When IA Firms Need To Register As A Foreign Corporation

Our recent blog regarding the need for IA Firms to be licensed in 19 states was our most popular and most discussed to date.  The section that drew the most questions was regarding the need to register as a foreign corporation in each state that an IA Firm does business. 

To review, if a firm has adjusters working claims in a state, whether they are direct hires (W-2) or contractors(1099s), the states say that the organization needs to register to do business in that state.  This is the case whether or not the state requires an IA business entity license.  I am not an attorney, so the why’s of this are beyond my area of expertise and if you desire further clarification, consult and attorney.   This means that whether or not an IA firm has an office in the state the company will have to register to do business in that state.

When and IA firm is formed in one state and registers to do business in another, the firm registers in the other state as a ‘Foreign Corporation”.  To me that sounds like a company from Canada, Mexico, Europe, or somewhere outside of the US, but it’s not. 

Every state requires that you have a “registered agent” with a physical address in that state.  Oftentimes when an organization registers to do business in their home state, an officer or member of the business is designated as the registered agent.  When you register as a foreign corporation, you will most likely not have a physical address in that state.  Don’t worry, there are “Registered Agent” businesses that can serve as your registered agent in a particular state. 

It is not surprising (especially for those in the insurance business) to note that there isn’t a consistent state office (or state website) to find business registration applications. The best thing to do is to perform a search that includes the name of the state and the term “business registration”.   The good news is that most registration forms are much shorter and require much less information than the state of incorporation form.

After you are registered as a foreign corporation, you can then apply for the adjuster entity license.  Every state asks for confirmation that you are registered to do business in that state.

Legal Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and the above information is not legal advice.

This blog is published by Xeneros, LLC.  Xeneros helps organizations streamline their professional license management process with an innovative web-based software program supported and maintained by a knowledgeable compliance staff.  Current markets served include Insurance, Healthcare, Attorneys, and General Contractors.


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