In the middle of a wedding, a sexy, dark and handsome man slides up to you. "Hey, are you Polly the Wedding Planner?" he says, staring straight into your eyes.
"Yes," you stammer, your knees weak.
He leans in close:
"YOU GOT SERVED!"
A collective GASP sweeps through the crowd of wedding guests.
If only Polly had gotten a registered agent!
With a lot of creative businesses I work with through my firm, I don't advise that they need a registered agent. If they are located in Virginia, they can receive information as well as I can. I like to help clients save money on stuff they don't need.
Wedding & Event pros are a different story. Especially those of you on "day of" duty.
Let's start with "What is a Registered Agent?" As defined, "a registered agent, also known as a resident agent (or statutory agent) is a business or individual designated to receive service of process (SOP) when a business entity is a party in a legal action such as a lawsuit [or being subpoenaed]. The registered agent's address may also be where the state sends the paperwork for the periodic renewal of the business entity's charter...Failure to properly maintain a registered agent can affect a company negatively."
In plain terms: A Registered Agent (I'm going to use "RA" for short) is someone who receives official correspondence, like lawsuit filings, subpoenas, and government paperwork.
As an Event pro, this is an issue. If you are your own RA, you yourself must be "served" with a lawsuit or subpoena. And when you get "served," it's oftentimes by the Sheriff. In uniform.
Not sure about y'all, but if I was a client and a Sheriff showed up to my event to serve a lawsuit on my event coordinator, I would be pretty upset.
And as a vendor, it's embarrassing! Even if it's a subpoena to be a witness or testify on behalf of another vendor, people will remember you as "the photographer who got sued at the wedding!" That's not a good superlative. Plus, you'll probably be a LITTLE shaken, impacting your work and bottom line.
For around $100/ year, you can have someone take care of all of this for you. Your RA will not only receive any lawsuits or subpoenas, but they will get the official correspondence from any governmental bodies. They also can filter out the "junk" that comes through (I can't tell you how many times clients call me panicking about some "FINAL NOTICE!" that turns out to be a scam). And you'll have one less thing to worry about.
Ask your lawyer today if they can serve as your RA-- I bet they will!