- What Is a Minnesota Registered Agent?
- Why Businesses Need a Minnesota Registered Agent
- What To Look for When Choosing a Minnesota Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Minnesota?
If you’re planning on operating a business in Minnesota, then you’ll need a registered agent. A registered agent receives all communication from the state on behalf of your business.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about registered agents, from what they are to what they do. We’ll explain the many ways they can benefit your business and provide tips on choosing between registered agent services. Finally, we’ll offer our own recommendation.
What Is a Minnesota Registered Agent?
A registered agent acts as a point of contact for a business and receives all legal communication from the state. This includes service of process, as well.
After receiving communication, the registered agent makes sure the appropriate person at the business is notified. Most documents will be uploaded to a digital server where they can be easily accessed. Registered agents are also known as resident agents and statutory agents.
In Minnesota, businesses are required by law to have a registered agent. Having a specific point of contact prevents confusion and makes it easy for the state to communicate with businesses.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Registered Agent in Minnesota?
Almost anyone can be a registered agent in Minnesota. The requirements are that one must be 18 or older, maintain a physical address in Minnesota, and keep regular business hours.
This means that you, a business partner, an employee, or a family member or friend could be the registered agent for your business. However, many businesses prefer to hire registered agent services. We’ll talk more about why in our next section.
Why Businesses Need a Minnesota Registered Agent
As we explained, it is against the law in Minnesota for businesses not to have a registered agent. But, law aside, registered agents can benefit companies in many different ways. Let’s talk about how registered agents can help your business as well as the advantages of hiring a registered agent service.
The state of Minnesota has certain expectations that businesses need to comply with. For example, the state expects to receive annual reports by a given date.
When businesses don’t comply, they can lose their good standing. This has some pretty ugly consequences, such as losing limited liability protection. In the worst-case scenario, a business in bad standing may be banned from operating within the state.
Businesses also need to respond to service of process. Ignoring it could result in fines and certainly won’t help the business win a lawsuit.
Registered agents are a valuable asset because they keep track of important dates for you. They’ll send you reminders of these dates so that you have ample time to complete and submit documents, like annual reports, by their due dates.
Did you know that hiring a registered agent service can help protect your privacy? This is because a registered agent’s address is public record and easy to find on the Minnesota Business Search. If you don’t like the idea of your personal address being made public, then you may prefer to hire a service instead.
You may be wondering about using your business’s location as an address in order to be the registered agent yourself. You can certainly do this, but it isn’t without flaws.
First, legal mail will be mixed up with the other mail sent to your business. Second, you’ll have to be careful about who brings in and sorts through the mail as you wouldn’t want legal correspondence to get misplaced.
The third and biggest disadvantage to using your business’s address is service of process. Should you get served, it would happen at your business’s location and potentially in front of clients or employees. This would be embarrassing and could also lower the morale of workers who question whether or not a lawsuit will affect their job security.
This is another reason why hiring a registered agent service can be beneficial. Service of process would take place at the agent’s office, away from the eyes of employees and clients. The registered agent would then notify you discreetly.
In 2018, 85% of households in the US reported having an internet subscription. And that’s just in the US alone. The internet reaches people (aka customers) all around the globe. Because of its utility, businesses can operate without needing to purchase any real estate.
The only downside to this is that business owners who want to be registered agents are left without an address to use in place of their own. If your business is or will be online-only, then you’ll likely have to hire a registered agent.
Irregular Business Hours
One of the requirements to be a registered agent is to keep regular business hours. However, working 9 to 5 just isn’t realistic for everyone.
Aside from that, you may need to take trips or visit other company locations. This will also prevent you from keeping regular hours at a specific address.
A registered agent service will always have someone available to receive correspondence from the state. Hiring a registered agent can give you the freedom to work from wherever you want, whenever you want.
An important facet of a registered agent’s duties is organization. They must organize both digital and paper files so that they are easy to access. Not only that, but they have to keep track of important due dates and create a schedule of reminders to ensure that businesses have ample opportunity to submit documents on time.
This type of work could technically be done by anyone. However, dedicated registered agents are able to take care of documents as soon as they receive them. As a business owner who is responsible for many tasks, you may not be able to do the same. Aside from that, you can save a lot of time if you hire someone else to handle legal correspondence.
Locations in Different States
If your business will operate in different states, then you’ll need a registered agent in each state. It’s often best to hire a registered agent service with locations in many states. This way, you’ll only need to communicate with a single provider of registered agent services instead of many.
What To Look for When Choosing a Minnesota Registered Agent
Now that you understand how helpful registered agents can be, you may be interested in hiring a registered agent service. But how do you go about choosing between them all? We suggest taking three factors into account when making your decision: price, services provided, and time saved.
When considering price, think about the value of what you are getting. How many services do you get for the price? Compare and contrast registered agent services to see if one offers more for your money. Also, think about which services you feel are worth spending extra for.
All registered agents will provide three basic services: accepting documents on your business’s behalf and getting them to you, maintaining a physical address, and keeping normal business hours. Many will offer more than this.
For instance, they may offer to accept and organize a limited amount of normal business mail. Some registered agent services provide help hotlines where you can ask business-related questions. These are great for first-time business owners.
You should take some time to consider exactly which services you want and then find the registered agent company that offers these things at the best price.
There may be certain services you know for sure that you want, but if there are other services offered that can save you time, then they are worth considering. After all, time is valuable, and you may not get a lot of it as a busy entrepreneur. If you think a registered agent service is going to save you a lot of time, then it is likely worth paying for.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents are quite affordable. The average cost is $50 to $300 per year. Should you decide to be the registered agent for your company, then you won’t pay anything at all.
Though the yearly cost of registered agent services is pretty cheap, you should be aware of extra fees or charges. Usually, these will be made known to you ahead of time.
An example of an extra fee would be for filing annual reports. Many registered agent services offer help with filing annual reports, but this is not included in their yearly price. They tend to charge more for larger businesses like corporations and less for smaller businesses like LLCs.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Minnesota?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Minnesota, 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 Minnesota. 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.