Appointing an Illinois Registered Agent is a mandatory requirement for forming your LLC in the state. The state Business Entities Division will not accept the Illinois LLC Articles of Organization if it doesn’t mention a registered agent.
The primary role of the registered agent is to receive service of process and official notifications on behalf of the LLC. Service of process largely entails receiving legal documents in case your business gets sued. The official notifications usually are communications from the state regarding important aspects of your business.
The registered agent is a point of contact between the state and the LLC. It’s an important role, which is why the state insists that every LLC appoint and continuously maintain a registered agent in Illinois.
Necessary Requirements For IL Registered Agents
Illinois has very simple and relatively straightforward requirements for appointing registered agents. The registered agent should be:
- Qualified to receive legal documents.
- A person with a physical street address in Illinois.
- A business entity that is allowed to do business in Illinois and has an office in the state.
Commercial registered agents are generally included in the business entities that can function as the registered agent of an Illinois LLC. It’s worth noting that an LLC can’t be its own registered agent.
Given these simple requirements, it is easy to understand who can be a registered agent in Illinois. The following could serve as the IL registered agent:
- You can be the registered agent for your LLC.
- A friend or family member can be your registered agent.
- You can hire a commercial registered agent.
Responsibilities And Expectations From A Registered Agent
The role of a registered agent comes with important responsibilities. You should expect the following from your registered agent:
- Maintain normal business hours (9 am to 5 pm).
- Receive service of process on behalf of your LLC and inform the entity. Relevant documents should be forwarded to the LLC as soon as possible.
- Receive important notices from the state and inform the IL LLC about them.
- Maintain a physical street address in Illinois. The state doesn’t accept PO Boxes or similar addresses for a registered agent.
Maintaining normal business hours is important because the service of process may arrive during those times. Process servers should be able to reach the agent with relative ease. Failure to receive the service of process can have serious consequences for your LLC. This can include having a lawsuit against your LLC proceed without you even knowing about it!
Many commercial registered agents might also offer services in addition to their specific role. These can vary depending on the business plan of the agent, so it’s best to check. Some of the common services include assistance with filing the Articles of Organization and/or help with filing annual reports.
Should I Hire A Commercial Registered Agent For My LLC?
Commercial registered agents usually charge a fee for their services. It might seem worthwhile to save that money and take the role yourself or have your friends/family do it. Legitimate as this course of action is, it does come with some risks.
For example, normal people might not be able to maintain continuous and regular business hours. You may be away from home or on a vacation when service of process arrives. And as we know, no good can come from missing it. But, let’s face it, the chances of this happening are relatively low, especially if you take your role as the registered agent seriously.
However, there still is a definite risk, which tips the scale in favor of hiring a commercial registered agent.
Considerations For A Commercial Registered Agent
Hiring a commercial registered agent for your Illinois LLC has several advantages. Besides, you can expect a quality of service and professionalism from these agents. There are plenty of local and commercial registered agents offering their services in Illinois.
When you start your Illinois registered agent search, make sure to thoroughly check the reviews of these commercial agents. If they offer other services, it is a good idea to look into them as well. After all, you don’t want to pay for a service you don’t need.
Available commercial agents can be local companies offering their services or national companies. Each has its own advantages. For example, the local company might know its way around your city and local government better. On the other hand, hiring a national company can be very useful for the experience.
Besides, national companies as registered agents can make it more convenient to expand the business of your LLCs to other states. You can simply hire the same agent in other states as well, and receive the important mail through a single source.
Advantages Of Commercial Registered Agents In Illinois
A few advantages of hiring commercial agents are:
- Privacy: Contact and address details of the registered agent are a matter of public record. If you choose the role for yourself or friends/family, it might be bothersome to have their address so easily available. Hiring a commercial registered agent means their address will be the one on public record.
- Professional Service: A commercial agent is very likely to have a fully staffed office. Besides, they are very likely to receive service of process and deal with the next steps professionally.
- Discreet: Since service of process is delivered to the IL registered agent, your clients, customers, and employees won’t see the process servers handing lawsuits/notice to you.
- Convenience: Taking the commercial agent route is just more convenient to handle for most requirements.
How To Change Illinois Registered Agent For My LLC?
The change of registered agent Illinois requires filing relevant forms with the IL Secretary of State. You can achieve this by filing Form LLC-1.36/1.37, Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Office. The filing fee for this form is $25.
Remember that you should continuously maintain an Illinois registered agent for your LLC. If the registered agent resigns, you must appoint a new one within 60 days. Failure to do so will attract a penalty of $100.