t cost all that much, but you’ll still find them at varying price points. Usually, the more you pay, the more you get. It’s up to you to decide what your budget is and whether or not you’re interested in any of the extra services provided by the agents who cost more.
The basic services registered agents provide are accepting documents on your business’s behalf, getting them to you, maintaining a physical address in Arizona, and keeping normal business hours.
Important documents are typically uploaded to a server you can easily access online. Most registered agents will also track deadlines and send you reminders. If we can expect these to be the basic services that any average registered agent would offer, then what might you pay more for?
Some registered agents will offer to receive and organize regular business mail (not from the state), though there may be a limit on how much. They may also offer certain counseling services, such as hotlines dedicated to answering business-related questions. This sort of service is fantastic for first-time business owners.
One of the main reasons businesses hire registered agents is because it saves them time. Many entrepreneurs running start-ups are working 60 to 80 hour weeks, so it’s incredibly worthwhile to pay someone to do registered agent work.
When considering which registered agent service to pick, you’ll definitely want to consider how much time you may save. If paying more means getting more services that are useful to you because they save you time, then it may be worth it.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents are pretty affordable. Most only cost between $50 and $300 per year. Of course, being your own registered agent is free.
Should you choose to hire a registered agent, there may also be some costs involved with filing annual reports. Some registered agents will help you file for a fee. The fee is usually more for corporations and less for LLCs.
Most registered agent services list these types of fees on their websites. Before even hiring a registered agent, you’ll know upfront how much filing services cost.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Arizona?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Arizona, try ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness’s registered agent service costs only $99 per year, and the company is upfront about all of the features you will receive as well as any potential charges.
ZenBusiness also has a Worry-Free Compliance service that ensures you don’t miss any deadlines for annual reports required by the state of Arizona. You will receive alerts and updates to keep you on track. Should you somehow miss a deadline, you’ll be provided with the support you need to get your business back in good standing with the state.
ZenBusiness is one of the best options for registered agents, but we’ve got your back if you’re looking to compare services. Check out our article comparing all of the best registered agent services.