If you’re a business owner in Virginia or plan to start a business in the state, you’ll need to have a registered agent. Registered agents are designated to receive official correspondence during business hours and serve as a way for the public and the government to contact your business.
Read on to understand a Virginia registered agent’s requirements and responsibilities.
What Is a Virginia Registered Agent?
A Virginia registered agent is an individual or a company that receives legal documents and official correspondence on your behalf. You will need a registered agent if you have an LLC, corporation, or any other registered business in Virginia.
The primary responsibility of the registered agent is to receive documents, notices, or other correspondence during normal business hours. A registered agent can act as a gatekeeper protecting your privacy or a mailbox, ensuring you don’t miss important documents.
The Code of Virginia, §13.1-1015, states that all business entities are required to have a registered agent or resident agent with a physical street address in Virginia and can’t use a P.O. box.
What Is a Registered Office in Virginia?
All Virginia registered agents must have a physical address, not a P.O. box, mailbox service, or other de-localized option. A registered office in Virginia is the physical location of the registered agent which is operational during normal business hours and where all official correspondence can be delivered. A registered office allows for accurate mail tracking of important documents.
What Are the Legal Duties of a Virginia Registered Agent?
The legal duties of a registered agent in Virginia center around receiving official correspondence. The registered agent must maintain a physical address and have someone present at the location during normal business hours.
According to the Virginia code, the registered agent must forward any official documents, process, notice, or demand served to the limited liability company (LLC) or foreign company.
Duties of a Virginia registered agent include:
- Maintaining a physical address in Virginia
- Having someone present at the address during normal business hours
- Receiving any mail, summons, or official documents on behalf of the company
- Forwarding anything received to the company
- Ensuring that the company receives all correspondence promptly
Why Is a Registered Agent Required in Virginia?
A registered agent is required in Virginia because it allows both the tracking of official mail and the government to reach the company in case of summons or court orders. A registered agent ensures that paperwork such as service of process (lawsuits) and annual registration fee notices reach the company. The Code of Virginia chapter 12, article 3 outlines the roles and responsibilities of a Virginia registered agent in detail.
Does Virginia Require Registered Agent Consents?
Yes, in Virginia, the registered agent must consent to serve in the role. However, the state doesn’t require paperwork to carry the registered agent’s signature.
When Do You Need a Virginia Registered Agent?
You need a Virginia registered agent if you own or operate a business in the state of Virginia. That means every authorized Virginia business must maintain a registered agent. This includes:
- Virginia LLCs
- Virginia corporations
- Foreign LLCs operating in Virginia
- Foreign corporations operating in Virginia
Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Virginia?
A Virginia registered agent can be an individual, a representative company, a lawyer, or a member of a business entity. All Virginia registered agents must be:
- A Virginia resident
- Available during normal business hours
- Have a Virginia physical business address
In Virginia, registered agents must either be a member of the Virginia State Bar, or a member of the business’s management, or a third-party business like a law firm or registered agent company. A business in Virginia cannot be its own registered agent.
How to Choose a Registered Agent Service in Virginia?
You should consider the following when choosing a Virginia registered agent:
Typical costs for a Virginia registered agent range from $49 to $300 per year. Weigh the services offered and what additional features a registered agent offers to decide whether you need the low-priced option or a service with additional value.
Registered agents usually offer mail forwarding services to the business. If you want additional features, some registered agents offer online account access, mail scanning and forwarding, or support in online LLC formation. Consider whether these features simplify business and ensure you don’t miss important documents.
A Virginia registered agent should be a person or business of trust as their role could be vital to your business, especially if they fail to forward important information efficiently. When considering Virginia registered agent services, check customer reviews on Google, Trustpilot, BBB, or other sites. Read both the positive and negative reviews to understand what you can expect from a particular registered agent. Choose one with an excellent reputation of reliability and high privacy standards to protect your company.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Virginia Registered Agent?
If you don’t have a registered agent when you apply for an LLC, the Virginia Corporation Commission will reject your filing. If you already have a business in Virginia and don’t have a registered agent, you could face fees or penalties if you fail to appoint one. If you change your registered agent, you need to fill out the change of registered agent form.
How to Change Registered Agents in Virginia?
You can change the registered agent in Virginia at any time. For example, you can switch service providers, appoint a new registered agent, or change from yourself to a registered agent service. If you change registered agents, you must notify the state immediately.
In Virginia, you have two options for changing your registered agent and registered office with the state. First, you can use the Clerk’s Information System to make a real-time change. You can also submit an online form to change the registered agent or office. Virginia also has a guide on changing a registered agent or office.
Choosing a Virginia Registered Agent
As a business owner, time to focus on business growth is essential. Hiring a Virginia registered agent service is a cost-effective way to protect your company’s privacy and ensure all important documents reach you efficiently. Doola Books offers business owners and founders another time and cost-saving solution. Get Doola’s exceptional bookkeeping software so you can save time to focus on what matters most in your business.
How long does a Virginia Registered Agent’s appointment last?
A Virginia registered agent’s appointment lasts until a new agent is appointed or until the business no longer operates in Virginia.
Can you appoint an out-of-state Registered Agent for your Virginia business?
A Virginia registered agent must reside in the state and have a business address in the state.
How much does it cost to hire a professional Registered Agent in Virginia?
A professional registered agent in Virginia costs between $49 and $300. You can shop around for the service that balances costs and features for your business.
Are Virginia Registered Agents responsible for any fees or taxes?
No, Virginia registered agents aren’t responsible for fees or taxes. They are only responsible for passing on correspondence.
Is a Registered Agent’s address public?
Yes, a registered agent’s address is on the public record and available for anyone to see.