An Arizona Registered Agent, legally called Arizona Statutory Agent is a mandatory requirement for all LLCs operating in the state. While most states use the term “registered agent”, Arizona uses “statutory agent”. The meaning is essentially the same, and we will use the terms interchangeably. Some states use the term “resident agent”, which essentially means the same as well.
What Is A Statutory Agent?
A statutory agent is a person or business entity that agrees to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC. For this purpose, the agent must maintain a physical address in the state. Service of process includes legal documents like lawsuits, subpoenas, complaints, etc.
Once the agent receives the service of process, they should immediately notify the LLC. As soon as the documents are delivered to the agent, the court system assumes that the papers have been served to the LLC.
Any LLC must appoint and maintain a statutory agent at all times. The state will not accept an LLC’s Articles of Organization if a registered/statutory agent isn’t appointed. Failure to maintain a statutory agent can invite penalties and legal action from the state.
Arizona Statutory Agent Requirements
To go further in explaining what is a statutory agent, we should also look at the requirements. A person or business entity can be the agent as long as they fulfill the requirements laid down by the state. These are:
- The statutory agent must maintain a physical street address in Arizona. PO Box addresses or similar services don’t qualify.
- If the agent is a business entity, they must be allowed to conduct business in the state and have a physical address in Arizona.
- The agent must be able to receive legal documents on behalf of the LLC.
As we can see, the primary requirement for Arizona Statutory Agents is maintaining a physical address in the state. This is the address where process servers will reach the LLC. The state may occasionally send information related to the LLC to the registered agent.
The “business entity” that works as the statutory agent is usually a commercial statutory agent (or commercial registered agent). These businesses offer their services as statutory agents in exchange of a fee.
Responsibilities Of Arizona Registered Agents
Arizona Registered Agents (or Statutory Agents) must perform their duties diligently. While this isn’t a position that requires full-time attention, the role is indeed pivotal. As such, responsibility and careful consideration are expected from a registered agent.
Consider the following as responsibilities a statutory agent must undertake:
- Maintain normal business hours (9 am to 5 pm) in case service of process arrives.
- Receive legal documents (service of process) from process servers and forward them to the LLC.
- Maintain a physical address (registered office) for the LLC.
- (When necessary) receive mail or notices from the state, meant for the LLC.
Choosing Your Arizona Statutory Agent
When appointing a statutory agent in Arizona, an LLC will have the following options:
- A person (you or your friends/family members)
- A commercial statutory agent service
Whatever choice you make, remember that Arizona requires the agent to explicitly agree and accept their appointment as a statutory agent. This includes a signed acceptance form that shows their consent to serve as the agent.
Let’s consider both choices.
Can I Be My LLC’s Statutory Agent?
Yes, you can be your own statutory agent in Arizona. Or, you could ask your family/friends to take on that role. All of this assumes you can fulfill Arizona’s statutory agent requirements, the chief amongst them being maintaining a physical address.
Monetary savings are a big advantage of this approach. Not having to pay a company to be the agent can save you a few hundred dollars every year. However, there are some risks and other points to consider.
First, maintaining normal business hours can be troublesome for regular people. You may be away for a vacation or may have stepped out when process servers arrive. This may cause some issues, though the chances of this actually happening are low.
Second, and perhaps more relevant to most people, is the issue of privacy. Details of statutory agents form part of the public record in Arizona. As such, the address and name of the agent are freely available to anyone who searches or looks for this information.
Many people aren’t comfortable with their personal information being available so freely and might find being a statutory agent too troublesome.
Commercial Statutory Agents In Arizona
There are several businesses that offer their services as commercial statutory agents in Arizona. You’ll find several local as well as national companies vying for your attention. The cost usually ranges from $50-$350, but the exact numbers can vary greatly.
This is because many companies may offer services beyond being just the registered agent. As such, you should carefully consider the possibilities and benefits of such services before you hire an agent.
At the very least, the Arizona Statutory Agent should be capable of offering the following:
- Professional Service: A commercial statutory agent is likely to have a fully staffed office. They’d be well prepared to receive service of process and complete the steps after that. The agent will maintain normal business hours without trouble.
- Privacy: The commercial Arizona registered agent will use their own address for filings. Thus it is their address that forms part of the public record and your home address and details can remain private.
- Convenient: It is generally more convenient to hire a commercial agent than doing the job yourself.
- Discreet: Process servers will arrive at the office of the registered/statutory agent. Since this is a separate address from your LLC’s office, there won’t be any potential embarrassment of being served in front of clients, customers, or employees.
How To Change An Arizona Statutory Agent
Arizona makes it fairly convenient to change the statutory agent or update their address information with the state. This will require filing the form for “LLC Statement of Change of Known Place of Business Address or Statutory Agent”.
The form is available for download online. You may also find the relevant form on the Forms section of the Corporations Division website. The state also provides a document for detailed guidance on filling the form.
A filing fee of $5 is required when submitting this form. Arizona currently doesn’t allow submitting this form online. Instead, you’ll have to file it via mail or deliver it in person.
When you change the Arizona registered agent, the new statutory agent will have to explicitly provide their consent for the role. Therefore, you must attach the Statutory Agent Acceptance form along with the statement of change form.