Making the transition into an LLC is a major step. The LLC designation protects your business and keeps your personal finances away from your company's finances. In the event of legal issues like lawsuits, an LLC protects business owners from liabilities and major financial setbacks that come with them. For these reasons, starting an LLC is a great idea.
When you start an LLC, one thing you need is a registered agent. Registered agents are people or entities that act as a point of contact for the business. In New Mexico, it's required by state law to have a registered agent. This is also the case in most states, so it's not just a New Mexico thing.
Read on to learn about registered agents and registered agent options in New Mexico.
What is a New Mexico Registered Agent?
A New Mexico registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is someone who acts as a legal point of contact between an LLC and the state of New Mexico. Registered agents can be people or entities, depending on the company. In New Mexico, it's required by law to have a registered agent.
The only legal requirements to be a registered agent are to have a physical address within the state—not a PO box and be 18 years of age or older.
Registered agents have responsibilities as the point of contact for an LLC. They need to handle communication between the state and the company and any legal issues should they arise. Registered agents also handle filing deadlines on behalf of the company and can store documents and data (if you work with a registered agent service).
Here are some of the responsibilities registered agents have in New Mexico:
- Biennial report filing
- Certificate of good standing management
- Handling the legal process
- Dealing with liens and subpoenas
Keep in mind these are only a handful of things that registered agents are responsible for. Depending on the LLC, and what LLC owners are looking for from a registered agent, they can also have more responsibilities like data storage.
Can the Owner Be a Registered Agent?
The owner of an LLC can be the registered agent of a company. Technically, anyone who meets the qualifications can be appointed registered agent, so employees, or even a trusted friend or family member. As long as they have an address in New Mexico and are over 18, they can become a registered agent without any issue.
Still, most LLC owners choose to work with registered agent services because of the benefits that come with them. Working with a registered agent service makes it easier for owners and other members of the company to remain focused on the business.
Why Do Businesses Need a Registered Agent in New Mexico?
It's required by law to have a registered agent in New Mexico. If an LLC doesn't have a registered agent, legal fees can pile up, and the company won't be in compliance. However, serving as a point of contact isn't all registered agents do; in fact, registered agent services in New Mexico can provide LLCs with valuable resources and perks.
We'll begin with privacy. When the owner of an LLC is the registered agent, it's impossible to keep things separate. This is because registered agents need to list their addresses as public records. Privacy is also important because it helps keep the legal process away from the LLC.
If there is a legal issue, the registered agent is the one who handles the process. Having a registered agent that's not involved with the daily operations of the LLC helps with discretion.
Registered agents can give the owner of an LLC more flexibility. Registered agents need to be available on all regular workdays, excluding some holidays. While the state doesn't actively check in daily, there can be issues if they do and you're not available. Having a registered agent prevents the risk of this happening and allows you to focus more on your business.
Working with a registered agent service can help you remain compliant with New Mexico laws. Registered agent services can handle filing reports and prevent fees. Professional services can also handle filing to make documents readily available if the state needs them.
Registered agents can provide data storage and data management services. These services make it easier to file reports with the state of New Mexico and help keep LLCs compliant. Data storage can also help you keep track of important documents and keep documents separate. Overall, it's just one less thing to worry about when running a company.
Registered agent services can help your company by giving you more freedom to focus on your LLC.
What To Look for When Choosing a New Mexico Registered Agent
There are dozens of registered agent options you can choose from. While you can become one as the owner of an LLC, it's almost always best to work with a registered agent service. That said, it's important to look for services that provide you with comprehensive service and benefits.
We're going to take you through the factors that you should consider when shopping for registered agent services.
First and foremost, you should shop for registered agent services that are professional. While you can appoint yourself as the registered agent, it's best to work with professionals. This is because professionals can prevent you from missing deadlines and ensure your company remains compliant.
Professional registered agent services also provide other benefits for your LLC. These include data storage, tax assistance, accounting, and more. It all depends on your needs.
When considering a registered agent service, you should also think about the cost. While registered agent services vary and can be free in some cases, it's best to shop based on your needs. If you only need basic services, you shouldn't be paying more than $50 to $100 annually.
If your LLC needs more assistance, the cost can increase. More expensive services can range between $100 and $500. Therefore, you should shop based on your needs and budget.
Registered agent services should have a national reputation and maintain high reviews. Companies with reviews of less than four stars should be off of your radar. Furthermore, a registered agent service should have locations in multiple states. This is because that can make it easier to expand your business should you wish to.
You should also make sure the company is well-known. The last thing you want is to store your data with a company that's not reputable or at-risk of closing down in the near future.
Good registered agent services offer data management. Data management is important for storing documents and filing things on time with the state. While most companies offer data management, the best services will offer advanced services like cloud storage and shared document access. You should also work with companies that have the resources to store data for years in case you need it.
Most registered agent services will offer many options but the best ones will separate themselves with superior data storage, customer service, and professionalism.
How Much Do New Mexico Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents in New Mexico vary in price, but registered agent services typically cost between $50 and $500. That said, you can always become the registered agent yourself or have someone else within the LLC become the registered agent. While this is free, late fees can pile up if you fail to file reports.
The reason for the price variation is the type of registered agent service that's used. Starter packages that don't come with fancy bells and whistles like tax filing can be as little as $30 per year. On the other hand, cloud-based data storage and accounting services can add cost hundreds of dollars.
While registered agent packages may seem expensive at first, they're worth the money if you need additional services and don't want to worry about paying late fees.
What's the Best Registered Agent Service in New Mexico?
The best registered agent service in New Mexico is ZenBusiness
. New Mexico is home to dozens of registered agent services, but ZenBusiness is the best for many reasons. It's one of the most well-known and well-rounded options in the state.
ZenBusiness offers different packages depending on what LLC owners need from a registered agent. The basic package includes a standard registered agent service, which includes filing reports and data storage. With ZenBusiness, the basic package is discounted for the first year and more affordable than other national companies. ZenBusiness also offers premium services like tax filing, accounting, and even cloud access for document storage.
While there are several companies that compete with them, ZenBusiness is one of the best options for registered agent services. Read our full guide
to learn more about ZenBusiness and other registered agent services.