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On the Hunt for the Best Registered Agent Service

Every new limited liability company is legally required to designate a registered agent. Whatever state you’re operating in, you should employ someone to accept service of process on behalf of your business.

A registered agent can receive everything from lawsuits to tax notices on your behalf, and there is a broad selection of companies that offer exceptional services. To narrow down the search, we’ve created a list of the best registered agent service options.

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Top Picks

Top Picks

Northwest Registered Agent

Fast and secure

Scans documents and sends them to your account

Free online dashboard

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Incfile

Free registered agent for one year

Email and SMS notifications

Updates documents on your account regularly

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ZenBusiness

Flexible packages

Operates in all 50 states + DC

Lots of additional services for running a business

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4 Best Registered Agent Services in 2020

1. Northwest Registered Agent

Fast and secure

Scans documents and sends them to your account

Free online dashboard

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Northwest provides both national registered agent services and business formation services. This company is the best option for those who are looking for a registered agent service in multiple states. It costs just $125 per year. Aside from receiving and signing documents on your company’s behalf, the registered agent scans documents so you can get instant access to them through your online account. Additional services, including a second telephone number and faster email forwarding, are also available.

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Service

Customer Support

2. Incfile

Free registered agent for one year

Email and SMS notifications

Updates documents on your account regularly

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Incfile has been operational since 2004, offering business owners and entrepreneurs all across the US affordable business incorporation services. If you’re looking for a free registered agent, our review of Incfile shows that, in addition to accepting mail correspondence and legal documents on your company’s behalf, the registered agent sends you notifications each time a document is uploaded to your account. The service is free for one year with any of the Incfile pricing plans. After the first year, you’ll need to pay $119 for a registered agent.

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Price

Service

Customer Support

3. ZenBusiness

Flexible packages

Operates in all 50 states + DC

Lots of additional services for running a business

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ZenBusiness is an ideal solution for those who need a registered agent for either an LLC or a C-Corp. The company offers various pricing packages, but you can also purchase the service à la carte. The LLC registered agent cost is $99 per year if you purchase the service separately from the pricing plans. The company operates in all 50 states and Washington DC.

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Service

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4. LegalZoom

Experienced registered agents

More than a million clients

Advanced security for your personal data

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LegalZoom offers the best registered agent service according to Reddit reviews. A LegalZoom registered agent receives state and other official documents on your company’s behalf. In addition to accepting your mail, the registered agent will also notify you about filing dates. At LegalZoom, you can purchase additional services like business formation and attorney support. However, the LegalZoom registered agent service comes with a hefty price tag; the company charges a flat fee of $299 for the first year.

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Service

Customer Support

Methodology for Evaluating the Best Registered Agent Services

Although you can act as your own registered agent, it’s better to hire professionals for this complex service. Numerous companies that offer business formation services also provide agents that you can authorize to accept service of process on your behalf. We used our own criteria to identify the best ones.

Availability

The first thing we looked at while searching for the best services is the availability of the agents. You can form your LLC or some other business entity in any state you want, but it’s crucial to have an agent with a physical address in that state. All companies from our list provide agents nationwide. Whether you need the best registered agent service in Georgia, California, or anywhere in between, the companies on our list have you covered.

Software Functionality

Quick and easy online access to your documentation is another important aspect of the criteria that we use to evaluate vendors. Once you hire a registered agent, you’ll get access to the dashboard where all the documents your company receives are stored. Most dashboards are beginner-friendly and easy to navigate.

Price

When it comes to pricing, the companies that offer this service usually provide customers with two options; you can either buy the service à la carte, or you can purchase a package with registered agents legal services for an LLC. The first option is good if you’ve already set up your business and you don’t need formation services. The second option is better for those who need help organizing and managing their business. Many providers offer free packages where you only pay for state filing services and you get a registered agent free of charge for an entire year.

Additional Features

In addition to accepting legal documents on your behalf, the best registered agent should keep you well informed about everything that’s coming in. The vendors on our list notify you via SMS or email about any new documents that require your attention. Each provider offers additional features that can enhance your business, including legal advice and contract templates.

Best Registered Agents of 2020

Registered Agent Services - In-depth Reviews

At a Glance

  • Fast forwarding of documents
  • Secures personal information
  • Extensive FAQ section
  • Second phone number

Overview

Northwest offers a long list of services. The primary ones include LLC formation and registered agent services. The company can also help you set up a corporation or any other type of business and provide free legal documentation. Moreover, Northwest Registered Agent is a great option if you’re looking for a reliable and secure host because it doesn’t share your personal details with third parties.

Costs and Services

Many companies in the same line of work offer a free registered agent service for the first year as part of their packages. But after that time, customers are slapped with everything from forwarding fees to middle-of-the-year fees. At Northwest, you pay an all-inclusive $125 annually for a national registered agent.

The purchasing process is really simple – you need to fill out a form on the Northwest website and you get an online account instantly. While signing up, you need to select the states where your agent is going to operate.

The service includes a registered agent who will receive the documents on your company’s behalf. This is the only service that locally scans every document you receive. The registered agent for an LLC or any other type of business will also receive and forward your emails. As for your business mail, Northwest also scans up to five documents per year for free and forwards them to you.

Most states only require an electronic signature from your registered agent, but there are some exceptions. When it comes to Wyoming registered agent services for an LLC, the state requires an ink signature. In this case, Northwest sends the form signed by the registered agent to you via mail. All you have to do is sign it and send it to the authorities. If you’re using the best registered agent service in Delaware or most other states, an electronic signature is sufficient.

Just like many other registered agents, Northwest receives notices of lawsuits and subpoenas on your behalf. This service is incorporated into the overall price unless you’re the recipient of regular lawsuits, in which case Northwest charges $15 per item.

Bottom Line

Overall, Northwest is an excellent choice for businesses that need multiple agents and fast service. You can pay an additional $40 to speed up forwarding services, and there is also the option of adding a second telephone number in any of the 50 states. This service costs $9 per year.

At a Glance

  • Free incorporation services
  • Sends your business correspondence instantly
  • Easily navigable dashboard
  • Agents are available in all 50 states
  • Electronic and ink registered agent signature

Overview

Incfile is a Texas-based company that provides business registered agent services as well as services for managing any kind of business entity, including an LLC, nonprofit organizations, C Corporation, and S Corporation. Incfile uses the latest technology that enables you to streamline the entire business formation process. When it comes to registered agents, the company prides itself on having experts on its team.

Costs and Services

If you want to find a reliable person to receive sensitive legal documents on your behalf so you can focus on running your business, Incfile is a great option. Time-consuming paperwork won’t be a problem anymore. Once you start using Incfile services, you’ll get your own account and you’ll be able to access the documentation anytime you want.

You can get a free registered agent service at Incfile for one year if you subscribe to some of its pricing packages. According to numerous online reviews, Incfile is the best option for those who are new to the business world. Many small business owners applaud the company for its affordability. For instance, if you sign up for the Silver package, you only need to cover state filing fees.

There are three pricing plans, and each one includes an LLC registered agent free of charge for the first year. After that, the price is $119 per year. Each of the packages is tailored to those who are setting up a business entity, and the services on offer include name search, preparing and filing articles of organization, and EIN registration. Of course, if your business is already incorporated, you won’t need some of these services.

Whatever your unique business needs, you can rely on Incfile to provide a remarkable registered agent service. The company’s offices accept mail from federal and state authorities. The office also accepts legal documents, like court summonses and tax notices from local authorities. Every time your business receives a document, you’ll be notified via email and SMS. The company’s registered agent will forward your documentation and mail, and you can also access your documents via an online dashboard.

If you already have a registered agent but you’re not satisfied with service, Incfile helps you elect a new one. To change agents, you are required to fill out and submit the Change of Registered Agent form in your state. The forms and processing fees are different in each state, so you need to adhere to specific requirements. If you wish to spare yourself the hassle and save time, you can get Incfile to handle the paperwork for just $49 plus state filing fees.

Bottom Line

Incfile offers a wide range of services for incorporating and managing your business. More than 250,000 small business owners use Incfile. Many positive online Incfile reviews prove that the company provides excellent registered agent services for an LLC and any other business entity.

At a Glance

  • Rich library of articles and FAQs
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Fast and knowledgeable agents

Overview

ZenBusiness has been operational since 2015, helping entrepreneurs organize and manage their businesses. Regardless of what type of business you run, ZenBusiness covers all the services you may need. According to online ZenBusiness LLC reviews, clients choose this company because it enables them to have a registered agent in any of the 50 states and Washington DC. In our view, ZenBusiness has the best registered agent service for California, offering a wide range of features for affordable prices. The company is hailed for its flexibility, meaning you can combine services that you want to purchase.

Costs and Services

With ZenBusiness, you can get a registered agent as part of a package or as a separate service. If you’ve already set up your business and all you need is a registered agent, ZenBusiness enables you to purchase the service for $99 per year. However, if you want more comprehensive services, including business formation ones, you can choose between three pricing plans: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

The Starter plan includes the essentials: an operating agreement template, standard filing services, and a free registered agent for a year. The price for this best LLC formation service plan is $49 plus state filing fees. However, after the first year, you’ll be charged $119 annually for the registered agent. You also have the option to exclude the registered agent from the Starter plan if you already have an agent.

Still, we recommend using the vendor’s agents and not appointing your own or trying to do the job yourself. To avoid any complications, the best thing to do is to use resident agent services from ZenBusiness. The company allows you to use the online dashboard where all the documents related to your business are stored. The dashboard is well-organized, so you can find anything you need within seconds.

Bottom Line

If you already have a company and you’re looking for a registered agent, ZenBusiness is a good option. This is an affordable service that helps you stay compliant with state regulations while offering additional services to help grow your business.

At a Glance

  • Various legal services that you can purchase separately
  • Well-organized website
  • Rich FAQ section
  • Registered agent available for all states

Overview

LegalZoom is one of the most popular registered agent companies in the US. Since 2001, the company has been offering everything from business formation services to legal templates for protecting intellectual property or creating a will. Moreover, the company offers consultations with lawyers. So far, millions of clients have used the company’s services, proving that LegalZoom is highly professional and reliable.

Costs and Services

Unlike many of its competitors, LegalZoom doesn’t offer LLC formation pricing plans that include a registered agent. Instead, you need to buy this service separately. Also, if you’re looking for a cheap registered agent, you should skip LegalZoom. The service costs $299 for the first year. After the first year, the price can be changed.

Much like any other resident agent for an LLC, a LegalZoom registered agent will receive important legal documents on your behalf. This will save you time, help you avoid fines, and add an extra layer of privacy.

Online registered agent services reviews applaud LegalZoom for its additional features. One of the most popular ones is business data protection, which offers data monitoring for your company and $1 million in identity theft coverage for an additional $239 per year. There is also a compliance calendar ($69 per year) that reminds you about filing deadlines for things like income tax returns.

Bottom Line

Although LegalZoom offers a quality service, the company’s registered agent is expensive. If you’re new to the business world, we recommend that you choose another provider from our list.

Why Do You Need Registered Agent Services?

Whether you’re running an LLC or a corporation, you’re required to have a registered agent. A registered agent – also known as an agent for service of process or statutory agent – is tasked with accepting service of process and regular emails on behalf of your business. Although most states allow you to act as your own registered agent, doing so could undermine your company’s chances of success. A registered agent offers the following services.

Receives and signs documents

The main function of a registered agent is to receive documents on your behalf. These include lawsuits, court summonses, tax notices, and official correspondence with both state and federal authorities. A registered agent can also receive any type of correspondence between your LLC and other business entities. A registered agent will instantly review, sign, and forward documents to you. The agent must be physically present during business hours at the place where your LLC is incorporated to receive service of process on your behalf. If you don’t receive your mail on time, you can face fines and serious legal consequences.

Protects your privacy

Many people try to cut costs by registering their business at their home address. This makes you vulnerable to privacy breaches, and you’ll quickly be flooded with a lot of mail that you don’t need. A registered agent company will protect your privacy and receive your mail.

Protects your company’s reputation

A registered agent receives all sorts of legal documents on your behalf, including lawsuits. If you’re acting as your own registered agent, you run the risk of receiving lawsuits when your customers are around.

FAQ

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent (statutory agent or agent for service of process) is a person or a service authorized by an LLC to receive and sign legal documents on its behalf. A registered agent also sends those documents to you.

What is the best registered agent service?

This depends on your budget and your unique business needs. The companies on our list offer various pricing packages that cover everything from setting up an LLC to providing consultation services with attorneys.

Is Northwest Registered Agent legit?

Regardless of the type of business you run, Northwest is one of the best registered agent services on the market. The price tag is $125 per year and there are no hidden costs.

Do I need a registered agent for my LLC?

Whether you’re running an LLC or a corporation, you definitely need a registered agent. You are legally allowed to act as your own registered agent, but we’d advise you against doing so.

How do I find a registered agent for my LLC?

It’s simple - read our reviews and you’ll find an agent that’s suitable for your needs.