A Louisiana Registered Agent will accept legal documents and other notices on behalf of your LLC. The agent can be a person or a business entity, provided that they’re qualified to receive legal documents.
Appointing A Registered Agent In Louisiana
Appointing and maintaining a registered agent in Louisiana is legally mandatory for every LLC operating in the state. You must appoint a registered agent for the LA LLC before filing the Articles of Organization with the state. If the articles don’t mention a registered agent, they’ll not be accepted by the state.
Similarly, the LLC must maintain a Louisiana Registered Agent at all times. Failure to do so can cause legal as well as administrative problems.
The primary role of a registered agent is to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC. Service of process generally involves court/legal documents. These include notice of lawsuit, summons, subpoenas, etc. The documents are delivered by people called process servers.
This is the court system’s way to track reliable delivery of its documents. Once the document is delivered to the registered agent, the court assumes that the LLC has been notified of the lawsuit or other legal requirements.
Apart from service of process, the registered agent may also receive pertinent communication from the state. These include tax notices, payment reminders, etc. As such, an LLC’s Louisiana registered agent is a point of contact between the state and the LLC.
Legal Requirements For Appointment Of A Registered Agent
For a person or business entity to qualify to act as a registered agent in Louisiana, they must fulfill a few conditions.
- The registered agent must have a physical address in Louisiana. The state doesn’t accept PO box addresses or similar.
- If the agent is a person, she or he should be an adult and legal resident of Louisiana.
- If the agent is a business entity, it must have permission to do business in Louisiana. Additionally, the entity must maintain a physical office in the state.
The business entity as a registered agent usually refers to commercial registered agents. These are businesses that perform the duties of a registered agent for an LLC in exchange for a fee.
Getting A Deeper Understanding Of The Louisiana Registered Agent
Now that we know the legal requirements of a registered agent, we can consider other points about the role.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Louisiana?
Yes, you can be your LLC’s registered agent in Louisiana. Of course, this assumes you satisfy the legal requirements for the role.
To be the registered agent of your LLC, you can simply fill in your details on the registered agent section when filing the Articles of Organization. This is possible whether you file online or by submitting a paper form. However, keep in mind that the LLC can’t function as its own registered agent.
To put it simply, your LLC’s Louisiana Registered Agent role can be taken over by the following.
- You can be your LLC’s registered agent.
- Your family members or friends can be the LLC’s registered agent.
- It is possible to hire a commercial registered agent for the LLC.
While considering who to hire for the role, you should also think of the responsibilities of the registered agent. It’s also a good idea to consider the drawbacks of being the registered agent for the LLC yourself.
Responsibilities Of The Louisiana Registered Agent
When appointing a registered agent, you should consider their ability to handle the responsibilities that are a part of the job.
- The registered agent must maintain a physical street address (registered office) for the LLC.
- A registered agent should be available during normal working hours (9 am to 5 pm) in case service of process arrives.
- The agent must receive the service of process and quickly notify the LLC.
- If communication from the state arrives (tax notices, reminders, etc.) the agent should inform the LLC.
The registered agent doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time employee of the LLC. However, as we see here, the agent’s role is indispensable for the company.
While the registered agent receives a lot of correspondence and communication for the LLC, not all correspondence should flow through the registered agent. Keep the agent free for service of process and notices from the state. Meanwhile, normal business correspondence can flow through appropriate channels at the LLC.
Are Their Risks To Being My Own Registered Agent?
There are some aspects to consider if you choose to be your LLC’s Louisiana registered agent. Generally speaking, these also apply if you appoint a family member or friend to the role.
As we know, it is very important for the registered agent to maintain a physical address and be continuously available. This seems fairly simple, but can be a tough ask for individuals. People like to go on vacations or might be otherwise engaged. There is a potential for problems if service of process were to arrive when you’re away.
Although the chances of this happening are low, it is still a risk worth considering.
Another consideration is privacy. The address and details of the agent become part of the public record. This means they are available to anyone willing to look for them. Many people aren’t comfortable with their personal details being so freely available. Several commercial registered agents advertise privacy amongst the benefits of hiring these agents.
There can be other issues that are relevant to being your own registered agent. However, these are the most prominent. If you think you could deal with them, it might be worthwhile to save the money and be your own registered agent.
Despite this, many people choose to hire commercial registered agents for their Louisiana LLC. Those registering a foreign LLC will see an obvious benefit to (or necessity of) hiring a commercial registered agent. But there are advantages even when you’re registering a domestic LLC.
Hiring A Commercial Registered Agent In Louisiana
A good way to move with your Louisiana registered agent search is to consider a commercial registered agent. Several businesses in Louisiana offer their services as commercial agents. These include local as well as national companies.
Pricing varies depending on the company you choose. Several commercial agents also offer additional services, e.g. assistance in filing the articles of organization or other aspects of the LLC. Obviously, the additional services impact the pricing. On a general note, you can expect to pay somewhere around $100 annually to hire a commercial registered agent.
Some of the benefits of hiring a commercial registered agent are:
- Professional Service: A commercial agent is well-versed with the requirements of the role and can execute them professionally.
- Reliability: A commercial agent likely has a fully-staffed office and is well-prepared to receive service of process. Several agents notify the LLC of service of process near-instantly by uploading electronic copies of the legal notice.
- Privacy: Since the address and details of the agent are used for filings, your own address can stay private and off the public record.
- Discreet: For some businesses, it may be troublesome or embarrassing to receive service of process in front of clients, customers, or employees. With a commercial agent, the service of process will arrive at their office, and your LLC will be notified of the same discreetly.
- Convenience: More often than not, it is more convenient to let a commercial agent handle the requirements and pressures of being the Louisiana Registered Agent. Meanwhile, you can focus on running your LLC!
How To Change The Registered Agent In Louisiana?
Changing your LLC’s registered agent in Louisiana seems to have some specific requirements. Much like the additional requirements of forming a Louisiana LLC, filing forms for changing registered agents requires extra steps as well (when compared to most other states).
You can find the required forms on the Business Services section of the LA Secretary of State website. Domestic LLCs can use the form for Change of Registered Office or Agent-Louisiana Limited Liability Company. Meanwhile, foreign LLCs can file a Statement of Change.
Either of these forms requires a filing fee of $25. The new registered agent must provide explicit consent indicating their acceptance of the role. Additionally, you must get the forms notarized. This adds an additional step for the Louisiana Registered Agent process. Most other states don’t need a notary to look over such forms.