Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Agent

Problem

You and your family are at the water park, hanging out by the wave pool on the lounge chairs. You notice a man walking around holding some papers under his armpit. He’s got a greasy comb-over and he’s shirtless, exposing his hairy round belly. He’s wearing a Speedo. Ugh, so tasteless. You think. Then, to your horror, he notices you and walks over to where your family is lounging. He hands you the sweaty papers, and says, “you’ve been served.” He’s a process server, and he just served you with the legal documents that are the harbinger of a lawsuit. Your lounge-chair neighbors give you what they think are sympathetic looks, but are they? All you know is you’re burning up! You feel exposed, embarrassed – this is no longer a private matter. Plus, now you know you’re gonna have to field a few questions from your spouse, to put it mildly. Your Saturday, in all likelihood, is ruined.

Solution

Hire a third party to be the registered agent of your LLC, Corporation or Partnership.Hire Me. Just don’t hire yourself!

 Value

The registered agent for your company is the person or entity you authorize to receive legal process on your behalf. Basically, you’re appointing this person or entity to act as your intermediary between people who want to sue you and your business. This service is not expensive – my law firm charges $100/year, and we’ll help you maintain your limited liability shield by handling your annual minutes to boot. If you don’t have a registered agent, you’re opening yourself up to a measure of unpleasantness (man in the speedo) which you could have easily avoided.

It’s particularly important to have a registered agent if you are a professional who has a duty of care towards your clients, such as a psychotherapist. Imagine the scenario where you are a psychotherapist and you are in a therapy session with a client, discussing a sensitive topic which makes your client feel very vulnerable, and there comes a loud, incessant banging on the door. Surprise, your therapy session has been ruined by a process server. Your client is unable to reach the vulnerable place you had coaxed her to 45 minutes into the session. This example happened to someone I know and love. Don’t let it happen to you!

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P.S. For a more comedic take on Process Servers, here’s a bonus link (NSFW) to Seth Rogen’s character intro in Pineapple Express.

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Misha is the owner of Speedwell Law, PLLC. If you would like assistance in appoiniting a new Registered Agent for your company, Misha can be reached at (703) 553-2577 or mgill@speedwelllaw.com.

This post, including any of its contents or links, is not intended to provide you with legal advice. It provides personal perspectives on legal news and developments. Reading this post, leaving a comment, or communicating with its author by email or over the Internet does not create any attorney-client relationship.