A Registered Agent (also known as a Statutory Agent, Resident Agent, or Agent for service of process) is an important person in your limited liability company. If you have already started or are planning to form your LLC in any of the states in the USA, you must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent’s fundamental responsibility is handling all the legal documents related to your LLC. If you have LLCs in more than one state, you must get a registered agent in all the states you have your LLC in.
Anyone who fulfills certain requirements can be a registered agent. Any member of the LLC, spouse, relatives, friends, or yourself can be a registered agent. However, it is wise to appoint a professional agent to handle business documents on your behalf. There are several types of documents related to business that only a professional agent can handle properly.
There are online service providers available at a reasonable price for getting a registered agent. In this article, you will find a list of the best Registered Agent services to help you explore the best-fitted one for your LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is a Registered Agent
- List of Best Registered Agent Services of 2023
- Best Registered Agent Service Breakdown
- Importance of Professional Registered Agent Services
- How to Choose the Best Registered Agent Service
What is a Registered Agent
Registered Agents are the individuals who receive and handle legal documents, official papers, and legal notices on behalf of the LLC. In different states, they are called by different names, such as Statutory Agents, Resident Agents, and Agents for Service of Process. In general, the Registered Agent’s address is the LLC’s principal address.
Best Registered Agent Services Requirements
If you are looking for professional services, you must look for the following requirements to be fulfilled by them. The requirements are,
- The person must be over 18 years and legally allowed to conduct business in the state your LLC is located in.
- The person must have a physical address in the state of the LLC.
- The person must be available during business hours on working days.
Anyone who fulfills these requirements can be a registered agent and receive the business documents on behalf of your LLC.
List of Best Registered Agent Services of 2023
I dug deeper and listed the 5 best Registered Agent services you can consider in 2023. Some of the following companies offer a standalone registered agent service. That means you can purchase their registered agent service without buying their business formation package. LLCBuddy team has picked 5 best such services for you,
- Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest is our top pick. It offers a standalone registered agent at a very reasonable price.
- ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is next on the list. It offers registered agents at a much lower price if you form your LLC with them.
- BetterLegal: Bettrelegal is another LLC formation company that offers Registered Agent services at a suitable price.
- Inc Authority: Inc Authority offers free LLC formation service. Apart from the formation services, it offers a separate registered agent service at an additional cost.
- Harbor Compliance: It offers extremely good prices for multi-state registered agent service. Harbor Compliance is popularly known for its competitive price for registered agent service.
Best Registered Agent Service Breakdown
The top 5 best Registered Agent Service list is mentioned above. Now, you will read everything about these companies, their pros & cons, pricing, and whether you should use them. Here is the breakdown of the best Registered Agent Service companies,
Northwest Registered Agent
- Affordable service
- LLC formation package
- Online tool to share documents
- Free mail forwarding
- Transparent pricing structure
- Great customer service ratings
- It does not have expedited service.
- Their basic pack does not include an operating agreement
- Obtaining EIN is not free
- Service Quality: 4.8/5
- Pricing: 4.8/5
- Customer Feedback: 4.5/5
- User Friendly: 4.9/5
Overall Rating: 4.8/5
Northwest Registered Agent Price
- $125 for Registered Agent Service
- $39 + State Fees for LLC complete formation package
Northwest Registered Agent Overview
Northwest Registered Agent service offers premium registered agents in all the states. This company also offers a complete LLC formation package that includes the registered agent service. It costs $39 (+state fees) to form your LLC with Northwest. However, there are a few services, like the operating agreement, that are not included in the package. On the other hand, obtaining EIN costs a bit here, while it does not cost you money if obtained directly from the IRS website. Northwest Company is popularly known for its customer care service.
NW registered agent service does not have diverse plans and packages. It has only one package that comes at a price of $39 (+ state fees). The company offers LLC formation + Registered Agent + Business maintenance, all at $225 (+ state fees). It offers a corporate guide for free to guide you through the formation and maintenance of your company. It is completely safe and easy if you hire Northwest.
Northwest Registered Agent Features
- It offers a standalone registered agent,
- It offers only one formation package at $39 + State fees.
- It has an in-house corporate guide to lead you in forming and maintaining your business.
Northwest Registered Agent service is popular for its Registered Agent service. Unlike other companies, this company does not offer diverse formation packages. Instead, it offers various different services that fulfill not only business requirements but also legal requirements. You can also get a change of registered agent service from Northwest. Read more about the company here in Northwest Registered Agent Review.
- A standalone registered agent service
- LLC formation package at $0 + State fees
- 100% accuracy guaranteed
- Add-on services
- High-quality customer services
- Obtaining EIN is costly
- No formation package for non-profit organizations
- Service Quality: 4.5/5
- Pricing: 4.8/5
- Customer Feedback: 4/5
- User Friendly: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
- Standalone registered agent service at $99
- LLC formation package (starter) at $0 + state fees
Zenbusiness is a Texas-based company that operates in all the states in the United States. This company offers standalone registered agent services at a much lower price and LLC formation for free. Zenbusiness guarantees 100% accuracy, transparency, and reliability. Zenbusiness started its operation in the year 2015, but in a very short time, it has become one of the leading business formation services.
Zenbusiness has additional services that come without any packages. Along with the registered agent service in all the states, you can get other standalone services without purchasing their business formation package.
- Zenbusiness offers a standalone registered agent service.
- It offers multi-state registered agents.
- It offers an LLC formation package starting from $0
- It guarantees 100% accuracy and transparency
Zenbusiness is one of the most popular formation services. It offers diverse packages, standalone registered agent services, and various other services that are required in your business journey. They put customer satisfaction over anything. Also, Zenbusiness offers affordable pricing for all the services. Read Zenbusiness Review to know more about the packages, services, and turnaround times.
- Comparatively low price
- Registered agent service is available at a lower price than others
- Best customer service
- Easy-to-use dashboard and smooth sign-up
- Multi-state registered agent service
- Registered agent service has to be purchased separately. It is not available with LLC formation packages.
- No refund is available. All sales are final.
- Service Quality: 4.3/5
- Pricing: 4.9/5
- Customer Feedback: 4/5
- User Friendly: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.3/5
- Registered Agent service is available at $10 per month and $90 per year.
- LLC formation package is available at $299 + state fees
BetterLegal is a company that offers a single LLC formation package without any hidden or additional changes. Unlike other services, it does not add the registered agent service with its LLC formation package. If you purchase the formation package you need to purchase the registered agent service separately.
BetterLegal offers the registered agent service on a monthly and yearly basis. Based on your requirement, you can purchase the registered agent. BetterLegal offers multi-state registered agent service.
- BetterLegal offers registered agents at $90 a year and $10 monthly.
- It offers LLC formation at $299 + State fees.
- BetterLegal does not have any refund system. All sales are final.
- It offers a multi-state registered agent with a physical address and is available during regular business hours.
- BetterLegal has the best customer service. You can directly talk to the executives via its website.
BetterLegal offers quite a low price when it comes to Registered Agent services. The company provides exceptional customer service. But the reason for them getting negative reviews is it does not offer the registered agent service with their LLC formation package. Also, when many companies offer a 100% money-back guarantee, BetterLegal offers no refund. Read BetterLegal Review to learn more about its services, pricing, etc.
- Free registered agent service for a year
- LLC formation is free + state filing fees
- Excellent customer service
- High user ratings
- Additional benefits
- Easy sign-up
- Price is not transparent
- Other services are expensive
- Additional price to obtain EIN
- No affordable options for their services
- Service Quality: 4/5
- Pricing: 4.1/5
- Customer Feedback: 4.1/5
- User Friendly: 4.2/5
Overall Rating: 4.1/5
Inc Authority Price
- Inc Authority’s entry package costs $0 + state fees
- It offers three more packages – Starter ($399 + state fees), Business Executive ($499 + state fees), and Tycoon ($799 + state fees)
- For a year, the registered agent service is free
Inc Authority Overview
Inc Authority is a service provider that offers LLC formation for free, though state fees. It offers free registered agent service for one year. However, it is unclear how much will be paid in the second year at the time of renewal. Inc Authority offers almost all the basic formation services at $0 + state fees. But, there are some services that people need while forming their LLC, which are available at a much higher price than other competitors.
Though the company offers free registered agents and free LLC formation, in terms of transparency, it is not impressing its users. The price for its other range of products is not so clear.
Inc Authority Features
- It offers free LLC formation and free registered agents for a year.
- It has express filing, which means you can speed up the process.
- It offers business services like websites, business credit cards, etc.
- It has a wide range of services and additional features such as website marketing, business credit coaching, tax consulting, etc.
Inc Authority is one of those companies that offer free LLC formation services. This company offers free registered agents for a year as well. Hence, small businesses with tight budgets, mainly, can easily go for this service. However, this company offers other benefits at a much higher price than close competitors. Read Inc Authority Review to know more about this company and its services.
- It offers affordable prices
- It serves across regulated industries
- Multi-state registered agent service
- Discounts on multiple purchases
- Provides legal services
- Same-day documents accessible via the online portal
- Up-front annual payment
- LLC formation package does not include registered agent service
- No refund
- No monthly plans
- Service Quality: 4/5
- Pricing: 4/5
- Customer Feedback: 4/5
- User Friendly: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Harbor Compliance Price
- Harbor Compliance offers Registered Agent Sevices at $89 to $99 a year. Based on the state, the price can be changed.
- The basic plan starts from $99.
- If you purchase their service for more than a year, you might get discounts of up to 10%
Harbor Compliance Overview
Harbor Compliance is one of those companies that offer the industry’s best prices. The best thing about this service is it offers a 5-10% discount if you purchase a registered agent for the next two years. This company is well-known for providing business solutions for regulated industries such as Engineering, Architecture, Finance, Healthcare, etc.
If any business owners have businesses in the following industry, such as Engineering, Architecture, and other regulated fields, then Harbor Compliance is the best choice for them.
Harbor Compliance Features
- It offers the best prices.
- It provides business solutions to the regulated industry.
- It offers discounts if services are bought for 2+ years
- It provides same-day documents accessibility through the online dashboard
- It uses compliance software that allows users to access their documents safely.
Harbor Compliance focuses more on business compliance solutions. This company provides solutions to regulated industries. Hence, business owners who operate in such industries should use this service. The Registered Agent service is not available with their formation package.
Importance of Professional Registered Agent Services
A Registered Agent is the most important factor while forming an LLC. It is mandatory to have a legit and experienced person handle all your legal documents. When you form an LLC, you must have to meet many legal obligations. Not only the legal obligations but also other official documents. A legit registered agent helps you handle everything with ease. There are many reasons why you must have a professional Registered Agent while forming your LLC.
If you hire a registered agent, it will be hassle-free for you. You can work on other things in your LLC during normal business hours instead of being present at the official address. Professional agents have decades of experience in the same field. They can handle things properly.
When you form your LLC, you must share your address and contact number on the public forum for public records. If you hire a registered agent, you can keep your privacy intact, especially if you run your business from home. Your personal details won’t get shared anywhere.
A registered agent must be at the office during standard business hours. If you don’t work during these hours, you still have to be in the office. It will be easier to hire a registered agent, you can work anytime you want without compromising anything.
You probably have a multi-state business. In this case, you must get a registered agent to handle all the legal and official documents. Most of these registered agent services provide multi-state services. So, it will be helpful to have a professional fellow to be there.
Receiving Legal and Official Papers
As a business entity, you must receive all the papers in-person. If you cannot, then you must appoint someone who can. A professional person will be the best idea to receive all the documents, etc.
Having an LLC protects your personal assets. If the LLC is sued, business owners do not have to compromise their personal assets. However, there can be situations where a lawsuit can reach your personal assets. This is called piercing the corporate veil. In such cases, a legit registered agent is a must for legal benefits.
It is easy and convenient to have formal business entities as your registered agents. Besides, it is important to get business compliant to avoid legal conflicts.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, if you want, you can be your own registered agent. To become a registered agent, you must fulfill the following requirements, ‘
- You have to be above 18 years of age.
- You must be legally allowed to conduct business in the state.
- You must have a physical address in the state.
Anyone who fulfills the above criteria can be a registered agent. You, your spouse, siblings, friends, partners, and whoever you know. Hence, you can easily be your own registered agent. However, it is not a wise decision to be your own registered agent. During normal business days, you must be there at the registered office address, no matter how busy you’re. It is literally not possible for any business owner to work like that.
If you’re a startup or a newbie in the business field, then you must appoint a registered agent. The professional and experienced ones will help you with all the filing and legal documents throughout.
How to Choose the Best Registered Agent Service
I have already shared the best Registered Agent services available. However, you are the one who is running a business and have to decide on which registered agent to choose. Selecting a professional agent is not a difficult task. Based on your business, budget, and state, you can select the agent service. Before you choose the perfect one, the following points must be checked,
Evaluate the experience your chosen company has. There can be a lot of companies that offer the best services, however, it is important to check whether the entity has enough knowledge and expertise in the field.
Price and Value
Price and value are two different things to consider. I would suggest you consider value more than the price of the service you are purchasing. Whatever money you are spending on the service should be worth it.
Make sure the company is technologically sound. In many parts of the world, people still work remotely. Hence, check if the service has enough technological support to work remotely. Even if you’re not working remotely, your service must have enough technical support to protect your data from breaching.
The main thing to consider is what services they are offering. Compare various services and the prices each company offers. Not always expensive things are good. You must check if the services they provide are well-suited or not.
Another point to note is if the service offers multi-state service or not. You probably have or may have business in multiple states; in that case, you must need a service that can offer multi-state registered agents.
Check if the face price and the real price are the same for the services or not, whether the service has any hidden charges or a straight price.
Overall, you must check if the company you choose offers basic services. Whether it is a reputable company or a comparatively new company, before you finalize the one, get all the information like competitive rates, level of service, compliance calendar, and any other complicated or simple questions you have.
Zenbusiness is the best Registered Agent service. It provides a standalone service. Based on the requirements you have, you can choose the registered agent service for your LLC.
A registered agent (also known as the resident agent, agent of service of process) is a person or business entity representing the LLC. He/she is responsible for receiving legal notices, official documents, and other papers related to lawsuits.
To choose the best Registered Agent, check the entire company and its services. Check the benefits for business owners, whether they provide premium customer service, annual reports filing services, etc. You can choose the cheapest full-service registered agent service, but only if it fits your requirement.
To become a registered agent, you must be over 18 years of age, have the legal power to conduct business in the state, and have a physical address in the state.
I have shared pretty much all the basic information about the best Registered Agent services. You can compare the prices, services, and other factors before you choose the right one for your business. If you have used any of these services and want to share your advice for business owners, you can comment below.