Part 1: The Calm Before the Storm
Every company doing business in the State of Florida must designate a registered agent with the Secretary of State. A registered agent accepts notice and documents on behalf of the company, such as service of process when the company is a party to a legal action. Your company needs a Florida attorney registered agent so it can focus on day-to-day business needs without worrying that it will receive a default judgment.
A registered agent must be a Florida resident open to the public during regular business hours. It can be an owner or an officer or manager of the company. It can also be an attorney for the business. While it may be most tempting (and easiest) to designate an owner or manager as the registered agent, an independent registered agent, namely a business attorney, provides the lowest risk of liability and costs.
An attorney’s office will always be available to receive any notice or service of process. Also, because a company must hire an attorney to represent it, the same attorney registered agent can begin working on the matter immediately. This provides the lowest risk and most effective means of preventing unnecessary default judgments against your company.
One very common problem associated with appointing an owner or manager as the registered agent is that the registered agent’s sole purpose is to receive service of process and notice on behalf of the company. Thus, a Florida court rarely (if ever) excuses a company’s failure to respond within the required 20 calendar days simply because its registered agent was unavailable to receive the notice. Hire a Florida attorney registered agent to take care of potential claims involving your company.