What is an Arkansas Registered Agent?
Having a registered agent is a legal requirement every time you register a new Arkansas corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
Learn more about the registered agent, what they do, their requirements, and more.
Registered Agent Overview
An Arkansas registered agent (also referred to as a resident agent or statutory agent in some states) is a person or business entity who agrees to accept legal mail (known as “Service of Process”) on behalf of your Arkansas business entity in case your business gets sued.
Duties of a Registered Agent
A registered agent is the official point of contact between the government and your business entity, and their primary responsibility is to accept important legal notices and tax documents and then forward them to the appropriate person in the business.
Arkansas state statutes 4-20-114 state the duties of the registered agent include:
- Forward to the represented entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity any process, notice, or demand that is served on the agent;
- Provide the notices required by this chapter to the entity at the address most recently supplied to the agent by the entity;
- If the agent is a noncommercial registered agent, to keep current the information required by 4-20-105(a) in the most recent registered agent filing for the entity; and
- If the agent is a commercial registered agent, to keep current the information listed for it under 4-20-106(a).
Not only is a registered agent required when forming an LLC or corporation, but you must maintain a registered agent to keep the entity in compliance. Besides the requirement of designating a registered agent at the time of formation, there are several reasons to have one:
- Not Receiving Legal Notices – If the listed registered agent cannot receive legal notices, this lawsuit will still proceed. If a process server is unsuccessful in reaching the company’s registered agent, the court can proceed with the case. This could result in a judgment being placed against the business without the owners knowing.
- Administrative Dissolution – In Arkansas, if the business doesn’t have a registered agent, the Secretary of State can dissolve the entity.
- Penalties and Fees – By not maintaining a current registered agent, penalties and state fees can be levied against the entity and, in some cases, the owners too. Once an entity is no longer in good standing with the state, the owners may lose their liability protection and are at risk personally.
Common Questions About Arkansas Registered Agents
Who can be a registered agent in Arkansas?
A registered agent in Arkansas can be any resident of the state who is 18 years or older, a registered Arkansas domestic business entity or a foreign business entity authorized to do business in the state. An entity may not be its own agent.
Does Arkansas require a registered agent?
All corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Limited Partnerships (LP), and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) doing business in Arkansas must have a registered agent.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not need a registered agent.
What is required of a registered agent in Arkansas?
A registered agent in Arkansas is required to have a physical street address (often referred to as a registered office or principal office) in the state of Arkansas. This can be your home address, the address of a family member, an accountant or attorney, the address of the business, or an Arkansas registered agent service. Any physical address in the state may be used, but PO Boxes and mail drop services are not acceptable since someone has to be available to sign for documents.
The agent will also need to be available to receive Service of Process on behalf of the business during normal business hours. Service of process refers to the delivery of legal documents, often a summons, subpoena, or lawsuit filed against a business entity.
How do you elect a registered agent in Arkansas?
This registered agent appointment is first made in the Arkansas business formation documents – Certificate of Organization or Articles of Incorporation but can be changed by filing the Notice of Change of Registered Agent Information Form
Should you be your own Arkansas registered agent?
While any individual, business owner, LLC member, officer, director, etc., that meets the state of Arkansas registered agent requirements, there are situations when hiring a registered agent service is best.
Privacy – The address of the registered agent becomes public record and is available for anybody to see. This can be especially concerning if someone is doing business on the side, and they don’t want their employer to know about the business. Also, if the business is sued, the notice will be delivered to the address on file. This could mean employees, customers, or even neighbors witnessing the event. There is always the remote possibility of a vindictive litigant or upset customer showing up at your house.
Availability – Arkansas requires the registered agent to be available at the principal address during regular business hours. The biggest issue with availability, especially if a home address is used, is if the agent goes on vacation or is otherwise away for some period of time and can’t be reached.
If the Business Expands to Additional Locations – If the business has a physical presence in multiple states (offices, warehouses, employees, etc.), a foreign entity registration will often need to be filed with those states. A registered agent will need to be appointed with a physical address in each state.
Due Date Reminders – Registered agent services provide annual report and franchise tax reminders, in addition to other state updates.
How much does an Arkansas registered agent service cost?
Depending on the services provided, a commercial registered agent service typically costs between $100-$150 per year. Northwest Registered Agent is a popular service that charges $125 per year and offers several extras such as document scanning and mail forwarding and Harbor Compliance has a basic service starting at $99.
Some entity formation companies, like IncFile, includes registered agent service at no cost for the first year when you register your corporation or LLC with them.
Can an Arkansas registered agent be changed?
If the registered agent changes, the entity is required to file a change of registered agent.
A Registered Agent can be changed by submitting the Notice of Change of Registered Agent Information Form along with the filing fee to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
After filing the form, the name and address of the registered agent should up updated in the LLC operating agreement or corporation bylaws.
Can a registered agent sign on behalf of an LLC?
Unless the registered agent is also authorized to sign on behalf of the entity, they are not legally allowed to.