what is a registered agent in florida

To have a successful business in Florida means staying on top of state compliance requirements. One such obligation for companies is the appointment of a registered agent, which is required by state law. But what is a registered agent in Florida, who can be one, and what do they do? 

What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent serves as the official point of contact between a business entity and the state. A registered agent in Florida’s duties is to receive legal and government documents on behalf of the business, including state filings, tax forms, and legal notices such as lawsuits. But do you need a registered agent for an LLC in Florida? The answer is yes. Limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and limited partnerships (LPs) must name a registered agent to legally operate their business within the state. This requirement exists to ensure there’s a designated individual or entity available during regular business hours to receive important documents. Failure to maintain a registered agent can result in penalties, fines, or even the dissolution of the business entity.

Florida Registered Agent Qualifications

Both individuals and business entities can serve as registered agents. To do so, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Physical presence. The registered agent must have a physical address in Florida where legal documents can be delivered. 
  • Consent. An individual or entity must consent to act as a registered agent for a business. This consent can be indicated in the business’s formation documents.
  • Availability. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to receive documents in person.

If you choose to designate an individual as your registered agent, anyone can serve if they are 18 or older. This can be a member or manager of an LLC or anyone else as long as they have a legal address in the state. You can also choose to hire and appoint a qualified professional service as your registered agent. 

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Individual or Registered Agent Service?

There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing either an individual or a professional service for your registered agent. You can even be your registered agent, as long as you meet the requirements. The main advantage here is cost, as professional registered agents charge for their services. But hiring an outside entity has its advantages, including:

  • Availability. Registered agent services offer round-the-clock availability to ensure prompt receipt of critical documents during business hours.
  • Privacy. These services allow individuals to keep personal addresses confidential by using their addresses in public records.
  • Compliance reminders. Most registered agent services notify businesses of upcoming deadlines, which reduces risks of missed due dates or legal oversights to keep the business running legally.

By allowing a qualified professional service to serve as your registered agent, you can focus on the business’s core operations.

How to Appoint and Change a Registered Agent in Florida

To appoint a registered agent in Florida, follow these steps:

  • Choose a registered agent. Select an individual or entity that meets Florida’s requirements, with a physical address in the state and availability during business hours.
  • Fill out the proper forms. Find the form that establishes your business entity. Fill out this form and include the chosen agent’s name and address as indicated.
  • Submit documentation. File the completed forms along with the required fees to the Department of State. This can be done through their online portal or mail, but the online method is often the quickest and easiest.

If you need to change your registered agent for any reason, you can do so by filling out a Statement of Change form, which can be found online. You can also change your registered agent by filing an amendment to your business entity’s formation documents. Ensuring accurate and timely filing of these documents is crucial to keeping the business compliant and avoiding potential penalties or legal issues. Always double-check the specific requirements and deadlines outlined by the state. If you have questions about how to appoint or change your agent, contact an experienced Orlando business formation attorney for assistance.

Consult the Business Formation Team at BrewerLong

If you are looking to form a business in Florida or have questions about appointing a Florida registered agent, the team at BrewerLong is here to help. We have years of experience helping clients in business matters from intellectual property matters to mergers and acquisitions and more. We offer tailored solutions to an individual’s or business’s needs, whether you’re starting a new venture or aiming to optimize existing operations. BrewerLong dedicates personal attention to every client. Contact us today to set up a consultation or call our office to get started.

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