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Across the country, NC consistently ranks among the best states for new businesses. Case in point, recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the latest business registrations shows the state breaking records with nearly 180,000 new registrants. That said, while the business landscape is thriving with new entrants, evidence similarly suggests not everyone is adequately equipped.
A 2023 report from Oberlo reveals that one of the top reasons why SMEs fail is due to legal or regulatory challenges. Fortunately, one effective way to prevent this is to onboard a registered agent (RA). A registered agent is an individual whose role is to receive official paperwork addressed to your company, largely for legal and governmental purposes. There are a number of reasons why it’s important for you to have a registered agent if you’re going to run a business in North Carolina.
North Carolina Laws Require a Registered Agent
In North Carolina, you are required by law to get a registered agent before you conduct business. This applies whether you are launching a limited liability company (LLC), a limited partnership, or a corporation. If you don’t legally appoint a registered agent, the state can suspend your business from operations and remove it from good standing. This will hinder your ability to scale your business and may even result in further penalization.
If you’re unsure how to find the best registered agent in North Carolina, you may want to make use of commercial registered agent services. While you can potentially appoint yourself or any employee, using agent services will ensure that you get an experienced person with the knowledge necessary to fulfill the role. It may also be easier for your paperwork in the long run.
A Registered Agent Will Receive Legal Documents
One of the most crucial functions of a registered agent is to receive essential mail and forward it to you or your legal counsel. This will often cover documents from government entities, lawsuits, subpoenas, and other active files that need processing. If you aren’t able to attend to these documents in time, you risk getting hefty fees and penalties that ultimately hurt your business.
A registered agent is just as important as a CPA in The Old North State if you want to keep all your records in check. You can essentially have these roles intersect in a collaborative way, as bookkeeping and documentation go hand in hand to ensure that your operations are all in order. Any compliance, administrative and legal concerns, and notices will have to be handled in an efficient manner to keep the business alive.
Having a Registered Agent Can Provide You With More Privacy
Separating business from personal aspects is important, and we’ve touched on how to run your enterprise efficiently while being present in your home life. This becomes harder to manage when you lack privacy, and you even run the risk of getting unwanted solicitations and doxxing.
This is where the registered agent comes in, providing a degree of discretion that keeps your professional image intact and protects your personal information. Any documents and communications will be directed to the address noted by your registered agent, who will then forward it all privately to you. The Federal Trade Commission suggests taking stock of personal files and scaling down to secure personal information, and this is much simpler to accomplish with a registered agent.
It’s Better for Liability and Tax Documentation
As discussed in Episode 65 with Aimee La Liberte, a business simply cannot overlook the ins and out of taxes. It’s important to stay on point and monitor every correspondence so you know what liabilities and payables your money has. A lot of businesses fall behind because they are unable to uncover certain blind spots, but having a registered agent to ensure efficient document receipt and forwarding makes it easier to stay alert.
It Ensures Secure and Consistent Correspondence
You may have already taken a look at the A-Z Guide to Making Money, but the key factor that makes all of those opportunities possible is consistency. If essential documents aren’t making their way to you or are being tampered with, you give off inaccessibility and end up missing critical correspondence that is essential for your business to thrive.
On top of that, you risk having a lack of security for sensitive data. Whether you’re running an online shop on Shopify or leading an offline in-person business model, using the right security measures will be your ticket to keeping your profits secure and sensitive information away from prying eyes. A lot of documents these days are transferred digitally, so you’ll still want to have your registered agent handling these things as a representative for your business.