Appointing a registered agent is one of the first steps in forming an LLC, incorporation, or non-profit organization. Although you can be your own registered agent, using a professional service is a much better choice. But how do you choose one?
We’ve compiled some of the best registered agent services along with their features, pros, cons, and pricing in this detailed buyer’s guide. This way, you can compare all the best service providers in one place and make your decision with ease.
Best Registered Agent Services – Expert Picks
- Northwest Registered Agent – Best Overall
- ZenBusiness – Best for Cost Value
- IncFile – Free LLC Formation and Registered Agent Service
- Harbor Compliance – Best for Multiple Years Package
- MyCompanyWorks – Best for Best for Positive Customer Reviews
- Inc Authority – Free Registered Agent Service for a Year
- LegalZoom – Best for Brand Popularity
- Rocket Lawyer – Best for Data Security
- Swyft Filings – Best for Fast Turn-around
Same-day Electronic Delivery
Secure client portal
Annual compliance filing
+$69/year (Compliance Calendar)
*Pricing indicates the starting price per state for standard registered agent services
Northwest Registered Agent, at its core, is a registered agent service and has been providing its services in the market ever since 1998. Over the years, it has developed a reputation for providing industry-leading customer service for all 52 jurisdictions in the US.
Northwest is known for its slogan “We’re just not annoying.” Its robust customer service, same-day mail scanning, quick turnaround times, transparent pricing, and service standards are in accordance with what they market. When you purchase Northwest’s registered agent service, you also get annual compliance filing at no extra cost.
This registered agent service provider scans all documents locally on the day of delivery so you can have an electronic copy of them as soon as possible. Unlike other services, it also scans and forwards you regular mail not just service of process and government correspondence documents. You can also get quality business formation services in addition to other add-ons like mail forwarding and virtual office services.
Northwest places special emphasis on its customers’ privacy. It promises to never sell your data and will use its own registered offices’ address wherever possible. This way, it helps reduce exposure to your personal information as much as possible. You can read our complete Northwest Registered Agent review to find out more about it.
Why we chose it: Northwest provides you with a premium registered agent service at a very reasonable price. Plus, it trumps its competitors when it comes to customer service. To learn more about the services and pricing, read the Northwest Registered Agent review.
- Highly-rated customer service
- Experienced vendor
- Mail forwarding and virtual officer service available
- Slightly expensive
Northwest Registered Agent service costs $125 per state per year. This includes annual compliance filing and phone service at no additional cost. If you want the service for more than five states, the cost then drops down to $100 per state per year. Prices for additional relevant services are
- Mail forwarding: $40/month
- US virtual office service: $49/month
ZenBusiness is one of the best LLC services that offers a high-quality registered agent service for one of the lowest prices on the market. This makes it a very attractive option. ZenBusiness’ registered agent service is an excellent choice for small business owners who are looking for a mix of services to get their business up and running.
Founded in 2015, ZenBusiness is one of the newcomers to this arena but it’s by no means lacking in experience or reliability. This service offers an attractive package if you need LLC formation too. If you form your LLC with ZenBusiness, you get the registered agent service free for the first year, but the recurring fee is $119 annually after the first year.
It has an online document management system and sends you regular compliance alerts to make sure you’re up-to-date with all legal requirements. It also scans and uploads important legal documents to get them to you straight away and mails you physical copies if required.
Apart from basic registered agent services like receiving and scanning documents, you can also get annual report filing from ZenBusiness for a total cost of $149 per year. Experts at ZenBusiness are well aware of all the specific requirements for creating annual reports for all states. This makes the annual report filing feature particularly useful for business owners who are not experienced in compliance filing.
Why we chose it: ZenBusiness offers a top-of-the-line registered agent service for some of the lowest rates in the market. That along with its predominantly positive customer reviews make it a reliable option. To learn more about the services and pricing, read the ZenBusiness review.
- Inexpensive option
- Transparent pricing
- Free registered agent service with LLC formation
- No free plan
- Worry-Free Guarantee not included with the regular registered agent service
- Annual compliance costs extra
- Registered agent – $99 per year
- Registered Agent with Annual Compliance – $149 per year
IncFile has been around since 2004 and has helped thousands of businesses with its formation and registered agent services. We recommend IncFile for business owners on a very tight budget as you can get free business formation if you’re willing to put in some extra work.
Plus, Incfile also offers a complete and easy-to-use registered agent service for all states free for the first year. You’re looking at a virtually free business registration, all you have to pay is the state fees.
With IncFile’s registered agent service, you get a convenient online dashboard that you can use to track and access important documents. Plus, it also sends you email and SMS notifications to keep you informed.
Customer service is an important factor when evaluating a registered agent service, and IncFile performs reasonably well in this regard. It offers both phone and email support and has relatively quick response times.
Why we chose it: IncFile’s free business formation and registered agent service for the first year make it a top choice for any business owner who’s on a tight budget. Its registered agent service, albeit lacking in features, offers good basic functionality. To learn more about the services and pricing, read the IncFile review.
- Free business formation for one year
- Good customer service
- Registered agent service lacks additional features
- No annual compliance filing
- Refund and cancellation policies not easily accessible
Pricing: The registered agent service is free for the first year if you opt for a business formation package with IncFile. If you only need a registered agent service, it’ll cost you $119 per year.
As the name suggests, Harbor Compliance helps businesses with compliance requirements and government licensing. Apart from an impressive registered agent service, it also helps companies with entity management, tax registration, and nonprofit formation. If you’re looking to get a service for two years or more, Harbor Compliance gives you 5-10% off on the total service fee.
The registered agent service packs a punch for a very affordable annual fee. Harbor Compliance has a transparent pricing structure and clearly defines all the services you’d get for the money you pay.
You get advanced features like same-day electronic delivery, pre-filled state forms, customizable notifications, and annual report notices with Harbor Compliance’s registered agent service. Plus, this service is powered by their advanced compliance software which brings all the information you need under one client dashboard. Note that Harbor Compliance can’t help you with business formation except 501(C) nonprofit registration such as 501c3 nonprofits.
Why we chose it: Harbor Compliance offers one of the best registered agent services that’s prompt and can handle complexity for an affordable price tag. Plus, if you need the service for multiple years, you can also get a further reduction in the price.
- Same-day electronic delivery
- Annual compliance filing notices
- Affordable pricing
- No LLC formation service
- Other services are expensive
- Lack of industry experience
Pricing: Annual fees starting from $99 per year per state. No additional charges are involved. You only have to pay once per year for ongoing access to its local office and online compliance software. If you buy the service for more than two years at once, you can get a 5-10% discount.
MyCompanyWorks is an established company that has helped thousands of businesses get registered. It offers a range of services from business formation to business management assistance including business licenses, virtual office, and name change services.
MyCompanyWorks offers one of the most affordable registered agent services which is topped off with responsive customer service. This service provider enjoys a good reputation among its customers as a vast majority of its customer reviews share positive feedback.
This registered agent service helps you ensure statutory compliance with ease. In case you want to move your business to another service provider, you can do so with no forms to fill or fees to pay. You can also easily update your forwarding address online. Note that MyCompanyWork’s business formation services are not the best so it’s good as long as you use it only as a registered agent service.
Why we chose it: MyCompanyWorks offers a quality registered agent service at a very affordable price. It’s straightforward with the pricing structure and is a great choice if you need registered agent services only. Read our in-depth review on MyCompanyWorks to learn more about this registered agent service.
- Excellent customer service
- Positive customer feedback
- Affordable price
- Registered agent service only available with top-tier business formation package
- Lacks additional features
- Below par business formation services
Pricing: Registered agent service costs $99 per year. But this only includes electronic document delivery. But you will have to pay extra to get mail delivered to you in person.
- Delivery via 1st Class Mail: $9
- FedEx Air Delivery: $35
- USPS International Shipping: $89
Based in Reno, Nevada, Inc Authority is one of the oldest players in the online legal space. It has been offering its services since 1989 and has helped thousands of businesses over the years. Hence, it has plenty of experience in business formation and registered agent services.
The most remarkable aspect of Inc Authority’s registered agent service is its price. You can get it completely free of cost for one full year, and you don’t have to purchase a business formation plan for that. But even if you do, know that Inc Authority also offers its LLC service for free.
You will however have to pay $179 per year for its registered agent service after the first year. This makes it one of the more expensive service providers and it doesn’t offer as many features for this price tag. For instance, you only get your government and legal documents delivered to you, and some updates on important documents.
Why we chose it: Inc Authority is an experienced legal service provider and its free plans make it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs who don’t want to spend much on business registration. Read our review on Inc Authority to find out if it’s the right choice for you.
- Free registered agent services for one year
- Simple-to-use checkout process
- Responsive and supportive customer service
- Very limited features
- Pricing is not transparent
- Expensive registered agent service after one year
Pricing: Free for the first year. But after the first year, billing resumes at $179 per year for the registered agent service.
LegalZoom is one of the most popular names in the online legal space and has more than 23 years of industry experience under its belt. It’s a reliable registered agent service just because of the brand which is known to provide a wide range of legal services to thousands of happy clients.
Its ridiculously high price is the only reason why we’ve ranked LegalZoom sixth. If it was priced anywhere under the $150 mark, it would’ve been right up there with the likes of Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile. LegalZoom offers quality registered agent services and brings you features like unlimited cloud storage for business documents and $1M in identity theft protection.
If you’re an entrepreneur willing to spend an extra buck to work with a highly credible and well-known legal brand, LegalZoom may work for you. But we won’t recommend it because you can easily find the same kind of service for a much better price. Plus, LegalZoom doesn’t offer a free registered agent service for one year with a business formation plan. Read our LegalZoom review to learn more about it.
Why we chose it: Although LegalZoom’s registered agent services cost way more than others in this buyers’ guide, they still are part of the race for their credibility and brand popularity. Plus, you can also get a plethora of other legal services from this vendor. To learn more about the services and pricing, read the LegalZoom review.
- Well-established service with 2 million+ businesses helped
- Offers a wide range of legal services
- Robust customer service
- More expensive than alternatives
- Compliance Calendar costs extra
- Excessive upsells
Pricing: LegalZoom’s RA service costs $299 annually, making it one of the most expensive options available. Not only that, essential features like the Compliance Calendar that help you stay up-to-date with all upcoming filing deadlines cost extra. You have to pay $69 for the compliance calendar. This takes the total cost of a registered agent plus annual compliance filing above the $370 mark.
Established in 2008, Rocket Lawyer is a high-quality legal services provider that has helped millions of customers since it got into business. With a fairly large customer base, Rocket Lawyer enjoys vastly positive customer feedback which makes it a credible service provider in the industry.
Rocket Lawyer prioritizes security and employs advanced measures to help keep confidential documents safe. Their website is covered by Norton Web Security at all times which keeps it safe from malware and other vulnerabilities to prevent your information falling into the wrong hands. It also encrypts all data transmissions as an extra security layer.
It offers a quality registered agent service along with a range of legal services including contract preparation, business formation, and review and consultations with experienced attorneys. When it comes to the registered agent service alone, you can expect it to offer all the basic RA features including a client portal, cloud storage, and email notifications for important documents received.
But Rocket Lawyer lacks features like same-day electronic delivery, annual compliance filing, and phone notifications. Nevertheless, it still enjoys a good standing among its customers. Albeit its registered agent service alone costs more than it should, Rocket Lawyer’s main selling point is its ongoing premium package where you get legal document and attorney services plus 25% off on the registered agent service.
Why we chose it: If you’re looking for ongoing legal help, Rocket Lawyer is an excellent choice for you. Plus, you can avail of its quality registered agent service with a 25% discount if you go with the premium plan. Most importantly, we chose Rocket Lawyer because of its emphasis on security and advanced measures to keep your documents safe. Read the Rocket Lawyer review to learn more about the services and pricing.
- Offer a full suite of legal services
- Massive customer base
- Money-back guarantee available
- Expensive option
- Doesn’t have same-day delivery
Pricing: The standalone registered agent service costs $149.99 per year. The premium legal services plan costs $39.99 per month. If you subscribe to that, you get 25% off on the registered agent service, bringing it down to $112 per year.
Swyft Filings is relatively new to the online legal space, but they have a considerable customer volume. This is mainly because of their highly affordable services that are topped off with quick turnaround times. But we can’t say the same about its registered agent service.
Swyft Filings offers an average registered agent service that’s overpriced for the limited features it includes. Still, it’s a part of this list because of the overall good standing of the service provider. Swyft Filings is known for the fastest turnaround times in the industry, but we are yet to see if their registered agent service aligns with their reputation.
This service includes basic features such as an online dashboard for you to view official documents as soon as they’re uploaded, compliance assurance reminders, and privacy protection.
Why we chose it: Swyft Filings is a quickly-growing service provider with fast and responsive customer service. It’s got strong customer reviews and offers cheap business formation services.
- Quick turnaround times
- Positive customer reviews
- Offers online dashboard
- Expensive registered agent service
- Limited features
Pricing: Plans starting at $149 per year. This includes electronic delivery and 1st class shipping.
Methodology for the Best Registered Agent Service
We understand that choosing the right registered agent service for new business owners isn’t the most straightforward choice. Most new entrepreneurs aren’t aware of what a registered agent is, what it does, and what factors to consider when appointing one for their business. In this section, we’ll briefly discuss the factors we considered while creating this buyers’ guide.
- Pricing: Your budget is the first and foremost thing to consider when choosing a registered agent service. We understand a registered agent service is usually an unexpected expense for business owners, and most are vary about purchasing the service for a whole year upfront. This is why we gave pricing more weightage than any other factor.
- Industry experience: Reliability is a defining factor when it comes to choosing a resident agent. The more experienced a vendor is, the more trustable they are with your business’ official documents.
- Same-day electronic delivery: This is an important feature as you’d want to get a digital copy of every document as quickly as possible so you can take the required actions straight away. Services that don’t offer same-day electronic delivery of documents deprive their customers of an important decision-making window.
- Customer service: Getting a registered agent service seems simple, but you will always have questions. Services with responsive and helpful customer support perform better than those that don’t.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Registered Agent Services
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people ask about the best registered agent services.
Bottom Line on the Best Registered Agent Services
You’ll find numerous registered agent services out there and quite frankly, it’s very easy for new business owners to commit to the wrong deal. Always be well informed about all the top service providers and the deals they offer, especially when it comes to long-term commitments like getting a registered agent.
Northwest Registered Agent is our top pick for their reasonable pricing, long-standing industry experience, and unmatched customer service. It also provides business formation services and annual compliance filing.