Are you a business owner looking for a registered agent for your company? You’re in the right place. We’ve reviewed the best registered agent services on the market so you can choose the one that works best for you and your company’s needs.
We’ve also included a step-by-step guide covering the benefits of hiring a registered agent and tips on how to choose the best service for your company – see below.
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICES 2023 INDEPENDENT REVIEWS
BEST REGISTERED AGENT 2023
NORTHWEST REGISTERED AGENT
Northwest is one of the best registered agent services on the market. They have decades of experience, a highly knowledgeable team of corporate guides, provide excellent customer service, and have a transparent pricing structure with no hidden fees.
The Northwest Registered Agent service is priced at $125 per year, per state. This is a fixed price and will not change after the first year. It is a flat rate and you don’t have to worry about any hidden fees.
If you need a registered agent in five or more states you get a discount. You can get an agent for $100 per state, per year if you sign up for five or more states. Hiring a registered agent in 1-4 states works out at the standard $125 per state, per year.
Northwest is a highly experienced registered agent service and they’ve been in operation since 1998. That’s over 20 years of experience in the industry. They are highly professional and adept at helping companies and business owners navigate state bureaucracy and red tape.
Northwest employs a team of highly knowledgeable support staff – known as corporate guides. These guides will help answer any questions you have and offer a personalized support service throughout your company’s journey.
If you are looking for a registered agent that has decades of experience and can assist you navigate the corporate landscape – Northwest is an excellent choice.
Northwest registered agent scans all state and legal mail as standard. This is included in your annual fee. There is no additional ‘per document’ fee for state or legal mail. They will also scan five normal business documents per year for free. This covers any important correspondence such as clients and investors trying to contact you via your registered agent.
Additionally, all document scanning occurs locally. This means paperwork is scanned at a local office in the state it is received in. Documents are not forwarded to a central head office for scanning. Local scanning ensures efficient turnaround times, improved privacy, and better quality control.
Northwest Registered Agent process all documents in-house. They do not hire a third party to scan or review documents received. Keeping everything in-house is a great advantage for protecting your privacy. They have a team of over 700 employees nationwide to keep things running smoothly and avoid having to outsource essential services.
When you sign up for Northwest’s registered agent service you’ll get an online account that gives you easy access to your scanned documents, state forms, and stored paperwork. This portal contains all the forms you need to file with the state.
The forms will be pre-populated with Northwest’s information to speed up your paperwork. Additionally, you will only have to enter your corporate data once and this information will auto-populate on all forms.
You’ll never have to enter it again. There’s also a help feature to assist with filing and compliance requirements and to issue reminders when annual reports are due.
AGENTS AVAILABLE – ALL 50 STATES
Legally, you are obliged to maintain a registered agent in every state you do business in. And, Northwest provides a registered agent service in all 50 states – plus Puerto Rico. As covered above, if you need an agent in five or more states the annual fee drops from $125 to $100 per state, annually.
COMPANY FORMATION SERVICES
Northwest also provides a company formation service. If you plan on forming a company, Northwest can help you get the business officially registered. They specialize in the formation of LLCs, Corporations, and Non-Profit companies. If you want to hire a registered agent and need help getting a new company registered – Northwest can be your one-stop-shop.
CLEAR PRICING STRUCTURE – NO HIDDEN FEES
The pricing structure for Northwest’s registered agent service is transparent and clear – there are no hidden fees. It is $125 per year, and the price does not increase in year two.
Northwest has a wealth of experience in providing registered agent services. They have been serving customers in the industry since 1998. They are held in high regard for reliability and professionalism.
DOCUMENTS SCANNED LOCALLY
All documents are scanned locally. Northwest maintains an office in all 50 states and documents are scanned in the state in which they are received. This enhances efficiency, privacy, and quality control.
NO OUTSOURCING OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Northwest does not outsource any essential services. With a staff of over 700 employees – all scanning and customer support services are conducted in-house.
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICES
They provide superb customer service. Their corporate guides are industry experts and are available by telephone to offer personalized support and address any issues or queries you have.
SECURE ONLINE PORTAL TOOL
When you sign up for Northwest’s registered agent service you get instant access to a secure online tool that houses all your scanned documents, pre-populated state forms, and resources to help you meet compliance and annual reporting requirements.
ALL STATES COVERED
They maintain an office in all fifty states, plus Puerto Rico. If you need a registered agent in multiple states across the US – Northwest will be able to provide you with a service. This avoids having to hire multiple agencies to cover different states.
CHEAPER SERVICES AVAILABLE
Northwest is not the cheapest registered agent service on the market. If you are looking for the agent with the lowest annual fee – there are other options available.
LIMITED NON-ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS SCANNED
Northwest will scan five non-essential documents for free each year. Beyond this, you will have to pay a per-document fee. However, they will scan all legal, tax, and state compliance documents.
- FIXED PRICING – NO HIDDEN FEES
- DECADES OF EXPERIENCE
- EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SUPPORT
- ALL DOCUMENTS SCANNED LOCALLY
- SECURE ONLINE PORTAL
- ALL 50 STATES COVERED
Northwest is one of the best registered agent services on the market. They are a highly experienced firm and have been in operation since 1998. Their in-house team of industry experts, known as corporate guides, are readily available for assistance by telephone.
They have a clear and transparent pricing structure and there are no hidden fees. They perform all scanning locally by maintaining an office in all 50 states. This also means you can hire them as your registered agent in any state across the US.
And, on sign-up, you get access to a secure online account that houses all your scanned documentation and state forms. If you are looking for a registered agent you can rely on, who has a wealth of experience, and provides excellent customer service – Northwest could be the one for you.
ZENBUSINESS REGISTERED AGENT
Zen Business is an industry leader in providing registered agent services. They are a highly regarded business formation and registered agent service, that delivers a professional service, has superb customer support and boasts outstanding online reviews from their existing customer base.
ZenBusiness has two registered agent packages you can choose from. The basic registered agent option is charged at $99 for the first year and renews at $199. The premium package – Registered Agent with Annual Worry-Free Compliance is charged at $199 for the first year and renews at $398.
If you already have a registered agent and need a change of name there will be a $26 change of name fee. So, what’s the difference between the two packages? The basic package includes everything you need to meet your mandatory registered agent and state requirements.
The upgraded ‘Annual Worry-Free Compliance’ package includes a notification system that alerts you when reports and compliance events are due. It also provides support should you miss a filing and need help sorting out your paperwork with the state authority.
ZenBusiness is well known for providing speedy and friendly customer service. If you have any queries they are easily contactable by telephone, email, and online chat. And, if you reach about by email you can expect a fast response time – less than an hour in our experience.
They have received positive feedback for their customer service in their online reviews. If you’re looking for a registered agent with plenty of experience and superb customer service – ZenBusiness could be the one for you.
When you sign up for the Zen Business registered agent service you get access to a secure online dashboard. The tool is easy to use and houses all your important company documentation.
ZenBusiness will scan your company’s legal and tax documentation and make it available in this dashboard for easy access. If you receive service of process you will be notified electronically and be able to access the notice in the dashboard.
ZenBusiness is one of the best registered agent services available and their online customer reviews speak for themselves. The company has a score of 4.7/5 on Trust Pilot from a total of 10,166 reviews.
And, they have a rating of 4.3/5 on Better Business Bureau based on 168 customer reviews. These reviews give you a great understanding of how existing customer rate their services.
PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION
Zen Business registered agent is a public benefit corporation. This means they have a social conscience and distribute a portion of their profits back into the community.
The company has written its public benefit goals into its bylaws and actively supports the well-being of society. They provide grants for businesses owned by women, black, indigenous, and people of color.
The company maintains offices in all fifty states across the US. No matter what state you need a registered agent service in, ZenBusiness have you covered. They will receive and manage all official correspondence with your local secretary of state and ensure all of your legal and tax documents are scanned and communicated.
If you plan to do business in multiple states and don’t want to hire multiple registered agents – you can use ZenBusiness’s registered agent service as a single point of contact.
COMPANY FORMATION SERVICES
Zen Business are business formation specialists. If you need help getting a company formed and having your paperwork filed with the state authority – this is another service they provide.
In fact, there’s an option to get the first year of their registered agent service for free when you sign up for one of their company formation services.
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Zen Business registered agent service is held in high regard by their customers. The company scores very highly on Trust Pilot and Better Business Bureau with over 10,000 online customer reviews.
USER-FRIENDLY ONLINE DASHBOARD
The company stores your scanned legal and tax documents in an easy-to-use online dashboard. The tool can be accessed anytime to review important company documents.
Their premium registered agent package comes with a notification system that alerts you when important compliance events are due – such as filing annual reports.
PUBLIC BENEFIT GOALS
ZenBusiness have a social conscience and contributes to public well-being by channeling funds back into the community – for more, check out their bylaws.
OFFICES IN ALL 50 STATES
They provide nationwide coverage and maintain offices in all 50 states. If you need a registered agent in multiple states across the US – they have you covered.
FORMATION SERVICES AVAILABLE
ZenBusiness are company formation specialists. If you plan on forming an LLC or a corporation they can assist you with getting your company registered with state authorities.
PREMIUM PACKAGE PRICING
The premium Annual Worry-Free Compliance package costs $199 for the first year and $398 on renewal. This may be too high for some – especially if you need a registered agent in multiple states.
COMPANY FORMATION SPECIALISTS
Zen Business are company formation specialists. The registered agent is offered as a free add-on for the first year if you sign up for a formation package. Some companies may prefer a dedicated registered agent service.
- HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
- POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
- EASY-TO-USE ONLINE DASHBOARD
- TWO PACKAGES AVAILABLE
- PUBLIC BENEFIT COMPANY
- NATIONWIDE COVERAGE
Zen Business registered agent are one of the best registered agent services available. They offer a highly professional service, with excellent customer support, and knowledgeable staff to answer any questions you may have.
The company has two registered agent packages to choose from. The basic package starts at $99 and the premium at $199 for the first year. However, fees increase on renewal.
Customers have access to an online dashboard that stores all of your company’s important legal and tax documents. The portal is easy to use and provides around-the-clock easy access to your most important corporate correspondence.
The company scores excellent customer reviews from its existing customers on Trust Pilot and Better Business Bureau. And, it’s a public benefit organization – so it channels money back into the community in the form of grants. All things considered, ZenBusiness is an excellent choice for registered agent service.
ROCKET LAWYER REGISTERED AGENT
Rocket Lawyer is one of the biggest names in the online legal aid business. They also provide a registered agent service and it’s available to both members and non-members alike. Customers have the option of signing up for a registered agent as a stand-alone service. Or, you can become a member and benefit from ongoing legal advice.
Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service is priced at $149.99 per year for non-members. And, there are no hidden fees or additional charges. If you sign up as a member you get a 25% discount which takes the fee down to $112.
To sign up as a Rocket Lawyer member you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $39.99. This gives you access to a wide range of additional business tools including attorney services, incorporation filing, and legal document resources.
Rocket Lawyer maintains offices in all 50 states and is a well-respected registered agent service that has been serving business customers for many years. Once documents are received and scanned they become immediately available to you on your online account.
Rocket Lawyer scans and emails all official documentation to you to ensure you don’t miss any important legal notifications. The company uses a secure SSL connection for data transfer to protect the contents of your legal documents from prying eyes.
Rocket Lawyer is a great option as a registered agent if you envisage you will need ongoing legal support for your business. The company has been providing reliable legal advice and services to businesses for many years. They are one of the top names in online legal assistance.
Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service is priced higher than many of its competitors. However, this is offset by its capacity to deliver legal support and advice. Their registered agent service works best for companies that sign-up as members and avail of the legal tools on offer.
Rocket Lawyer provides nationwide coverage. They have offices covering all fifty states. If you need registered agents in multiple states – they can meet all your requirements. This avoids having to hire multiple registered agents to facilitate operations across different states.
Rocket Lawyer has an excellent reputation among its existing customers. They benefit from glowing online feedback – a very reassuring feature when considering whether or not you want to do business. The company has scored a 4.7/5 on TrustPilot based on 5,191 reviews. And, they have a very respectable rating of 4.56/5 on Better Business Bureau based on 282 reviews.
Rocket Lawyer registered agent can be readily contacted by telephone, email, or contact form on their website. Their free support telephone desk is available from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. And, they have a dedicated help center for people incorporating their business.
EFFICIENT DOCUMENT HANDLING
Rocket Lawyer will scan and forward by email all official documents to ensure you get immediate notification of any pressing legal issues.
LEGAL SERVICES & SUPPORT
The company specializes in providing legal support for businesses – making them a great option if you require a registered service and ongoing legal advice and resources.
EXCELLENT ONLINE REVIEWS
Rocket Lawyer has received glowing online reviews from its existing customers with a score of 4.7/5 on Trust Pilot and 4.56/5 on Better Business Bureau.
They provide registered agent services in all fifty states across the nation. No matter where you need an agent – Rocket Lawyer can provide you with the service your company needs.
WELL RESPECTED COMPANY
Rocket Lawyer is a well-respected company and has been successfully delivering legal and corporate services to businesses for many years.
DISCOUNTED FEE FOR MEMBERS
If you sign-up to become a Rocket Lawyer member, you’ll get a 25% discount on the registered agent annual fee. It all adds up – especially if you need an agent in multiple states.
Rocket lawyer charges a relatively high price for their registered agent service compared to their competitors. If you’re on a budget you’ll find a cheaper option with a little shopping around.
Rocket Lawyer are legal specialists. They are one of the leading online legal advice and company formation services. Among their specialties, you will find business and contracts, finance and real estate, and family and personal legal advice.
- HIGHLY EXPERIENCED COMPANY
- ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT FORWARDING
- LEGAL ADVICE & RESOURCES
- POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
- OFFICES IN ALL 50 STATES
- MEMBERSHIP OPTIONAL
Rocket Lawyer is one of the best registered agent services on the market. They work best for individuals that sign up as a paid member and avail of their other services such as legal advice and business formation. If your company needs continued legal support – then Rocket Lawyer is a great choice as registered agent.
Rocket Lawyer is a highly respected company in the registered agent services industry. They have received thousands of positive reviews from their existing customers and hold an incredible score of 4.7/5 on TrustPilot.
All legal documents are scanned and electronically forwarded to you – to ensure you are immediately notified of legal issues. And, they maintain offices in all fifty states across the nation. This means they can act as your agent in any location you plan to do business. Rocket Lawyer offers a reliable and highly professional registered agent service.
HARBOR COMPLIANCE REGISTERED AGENT
Harbor Compliance offers one of the best value registered agent services going. Their flat fee of $99 per year is lower than most of their competitors. Discounts are available if you sign up for four or more states, or if you pay upfront for 2-3 years. They deliver same-day document scanning, upload all legal documents to a secure online account, and provide notifications to alert you ahead of important filing dates.
Harbor Compliance offers one of the most competitively priced registered agent services on the market. Their annual fee comes in at just $99. That’s well below many of their competitors on this list. You will not encounter any additional fees or charges for the processing of your documents.
If you need a registered agent in multiple states – that can work out as a significant saving. They are charging between $50 and $100 less than the top service providers reviewed above. Additionally, you can avail of discounts by paying for multiple years upfront and for signing up in four or more states.
SAME-DAY DOCUMENT SCANNING
Harbor Compliance provides same-day electronic delivery of your documents. Legal mail is scanned the same day it is received and made available online for review. They do not physically forward documents to a specified address. Instead, they are made accessible on your secure online account.
You will be notified via email when new documents arrive and are made available online. Additionally, if you receive notice of a lawsuit, (service of process), they will contact you by telephone to ensure you are aware of the proceedings.
When you sign up for Harbor Compliance’s registered agent service you get access to an online account. All scanned documents are uploaded to this account and can be securely accessed and reviewed 24/7. The online tool is easy to use and contains pre-filled state forums to facilitate speedy reporting.
The account also houses a notification feature that tracks your annual reports and sends you notifications prior to important due dates. The notification tool is included as standard and does not incur an additional fee.
Harbor Compliance registered agent provides offices nationwide. They have offices in all 50 states across the US. They even list the physical street address of their agents in each state. If you need a registered agent in multiple states they will be able to meet your needs.
Additionally, their low cost makes them a great option for companies that require multi-state registered agent services. Also, if you are hiring agents in more than one state – get in touch with the company as they may offer you a bulk discount.
Harbor Compliance doesn’t have the same volume of online reviews compared to its competitors. They have a rating of 2.9/5 on Trust Pilot based on 2 reviews and a score of 3.65/5 on Better Business Bureau based on 6 reviews. The company does better on Google reviews with an impressive 4.3 stars from 105 reviews.
EXCELLENT PRICING STRUCTURE
Harbor Compliance has one of the most competitively priced registered agent services on the market today. They charge $99 per year for one state, there are no hidden fees, and you can get a discount by ordering in bulk.
SPEEDY DOCUMENT SCANNING
All legal documents are scanned the day they are received and uploaded online for immediate access. And, if you receive service of process – you will be contacted by telephone to ensure you are aware of the proceedings.
SECURE ONLINE ACCOUNT
When you sign up for Harbor Compliance registered agent service you get access to a secure online account that stores electronic copies of all your important documents.
The online account has a built-in compliance notification feature that will alert you as an important filing due date approaches.
NO HIDDEN FEES
There are no hidden fees – everything is up front. The standard $99 fee covers you for the year and includes all the features mentioned above.
Harbor Compliance provides nationwide coverage. They have offices in all 50 states and publish their street addresses on their website.
FEW CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Harbor Compliance registered agent do not have the same volume of customer reviews compared to their customers. In particular, there are very few reviews on Trust Pilot and Better Business Bureau.
NO PHYSICAL MAIL FORWARDING
They do not provide a physical forwarding of mail service. Instead, all documents received are electronically scanned and made available for review on your online customer account.
- HIGHLY COMPETITIVE PRICING
- FAST DOCUMENT PROCESSING
- ONLINE CUSTOMER ACCOUNT
- REPORTING NOTIFICATIONS
- OFFICES IN ALL 50 STATES
- NO UNEXPECTED FEES
Harbor Compliance offers one of the most competitively priced registered agent services anywhere in the US. They charge a fixed $99 annual fee per state. And, discounts kick in when you sign up for four or more states. Discounts are also available if you pay for 2-3 years upfront.
They have an efficient same-day scanning service – which means they scan documents on the same day they are received. Although they don’t provide physical forwarding of mail, they upload all legal documents to a secure online account for easy review.
Harbor Compliance also provides a helpful notification feature that emails alerts as important compliance due dates approach. They’ll also contact you by telephone if they receive notification of any legal proceedings against your company.
The company has offices in all 50 states and publically lists each physical street address on its website. And, although they don’t have the same volume of customer reviews as their competitors, they do have a glowing 4.3/5 stars on Google reviews.
BIZ FILINGS REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
Biz Filings is a family of companies that have been providing services for businesses for over 100 years. In particular, they have been assisting companies on compliance matters and helping them stay in good standing with state authorities. They provide their services in all 50 states and have a team of attorneys that have an in-depth understanding of the requirements, regulations, and deadlines for each state.
Biz Filings does not publish its pricing structure for its registered agent website. So, we got in touch to see how much it would cost to hire their services. For an LLC based in Austin Texas, we were quoted a fee of $320.40 for a registered agent service. This fee included a 10% discount for applying online.
REGISTERED AGENT SERVICES
Biz Filing registered agent offers prompt and efficient processing of important state, legal, and tax documents. If a service of process notice is received they will scan the document and discreetly email it to a specified email address for immediate access. Scanned documents can be viewed on BizFiling’s secure online status center tool.
Additionally, when you sign up with Biz Filings registered agent service you also get annual reporting and franchise tax alerts to remind you as important dates approach. This is a great feature to help ensure you stay compliant with state authorities.
Biz Filings also offer a managed filing service. The service is available to registered agent customers and facilitates the automatic filing of annual reports and franchise taxes. Their team of industry experts monitors state deadlines and ensures reports and submissions are made on time. This is a great feature if you want to leave compliance issues in the hands of a professional.
BIZ COMPLY MANAGEMENT TOOL
When you sign up for the registered agent service with Biz Filings, you get access to their compliance management tool – Biz Comply. Biz Comply is an electronic management system used to track and alert you of upcoming compliance tasks.
It will send you a reminder as an important filing date approaches – such as annual report submission and franchise tax. In addition to the compliance reminders, it also includes a library of state form you’ll need to complete your submissions.
ALL 50 STATES
Biz Filings provide registered agent services in all 50 states. They deliver prompt handling of legal, tax, and state documents nationwide. The company covers all fifty states and can provide a registered agent for your business in any state you operate in, within the United States.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE
Biz Filing’s family of companies has over 100 years of experience in helping businesses meet their filing and compliance requirements.
BIZ COMPLY COMPLIANCE TOOL
When you sign up for their registered agent services you will get access to their Biz Comply management tool that provides alerts as upcoming filing dates approach.
Biz Filing provides registered agent services in all 50 states – nationwide.
All important legal, state, and tax documents are scanned and made available on a secure online tool for easy viewing.
The fee for registered agent services is not readily available on Biz Filing’s website. You’ll have to apply and submit your company details to get a quote.
- LOTS OF EXPERIENCE
- EFFICIENT DOCUMENT PROCESSING
- SECURE ONLINE PORTAL
- BIZ COMPLY – COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE
- COVERS ALL 50 STATES
- OPTIONAL MANAGED FILING SERVICE
Biz Filing is a company with over one hundred years of experience in helping businesses stay compliant. They offer an efficient registered agent service across all 50 states in the US. The company has a solid reputation and is well respected within the industry.
All important legal, state and tax documents are scanned and added to a secure online facility for easy access for their customers. If you sign up for their registered agent services you will also get access to their Biz Comply tool.
Biz Comply helps your company stay compliant and in good standing with your local state authorities by issuing reminders as important filing and submission days approach. For example, it will alert you when your company nears an annual report or franchise tax submission date.
REGISTERED AGENT SERVICES GUIDE
JUMP TO CONTENT
- How to Choose the Best Registered Agent Service
- Benefits of Using a Professional Service
- What Is a Registered Agent?
- What Is a Registered Agent Service?
- Why Do You Need a Registered Agent?
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE FOR YOUR COMPANY
How do you choose the best registered agent service for your company? The best place to start is to look for an agent that offers the exact services your business needs. Then review the pricing structure, ease of use, and level of customer support. This will give you a clear indication if the service is the right one for you.
What services does the agency offer? And, what services does your business need? This is the most important factor to weigh up when choosing an agent. The best registered agent services offer the services below.
All documents received are scanned to create an electronic backup copy. The electronic copies can then be stored online or emailed to company owners for a speedy review. The best registered agent services also offer a notification system if you receive service of process. Document forwarding is often available at an additional cost.
An online portal is a web-based tool that allows you to securely access and review your documentation. Portals give quick easy access to your most important legal and tax documentation. They are of great benefit when you need to review something urgently.
SAME DAY PROCESSING
The best registered agent services offer same-day processing. This means that documents are reviewed and processed on the same day they arrive. This is a great feature if you want to be notified of important matters as soon as possible.
This feature involves the forwarding of important legal, tax, and compliance documents to company owners. It is usually done electronically. For an additional fee, you can request that non-legal correspondence gets forwarded to you as well.
Do you plan to conduct business nationwide? You’ll need a registered agent in each state your company is registered agent. The best registered agent services maintain offices in all 50 states.
Some registered agent services offer a compliance reminder service. This involves the agent notifying you of important compliance duties that need to be taken care of – such as the submission of annual reports. This is a great feature for busy business owners that need some help meeting compliance-related deadlines.
The best registered agents are very competitively priced. And, there is not a large degree of variance in pricing between companies. You can expect to pay an annual fee of between $89-$199 depending on the level of service and features you require. There are also opportunities to avail of multi-year discounts by signing up for more than one year at a time.
Our advice is to review the services included in a package before jumping at the cheapest offer. Make sure that the agent provides all the services you require to ensure the smooth operation of your business. By paying a few extra dollars per year you can get a service that ticks all the boxes for you.
EASE OF USE
Ease of use is an often overlooked feature of a registered agent. Consider how easy it is to communicate with your prospective agent and access important documentation. Does the agent offer document scanning and an online portal? Scanning is a great way of creating electronic copies of official paperwork and forms.
Creating electronic copies allows documents to be stored safely away from prying eyes and they can be easily forwarded by email when required. And, a portal allows you to securely store and access important documentation anytime you need it. Do they offer an online portal for secure storage and access to important legal documents?
What level of customer support is available? Ideally, you want to hire an agent that can be easily reached should an issue arise. Do they provide email and telephone customer support services? Is their customer support desk an in-house service or has it been outsourced to a third party?
The best registered agent services offer in-house customer support with dedicated corporate guides that will address and resolve any queries you have. You should choose an agent that is easily contactable and has a proven record of excellent customer service.
Does the company offer any additional services? Many registered agent companies offer a range of business-related services such as corporate legal advice and business formation services.
If these are of interest to you, you may be able to package them together with your registered agent service. This could represent a significant saving on annual fees and provide you with a single point of contact for your business support services.
CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY
Check out the cancellation and refund policy. If you want to cancel the agent before the 12 months have elapsed do they offer a partial refund? Similarly, if you choose to switch registered agents will the company assist in transferring to a competitor? And, what happens if you are unhappy with the service provided? Take some time to check the small print of the company’s cancellation and refund policy.
Finally, check out the online reviews for the agent. There’s no better way of getting a feel for how a company treats its existing customers than by reading its online reviews. Some of the best sites to check out are the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot. These sites will give you a quick overview of how the company is performing.
BENEFITS OF USING A REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
What are the advantages of hiring a registered agent service? Your registered agent acts as the first point of contact between your company and state authorities. And, hiring a professional service ensures all compliance issues and processing of legal documents are carefully taken care of. It also protects your personal privacy and frees you up from performing the responsibilities of a registered agent.
The most important benefit of hiring a registered agent service is ensuring all legal issues are complied with promptly. The best registered agent services are professionals – they’re highly skilled and they’re experts in state requirements and compliance issues.
These agents will ensure that all paperwork received is reviewed, filed, and responded to as required in a timely manner. Appointing someone who is not a professional as your registered agent can result in important time-sensitive legal documents being mishandled and mislaid.
FREE YOU UP TO FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS
Hiring a registered agent service frees you up and allows you to focus on running and growing your business. You don’t have to concern yourself with reviewing and complying with the legal documentation that comes your company’s way. You can leave this to your agent.
Also, serving as a registered agent is a demanding and restricting role. An agent must be available at a given address during regular working hours all year around – 52 weeks per year. And, they must be available in person. Appointing yourself as an agent means you will be tied down to a specific location 52 weeks per year.
PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY
Appointing a registered agent is a great way of protecting your privacy. The name and address of a company’s registered agent are a matter of public record. It is recorded in your company’s Articles of Organization. This information can be accessed by the public on request.
It is also a way of protecting the privacy of your company’s office location. A registered agent cannot use a PO address and must provide a physical street address. If you wish to protect the privacy of your head office – you can do this by hiring a registered agent service.
AVOID POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING SITUATIONS
Engaging the services of one of the best registered agent services can help avoid a potentially embarrassing situation when it comes to the serving of legal papers. If your registered agent is located in your place of business there is the potential that legal documents are served in the presence of employees or customers. This can cause obvious reputational damage to the company.
Additionally, using a professional agent ensures all legal documents are delivered to their address – and not to your place of business. This keeps sensitive paperwork and information away from prying eyes that may stumble upon something you would rather they did not. For more see Pros and Cons of a Registered Agent Service.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED AGENT?
A registered agent is a person or service that receives important legal and regulatory documents on behalf of a company. All businesses registered in the United States are legally obliged to have an agent. The agent must be available at a specified address all year round, during regular business hours, to receive important documentation.
The agent then passes these documents on to the company owners in a timely manner. The existence of a registered agent means authorities can ensure important documents successfully reach company owners without complication. For more see What Is a Registered Agent?
WHAT IS A REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE?
A registered agent service is a private company that provides a registered agent service. This means, for a small fee they will act as the registered agent for your company. They are available to accept important mail such as legal and tax documents on your behalf at all times during regular business owners.
Most services scan official documents and make them available online for review. The best registered agents maintain offices nationwide – in all 50 states. Hiring an agent frees you up to focus on running your business.
WHY DO YOU NEED A REGISTERED AGENT?
A registered agent is a legal requirement for every business registered in the US. No matter which state you choose to form your company in – you will be required to appoint a registered agent. This person, or service, will act as the point of contact for all important and legal correspondence for your company.
However, appointing a registered agent is not just a legal requirement – it comes with several important benefits. These include ensuring compliance with state requirements, protecting your privacy, and freeing you up to focus on growing your business. Below we cover the benefits of using a registered agent service in more detail.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here’s a list of the questions that come our way when discussing the best registered agent services.
WHO CAN ACT AS A REGISTERED AGENT?
By law, any company or individual above the age of 18 can act as a registered agent. However, there are a number of conditions they must meet to fulfill the role. They must be a resident of the state and have a physical street address – not a PO box. And, they must be contactable at that address during normal business hours all year around.
CAN YOU BE YOUR OWN REGISTERED AGENT?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent. You can appoint yourself as your company’s registered agent. Note, you will have to fulfill the same requirements – ie: be over 18 and be available at a specified address during regular business hours all year around. Also, the address you provide will become a matter of public record.
HOW DO YOU CHANGE A REGISTERED AGENT?
The procedure for changing registered agent varies from one state to the next. In general, you will have to complete and submit a document to your local state authority – usually the secretary of state. You will also have to pay a change of registered agent fee. The best registered agent services will process this change for you.
DO YOU NEED A REGISTERED AGENT IN EVERY STATE?
In general, your company needs a registered agent in your home state and in any other state in which the company has filed for foreign qualification. The best registered agent services provide services in all 50 states nationwide.
IS A REGISTERED AGENT REQUIRED BY LAW?
Yes, a registered agent is required by law. All LLC, Partnership, and Corporation companies must have a registered agent. A registered agent may also be referred to as an agent for service of process, statutory agent, or resident agent. Their details will be captured in your company’s official paperwork.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A REGISTERED AGENT?
A registered agent receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of your company. They must be available in person, all year round, at a specified address to physically receive these documents. They then pass these documents on to the company owners in a timely manner.
- Texas Registered Agent – click here
- Illinois Registered Agent – click here
- Florida Registered Agent – click here
About the Author
Jason Roth: Editor in Chief
Jason is editor in chief at My LLC Guide. He holds a wealth of business management experience and has been advising companies on business formation issues for many years. Jason specializes in resource planning management, staff utilization, and productivity consulting.
He has worked predominantly in the west coast area where he graduated from the Marshall Business School at the University of South California. When he’s not working in his business advisory role, Jason likes to climb on his Indian Scout motorbike and enjoy the open road.