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If you’re a business owner seeking a trustworthy registered agent service, it can take time to determine where to begin with the numerous options available. However, we’ve conducted thorough research on your behalf and created a list of the finest registered agent services currently available.
Our recommendations offer exceptional customer service and advanced compliance capabilities. To discover the most suitable registered agent for your company’s requirements, continue reading.
6 Best Registered Agent Services
- ZenBusiness – Best for Small Businesses
- Northwest Registered Agent – Best Registered Agent Service Overall
- Incfile – Best for Affordability
- Inc Authority – Best for Startups
- Swyft Filing – Best for Quick Turnaround Time
- Tailor Brands – Best for Branding Solutions
To determine the best registered agent service provider, we evaluated several critical factors thoroughly. When looking for a reliable registered agent, it’s essential to consider several factors. These may include their level of experience in compliance, their history of dependable service, their value for money, and the standard of their customer service. However, one may still wonder: what is a registered agent for an LLC?
We also considered extra features like safeguarding privacy, managing documents, and providing online portal access. If you’re wondering what a registered agent is, our thorough assessment has enabled us to list the best services in this category, considering various parameters. You can rely on our recommendations to choose wisely for your business needs.
ZenBusiness – Best Registered Agent Service for Small Businesses
Star Rating: 4.9/5
Also ranked as the best LLC formation service, ZenBusiness is a company that specializes in assisting businesses with their formation process. They also offer trustworthy registered agent services to LLCs and corporations, new and established, in all states, including the District of Columbia.
ZenBusiness acts as a middleman, receiving on behalf of your business and government correspondence, legal documents, tax forms, and service of process documents (legal notification of a lawsuit or summons) from the government.
Upon receiving your documents, ZenBusiness scans and uploads them onto your business dashboard. Simply put, a registered agent is a designated individual or entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of a business entity.
This includes notifications about receiving documents and any necessary actions to be taken promptly.
Any matters requiring special attention are communicated via mail. For a fee of $99 for the first year and $199 for subsequent years, ZenBusiness provides registered agent services. It’s wise to opt for a package covering registered agents and Worry-Free Compliance services.
ZenBusiness takes care of your annual filing, ensures you get all essential compliance deadlines, and checks your status with the state to ensure everything is in order. ZenBusiness will help you develop a plan to regain compliance and cover any costs that may have been incurred due to an error on their part.
This means you can rest easy knowing your business is in good hands with ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness has helped you understand ‘what does a registered agent do? They also offer email support and aim to respond to emails within 24 hours on business days.
Who should use it: If you’re wondering what a registered agent is and need assistance with legal matters, ZenBusiness is a perfect choice. They offer a broad range of legal services, including registered agent services, that can help you in all aspects of your business.
- Friendly and helpful service staff
- The initial pricing is deficient
- Legal services available on an “as needed” basis
- It can take a lot of work to make sense of pricing models
- It costs a lot to renew
- Expensive extra features
Pricing & Plans
- Starter Plan: For the Starter Plan, customers are charged an annual fee of $0 and state filing fees. If you’re wondering what a registered LLC agent is, look at our LLC formation plan. We cover all the essential services needed to form your LLC, including conducting a name availability search, preparing and submitting the Articles of Organization, and providing registered agent services for the initial year.
- Pro Plan: For a yearly fee of $199, the Pro Plan offers everything that the Starter Plan provides, as well as additional options like an Operating Agreement, EIN registration, and banking resolution.
- Premium Plan: The Premium Plan costs $299 annually and encompasses all the Pro Plan’s characteristics, along with faster filing, supervision of compliance, and assurance of a stress-free experience.
Northwest Registered Agent – Best Registered Agent Service Overall
Star Rating: 4/5
Northwest Registered Agent is a company that specializes in providing registered agent services to businesses. For those wondering ‘what is a registered agent,’ it’s a designated individual or entity responsible for receiving legal and tax documents on behalf of a business.
With Northwest Registered Agent’s expertise, businesses can ensure that their legal and tax correspondence is handled efficiently and effectively.
Along with LLC and corporation setup services, the company also offers guidance on what is a registered agent for an LLC. It’s crucial to have a registered agent in every state where you conduct business, which is something our team can assist you with.
Northwest charges a flat fee of $125 per state per year if you need registered agent services for one to four states.
However, if you require these services for five or more states, the fee reduces to $100 per state per year. What sets Northwest apart from other providers is that there are no additional fees after the first year.
Look no further than Northwest, where we provide a comprehensive service that includes scanning all state and legal mail and storing it in your account for convenient access. It allows up to five nonlegal business mail documents to be scanned annually without extra charge. Northwest will send you annual report reminders to ensure you never miss an important legal filing date.
Northwest also guarantees Privacy by Default, which means it’ll not sell your business data, unlike other agents who may sell your business contact information and result in solicitations from new businesses.
When you open a new account, you’ll be assigned a Northwest Corporate Guide who will provide personalized attention and help you navigate complex state regulations. You can do so via email, phone, or an online support form. Rest assured that you can typically expect a prompt response within two hours.
Who should use it: If you’re wondering what is a registered agent for an LLC and your small business requires these services, look at Northwest Registered Agent. They’re the optimal choice for all your registered agent needs.
- Superior assistance for customers
- There’s no charge for mail forwarding
- Affordable, open pricing structure
- Doesn’t share customer information with third parties
- The price of the EIN service
- There’s often a need for uniformity in response times
Pricing & Plans
If you’re wondering what is a registered agent for an LLC and looking for a budget-friendly solution to establish your LLC, Northwest Registered Agent provides top-notch LLC formation services with prices starting as low as $225 annually.
This package includes all the features, such as preparing and submitting the Articles of Organization, verifying name availability, and providing registered agent service for a year.
If you’re wondering, what is a registered agent? They’re professionals who provide online access to all business documents, offer free forwarding of legal and tax documents, and send reminders to ensure your business stays compliant.
Northwest Registered Agent is a reliable company that can quickly assist businesses in setting up their LLCs. They offer a flexible and customizable solution, which includes various add-ons at an extra cost. If you’re wondering what a registered agent is, let Northwest handle everything.
Incfile – Best Registered Agent Service for Affordability
Star Rating: 3.8/5
Incfile offers a comprehensive suite of business formation services, including the critical function of registered agent services available nationwide. For those wondering, “what is a registered agent for an LLC?” Incfile has you covered with expert assistance to ensure your business complies with all legal requirements. This is essential in understanding ‘what does a registered agent do?’
These services involve accepting crucial legal, regulatory, and tax documents on behalf of clients, just like any other registered agent. Once you choose Incfile as your registered agent, you can access an exclusive online dashboard where your documents are stored and easily retrieved.
The company will send you notifications via email and SMS whenever new documents are received and automatically forward legal correspondence.! You’ll get the first year of registered agent services at no cost. Following that, there will be an annual fee of $119.
Incfile provides customer support over the phone from Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT. In addition, clients can contact the customer service team by filling out a form on the website. However, there may be long waiting times for support requests.
While it’s important to mention that Incfile isn’t known for being the most reliable or punctual, as per customer reviews on service review platforms and the Better Business Bureau, it’s also essential to understand what is a registered agent.
These sources indicate that Incfile may only sometimes be prompt in scanning documents and that their business formation services may have slow turnaround times.
Who should use it: Entrepreneurs commencing a new venture with limited financial resources will find Incfile’s initial year of free registered agent services advantageous. This offer is accessible to those who opt to incorporate their new business through Incfile.
- Transmission of legal documents are automated
- When forming a new corporation, the first year is on the house
- Easy-to-navigate control panel for the registered agent
- Support time is too slow
- Scanning documents don’t always bring up a prompt
- Variability in the processing of filings
Pricing & Plans
- Silver Package: The only amount required to be paid is the state fees, which is $0
- Gold Package: $199 + State Fees
- Platinum Package: $299 + State Fees
Inc Authority – Best Registered Agent Service for Startups
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Inc Authority is a popular choice among new businesses for their legal requirements as they provide an LLC setup. They also offer a year’s worth of free registered agent services.
Inc Authority handles all state and government communication for your business as a registered agent. With their services available in all 50 states, you can rely on Inc Authority for all your registered agent necessities if your business operates in multiple states.
The pricing for the second year of registered agent services needs to be specified, affecting Inc Authority’s transparency and leading to a lower score than other top registered agent services.
Customer support is offered through phone, email, and chat during specific hours on weekdays, and Trustpilot reviews indicate that Inc Authority generally provides prompt and responsive customer service.
- Simple subscription sign-up
- Free LLC formation and first year of service
- The agents on staff are very conscientious
- When forming an LLC, you cannot opt out of using a registered agent
- Constant attempts to sell you more stuff
- Renewal pricing information isn’t readily available
- The procedure for managing documentation needs to be clearer
Who should use it: Inc Authority is a suitable choice for individuals who require free registered agent services during their LLC formation, particularly those operating under financial constraints.
Pricing & Plans
- Starter Package: You only need to pay the state fees as there are no additional charges for the service provided.
- Starter Business Bundle: $399 is required, along with state fees.
- Business LLC Executive Bundle: The cost of $499 is inclusive of state fees.
- Tycoon LLC Business Bundle: The cost of $799 is inclusive of state fees.
Swyft Filing – Best Registered Agent Service for Quick Turnaround Time
Star Rating: 4.6/5
Swyft Filings is a trustworthy and effective registered agent service that helps business owners comply with state regulations.
Registered agents are experts who offer a comprehensive range of services. These services include promptly receiving and forwarding legal documents such as subpoenas, legal actions, and other correspondence to clients.
Their exceptional skills make them essential to any business that values promptness and accuracy when handling critical legal matters. Swyft Filings’ registered agent service is remarkable for its affordability. Businesses can benefit from their services at a low yearly cost without spending much money.
Swyft Filings is known for its outstanding customer service, including client phone and email support. Our team provides you with expert assistance. In addition, our skilled representatives are readily available to address any issues or queries that may arise promptly.
If clients need further assistance, they can consult the website’s extensive knowledge base or the frequently asked questions section, which covers any inquiries related to the registered agent service.
Who should use it: Are you still determining what is a registered agent and how it can help the business comply with state regulations? Swyft Filings offers a reliable, cost-effective, and efficient registered agent service that is ideal for your needs as a business owner.
- Instantaneous processing of filings
- These prices are among the market’s lowest starting points
- Pay in installments is an available option
- Not all formation paperwork is included in the basic package
- The costs of appointing a registered agent and obtaining an EIN are extra
- Costs can quickly accumulate when extra features are used
Pricing & Plans
- Basic plan: The service fee for incorporating or organizing a company is $49, which includes the preparation and submission of the Articles of Incorporation/Organization, a name availability check, and a registered agent service for one year.
- Standard plan: For a total cost of $149, which covers state fees, the Enhanced plan encompasses everything included in the Basic plan as well as the filing of an EIN/Tax ID, the creation of an operating agreement or bylaws, and a banking resolution.
- Premium plan: It offers premium features. This plan offers all the features of our Standard plan and more.
Tailor Brands – Best Registered Agent Service for Branding Solutions
Star Rating: 4.3/5
Tailor Brands is a company that specializes in branding and provides various services to help you start your business and expand your brand. They offer a registered agent service that ensures businesses comply with state regulations by receiving and forwarding critical legal documents like lawsuits, subpoenas, and other correspondence to their clients.
This allows clients to effortlessly maintain a consistent and professional brand image while abiding by state regulations. Tailor Brands provides clients with a convenient online platform that enables them to handle their essential documents and communicate efficiently.
The portal allows users to access and download their files, edit their contact details, and receive alerts regarding crucial deadlines. Moreover, Tailor Brands’ pricing policy for their registered agent service is crystal clear and uncomplicated, with a fixed yearly charge and no undisclosed expenses. This empowers businesses to budget and prepare for their registered agent service requirements.
Who should use it: Tailor Brands offers a registered agent service that is an all-inclusive option for companies seeking both branding and compliance services.
- Provides resources for developing a personal brand and an online presence
- More options for personalization than comparable services (like logo and graphic design generators)
- Super simple to learn and use; you can be up and running in under ten minutes with just a few clicks
- Everything you need to get your business up and running on the web, all in one convenient location
- To fully utilize Tailor Brands, one must invest in the highest-level plan, which may not be the most budget-friendly option for individuals looking for affordable alternatives
Pricing & Plans
- Basic: If you pay for the entire year in advance, you can subscribe for $3.99 monthly. Otherwise, the monthly subscription fee is $9.99.
- Standard: If you pay for the whole year upfront, you can get a monthly subscription for $5.99, otherwise, the monthly subscription fee is $19.99.
- Premium: If you pay for the entire year in advance, you can get a monthly subscription for $12.99, otherwise, it would cost $49.99 monthly.
Ranking Methodology for the Best Registered Agent Service
To assess registered agent services, it’s important to consider several crucial elements, which may include:
- Value for the price: Pricing for registered agent services can differ significantly, making it crucial to locate a provider that offers a good blend of cost-effectiveness and quality. It’s essential to refrain from paying for unnecessary services while ensuring that essential features are not compromised due to cost-cutting measures.
- Compliance expertise: Registered agents need in-depth knowledge about your business’s legal and regulatory obligations. It’s also essential to understand what is a registered agent for an LLC. This encompasses various aspects, such as complying with industry-specific regulations and meeting state filing deadlines. The top-notch registered agent services provide a team of compliance experts who can assist you in fulfilling your legal responsibilities.
- Customer support: Prompt and efficient customer support is crucial to registered agent services. It’s necessary to have access to assistance from someone who can readily address your queries and apprehensions. The most exceptional registered agent services provide expert and responsive customer support.
- Reliability: A registered agent must be present during regular business hours to receive legal papers for your company. Please do so to avoid missing important deadlines and facing legal repercussions. Therefore, when selecting a registered agent, it’s essential to consider their reliability as a vital factor.
- Additional features: Certain registered agent services provide additional features that can simplify your life. These may include document management tools enabling you to store and retrieve crucial legal papers online safely. Other services may offer privacy protection to safeguard your confidential personal data. Recognizing such benefits is important.
We determined the best registered agent services available by assessing them according to these standards.
To ensure you receive the highest quality service, we suggest considering these factors when selecting a registered agent for your company.
Best Registered Agent Service – Buyer’s Guide
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a representative appointed by a business to receive official mail and service of process on its behalf. The agent may also be referred to as a statutory agent, resident agent, or agent for service of process.
It’s mandatory for registered business entities, whether a corporation, LLC, or nonprofit, to have a registered agent listed on their formation documents, such as “articles of organization” or “articles of incorporation,” which are filed with the state. The information in the formation documents is considered public records.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
To qualify as a registered agent, certain criteria need to be fulfilled. The individual must reside in the state where the company is registered and have a physical address for document delivery.
It’s crucial to carefully consider the designated individual for this role, despite the simplicity of the requirements. Note that a P.O. mailbox cannot be used as a physical address.
5 Reasons You Might Need to Use a Registered Agent Service
When deciding whether to serve as your own registered agent or enlist the assistance of a third-party provider, it’s crucial to consider certain factors in a question about who and what is a registered agent.
- Availability: If you have a small business and can only sometimes be present to receive mail or packages, a registered agent service can guarantee there’s always someone available during business hours to receive important documents.
- Convenience: Using a registered agent service, you can receive all your legal documents and significant correspondence at your business address or email, saving you valuable time and eliminating any inconvenience.
- Credibility: Employing a registered agent service can enhance the credibility of your business as it showcases your commitment to adhering to state regulations and safeguarding your business concerns.
- Legal Compliance: To comply with state law, business entities must appoint a registered agent to receive documents like subpoenas, lawsuits, and other crucial legal notices. Failure to appoint a registered agent may result in non-compliance.
- Privacy: If you run a small business from your residence, you might prefer not to use your home address as the business address. To avoid using your address, you can use a registered agent service to provide you with a professional business address.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
When registering an LLC, it’s mandatory to designate a registered agent. Please do so to avoid detrimental effects on the company.
A registered agent is an essential component of your company. Without one, your business may not receive legal summons promptly, resulting in default judgments, loss of good standing, and penalties.
The state may send the annual report to the registered agent, and if the agent isn’t up-to-date, the company might miss it, resulting in a loss of good standing. A company failing to comply with statutory requirements can lead to administrative dissolution, exposing owners to debt owed to business creditors.
Best Registered Agent Service – Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you may have additional questions, so we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to address any concerns or uncertainties.
What Does a Registered Agent Do?
A registered agent is a legal requirement when you register your business. They act as a receiver for various documents, which include legal, state, regulatory, and tax-related documents. These documents are then shared via an online portal or forwarded to your address for easy access.
They may also contact you by phone or text if an urgent document requires your attention. This could include a court notice or a fast-approaching deadline.
Can I Use Myself as a Registered Agent?
Well, a registered agent is someone who can receive important correspondence related to your business. If you have a physical address, you can serve as your registered agent for your company. It’s that simple! Keep in mind that states do not allow the use of P.O. boxes for registered agent purposes.
Is a Registered Agent Really Necessary?
It’s a requirement for LLCs, partnerships, and corporations in every US state to have one. Additionally, these entities must also have a registered office. It’s important to note that the term may vary depending on the state. Registered agents can also be referred to as resident agents, agents for service of process, or statutory agents.
Bottom Line on Best Registered Agent Service
Understanding what is a registered agent for an LLC and selecting the right registered agent service can make all the difference in the success of your business. It can assist you in fulfilling all legal and regulatory requirements and provide valuable customer support, which can help you avoid expensive errors.
If you’re unsure about ‘what is the best registered agent,’ look at our top pick, ZenBusiness, and decide which registered agent service meets your needs. As someone specializing in copywriting and digital marketing, we understand the importance of finding a ‘registered agent meaning’ that aligns with your company’s requirements.
About the author
Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. Sterling guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.
As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.