We earn commissions if you shop through the links below. Read more

5 Best Registered Agent Services

Written by:

Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

5 Best Registered Agent Services

If you’re thinking of forming a limited liability company (LLC), you should know that in most states, you will need a registered agent to handle all of your government-related paperwork. The registered agent, which is also required for corporations, LLPs, and nonprofits, is a specific and crucial role you might want to learn more about to make sure you do it right. 

In most states, you can be your own registered agent. Doing so, however, comes with a number of significant responsibilities, such as the need to always be present and available during business hours. As a result, many business owners choose instead to hire a registered agent service, which frees them up to run and grow their business. 

The question then is, which are the best registered agent services? This article examines the top options, stepping into an entrepreneur’s shoes to help you choose the service that puts you on the road to success.

Best Registered Agent Services

ZenBusiness

4.7/5

  • Registered agent service $99 in the first year, then $199 annually
  • The service is not included in business formation plans
  • Easy to use website with great customer support

Northwest Registered Agent

4.6/5

  • Registered agent services free for one year with $39 business formation package
  • Just registered agent services is priced at $125 annualy
  • Commitment to privacy

LegalZoom

4.2/5

  • Registered agent service $249 annually
  • Services are not included in business formation plans
  • Includes $1 million in identity theft protection and credit monitoring

Incfile

4.2/5

  • Registered agent services free for one year with all business formation plans
  • Just registered agent service is $119 annually
  • Automatic legal document forwarding

Harbor Compliance

4/5

  • Price: $89 -$99 annually, state dependent
  • Discounts for multiple state services
  • Local registered agent offices in all 50 states

1. ZenBusiness

Registered agent services can be purchased a la carte from ZenBusiness for an initial fee of $99, with an annual renewal fee of $199. A change of agent state fee will also apply. 

Alternatively, ZenBusiness also offers a joint service purchase of registered agent services and their Worry-Free Compliance service, which means they take care of your annual report filings, and will handle up to two amendments per year. The initial fee is $199 for the first year, and it costs $398 for annual renewals. 

With both options, you’ll have online document access and expert customer support. 

Note that registered agent services are not included with their business formation plans, but can be added.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Low First-Year Pricing: Zenbusiness offers an affordable entry price, making it accessible for startups and small businesses.
  • Broad Spectrum of À La Carte Legal Services: This offers flexibility for businesses, allowing them to choose and pay for only the services they need.
  • Attentive Customer Support: Ensures customers’ concerns and queries are addressed promptly.
  • 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Gives clients confidence in their purchase and a safety net if they’re not satisfied.
  • Weekend Customer Support: Demonstrates commitment to serving customers even outside of regular business hours.

Cons

  • High Renewal Fees and Pricey Add-On Services: After the introductory period, costs can escalate quickly with renewal fees and additional services.
  • Pricing Models Can Be Confusing: This could deter potential clients or lead to unexpected costs if not understood properly.

We recommend ZenBusiness because they offer comprehensive registered agent services, bundling with Worry-Free Compliance at competitive rates, and providing swift customer support.

Visit ZenBusiness

2. Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent offers an a la carte price of $125 for registered agent services. If you have not formed your business entity yet, they offer a business formation plan for $39 which includes free registered agent services for one year, as well as an operating agreement and a few extras.

With their registered agent services, you’ll get same day online document access, free mail forwarding, and annual report reminders. They also have dedicated Corporate Guides to help you and offer Privacy by Default.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Transparent, Reasonable Fees: Northwest Registered Agent operates with clear and fair pricing, ensuring there are no hidden costs.
  • Does Not Resell Client Data: This offers an added layer of trust and protection for businesses who value their privacy.
  • Excellent Customer Support: Ensures all client needs and concerns are promptly addressed.
  • Available Across the U.S.: With availability in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., businesses across the country can access their services.
  • Same-Day Document Delivery: Expedited service ensures that essential documents reach clients promptly.

Cons

  • Inconsistent Turnaround Times: While they offer same-day document delivery, other service turnaround times may be inconsistent, which can be a concern for businesses needing timely results.
  • While Not the Priciest, Not the Cheapest Either: Some businesses, especially startups or smaller companies, might find their pricing a bit steep, especially when compared to cheaper options in the market.

Northwest Registered Agent offers reasonably priced services, protect your privacy by not reselling your data, and provide personalized customer support with prompt responses.

Visit Northwest

3. LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers registered agent services for $249 annually, and they also cover your state’s fee for a change of registered agent filing.

Their services include alerts when correspondence is received, online document access, and a compliance calendar to remind you of annual report due dates and any other requirements.

None of LegalZoom’s business formation plans include registered agent services, but they can be added.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • $1 Million in Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring: A significant value-add that not only offers peace of mind but also provides tangible financial protection for businesses.
  • Registered Agent Transfer Paperwork Included: Simplifies the process of changing or updating a registered agent.
  • Seven Days a Week Support: Demonstrates a commitment to being there for clients, even outside typical business hours.
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage: Allows businesses to safely store and access important documents anytime, from anywhere.
  • Access to Legal and Tax Professionals: Beyond just registered agent services, clients have the added benefit of accessing expert advice for their legal and tax concerns.

Cons

  • Expensive and Pricier than Competitors: This can make it a less attractive option for startups or smaller businesses that are budget-conscious.
  • Mixed Reviews for Registered Agent Services: While they do offer extensive support, the quality and consistency of that support for registered agent services has garnered mixed feedback from users.

Not only has LegalZoom been in business for more than 20 years, they have also polished their customer service experience and maintained an excellent rating from the BBB. Though their prices are higher than competitors, LegalZoom offers many additional services and resources their competitors lack.

Visit LegalZoom

4. Incfile

Incfile offers registered agent services for $119 annually. If you have yet to form your business entity, Incfile offers three business formation plans, all of which include free registered agent services for one year. 

Their services include online document access and automatic mail forwarding, as well as email and text alerts of correspondence received. 

If you’re changing your registered agent to Incfile, they will handle the change of agent paperwork.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • First Year Free with New Incorporation: This provides significant initial savings for businesses just starting out.
  • User-Friendly Registered Agent Dashboard: Makes managing and accessing essential business documents a breeze.
  • Automatic Legal Document Forwarding: Ensures businesses promptly receive important documents without needing to request them.
  • One Year of Free Registered Agent Services with Business Formation: An added incentive that combines two essential services for new businesses.
  • Bilingual Customer Support and Same-Day Document Access: Offers a broad user experience with support in both English and Spanish, along with timely access to documents.

Cons

  • Document Scanning Delays and Inconsistent Filing Turnaround: Can cause potential interruptions or delays in business operations.
  • Slow Customer Support and $30 Cancellation Fee: The responsiveness of the support can be less than optimal, and a fee for service cancellation might deter some potential clients.

All of Incfile’s business formation packages include at least a year of free registered agent services – which none of its competitors can claim. 

Visit Incfile

5. Harbor Compliance

You can purchase registered agent services from Harbor Compliance a la carte for an initial, state-dependent fee between $89 and $99. 

Customers also have the option to purchase registered agent services for multiple years at a time and receive a 5-10% discount, which suggests you could get three years of registered agent services for as little as $250. Multi state registered agent services are also discounted. Harbor Compliance encourages customers interested in bulk registered agent services to contact them at 1-888-995-5895.

Harbor Compliance offers one business package, their Formation Package, which is $399 and includes one year of registered agent services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable, Transparent Fees: Harbor Compliance operates with clarity in pricing, ensuring no hidden costs.
  • No Renewal Price Hike: This provides long-term savings and budget predictability for businesses.
  • Expertise in Highly Regulated Industries: Their specialization ensures they’re well-equipped to address unique compliance challenges.
  • Advanced Compliance Technology: Leveraging the latest tech ensures efficient and reliable services.
  • Excellent One-on-One Customer Support: Offering industry-specific and personalized assistance that can be invaluable for businesses.

Cons

  • Expensive LLC Formation Package with Fewer Services: Compared to competitors, their package might seem less valuable due to the higher cost and fewer inclusions.
  • Users Must Pay Upfront with No Refunds: This combination could be off-putting for potential clients, especially those who value flexibility and security in their financial commitments.

Harbor Compliance offers registered agent services for a good value and is overall an excellent choice for your business. If you do business in more than one state, you receive discounts on your services in each state.

Visit Harbor Compliance

What Is a Registered Agent?

A registered agent, also known as an agent for service of process, is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business. Some states do not require a registered agent, but in most states your LLC will need to have a registered agent.

Responsibilities of a Registered Agent

Essentially, the purpose of a registered agent is to ensure compliance with state laws and to make sure all official matters are handled in a timely manner. Having one person or entity handle state documents helps ensure nothing is missed, helping avoid potential potholes.

Documents that the agent may receive include:

  • Tax forms and documents
  • Government correspondence
  • Legal documents
  • Summons documents in case of a lawsuit

Advantages of a Registered Agent Service   

A registered agent service is a professional service that will ensure all of your company’s official correspondence from government entities is handled on time and stored in secure files. They’ll also keep track of deadlines and send reminders when you need to file, such as for tax forms and annual reports.

A registered agent service will help keep you in compliance with the law and save you time by keeping track of key documents and filing deadlines. The agency will also offer support if any issues arise. 

Benefits of the registered agent services

Using an agency enables you to have flexible hours. If you are your own registered agent, you must be personally available from 8 AM to 5 PM at your registered agent address. If you use an agency, they are available during those hours and you’re free to focus on profits and growth. 

What to Look for When Purchasing a Registered Agent Service?

With so many registered agent services to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. There are four essential elements that can help you make your decision.

Location

You need a service that has an office in your state, but you may want to choose a national service so you have the flexibility to form LLCs in other states. 

Features

Your registered agent service should offer at least:

  • Compliance management, to send reminders of key deadlines 
  • Document copying and digital storage so you can access documents online
  • Availability during the required hours, with prompt customer service
  • Service in all 50 states and US territories

Be sure to take your time and choose a service that has everything you need to make starting and running your business as easy as possible.

Pricing

Of course, you’ll want to get the best value for your money! 

Compare the cost of each service. You also want to get good value and great customer service, so if you’re considering the cheapest service, check the reviews to see how people felt about it.

Here we summarize our top five picks of registered agent services.

Customer Service and Reviews

To learn about the quality of a service, it often helps to know what actual customers say about it. When we review business services we often look at reviews and ratings from the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot. It’s wise to look at both positive and negative reviews to find out what people love about the service and the issues they’ve encountered. 

Keep in mind that fake reviews are common, so you should take some of them with a grain of salt.

Our Approach

As an entrepreneurial advisory site, we take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to managing their business.

As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In nearly every case, we:

  • Examined every page of the service’s website
  • Reviewed all of the features of their service
  • Communicated with customer service via chat, email and phone
  • Gained a full understanding of the customer experience and service value

Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewers are able to provide the most complete and insightful analysis of various registered agent services.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Best Registered Agent Services