What Is a Florida Registered Agent?

A Florida Registered Agent needs to be assigned before filing your Articles of Organization, which makes the act of doing so the proper first step of forming your LLC. Your registered agent does not have to be a person. It could be another business entity that takes on the responsibility of process and receiving official mail from other entities in Florida, including other LLCs and corporations

What Are the Requirements for a Florida Registered Agent?

A registered office will be the designated place where your registered agent can receive certified mail during normal business hours. It must be a physical street address located in Florida. The primary responsibility of your Florida registered agent is to act as your LLC's general point of contact to receive tax notices, payment notifications, and other business-related documents. In this way, the Florida Division of Corporations and the state courts can reliably get in contact with your company. 

All Florida registered agents must be available between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. should Service of Process need to visit. Service of Process would be when legal documents, like subpoenas, complaints, or summons get delivered. 

Your registered agent is hugely significant for the way in which the judicial systems and Florida court operate. With a physical street address located in Florida and a registered agent of record, any and all court documents and legal mail can be tracked. It is set up similar to how a certified mail return receipt functions. A physical record is created that confirms that something was delivered. 

Can You Be Your Own Florida Registered Agent?

As long as you meet the requirements, like having a street address in the state and you are available during normal business hours to accept delivery of documents for your company, you could be your LLC's registered agent.

When you form an LLC in Florida, there are three options:

  • You can hire a Commercial Registered Agent, which you can do from a service 
  • Ask a relative or friend to be your LLC's registered agent
  • Take on the responsibility yourself

If an individual is going to be your LLC registered agent, the individual needs to be 18 years or older and a resident of Florida. 

How To Go About Changing Florida Registered Agent Service?

If you currently have a registered agent for your LLC but you would like to become the agent yourself, all you must do is file with the Corporations Division. You can download a copy of a Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent by visiting www.sunbiz.org. Make sure you select the form that is specifically for LLCs and not the one for corporations. 

You will need to provide the old registered agent information, along with the new information relating to yourself when filling out the form. When you mail the completed statement, you also want to include $25 to cover the filing fee. 

The Significance of Your LLC's Registered Agent Being Reachable

It is imperative that you always have a registered agent on file and your registered agent must be reliable. The circumstances that could happen to your business if the Department of State, for example, is unable to reach your registered agent could be costly. This could include:

  • Losing the government of Florida's liability protection 
  • Court penalties 
  • Lost business documents

Without liability protection, the Florida Department of State has the authorization to shut you down entirely and administratively dissolve your LLC.

A person who serves notices of lawsuits and court documents is also known as a process server.  A service of process can be completed by the sheriff, process server, or any third party walking into a registered agent's office. 

When a process server is unable to deliver documents or lawsuit notices to your registered agent successfully, a court proceeding can go on without your presence because you are unaware. A few of the reasons that a process server could have difficulty reaching your registered agent include:

  • The agent is out of town or on vacation.
  • The agent is not available during regular business hours. 
  • The agent moved, and you neglected to file for a change of registered agent with the state of Florida.

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