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Who Is a Registered Agent and Why Does an Offshore Company Need One?

A resident agent acts as an intermediary between the company founder and the country’s government bodies. If you would like to register an offshore company, you are legally obliged to hire a registered agent. In Europe and some other parts of the world, having a registered agent is not obligatory. However, foreigners establishing companies in European countries and elsewhere often hire resident agents to help them with office rent, secretarial work, accounting, and other services.  

Registered agent

Who is a registered agent?

A registered agent can be an individual or a company licensed to provide relevant services. Because registered agents have to meet certain legal requirements, companies with a few people on staff rather than individuals often provide registered agent services.

Legal requirements for registered agents can be different in different countries but the main of them include the following ones:

  • Age above 18. Applicable to individual registered agents and to company employees.
  • Shall hold a relevant license.
  • Shall reside (have an office) in the country (state) where the offshore company is registered.

The agent has to process correspondence in a timely manner, keep the company documents and stay in touch with the client during business hours.

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In what countries do you have to hire a registered agent?

Not all countries require that resident companies have registered agents. However, most offshore jurisdictions do. Non-resident international companies must have registered agents there.

This holds for Nevis, Belize, and the BVI, for example. You cannot open an LLC or a BC there without a registered agent. In Europe, on the contrary, you can act as your own registered agent if you are a company owner. In this case, you have to be shrewd in company administration issues. 

The tasks of a registered agent

When you set up an offshore company and sign an agreement with a registered agent, you gain the following advantages:

  • A legal address where official letters can come to.
  • Business administration services: contacts with the Register, local authorities, and controlling organizations.
  • If you have to have a physical office in the country of the company registration, the registered agent can be of assistance to you in this matter.
  • Nominee services (not always available).

The registered agent will also provide the following services to you:

  • Preparation of company statutory documents.
  • Submission of the application documents to the Register on your behalf.
  • Close contact with you and document exchange.
  • Administrative services:
    • Reminders to pay the annual company registration extension fee;
    • Storage of company documents (by agreement between the parties or in accordance with the local laws);
    • Documenting changes in the corporate structure (new shareholders, new company directors, etc.) and informing the Register about it;
    • Informing you about changes in the local corporate legislation.
  • Confidentiality and security of company information to the degree possible in the country of the company incorporation.
  • Additional services such as mail processing and so on.

Please apply for a free consultation on forming an offshore company if you are interested in this opportunity. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

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