An Indiana registered agent acts as the first point of contact for an Indiana registered business. They receive all official documentation from the authorities on behalf of the company. And, once received they pass these documents on to the relevant business owners and managers. All companies in the state of Indiana must have a registered agent. Below we cover everything you need to know about an Indiana registered agent.
What Is an Indiana Registered Agent?
An Indiana Registered Agent is an individual or entity that acts as a point of contact between an Indiana registered business and the state government. Their primary role is to receive official documents from the authorities and pass these on to the relevant business owners and personnel. An Indiana registered agent is also known as a statutory agent or agent for service of process.
In Indiana, a business registered in the state must appoint a registered agent. It is a legal requirement. Most registered agents are appointed when a business files for incorporation or registers as an LLC. The agent ensures that the business remains in compliance with state laws and regulations and can promptly communicate any legal matters that may arise. Below, we cover everything you need to know about an Indiana registered agent.
What Does an Indiana Registered Agent Do?
An Indiana Registered Agent plays a crucial role in the legal and administrative operations of an Indiana registered business. Every Indiana-based company must have a registered agent and their primary role is to serve as a point of contact between the state authorities and the individuals that run the company.
Here’s an overview of their key roles and responsibilities.
Receiving Legal Documents
The primary responsibility of an Indiana Registered Agent is to receive legal documents and official government communications on behalf of the business. This includes legal notices, tax documents, and other regulatory documents.
Once official documents are received on behalf of the business entity, the registered agent must promptly forward them to the designated point of contact within the business. This can be the business owners, company members, or business managers. Efficient communication ensures that the business is made aware of legal matters quickly and can take appropriate action.
Indiana Registered Office
The agent must have a physical street address within the state of Indiana. It must be a real street address where the agent can be reached in person. It cannot be a P.O. Box or a virtual office address. This physical address is often referred to as the registered office.
Availability During Business Hours
The agent must be available at the registered office during standard business hours to accept official documentation on behalf of the business. Typically, regular business hours mean 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Many businesses tend to hire a professional registered agent service to fulfill this role and provide year-round accessibility.
The registered agent plays a role in helping the business maintain compliance with state regulations. They receive and forward important compliance-related documents, such as annual report reminders, tax notices, and other state notifications. This helps ensure they are kept up to date and acted on as required.
What Are the Requirements?
What are the requirements of being a registered agent in Indiana? To serve as a registered agent in Indiana, an individual or entity must meet certain requirements relating to physical address, availability, consent, and legal age. Let’s take a closer look.
An Indiana registered agent must have a physical street address within the state of Indiana. They cannot use a PO box or virtual address. This address is often referred to as the registered office. The registered office is the address where all legal documents and official notifications for the business will be sent.
Availability During Business Hours
The agent must be available at the specified address during regular business hours. Typically, this means from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Round-the-clock availability ensures that they can accept legal documents and official notices in a timely manner.
Consent to Serve
An Indiana registered agent must provide their written consent to serve as the registered agent for the business entity. This consent is typically included in the business’s formation or registration documents filed with the Indiana Secretary of State. A registered agent cannot be appointed without consent.
Minimum Legal Age
If an individual is designated as the registered agent, they must be at least 18 years of age.
Compliance & Communication
Indiana registered agents must comply with all state regulations and promptly update their contact information with the Indiana Department of State if it changes. They must also promptly communicate all legal documents received on behalf of the business to the appropriate company members.
How to Appoint an Indiana Registered Agent
Appointing a registered agent in Indiana is a simple process. There are a series of steps you need to take. Top tip – make sure to choose a reliable agent who can fulfill the responsibilities and keep your business compliant with state regulations.
Here’s how you to appoint an Indiana Registered Agent:
Choose a Registered Agent
First up, you need to choose a registered agent. This can be a business entity or individual that meets all the Indiana state requirements of acting as a registered agent. Most businesses choose a registered agent when the business is formed. For example, an LLC or corporation will assign a registered agent when they submit their business formation document to the Indiana Department of State.
Check Their Eligibility
You must ensure that the person or entity you choose as your Registered Agent is eligible to serve as an agent in Indiana. They must meet all the requirements listed above relating to physical address, availability, and minimum age if they are an individual.
You must get consent from your agent that they accept the responsibility of acting as your registered agent. Obtaining consent is a crucial step when appointing them to this role. It demonstrates their willingness to accept the legal responsibilities that come with the position. It’s good practice to obtain written consent from your chosen agent.
If you’re starting a new business in Indiana, you can designate your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation with the Indiana Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, or in person. Include the Registered Agent’s name and address in the appropriate section of your formation documents.
Changing Registered Agent
If you already have a business and need to change your Registered Agent, you can file an amendment to your formation documents. This involves filing an Amendment to Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) or an Amendment to Articles of Organization (for LLCs) with the updated agent’s name and contact details. This can be done online, by mail, or in person with the Secretary of State
There may be a fee associated with appointing or changing a Registered Agent. The fee will vary depending on the type of business and company structure. Check with the Indiana Secretary of State for the current fee schedule.
Who Can Serve as an Indiana Registered Agent?
In the state of Indiana, any suitable individual or business entity can serve as a registered agent as long as they meet the criteria set out by the state. A company cannot act as its own registered agent. However, another business entity can be appointed as a registered agent. For example, many businesses choose to hire a professional registered agent service to act as their appointed agent. Let’s take a closer look.
An individual can serve as an Indiana registered agent as long as they meet all the requirements. For example, they must have a physical street address in the state, be available during regular business hours to accept legal documents and be aged 18 at a minimum. The individual can be an owner, member, or employee of the company.
A business entity that is authorized to conduct business in Indiana can also act as a Registered Agent for another business. The entity can be a corporation, LLC, or another type of eligible business. It must have a physical street address in the state.
Professional Registered Agent Service
Many businesses opt to use professional registered agent services. These companies specialize in providing registered agent services. They are always available during business hours to accept legal documents and official notices on behalf of your business. And, using a service comes with several key advantages. For more, check out the Pros & Cons of a Professional Registered Agent Service.
Can You Be a Registered Agent for Your Own Company?
Yes, you can serve as the Registered Agent for your own company in the state of Indiana, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed above. Many business owners choose to do so. However, you should be aware that it comes with some disadvantages.
First up is privacy. If you decide to become a registered agent for your own business your personal information including name and address will become publicly available. This information will be filed with the company records and become a matter of public record.
Also, you will have to make yourself available at the registered office address during normal business hours, Monday to Friday. Many people find this restrictive and therefore choose to hire a professional registered agent service. For more, see What Is a Registered Agent?
About the Author
Jason Roth: Editor in Chief
Jason is editor in chief at My LLC Guide. He holds a wealth of business management experience and has been advising companies on business formation issues for many years. Jason specializes in resource planning management, staff utilization, and productivity consulting.
He has worked predominantly in the west coast area where he graduated from the Marshall Business School at the University of South California. When he’s not working in his business advisory role, Jason likes to climb on his Indian Scout motorbike and enjoy the open road.