In every state where you register a business or nonprofit entity, you must appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents. Of all the tasks required to enter a new state, choosing a registered agent may seem like one of the less significant ones. After all, it’s just an address. Right?
In fact, your choice of registered agent service can have a major impact on your operations year after year. Account Executive Cliff Rampaul provides some insider tips for getting a better value from your investment.
A registered agent is someone who is available during regular business hours at a physical location within the state where they can accept and sign for documents for your organization. Technically, any person who is available during business hours will suffice, and some startups will appoint a staffer or other company representative to the position. Cliff pointed out that this can be highly risky, as the main function of the registered agent is to receive legal documents and important notices from the state.
“If your appointed agent is unavailable when the legal process is served, or if documents are misplaced, you’re still held responsible for the contents,” Cliff said. “If you miss a state deadline as a result, your organization may lose your good standing or even be dissolved. If you miss a legal notice, you may lose your legal standing and have default judgments entered against you.”
A professional registered agent service also lets you manage a single, consistent address with the state, which means fewer fees and less paperwork as your office locations and staff change.
Same-day, secure transmission of your sensitive documents is a standard part of our registered agent service. “Our software system sends an email alert to let clients know they have received a new document in their account,” Cliff said. “They can even log in to view it on their desktop or mobile phone. If they’re traveling or away from the office, just as long as they have a phone with email on it, they’re always in the loop.”
Because of the sensitivity of the documents handled by registered agents, security and service are also important considerations. “Our clients need absolute confidentiality,” Cliff said, “so the secure portal is really important to them. Also, on service of process deliveries, we usually give them a courtesy call to let them know it was uploaded into their online account and advise them to please log in to view the notice, as these are time-sensitive documents and usually require a response.”
Registered agent services must generally be renewed on the anniversary of the entity’s registration with the state. For organizations operating in multiple states, this can result in a patchwork of services with a year-round cycle of deadlines and paperwork. We can consolidate those services nationwide with a single phone call, no matter how large or small the need and no matter how many providers you currently use. We can also combine payments to make it even easier for you.
“I was doing a courtesy compliance review for a newer client who managed three entities,” Cliff said. “When we were finished, she mentioned that it was a hassle to pay three invoices throughout the year for registered agent service. I took a look at all of her entities and said, ‘Great news, I can fix that for you.’ I consolidated her invoicing so she could pay that day and not worry about it again until 2019. For her, it was an easy win. Our clients are all about that simple lifestyle.”
With Harbor Compliance, you can combine registered agent services with all of your compliance needs, including annual reports, tax registrations and exemptions, fundraising registrations, business licenses, and even local permits. Our cloud-based software lets you manage all aspects of compliance from one simple interface. The software is integrated with state agencies to provide real-time reporting and document access.
There are many registered agent services out there, from basic fill-and-file form providers that work through affiliates to registered agent companies that provide little more than a street address. Prices vary widely, as well as the services provided. When evaluating providers, look for the partner that provides the best value for your money. Harbor Compliance combines state-of-the-art technology with personal service to create exceptional client experiences at an outstanding value.
“Our clients don’t want to phone into a call center, or navigate an automated voice system,” Cliff said. “They can’t afford to leave a message or send an email and wait a week for a response. When they need help, they want to be able to pick up the phone and talk to me. It’s my job to make their jobs easier, so they can focus on what they do best.”
Our entire mission is to make compliance easy and rewarding for our clients, many of whom have been stung by regulatory missteps or broken promises of low-cost providers. If you want white glove service at an exceptional value, give us a call today, 1-888-995-5895, about consolidated registered agent services or any aspect of compliance. You’ll be able to judge for yourself what kind of service we provide from the very first call.
Very professional service. They answer emails and calls right away. If they are not available they call you back ASAP. This is not a strictly online registered agent that just takes your $ and doesn’t give you much. Harbor Compliance has been a very personal, human, dedicated service for me. They have helped me with multiple questions I have had and helped me out when I had an important document mailed to them in which I actually needed the original. I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are looking for a great registered agent service! Thank you guys!
Ele, E.P. LLC
Cliff Rampaul is an account executive for Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions for organizations of all types and sizes. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Harbor Compliance partners with organizations in every state and over 25 countries abroad to help solve the most challenging compliance problems. With clients that range from the largest organizations in the country to fast-growth startups, Harbor Compliance fully manages government licensing compliance in both nonprofit and business sectors.