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 Wyoming?
In this guide, we will break down all the details you need to know about Wyoming registered agents.
Guru Tip: ZenBusiness includes a year of free registered agent service when you use its service to incorporate online. See our comparison reviews to the two industry giants, LegalZoom and Incfile.
What is a Wyoming Registered Agent?
One of the most common questions we receive from entrepreneurs in Wyoming 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 Wyoming does not provide a recommended list of registered agent services, we reviewed the top options and compiled a list of the best Wyoming registered agent services based on price and overall value.
Who Can Be a Wyoming Registered Agent?
The Wyoming Secretary of State dictates that a registered agent may be either an individual who is a resident of Wyoming or a business entity authorized to transact business in the state. Regardless of which you choose, your registered agent is required to maintain a physical address in the state rather than a drop box or PO box.
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 Wyoming Residents Get Served?
The most important part of a registered agent’s role is being served a summons.
Before a summons can be processed in Wyoming a plaintiff must first commence a lawsuit by filing an affidavit with the clerk at the Circuit Court. The document must include the names and addresses of both parties as well as the amount of damage sought and a justification for the lawsuit. After submitting the document to the clerk with a $10 processing fee and a $4 appearance fee, the summons will be processed.
If these steps are all taken correctly, the state of Wyoming will instruct the plaintiff to arrange the services of the summons to the defendant’s registered agent.
How to Designate a Wyoming 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.
When forming an LLC in the state of Wyoming, you are required to designate your initial registered agent when you complete the Articles of Organization. If you’re forming a corporation, you must appoint your registered agent in the Articles of Incorporation. Both documents may be filed by mail or online.
How Can I Change My Wyoming Registered Agent?
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is pretty simple.
The document you must complete to change your Wyoming registered agent is the Change of an Entity’s Registered Agent and Office form which can be found here as a PDF and mailed or faxed to the Wyoming Secretary of State.
For the document to be processed, the Change of an Entity’s Registered Agent and Office form must include the completed Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent form containing the signature of the new registered agent. The Consent document can be found attached to the Change form.
How Does a Wyoming Registered Agent Resign?
Sometimes, a registered agent may have to resign from their position.
Wyoming registered agents wishing to resign may do so by completing either the Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent appointing no successor or the Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent with appointment of a successor. Which is appropriate will depend on whether the resigning agent intents to appoint a new registered agent as a replacement. There is no filing fee for either form.
Why Should You Hire a Professional Wyoming 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 Wyoming. 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 Wyoming 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 Wyoming?
You need to have a registered agent to form your limited liability company or corporation in Wyoming 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 Wyoming, 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 Wyoming 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 Wyoming Secretary of State:
Wyoming Secretary of State
State Capitol Building, Room 110
200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001-0020