Appointing and maintaining a Missouri Registered Agent is a mandatory requirement for all MO LLCs. A registered agent is a person or company designated to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC.
Service of process usually is a notice of a lawsuit. It may also include other legal documents like summons, subpoenas, etc. Delivering the service of process involves delivering the documents to the agent. This way, the court system tracks the delivery of legal documents.
The registered agent serves as a reliable point of contact for the court system. The presence of the agent ensures that process servers can reach someone to deliver the documents. Registered agents may also serve as a general point of contact for the state to reach the LLC.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Missouri
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Missouri. Generally, the options available to anyone looking to appoint a registered agent are:
- You can be your LLC’s registered agent.
- It is possible to appoint family members or friends to that role.
- You can hire a commercial registered agent.
However, there are some conditions attached for someone to be eligible to be a Missouri registered agent. The requirements are straightforward and leave you with a wide selection of options. Even so, these must be fulfilled by the registered agent.
Requirements For MO Registered Agents
To be eligible to act as the registered agent for an LLC, a person or business entity must qualify the following requirements.
- The registered agent must have a physical street address in Missouri. The state doesn’t accept PO Box addresses or similar services. This address is treated as the registered office of the company.
- If a person, they must be legal residents of the state.
- If the agent is a business entity (whether foreign or domestic), they must be permitted to conduct business and have an office in the state.
The business entity as a registered agent usually refers to commercial registered agents. These are businesses that offer their services to act as registered agents for a fee.
Responsibilities Of A Registered Agent
When you select a registered agent for your Missouri LLC, don’t just look at their qualification for the requirements. It is more important to consider if the chosen agent will be able to discharge the responsibilities of the office.
Some responsibilities to consider of the agent are:
- A registered agent must maintain a physical street address (registered office) for the LLC.
- The agent must be available during normal business hours in case the service of process arrives.
- Registered agents must receive the service of process and quickly forward it to the LLC.
- In case the agent receives communication from the state, they should forward it to the LLC as soon as possible.
As the agent maintains the registered office, they will receive plenty of communication directed at the LLC. However, do keep in mind that the primary role of the Missouri Registered Agent is to receive service of process.
Generally speaking, an LLC shouldn’t divert all its communication through the registered agent. Let them stay with their primary role of receiving service of process and/or important notices from the state.
Appointment Of The Agent
Since Missouri requires LLCs to maintain a registered agent at all times, it is necessary to include the details when you submit the Articles of Organization for the LLC. The secretary of state will not accept the articles unless they mention the appointment of a registered agent.
Similarly, an LLC is required to maintain an agent in the state at all times. Failure to do so can invite legal proceedings from the state. This can go as far as the state deciding to administratively dissolve the LLC.
For the appointment of the agent, simply listing their details isn’t enough. The agent must explicitly agree to their appointment. This is achieved by the agent signing the form, or submitting a written statement to the Missouri Secretary of State accepting their appointment.
Considerations On Being Your Own Registered Agent
Taking on the role of the registered agent yourself or having friends/family do it can seem simple and convenient. But that is rarely true. While this method will save you some money over hiring an agent, it does have some points that need consideration.
Professional service is an important aspect of business. However, individuals can find it rather tough to meet the responsibilities of a registered agent. Maintaining an office can be simple (you could just use your home address). But staying on for business hours can prove troublesome.
Individuals (you, family, friends) do have several responsibilities. These can get troublesome in executing the responsibilities of an agent. For example, you might be away on vacation or otherwise unavailable when service of process arrives. The chances of this actually happening are pretty low, but the potential of trouble is evident.
Another consideration is that of privacy. The address and details of the registered agent (and registered office) are part of the public record in Missouri. This means, your information (including address) will be freely available to anyone who wants to look for it. Many people aren’t comfortable with this scenario and would find this role too burdensome.
Picking A Missouri Commercial Registered Agent
As noted above, commercial registered agents offer their services for a fee. The exact amount of this expense varies depending on the agent and services on offer. That said, you can reasonably expect most agents to charge in the neighborhood of $100 annually.
A quick search will take you through numerous options to choose from. Before you do that, make it a point to do a search and see reviews of the services offered. Reading reviews or asking previous/existing customers for their opinion can help in choosing the right agent for the LLC.
Some advantages to expect from commercial agents are:
- Professional Service.
- Discreet Service.
How To Change My Registered Agent In Missouri
Missouri makes it possible to change registered agent online or by filing the appropriate form with the office of the secretary of state. The process is fairly straightforward and simple. Filing for the change online costs $25 filing fee. You can complete the process on the Missouri Secretary of State’s online filing portal.
If you choose to file paper forms, they can be submitted via mail, fax, or in person. Relevant forms are available on the SOS website. These forms have a filing fee of $10. You can change the registered agent by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office.
Do remember that the new Missouri Registered Agent will have to sign the form or attach a separate document indicating their consent for accepting the role.