Why Do I Need to Appoint a Kentucky Registered Agent?
A Kentucky registered agent is the legally designated point of contact for your Kentucky corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or Limited Partnership (LP)
The primary responsibility of a registered agent (also referred to as a resident agent or statutory agent in some states) in Kentucky is to accept important legal notices and tax documents and then forward them to the appropriate person in the business. The purpose of the registered agent is to receive important legal notices, such as service of process, on behalf of your company.
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.
- 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 business owners may lose their liability protection and are at risk personally.
- Entity Closure – Waiting too long to remedy the lack of a registered agent may result in the administrative closure or dissolving the entity.
Requirements to Be a Registered Agent in Kentucky
A registered agent in Kentucky can be any resident of the state who is 18 years or older, a registered Kentucky domestic business entity, or a foreign business entity authorized to do business in the state. An entity may not be its own agent.
The registered agent needs to have a physical street address (often referred to as a registered office or principal office) in the state of Kentucky. This can be your home address, the address of a family member, an accountant or attorney, the address of the business, or a professional 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.
Common Questions About Kentucky Registered Agents
Does Kentucky require a registered agent?
A registered agent is required by the Secretary of State when filing an LLC, LP, LLP, or corporation in Kentucky.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not need a registered agent.
What is required of a registered agent in Kentucky?
The requirements for an entity to have a registered agent are formed under Kentucky Statute §14A.4-010, which mandates that registered entities will have and continuously maintain a registered agent and registered office within the state of Kentucky. The agent must also be available during normal business hours to forward any service of process, notice, or demand pertaining to the entity to the appropriate individuals.
Should you be your own Kentucky registered agent?
Provided one of the LLC members or officers lives in Kentucky, it is less expensive to act as your own agent rather than hiring a service. While this is the route many businesses take, there are a few reasons to consider hiring a registered agent service.
Privacy – The principal office 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 also the remote possibility of a vindictive litigant or upset customer showing up at your house.
Availability – Kentucky 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.
Due Date Reminders – Registered agent services provide annual report reminders and updates on any state requirements.
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.
When should I assign a Kentucky registered agent?
A registered agent is required by the Secretary of State when filing an LLC, LP, LLP, or corporation in Kentucky. This appointment is first made in the entity formation documents (Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation) but can be changed at any time.
Can a registered agent be changed in Kentucky?
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 Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Agent Address Form along with the filing fee to the Kentucky Secretary of State.
After filing the form, the LLC’s operating agreement or corporation’s bylaws will need to be updated with the new registered agent’s information.
Is a registered agent liable for the actions of the business?
The only liability a registered agent faces is from a lack of timely transmission of correspondence. If the registered agent is negligent in sending documents promptly and the entity suffers a financial loss, the registered agent is responsible for paying those damages.
How much does a Kentucky 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.