- What is a Missouri Registered Agent?
- Why Do Businesses Use a Missouri Registered Agent Service?
- What To Look for When Choosing a Missouri Registered Agent?
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Missouri?
As you start to establish your Missouri business, you will more than likely come across references to appointing a registered agent to your business. This can be confusing if you don’t quite understand what a registered agent is, especially if you are a first-time business owner and are still unsure of the requirements for a registered agent.
To help you out, we’ve compiled an article that discusses exactly what a registered agent is. We’ll also tell you why your Missouri business is required to have a registered agent and give you information on who is eligible to be appointed into this position. Additionally, you’ll gain plenty of information on registered agent services and why they might be the right choice for your business.
What is a Missouri Registered Agent?
All businesses in Missouri are required to appoint a registered agent. The registered agent will be an individual or an authorized business (this includes a registered agent service, which we will discuss below) that acts as a contact point between your business and all other entities. Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving federal and government notices, including notice of lawsuits, and may also be responsible for general state compliance documentation.
If you neglect to appoint a registered agent for your business, your business may not be allowed to form in Missouri. The state of Missouri may also hand out fines or penalties if you fail to have a properly registered agent at any point during your business’s operation. This is why it is so important to appoint a registered agent you can trust to work with your business.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Registered Agent in Missouri?
Your Missouri registered agent must be at least eighteen years old, though you can appoint any individual, including yourself, a close friend or family member, or another outside individual. It is important to note that your registered agent must have a valid Missouri street address (one that isn’t a P.O. Box). They should also be available during all regular business hours to receive correspondence.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to appoint yourself or a close individual as registered agent, you can use an authorized registered agent service. This business will accept notices on your behalf and complete all of the regular duties of a registered agent. Many Missouri business owners do choose to use a registered agent service as they can be more convenient and less stressful than being in charge of the notices themselves.
However, you should keep in mind that registered agent services will likely cost an annual fee while appointing yourself or another close individual as a registered agent is typically free.
Why Do Businesses Use a Missouri Registered Agent Service?
Missouri registered agent services can be a great choice for your business. Review the benefits of using a registered agent service below to help you decide whether or not to invest in one for your business.
When you appoint a registered agent to your business, they must be available during all regular business hours to accept communication from the state. This can be hard to keep up with when you act as your own registered agent or appoint a close individual, as it often distracts you from running your business.
Using a registered agent service can help free up your time to focus on your business as the service will have employees that are available during regular business hours to accept any notices on your behalf.
Your Missouri business will need to keep track of any communications received and important notices. If you or a close individual act as the registered agent, it can be difficult to keep up with paper notices and filing items correctly.
However, if you use a registered agent service, you will most likely be able to take advantage of their document storage system. Depending on the registered agent service you use, this system is typically online, and you can review or view notices as they are uploaded into the system.
A major essential in keeping your Missouri business running, compliance tracking can be overwhelming; missing specific deadlines or forgetting to file compliance documents is often met with penalties by the state, making compliance a top priority.
If you act as your own registered agent, it can be stressful to keep a record of when certain filings are due year-round. A registered agent service is likely to provide you with a deadline calendar so that you don’t miss these important deadlines and are less stressed about compliance tracking.
When you register your business in Missouri, you are required to list your registered agent’s contact information in the formation paperwork. This means that you will need to put down your personal address if you or another individual are acting as the business’s registered agent. These addresses may subsequently become public record, creating a privacy issue.
On the other hand, if you are using a registered agent service, you will instead put down the service’s address on your formation paperwork. This can help to protect your personal information from public record.
As your business grows, you will most likely need to register it in different states to continue conducting business there. A registered agent service can help provide you with growth opportunities as most services will have multi-state locations.
This interstate expansion is not possible without a registered agent service, as you will need a valid state address to register your business in a different area. Additionally, many registered agent services will give you discount pricing if you continue using their service to expand your business.
What To Look for When Choosing a Missouri Registered Agent?
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing a registered agent in Missouri, regardless of whether you are appointing a registered agent service or a close individual.
Professionalism is important to look out for no matter who you are appointing as your registered agent. Any individual that you appoint as your registered agent (including yourself) should have a good understanding of what is expected of them and should not have trouble meeting these requirements.
When it comes to a registered agent service, you can check for professionalism by looking up online reviews and information about the company to see how they treat their customers. You can also check to see if customer support is offered, as this helps increase the professionalism of a company.
Cost and Value
While your business’s budget should always come first, you also need to keep in mind the value of your time and general stress levels. If you act as your own registered agent or appoint a close individual, this can lead to distractions from running your business and possibly lose you money over time, even though it is free to appoint your agent this way.
Though a registered agent service may be more of an upfront investment due to the annual cost, it can save you time and stress and allow you to focus on running and growing your business.
Typically only applying to a registered agent service, the services that a company offers should be important for you to review. Different services offer different items such as online document storage, legal advice, expansion opportunities, and in-depth compliance tracking. You want to be sure that you work with a service that offers all of the options you need for your business to thrive.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
If you appoint yourself or a close individual, a registered agent will cost nothing or maybe a small fee depending on the individual you use. Using a registered agent service will typically require an annual fee that ranges from anywhere between $50 and $300 depending on the company you use and the services included.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Missouri?
For your Missouri business, the best registered agent service is one that fits your business’s budget and overall service needs. For this, we recommend ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness is our best value choice and a registered agent service that provides you with professional business advice, online document management, compliance tracking, and accessible customer support. Plus, the low annual cost of ZenBusiness ensures that you can appoint a registered agent service that is beneficial for your business without the premium cost.
For more information on ZenBusiness and other registered agent services, read our in-depth guide.