A registered agent is the individual or business entity that receives legal documents from the state, and then forwards them to your business address. But why is this a requirement, and who should you designate as your registered agent in New Mexico?
In this guide, we will break down all the details you need to know about New Mexico registered agents.
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What is a New Mexico Registered Agent?
One of the most common questions we receive from entrepreneurs in New Mexico is why a registered agent is required to form an LLC or corporation. While it might seem like an unnecessary middle-man type of role, the registered agent fills a vital role.
The registered agent’s job is to provide a reliable way for the state to contact an official representative of your business at any time, which is especially important if your business is ever sued. If you didn’t have a registered agent, a lawsuit could progress through the courts without you even knowing about it, which is obviously far from ideal.While New Mexico does not provide a recommended list of registered agent services, we reviewed the top options and compiled a list of the best New Mexico registered agent services based on price and overall value.
Who Can Be a New Mexico Registered Agent?
New Mexico registered agents are required to have a physical street address in the state (rather than a P.O. box) at which they can are present during normal business hours. Registered agents may be either a domestic corporation or an individual resident of the state who is over 18 years of age. In many cases, it is popular to either hire the services of a company specifically in the business of providing the services of a registered agent, or to appoint an individual who is affiliated with the business entity.
Aside from the legal requirements, an important aspect to discuss is who should be your registered agent. You have the right to declare yourself as your own registered agent, which has its pros and cons.
On the positive side, you can save some money by not paying anyone to serve as your agent, but you’ll also likely need to make your home address a matter of public record, which is not ideal. Additionally, you’ll need to be physically present at your business during all standard operating hours (9-5, M-F).
Some entrepreneurs like to have a friend or family member serve as their registered agent, but if that person doesn’t have experience in this position, they might not know what is expected of them. In addition, designating your lawyer or accountant as a registered agent can work, but these options are usually quite expensive.
Our preference is to hire a professional registered agent service, which provides a combination of convenience, affordability, and peace of mind that is unrivaled by any of these other options.
How Do New Mexico Residents Get Served?
The most important part of a registered agent’s role is being served a summons.
In New Mexico, a summons may be processed for service if and when the plaintiff provides two copies of both the summons and complaint, an affidavit, a $25.00 processing fee in the form of a check or money order, and the last known address of the defendant.
If these steps are all taken correctly, the state of New Mexico will then permit a sheriff or another adult who is not affiliated with the individuals in the lawsuit to serve a summons to the defendant’s registered agent.
How to Designate a New Mexico Registered Agent
The answer to this question depends on what type of business you’re starting, but with either a corporation or an LLC, you’ll need to designate your registered agent when you form your company.
Regardless of whether you’re forming an LLC or a corporation, your formation document will need to include a statement of acceptance from your registered agent, which gives the business entity consent to list the registered agent.
How Can I Change My New Mexico Registered Agent?
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is pretty simple.
Those wishing to change their registered agent in New Mexico may do so easily by completing the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form which can either be completed here as a PDF file and mailed to the New Mexico Secretary of State. Alternatively, the form may be completed online.
The fee to submit the document is $20.00 for LLCs and $25 for corporations. The fee and Change document must be accompanied by a signed statement of acceptance from the new registered agent, which certifies the new registered agent’s consent to be listed by the business entity.
Lastly, it should be noted that the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office document is the only way to change your registered agent in the state of New Mexico; it is not possible to do so by filing an Articles of Amendment or any other form.
How Does a New Mexico Registered Agent Resign?
Sometimes, a registered agent may have to resign from their position.
In New Mexico, registered agents wishing to resign may do so by drafting and submitting two copies of a Statement of Resignation to the New Mexico Secretary of State. While there is no official form, instructions on writing and submitting the Statement of Resignation letter may be found here. There is no fee to submit the statement and most documents will process in about ten business days.
Why Should You Hire a Professional New Mexico Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a professional registered agent is basically the best of both worlds between serving as your own agent, and designating a lawyer or accountant.
The biggest benefit in our opinion is the privacy protection this allows, as you will be able to keep your personal address private. There’s also a major advantage compared to having an attorney or accountant serve as your agent, namely the fact that registered agent services are almost always much cheaper.
Another reason we like this option is that these companies specialize in providing quality registered agent service. They know exactly what’s expected of them, and there are rarely any issues to speak of.
The other major benefit of hiring a registered agent service is that most of them operate in all 50 states, so that if you ever want to expand your business into another state, you won’t need to hire an additional registered agent. Your same registered agent will be able to provide the coverage you need in your new state, while still providing the same service in New Mexico. If you hired a lawyer or accountant, they would only be able to help you expand to a new state if they have another physical office in that state.
You Stay Compliant
Finally, most professional registered agents operating in New Mexico offer some sort of compliance calendar. With this service, your registered agent helps you keep track of due dates for ongoing LLC maintenance requirements like annual reports, which is a valuable bonus.
The top registered agent service providers include some other appealing attributes, including access to their extensive customer support networks. Some of them include a full year of registered agent service with any business formation package, which can be a real money-saver. Another welcome attribute is that some registered agent services provide volume discounts if you require service in multiple states, or if you prepay for multiple years.
What Is the Penalty for Not Designating a Registered Agent in New Mexico?
You need to have a registered agent to form your limited liability company or corporation in New Mexico in the first place, but if you let your registered agent service lapse, there could be some serious consequences.
Failure to maintain a registered agent could lead to your business losing its good standing with the state of New Mexico, and the state also has the right to officially dissolve your LLC if they choose to.
Another issue would be the difficulty of being served if your business is sued. If the state cannot get ahold of your registered agent, a court may decide to go ahead with the lawsuit without your knowledge, which could even lead to a judgment against you. This can happen not just if you fail to designate a registered agent, but also if your agent is not present during business hours to accept the document delivery.
As you can see, the task of designating a registered agent for your New Mexico business isn’t quite as easy as just writing down your own name.
There are significant downsides to just about every option in our opinion, but we recommend hiring a professional registered agent service because that option has the fewest disadvantages. They charge affordable rates, and you never have to worry about losing your good standing, having your LLC or corporation dissolved, or having a lawsuit proceed in your absence.
If you have any further questions, you can contact the New Mexico Secretary of State:
New Mexico Secretary of State
Business Services Division
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501