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role. From there, it’s up to you who you choose; you can even elect to serve as your own registered agent. Attorneys often fulfill this role for LLCs, as the majority of the communication is legal in nature. I’ve served as a registered agent for many of our clients. Currently, to better serve our clients, we’re in the process of working with a company that has professional registered agents who will fulfill this role. The problem with Jeff’s registered agent is that he didn’t carry out his role. He failed to notify Jeff that he’d received an official document. Jeff’s registered agent says he took a picture of the notice of the suit and texted it to Jeff, but Jeff never saw it. Now, he’s stuck filing for bankruptcy because of a missed text. Jeff’s story brings home the importance of selecting your registered agent. It’s too important of a job to leave to someone who’s not up to the task. While you consider if you have the right registered agent in place, I also want to bring home the importance of asset protection in a situation like this. Jeff hadn’t put asset protection in place yet. (We were in the middle of planning and designing it when he got hit with the lawsuit.) I’ve seen it happen too many times to think for a minute that Jeff’s story is the exception. There are organizations that go after small businesses in the hopes that they can make a quick dime off of them. Don’t let this be your story. In addition to protecting your business in the event that you get sued, a shatterproof asset protection plan can prevent your home and personal assets from getting wrapped up in — and eaten up by — the suit. We can structure your plan in such a way that even if your business is sued, they won’t be able to touch your personal assets. Yes, it may be some investment to put the proper structures in place to do this, but I’d bet you that it’s far less than the fallout if you get sued without a protection plan in place. Read on for additional insight for small-business owners and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
DON’T LET THIS BE YOUR STORY THE ROLE OF A REGISTERED AGENT
A few weeks ago, our client Jeff* arrived at his business to find something surprising: A police officer was putting locks around the doors and removing equipment. Jeff was in disbelief. What was happening? “We’re following the judge’s orders,” the officer informed him. Jeff’s business had been sued, and the judge had issued a lawsuit. Only, Jeff wasn’t aware of any of this. How could this happen? How could Jeff be caught off guard about a major decision involving his business? The answer has to do with the person serving (or, maybe more accurately, not effectively serving) as Jeff’s registered agent. As a registered agent, the third-party individual was responsible for receiving official notifications on behalf of the LLC, including communication from the government like tax forms, and yes, a notice of a lawsuit. Most states, including Texas, require LLCs to have a registered agent to carry out this
*Name has been changed.
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