Last updated: March 13, 2023

Properly managing an LLC in California requires enlisting the services of a registered agent. Choosing the right service is vital for ensuring your business remains client and has long-term success.

That's why we decided to test the top three services in California and compare over ten services to select the best options for you.

Keep reading for more information about each service, a detailed overview of service features, and pricing packages.

6 Best California Registered Agent Services (March 2023)

1 - Northwest Registered Agent (Editor's Choice)

Northwest Registered Agents logo with an office worker in the background

Northwest Registered Agent is our top choice in California. They will provide you with a secure physical address for business filings and scan and forward documents on behalf of your business.

To assure quality service, they offer their clients access to a team of experienced professionals, including former attorneys and accountants.

They also provided us with up-to-date information on the latest state and federal regulations, allowing us to comply with all applicable laws. They also ensured we completed our franchise tax and annual report on time.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($125): If you select Northwest to incorporate your LLC, the first year of registered agent service is free.
  • Basic LLC Formation Plan ($39 + $5 State Fee): This package offers articles of organization, an operating agreement, one-year free registered agent service, and standard & expedited processing speeds available.
  • Full Service LLC Formation Plan ($225 + $5 State Fees): Provides same-day filing, a full year of registered agent service, an operating agreement, and a client account stocked with free forms and services.
  • Privacy protection program
  • Excellent customer service
  • Highly experienced and knowledgeable
  • No hidden charges
  • The formation package comes with one-year free registered agent service
  • Quite pricey packages
Sign Up To Northwest Registered Agent

2 - ZenBusiness

A working young entrepreneur and a ZenBusiness logo

ZenBusiness is a registered agent offering high-quality, reliable, affordable services in California.

Their comprehensive package includes filing documents, receiving mail, and other services for a flat fee.

They are known for their affordable prices and customer dedication, which we have had the opportunity to attest to and confirm.

Additionally, we found their website easy to navigate, allowing us to find the information we needed quickly.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($199): ZenBusiness will upload digital copies to your dashboard so you can view them anytime and discreetly monitor all state notices to your agent address.
  • The  Starter LLC Formation Package ($0 + $5 State Fee): ZenBusiness offers a basic package for free with just covering the $5 state fee. It includes expense and deduction tracking, standard filing speed (2 to 3 weeks), and a 100% accuracy guarantee.
  • The Pro LLC Formation Package ($199 + $5 State Fee): You'll get this package at an affordable $199 per state plus $5 state fee. This package includes access to a guided operating agreement and worry-free compliance. Additionally, you'll have faster expedited filling speed (4 to 6 days).
  • The Premium LLC Formation Package ($299 + $5 State Fee): This package includes a domain name, an email address, a customizable business website, and the fastest rush filing speed which comes at 1-2 day turnaround.
  • Low-cost and straightforward price tier
  • Extended chat customer support
  • Received a lot of positive customer feedback
  • Provide guaranteed refund after 60 days
  • Low name recognition
Sign Up To ZenBusiness

3 - IncFile

Incfile logo with an business woman in the background

IncFile stands out from the competition when it comes to registered agent services in California.

Their free LLC formation service is unmatched in the industry, making it a reliable solution for startups and small business entities.

As a California business owner, you can also take advantage of the free business agent services in the first year.

This service includes 24/7 access to the online dashboard, which we were pleased to find gave us the ability to forward emails and customize notifications.

IncFile's commitment to providing top-notch customer service is evident in the 13,500+ reviews of positive ratings online.

This impressive number of reviews is a testament to the quality of their services, which are designed to be easy to use and highly accessible.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($119): If you opt for a formation package, this fee will be waived for the first year. You'll then pay $119 per year after the first year. 
  • Silver LLC Formation Package ($0 + $5 State Fee): This package includes filing the Articles of Organization, free registered agent service for a year, limitless name searches, and phone & email support.
  • Gold LLC Formation Package ($199 + $5 State Fee): You'll receive everything Silver Package features plus crucial business tax documents, such as EIN Business Tax Number and IRS Form 2553. Additionally, these features are included: operating agreement, banking resolution, lifetime company alerts, online access dashboard, business banking account setup, plus business tax consultation.
  • Platinum LLC Formation Package ($299 + $5 State Fee): Platinum package users will enjoy everything the Gold Package offers, plus business contract templates, rapid next-day filing service, and a web domain name plus business email.

  • Intuitive online dashboard
  • No charge for first year of agent services with all formation packages
  • Quick processing of orders
  • No hidden fees
  • Limited support selection
Sign Up To IncFile

4 - Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance logo with a business person reading a notebook in the background

Harbor Compliance is a trusted partner of the California Secretary of State and is committed to providing reliable and cost-effective registered agent services to its clients.

They will help you with the entire formation process, from filing the Articles of Organization to submitting your formation statement.

The company also provides helpful resources to help business owners better understand the complexities of California business law.

Furthermore, Harbor Compliance has a BBB ranking of A+. This rating backs its commitment to providing quality service.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($89-$99): Yearly rates 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%. Online access to the registered agent's address is available immediately.
  • LLC Formation Package ($99 + $5 State Fee): This LLC formation service includes checking name availability and filing your Articles of Organization.
  • Offers a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Quick turnaround electronic delivery time
  • The formation package comes with a free registered agent
  • Prices not affordable for startups
  • Customer support is not at par
Sign Up To Harbor Compliance

5 - Rocket Lawyer

Rocketlawyer logo with an office person in the background

The California agent services offered by Rocket Lawyer represent only a small portion of the company's portfolio.

As such, this agent is best suited for business owners or entrepreneurs seeking long-term legal benefits in addition to LLC incorporation.

They have previously served over 80,000 business entities and are known for providing high-quality legal assistance and advice.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($149.99 for non-members): A 25% discount applies for package members, and membership costs $39.99 monthly.
  • LLC Formation Package($99.99 + $5 State Fee): You can get it free with a $39.99 membership per month. With this package, benefit from free legal documents, attorney services, free LLC formation services, and 25% off registered agent service.
  • Affordable pricing structure
  • Provides legal documentation
  • Experienced support from legal professionals
  • Packages have limited features
  • Needs your credit card to start a free trial
Sign Up To Rocket Lawyer

6 - LegalZoom

Legalzoom logo with an office worker in the background

LegalZoom is an established and respected provider of business services providing a reliable and secure way to manage your business's legal paperwork.

LegalZoom also provides various quality registered agent services, such as business formation, trademark registration, and document filing.

They also help businesses protect their data, comply with regulations, and access unlimited cloud storage.

LegalZoom also provides up to $1 million worth of coverage in case of identity theft.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($299): If you wish to create your LLC with them, the first year costs $249. Following that, renewal would cost $299.
  • Economy LLC Formation Package ($79 + $5 State Fee): This package equips entrepreneurs with the essentials for launching their LLC, including comprehensive name search, personalized tax advice, a digital welcome packet, a seven-days-a-week customer service, a business newsletter, as well as customizable website in partnership with Wix.
  • Standard LLC Formation Package ($329 + $5 State Fee): The standard package includes everything the Economy package includes, plus a founder's kit with the personalized notebook.
  • Express Gold LLC Formation Package ($349 + $5 State Fee): You will get all the features of Economy and Standard packages, with a 1-day express processing plus expedited shipping.
  • Strong brand power
  • High customer traffic
  • Money-back satisfaction guarantee
  • Average customer experience feedback
  • Expensive
Sign Up To LegalZoom

What Are the Benefits of Working With the Best Registered Agent Service in California?

A person doing paperwork in front of the laptop

From convenience to privacy to compliance, there are several benefits to using registered agent services.

Let's briefly look at each one now.

1. Convenient

Outsourcing administrative tasks like filing documents, maintaining records, and responding to legal notices saves business owners time and energy. The owners, thus, can better focus on other aspects of their business operations.

The registered agents are also highly experienced in handling the tedious paperwork associated with running a business. These services save you time and ensure you have the most up-to-date information available when you need it.

2. Money Saving

The cost of being late can quickly add up, resulting in costly penalties and fees. The best-registered agent services in California can help businesses avoid these extra expenses by ensuring that all documents are filed, and fees are paid on time.

3. Maintains privacy

Ensuring that your business remains private is one of the key benefits of working with California's best-registered agent service.

A registered agent service will ensure that your personal address is kept private and secure after creating your LLC in California.

All papers served to your business, such as a summons or complaint, will be sent to the registered office address instead of your business's actual address. This helps to protect your business from unwanted solicitations, as well as to protect your privacy if your business is sued [2].

4. Highly dependable

Working with the best-registered agent service in California means having access to a highly dependable partner regarding corporate law. With years of experience in the field, a registered agent can provide invaluable guidance and support to businesses in California.

They are knowledgeable about the legal requirements and regulations and can advise on the best action to take in any situation. Furthermore, the registered agent service can provide advice on compliance with state laws and regulations [3].

How Much Does a California Registered Agent Service Cost?

Generally, a California registered agent service costs between $89 and $299 yearly. The exact cost of a California registered agent service depends on the company you choose, the services you require, and the length of your contract.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

searching for a California registered agent

California law requires that an individual be at least 18 years of age and have a valid California street address to be a registered agent.

The registered agent must be available to accept legal documents and other important notices during regular working hours on normal business days [3]. The registered agent must also be willing to forward documents to the business promptly.

In addition, the registered agent must be able to provide information about the business to any person or entity that requests it.

When selecting a registered agent to represent your California LLC, you have four options:

Option 1: Act as your LLC's registered agent. If you choose this option, you must:

  • Have a California physical address
  • Have standard business hours availability
  • Be able to accept the service of the process

Option 2: You can choose Your LLC to be the registered agent
Option 3: You can appoint a family member or a friend you trust to be your LLC's registered agent
Option 4: You can use commercial registered agent services


Is It Necessary for My California LLC to Have a Registered Agent?

Yes, your California LLC must have a Registered Agent. According to California's LLC Act, the registered agent and office address must be provided when filing the LLC formation documents with the California Secretary of State. Failure to meet this requirement will nullify your formation filling.

What Does a Registered Agent Do?

A registered agent's work entails receiving, reviewing, and forwarding important documents on behalf of a business. This includes documents from the Secretary of State and other official correspondence. A registered agent must also ensure that any documents are received in a timely manner and are accurately recorded.

Can I Act as My Own California Registered Agent?

Yes, you can act as your own California Registered Agent if you meet certain requirements. As the registered agent, you will be responsible for receiving all official documents on behalf of your LLC. You must be a resident of California or a corporation or LLC authorized to transact business in California. You must also have a physical address in California where you can receive service of process.


What Are the Qualities of a Good California Registered Agent?

A good California registered agent should have the following qualities:

  • They have a professional service
  • They provide the best value for money
  • They provide agent services nationwide
  • Excellent service features
  • Ease of use

Can I Use the Registered Agent Office Address as My Business Address?

No, you can't use the Registered Agent Office Address as your Business Address. It is not intended to operate as your business address. In general, it is only intended to receive official government documents relevant to your business to accomplish the service of process.

Can I Use a Registered Agent Office Address With the IRS?

No, you can't use the office address of your registered agent with the IRS. The IRS wants to know where your business is physically located. At the same time, the address does not have to be in the United States but can be anywhere worldwide.

Our TOP Pick for a Reliable Registered Agent Service in California is...

If you plan to expand your business and follow state offices and regulations while saving time and money and protecting your privacy - choosing the best registered agent in California is essential for your continued service of process.

Northwest Registered Agent is our top choice. They are very reliable, up to date with compliance filing deadlines, and offer a client-focused service with former lawyers and experts in the field.

Our experience with Northwest registered agent showed us they have mastered it all during their twenty years of experience in the industry.

Our #1 Recommendation

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agents logo with an office worker in the background
  • Privacy protection program
  • Excellent customer service
  • Highly experienced and knowledgeable
  • No hidden charges
  • The formation package comes with one-year free registered agent service
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of March
  • Quite pricey packages

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