What is a California Registered Agent?

In California, a registered agent is called an “agent for service of process.”  A California registered agent is the company’s liaison with the state agencies such as the California Franchise Tax Board, The CA Secretary of State, or the California State Board of Equalization, etc.  A California registered agent also acts as your doorman to the outside world. The registered agent is where legal notices (e.g. tax documents, summons, lawsuit papers, etc.)  must come to your company.

Here’s the thing: not all registered agent services are created equal. Legal Scriveners offers affordable, local business services, from forming your company to maintaining your business and serving as your registered agent. California business laws are a labyrinth of obscure forms and agencies, so having a local specialist can save you time, money, and a massive headache. We know how to navigate all of that—allow us to introduce ourselves.

Get a Legal Scrivener: $50 Per Year

We are Legal Scriveners. What’s a Legal Scrivener? Glad you asked. In ancient times, a Legal Scrivener was someone who prepared and submitted legal documents to the courts and to the king. Like those Scriveners of old, we perform this same service today (although now we’re called Registered Agents).

When you hire a Legal Scrivener as your California registered agent, you get:

  • Instant Service: Signup in Under 5 Minutes
  • Secure Online Client Account to Store and Manage Your Service of Process
  • Support from California experts
  • Stable California Business Address you can use on on CA Business Filings
  • Round-the-Clock Compliance Monitoring
  • Same-Day Document Scans of All Your Legal Correspondence
  • Immediate Notification for All Service of Process
  • No Hidden Fees or Per Doc Charges
  • No Cancellation Fees
  • Reliable Customer Service From California Business Experts

We take registered agent service seriously. Most agents in California are actually law firms and CPAs, and their registered agent clients are only a small portion of their overall income. How much dedication do you think you get from someone who considers you an “Added Service”? At California Legal Scriveners, we are dedicated to every client because business filings and registered agent service are all we do. With us, you get more than just someone to accept service of process. You get an entire business identity in a box.

Custom Service for California Businesses

We know that your business is different. Which is why we offer custom service. Need us to notify a lawyer or business partner whenever we accept service of process on your behalf? Just let us know. Want six annual report notices instead of three? No problem. Need to list our registered office on your business filings? We can do that. And you have further options in your secure client account, including the ability to have us file a DBA for your business through our “Trade Name Service” for $125 plus state fees.

We are dedicated to the success of your company, because at the end of the day that’s how our business model works. When your business succeeds and you are satisfied with our service, then you retain our service next year. If we do a poor job meeting your needs, then you’ll find a new agent and our business suffers. Simple as that.

Do I Need a Registered Agent?

California requires corporations, LLCs, and LPs to designate and maintain a Registered Agent for service of process within California. The Registered Agent for your corporation, LLC, and LP must be located at an official/legal street address (not a PO Box) within California. Basically the address has to be a real dwelling or office where someone could walk up to it and easily hand a letter to the registered agent.

A major reason we include the use of our commercial business address is because it fulfills that registered agent requirement: to be available at all times during normal business hours to receive documents and tax notices from the state and service of process from any legal proceedings. But we also include the use of our business address because it establishes the stability and business identity of your company. And, of course, you’ll never have to worry about a ton of junk mail or changing addresses every time you move. Since we’re local, we’re here to stay—that gives your business stability. And since we’re listing our address, yours won’t end up on the public record, securing your privacy.

So what happens if you don’t have a registered agent? If a responsible party is not available to receive service of process at all times, then your company could be unaware of a legal claim and a judgment may be entered against you. The court of law or legal notices will move forward regardless of the status of your registered agent. This is why it’s important to hire a reliable local registered agent with years of experience in handling your confidential, private, and very important documents with an expedited sense of urgency.

Further, failure to maintain a registered agent can result in loss of your corporate or LLC status. If someone attempts to find your registered agent and cannot serve them, they can file a request with the California Secretary of State and your company could lose its status, thus opening up your company to piercing the corporate veil.

Generally, it is not a good idea for owners/businesses to serve as their own registered agent: service of lawsuits can interrupt your business and/or your home life. Do you really want to be served with a legal proceeding in front of customers, clients, family members at dinner time, vendors, or neighbors?  How about being served at 9 p.m. at your home?  The best option is to select a reliable third party, who provides you help with your California business.

Who Can Be a California Registered Agent?

Any individual who is a bona-fide resident of California or another corporation registered with the California Secretary of State to act as a commercial registered agent can be your registered agent for service of process. To officially be the registered agent for service of process, this individual resident or corporation must agree to accept service of government and legal documents.

You should always maintain a copy of the agreement your registered agent gives you where they actually agree to accept service of process. This is in addition to the simple act of listing the agent for service of process on your corporate filing you submit to the Secretary of State. The agent must agree to accept service of process on behalf of the corporation prior to designation.

Your best bet is to hire someone with a legitimate commercial business address in California. Hire a national registered agent service and they’ll take forever to figure out California’s latest requirements—and they’ll charge you hundreds of dollars. Or hire a low-cost local service with years of experience in California and a commitment to always providing the best value to its clients. That’s what we do.