- What Is a Mississippi Registered Agent?
- Why Businesses Need a Mississippi Registered Agent
- What To Look for When Choosing a Mississippi Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Mississippi?
If you’re planning to operate a business in the state of Mississippi, then you’ll need a registered agent. Registered agents receive all communication from the state on behalf of a business.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about registered agents. You’ll learn about what they are, what they do, and the many ways they can be helpful. We’ll also share some tips for choosing between registered agent services and provide our own recommendations.
What Is a Mississippi Registered Agent?
A registered agent acts as a point of contact between the state of Mississippi and a business. They receive all legal communication, including service of process, on the business’s behalf. It’s up to the registered agent to ensure that the business is notified of such communication.
Registered agents are also called resident agents and statutory agents. In Mississippi, businesses are required by law to have one. Having a registered agent makes it easy for the state to contact a business as there is no confusion about who to reach out to. Registered agents are elected upon the formation of a business.
What Are the Requirements to Be a Registered Agent in Mississippi?
Almost anyone can be a registered agent in Mississippi. The requirements are only that one must be 18 or older, maintain a physical address within the state, and keep regular business hours.
Therefore, you, a family member or friend, a business partner, or an employee could act as the registered agent for your company. Despite this, many businesses prefer to hire registered agent services. We’ll explain why in our next section.
Why Businesses Need a Mississippi Registered Agent
As we mentioned, businesses are required by law to have a registered agent. However, registered agents are worth having for many other reasons. Let’s talk about the many ways registered agents can help businesses as well as why it can often be preferable to hire one instead of act as one yourself.
Businesses must comply with the regulations of the state of Mississippi in order to remain in good standing. This means businesses have to file annual reports on time and, in the case of a lawsuit, respond to service of process by the given deadline.
If a business fails to do these things, there are consequences. Businesses can lose their good standing with the state, which may mean losing limited liability protection. In the worst-case scenario, a business could be banned from operating in Mississippi.
As far as lawsuits and court summons go, late responses can garner fines. Trying to ignore a court case won’t help a business win it, either.
Registered agents help businesses remain compliant by keeping calendars of important dates. Agents send businesses reminders of due dates so that they can file annual reports and any other important documents on time.
A registered agent’s address is public record and easily found on the Mississippi Business Search. For this reason, many business owners who do not want their personal addresses public decide to hire a registered agent.
If you want to be your own registered agent, then another option would be to use your business’s address if you have a building. However, this isn’t without flaws.
First of all, any legal mail you receive will be mixed in with all of the other mail sent to your business’s location. Second, depending on who handles the mail, there may be a possibility of important letters being misplaced.
Finally, you probably will not want to receive service of process at your business’s location. It would be a bit embarrassing to have clients and employees witness service of process. Not only that, but employees may start to question if their jobs are secure, which is bad for morale.
If you hire a registered agent service, important mail will immediately be sorted, scanned, and uploaded to an online server for you to view. Service of process will take place at the registered agent’s location, away from the eyes of workers and clients. As you can see, there are certainly some benefits to hiring a registered agent.
The internet’s influence seems to grow bigger and bigger as time passes, and it is largely becoming a necessity. In 2018, 85% of households reported having an active internet subscription.
The internet has made it possible for businesses to succeed without a single storefront. Both goods and services can be sold entirely online.
If your business is online-only, then you may want to consider hiring a registered agent. This is because you would not have a physical business location to use as an address to be a registered agent. Unless you’re okay with using your own personal address, then hiring a registered agent service is likely your best option.
Irregular Business Hours
One of the few requirements to be a registered agent is to keep normal business hours. However, not everyone is able to work nine to five.
Not only that, but as a business owner, you may find yourself needing to take trips or visit other company locations. You won’t be able to keep regular hours at a designated address.
A hired registered agent service, however, will always have someone available to receive communication from the state. Hiring a registered agent can give you the freedom to work irregular hours as well as travel without the worry that important documents are being left unattended.
Part of a registered agent’s job is to organize important documents and dates. They must scan and upload files to digital servers, and it’s even better if they can organize these files so that they can be found quickly and easily.
Similarly, keeping track of due dates and creating a schedule for reminders is a necessary part of the job. Though just about anyone could do this type of clerical work, it’s certainly going to save you time if you hire someone else to do it for you.
Locations in Different States
If your business will operate in more than one state, then you will need to have a registered agent for each state. Hiring a registered agent service with locations in many different states is usually your best choice as it keeps things streamlined.
What To Look for When Choosing a Mississippi Registered Agent
If you’ve decided that hiring a registered agent service is the best option for your company, then you’ll have plenty of options. In fact, it may be difficult to choose between them. We think you should consider three factors when shopping for registered agents: price, services provided, and time saved.
Price isn’t just about staying on budget. Registered agents are pretty cheap, so instead, you’ll want to worry more about value.
Which registered agent offers the most for your money? Are there any services you’re willing to pay extra for?
On the other hand, are there any services that aren’t worth your hard-earned cash? As you can see, there’s a lot to think about in terms of price.
There are three basic services that all registered agents will provide: they will accept documents on your business’s behalf and get them to you, maintain a physical address, and keep normal business hours.
However, some offer extra services such as sorting through a limited amount of business mail. You can also find registered agent services that provide help hotlines for business-related questions (these are great for first-time business owners).
It’s important to consider what services you’re looking for. Pair this with price, and you’re on your way to figuring out which registered agent is the best choice for your company.
Time is incredibly valuable because it is something we cannot get back or make more of. As a business owner, you may be busy running your company and not get a lot of time to yourself. As such, it’s important to consider how much time a registered agent service can save you. In most cases, the more, the better.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents are quite affordable. In fact, they cost an average of just $50 to $300 per year. If you decide to be the registered agent for your business, then you won’t have to pay anything at all.
Though the yearly cost of registered agents is cheap, you should be aware of potential fees. For example, registered agents will happily help their clients file annual reports, but they won’t do so for free.
Typically, they charge larger businesses (like corporations) more and smaller businesses (like LLCs) less. Any fees should be made known to you before you hire a registered agent service.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Mississippi?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Mississippi, 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 Mississippi. 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.