A registered agent is the party responsible for accepting service on behalf of a company. If you have a registered entity in NC, you have to designate one for your company. Primarily, we’re talking about LLCs, corporations, and nonprofit corporations.
The North Carolina Secretary of State governs registered agents. According to their website, the registered agent’s “sole duty is to forward to the business entity at its last known address any notice, process, or demand that is served on the registered agent”. In other words, you act as a mail forwarding company. However, you also have to forward lawsuits served by sheriff. This is why the registered office has to be a physical address.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
Yes. As long as you reside in North Carolina, you can be a registered agent in North Carolina. You’re welcome to serve this role for your own or others’ companies. If you act as your own, be sure that you’re never in a position where you can miss mail or sheriff service for too long. A long vacation may result in the dissolution of your company.
What Happens If The Agent Doesn’t Do Their Job?
There’s not a lot to this position’s job. However, the little work they have to do is very important. For example, if I send a lawsuit to your agent, but he or she doesn’t accept it, I can serve the Secretary of State directly. In that case, the Secretary of State will try to reach you and begin the process of dissolving your company. You have a very short period of time to stop that from happening. I’ve done this to dozens of companies at this point. That’s also why dodging service of a lawsuit doesn’t work!
Without a properly registered entity, you lose your limited liability protection. That’s really bad!