- What Is a Vermont Registered Agent?
- Why Businesses Need a Vermont Registered Agent
- What To Look for When Choosing a Vermont Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Vermont?
If you’re planning on running a business in Vermont, then you will need a registered agent. A registered agent receives all legal communication from the state of Vermont on behalf of a business.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about registered agents. You’ll learn what they are and what they do as well as why you need one. We’ll also offer tips on how to go about choosing a registered agent service as well as provide our own recommendations.
What Is a Vermont Registered Agent?
A registered agent acts as a point of contact between the state of Vermont and a business. Other names for registered agents are statutory agents and resident agents. The state sends all communication, including service of process, to the registered agent, who then notifies the business.
This system makes it easy for the state to get in touch with a business. There’s no confusion about who to contact because the registered agent is elected upon the formation of the business.
This also keeps businesses accountable for anything the state requests of them as the business cannot claim not to know who received communication. In Vermont, businesses are required by law to have a registered agent.
What Are the Requirements to Be a Registered Agent in Vermont?
The requirements to be a registered agent in Vermont are not strict. In fact, just about anyone can be one. To be a registered agent in Vermont, you only need to be 18 or older, maintain a physical address in Vermont, and keep regular business hours.
This means that you, a friend, a family member, a business partner, or an employee could serve as the registered agent for your company. However, many businesses prefer to hire a registered agent service instead. We’ll talk more in detail about why in our next section.
Why Businesses Need a Vermont Registered Agent
As we mentioned, Vermont law requires businesses to have a registered agent. However, there are many other reasons why businesses can benefit from having a registered agent. We’ll explain these reasons as well as talk about why you might prefer to hire a registered agent service over being one yourself.
It’s important for businesses to remain compliant with the state of Vermont. This typically means submitting documents like annual reports by their due dates. Similarly, businesses must respond to service of process by the given deadline.
If businesses fail to do these things, they may lose their good standing with the state. This can have some less than stellar consequences.
Losing good standing may mean losing limited liability protection. In the worst-case scenario, businesses in bad standing could be banned from operating within Vermont.
In terms of court summons, businesses may be fined for not responding. Ignoring service of process won’t do the business any favors in terms of winning a lawsuit, either.
Registered agents help businesses remain compliant by keeping track of important deadlines and sending reminders. With their help, businesses are better prepared to file annual reports and meet any other deadlines on time.
A registered agent’s address is public record and easy to find on the Vermont Business Entity Search. For this reason, many business owners prefer to hire a registered agent service rather than act as one themselves.
If your business has a building, you may be wondering if you can use its physical location as a registered agent. Though this is an option, it isn’t always the best one for a few reasons.
First, your legal mail will be mixed up with all other mail sent to that address. Second, depending on who handles the mail, it may be easier for it to be misplaced.
The third and perhaps most important reason not to use your business’s address is service of process. You would not want to get served in front of clients or employees. Not only would it be an embarrassing situation, but it may lower the morale of workers as they wonder if a lawsuit will affect their job stability.
Hiring a registered agent service means that they will receive service of process at their office on your behalf. It will not be a public event, and you will be notified of it discreetly.
Thanks to the internet, there is no longer a need for brick-and-mortar locations. Online storefronts are successful and popular, and employees can be hired remotely to work from home.
These days, most people consider the internet a necessity, and around 85% of households reported having an active subscription in 2018. Because of the internet’s success, many businesses are going the online route.
If your business is among those, you may not have an address to use as a registered agent, especially if you’re not comfortable using your own. In this case, it would be best to hire a registered agent service.
Irregular Business Hours
One of the requirements to be a registered agent in Vermont is to keep regular business hours. However, working nine to five isn’t realistic for everyone.
Not only that, but as a business owner, you may need to take trips or visit other company locations. These activities would also keep you from maintaining regular business hours at a designated address.
Registered agent services always have someone available to receive communication from the state on your business’s behalf. If working regular hours is too limiting for you, then it’s worthwhile to hire a registered agent.
Part of a registered agent’s job is to keep documents organized. It’s very important that businesses be able to easily access necessary files. Registered agents have to organize both paper and electronic documents.
Most registered agents will immediately scan and upload any correspondence they receive from the state of Vermont. By uploading documents to an online server, business owners can access them from anywhere at any time.
Registered agents also have to keep track of due dates and schedule reminders of those due dates. While all of this work technically could be done by anyone, hiring a registered agent service with experience will help you feel confident that important documents and deadlines are being handled correctly.
Locations in Different States
If your business will operate in different states, then you will need to hire a registered agent for each state the business is active in. It’s helpful to work with a registered agent service that has locations across the US.
This way, you’ll only need to communicate with one registered agent service instead of many. Doing so keeps things streamlined.
What To Look for When Choosing a Vermont Registered Agent
Now that you understand why it can be worthwhile to hire a registered agent service, let’s talk about how to choose one. In Vermont, there are a number of companies offering registered agent services. In order to pick the best option for your business, you should consider three factors: price, services provided, and time saved.
When we talk about price, we don’t just mean budgeting. Of course, budgeting is important, but registered agent services are not generally bank-breaking. Quite the opposite, really.
Instead, you’ll want to think more about value. How much are you getting for your money? Which companies offer more services for a lower rate? What is the quality of those services and are they worth your cash? Are there any services not worth paying for, or on the flip side, that you’re willing to pay more for?
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider in terms of price.
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.
However, some will offer more. For example, they might be willing to accept a limited amount of business mail (which can also be scanned and uploaded to a digital server).
Some registered agent companies even offer help hotlines where you can ask business-related questions. These are often great for first-time business owners.
It’s important to consider what services are offered as well as what services you may want. Then, think about whether or not those services are worth the price and if they will save you time.
Time is money, and there are few things more valuable. As a business owner, you may have a busy schedule and not a lot of time for yourself.
This is why it’s important to think about how much time a registered agent service can save you. It’s often worth it to choose the company that can save you the most time, even if it’s a little more pricey.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agent services are quite affordable. In fact, they only cost an average of $50 to $300 per year. If you decide to be the registered agent for your business, then there is no cost at all (except time).
Though registered agent services are pretty cheap, you should be aware of possible fees. For example, many registered agents are happy to help your business file annual reports, but they will not do so for free.
The cost is usually cheaper for smaller businesses like LLCs than it is for larger ones like corporations. Registered agent services should make any fees known to you before you agree to hire them, but it’s always a good idea to ask.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Vermont?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Vermont, 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 Vermont. 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.