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Statutory Agent or Registered Agent Options

Statutory Agent

A “statutory agent” or “registered agent” is an agent located within the state to receive service of process and notice or demand required or permitted by law on behalf of a company or entity.

It is the law in all states that every business entity must designate a person or qualified entity to act as an “agent”  on behalf of the business entity for purposes of certain official communications and service of process.  Some states refer to this as a “Registered Agent.”  In Arizona, it is called a “Statutory Agent.”  The Statutory Agent must have a current physical street address on file with either the Arizona Corporation Commission or the Secretary of State.  Without a Statutory Agent, the business entity will be dissolved, and its protection and tax benefits lost.

Who or What Can be Statutory Agent?

In most places, a statutory agent must be an individual resident of the state, a domestic corporation, a domestic limited liability company, a foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company authorized to do business in this state.  In some places, a registered agent must be a natural person.  The trend is to permit one entity to act as agent for another entity.

This means virtually any adult (or qualified entity) with a physical street address may serve as Statutory Agent.  The three most common options are 1) an owner or officer of the entity, 2) a commercial company that provides the service, or 3) a law firm such as Durfee Law Group, PLLC.  As with all choices, there are consequences  in selecting a Statutory Agent or Registered Agent.  Knowing what the choices are as well as the consequences of those choices, is essential to making a decision we will not regret.

Who or What Should be Statutory Agent?

Do It Yourself.

There are always trade-offs between out-sourcing and handling something in-house.  The biggest reason why owners and officers act as Statutory Agent of their companies is that they don’t know that it can be done any other way.  The biggest advantage is that it is cheap.  The owner or officer will now have both the potential embarrassment of being served with process and the duty to take timely and appropriate action.  If you are comfortable with this burden, name yourself as Statutory Agent.

Commercial Providers.

Commercial Statutory or companies providing services as Registered Agents can be a good alternative.  In jurisdictions where our law firm is not able to serve in that capacity, we routinely recommend that our clients engage a Commercial Statutory Agent rather than do it themselves.  We have worked with many such companies, and can be a resource for our clients in selecting the most cost effective for the particular services needed.  In addition to acting as agent, commercial providers may also offer an array of related services such as office addresses or mail collection and forwarding.  The costs will vary accordingly.  One common error is paying for more than is really needed.  Even for the lowest cost package, commercial providers generally charge double or more than the Statutory Agent fees at Durfee Law Group, PLLC.  If you can’t use us, we encourage you to use a commercial provider.

Durfee Law Group.

At Durfee Law Group, PLLC we provide more service for less cost than many other providers.  Why?  Because we are more than just a registered agent service.  We are a law firm with an extensive practice in asset protection and business compliance, and taking care of our clients is our number one priority.  Here are a few of the advantages of using Durfee Law Group, PLLC as your Arizona Statutory Agent:

  • Privacy – If privacy is important to you, you do not want your name to appear as statutory agent on the State’s records and websites.  That only makes it easier for predatory plaintiffs to connect the dots and find you. Also, you do not want process servers or others to show up at your home or place of business at awkward hours of the day to serve you with legal documents and possibly cause embarrassment in front of customers, friends or family. Privacy is often the first line of defense in preserving assets.
  • Attorney Review of Documents – As Statutory Agent, we are the point of contact for your company with the outside world. For example, as Statutory Agent for our clients we commonly receive demand letters, cease and desist notices, summons, complaints, and notices of lawsuits. By serving as Statutory Agent, it keeps us in the loop. If you are our client, we have your file. You can ask us questions. We can advise you on how the matter impacts you and your legal structures. We can help you figure out what you must do. We can make a referral to a specifically qualified litigation attorney as needed. It is our standing recommendation that you have legal structures in place before you are served with a law suit, and when (not if) you are served, you double check to make sure your structures are up-to-date. We are here to help you with that vital process.
  • Clear Record and Instructions – When we are served with a lawsuit against your company, we have a system to record the date, time and circumstances of the service. This information, and third party verification, is critical in the timing of your required response. We then send you the documents with a Service of Process Transmittal Form which gives you critical information and instructions concerning what you need to file as a named defendant and the statutory time frames that apply.
  • Reduced Cost – The amount of the fee should not be a factor as long as it is within a reasonable range. At the same time, we are pleased to be highly competitive and offer our Statutory Agent services at significantly lower cost than can be found elsewhere.

Integrated Planning. Your legal planning is “integrated” when all the various parts are correctly connected and work together for your intended results. This includes not only your business and estate planning entities, but your advisory team as well. Having Durfee Law Group, PLLC act as Statutory Agent for your business entities is another point of integration that connects the various pieces of your planning together and makes it work to accomplish your goals.

Serving the Best. Our clients and their families own and operate some of the most successful businesses in the world. We are pleased to serve as their Arizona Statutory Agent as part of an overall Integrated Planning and Preventive Law strategy.

Resources

Arizona:  LLC (A.R.S. 29-604, A.R.S. 29-606;  LLP (A.R.S. 29-1104), Corporation (A.R.S. 10-3504, A.R.S. 10-504);  Foreign Corporation (A.R.S. 10-11510);  Domestic Insurer (A.R.S. 20-218.01).

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