Choosing the best registered agent service for your company is critical.
The right registered agent will ensure your company meets its legal obligations while protecting your privacy and keeping your personal assets safe.
The wrong registered agent will cost far more than you need to pay. It can open you up to lawsuits or exploitation by scammers and hackers.
I investigated the top 64 registered agent services, assessed the top 12, and compiled in-depth reviews of the top three, based on five key factors in my four-stage review process.
These are my recommendations for the best registered agent:
1. Northwest Registered Agent Review — 9.10/10 (Top Provider)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top recommendation for the best registered agent because in addition to providing everything you need for the second-cheapest price, they also have industry-leading customer support.
There are a lot of positives about Northwest Registered Agent.
They offer the full range of services you need from a registered agent (as well as an LLC formation service), including that all-important business address, an online access portal, and important compliance alerts. They're also the only national registered agent to scan and forward EVERY piece of mail sent to your company, including service of process (most companies will just scan government and legal documents).
Their sign-up system is simple to use and allows you to purchase registered agent services in multiple states at the same time, making it great for growing companies or those who anticipate growing within the next few years.
Not only is it easy to sign up to their system, but their system is also easy to use. It’s been designed for those with little technical knowledge or experience and allows you to manage multiple state registrations within the same portal—a not-so-common feature among registered agent services.
But the biggest reason they're ranked #1 on my list is their customer support team.
In an age where most companies are looking to offshore their support processes to foreign companies with inadequately trained and inexperienced staff, Northwest has gone against that trend.
Their US-based support team of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will not only efficiently and patiently deal with any issues you have regarding your registered agent service, but they're also available to answer any questions you have about your small business journey.
They're highly experienced in starting, building, and running businesses and can answer (or find the answer) to the challenges you're facing.
They're the only registered agent service to offer this level of customer support and so given the wide variety of challenges you'll face as a small business owner, they're an easy pick for my #1 spot. Their customer support team is available for contact every weekday during normal business hours.
When you combine this with the fact that they're only $125 per state, per year (only $26 more expensive than the cheapest registered agent service in my analysis), there's a lot to like about Northwest Registered Agent.
As with a lot of very polished and quality services, the biggest strength of Northwest is also their biggest weakness: their customer support.
When you get on a call with their support team, it's not a 15-second question-and-answer session where you get the info and quickly get off the call. Their commitment to providing the best support possible means that sometimes, even in those situations where you just want a quick answer to a quick question, it takes them longer than you want to answer your question.
They'll ask questions about your specific problem and want to understand the subtle nuances of your situation to make sure they're giving you the right advice the first time, making the call take longer than just Googling the answer.
This is a high-quality problem, but still a slight knock on Northwest Registered Agent for those moments where you just want a quick answer to a quick question.
Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service because on top of providing everything you need in a simple-to-use system for the second-cheapest price on the market, they back up it all up with stellar customer support representatives that take the time needed to fully understand your situation and provide you with the right advice.
If you’re looking for a registered agent service that can support you and your growing company for only $125 per state, per year, head to Northwest Registered Agent now: Northwest Registered Agent.
2. Harbor Compliance Review — 7.92/10 (Best Full-Service Registered Agent on a Budget)
Harbor Compliance is #2 on my best registered agent list because they provide the services you need at the cheapest price on the market.
Just like Northwest Registered Agent, Harbor Compliance is a full-service registered agent service. They offer everything you need from a registered agent service: online document access, scanning and forwarding of your important documents (including service of process), and compliance alerts.
Their sign-up process is simple and registering for multiple states is intuitive. Of course, the factor in which Harbor Compliance really shines is their price. At $99 per state, per year, they're the cheapest full-service registered agent on the market (see my “pricing” section for a deeper dive into pricing), making them $26 per state per year cheaper than Northwest.
The big drawback with Harbor Compliance is that while they're good at everything, they're not great at anything. Their range of services covers all the basics, but there are no premium features. Their customer support will answer your questions regarding your registered agent service, but won't provide small business support like Northwest.
They're good at everything, but not great at anything.
Harbor Compliance is a reliable option that covers all the bases when it comes to your registered agent requirements. They provide everything you need at the cheapest price on the market without any fancy bells and whistles.
If you're happy to trade remarkable customer support for a $26 per year saving, check out Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
If you’re looking for a premium registered agent service, LegalZoom is the best of what are a few unsatisfactory options.
LegalZoom is a premium national registered agent that offers everything you get from a full-service registered agent, including online document access, mail forwarding, and compliance alerts, as well as the premium feature of identity theft protection of up to $1 million.
There are two significant drawbacks with LegalZoom.
The first is the cost. At $299, they’re more than twice the price of Northwest, and the $175 difference is more than you’ll pay for a $1 million policy for identity theft protection.
The second drawback is that because their registered agent service is only a very minor part of their overall business (legal document templates), it’s neither well optimized nor highly prioritized.
Their system is much more difficult to use and their customer support for their registered agent service is nowhere near as efficient, effective, or helpful as other options on my list.
LegalZoom is a reputable company that offers a premium registered agent service that is more expensive than purchasing the premium services separately and less well supported than the other top agents’ full-service offerings.
Unless you’re using LegalZoom for other services or you desperately want overpriced identity theft insurance included with your registered agent service, you’ll get far better value from Northwest.
If you want to learn more about LegalZoom, check out their website here: LegalZoom.
From here on out are less-detailed overviews of the remaining nine registered agent services that I analyzed in my hunt for the best registered agent service.
ZenBusiness is one of the good national registered agent services online. Their base registered agent service is $199 per year. This rate includes alerts for important compliance dates, fast filing of your business documents, and, in case you need to change any details in your documents, you'll get two free filing amendments.
However, you still don't get the kind of support available with Northwest.
If you want to know more about their complete list of services, read my ZenBusiness Review.
Incfile is another LLC service that offers the bare minimum (no compliance alerts) for a registered agent service and charges $119 per year (plus state fees) for the pleasure. If you want to pay more for less, IncFile is a good option.
They also offer a free registered agent service for the first year, but, just like ZenBusiness registered agent, you’re getting less while paying more.
You can check out IncFile here: IncFile
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a less-expensive knockoff of LegalZoom, with their registered agent service forming just a minor part of their product offering catalog. They charge $149 for the bare minimum business formation packages and the level of support you get with their registered agent service is less than you would expect.
You can get a full breakdown of their products and services in my Rocket Lawyer review.
7. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings is another LLC formation service that offers the bare minimum registered agent services, and they charge $159 per year.
InCorp is also an LLC formation service that offers an interesting registered agent service.
They charge the same $99 per year as Harbor Compliance and offer the same business formation packages, BUT their system is VERY hard to use. It’s poorly laid out, clunky, and difficult to navigate. Their support is passable, but when their system is so hard to use, that “passable” support isn’t good enough to make my list of top recommendations.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filing offers compliance alerts as part of their registered agent service but charges $149 (plus state fees) per year.
They do offer a range of other services, which you can read all about in my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is another premium registered agent service that offers very little in terms of premium features. They will pay any state fees related to switching to their service, but at $299 per year, you could afford to switch to Northwest Registered Agent and pay the switching costs yourself.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. charges $200 per year for the same features that Northwest charge $125 (plus state fees) per year, without anywhere near the level of support.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is an LLC formation service that offers a bare minimum registered agent service. They charge $150 per year.
They also do NOT offer a free registered agent service for a year when you use their business formation packages.
Registered Agent Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is my #1 recommendation because they offer everything you need for $125 per state per year.
On top of this, their US-based support team of former lawyers, accounts, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will not only patiently and enthusiastically answer any questions you have about your registered agent service, but you can also ask them about your small business questions and they'll do their best to provide the advice you need.
With an easy registration system and simple user interface, they’re a great option for ensuring you meet your legal obligations and your personal details are protected.
If you need a registered agent who will not only provide everything you need to ensure your business meets it legal requirements but also support you as you grow your new company, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
There are numerous registered agent services online. And while choices are great, all the information can be overwhelming. This is why I created this article as a quick reference guide to the best registered agent services for your LLC or corporation. This is how I came to a conclusion.
Why You Should Trust Me
When it comes to finding the best registered agent service, you should trust me because I spent more time digging through the hot mess of the registered agent industry than just about anyone else on this planet.
This started with finding the best registered agent services for my two companies—a health website and a cafe. After I sold those businesses, I was looking for a new project to start. From speaking with my friends in the online business world, as well as the cafe world, it became clear that they didn’t have the time or mental space to sift through the different service providers for small businesses. I already had the knowledge, so I started giving them advice.
That grew into an online company and now I’m here giving registered agent service advice to random internet friends like you.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
I went through a four-stage process to choose the best registered agent service. I gradually whittled down the 60+ services and then finally to my top three.
This is how I did it.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first step in finding the best registered agent was to look through thousands of online reviews. They were spread across Facebook, TrustPilot, Better Business Bureau, and many other business review platforms. The reviews were more than I could count, but I did it so you wouldn’t have to stress yourself.
I’ll be honest here. I didn’t read ALL of them (because that would have taken years), but I did look at most reviews that offered more than a paragraph or two. This gave me enough insight into a company to eliminate obvious scams and misleading offers (more on that in the “Rating Factors” section below).
Stage 2: Website Analysis
Once we’d eliminated the obvious B-grade (sometimes D-grade) offerings, the next step was to review the websites of the remaining registered agent services.
I looked at elements like the variety of products and services on offer, the different contact methods for their customer support, the company history, any awards they’d won, and their locations.
This gave me a better understanding of the company, who they really are, and what they offer.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
There’s only so much you can learn from reading online reviews and scrolling through a website. If you’re going to get a real sense of how well a company operates, you need to speak to the people using that company. That is why I spoke to real customers at the third stage of my analysis.
To get unbiased, wide-ranging customer opinions, I reached out to satisfied readers who have used my recommendations, as well as my website visitors who were already using a registered agent.
I asked how well their needs were being served, and their responses allowed me to get intimate details on the quality of service and support that each company offers—regardless of what they claim on their website.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
The final stage of my analysis was to get on the phone with their sales teams. I gathered up all the dirt, complaints, and issues I could find and asked them tough questions about why and how they were failing.
This gave me incredible insight into how each company is growing and developing their offerings in response to customer feedback. Some companies told me that the complaining customers were a little “crazy” and I shouldn’t listen to their stories, while my more highly rated companies told me how they’d actually integrated such feedback into their product development cycle such that those issues no longer existed.
This step really separated the good from the bad and allowed me to have 100% confidence in the companies I’ve recommended.
Each of the remaining 12 registered agent services for your LLC was then rated based on five factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I analyzed is the services offered by companies on my list of registered agents.
If they don’t offer the services you want, then it won’t matter how cheap or expensive they are, how simple-to-use their systems are, or how well they support their customers. If they don’t do what you want, then there’s no point in using them.
I looked at factors such as whether they allow you to access your legal documents online or simply mail documents to your registered address, whether they personally alert you about upcoming compliance deadlines or they just provide a calendar, whether they insure you against identity theft or they just guarantee that your personal information is protected, and whether they also offered a cheap LLC formation services or possibly even the best LLC formation services.
Those with the best range of offerings rose to the top of my list while those offering the bare minimum fell to the bottom.
Factor 2: Value
The second factor I assessed was their value for money, and this varied GREATLY between registered agent services.
Our investigations turned up three distinct categories of pricing: budget, full service, and premium.
The budget range of offerings were advertised around $39–$59 per year, the full-service offerings were between $99–$129 per year, and the premium services started at $299 per year and went up from there.
The registered agents that offered the best value for money were at the top of the list, while those offering little in return were pushed to the bottom.
Our investigations into these three pricing tiers show that while the budget range of registered agent services look appealing, they’re only appealing because of their deceptive pricing.
It may only cost as little as $39 to sign up with the company, but you have to pay FAR more to get any of the basic benefits you expect from your registered agent, including compliance alerts, document scanning, and same-day forwarding. These deceptive advertising schemes and add-ons easily push their offerings of fewer features to cost far more than the full-service offerings of the best registered agent services.
That’s why I excluded all budget offerings from my analysis.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
Hiring a registered agent that offers the services you need at the price you can afford, only to then waste days, if not weeks of your time getting you set up in their system, is obviously not going to help your business.
To make sure that you get the service you need at the price you want with the ease and simplicity you’re looking for, the sign-up process is the third factor on which I used to assess the best registered agent services.
Those that have streamlined, automated, minimal-effort systems are at the top of the list while those with clunky, labor-intensive, time-consuming processes are at the bottom.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Getting set up in their system is only one part of using a registered agent that can suck your time. Once you’re set-up, you don’t want to waste hours navigating complex, antiquated systems. That’s why the ease of using their systems was the fourth factor I considered in my registered agent review.
Those whose systems were simple-to-use ranked high on this factor, while those that were complex and tough to navigate ranked low.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Regardless of how simple and easy-to-use a system is, or how intuitively it has been designed, there will always be areas that require explanation. In these situations, you need good customer support.
Getting reliable support can be the difference between quickly getting through your to-do list and wasting hours waiting for someone to explain something that will solve an issue.
Because of this, the level of customer support was the final factor on which I used to assess the best registered agent services.
Those that quickly and simply answer your questions and allow you to get on with your life are at the top of my list. Of course, I ranked lower those that take hours, if not days, to respond with poor explanations that make the situation even less clear than it was before you reached out to them.
The Best Registered Agent Results Summary
After assessing the top 12 best registered agent services using five factors in my four-stage process, my top overall Registered Agent Service is Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Overall: Northwest Registered Agent (9.10/10)
Northwest Registered Agent landed the #1 spot on my list because they're a full-service registered agent with great prices and industry-leading customer support.
When you register your small business with Northwest Registered Agent for $125 per state, per year, you get your registered business address, online access to scanned copies of ALL documents (not just legal notices), and notifications of your compliance requirements (such as annual report filings). You'll also definitely apprecitate that they keep your personal details off the public record.
But more importantly, their US-based team of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will not only answer your registered agent-related questions, but will also use their previous experiences and history with small businesses to answer any questions you have about starting, managing, and growing your company. Their customer support team is available for contact every weekday during normal business hours.
With more than 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews, you can be sure my experience wasn't a one-off.
Get the best registered agent service for your small business here: Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent also provides LLC formation services. To find out more, read my guide on the best LLC services.
Best Budget Registered Agent: Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking for a registered agent service that does everything you need for a little less then Harbor Compliance is a great option.
They offer the same range of services as Northwest and only charge $99 per state, per year.
While their customer service team is nowhere near as patient, polite, and helpful as Northwest, they will still answer your questions and guide you through any challenging situations.
There's a lot more to Harbor Compliance's service than I tell you about here. Read my full Harbor Compliance review for more details on their service and offerings.
If you don't want extra guidance and support and want to save $26 per year, you can learn more about Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent: LegalZoom (6.59/10)
If you’re looking for a registered agent that provides premium-level service, LegalZoom is a great option. They offer everything provided by Northwest, with the addition of identity theft protection of $1,000,000. They will also cover any costs of switching from your current registered agent to their service.
This protection will cost you $175 per state, per year more than Northwest ($299 per state per year total), but if you’re worried about identity theft and want additional protection, this is a great option.
You can learn more about LegalZoom here: LegalZoom
Getting the right registered agent service for your business is critical to ensuring your assets are protected andyour information is safe, and that you comply with all state business operating rules.
I investigated 64 registered agent services and reviewed the top 12 services using a four-stage process analyzing five different factors.
Our investigations and thousands of positive reviews concluded that the best registered agent service is Northwest Registered Agent.
They offer everything you can expect from a full-service registered agent service with patient and courteous customer support to help you through any situation or circumstance. Their online document storage system is easy to navigate and their multistate management portal allows them to grow with you.
If you want a registered agent service that covers everything you need while providing industry-leading support with their US-based team of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, then head to Northwest Registered Agent.