There are many legal requirements a business must fulfill in order to comply with New York state law.
The New York Secretary of State requires that a New York Limited Liability Company
(LLC) provide a physical street address to receive important correspondence, service of process and other documents from various New York State departments, publishing articles of organization and obtaining a Certificate of Publication, as well as a Certificate of Good Standing, and there are frequent compliance filing deadlines that must be met, and every filing fee must be paid.
Luckily, there are many New York registered agents who can help your New York LLC maintain good standing with both the New York Secretary of State and the Division of Corporations.
The most efficient way to achieve this is through a New York registered agent. However, not all registered agent services are equal and you’ll need to choose the best one for your LLC. I’ll tell you everything you need to know in order to get the most out of appointing a New York registered agent.
The right New York Registered Agent Service will ensure that your LLC meets all of its legal compliance deadlines, as well as keep all of your legal business documents and information safe.
The wrong New York Registered Agent can be careless with your information and it could wind up in the hands of scammers or hackers and your business in New York could be at risk of lawsuits and legal action.
So, if you don’t feel like losing your entire business, you’ll want to make sure you get the best registered agent for your New York LLC. Here are our top picks for the best registered agent service in New York City:
1. Northwest Registered Agent – 9.08/10 (Top Registered Agent Service)
Our top pick for the overall best registered agent in New York is Northwest Registered Agent. The reason they’re #1is because they have everything you need to meet all your legal requirements and then go above and beyond.
First of all, Northwest Registered Agent provides you with all the basics for just $125 per state per year.
You’ll get your business address in New York, ensure that your information and documents are kept safe, they’ll forward all mail that is sent to them on your behalf, and they’ll notify you about upcoming compliance deadlines – such as reminding you when you need to file your annual report for your corporation.
But, the place where Northwest Registered Agent really shines is in their customer support.
First of all, their contact details aren’t hidden 5 pages deep in an obscure corner of their website. It’s at the top and bottom of every web page. When you contact their team, you don’t get a chatbot or get passed between foreign support agents for 20 minutes while they try to find someone who knows the answer. Your call is answered by a local support agent — one of the mix of ex-accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who are available to help.
And when you do get them on the phone, they don’t try to just answer your question and palm you off as soon as they can. Their performance metrics aren’t how quickly they end the call or how many upsells they can convince you to purchase. They care about one thing: your satisfaction.
In an age where most companies are trying to strip costs from their operations and usually start this with their support teams, it’s really refreshing to talk to a real person who knows what they’re talking about and who cares that you get the answers you need.
The only drawback with Northwest Registered Agent is the same as their primary strength: their customer support.
There are some moments in life when you just need a quick answer to a quick question. Your plate is full, your customers are calling, your paperwork is flowing off your desk, and all you want is to know one thing about one topic so you can start to clear your plate.
When you call Northwest Registered Agent, their support team can sometimes ask too many questions and keep you on the phone for longer than you want. They ask specific questions about your business and business situation to try and give you the best advice possible, but even though it comes from a place of wanting to help as much as possible, it can sometimes cause a little frustration.
Northwest Registered Agent is our #1 choice for the best registered agent service in Ney York. They’ll make sure you meet all the legal obligations of the New York Department of State in accordance with the law, give you access to all your important documents online, all while keeping your personal information and assets safe.
On top of this, their US-based customer support is the best support team we’ve tested of any company in any state.
For $125 per state per year, they’re clearly the best option available.
If you’re looking for a New York registered agent, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
2. Harbor Compliance – 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
If you don’t want the level of customer support available with Northwest Registered Agent and want to save $25 per year, Harbor Compliance is the best option.
Harbor Compliance is another full-service registered agent. They provide everything you need to ensure your business meets the legal requirements established by the New York Department of State, including the New York business address, personal information protection, mail scanning and uploading, and compliance alerts for filing deadlines.
It’s easy to get set up with their computer system, and their computer system is easy enough to navigate once it’s integrated.
While Harbor Compliance provides everything you need from a registered agent service, they’re not great at anything. Their signup forms are simple enough, but not great. Their online portal is for accessing your documentation is serviceable, but it can still be confusing at times. And their customer support is polite, but definitely won’t go above and beyond.
They provide everything you need to run and maintain your business presence in New York while saving you $25 per year.
You can learn all about Harbor Compliance’s offerings here.
3. LegalZoom – 6.59/10 (Best Premium RA)
LegalZoom takes the #3 spot on our list, and they’re the only premium registered agent service in our top 3.
LegalZoom is a reputable, big name in the business industry.
Besides the usual services you must receive from a registered agent for your LLC, like mail forwarding, a name and address, and accepting mail and documents on behalf of your corporation during normal business hours, LegalZoom also provides up to $1 million in identity theft protection.
They charge $175 per state per year more for their services than Northwest Registered Agent.
LegalZoom specializes in templates for legal documents, not registered agent services. As such, their customer service isn’t as knowledgeable or as helpful as it should be.
If you’re looking for a big company with a reputable name, or if you’re concerned about identity theft, LegalZoom is the company for your corporation.
You can check out their services here: LegalZoom.
Here are the other 9 registered agents that made our list:
ZenBusiness is both a registered agent and an LLC formation service. They’ll provide you with everything you need from a registered agent, as well as help you get the Certificate of Publication and Certificate of Good Standing your LLC needs.
They charge $99 per year per state for some pretty basic services, like providing a name and address for your corporation and accepting mail and documents on behalf of your corporation. But their primary focus is on setting up an LLC in NY rather than registered agent services, which leaves their registered agent services lacking. They don’t provide notifications for compliance filing deadlines unless you pay an extra $50 per year, their computer system could be easier, and their customer service isn’t ask knowledgeable about registered agent services as they could be.
But they do offer free registered agent services for a year if you sign up for their LLC formation services. So, if you haven’t formed your LLC yet, ZenBusiness is a great option.
You can check out ZenBusiness here:
5. IncFile Review
IncFile offers bare bones services, like a name and address, and mail forwarding. However, they don’t do anything extraordinary, like alerts for when you need to file compliance paperwork to meet deadlines your LLC must meet, or assistance with drafting your Articles of Organization, obtaining the Certificate of Publication and the Certificate of Good Standing your corporation needs. They also charge a fee of $119 per year for what few services they do offer, making their services less attractive than that of Harbor Compliance.
6. Rocket Lawyer Review
Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent services are pretty much a cheap knockoff of those of LegalZoom. Unfortunately, they’re not very much cheaper. Their fee is $149 per year. Their service offerings aren’t as comprehensive as those of Northwest Registered Agent, but you will still get a name and address and they’ll receive your legal notices and documents.
7. Sundoc Filings Review
Sundoc Filings is another registered agent that charges too much and gives too little. While you’ll have a name and address and they’ll accept your legal documents, you won’t get notifications about your compliance filing deadlines for your corporation. And they charge $159 per year for the few services they provide.
8. InCorp Review
While InCorp offers services that are very similar to those of Northwest Registered Agent, for the same price as Harbor Compliance, there’s a reason they’re so far down the list. Their computer system is a confusing, frustrating nightmare to navigate. They have spent no time or money making it easier for their customers and trying to work your way around it will simply drain your precious time.
9. Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings, like many of the other entries on this list, provides the bare minimum in terms of services, like a name and address, and charges you $149 per year for them.
If you want to know more about Swyft Filings products and services, read my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global Review
CSC Global is a premium agent service, so you’ll get the business address you need for your LLC. They’ll also cover any of the costs you incur if you have to pay a state filing fee to change your address from another state.
However, they charge $299 per state per year, which is obviously far more than just about everyone else.
11. Registered Agents Inc. Review
Although Registered Agents Inc. is the only registered agent on the list that specializes solely in registered agent services and they provide every service you expect. Unfortunately, they charge $200 per state per year.
12. Jumpstart Filings Review
With Jumpstart Filings you’ll get the bare minimum services, but will be charged $129 per year for them. So, it’s probably better to use one of the other agents on this list for your LLC.
Registered Agent Review Summary
From the over 60 registered agent services available for your New York business, our pick for the best registered agent in New York is Northwest Registered Agent.
They offer every service you need from your registered agent, backed up with polite, courteous, and actually useful US-based support, and they only charge $125 per state per year.
If you’re in need of a New York registered agent, head to Northwest Registered Agent.
New York Registered Agent Reviews Methodology
Here is the methodology I used to determine the best registered agent for your business in New York.
Why You Should Trust Us
You should trust me because I’ve got more experience in the registered agent industry than anyone else.
It all started when I began searching for a registered agent for my two businesses. I spent hours and a lot of energy reading online reviews and mountains of information.
When I sold my two businesses, my friends and colleagues came to me and asked for advice about how to find a registered agent for their businesses. I wrote down the advice I gave them and that advice made me realize that I should be providing this service for other people.
I’ve helped thousands of people find the right services for them since I launched my website, and I’m confident that I can help you find the right registered agent for your business, too!
How We Selected The Best Registered Agent
I used a 4-stage process to investigate the registered agents on our list and determine if they were even worth rating.
Stage 1: Reviews
You can actually learn a lot about a company from online reviews. I read reviews on Facebook, Google Business, TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau and more to find out how people felt about the services these companies provided.
This stage helped me to weed out over 50 different registered agents who used deceptive pricing. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After the first stage was completed, there were 12 registered agents left. The second stage involved a deep dive into each business web page.
This was easy enough. I checked their business websites to determine what services they offer, how many ways they listed to contact their customer service team, I read their “About” pages, and if I had any questions, I contacted their customer service teams.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
A registered agent’s business website and its sales team will tell you all about the services they offer and how fantastic they are, but their customers will tell you whether they feel the services are as good as they’re advertised to be.
Unfortunately, people will usually only leave an online review if they’ve had either a really good or an exceptionally bad experience with a business. So, it’s a bit hard to read between the lines and find out what the average customer thinks about the business from their online reviews.
In order to complete this stage, I reached out to people who had used my site to find registered agents previously, as well as new users of my site.
Their reviews and feedback provided a more clear picture as to the types of services these companies provided for them.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
The last stage was to talk directly to the sales teams.
The sales team’s job is to give you an incredibly biased pitch. So, it’s interesting to see how they react to feedback and whether the business was actually trying to grow based on it.
I took all of the negative online comments and the feedback that I got from live customers and questioned each sales team about them. I then listened to whether or not the companies said they’d utilized that feedback to improve their services, or if they were quick to blame the customers.
This gave me a clear idea about the values of each business and whether they wanted to improve the quality of their services, or if they just blamed their clients for their own failings, rather than listening to them.
Here are the 5 factors I used to rate the remaining 12 registered agents.
Factor 1: Offerings
There’s a variety of registered agent services in the state of New York.
Some agents will provide your business with an address in New York, make sure your information stays off public record, be the point of contact for your business during business hours, and forward any mail received on your behalf to you.
Other agents will scan any documents that were sent to them on your behalf and give you access to them online, assist you in forming your LLC, drafting your articles of organization, and obtaining a Certificate of Publication and a Certificate of Good Standing, as well as give you notifications of upcoming compliance filing deadlines.
So, the first factor I considered was the range of services each agent offered.
Factor 2: Price
One of the most confusing things when it comes to choosing a registered agent in New York is the fact that the prices vary so greatly.
Some of the premium services can cost almost $300 per year, and some of the budget services only cost $39 per year.
So, when considering this factor, I determined whether or not the price was worth it for the services provided.
During my investigation, I found that some of the budget services, ranging between $39-$59 per year, only offered minimal services at that price. In order to get the services provided at a full-service level from the budget services, you have to pay extra fees that can add up to an additional $120 per year.
I feel that these pricing practices are unethical and deceptive, so I removed any agent who used them from my list.
Factor 3: Ease of Signup
It doesn’t really matter if the registered agent you’ve chosen has a great list of service offerings and a value price if it takes forever to get set up in their system.
Just so you don’t have to waste your time dealing with lengthy and frustrating set up processes, the ease of signup was the third factor I considered.
I actually signed up with each of the registered agents on this list to determine how easy or hard the process was.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
There are some agents whose signup process is a breeze to get through, but then their computer systems are so confusing and clunky that it takes hours instead of minutes to complete even the most simple of tasks.
Because time is money, I logged into each computer system and performed some simple tasks, taking notes about how easy or difficult they were to complete.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Even if the computer system is highly intuitive and user-friendly, you’ll eventually require customer service.
An organization that has great customer service will help fix your problems quickly and let you get back to your day, as well as leave you feeling positive about the experience. But an organization that doesn’t answer the phone, doesn’t help you fix the issue, or is rude to you will change how you feel about the entire company.
I called the customer service teams of each registered agent on this list and asked them about some fairly easy-to-solve issues, and then noted how adequately they answered my questions, how quickly they responded to me, how friendly and helpful they were, and how many people we got transferred to in order to solve my problem.
The Best New York Registered Agent Results Summary
I investigated and rated over 60 different registered agents in New York. Here are the results of my investigation:
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.08/10)
Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service because they provide great value at a very competitive price with stellar customer support to guide you through the challenges of setting up and running your company.
You’ll get all the services you need for your company to operate legally as an LLC for $125 per year.
They provide your all important business address to receive official mail, service of process and other important documents from the New York Department of State division on behalf of your business entity during regular business hours.
They’ll also scan your important documents and put them in an online portal for you to access, and give you notifications about upcoming compliance filing deadlines to keep your New York LLC in good standing with the New York State Department of State division and the state Division of Corporations, in accordance with the law.
But their real point of differentiation is their customer support. When you sign up, you get lifetime access to their customer support team (which they refer to as Corporate Guides) who are a mix of US-based ex-accountants, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who’ve faced the challenges you’re up against and can talk you through the simplest way to solve them.
With more than 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews, you can be confident that my experiences aren't a one-off.
If you want a great product at a competitive price with patient, helpful, and polite support, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best Budget Registered Agent — Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking to save $25 per year and don't want the level of customer support offered by Northwest Registered Agent, Harbor Compliance are our pick for the best budget option.
They provide the services you need to ensure your small business or LLC meets the legal requirements set out by the New York Department of State.
You get your registered New York business address, they’ll scan and upload your important documents, and be available during regular business hours to receive any important correspondence.
They don’t offer anywhere near the level of support available with Northwest Registered Agent, but it is still reliable and helpful when you need some guidance.
If $26 per year is a big deal to you and you’re happy to take a lower-level of customer support, check out Harbor Compliance here: Harbor Compliance.
Best Premium Registered Agent — LegalZoom (6.59/10)
LegalZoom is a premium registered agent service with a bit more to offer than the full-service agents on our list.
They’ll provide the basic services that a registered agent must provide, such as providing a business address, receiving service of process and other documents from the New York Department of State division and the state Division of Corporations on behalf of your LLC. They’ll also provide you with a mail forwarding service, scan your documents and allow you to access them through an online portal, and notify you of compliance filing deadlines to keep you in good standing with the state Division of Corporations in accordance with the law.
The thing that LegalZoom provides that Harbor Compliance and Northwest Registered Agent don’t is identity theft protection. They provide you with up to $1 million in identity theft protection insurance.
Their fee is more than double that of Northwest Registered Agent. However, if you need identity theft protection, or any of the other services that LegalZoom also provides, or if you’re already using LegalZoom for something else, it may be worth it to you to appoint LegalZoom as your agent for service.
Choosing the right New York registered agent service for your corporation is a very important decision. The right registered agent service can help you meet all of the compliance filing deadlines, provide you with a physical street address, and accept important documents and service of process, as the state of New York requires through the Division of Corporations and the Secretary of State.
I investigated over 60 different registered agent services in New York, and found that Northwest Registered Agent was the best that New York had to offer.
They provide all of the services that a registered agent must, and a few that make their services exceptional. Not only do they provide your corporation with a physical address and accept official mail from the Secretary of State on behalf of your business in New York, they’ll forward mail to you, scan and upload your documents to an online portal, and notify you about upcoming compliance filing deadlines so that your LLC can get that Good Standing Certificate.
Additionally, their US-based customer support is helpful, polite, can answer your questions, and you’ll find that their computer system is intuitive, user-friendly and easy to navigate.
For just $125 per year, they provide far more value than any other registered agent in New York.