Every LLC in Indiana is required to appoint and maintain an Indiana Registered Agent. This agent is a person or business entity that agrees to receive service of process on behalf of your Indiana LLC.
Indiana requires the agent to have a physical street address in the state. This way, the service of process can be delivered reliably. Service of process involves legal documents delivered by process servers. These include lawsuits, summons, subpoenas, etc. Using process servers is the court system’s way of ensuring that the documents are delivered reliably.
An LLC must appoint/designate a registered agent before it files its Articles of Organization with the Business Services Division in the office of the Secretary of State. Thereafter, the LLC must continuously maintain a registered agent. Failure to do so can invite legal action from the state.
Who Can Be An Indiana Registered Agent
As with most states, Indiana too has straightforward and specific requirements for the appointment of an Indiana Registered Agent. These are:
- The registered agent must have a physical street address in the state. The use of PO Boxes or similar services isn’t accepted.
- If the agent is a person they should be a resident of Indiana.
- If the agent is a business entity, they must have permission to do business in the state and have an office in Indiana.
The business entity as the registered agent usually refers to commercial registered agents. These are companies that offer their services as registered agents for a fee.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Indiana?
Yes, as long as you fulfill the above requirements, mainly, have a physical street address in Indiana. This means you can also ask friends or family members who fulfill the above requirements to be the registered agents of your Indiana LLC.
If you don’t know anyone who could take this responsibility, it is worthwhile to consider hiring a commercial registered agent. This is true whether you’re setting up a domestic or a foreign LLC.
Before appointing a registered agent, you should also consider their ability to handle the responsibilities for the role.
Responsibilities Of IN Registered Agents
A registered agent has a very critical role. Once the service of process is delivered, the court system assumes that the LLC has been informed of the lawsuit or other legal requirements. Therefore, it is important for the agent to quickly inform the company of any such developments. Additionally, the agent must be available to receive service of process.
- Maintain a physical street address where service of process can be delivered.
- Receive service of process and quickly inform the LLC of the development.
- Maintain normal business hours (9 am to 5 pm) in case service of process arrives.
Note, that the important responsibilities of the registered agent include receiving service of process or important notices from the state. The entirety of the LLC’s correspondence and communication need not be directed at the registered agent. Conventional communication can (and should) go directly to the LLC, rather than traveling through an intermediary.
Things To Consider Before Being Your Own Indiana Registered Agent
It seems perfectly reasonable to be your own registered agent in Indiana or appoint someone you know to that role. However, individuals should consider the responsibilities and the inherent effect of this position.
Privacy is an important consideration for many. The details of the registered agent (such as their name and address) are part of the public record. This means anyone willing to do an Indiana registered agent search will have the personal details of the registered agent.
Many people aren’t quite comfortable with their personal details being so easily available. As such, they may reconsider their role as a registered agent.
Another point to consider is the availability of the agent. For individuals, it is tough to maintain normal business hours. You (or your friends/family) may be away on vacation when service of process arrives. Or, you could be otherwise indisposed to receive the documents. While the chances of this happening are fairly low, it is a risk that needs special thought.
Hiring A Commercial Registered Agent In Indiana
Hiring a commercial registered agent is often the sensible choice. This service will cost you money – generally upwards of $100 annually. However, there are advantages of hiring commercial registered agents that make this fee an acceptable investment.
From professional and quicker services to more reliable handling of their responsibilities, the commercial agents often have an edge over novices. This is a big reason for their popularity. You will find several commercial registered agents in Indiana, including local and national companies.
So, read up on their offerings, see what works best, and then make a move for your registered agent. Some common benefits of hiring commercial agents are:
- Professional Service: Since commercial agents are likely to have a fully staffed office, they have no problem maintaining normal business hours. Besides, they’d be well-equipped to handle service of process and work further on it.
- Privacy: You’ll be using the commercial agent’s address on all filings that become public record. Therefore, your privacy isn’t compromised.
- Discreet: A commercial agent receives process servers and delivers documents to the LLC discreetly. This is often a better option than having process servers visit your LLC’s office and deliver papers in front of employees, clients, or customers.
- Convenience: More often than not, hiring a commercial agent is far more convenient than taking on the role yourself.
How To Change The Indiana Registered Agent?
The quickest way to change your Indiana Registered agent is to file an online request through the state’s InBiz system. This will require filing a Notice of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent. Online filing will require a fee of $2, though there is no filing fee if you choose to do it via mail.
Another option is to file for the change of agent when you submit the biennial report for your LLC. However, keep in in mind that you shouldn’t leave the Indiana Registered Agent post vacant for long.
If your LLC doesn’t have a registered agent, filing a notice of change will make better sense. However, if the change of the agent lines up with the biennial filing, it makes good sense to use this filing for changing agents.