Making the best choice for your company entity’s registered agent service is crucial. Finding the ideal service for you might be difficult with so many options available.
All of your important paperwork supplied by the Secretary of State will be delivered on time if you use a reputable registered agent service.
Also, the agents will verify that all filing criteria have been met. They should also provide a safe private mailbox where you can store all of your important papers.
I have researched over a hundred of the top registered agent services in the U.S.
We’ve compiled a list of the best registered agent services to assist you in choosing the right organization for your company.
Each state in the U.S. has its own legal requirements for registered agents. This applies to corporations, startups, small businesses, LLCs, and even start-ups.
Registered agents must conform to specific rules. To receive important documents such as “service of process” for your business entity and correspondence on your behalf, registered agents must be available in person during normal business hours.
Registered agent services ensure compliance with state laws while you start and run your business.
Registered agent services charge around $100 – $299 per year for this service.
My Top Picks for Best Registered Agent Service
After much research, including my personal experience and investigative testing, I have narrowed down the top ten registered agent services available today. This guide outlines the advantages, pricing, and other services offered by each option.
#1 Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent provides high-quality services that entrepreneurs can easily use to launch a business online. The company is transparent and does not upsell. They are also more customer-oriented than any other provider.
They provide a simple, direct service. The registered agent service is one of their most sought-after offerings.
Northwest offers volume discounts that reduce the cost of service by $100/year for five or more states. Their service has improved over the years since they started out as an agent service company.
They were the first to offer local scanning for all documents received by them as national registered agents service providers. Competitors scan only those government documents that they are legally required.
Northwest is my top choice for registered agent services
Northwest Pros and Cons
#2 Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance guarantees you that your documents will arrive within 24 hours of receiving them. This is an expedited turnaround service if you have an urgent requirement.
A variety of compliance services are also offered by the platform. This platform is great for companies that have multiple licensing requirements or compliance requirements and want everything to be in one place.
Harbor Compliance: Who can it be used?
Harbor Compliance is a great choice for companies that require both compliance and registered agent services.
Harbor Compliance Pros and Cons
ZenBusiness is known for its incorporation and LLC services at $49, which is considerably lower than the average price.
ZenBusiness charges $199/year to register an agent, even though they don’t include it with their LLC formation services.
ZenBusiness’s low-cost business formation packages aren’t the only great thing about ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness received over 10,000 positive online reviews.
ZenBusiness Pros & Cons
LegalZoom may be another contender for the best registered agent services. Their impressive customer base is a testament to this. LegalZoom allows you to connect with companies that have extensive experience in the legal services industry.
We are also grateful for their 100% satisfaction guarantee. They will issue a full refund within 60 days.
They charge more for registered agent services than any other options in this guide. LegalZoom does not offer registered agent services with any of its formation packages. Express Gold ($349) does not offer registered agent services. They charge $159 per year for registered agents to join a formation plan and $299 for an individual option.
LegalZoom Pros & Cons
LegalZoom: Quick facts
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a web-based version of LegalZoom, but it’s not as expensive.
They are not experts in all areas of registered agent services, and they only offer a small portion of their offerings. They offer very limited registered agent services for LLCs.
Rocket Lawyer charges $149 a year for registered agent services.
InCorp, which is similar to Harbor Compliance, charges $99/year for registered agent services for LLCs. This is the lowest rate.
The computer system they use is complicated to manage. For such a complicated system, their customer service is inadequate. They have room for improvement.
8. Swyft Filings
Swyft Files offers full-service registration and can help with your Certificate of Formation. You can also receive legal mail from the Secretary of State through the company’s business address. They also offer compliance form filing notifications which are different from other full-service registered agent services.
They charge $149 a year for their services.
9. Registered Agent Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. provides the same full-service registered agents services as Northwest Registered Agent. This includes filing your Certificate of Formation. They charge $200/year for registered agent services and offer less customer support than Northwest Registered Agent.
Incorporate.com provides business services, including business formations and registered agent services. CSC Global is the company that owns and operates them. This company has a long history. Incorporate.com offers registered agent services via CSC Global at $235 per year.
How I Found the Best Registered Agent
When evaluating various services, there are some things you should keep in mind. These are the elements that I used to rate and rank the various registered agents. I used the factors to eliminate many of the other competing services in the marketplace.
You can use these factors as a guide when shopping for a registered agent.
Type of Business Entity
Which type of business do you plan to start? What type of business are you starting?
While most registered agents can work with any type of entity, some are better suited to one than the other. An LLC might not need the same registered agent service that an S-Corp. However, some registered agents work better for nonprofits.
You can do some research to find out what type of entities the registered agent that you are considering works with. It should work well if they have similar businesses to yours.
The best registered agent services will ensure compliance with federal and state law.
To ensure you don’t miss deadlines or fulfill requirements, you should look for a registered agent service that sends reminders by email or text. Some services may provide additional materials or compliance guides. It is easy to tell the difference between registered agent services that do the minimum and those that go above and beyond.
Privacy and security
A registered agent offers privacy as one of its top benefits. Your home address and office address will not be made public but the address of the registered agent.
A registered agent can facilitate legal documents and government correspondence. Many agents will also offer mail forwarding rather than just mail storage. Others will upload your documentation securely to an online dashboard that you can access remotely.
Services for Business Formation
Most people looking for a registered agent service will start a business. It is a good idea to use the same company for both.
Many business formation services offer incentives such as a free year of registered agent services. The business formation services are unnecessary if you have an existing business that must be registered.
Typically, registered agent services cost around $100 per year. There might be some that cost $50 more or less. You shouldn’t pay significantly more, however.
Although some businesses may use their attorney to act as a registered agent for them, this will likely be more costly than the services described in this guide.
It’s often the best way to get the most bang for your buck if you combine your registered agent service and a business formation program (as mentioned previously).
If you have any questions, your registered agent should be able to assist you.
This is an important aspect of a service evaluation for registered agents. It can be done over the phone, in person or via an online portal.
Before making any final decisions, I recommend reading customer reviews. Many reviews will include comments about support, whether it is good or not. If you are unsure about which option to choose, these remarks may help you decide.
My Research and Testing of the Best Registered Agents
Initial research revealed that I had more than 20+ registered agents to choose from. I reduced that by using the internet when I searched for the best registered agents.
You will find hundreds of negative reviews and comments in this section. Some complained about the inability of basic services to be provided, while others were dissatisfied with high prices and poor customer support.
I could get rid of the majority of bad agents and leave only nine promising businesses.
To see the claims and promises made by the remaining agents, I visited their websites to view the next phase. I found enough evidence to remove a few more.
The registered agent sector is booming with many newcomers. To be eligible for my list, I needed at least five years of experience. ZenBusiness was barely able to make it. Each of the other services has around 20 years of experience.
When I looked at the company’s reviews before the pandemic, I also considered the reviews from when it was founded. The delays increased when LLC and registered agent services were working with understaffed government agencies. This led to more negative reviews starting in 2020 and ending in mid-2021.
Incfile, for example, had an A+ rating from the BBB for 16 consecutive years! This is quite impressive, however, in 2020-2021, Incfile lost its BBB rating and is now not rated by BBB.
I was able to review a list of 10 registered agents.
My Findings and Final Results for the Best Registered Agents
After weeks of research and eliminating many top registered agents, I finally settled on the top five services. LegalZoom, Incfile, ZenBusiness, and Northwest are my top choices. My wife and I have our own online business, and we decided to create an LLC for the business.
This was last year when I signed up with Northwest Registered Agent for both my own LLC formation and one year of registered agent services. We thought $39 was very reasonable, and we liked the fact that Northwest puts a lot of emphasis on customer privacy.
The Northwest Registered Agent is the Winner – Best Registered Agent
I consider Northwest Registered Agent the best registered agent, and I am happy to recommend them. Their reliable and affordable services ensure that your company complies with all laws. Their customer service is unparalleled in the market for registered agents.
My Experience with Northwest
Northwest Registered Agent offers every feature you need. Northwest has 50 offices across 50 states. Their motto is Privacy by Default.
They ensured that my Certificate of Formation was filed with the Secretary of State, and they provided me with a physical address that I could use to ensure that no personal information was published.
They scanned and uploaded all important legal documents and sent them to my online document portal. I was also reminded of important filing deadlines by compliance alerts. They make sure that my company is in compliance with the Secretary of State.
Customer service is an outstanding component of the company.
I received generic replies from the support team for other registered agents on my mailing lists. I could guess their answers before I even asked them a question. Northwest is an entirely different story.
The Corporate Advisors have extensive knowledge of business management.
They were there to help me through every stage of my business formation. They helped me to create a marketing plan and recruit the best people for my company.
My recommendation for the top registered agent
The Northwest Registered Agent would serve anyone looking to open a business well. I found them trustworthy, providing excellent customer service compared to all other registered agents.
They ensure that your LLC (Limited Liability Company) is in good standing with the Secretary of State’s Office. The Corporate Guides can offer formation and compliance advice to help you with any problems that may arise in your business.
Their pricing and service are excellent. They are slightly more expensive than others at $125/year but well worth the extra cost. LegalZoom charges $299/year, which is twice what Northwest charges.
If you’re ready to establish a business entity, contact Northwest Registered Agent.
Frequently asked questions
What is the function of a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or business designated to receive legal communications (such as court summons) on behalf of a limited liability company, corporation, or non-profit organization.
A registered agent is required for all business entities in the United States.
Which company provides the best registered agent service?
We think Northwest is the best registered agent service on the market. Their service is dependable and professional, and it comes at a reasonable cost. Customers’ privacy is also important to them.
Is it necessary for me to have a registered agent?
Yes. You must appoint an agent since it is required by law.
Every business entity operating in the United States is required to list a registered agent with the records of their home state. This includes conditions where they have the necessary qualifications to work as a foreign agent.
The registered agent must be available at the stated address during regular business hours. Failure to select a registered representative could result in a bad reputation for your LLC or organization with the authorities.
What is the role of a registered agent?
Any person or company over 18 can be nominated as a registered agent. They must either live in the same state as the business or be qualified to receive service of process.
Is it possible for me to act as my registered agent?
Your corporation might appoint you as the registered agent.
Everyone will see your address because it will be made public.
You must be available during business hours to use the specified address. No exceptions will be made. Rather than undertaking this process themselves, many firms opt to employ a professional registered agent provider. If you live in more than one state, you can’t serve as your registered agent.
What is the procedure for changing my registered agent?
The procedure will be different depending on where you wish to replace your registered agent. You’ll need to file a document with the Secretary of State in your state. The state will charge a modest processing fee.
You might also want to see if a professional service can handle your paperwork if you’re switching. Some services will even cover the cost of the state charge.
How much does it cost for registered agent service?
The majority of registered agent services are paid annually and cost between $90 and $200. Some services provide additional functions, such as business mail forwarding. If you have more than one state’s registered agent, you’ll have to pay for each one separately.
Some organizations offer bulk discounts if you buy services for multiple corporations or states.
You may have to pay a charge to the state to change your registered agent.
Jeff Beckley is a business expert, journalist, book author, and founder of the website Best Inc Services. Jeff can be reached at, email@example.com