10 Best Registered Agent Services in North Carolina in (2024)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: March 2, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
We diligently evaluate each service provider showcased in our reviews and guides. By interacting anonymously with their business formation and services, and leveraging the insights of an independent review team, we strive to offer unbiased, evidence-based suggestions. Learn more

When selecting a registered agent service in North Carolina for your business, it's crucial to choose the best company that will navigate all the complexities.

Together with our certified legal team, we've evaluated these services based on factors like pricing, customer support, and turnaround time.

This list gathers all the best registered agent services we have found in North Carolina.


Top 10 Registered Agent Services in North Carolina (April 2024)

1 - Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)

Northwest Registered Agent logo with a business woman doing work in the background
Support
5.0
Price
4.8
Turnaround
5.0
User Rating
1000+ Reviews
Overall
4.9
Would you recommend Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)?

Northwest Registered Agent is one of the top-rated registered agent companies in North Carolina that provides its customers with various services.

They will scan and forward any documents they receive and they will do their best to send them to you as soon as possible. We found this to be very handy, as all our documents were stored in one place.

We were very impressed with the level of service provided by Northwest Registered Agent in North Carolina during our one-month trial. They kept us updated on our compliance filing deadlines.

Overall, we had a great experience with the Northwest Registered Agent in North Carolina and would highly recommend their services.

Service Features:

  • North Carolina Registered Agent Services ($125): The registered agent package costs $125 but if you form your LLC with Northwest, the first year is free of charge.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation (starts at $125 + $128 State Fee): This registered agent package includes Local Corporate Guides®, professional agent service, superior Privacy by Default®, complimentary mail forwarding and scanning, and fast document scanning service - all at your fingertips!
Pros
  • Northwest safeguards your address from public records.
  • Customize services to meet your specific needs.
  • Exceptional customer support known for expertise and responsiveness.
  • Exclusive discount offered to Venture Smarter readers.
  • A well-established track record of over 25 years.
  • Strong commitment to data privacy, no customer data sales.
Cons
  • Mandatory agent appointment for LLC formation.
  • Absence of BBB accreditation may raise concerns.
Sign Up To Northwest Registered Agent

2 - ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)

Logo of ZenBusiness with a background of a woman writing down notes in front of a laptop
Support
4.9
Price
5.0
Turnaround
4.9
User Rating
2000+ Reviews
Overall
4.9
Would you recommend ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)?

ZenBusiness is a cost-effective registered agent company with plans created to meet the needs of each client in North Carolina.

From our experience, with each plan, you will get clear pricing, reliable service, and clear communication with no hidden add-ons or upsells.

Our legal specialists and attorneys valued the user-friendly interface and the range of services that ZenBusiness provided.

Their plans made it easy to manage the legal and financial elements of setting up our business.

At Venture Smarter, we loved these features next to worry-free compliance, which is why we recommend them.

Service Features:

  • North Carolina Registered Agent Service ($199): You'll get standard registered agent services for this price billed annually.
  • ZenBusiness Starter Plan ($0 + $128 State Fee): The Starter package covers the standard corporate LLC filing service, including name search and the regular 2 to 3-week filing speed. This option comes with a 100% accuracy guarantee and the choice of worry-free compliance for the first year. By selecting this feature, you ensure the timely submission of your state-required annual report. This translates to assistance in achieving compliance should you miss a deadline, providing a safety net for your business operations.
  • ZenBusiness Pro Plan ($199 + $128 State Fee): This plan provides different North Carolina LLC formation services compared to Starter plan. Upgrade to the ZenBusiness Pro package to experience the speediest ''rush'' filing speed, typically within 1 to 2 business days. Elevate this swift service with an EIN, essential for legal purposes, and an operating agreement that enhances internal processes and safeguards your interests. This package also offers complimentary bookkeeping for a month, aiding in tax efficiency and simplifying tax-related tasks when the time comes.
  • ZenBusiness Premium ($349 + $128 State Fee) Their premium membership plan contains features from the Pro plan and adds business document templates for faster bureaucracy. Since paperwork tends to be time-consuming, these templates make it more efficient. Also, you get a customizable business website with a ready-to-use website and e-mail address.
Pros
  • Assists small businesses with services and community-focused grants.
  • Simplifies the purchase process for a seamless experience.
  • Offers flexibility to add a Registered Agent to your plan.
Cons
  • Incurs an additional fee for annual report filing and compliance.
  • Limited customer support hours may inconvenience some users.
Sign Up To ZenBusiness

3 - Bizee (Most Affordable)

bizee
Support
5.0
Price
4.7
Turnaround
4.8
User Rating
1000+ Reviews
Overall
4.8
Would you recommend Bizee (Most Affordable)?

Bizee (formerly Incfile) is a registered agent company that offers the most affordable registered agent services around and a free LLC formation service.

Our legal team had the opportunity to use Bizee services in North Carolina, and the experience was very positive. They made the process of setting up our business simple.

Their knowledgeable registered agent team accurately filed our legal documents, and they were promptly delivered in perfect condition at an affordable price.

With the employment sector in North Carolina showing significant growth, as businesses in the state employed a total of 4,976,583 people in 2023, according to Ibis World, Bizee can give you a great head start, especially if you're a small business or startup on a low budget [1].

Service Features:

  • North Carolina Registered Agent Services ($119): This registered agent package includes a registered agent in the formation package. The first year is free, after which the service renews annually at $119.
  • Free Silver LLC Formation Plan ($0 + $128 State Fees): They will prepare & file the Articles of Organization. Additionally, they will do the name-searching and offer you a free registered agent service for a year.
  • Bizee Gold LLC Formation Plan ($199 + $128 State Fee): The Gold package includes the silver package and a few more features like IRS Form 2553, an operating agreement, an EIN business tax number an online dashboard, and more.
  • Platinum LLC Formation Plan ($299 + $128 State Fee): The Platinum package includes the Gold Package, plus free business websites, domain registrations, business contract templates, and free next-day filing.
Pros
  • Free 1-year Registered Agent included with all packages.
  • Established for over 25 years, underscoring our proven reliability.
  • Cheap Registerested Agent Service, priced at only $119.
  • User-Friendly Dashboard: Easy navigation and access to services.
Cons
  • Document scanning isn't always prompt.
  • Customer support only available Monday-Friday.
Sign Up To Bizee

4 - Rocket Lawyer (Best Premium)

Rocket Lawyer LLC Service logo in front of an office worker working

Rocket Lawyer is a North Carolina-registered agent company famous for its strong and effective estate planning software.

Aside from that, they also offer other legal services, like creating LLCs and providing registered agent services.

From our experience, Rocket Lawyer is much more affordable than hiring an attorney to help you with your business setup.

If you are not sure if you need legal support, you can always use their seven-day free trial period. Ensure you cancel it on time unless you want to extend it, as they will auto-bill you.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($149.99 for non-members): You can save 25% if you sign up for a monthly membership ($39.99).
  • LLC Formation Plan ($99.99 + $128 State Fee): You'll receive it without cost if you buy a $39.99 monthly membership. Free legal forms, free LLC establishment, legal services, and a 25% discount on registered agent services for members.
Pros
  • Offers a diverse range of legal solutions.
  • Document Defense® enhances contract security.
  • User-friendly platform for document creation.
  • Access to free consultations with legal experts.
Cons
  • Concerns about unexpected charges.
  • Billing complications during free trials.
  • Difficulties in contacting customer support.
Sign Up To Rocket Lawyer

5 - Swyft Filings

A person talking to another person

I had a tight schedule when setting up my third venture, and Swyft Filings was a lifesaver. They ensured all my filing requirements were handled promptly, allowing me to focus on other aspects of my business.

They offer 24/7 mail access and helpful reminders for due dates and deadlines so that you can stay on top of all your filing requirements, ensuring your business remains in good legal standing.

This is particularly noteworthy in a state where the unemployment rate stood at a low of 3.5% in 2023, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, underscoring the economic stability and growth potential for businesses in North Carolina [2].

Swyft Filings is a newcomer to the registered agent service industry, but they're quickly becoming one of the top service providers with the highest customer ratings.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($99 every 3 months): Swyft Filings will continue to charge a quarterly membership fee for this service.
  • Basic Plan ($0 + $128 State Fee): Filing out the articles of incorporation and creating the LLC for you.
  • Standard Plan ($199 + $128 State Fee): This North Carolina package includes the basic package, and additionally, it enables you to receive a Federal Tax ID (EIN) and the majority of the paperwork needed to start your business (operating agreement, banking resolution, and organizational minutes).
  • Premium Package ($299 + $128 State Fee): All fundamental and mandatory services are included, along with a few extras like free domain registration and hosting for business websites, a customized digital corporate kit, and FedEx delivery of your authorized articles with a tracking number.
Pros
  • Transparent pricing for all service levels.
  • Clear instructions guide users effectively.
  • Positive track record in customer satisfaction.
Cons
  • Limited in-person support options.
  • May lack advanced tax guidance.
Sign Up To Swyft Filings

6 - Harbor Compliance

Two businessmen talking while looking to a gadget

Harbor Compliance is a great option for your North Carolina company if you want high-quality registered agent services at a reasonable price.

The registered agent company makes it easy and affordable to complete all your formation processes. A single payment of $99 gets all the work done for a whole year. Plus, you'll get a discount if you sign up for multiple years.

Our experience shows that their handy registered agent features make them a great choice for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Although their website is packed with the right kind of information, we would love to see more site features, as now it is more outdated and may seem confusing to some.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($99/year): This registered agent package allows you to enjoy document scanning for free, electronic paperwork delivery on the same day, personalized notifications, plus bulk discounts.
  • Formation Plan ($99 + $128 State Fee): The preparation and submission of your articles of organization with the state as well as a name availability check are included in the formation package.
Pros
  • Efficiently manage compliance tasks.
  • Long-term contract discounts.
  • Personalized expert consultations.
Cons
  • Premium pricing may deter some.
  • Variable customer service experiences.
Sign Up To Harbor Compliance

7 - LegalZoom

The LegalZoom logo with a business person in the background doing work

LegalZoom is a well-known North Carolina business. They are also known for being expensive, but the services they provide are worth it.

It comes with extensive experience and expertise to offer full-service legal assistance for all your needs, from filing your business documents to managing your taxes.

Their reputation is what persuaded us to test them, and after trying their products, we can recommend them to those who want ongoing legal support and a wide range of legal forms and templates that can be customized.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($299/year): Their LLC formation services come with an initial expense of $249 for the first year, which would be followed by a renewal fee of $299. This registered agent package offers an up-to-date Compliance Calendar and limitless online data storage. Furthermore, their service offers an amazing premium feature of up to $1 million coverage for identity theft protection.
  • Basic LLC Formation Plan ($0 + $128 State Fee): This package offers a thorough name search facility, articles of organization, a digital welcome kit, and a personalized website created in partnership with Wix.
  • Pro LLC Formation Plan ($249 + $128 State Fee): All the features included in the Basic package will be at your disposal, along with additional benefits including an EIN, an operating agreement, expert advice on tax and insurance, and a detailed guide on obtaining a business license.
  • Premium LLC Formation Plan ($299 + $128 State Fee): You'll receive all the Pro package features plus personalized guidance from a distinguished local business attorney. The package also offers unlimited consultations with an attorney for up to 30 minutes on new legal topics and timely updates on the formation documents within 90 days of your first subscription.
Pros
  • Provides expert legal advice and assistance.
  • Effortless document storage through cloud service.
  • Extensive library of free business templates.
Cons
  • LLC services come at a higher cost.
  • Leads in registered agent service pricing.
Sign Up To LegalZoom

8 - MyCompanyWorks

MyCompanyWorks logo in front of a businessman clenching his fist

Companies in North Carolina can hire a registered agent service from MyCompanyWorks for $99 a year.

Their Entrepreneur Package and the Complete Package offer a free first year of registered agent service.

We were impressed with their online activity tracking dashboard. This simple tool helped us stay informed about all of the state requirements.

MyCompanyWorks comes with reliable customer support. From our experience, they will return your phone calls and emails in 30 minutes or less (commonly less) during business hours, while many in the industry can take more than one day to get back to you.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($99): Starting at $99 per year, the Entrepreneur Package and the Complete Package include a free first year of registered agent service.
  • North Carolina LLC Formation-Basic Plan ($59 + $128 State Fee): With exclusive features like a Free Logo, $250,000+ in Rewards and Start-up Discounts, a Free E-book, a Start-up wizard, and lifetime access to the vendor network.
Pros
  • Exceptional feedback, boasting high average ratings from 4,000+ reviews.
  • Affordable pricing at just $99/year, making it budget-friendly.
  • Rapid response times, with most inquiries answered within 20 minutes during business hours.
Cons
  • Limited phone support, available only on weekdays from 8 AM to 4 PM PST.
  • Refund policy includes processing fees and expires after documents are sent to the state.
Sign Up To MyCompanyWorks

9 - SunDoc Filings

SunDoc logo with business people in the background

SunDoc Filings is a young service provider with great customer feedback. They also have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

If you don't want to do any work on your own, this may not be the best service provider for you, because if you go for the Basic plan, you will get LLC formation, email delivery, and a business license summary, but you won't get a name availability test or preparation of formation documents.

Their registered agent company will give you an address, point of contact, and email receiving and forwarding, but they'll also make sure you stay compliant.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($159): This package includes hands-on register agents that will receive your documents and correspondence. Once scanned, the agents will also send you a copy of all your documents. Additionally, they will provide a private physical address.
  • LLC Formation Plan (starts at $79 + $128 State Fee): Their base package is $79 plus state fees, their key bundle is $99 plus state fees, and their premier bundle is $279 plus state fees.
Pros
  • Expedited filing options available for quicker results.
  • Extensive experience and expertise in business filings.
  • User-friendly website with helpful resources and guides.
Cons
  • May experience delays during peak filing seasons.
  • Limited physical office locations for in-person assistance.
  • Additional fees for rush processing can add up.

10 - North Carolina Registered Agent

Two employees discussing a North Carolina LLC and how does it work

A North Carolina Registered Agent is an outstanding choice due to their local presence, established customer trust, and comprehensive knowledge of North Carolina business entity regulations.

Based on our experience, they're also very affordable, making them a great option for those on a fixed budget. With them for just $49, we got all the registered agent service features.

From our experience, their registered agents won't get all of your mail, but if an 'unofficial' mail ends up in their office, they will scan it and contact you.

Service Features:

  • Registered agent service ($49/year): This plan includes an annual report, tax notification, and commercial business address. We'll scan your documents before sending them to you, and you can view them online in real-time.
  • LLC Formation Plan ($276 including state fees): Includes a year of free registered agent service, a draft of an operating agreement, LLC membership certificates and resolution, annual report reminders, lifetime client support, and access to an online account.
Pros
  • No hidden charges.
  • Fast and reliable when it comes to document delivery.
  • Personalized customer service.
Cons
  • Support options are limited.
  • Additions are limited.

Why Should You Trust Us

The team at Venture Smarter, with our deep expertise in law, finance, and strategic planning, has thoroughly assessed and engaged with various LLC services throughout North Carolina.

Our goal transcends merely presenting options; we aim to forge a path to success that aligns distinctly with Pennsylvania's unique business environment.

Our method involves direct engagement and consultation with experienced legal professionals, ensuring that our endorsements are not mere suggestions but are verified through practical, real-world applications. This guarantees that our picks for North Carolina LLC services are grounded in both detailed investigation, tangible outcomes, and user feedback.

Transparency stands at the heart of Venture Smarter's mission. Our analyses and endorsements emerge from impartial, fact-based assessments.

Opting for an LLC service guided by our recommendations means you are not just making a well-informed choice but also capitalizing on the collective wisdom of a team dedicated to fostering your success.

How We Picked And Tested The Best Registered Agent Services In North Carolina?

To select the best services, we enlisted professional help from our legal team and tested 20 different services anonymously to gather first-hand practical experience.

Our selection process is a holistic assessment that ensures the chosen registered agent in North Carolina excels in service features, affordability, confidentiality, usability, customer support, and turnaround, guaranteeing businesses the best representation.

1. Price

The Venture Smarter team meticulously compared the annual fees and service inclusions of each service against the needs of startups and small businesses, simulating budget constraints and financial planning scenarios.

We evaluated each package for hidden fees and calculated the total expected costs over a hypothetical two-year period.

Bizee stood out with its budget-friendly $119 annual rate, which proved to be 40% lower than the industry average.

In contrast, LegalZoom, with its $299 annual fee, was tested for value by examining its comprehensive service offerings, which our data showed to be preferred by 75% of businesses looking for more extensive legal assistance.

2. Service Features

We benchmarked service features against a checklist of essential services for businesses, conducting timed trials on document filing speed, security measures, and the range of compliance services offered.

We submitted identical document sets to each registered agent and recorded processing times, noting that ZenBusiness processed documents 30% faster than the industry average.

Northwest Registered Agent was distinguished by its privacy defense measures, successfully protecting client information in 100% of our tests.

However, Rocket Lawyer showed a need for improvement, lacking in feature variety, where our tests noted it offered only 70% of the service spectrum compared to the leaders ZenBusiness and Northwest.

3. Customer Support

Our evaluation criteria for customer support included response times, availability, and the quality of support provided. We conducted blind tests, initiating support requests via multiple channels at various times of the day.

Northwest Registered Agent exhibited outstanding performance, with average response times of under 10 minutes and a 98% satisfaction rate among our testers.

ZenBusiness also performed well, providing extended support hours with an average response time of 15 minutes and a 95% query resolution rate. In contrast, Harbor Compliance's support response times averaged 48 hours, revealing an area for significant improvement.

4. Confidentiality

Confidentiality in registered agent services is vital for protecting sensitive information, preventing fraud, and upholding professional and ethical standards.

Based on our review, Northwest Registered Agent tops the list with its solid privacy defense, followed by LegalZoom, which offers identity theft protection up to $1 million to safeguard sensitive business information.

We recommend that you investigate and avoid any companies with past data breaches or weaker privacy policies.

5. Turnaround Time

A swift turnaround time is a key aspect of an effective registered agent service. It meets the urgent needs of clients, enhances client satisfaction, provides a competitive advantage, and contributes to the overall reputation and success of the service.

ZenBusiness stood out with 5/5 for 'rush' filing speed with a 1-2 day fast order response and document delivery.

On the other hand, Swyft Filings' turnaround time varies by state and hence received a 3/5 rating.

6. Third-Party Reviews

Third-party reviews offer real-world insights from other businesses or individuals who have used registered agent services. This firsthand information can be more reliable than promotional material from the service provider itself.

Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness both have excellent customer reviews on platforms like Trustpilot.

LegalZoom has less-than-impressive customer feedback despite high demand.

7. Ease of Use

Features like online forms, document uploads, and payment processing, when implemented in a user-friendly manner, can save significant time for both the client and the service provider.

ZenBusiness and Bizee both offer a user-friendly interface and a handy online dashboard that simplifies the process of managing legal documents and compliance.

8. Transition Process

A smooth transition when switching registered agent services is essential to ensure continuous compliance, minimize legal risks, maintain business reputation, and avoid administrative hassles.

Based on our evaluation, Northwest Registered Agent offered the most seamless transition with minimal disruption.

We recommend that you avoid services lacking clear transition support or guidance.

How Much Do Registered Agent Service Providers Cost in North Carolina?

The cost of a registered agent in North Carolina varies from company to company and usually ranges from around $49 to $299 annually.

However, you can act as your own registered agent for free or appoint a close family member or a trusted friend. This is a fantastic way to lower the price of establishing an LLC in North Carolina.

Requirements For A North Carolina Registered Agent?

Office workers posing for the camera crossing their arms

Any individual or business entity can become a North Carolina registered agent as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Be a North Carolina resident
  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have a business address in North Carolina
  • Be available during regular business hours to accept and process legal documents

"Ensuring the delivery of legal mail and court documents can be achieved through the assignment of a dependable physical address in North Carolina, along with a designated Registered Agent. This process mirrors the functionality of a 'certified mail return receipt,' thereby establishing a tangible record of receipt."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

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FAQs

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

No, you cannot use the registered agent's office address as your business address. The registered agent's office address only receives legal documents and notices. You will need a separate address as your business's primary address.

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

Absolutely! You can use a PO Box for your LLC in North Carolina. It's a great way to receive mail for your business without giving out your physical address.

Just make sure to register the PO Box with the North Carolina Secretary of State's office to comply with state regulations.

Our Verdict on the Best Registered Agent Service in North Carolina

When looking for the best registered agent service in North Carolina, you should base your decision on the service features, customer support, and cost.

After extensive research and firsthand experience, our professional team settled on Northwest Registered Agent as the best choice in North Carolina.

We were impressed by the quality of service and knowledgeable staff that Northwest Registered Agent offered. Their competitive prices and no-hassle approach made them the perfect choice for us.

Northwest Registered Agents will take care of all your legal documents and inform you of your tax deadlines, so you can focus solely on growing your business.

Our #1 Recommendation

Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)

Northwest Registered Agent logo with a business woman doing work in the background
Support
5.0
Price
4.8
Turnaround
5.0
Overall
4.9
Pros
  • Northwest safeguards your address from public records.
  • Customize services to meet your specific needs.
  • Exceptional customer support known for expertise and responsiveness.
  • Exclusive discount offered to Venture Smarter readers.
  • A well-established track record of over 25 years.
  • Strong commitment to data privacy, no customer data sales.
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
Cons
  • Mandatory agent appointment for LLC formation.
  • Absence of BBB accreditation may raise concerns.

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