How to Find the Best Registered (Statutory) Agent in Ohio
What is an Ohio statutory agent?
Ohio Revised Code requires that all formal businesses in the state must appoint and maintain a statutory agent upon business formation. A statutory agent is known as a registered agent or resident agent in other states. According to the Ohio Secretary of State, a statutory agent is a business entity or individual that receives service of process and official correspondence as a representative for a company.
Ohio statutory agents are the point of contact between a business and the Secretary of State.
It’s the role of a statutory agent or service or accepts legal notices and important documents including:
- Articles of Organization– the documents an LLC submits upon formation
- Articles of Incorporation – the Ohio formation documents for a corporation
- Ohio commercial activity tax – due to the Ohio Department of Taxation either annually or quarterly
- Certificate of Good Standing– a document required by banks to open new business accounts
- Corporate franchise tax – corporations must pay the tax by March 31
An agent is a physical address in Ohio
According to state law, all statutory agents in Ohio must have a street address and be physically present during normal business hours so that they can receive official notices.
Because the statutory agent has a physical address in Ohio, you can list the service’s information as the business address to keep the personal address out of public record.
A statutory agent a third-party representative
You’re appointing a registered agent so that there is a point of contact that is available during the required hours to accept time-sensitive documents, including subpoenas.
In Ohio, a business or individual has 14 days to respond to a legal summons.
Any business that fails to respond to a subpoena in Ohio can face default judgments and possible content of court proceedings.
A registered agent service is a valuable due-date reminder
The Ohio commercial activity tax filing schedule can be either yearly or quarterly, making it easy to forget.
When you submit the activity tax late, you can lose good standing and asset protection in Ohio
A professional registered agent service will keep a compliance calendar so that they can remind you when the state tax is due and assist you in submitting the proper documents and fees.
Cost of a statutory agent in Ohio
The Secretary of State requires a statutory agent to be at least 18 and have a street address in Ohio.
You can appoint anyone that meets the Ohio registered agent requirements including:
- an LLC member
If you appoint an outside statutory agent service, it will cost somewhere between $50 and $500.
When to appoint a statutory agent
Businesses in Ohio appoint a statutory agent upon formation and provides the registered agent information on the business registration you file with the Secretary of State.
A limited liability company, or LLC, lists the statutory agent name and address on the Articles of Organization.
Corporations produce the registered agent address and name on the Articles of Incorporation.
How does an Ohio LLC appoint a statutory agent?
File the Articles of Organization
You will complete the Articles of Organization form (form 533a) and submit it to the Ohio Secretary of State by mail.
Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216
Or, you can use the Ohio Business Filings website to file the Articles of Organization online.
Appoint your statutory agent
Form 533a will ask for the statutory agent information:
- statutory agent name
- statutory agent address
The statutory agent you appoint must sign the Ohio formation documents to accept the appointment.
Pay your Ohio filing fees
The filing fee for the Ohio Articles of Organization is $99.
The Ohio Secretary of State offers expedited business filing services for an additional $100.
The cost to file your LLC Articles of Organization in Ohio is $100.
How to change your statutory agent in Ohio
You are required by the Ohio Secretary of State to officially notify them if you change registered agents or if there is a registered office address change.
Submit the statutory agent update form online
You can use the Ohio Secretary of State website to submit the statutory agent update form online.
Submit the statutory agent update form by mail
You will complete the statutory agent update form and submit it to the Ohio Secretary of State.
The new agent must sign the change in statutory agent form to consent to the appointment.
The cost to switch registered agents in Ohio is $25.
How to resign as a statutory agent in Ohio
You will use the same statutory agent update form if you’re resigning as a registered agent.
You must deliver one copy to the company you are resigning from and another to the Ohio Secretary of State.
The statutory agent update form will ask for specific information:
- name of the person submitting the filing
- return address
- contact phone number & email
- business entity name
- name of the current statutory agent
- statement of resignation
The Ohio Secretary of State charges $25 to resign as a statutory agent.
Benefits of appointing a statutory agent in Ohio
You secure good standing in Ohio
Your Ohio commercial activity tax is due either yearly or quarterly.
Submitting any tax or fee late in Ohio can result in losing good standing and liability protection.
Your statutory agent will use an up-to-date calendar to keep you updated as to when documents and fees are due so you don’t miss important due dates.
You’re protecting your privacy
It’s typical for a small business owner to work from home or a private office. But, when they appoint themselves as the statutory agent, the private or home address becomes a public record.
People can search the Ohio Business Search using the following:
- business name by exact match or keyword
- statutory agent name
- organizer or incorporation
- file number
When you hire a statutory agent, you can list the service’s address in the Ohio Secretary of State database rather than yours.
You receive quality discretion
Process servers can come to a business without sending a notification first.
A statutory agent service will accept those documents and discreetly scans them for a business organization to view out of the sight of customers and employees.
You can enjoy a flexible work schedule
Ohio state law requires a statutory agent to be available during regular business hours so they can accept official correspondence from the Secretary of State and Ohio Department of Taxation.
If you appoint yourself as your own registered agent, you must be in the office during those required days and times.
You appoint an outside registered agent so that you maintain a flexible schedule and can leave the office when you want.
You can access your Certificate of Good Standing online
Banks require proof that you’re in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State.
You are able to access the Certificate of Good Standing and other formation documents when you hire a professional registered agent service.
Expanding into other states is easy
Foreign LLC formation requires that you appoint a registered agent before you begin the process.
When you have a statutory agent appointed already, you can begin the foreign LLC formation process immediately.
What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?
Most states in the US use the term registered agents or resident agents when referring to the third-party representative that receives important documents from the state. In Ohio, a registered agent is referred to as a statutory agent.
Are there business entities that aren’t required to appoint a statutory agent in Ohio?
Banks, trust companies, and insurance companies do not have to appoint a statutory agent upon formation because they are considered public utilities in Ohio.
How do I find a statutory agent in Ohio?
You can use the Ohio Business Search and search by business or statutory agent. If you’re looking for a commercial registered agent to hide, you will search for reputable services with nationwide coverage.
How do statutory agents get served in Ohio?
A process server, most of the time a sheriff, will physically go to the business address listed on your business registration form to serve the legal documents. Once the documents have been served, they will notify the court and the case will proceed.
What happens if I don’t appoint a statutory agent in Ohio?
The Secretary of State will reject any business registrations that don’t list the statutory agent. You can also face default judgments, administrative dissolution, and barred from doing business in Ohio.
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