A Vermont registered agent is an official of an LLC, designated to receive service of process on behalf of the company. The registered agent can be a person or company (business) who agrees to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC.
Service of process involves legal documents including notice of a lawsuit, summons, and subpoenas. To ensure reliable delivery of these documents, the Registered Agent (RA) must have a physical street address in the state.
Once the documents are delivered by process servers to the RA at this address, the court system assumes that the LLC has been notified of legal proceedings. Similarly, the state may use the agent as a general point of contact with the LLC. Therefore, the agent will receive correspondence from the state related to the LLC. These can include tax notices, payment reminders, and more.
The Vermont Registered Agent And LLC Legal Requirements
Every LLC in Vermont must appoint and maintain a registered agent in the state at all times. The state will not accept an LLC’s articles of organization if an RA hasn’t been appointed.
Similarly, failure to maintain an agent can lead to legal as well as administrative repercussions. These can include the state dissolving the LLC or the LLC losing its liability protection.
Before you appoint a registered agent, make sure they are capable of handling the position according to Vermont state laws. The state’s requirements are fairly straightforward and give the LLC plenty of freedom in choosing its registered agent.
Still, it is mandatory that these requirements be fulfilled.
- A registered agent must have a physical address in the state of Vermont. The state doesn’t accept P.O. Box addresses or similar.
- If the agent is a person, he or she should be capable of receiving legal documents.
- If the agent is a business, it must have permission to operate in Vermont.
The business as a registered agent is a large group, but the most interesting category here is the commercial registered agents. These are businesses that offer their services as registered agents for a fee.
As noted earlier, the requirements are simple enough. But they shouldn’t form the sole criterion in deciding your registered agent. The key here is the agent’s ability to handle the responsibilities that are an inherent part of this role.
Responsibilities Of A Registered Agent In Vermont
The position of a Vermont registered agent is pivotal enough to be legally mandated. Therefore, you need someone who understands the responsibilities this role carries.
- A registered agent must maintain a physical street address in Vermont. This is the registered office of the LLC where service of process is delivered.
- The agent should be available at the registered office during normal working hours (9 am to 5 pm).
- If the service of process arrives, the agent must receive it and inform the LLC immediately.
- The agent should receive any communication from the state and apprize the LLC about it.
An agent can do a lot more, but the points mentioned above are the minimum to expect from your Vermont LLC’s registered agent.
Deciding Who To Appoint – Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Once you get a hold of the requirements and responsibilities of the position, you’re in a much better position to decide who can be the registered agent. While any LLC has a large number of choices available, most choose to go with the following options:
- You can be your own registered agent.
- Appoint family members or friends as registered agents.
- Hire a commercial registered agent.
So yes, you can be your own registered agent. There is no restriction on you (LLC organizer or members) being the RA of your LLC. However, you must fulfill the legal requirements to qualify for the role. Similarly, you could appoint a family member or friend.
The biggest perceived advantages of being your own RA or appointing family/friends is the implied trustworthiness and monetary benefits. You can be your own agent for $0. Besides, you’re well aware of the needs of the company and truly invested in its well-being. So, the position could be a good fit.
However, there is another side to the coin. Being your own agent may have implications related to professional handling and reliability. There’s also the aspect of privacy to consider.
Major Points Of Being Your Own Registered Agent
If you choose to be the RA of your VT LLC (or appoint family/friends), don’t discount the responsibilities you’ll have to handle.
The agent isn’t necessarily a full-time employee of the company. Yet, it is necessary to maintain the registered office through normal working hours. This can get troublesome. You (or family member/friend) could be away on a vacation, on an errand, or have something important come up.
Either way, if the RA isn’t available when service of process arrives, things could get complicated.
Many people don’t want to take this responsibility due to the privacy implications. The information of the registered agent filed with the state becomes a matter of public record. This means it’s freely accessible to anyone. Having your details out in the open may not be a comforting thought.
Setting up a foreign LLC in Vermont brings about a whole other set of options. In this case, it’s very likely that you don’t live in VT and don’t know anyone trustworthy enough to appoint as the registered agent. In this situation, it’s best to go with a commercial registered agent.
All of this isn’t to say that domestic LLCs don’t hire commercial agents. In fact, they remain extremely popular with domestic companies as well. A closer look can give us more answers.
Hiring A Commercial Registered Agent
There are good reasons to hire a commercial registered agent, even if you fancy you can save some money by doing the job yourself. The convenience, reliability, and professional services on offer make a difference. And this is why most LLCs don’t mind paying to hire an agent.
Vermont has several businesses working as registered agents. The fee for their services varies by the company and their services. Most of them usually carry a price tag in the range of $50 to $300 annually.
Even considering the difference in prices, remember that your choice shouldn’t come out of purely monetary considerations. The more important part is ensuring that the agent can handle the responsibilities and expectations of your LLC. At the very least, expect the commercial agent to offer the following:
- Professional service
- Discreet service
Considering that several businesses offer their services, you’ll need to put more thought into choosing your Vermont Registered Agent. It’s a good idea to look for reviews and opinions on various commercial agents. Also, a careful check on the services they offer and a closer look at the fine print and associated costs will make things easier.