Best Registered Agent Services (Review) To Try in 2023
When starting a business in the United States, one crucial step is selecting a registered agent service.
The best registered agent services in the U.S. offer reliability, confidentiality, and efficiency, handling critical notifications and paperwork with professionalism.
As a licensed business consultant who has interacted and dealt with these companies, I can provide an insider's perspective on how they stack up in terms of customer support, features, and essential services that define a top-notch registered agent.
Top Reliable Registered Agent Services in 2023 (November 2023)
1 - Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)Would you recommend Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)?
Having personally used Northwest Registered Agent for my own business, I can vouch for their exceptional service.
Their team was always on point, and I never had to worry about any hidden fees. It's no wonder so many clients, including myself, consistently praise their transparent pricing and top-notch customer service.
With fixed prices, you can confidently engage in their services without having to worry about constantly adjusting your budget.
Setting up and operating your business through Northwest Registered Agent is a breeze thanks to their uncomplicated formation packages and upfront pricing.
- Registered Agent Services ($125): If you select Northwest to form your LLC, the first year of registered agent service is free. If you want to open your business in all 52 jurisdictions, they offer you a discount. The registered agent service includes professional corporate advice, privacy, and free mail forwarding.
- Basic LLC Formation Plan ($39 + State Fee): If you are on a limited budget, the basic plan is for you. It does include an operating agreement, articles of organization, and the registered agent included for a year.
- Full Service LLC Formation Plan ($225 + State Fee): They will draft the operating agreement for you and file the LLC within a day. Additionally, a client account with free forms and services is provided, and the first year of registered agent service.
- Data protection is priority
- Exceptional client support
- 20 years of in this business field
- No hidden fees
- Basic package includes complimentary 1-year registered agent service
- Northwest Registered Agent Service is not the most affordable option
2 - ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)Would you recommend ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)?
When I was starting out, ZenBusiness made the daunting process of filing court documents feel like a breeze. Their affordable solutions were a lifesaver for a small business owner like me, ensuring everything was handled without any hitches.
ZenBusiness provides registered agent service at an affordable price - just $199 for the first year and the same price annually after that.
Additionally, if you purchase registered agent services bundled with Worry-Free Compliance service, you can be confident your business is in good hands at all times.
These ZenBusiness services are an unbeatable deal that can help you get your start in business efficiently and affordably.
- Registered Agent Services ($199): The registered agent fee is a delayed payment charged after the business is formed and renews annually at $199.
- Starter LLC Service Package ($0 + State Fee): This package has a standard filing speed (2 to 3 weeks), helps you track deductions and expenses, and has a 100% accuracy guarantee. You'll also enjoy a 1-month free trial of Banking and Bank Account services, followed by just $5/month. The package also comes with a Website Builder plus worry-free compliance during the first year, optionally renewing at $199/year.
- Pro LLC Service Package ($199 + State Fee): The package includes all starter package services plus a remarkably swift "rush" filing speed, with an average processing time of 1-2 business days. Additionally, you'll get a crafted LLC operating agreement template at an affordable $99. Furthermore, the package has an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to streamline your business's identification and legal requirements.
- Premium LLC service Package ($349 + State Fee): Includes all the features of the Pro package plus domain name & business email address, business document templates, and customizable business website for a more professional look.
- Reasonable and clear price structure
- Extensive client support availability
- Many favorable testimonials from clients
- Offers a risk-free guarantee
- Fewer advanced features
3 - IncFile (Most Affordable)Would you recommend IncFile (Most Affordable)?
I remember when I was on a tight budget, IncFile came to the rescue with their tiered pricing. Their affordability without compromising on quality made them my go-to choice during those early business days.
The company offers free registered agent services if you're starting a new business and budget is an issue.
IncFile will accept all tax and legal documents on your behalf, like all registered agents. We found their online dashboard to check and retrieve your legal documents incredibly easy to navigate.
- Registered Agent Services ($119): If you buy it separately, it will cost you $119/year, but if you decide to let IncFile create the business for you, they will give you a free registered agent service in the first year.
- Free Silver LLC Formation Package ($0 + State Fee): Perfect to save your budget as you will receive the Articles of Organization, a free registered agent service for a year and more.
- IncFile Gold LLC Formation Package ($199 + State Fee): Includes Silver package, EIN business tax number, IRS Form 2553. Additionally, business tax consultation, operating agreement, banking resolution, and online access dashboard are all included.
- Platinum LLC Formation Package ($299 + State Fee): This package includes Gold Package. It offers free business websites, domain names, business contract templates, and the possibility to file for free on the next day.
- Helpful online portal
- No charge for recommended registered agent service included in LLC service packages
- Order processing is quick
- True to its price
- Slower turnaround times
4 - Rocket Lawyer (Best Premium)
If you avail of their premium membership, which costs $39.99 per month, their registered agent service will offer a 25% discount.
After trying their services, I can confidently say that creating legal documents online with their help was very easy and time-efficient.
If you are not sure about their company, they are providing a 7-day free trial enjoying the benefit of premium members like a few free attorney services and legal document templates.
- Registered Agent Service ($149.99 for non-members): There is a 25% discount for members. Membership costs $39.99 monthly.
- LLC Formation Package ($99.99 + State Fee): Free with a $39.99 membership per month. You will take advantage of free legal documents and attorney services, and a 25% discount for registered agent services.
- Provides great legal templates
- Has a 7-day free trial period
- Online legal services and consultation
- Not the most affordable option
- Limited customer support
5 - MyCompanyWorks
A standout feature of MyCompanyWorks is its refund policy feature, where the company covers you if you're unsatisfied. You have a 90-day window to request a refund.
They offer an online application called the "Startup Wizard" for launching your firm that involves an accounting system, obtaining a business license, or opening a bank account.
I found their app to be one of the best. It's easy to navigate through and I did not really have any issues.
There is also an additional $99 for online registered agent service, EIN ($59), and exclusive premiums for the LLC formation package, making it the cheapest registered agent provider on the market.
- Registered Agent Service ($99): The first year of professional registered agent service is included for the both Entrepreneur and Complete bundles.
- Basic LLC Formation Package ($59 + State Fee): This package offers organizational minutes, an LLC operating agreement, and personalized operating management with a business bank account setup.
- Entrepreneur LLC Formation Package ($179 + State Fee): You'll get everything the Basic Package includes, Federal Tax ID, a free registered agent in the first year, and lifetime forms & tax guide.
- Complete LLC Formation Package ($259 + State Fee): MyCompanyWorks premium package includes all service features from the two previous tiers and initial and annual report filing service, Compliance Lock alerts, automatic minutes and resolutions, business entity monitoring, and priority support.
- Favorable comments from clients
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Startup Wizard online app
- Free registered agent services for the first year on Entrepreneur and Complete packages
- Does not include registered agent service for a basic package
- A bit pricey for the same competitor's inclusions
6 - Harbor Compliance
The Harbor Compliance company's most significant standing point is its personalized customer support.
Harbor Compliance offers several special deals, including an extended-term agent-registration contract that significantly saves your business.
After testing their registered agent service, I was impressed with the positive outcomes.
Their team skillfully managed official correspondence between my business and government agencies, ensuring that all legal requirements were promptly fulfilled.
However, their single LLC creation package is relatively costly and does not qualify as the best deal, especially if you're on a tight budget.
- Registered Agent Service ($89): Yearly fees range from $89 to $99 per state, with no other expenses. If you pay for registered agent services in advance for more than two years, you can save 5-10%. You can immediately access the registered agent's address online.
- LLC Formation Package ($99 + State Fee): Harbor Compliance will prepare and file the articles of organization for you, and check name availability.
- Ultimate Convenience feature
- Personal customer service
- Access documents the same day
- Registered agent service is not included in formation packages
- Fewer registered agent services
7 - LegalZoom
LegalZoom provides registered agent and LLC formation services with flexible price plans. The best thing about this company is that when you avail $299 registered agent service, there are no options for additional fees.
While several competitors offer lower pricing, LegalZoom offers more legal services capabilities in addition to simple document forwarding.
In addition to allowing me to set my business hours, this best-registered agent provided me with a layer of privacy as an owner and helped me to avoid fines.
However, I must note that I found that their business formation plans are somewhat expensive and lack many of the registered agent services offered by other providers.
- Registered Agent Services ($299): If you wish to create your LLC with them, the first year costs $249. Following that, renewal would cost $299. No fees until your docs are submitted to the state.
- LLC Basic Formation Package ($0 + State Fee): It includes a name search, a digital LLC package, articles of organization, and a website.
- LLC Pro Package ($249 + State Fee): Includes everything from the Pro package. You'll get an operating agreement, an EIN, and insurance and taxes consultations.
- LLC Premium Package ($299 + State Fee): It covers everything in the Basic and Pro packages, including guidance and unlimited consultations from experienced state attorneys.
- A refund policy of 60 days
- Intuitive legal services platform
- Discounted access to some of their other legal services
- Registered agent service is pricey
- Legal services add-ons are expensive
8 - Swyft Filings
While Swyft Filings' registered agent service may not be as comprehensive as some of its competitors, it does offer a good solution for smaller businesses looking for a very low-cost option.
All their legal services come with convenient monthly installment payment options.
Also, the company offers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee which only applies if an error occurs while completing your LLC formation order.
I was impressed by their commitment to transparent pricing and unwavering focus on client satisfaction, which made for an enjoyable experience overall.
The convenience of their automatic renewals also made it incredibly easy for me, as I didn't have to worry about manually renewing my agreement with them.
- Registered Agent Services ($99 per three months): This will be a quarterly subscription.
- Basic LLC Formation Package ($0 + State Fee): This legal services package includes filing the articles of organization to form an LLC.
- Standard LLC Formation Package ($199 + State Fee): Includes everything in the basic package, plus Federal Tax ID (EIN) and most documents needed to start your business.
- Premium LLC Formation Package ($299 + State Fee): Includes the previous features and a free domain and company website hosting. You will also obtain a customized digital corporate kit plus a FedEx tracking number after your articles of incorporation get approved.
- Flexible pricing on other services
- Direct and reliable customer service
- Guarantee against errors
- A lot of upsells
- Registered agent service costs extra
9 - Incorp
The Price-match guarantee is the most remarkable aspect of Incorp.
As a result, Incorp pricing is more flexible and competitive. They also offer volume discounts for their best-registered agent service in multiple states.
You may also rely on them to protect your data with a high level of security. Any LLC created using them has its legal information protected.
You will also be protected against identity theft through EntityWatch.
I liked their easy-to-use IOS app and overall, I would recommend them to you if you're just starting.
- Registered Agent Services ($129): With the purchase of multi-year service, you can pay $87 each year.
- LLC Formation Package ($99 + State Fee): Includes submitting Articles of Incorporation/Organization to the Secretary of State.
- IOS app available
- EntityWatch feature
- Price match assurance
- Limited online customer feedback
- Registered agent service is not included in their packages
10 - Tailor Brands
With Tailor Brands, you can quickly and easily create a cohesive brand experience with their comprehensive registered agent services that cover everything from building websites to creating a logo utilizing AI logo designer, making business cards using digital technology, and more.
I used their basic plan and overall, I had a positive experience with them. However, I must note that they are not the most suitable for someone who needs more advanced features.
Tailor Brands advise going with the premium (Elite plan, $199/year) if you want a complete package. But the package sadly excludes most registered agent services.
- Registered Agent Services (an additional $199): There is no free RA for the first year, and the price will be the same when renewing.
- Lite LLC Formation Plan ($49 + State Fee): One-time payment. Formation of an LLC and standard processing (application submitted within 14 days).
- Essential LLC Formation Plan ($199 + State Fee): Billed Annually. LLC establishment, expedited processing (application filed in 2 days), yearly compliance, and operating agreement are all included in this plan.
- The Elite LLC Formation Plan ($249 + State Fee): Billed Annually. You get the same features as The Basic Plan, plus tools for growing your business (8 different logos, 1-year free domain, social media post maker, and business cards tool).
- Cost-effective LLC service
- Includes tools for branding
- Easy-to-use online dashboard
- Fewer advanced features
- Customer support is limited
We compared top registered agents in 2022, highlighting their pros and cons.
We aim to help small business owners in all US states with LLC formation.
Best Registered Agent Services - Choose Your State:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Registered Agent
We conducted an undercover evaluation of 10 registered agent services in the US, incorporating expert legal advice and comprehensive criteria such as cost, speed, features, and customer support to formulate well-rounded recommendations.
This assessment was distilled into ratings based on factors like promptness, tech efficiency, and user-friendliness, with external opinions and reputational standing also factored into our conclusive advice.
Price is a critical factor for businesses, particularly startups and small enterprises that need to manage their expenses carefully.
Based on our criteria, IncFile offers the most budget-friendly option with a free registered agent service included in their LLC formation packages, starting at $0 plus state fees. Their standalone registered agent service is priced at $119/year.
Northwest Registered Agent also provides a straightforward pricing model with their registered agent services starting at $125. They also offer a basic LLC formation plan at $39 plus state fees, which includes a free registered agent for the first year.
ZenBusiness is a tad expensive charging $199 for the first year for their registered agent service, with the same price for annual renewals.
2. Customer Support
Effective customer support is vital for addressing queries and resolving issues promptly. It ensures that businesses can rely on their registered agent service for timely and accurate information.
We note Northwest Registered Agent for exceptional client support with a reputation for being responsive and helpful. ZenBusiness also has extensive client support availability, with many favorable testimonials from clients regarding their service.
LegalZoom may have more limited customer support options compared to the others, which could be a downside for some clients.
3. Turnaround Time
Quick turnaround times are essential for businesses to remain compliant and up-to-date with legal requirements.
We like that ZenBusiness offers a "rush" filing speed with an average processing time of 1-2 business days in their Pro LLC Service Package.
IncFile is known for quick order processing, although they may have slower turnaround times for some services.
4. Service Features
The range of features offered by a registered agent service can significantly enhance the value they provide to businesses, ensuring compliance and offering additional support services.
Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness both offer comprehensive service features, including compliance alerts, document organization, and additional services like mail forwarding and annual report filings.
A company that may not perform as well in this area is Tailor Brands, which, while offering a user-friendly experience, may lack some of the advanced features provided by other services.
Protecting sensitive business information is paramount, and a registered agent service must ensure the highest levels of data protection.
Drawing from our evaluation, Northwest Registered Agent prioritizes data protection, as does Incorp, which offers a Price-match guarantee and a high level of security for legal information.
6. Third-Party Reviews
Third-party reviews provide an unbiased perspective on the quality and reliability of a registered agent service.
Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness have numerous positive reviews across different platforms, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.
A company with less favorable reviews might be LegalZoom, which, despite its brand recognition, has been noted for higher pricing and less comprehensive registered agent services.
7. Ease of Use
A user-friendly platform simplifies the process for businesses to manage their legal documents and compliance requirements.
We praise IncFile for its helpful online portal, and MyCompanyWorks for its Startup Wizard app, which guides users through the process of setting up their business.
8. Transition Process
A smooth transition process is crucial when switching registered agent services to avoid any gaps in legal coverage.
Based on our trial, Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness have excellent customer support and comprehensive services, which translates into a seamless transition process for new clients.
How Much Do Registered Agent Service Providers Cost?
The best registered agent service costs from $89- $299. Some companies are offering registered agents free of charge when you get their LLC formation packages while others are offering these services as an add-on.
However, it will cost $0 if you decide to be your own registered agent or appoint a family member or a close friend.
Requirements For A Registered Agent
The requirements for a registered or statutory agent include:
- Physical Address: The resident agent must have a physical address in the state of operation. The address cannot be a P.O. box or virtual office.
- Residency: To be a recognized agent, the person or company must be a resident of a certain state or have a physical office in the state that can be used for official mail.
- Acceptance of Service of Process: The primary role of a statutory agent is to receive legal documents on behalf of the LLC they represent and ensure these papers are forwarded to the right individuals.
- Availability: The registered agent must be consistently available at the registered office during standard business hours to accept the service of process.
Can I Act as My Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can act as your own registered agent. But, this could cause problems if you don't have a fixed place of business or aren't present during regular business hours.
Can a Registered Agent Be Allowed to Have a Virtual Address?
No, a registered agent cannot be allowed to have a virtual address. The business must select a registered agent who maintains a registered agent address in the state where it is permitted to operate.
Our Verdict on The Best Registered Agent Service
If you're looking for a service that will meet your needs and exceed them at every turn, I recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.
The company's reputation for reliability and exceptional customer service sets them apart. They offer personalized support, ensuring that your business's specific needs are met.
Additionally, Northwest is known for its straightforward pricing and no hidden fees, making it a transparent and trustworthy option.
Their added benefits, such as local scanning of all documents and a user-friendly online interface, make them an ideal partner for businesses seeking a hassle-free and efficient registered agent service.