A statutory agent, also known as a registered agent, is an individual or third-party company that takes in all tax and legal documents for a business. Within most jurisdictions in the United States, it is a requirement to have a statutory agent in order to do business.
There are several requirements for an individual or third-party company to be a statutory agent. The first requirement, in most jurisdictions, is that the statutory agent must have a real physical address within the same state as the business that it is representing. A statutory agent must also have an address that can be accessed publicly. Neither mailboxes that are rented privately or post office boxes can be used as a place for documents to be sent to a statutory agent.
In most instances, a company must find a statutory agent that is an individual or business that works outside of the company. Some businesses are able to have an agent within the company represent them, but it is not possible for a business to represent itself as its own statutory agent. Before someone becomes an official statutory agent of a business, she must first be approved by the secretary of the state in which the business operates.