Foreign Registration & Other State Filings

Before you transact business outside your state of formation, you’ll need to register as a foreign entity. It’s a quick and simple process that CMS can take care of for you. 

Foreign entity

What is a Foreign Registration and Why Do I Need One?

In order to for your business to transact business outside it’s state of formation (also known as your home state), you are required to register the business as a foreign entity. The foreign registration process is normally completed through the Secretary of State’s office, or similar such office, in the foreign state in which you wish to transact business.

Failure to register the business as a foreign entity creates risk for the company since states will often deny court access to companies transacting business in their state without approval. This means your contracts with customers may not be enforced if you transact business without the required foreign registration. Monetary penalties can also be levied against the company as well as its officers.

Many states will not approve your license application unless you are able to prove that the company is registered and qualified to transact business inside the state. Failure to maintain the foreign registration will normally result in your license renewal application being denied as well.

Kate Fisher

President, CMS

What is Required To Obtain The Foreign Registration?

Registering as a foreign entity involves a short application, designation of a registered agent upon whom legal process can be served and a fee. Most states will also require a certificate of good standing from the home state.  The registered agent is responsible for receiving service of process on your behalf, so it is crucial to select a registered agent that can be trusted to fulfill this important duty.

Don’t let this simple requirement stand in your way of doing business in a state.

What is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a person or company designated to receive service of process and official mail on behalf of your business. Registered Agents might also be referred to as statutory agents, resident agents and agents for service of process.

No registered agent? No worries! We have a network of trusted registered agents available at the most economical pricing available in the industry.

 Foreign entity registered agent

Do I need to register a fictitious name (also known as a trade name)?

If you choose to operate under a name that differs from your businesses “legal” or “true name”, then you will need to register this name as a fictitious name. A fictitious name is also known as a trade name, assumed name or dba (“doing business as”), depending on the jurisdiction. Registration of the fictitious name is required so that the public is aware of the actual business with which they are doing business.

Compliance Management Solutions can complete these filings for you quickly so that you can focus on growing your business and your revenue!

Foreign entity requirement

Most states in which you are registered will have an annual or biennial filing requirement as well. This includes your home state (also known as your state of formation) and any states in which you register as a foreign entity.

What information is required for the report?

Generally, you will be asked to list your officers and directors and confirm your physical and mailing address, among other details.  The report fee will vary depending on the state and type of business structure.

What happens if I don’t file the report?

Ignoring these state filing requirements results in loss of good standing and eventually revocation of your registration, which means you will no longer be allowed to conduct business in that state. Reinstating your entity involves additional fees and penalties.

Compliance Management Solutions can track and file these reports for you, so you never need to worry about missing a deadline or paying a penalty.

Other state filings made easy

If you aren’t registered as a foreign entity, then you are not able to transact business legally in that state. In the event of a contract dispute or payment issue, your contract will not be legally enforceable.

Many states will not approve your license application unless you are able to prove that you are registered and qualified to transact business inside the state.

Once registered, most states have ongoing reporting requirements in order to remain in good standing with the state. We can handle all of your annual and biennial reporting requirements as well so you don’t have to. 

Filing these reports on time is critical!

Failure to do so can result in late fees and even revocation of your foreign registration, meaning you can no longer legally transact business in the state.  This can also prevent you from being able to renew your state license.

Let us help you get all the necessary filings completed so you’re covered! 

foreign entity licensing and man surfing on paperwork with an umbrella

Compliance Management Solutions, LLC
Compliance Made Easy!
704-288-1798 |
1121 Old Concord Road Suite #13, Salisbury, NC 28146