A resident agent is an individual or entity designated to receive service of process for a Michigan business or nonprofit. In other states, it may be called a “registered agent” or a “statutory agent.”

While resident agent selection is an afterthought for many business owners, it is very important to choose someone you can rely on. If your business is ever sued, it is very likely that your resident agent will be served process for the lawsuit. Failure to respond to a lawsuit can result in a default judgment against your business, which can be ruinous.

Every incorporated entity in Michigan must have a resident agent. The resident agent must reside at the business or non-profit’s registered office, which must be in Michigan. That means the resident agent must be a Michigan resident.

In Michigan, a resident agent may be any natural person or entity. The only limitation for natural persons is that the person must be at least 18. The only limitation for entities is that an entity cannot serve as its own resident agent.

While business owners can operate as their own resident agents, it is usually preferable to use a third party resident agent service, an attorney, or an accountant.