- What Is an Indiana Registered Agent?
- Why Businesses Need an Indiana Registered Agent
- What To Look for When Choosing an Indiana Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Indiana?
If you are starting a business in Indiana, then you’re going to need a registered agent. This is someone who receives communication from the state on behalf of a business.
Today, we’ll be explaining everything you need to know about registered agents. You’ll learn about what they are and what they do as well as why you need one. We’ll even share some tips on how to choose between registered agent services and give a recommendation of our own.
What Is an Indiana Registered Agent?
A registered agent acts as a point of contact between a business and the state of Indiana. They receive all communication from the state on behalf of the business, including legal communication and service of process.
Registered agents make sure the appropriate contact at a business is notified of any communication. They also upload important documents to digital servers where they’re easily accessible.
It is required by law for businesses in Indiana to have a registered agent. Having a registered agent makes it easy for the state to communicate with businesses because they know exactly who to reach out to. A registered agent is typically elected upon the formation of a business, but can be changed down the road.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Registered Agent in Indiana?
Just about anyone can be a registered agent because the requirements are not strict. One need only be 18 or older, maintain a physical address in Indiana, and keep regular business hours.
This means that you, a family member, friend, business partner, or even an employee could act as the registered agent for your business. However, most businesses prefer to hire registered agent services from companies specializing in such work. We’ll explain why in our next section.
Why Businesses Need an Indiana Registered Agent
As we discussed, Indiana law requires that businesses have a registered agent. However, even if the law didn’t require it, hiring a registered agent would still be well worth it. This is because the services they offer can be very useful. Let’s talk about what registered agents can do as well as why hiring can be better than being a registered agent yourself.
It’s important for a company to remain compliant with the state. This means getting annual reports filed on time and responding to any other communication, like service of process, by the given deadline.
When a business fails to do these things, there are consequences. In the case of a lawsuit, ignoring court summons could lead to fines. Furthermore, a business that fails to meet deadlines set by the state of Indiana could lose its good standing.
If a business loses its good standing with the state, it could also lose limited liability protection. In the worst-case scenario, a business may be banned from operating within Indiana.
Registered agents help businesses avoid all this by keeping a compliance calendar of important due dates. They will then send reminders to ensure a business is able to complete and submit annual reports or other documents on time.
A registered agent’s address becomes a public record, which means it’s easy for anyone to find on the Indiana Business Search. If you value your privacy and do not want your personal address out there for everyone to see, then hiring a registered agent is a good option.
You may think that using your business’s address is a good choice if you plan to act as a registered agent for your company. It solves the issue of personal privacy because you won’t need to use your home address.
Unfortunately, there is one thing you need to consider, which is service of process. If you were to get served, it would be at your company, potentially in front of clients and employees. This would be embarrassing and may lower the employees’ morale as they wonder whether or not a lawsuit will affect their job stability.
Using a registered agent service means having a separate address where all communication will be sent. The registered agent will receive service of process on your behalf and will notify you of it discreetly.
The internet is a powerful resource. We can do so much with it, from learning new things to connecting with friends to owning a business. The net has become so prolific that 85% of households in the US had an active subscription in 2018.
If your business is not brick and mortar but is online-only, then you may not have an address you feel comfortable using as a registered agent. In this situation, you’ll be best off if you hire a registered agent service.
Irregular Business Hours
One of the few requirements to be a registered agent is to maintain regular business hours. This is important as a registered agent needs to be available at predictable times in order to receive communication from the state of Indiana.
However, some business owners do not work regular hours, and it isn’t feasible for them to change those hours, either. Not only that, but they may need to take business trips or visit different locations if their company has several buildings or storefronts.
In these instances, the business owner would not be able to keep regular business hours. Therefore, hiring a registered agent service that will always have someone available to receive important documents is preferable.
Registered agents have to keep track of important documents both in physical filing systems and in digital ones. It’s vital that documents are easy to access and do not get lost.
Though just about anyone can do this type of clerical work, it can certainly be time-consuming. Many business owners have a lot on their plate already.
Registered agents also keep track of deadlines. It’s great to have reminders sent to you so that you can focus on running your business rather than worrying about deadlines.
Locations in Different States
Businesses that operate in several states need to have a registered agent in each state. Even if you’re happy to act as the registered agent for your business in Indiana, you’ll still need to hire registered agents for other states. Hiring a registered agent service with locations in several states is a good choice because it can keep things streamlined.
What To Look for When Choosing an Indiana Registered Agent
If you’re looking to hire a registered agent service in Indiana, then you aren’t without options. In fact, it may be difficult to choose between the different services available. In order to choose the best registered agent service for your business, we recommend considering three factors: price, services provided, and time saved.
Though registered agent services are relatively cheap, it’s still important to stay on budget. Aside from that, it’s necessary to consider if what you’re getting is worth the price.
Does a registered agent service cost more because it offers more services, and do you feel you actually need those services? Does one company charge less but offer the same amount of services as the other? There’s a lot to consider when thinking about price.
All registered agents should offer three basic services: accepting documents on your business’s behalf and getting them to you, maintaining a physical address, and keeping normal business hours.
Some registered agents will do more, though. For instance, they’ll accept a limited amount of business mail on your behalf.
If you hire a registered agent service via a company, you may have access to other perks such as help hotlines where you can ask business-related questions. This can be great for first-time business owners.
What’s more valuable than time? When choosing between registered agent services, look at what they can do for you and think about how much time you’ll save. If you value your time a lot, then it may be worth it to spend more to save more time.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agent services are relatively inexpensive. They cost about $50 to $300 per year. Even if you hire on the more expensive end, it’s still not much of an annual cost. Of course, if you decide to be the registered agent for your company, then it’s free.
While the yearly price of registered agent services is pretty cheap, you need to be aware of certain fees. For example, many registered agent services are happy to help your business file its annual reports, but they won’t do so for free. Such charges should be made known to you before you even hire a service.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Indiana?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Indiana, 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 Indiana. 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 if you’re looking to compare services, we’ve got your back. Check out our article comparing all of the best registered agent services.