It’s monumentally important that you choose the right Alabama registered agent for your business because the choice can either make or break your business.
The right Alabama Registered Agent will protect your business information, make sure your personal information is kept off the public record and help your Limited Liability Company (LLC) maintain good standing with the Alabama Secretary of State.
The wrong Alabama Registered Agent will cause all sorts of problems for your business. The wrong agent could potentially be careless with your business information, leaving your company vulnerable to attacks by scammers and hackers. Also, because your registered agent is in charge of so many of the legal aspects of your Alabama LLC, they could cause you some legal problems.
I investigated each company on a list of over 60 different Alabama registered agent services, weeded out all but 12, and then wrote detailed reviews about the best three. Here are the best registered agent services in Alabama:
1. Northwest Registered Agent – 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top choice for the best registered agent in Alabama because they provide all of the full-service agent services that your Alabama LLC needs to meet its legal requirements, along with a few that are unique and feel luxurious, while also providing the best customer service in the commercial registered agent industry.
There are a lot of reasons to choose Northwest Registered Agent.
They’re a small business and they actually care about their customers. This isn’t just a hollow slogan that they plaster everywhere, they actually mean it. And that care is evident throughout their entire business and in every one of their services.
As a full-service agent, they’ll provide your Alabama LLC with the services that a commercial registered agent must provide to help your business meet its legal obligations. So, they’ll give you a physical address in Alabama, file the Certificate of Formation, and accept mail and legal documents, as well as receive service of process on behalf of your business.
Not only do they accept documents on behalf of your business, but they also scan all of your mail (not JUST the legal documents) and put it all onto an online portal for you to access with an online account. They’re the only agent on this list to do so, so this is a feature unique to Northwest.
They offer compliance filing alerts to remind you about any form or document that you need to file (like your annual report) in order to keep your LLC in good standing with the Alabama Secretary of State. This isn’t unique to Northwest, but as you’ll notice while reading through the rest of the list, it’s not a feature that every registered agent offers.
It’s fairly easy to get through their signup process, and because they have offices in every state, you can sign up for registered agents in multiple states or multiple years through the same portal. This means that as your LLC grows, Northwest can support it.
Their online system is easy to use. It’s designed so that people with little-to-no technological experience will still be able to learn to navigate it. This makes their services a lot easier to access.
But the main reason that they’re at the top of my list is their customer service support.
Northwest’s customer service team is U.S. based, and they’re made up of ex lawyers, entrepreneurs, business owners and accountants. So, the people on their customer service team have enough knowledge and experience to answer any question you may have, and they will. They are able to answer questions about your business and not just about their registered agent service.
They only charge $125, which is the second-lowest price on my list. Because having a question-answering service is such a handy feature for any new LLC and they have a great price and awesome features, it was an easy decision to put Northwest at the top of my list.
There’s really only one downside to Northwest Registered Agent’s service, and oddly enough, it’s also their best feature: their customer service team is incredibly patient and they provide comprehensive customer support.
That’s usually a great tool to have in your arsenal. However, when you’re in a hurry this can be a real pain.
They patiently listen to your problem and ask a ton of questions so that they understand even the fine details of your problem before they answer your questions or provide any solutions or suggestions. It’s often more simple and quick to just Google your question. There were actually a few times that I wanted to call and get a quick answer to my question, but they actually asked me more questions than I had time to answer.
This is really only a petty complaint against Northwest Registered Agent. And you’ll likely never even consider it a problem until you really need some quick advice but are pressed for time.
Northwest Registered Agent is an Alabama registered agent service that will provide your business with everything it needs to meet its legal requirements and meet its compliance filing deadlines. They also have an easy-to-use online system and they only charge $125 per year for their services.
When you also consider the fact that they provide the best customer service in the entire Commercial registered agent industry, it’s easy to see why they’re my top choice for the best registered agent in Alabama.
If you want to sign up for the best registered agent Alabama has to offer click here: Northwest Registered Agent.
2. Harbor Compliance – 7.45/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance is a full-service registered agent service much like Northwest Registered Agent. They provide a lot of the same services that Northwest does, too.
Of course, you get the physical address in Alabama that a registered agent must provide, as your point of contact they accept official mail, documents and service of process during normal business hours, file the Certificate of Formation and they scan important legal documents and put them on an online portal for you to access with an online account so that you don’t miss any service of process notifications, which could result in a default judgment against your business. You also get compliance filing alerts to let you know when you need to file any sort of file or form in order to keep your Alabama LLC in the good graces of the Alabama Secretary of State.
You’ll learn to use their online portal quickly because of its simple, user-friendly navigation features. Because they’re a national registered agent with an office address in every state, you can sign up for their registered agent service in multiple states using the same portal.
Harbor Compliance’s main attraction is their low fee. They charge a minimal fee of $99 per year per state, which is $26 per year less than Northwest Registered Agent. This definitely makes them the Alabama registered agent service with the lowest fee.
The biggest drawback of Harbor Compliance’s services is that none of them are so good that they stand out, but all of their services are good.
Of course, they provide you with the basic services that you would expect from a full-service registered agent service, but they don’t offer any premium services. Their customer service is adequate and their team will answer any question you have regarding their registered agent service, but you don’t get small business support from Harbor Compliance.
So, while all of Harbor Compliance’s services are good, there’s nothing here that’s exceptional enough to write home about, except the price.
Harbor Compliance is a solid, full-service Alabama registered agent option. Their services tick all the registered agent service boxes and they provide these standard services for the lowest price you’ll see on this list. But they don’t provide the same quality services that Northwest Registered Agent does, and their customer support isn’t as comprehensive.
If you’re happy to trade away unique, excellent services and industry-leading customer service to save $26 per year, you can learn more about Harbor Compliance’s Alabama registered agent service on their website.
3. LegalZoom – 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom is a premium Alabama registered agent service. They’re literally the best premium Alabama registered agent service, which is saying something because there are so many premium registered agents in Alabama that are massively disappointing.
One of the best attributes of LegalZoom’s registered agent service for many people is that they’re a commercial registered agent. LegalZoom is a big name in the business world and has been for years, so it’s pretty likely that you’ve heard of them. This good reputation goes a long way with many people.
As the point of contact for your Alabama LLC, they file your Certificate of Formation, provide your business with a physical address in Alabama and accept mail and service of process on your business’s behalf during normal business hours, then they scan the legal documents and put them on a portal you can access with an online account. They also give you compliance filing notifications to let you know when it’s time to file a form or document (like your business’s annual report) so that your LLC stays out of trouble with the Secretary of State. In addition, they also offer up to $1 million in identity theft protection for your business entity.
There are a few drawbacks to LegalZoom’s registered agent service.
The first is their fee. They charge $299 per year per state for their Alabama registered agent service, which is over two times more than Northwest Registered Agent’s going rates. For the difference between the two fees ($176), you could sign up for Northwest Registered Agent, purchase identity theft protection from a third-party service, and still not quite spend $176 per year.
The second is that LegalZoom doesn’t specialize in registered agent service, and it makes up only a small portion of their services. (They’re more known for making legal document templates.) So, their Alabama registered agent services are neither prioritized nor optimized.
The third is that their online system is clunky and difficult to navigate. That being the case, their customer service doesn’t do a good enough job to justify you having to plough through such a difficult system.
LegalZoom is a big name that’s known throughout the business world, and they totally use this to charge way more for their basic services than they’re worth. For their fee, you could easily choose an Alabama registered agent that offers higher quality services (like Northwest Registered Agent) and then purchase identity theft protection somewhere else for less.
The only instance I see in which LegalZoom’s services are worth the additional cost is if you’re already doing business with LegalZoom for something else and it’s convenient for you to use the same business for multiple services. In that instance, it may be worth the additional cost, but even then I’d caution that you to weigh that decision carefully.
If you’re more concerned about a commercial registered agent’s name than their services or price, you can read about LegalZoom’s commercial registered agent services on their website.
Here are the reviews for the remaining Alabama registered agents on my list, albeit in less detail than the top three:
ZenBusiness is a new registered agent in Alabama, which is somewhat exciting.
They provide some of the basic registered agent services you’d expect commercial registered agents to supply. For $99 per state per year, you get a name and physical address in Alabama for your LLC to use, file your Certificate of Formation and they accept mail, documents and service of process on behalf of your business. But sadly that’s where the services end.
If you want more services that seem to be offered by other agents as standard services, you have to pay ZenBusiness an extra $50 per month. These services include things like compliance filing alerts that could help your business avoid any legal troubles with the Secretary of State.
If you'd like to learn more about ZenBusiness and their services, read our full ZenBusiness review.
5. IncFile Review
IncFile is an Alabama registered agent that seems like a good idea until you dig deeper. As your registered office, they give your business in Alabama the coveted physical street address in Alabama and accept mail and service of process during regular business hours on behalf of your business and keep you in the good graces of the Secretary of State by beating report deadlines. They charge a fee of $119 per year per state for these ridiculously minimal services, and you won’t even get compliance filing alerts to tell you when you need to file an important form or document for your Alabama LLC.
They’re also an LLC formation service, which means they’ll help you obtain the Certificate of Formation for your business in Alabama. When you sign up for their LLC formation services, you get a complimentary year of their Alabama registered agent services along with it. But, because they charge $119 per year for such minimal services after that, they’re not worth the expense.
6. Rocket Lawyer Review
Rocket Lawyer is a registered agent in Alabama that reminds me of a cheaper imitation of LegalZoom that isn’t that much cheaper. By this, I mean that they’re also a commercial registered agent with other business services so they don’t focus much attention on their registered agent service.
They offer pretty minimal services as your registered office, and none of them are exceptional when compared with Northwest Registered Agent’s. But, for these basic services, they charge an astounding $149 per year per state. It’s worth noting that their customer service isn’t nearly as good as Northwest’s for that price.
Even though Rocket Lawyer's registered agent service is below average, they do offer a full range of online legal services, including legal documents and attorney services. If you want a full breakdown of their offerings, read my Rocket Lawyer review.
7. SunDoc Filings Review
SunDoc Filings is yet another registered agent in Alabama that offers LLC formation services. But their services are pretty minimal. Aside from becoming a registered office for your business, offering a physical address in Alabama, filing your Certificate of Formation, accepting mail and service of process for your company during business hours. Furthermore, they still have the audacity to charge $159 per year per state for these services.
8. InCorp Review
InCorp is an Alabama registered agent that presents an interesting conundrum: both when the average person is trying to figure out whether their services are a good value, and for me in terms of rating them.
They charge a fee of $99 per year, which makes them just as cheap as Harbor Compliance. But the reason they’re so far down this list is their online system. It’s so hard to use and clunky that it’s not worth the budget fee, and their customer service definitely isn’t good enough to support such a difficult online system.
If you’re still interested in InCorp for some reason, you can read more about their services here:
9. Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings will give your Alabama LLC everything it needs from an Alabama registered agent, like a physical address in Alabama, accepting mail and service of process for your company during business hours, and even compliance alerts to let you know when you need to file a form to keep your company compliant and out of hot water.
However, they charge $149 per year for their services, which aren’t on the same level as Northwest Registered Agent’s.
If you want to read a full breakdown of their offerings, read my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global Review
CSC Global is a “premium” Alabama registered agent. The reason I call the company a “premium” agent is they actually offer very little in terms of premium services, but they charge $299 per state per year.
They cover any filing fee your company incurs when you file for a change of registered agent. However, for the price they’re charging, you could easily sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s services, file the forms to change your Alabama registered agent, and pay the filing fee or state fees yourself. Covering the filing fees really isn’t the great perk as they make it seem.
11. Registered Agents Inc. Review
Registered Agents Inc. is the only Alabama registered agent on this list to specialize solely in registered agent services, which is pretty exciting, and you’re probably wondering why they’re so far down this list with this unique offering. The catch is that they charge $200 per state per year for essentially the same services that Northwest Registered Agent only charges $125 per year for. And Registered Agents Inc. doesn’t have the same level of customer service that Northwest provides.
12. Jumpstart Filings Review
Jumpstart Filings is another on a long list of Alabama registered agents who offer their registered agent services along with LLC formation services. This means they can help your business obtain its Certificate of Formation. However, they charge $150 per state per year for their registered agent services, and unlike other Alabama registered agents on this list, you don’t get a free year of registered agent services when you sign up for their LLC formation services, which means there’s a separate fee for their LLC formation service.
Registered Agent Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Alabama because they offer all of the services that your company may need, along with a few extras that feel luxurious, and they do it all for $125 per state per year.
Their customer service team is based in the United States, and it’s made up of ex lawyers, accountants, business owners and entrepreneurs. They have the experience needed to answer any question you throw their way – and not just about their registered agent services. They can answer any business question you have, as well.
Their online system is designed to be simple enough that even those in the office who aren’t tech-savvy can quickly learn to navigate it, so it’s pretty easy to use. And you can add on services for multiple states through the same portal, which means that Northwest Registered Agent is an agent that can support your company no matter how big it grows.
If you’ve been thinking about changing your Alabama registered agent, or you want the best registered agent service that you can possibly get for your business, sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s services here.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
This is how I chose the best registered agent.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me because I’ve got more experience with the Alabama registered agent industry than almost any other sane person does. I’ve spent a lot of time researching agents, talking with them and actually experiencing their services. So, I may even know more than some people who work in the registered agent industry.
This started when I owned two businesses – a health website and a cafe – and I was looking for a registered agent in Alabama to service them. I put in a lot of research during this time. The businesses eventually closed, and I began to look for my next venture.
I quickly learned that most people don’t know as much about Alabama registered agents as I do, and they also don’t have the time to devote to researching them. So, I began giving my friends and colleagues advice about registered agents, and that information eventually transformed into a website.
Now I’m able to help thousands of random people on the internet, like you!
How I Selected The Best Registered Agent
I started with a list of over 60 different Alabama registered agents which I whittled down to 12, and then chose the top three from those 12. I did this using a 4-stage investigative process, and then a 5-factor rating system.
Here’s how it worked:
Stage 1: Reviews
You would be surprised how much information you can dig up just from reading online reviews. Truthfully, there were more reviews than I could possibly read, so I read those that were longer than a paragraph or two and gave me the information I needed to get a good idea about their services. I read through reviews on TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau, Facebook and other sites so that you don’t have to!
By doing this, I was able to weed out the agent services that were obvious scams and those that used deceptive pricing practices. (More on that later!)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
The next thing I did was a deep analysis of each agent’s website. I looked at things like what services the agents offered, how many different methods they listed to contact their customer service (phone, email, chat), their location (they had to have an office in the state of Alabama), any awards they’d won and displayed on their site, and their company history.
This stage gave me a good understanding of how each company presents itself, what face they show the public, and what sort of promises they make to their customers.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
While reading online reviews and doing a deep dive into company websites can certainly give you a bunch of information, it’s really nothing compared to what you’ll learn when you speak to actual customers who have dealt with the agents.
I reached out to customers who came to my site and used my recommendations to find the best registered agent in Alabama for their company, as well as those who came to my site and already had registered agents. I asked them questions about their service experiences, and the level of satisfaction they had with their current services.
This gave me an idea of the sort of services the agents actually provided, beyond just what they say they offer on their website.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
One of the best ways to get an understanding of a company’s culture and how they treat their customers is to talk to their sales team, so that’s what I did. I gathered up all of the negative reviews, comments and feedback, as well as all of the issues with the companies and their services, called up their sales teams and asked them very direct questions about it all. Their answers were telling.
This was a good way to find out which companies wanted to solve problems and grow, and which ones wouldn’t even own up to their failures. Some companies told me that they’d used customer feedback to fix the problem, so there wasn’t an issue anymore. Others told me that there wasn’t a problem, and indicated that I shouldn’t listen to that one “crazy” customer’s comments
This stage really separated the wheat from the chaff, and the effectiveness of this stage made me feel very confident in my choices on this list.
After my 4-stage investigative process, only 12 agents remained. These are the factors I used to rate the best registered agents for your Alabama LLC.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I used to rate each agent, their service offerings, is arguably the most important one. If an Alabama registered agent doesn’t provide the services that you need for your business, then none of the other factors really matter. There’s no use paying for a service that doesn’t give you what you need.
So, I considered each agent’s services. I factored whether they scan your documents and put them on an online portal for you to access with an online account, or whether they simply forward your mail; whether they offer compliance alerts to let you know when you need to file a form, or whether they simply give you a calendar; and whether they actually offer identity theft protection, or just give you some vague promise to keep your information and identity safe.
The agent with the best Alabama LLC service offerings made it to the top of my list, and those with less to offer found themselves in lower positions on the list.
Factor 2: Value
The second factor, value, is also very important to many people. However, I learned that it’s very difficult for the average person to determine which Alabama registered agents offered the best value for money because this varies so widely from agent to agent.
During my research, I found that there are three price levels for Alabama registered agent services: budget, full-service and premium. Budget services are around $39- $59 per year, full-service options run around $99-$129 per year, and premium services typically start at $299 per year.
Budget services seem like a good idea until you look more closely at the fine print. For $39-$59 per year, you get less than basic services and to get some of the standard services offered by full-service agents, you have to pay extra fees. These fees can to more than what some premium agents charge, and you won’t even get any premium services from them for this price. So, value for money is an important part of the assessment.
Because I feel like these deceptive pricing practices are unethical, I haven’t included any budget services on my list.
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
The third factor I considered was how easy their signup process is to complete. It can be a real turn-off to find an agent that offers all of the services your business needs, at a reasonable price, only to find that their signup process takes weeks to complete and requires a ton of paperwork.
I actually signed up for each service on this list so that you don’t have to worry about dealing with agents who have nightmare signup processes. The agent with the easiest, most automated signup process made the top of my list. The agents with complex signup processes that required mountains of paperwork, along with several forms of identification and the blood of your firstborn child be sent to a shady P.O. Box address found themselves in lower positions on my list.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
Once you’ve registered for your agent’s service, it can be a real shock to find out their online system is a total nightmare to operate and it annoys everyone in the office. So, that’s why this was the fourth factor I used to rate each agent.
The agent with the online system that was easy-to-use and simple to navigate won the top spot on my list. Those with archaic, slow, difficult to navigate systems found themselves in lower positions on my list.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Any new business is going to need good customer service from their Alabama registered agent, and any service that provides you with an online portal system needs to have good customer service as well. So, for this reason, customer service was the fifth factor on my list.
Sometimes customer service response can be the difference between whether you can get back to work, or spend an entire day playing phone tag with your Alabama registered agent, and never get a resolution for your problem.
This factor made Northwest Registered Agent an easy choice for the best registered agent in Alabama.
The Best Alabama Registered Agent Results Summary
After utilizing my 4-stage investigative process and my 5-factor rating system, it became clear that Northwest Registered Agent is a cut above the rest.
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.08/10)
The reason I chose Northwest Registered Agent to champion this list is they offer a multitude of services for your business, they charge a reasonable price, and they have the best customer service in the registered agent industry. In short, this is the agent that offers the most bang for your buck.
They charge $125 per year for their services. For that, you get the all-important physical address in Alabama, they accept, scan and upload all of your mail (not just the legal documents) to an online portal, as well as provide compliance alerts.
You’ll also get the best customer service possible. They have a U.S.-based customer service team that’s made up of accountants, ex lawyers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who have the knowledge and experience to answer any business question you have. They offer business support, not just customer service for their registered agent service, which is invaluable for new businesses.
There are currently over 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews online, so I'm not the only one with a positive experience with their service.
If you need to appoint a registered agent, or if you’re considering changing registered agents, you can get the best Alabama registered agent service by heading to Northwest Registered Agent.
Or find out the best LLC Services in Alabama here.
Best Budget Registered Agent – Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance is a good option if you’re looking for a Alabama registered agent service that does everything your business needs it to but charges a lower fee.
They offer many of the same services that Northwest Registered Agent also offers, and they do it for $99 per year. They don’t scan all of your mail, and they don’t offer comprehensive customer service or business support. But their customer service is capable of answering questions about their registered agent service.
If you’re happy to trade excellent services and the best customer service in the industry for lower prices, you can read about Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent – LegalZoom (6.59/10)
LegalZoom is a good option if you’re specifically looking for a premium Alabama registered agent, or if you’re already using some of LegalZoom’s other business services. They offer the same full-service options that Northwest does including accepting service of process, a physical address in Alabama, filing your Certificate of Formation, as well as up to $1 million in identity theft protection.
They charge $299 per year for their services, which is around $175 per year more than Northwest Registered Agent charges. For that price, you could sign up with Northwest, then procure identity theft protection elsewhere, and still not spend quite $299 per year.
Now you know everything you need to know about registered agent services in the state. It’s absolutely critical for the success of your business to choose the best Alabama registered agent. The right registered agent for your company will keep your business and personal information safe and make sure your business meets its legal obligations.
I started with a list of over 60 different Alabama registered agents, put them through a 4-stage investigative process and then used a 5-factor rating system to rate the 12 best. Then I wrote in-depth reviews about the top three.
I concluded from my research that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Alabama.
As a full-service registered agent, they offer all of the services you’d expect from a registered agent, and make sure you have good relations with the Secretary of State. They also have an industry-leading customer service team that’s based in the U.S. and answers any business question you ask them. Their online system is easy-to-use, and their signup process is simple to get through.
If you’re looking for an Alabama registered agent that will provide you with everything your business needs, while also providing a few bells and whistles, and the best customer service and business support in the industry, you can check out Northwest Registered Agent here.