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In this edition of Ask General Counsel, the business law attorneys at General Counsel, P.C., located in McLean, discuss why business owners should not serve as the registered agent for their business.
Businesses in Virginia are required to have a registered office and registered agent. Many business owners serve as the registered agent and use their home as the registered office. That may be a bad idea. You should consider using General Counsel, P.C. instead. Here are six reasons why:
1. Safety. The registered office is public information. Do you want a disgruntled customer showing up at your home? If you have a successful business, do you want potential thieves to know where you live? To protect yourself and your family, business owners should not personally serve as registered agent or use their home as the registered office.
2. Privacy and Prevent Identify Theft. Do you want your name and address available to the public? Registered agents often receive hundreds of solicitations and other communications – including phishing attempts. Many companies “scrape” personal information from public websites and sell it or put it onto the web. If you want to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft, business owners should not personally serve as their registered agent or use their home as the registered office.
3. Confidentiality and Professionalism. Registered agents receive lawsuits and other legal documentation for companies. Do you want a process-server or sheriff showing up at your home or business location? Would you want customers or employees to know that a lawsuit was filed against the company? Do you want a lawsuit handed to a receptionist or office manager? Or, even worse, would you want lawsuit documents misplaced and then a default judgment filed against company? These issues can be avoided by using General Counsel, P.C. as your business’ registered agent.
4. Consistency. A registered agent not only needs a physical location (not P.O. Box), but they need to be available during regular business hours to accept service of process and official notices. What happens if the business owner moves, goes on vacation, or the business does not have regular hours? These issues can be avoided by using General Counsel, P.C. as your business’ registered agent.
5. Experience and Expertise. Using General Counsel, P.C. as your registered agent helps to protect your business. Business owners should focus on running their business. Compliance and legal process should be handled by an experienced legal team. Registered agents receive documents that require satisfying state compliance or meeting strict court filing deadlines. Making a mistake or missing a deadline can have serious consequences for a business. To protect your business, you should have General Counsel, P.C. serve as your registered agent.
6. Relationship with General Counsel, P.C. Finally, by using General Counsel, P.C. as your registered agent, you will have a relationship with a law firm you can trust that can help your business. Whether it is a contract that needs to be reviewed, a demand letter, an employment matter or some other legal issue, our team of attorneys can help you.
General Counsel, P.C. provides legal representation to businesses, non-profit entities, and individuals in DC, MD and VA. We represent clients in the following primary areas of law: (1) Business Law; (2) Government Contracts; (3) Employment Law; (4) Litigation; (5) Divorce / Family Law; and (6) Estate Planning.