A Kentucky registered agent is an entity in the form of a company or person who makes an agreement to accept official, legal documents on behalf of an LLC if someone sues your business. This person or entity must be a Kentucky resident or a corporation with a consistently maintained Kentucky office address. When establishing a business in Kentucky, it's necessary to have a local Kentucky registered agent.

Service of Process

The method, or procedure, for giving legal notice to a defendant or other party is referred to as service of process.

A number of document types are included under service of process, including:

  • Complaints
  • Subpoenas
  • Summons

The list of entities that must maintain a Kentucky registered agent for service of process includes:

  • Corporations
  • Limited liability companies
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Nonprofits

Kentucky Registered Agent Requirements

Under Kentucky law, Limited Liability Corporations, C-corps, and S-corps all require the same from registered agents. Registered agents have to be able to accept service of all forms of process, notifications, and demands that may be served on a business, as required under the law. The Kentucky registered agent has to be a resident of the state, or it may also be a company that provides the services of a registered agent in the state. A physical location in the state is also required, and the registered agent has to be present during regular business hours.

Accepting Appointment of Service

In case a service of process document arrives, a Kentucky business agent has to be available between 9am and 5pm on business days. The agent has to be available at this address to sign to accept documents. A registered agent in Kentucky must sign the company's formation document, which is its appointing document, or file a statement in writing with the Secretary of State detailing the appointment. The registered agent's physical street address is referred to as the registered office. All registered businesses have to appoint a registered agent under Kentucky law.

Failure to Appoint a Registered Agent

A business that fails to appoint a registered agent will find their business registration denied by the Kentucky Secretary of State's Division of Business Filings. In addition to legal processes, other types of government documents are to be mailed to the registered office. The presence of a registered agent in business dealings ensures that both the general public and government agencies have a way to reliably contact your Kentucky business. The reason you need a registered agent might not be obvious at first, but there is a logical reason for this requirement.

How a Registered Agent Benefits Companies

A registered agent gives the state a way to easily contact your business, but it benefits you, too. It does this by establishing a way you can reliably receive all official documents and service of process papers. It is possible for you to be the registered agent for your own company or LLC. Family members and friends can also step in and provide the service of being your company's registered agent. Or, you can choose to bring a commercial registered agent on board to serve your business.

Considerations in Choosing Your Registered Agent

When choosing whether to be your own registered agent, have a friend do it, or outsource the task, location is key. If your home or your office has a Kentucky street address, and you're always there during regular business hours, it may make sense to serve as your own registered agent. If you don't have a Kentucky street address, but you have a friend or family member who does have one, and they're available during business hours, you can ask them to serve as your registered agent. If you don't have access to a street address you can use, hiring a commercial registered agent is a reasonable step.

Commercial registered agents sometimes also offer other services, like helping you maintain compliance by issuing reminders when you need to handle annual reporting requirements. This includes providing the forms you need and helping you fill them out if needed. Assigning your Kentucky registered agent is fairly simple, fill out and file the required forms from the Secretary of State, pay the filing fee, and in one to three days the forms should be processed.

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