An Ohio registered agent is a person who acts on behalf of businesses in Ohio. They can accept service of process as well as accept other types of legal notifications. This type of agent is sometimes referred to as an Ohio statutory agent. The person must be an Ohio resident and must have a physical address that is in the state. It is possible for a company to be an Ohio registered agent.

Is There a Difference Between a Statutory Agent and a Registered Agent in Ohio?

It's important to note that in this state, all forms and legislation will refer to the agent as a statutory agent. In fact, there is no difference at all between a registered agent and a statutory agent other than the name.

No matter what name is used, the responsibilities are still the same. Sometimes, an incorporator of a business, also referred to as an organizer, is confused with a statutory agent. The incorporator simply files the documents that are necessary to form the company. The agent, however, continues to file paperwork and receive paperwork on behalf of the business after it has already been formed.

What Are the Duties of an Ohio Registered Agent?

One of the main responsibilities of a registered agent is to accept papers that have to do with lawsuits and legal actions, such as causes of action. These papers are served to the business and the statutory agent accepts them and assures the person sending them that the company will receive the paperwork. Tax documents, as well as various types of state correspondence, are accepted by the registered agent. In the eyes of the law, once the paperwork has been received by the agent, any timelines or deadlines go into effect from that moment forward.

What Happens When There Isn't an Ohio Registered Agent?

If a company does not have a statutory agent working on its behalf, the Secretary of State's office then has the power to step in and accept paperwork on behalf of the company. However, when an Ohio registered agent is not available, this can greatly delay the receipt of lawsuits and other types of pertinent legal notices. This is why an Ohio business should always have an Ohio registered agent.

While some business owners think they should act as their own registered agent, there are several instances that could make it important to use someone else as a registered agent. For example, if your business doesn't operate according to regular business hours, this could make it difficult for you to receive pertinent business documents from those who try to deliver them to you during normal business hours, which are typically anywhere from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, if you don't have someone who regularly checks your business mail, a registered agent could prove to be of the utmost benefit.

Another reason to have a registered agent besides yourself is if your business has moved and you have failed to keep your address with the state current. If you move and don't update your address, there's a chance you will miss out on important notices.

How to Become an Ohio Registered Agent?

To become a registered agent in the state of Ohio, you must meet the following requirements which are set forth by the Ohio state code §1705.06:

  • You must be able to accept legal documents on behalf of another entity other than yourself
  • You must register the address of the business you are acting on behalf of, this address must be in the state of Ohio, and it cannot be a P.O. Box
  • You must be a person, or work for a company, that regularly provides statutory agent services

What Is the Importance of Having a Registered Agent?

As a business operating in the state of Ohio, you are required to appoint a registered agent in order to assure the state you have a legit way of receiving pertinent notices and information from the state. If you make a filing with the state and you don't have a registered agent, you're filing will be rejected.

How to Change to a Different Registered Agent

If you want to change who your registered agent is, you will need to follow three steps:

  • Hire the new agent before you contact the state to make the change.
  • Fill out the appropriate documentation, which can be found online. It is titled Statutory Agent Update. You can also file a paper form if you don't want to do it online.
  • Pay a $25 filing fee.

Expedited options are available, but normally it takes about four to six business days for the change to go into effect.

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