It’s so easy to update the registered agent with the Secretary of State, and many associations do it on a dime. But are you aware of what the registered agent does?
The registered agent is the individual or business responsible for accepting service of process for an entity, which means it accepts service of a lawsuit against the association. The State may also mail tax or other documents to the registered agent. The registered agent is responsible for forwarding these documents to the association.
Corporations, LLCs, and other entities are created nationwide every day. Every state has a devised a similar method of providing information to these entities. In Colorado, every active foreign and domestic entity registered with the Secretary of State is required to name a registered agent in its registration documents. The registered agent plays a small but significant role for the entity.
Associations in Colorado are set up, for the most part, as nonprofit Colorado corporations, which makes them subject to the state’s corporate laws and requires them to have registered agents of file with the Colorado Secretary of State.
The Colorado Corporations and Associations Act sets forth the requirements of a registered agent. The registered agent can be either an individual or an entity. An individual appointed to serve as a registered agent must be over the age of 18 and must have his or her primary residence in Colorado. An entity must have a usual place of business in Colorado, and if a foreign entity, must have authority to transact business in Colorado. Further, the registered agent must consent to be the registered agent.
In the legal sense, the registered agent is imperative the lawsuit process because such person/entity accepts service of the lawsuit. Lawsuits all have deadlines by when the association being sued must respond, and the service of process triggers these deadlines. This means if a lawsuit is served on an association’s registered agent and the agent does not quickly provide a copy of the lawsuit to the association’s legal counsel, too much time may pass, and the association could have a default judgment issued against it because it failed to respond by the deadline.
If you serve as a registered agent for your association, please ensure to have a method in place for the following:
- Keeping track exactly when (i.e. date) the lawsuit was served;
- Keeping track of the method (usually by private process server or sheriff) in which service was achieved;
- Keeping a record of who accepted service; and
- Having a process to keep all the served documents together and immediately scan/email these documents to the association’s legal counsel.
If you are unsure who your community’s registered agent is, you can verify this information on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.
Please do not hesitate to contact an Altitude attorney at 303-432-9999 or at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding registered agents.