Last updated: July 31, 2022

One of the critical steps in forming an LLC is selecting your North Carolina registered agent. They either keep your North Carolina business in good standing with the Secretary of State or run the risk of losing important legal documents in the mail or, worse, missing important deadlines.

Finding a registered agent service in North Carolina is easy, but you must find the most suitable for your business entity. So, to assist you with this, in this guide we listed the best registered agent services in North Carolina.

1. ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness logo with a busy office worker in the background

If you’re looking for one of the lowest North Carolina registered agent prices without the LLC formation, ZenBusiness is your best pick. With $99, you gain access to user-friendly software as well as personalized customer assistance. They also provide complete coverage of registered agent service with the option to upgrade at an additional cost.

ZenBusiness is well-known for its reasonable prices, transparency, user-friendly interface, and customer dedication. They have over 4,500 customer reviews online with an average rating of 4.7/5.

ZenBusiness Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services Basic Package: The price starts at $99 without LLC formation.
  • Registered Agent Service Worry-Free Compliance Package: Additional $50 per state. Includes annual filing report alerts, filing of legal papers, two free changes to filings, and coverage for any fees incurred if you fall out of compliance with the state.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation: Basic package starts at $39, including a one-year North Carolina, registered agent service, and a free operating agreement template.

ZenBusiness Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Oustanding customer feedback
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Affordable registered agent services
  • Free registered agent services are included with every package
Cons
  • Low brand recognition

2. Northwest Registered Agent

From providing the street address you need to scanning and forwarding every document they receive on your behalf, Northwest Registered Agent got you covered. On top of that, they notify you of future compliance filing deadlines, ensuring that you file your annual report, franchise tax, and other tax documents on time.

To assure quality service, they also have a US-based customer support team comprised of former attorneys, accountants, small company owners, and entrepreneurs.

Northwest Registered Agent Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Charges $39 on the first year and renews annually at $125.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation: Basic package starts at $125, which includes registered agent service, Local Corporate Guides®, Privacy by Default®, free mail forwarding/scanning, and same-day local document scanning.

Northwest Registered Agent Pros and Cons

Pros
  • One year registered agent service with formation packages
  • Personalized and excellent customer support
  • 20+ years of experience in the industry
  • Has volume discounts on registered agent service
Cons
  • High price in comparison to the competition

3. IncFile

Incfile logo with a businesman in the background crossing his arms

IncFile is the only service company to offer free LLC formation services, with one free year of registered agent service. So, if you’re a startup or a small business owner, IncFile will help you get started and get things off to a good start, especially with your budget.

InFile's quality of service is backed by 13,500+ reviews of positive ratings online with only a few poor ones. They are well-known registered agents for their ease of use and excellent customer service.

IncFile Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Charges a $119 annual fee but offers a free registered agent service with formation packages.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation: Free of charge, so you only have to pay for the $125 filing fee due to the North Carolina Secretary of State for the first year.

IncFile Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Thousands of positive customer reviews
  • Has a registered agent dashboard
  • Features a virtual mailbox
  • Free year registered agent services with formation packages
Cons
  • Mediocre features on their registered agent service
  • Expensive fee in the long run
  • No volume discounts on registered agent service

4. Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer is well-known for its powerful estate planning software. But, they’re also a home to different legal services, such as LLC formation and registered agent services. So, if you’re a business owner looking for long-term legal benefits, Rocket Lawyer is best suited for you.

They have previously served over 80,000 business entities and are known for providing high-quality legal assistance and advice. Rocket Lawyer guarantees complete satisfaction with its registered agent services.

Rocket Lawyer Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Charges $149.99 annual fee for non-members. It also includes storing legal papers in an online document repository and submitting the North Carolina Certificate of Formation.
  • Business Bundle Plan: Includes free registered agent services for the first year.

Rocket Lawyer Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Excellent customer support
  • Subscription-based pricing
  • Provides legal documents
  • Provides support from legal experts
Cons
  • Limited service features
  • Credit card for a free trial

5. LegalZoom

Legalzoom logo with two businessmen shaking hands while sitting down

Similar to Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom is a one-stop-shop for legal services. However, since they have already established a significant presence in the registered agent services industry, you may expect their pricing to be higher than the rest of the competition.

Their North Carolina registered agent service provides services including company data security, a compliance calendar, and unlimited cloud storage. The premium feature of their service is that they provide up to $1 million in identity theft protection.

LegalZoom Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Charges a $299 annual fee and includes features such as business data protection, a compliance calendar, and unlimited cloud storage. The premium feature offers up to $1 million worth of identity theft protection.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation: Business formation services start at $79 plus a state fee.

LegalZoom Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Has high customer volume
  • Offers wide a variety of legal services
  • Great brand power
Cons
  • Mediocre customer reviews
  • High prices
  • No registered agent included with LLC formations

6. Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance charges a one-time fee of $99 to cover the entire process for a year, with discounts available for multi-year subscriptions. Their nationwide registered agent service delivers superior security and efficiency to multi-state LLCs.

With great service quality and a maintained A+ rating from the better business bureau, Harbor Compliance is among the best registered agent services in North Carolina. Their service features are top-notch and highly convenient for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Harbor Compliance Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Charges a $99 annual fee, which includes complimentary document scanning, same-day electronic delivery of paperwork, customizable notifications, and more. Bulk discounts are available.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation: Basic Formation Package costs $399 plus state fees. It includes a free year of registered agent service.

Harbor Compliance Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Has same-day electronic delivery
  • Has automatic process
  • Features specialized services
  • Free registered agent with formation package
Cons
  • Expensive prices for services
  • Average customer support

7. Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings logo with busy office workers in the background

Swyft Filings is best suited for Florida LLC owners who have no time to deal with the complications and inconveniences of paperwork. From providing 24/7 online access to important mail to sending reminders for important due dates and deadlines, Swyft Filings will handle all your filling needs.

Swyft Filings is relatively new to the registered agent service industry, but they’re already among the service providers with the best customer reviews online. They have a whooping 4.7 average customer rating out of the 4,122 Trustpilot reviews.

Swyft Filings Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Price starts at $149.
  • Florida LLC Formation: Offers three-level packages with several add-on services that you can purchase at affordable prices.

Swyft Filings Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Has 100% money-back guarantee
  • Affordable LLC formation package
  • Free order shipping
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • No state-specific forms
  • Turnaround time is different from state to state

8. Inc Authority

If you’re planning to form an LLC and are looking to hire a Florida registered agent service, Inc Authority is your ideal choice. They provide free LLC formation services in Florida, along with a full year of registered agent services. Now, all you have to pay is the state fee.

Inc Authority Service Features

  • Registered Agent Services: Free registered agent service included with LLC formation packages. Then, renews annually at $99.
  • Florida LLC Formation: Most basic package offers free LLC formation. Upgraded formation packages are available, with prices ranging from $399 to $799.

Inc Authority Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Excellent customer feedback
  • No hidden fees
  • 30+ years track record
Cons
  • No physical address
  • Expensive non-basic bundles
  • Upselling of unnecessary services

What Are the Benefits of Working With a Registered Agent Service in North Carolina?

Two businessmen shaking hands with other coworkers beside them

While acting as your own registered agent reduces your initial business expenses, there are clear advantages to partnering with a registered agent service that is hard to overlook–making all the extra fees worthwhile.

Below are some of them:

  • Convenience. Many entrepreneurs and business owners want to focus on scaling their business instead of dealing with administrative tasks. With the assistance of a registered agent service, they can do just that. The registered agent can handle the tedious paperwork and provide their client with an online account that securely saves all company files and documentation in one location.
  • Saves money in the long run. A registered agent can help entrepreneurs with multi-state LLCs in submitting legal documents and paying state filing fees on time. This way, LLCs avoid incurring additional expenses due to being late.
  • Maintains privacy. With a registered agent service, the LLC owner doesn't have to worry about exposing their personal address on the public record once they officially framed their LLC. Instead, the registered agent service will provide the physical street address, which means that all papers will be served to the registered office address, including if the LLC is sued.
  • Highly dependable. Things can get complicated quickly if it involves matters of state or corporate law. LLCs may benefit from the services of a registered agent with years of experience working with other business entities. Registered agents can also provide additional legal services that help owners run their LLC well and keep them on the right side of the law.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Service Cost in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the cost of hiring a registered agent could range anywhere from $50 to $300 per year. Considering how much time and energy it will save you, it definitely is a small price to pay. Additionally, there are other registered agent service providers that offer free registered agent services when you purchase LLC formation packages from them.

Besides assisting in filing the paperwork to create an LLC, most registered agent services also offer assistance in filing annual reports, monitoring due dates and renewals, and providing other legal services.

Who Can Be a North Carolina Registered Agent?

Office workers posing for the camera crossing their arms

Like any other state, North Carolina allows any entity or individual to act as a registered agent for a North Carolina business. This is provided they are at least 18 years old, have a physical street address in the state in which the LLC is created, and are available during normal business hours.

Here are four options you can select from when appointing a registered agent for your North Carolina LLC:

Option 1: Be your own LLC's North Carolina Registered Agent.

Option 2: Appoint your LLC as its own Registered Agent.

Option 3: Designate a trusted friend or family member as your LLC's Registered Agent.

Option 4: Hire a North Carolina Registered Agent Company.

FAQs

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My LLC in North Carolina?

Yes. Every business entity formed and registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State must appoint a registered agent. Without it, the Secretary of State will reject your LLC formation filing.

What Does a North Carolina Registered Agent Do?

A North Carolina registered agent acts as the point of contact for your business. This means they are responsible for receiving service of process, like legal notice of a lawsuit and legal papers from the Secretary of State on behalf of your LLC.

How Do I Choose a Good North Carolina Registered Agent?

Choosing the best North Carolina registered agent for your business will depend on your needs. There are, however, certain qualities you must take into consideration when choosing a registered agent service.

Below are some of them:

  • Professional service
  • Best value for money
  • Registered agent service nationwide
  • Excellent service features
  • Ease of use

Can I Act as My Own North Carolina Registered Agent?

Yes. You have the option of naming yourself as the registered agent for your North Carolina business, which means you will be the person in charge of receiving all official documents on the company's behalf.

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

No. Your North Carolina registered agent is not intended to operate as your business address. Generally, it is only meant to receive official government documents relevant to your business.

Can I Use a PO Box for My LLC in North Carolina?

As an LLC member, you can use a PO Box as your address. Your registered agent, on the other hand, must have a physical address in North Carolina.

How Much Is the Fee to Start an LLC in North Carolina?

There is a $125 filing fee for the Articles of Organization due to the North Carolina State Corporations Commission. You may file the articles online at the North Carolina Secretary of State website or by mail.

Best Registered Agent Service in North Carolina is...

When looking for the best registered agent service in North Carolina, you should constantly examine and review critical characteristics such as their service features, ease of use, customer feedback, and cost. We recommend ZenBusiness for affordable services and Northwest Registered Agent if you want a customer-centered service.

If you want the best value for your LLC, we recommend IncFile, and LegalZoom if your North Carolina LLC needs other legal services. We recommend Rocket Lawyer if you prefer many package options and Harbor Compliance if you plan to have multi-state LLCs. If you’re in the process of forming an LLC and are looking to hire a registered agent, we recommend Inc Authority and Swyft Filings for a money-back guarantee.

Whatever NC registered agent service you choose, we hope this guide has helped you assess your business needs and identify the most suitable one for your company.

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