It's important to choose the best registered agent service for your company.
The right registered agent will make sure your company complies with all legal requirements while maintaining your privacy and safeguarding your personal assets.
The wrong registered agent will cost you more than just wasted money. It can expose you to legal action or to the exploitation of fraudsters and scammers.
I've investigated 60+ registered agents, assessed the top 12, and written in-depth reviews of the 3 best. Here are my picks for the best registered agent for a company:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
With Northwest Registered Agent you’ll get everything you need at a competitive price and the best customer service in the field.
Northwest Registered Agent offers a number of attractive features.
It provides all the services a registered agent should provide, including the all-important registered agent address, which keeps your personal address off the public record, free digital mail forwarding, a convenient registered agent dashboard, and free annual report service in the form of notifications ahead of when your annual report is due. Northwest is also the only national registered agent to scan ALL your mail, not just the legal documents.
It’s easy to use Northwest’s sign-up system, which allows you to simply sign up for registered agent services in multiple states from the same system. This means it’s an excellent registered agent service for any company that anticipates expansion in the future because they can grow to meet your needs.
It’s not only easy to use their system to sign up, it’s also easy to navigate after sign-up. It was designed to be user friendly even for those who aren’t the most technologically literate. This accessible system allows you to manage registered agent services for multiple states through the same portal, which is quite an uncommon feature in the registered agent service industry.
But Northwest Registered Agent’s customer support team is what really earns it the coveted top registered agent service spot.
In a time when so many companies are outsourcing their support centers to overseas firms with under-trained and inexperienced employees, Northwest has defied the norm.
Its US-based support team, which is made up of former accountants, lawyers, small-business owners, and entrepreneurs, will handle all your registered agent service concerns promptly and politely. They are also equipped to address any questions you may have about running a business, no matter how small or large. They have a wealth of expertise in establishing and managing companies, and they can provide solutions to your problems. You can reach this exceptional customer service team during regular business hours every weekday.
Given the range of issues you'll experience as a small business owner and the fact that Northwest is the only registered agent service that provides this degree of customer support, it is an obvious choice for the best registered agent service for a company.
There’s a lot to like about Northwest Registered Agent, especially when you combine its exceptional customer service with its low cost of $125 per state, per year.
Northwest's strongest feature is also its worst weakness: its customer support. This is true of many highly polished and high-quality services.
Phoning customer support at Northwest is not a quick, 15-second question-and-answer session where you immediately hang up after getting the information you called for. They will inquire about your specific issue and aim to comprehend the subtleties of your problem to ensure that they are providing you with the appropriate assistance the first time. Because of this dedication to offering the best service possible, it can take longer to get answers than you would like.
Although this is a high-quality issue, it is nevertheless a modest criticism of Northwest Registered Agent for situations where you only need a prompt response to a simple question.
The reason Northwest is the best registered agent service is that, in addition to offering everything you need, like providing a straightforward interface and the second-cheapest price on the market, it also backs it all up with a great customer support staff who take the time necessary to thoroughly understand your situation and offer you useful advice.
If you're looking for a registered agent service that can help you and your expanding business for just $125 per state each year, visit Northwest Registered Agent right away.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance offers the services you need for the lowest price on the market.
Harbor Compliance is a full-service registered agent service, just like Northwest. It provides all the essentials of a registered agent service, such as the required physical address and an individual or business entity to accept mail for your company during standard business hours, as well as online document access, scanning and forwarding of your legal documents (like service of process), and compliance alerts for annual reports.
Harbor Compliance has an easy sign-up process, and it's simple to sign up for registered agent service in multiple states. The feature at which Harbor Compliance truly excels is its cost. It’s the least expensive full-service registered agent at $99 per state, per year, which is $26 less than Northwest Registered Agent.
Harbor Compliance's main flaw is that, although competent in every area, it’s not extraordinary in any one of them. All the essentials are included among its registered agent services, but there are no premium services. While Harbor Compliance’s customer support will address your questions about your registered agent service, they don't offer small business help like Northwest.
Everything Harbor Compliance does is fine, but nothing it does is exceptional.
When it comes to meeting your registered agent needs, Harbor Compliance offers reliable registered agent services. It offers everything you need at the lowest available cost without any gimmicky extras.
If you’re willing to sacrifice great customer service to save $26 per year, check out Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom is the best registered agent service that stands out among a few subpar choices in the premium registered agent service sector. Premium registered agents offer luxuries that go beyond the typical full-service fare, including identity theft protection, paying for certain fees, etc. You can think of them as “full-service plus” because they’re typically extra services provided in addition to the basic range of full service offerings.
LegalZoom is a premium national registered agent that provides all the full registered agent services you need, like someone to accept mail on behalf of your business during standard business hours, a physical address, an online document management portal, mail forwarding service, and compliance alerts for your annual reports. On top of all that it offers up to $1 million in identity theft protection, definitely a premium registered agent service.
It also offers online legal services for myriad business needs, including contracts and lawsuits. Not many registered agents offer legal services to go with their registered agent services, so if you foresee abundant legal woes, LegalZoom may be the registered agent for you.
LegalZoom has a number of significant disadvantages.
The first disadvantage is its price. It costs $299 per year, which is twice as much as Northwest. There’s a difference of $176 between LegalZoom’s fee and Northwest Registered Agent’s, and the only additional service you get for that price is identity theft protection, and identity theft protection typically doesn’t cost that much.
The second disadvantage is that its registered agent services are just a drop in the bucket thanks to the other services LegalZoom offers (like online legal services and LLC formation services). This means that its registered agent services aren’t sufficiently optimized or given high-priority status.
Additionally, LegalZoom’s system is far more challenging to use, and the customer support for its registered agent service is by no means as effective or thorough as the other registered agent services on my list.
Despite its good reputation, LegalZoom provides a premium registered agent service that is more expensive than buying the premium services directly and offers less support than the customer support provided by some of the other best registered agent services on my list.
Unless you use LegalZoom’s other services (like legal services and LLC formation service) or you want to spend more for identity theft protection than its worth, Northwest is a much better value.
If you’d like to learn more about its services, check out LegalZoom’s website here.
I analyzed nine other registered agent service providers during my research to find the best registered agent service. Since they weren’t as exceptional as the top three, I went into far less detail with their reviews. Here they are in no particular order:
ZenBusiness meets two different needs by providing online registered agent services and being one of the better national registered agents out there.
It costs $199 per year to use ZenBusiness’ registered agent services. They provide basic services such as custom operating agreement templates, filing your articles of organization with the Secretary of State's office, worry-free compliance alerts, mandatory annual report filings, and 2 document amendments per year.
ZenBusiness does not offer a year of free registered agent services when you sign up for its business formation services, and given the price of their registered agent services, you’ll essentially be paying more for less while receiving customer support that’s subpar compared to Northwest Registered Agent’s.
For a more thorough breakdown of Zenbusiness’ services, read my ZenBusiness review.
IncFile is an LLC formation service that also lists registered agent service in its service catalog. But its registered agent services are quite bare bones, with no compliance alerts, and it still costs $119 per year for its minimal services.
Just like ZenBusiness, IncFile offers free registered agent services for the first year when you sign up for its business formation service, but even with this promotion it’s ultimately not worth it.
If you’re into paying more for registered agent services than they’re worth, then IncFile is a good option. You can learn more about IncFile here.
6. Rocket Lawyer
I feel like Rocket Lawyer is a less-expensive imitation of LegalZoom’s registered agent service. Its registered agent services make up only a small portion of its overall service list. It charges $149 for these minimal registered agent services, and the customer service is lackluster and definitely doesn’t live up to the level of support you’d expect for that sort of price.
If you’d like more information about Rocket Lawyer and its other services, read my full Rocket Lawyer review.
7. Sundoc Filings
Sundoc Filings is another business formation service that offers registered agent service as well. But its registered agent services are lackluster, little more than a basic mail forwarding service, a statutory agent to receive legal documents on behalf of your company during business hours, and an address to ensure that your personal information isn’t listed on public record. But it charges $159 per year for these underdeveloped registered agent services.
InCorp is yet another business formation service that also offers professional registered agent services.
Its fee is only $99, which is the same fee that Harbor Compliance charges. It even offers the same registered agent services as Harbor Compliance. But its system is dreadfully impractical. Its layout is confusing, awkward, and user unfriendly. It’s worth noting that the customer service is sufficient, but with this nightmare of a registered agent service, you really need customer service that’s more than sufficient, which is why I don’t list it as one of the best registered agent services.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings actually includes compliance alerts among its registered agent services, but it charges a steep $149 for its services.
If you’d like to learn more about the other services Swyft Filings has to offer, read my Swyft Filings review here.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a premium registered agent service with scant premium registered agent services. Its premium registered agent service features include covering any state fees you’re charged when you switch over to CSC Global’s registered agent services. That’s it.
But it charges an outrageous $299 for its exiguous registered agent services. For far less than that you could choose Northwest, take advantage of all its bountiful registered agent service offerings, and just pay the state fees yourself, which is why CSC Global isn’t positioned higher on my list of the best registered agent services for a company.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
At first glance, it’s difficult for the average person to discern whether Registered Agents Inc. is one of the best registered agent services for a company. It offers the same registered agent services as Northwest Registered Agent, which is great, but it costs $200 per year for these registered agent services. Considering Northwest provides the same registered agent service offerings for only $125 per year and superior customer support, I can’t include Registered Agents Inc. among the best-of-the-best registered agent services.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Like many of the best registered agent services on my list, Jumpstart Filings is an LLC formation service that also supplies registered agent services. But its registered agent service carries a big price tag: $150 per year.
Also, even though it’s a business formation service, it doesn’t offer the same free-registered-agent-services-for-a-year promotion that seems to be the norm in the online business services industry, so they’re definitely not one of the better registered agent services on my list.
Registered Agent Review Summary
The reason I chose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service is that it delivers all the registered agent services that business entities need for the reasonable price of $125 per year.
Northwest backs up its registered agent services with a team of US-based customer support representatives made up of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. They listen with an air of dedication and professionalism then enthusiastically answer any questions you have about your registered agent service. Even better, they’ll answer any business-related question you have and work to find the answers you need.
It’s easy to get signed up within Northwest’s user-friendly registered agent system. This makes it a great choice for registered agent services if you’re looking for a company to ensure that your legal obligations are met and that your personal information remains secure.
If you want a registered agent provider who can meet all the legal compliance needs of your business entity, maintain your privacy, support your growing company, and charge a reasonable rate, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
There are hundreds of online registered agent service options to choose from, which can make choosing the best registered agent service for your company an exhaustive process. That’s why I put together this article to serve as a guide to the best registered agent services for your company. Here’s how I found the best registered agent services.
Why You Should Trust Me
When it comes to evaluating service providers, you can trust me because I’ve spent so long rooting through the registered agent service industry that I have more knowledge and experience than probably anyone else in the world.
I got my first experience with registered agent service providers when I began searching for the best registered agent services for my two companies: a health website and a cafe. Once I sold those businesses it was time to figure out my next business move. The more I talked to friends and colleagues, the more it became evident that other people don’t have the knowledge about the registered agent service industry that I do, and they don’t have the time to research various providers to find the best registered agent services for their company. So since I already knew a ton about the registered agent industry, I began giving advice.
Since then, my business grew into this website and now I can help thousands of strangers on the internet to find the right registered agent service for their company, and I can help you too.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
I conducted a four-stage investigative process, which reduced the initial list of over 60 services down to a short list of just 12.
Here’s my process.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage in my investigative process was to read online reviews for each registered agent service. To do so, I found online reviews on sites such as TrustPilot, Facebook, the Better Business Bureau, and other online review platforms. There were countless positive customer reviews to comb through, but I did it so that you don’t have to.
To be honest, there were far more reviews than I could reasonably read through. So instead I read the positive customer reviews and negative customer reviews that were more than a paragraph or two and could provide me with enough information to determine whether a registered agent service was worth researching further. These reviews helped me to sort through the quality service providers and weed out the obvious scams that used deceptive pricing practices (more on that below).
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After I’d eliminated the unworthy registered agent service providers from my list, the next stage of my research involved a deep dive into each registered agent service’s website.
Some of the things I looked for included registered agent service offerings, the variety of customer service contact methods, a thorough company history, awards and accolades, and location.
This provided me with a better understanding about the company itself, the services it offers, and its values.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
The information I gathered from reading online reviews and analyzing company websites was limited. To get the best understanding of what it’s like to work with a company, you have to go straight to the source and get bona fide customer feedback. That’s why I chose speaking to customers as the third stage of my research.
To make sure I got opinions from a broad section of the customer base, I contacted customers to whom I’d supplied registered agent recommendations before as well as people visiting my site who were already using a registered agent service and asked them for some customer feedback.
I asked these people for feedback about how well they felt their needs were being met, their customer satisfaction levels, and more. They provided me detailed accounts of their dealings with their chosen registered agent service, how well they delivered their services, and they told me about their overall customer satisfaction with the companies. This customer feedback let me know whether the companies actually lived up to the claims on their websites.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Teams
The last of my research stages was calling their customer service and sales teams. I gathered up the customer feedback, comments, and issues I’d discovered during the previous stages of my investigation and asked them hard-hitting questions about how their companies were failing customers and what they were doing to remedy these problems.
This stage provided me with a wealth of information in terms of how each company makes changes to its products and services in response to customer feedback. Some companies insinuated that the customers who left negative reviews were just a little “crazy” and that I shouldn’t pay attention to their complaints. Then there were other companies who told me that they’d taken the customer feedback I’d referred to and used it to improve their services so that the problems I described weren’t problems anymore.
This stage did a great job of separating the best from the rest and it gave me 100% confidence about my top recommended registered agent service.
The twelve professional registered agent service companies that remained on my list after I completed my four-stage investigative process were then rated using five different factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I considered when evaluating service providers to create my list of top registered agent services was each company’s service offerings.
If a company doesn’t offer the services that business entities need, then it doesn’t matter how affordable its services are, how easy its sign-up process is, or how well supported its services are. If it doesn’t offer the services you need, then you shouldn’t purchase its registered agent services.
Some of the things I considered were whether each company provides an online document management portal for your important document or just offer mail forwarding service, whether it offers compliance alerts or just supplies you with a calendar with important compliance deadlines on it, and whether it offers identity theft protection or just a vague promise to keep your personal information protected.
Of course, the companies that had the best ranges of service offerings were awarded higher positions on my list, and those with scant offerings fell lower on the list.
Factor 2: Value
The second factor I considered was value for money that each registered agent provider supplied. This factor varied greatly from provider to provider.
During my investigation, I found that there are three distinct pricing tiers that registered agents use: budget, full service and premium.
Budget services range from $39–$59, full-service options cost between $99–129 per year, and premium services start at $299 and only go up from there.
The registered agents with the best service offerings for the price were listed as the top registered agent services, while those who offered insufficient registered agent services at high prices were placed lower on my list.
I found out that while budget service options may seem like a great value, that’s only due to deceptive pricing practices.
Sure, they initially only cost $39–$59, but in order to get the basic services that you need (like compliance alerts, document forwarding, and mail scanning) you’ll spend more on additional services than most registered agent services charge for full-service options.
For these reasons, I chose to exclude budget services from my list entirely.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
Some registered agents may offer all the services you need at a price you can afford, only to waste days or weeks during the sign-up process. This can sour the entire registered agent experience for many business owners.
To ensure that you don’t choose a registered agent that wastes your time, I evaluated each registered agent according to how simple their sign-up process is.
The providers with streamlined, simplistic sign-up processes were placed higher on my list, while those with slow, complicated sign-up processes earned spots lower on my list.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Becoming established in the system is only one part of a process that has the potential to waste your time. Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, it’s important to choose a registered agent service that doesn’t have an ancient, laggy system. Most registered agent services of course claim to have cutting-edge systems, but that’s not always the case. So to make sure you don’t waste your time with a frustrating, headache-inducing system, I chose to rate each registered agent on my list based on the ease of use of the online registered agent service systems.
The companies with the most straightforward and intuitive online business services systems made it to the top of my list while those with convoluted, troublesome systems fell to lower positions.
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how intuitive and user friendly a company’s system is, you’ll eventually have a question about the system or about your registered agent service. It’s during these times that customer service matters most.
Your customer support experience can be the difference between quickly being able to speak to a representative who is able to speedily answer your questions and provide effective solutions to your problems so that you can resume your work duties and get on with your day, or being stuck on hold for hours before speaking with an under-trained, impatient customer service representative who vaguely answers your questions and leaves you feeling more confused at the end of the call than you were before you called them.
This is why the last rating factor I considered was customer service.
The companies that provided prompt, friendly, and effective customer service earned top positions on my list, while those with slow, discourteous, and ineffective customer service received lower positions.
The Best Registered Agent for Company Owners Results Summary
After analyzing the top 12 registered agent services for companies and then rating them according to five factors, my #1 pick for the best registered agent for a company is Northwest Registered Agent.
Overall Best Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest Registered Agent deserves #1 position because it provides a full range of registered agent services for businesses, charges a competitive fee, and offers the industry’s best customer service.
When you sign up for Northwest’s registered agent service for $125 per state, per year, you get a registered agent to accept mail and service of process on behalf of your company during business hours, your company’s registered agent address to protect your personal information, an online document management portal that allows you to access ALL your mail (many registered agent services only scan the legal documents, but Northwest scans the rest of the mail as well), and compliance alerts to remind you about important filing deadlines. Northwest’s professional service ensures that your personal information is safeguarded, which provides business owners with peace of mind.
Northwest’s best feature is its US-based customer service team made up of experienced former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. They not only answer questions you may have about professional registered agent services but also use their expertise and experience in the business world to answer questions you have about running your company and to provide you with advice at any stage of your business journey.
Northwest Registered Agent also offers LLC formation services, which you can read about in my guide on the Best LLC Services.
There are more than 3,000 positive reviews from customers online, so my experience wasn’t unique. Get great registered agent service for your company from Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best Budget Registered Agent: Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking for the lowest-priced registered agent service that still offers all the services you need, then Harbor Compliance is a great option.
Its service offerings are the same as Northwest Registered Agent, but it costs only $99 per state per year to purchase its registered agent services.
The difference is that Harbor Compliance’s customer service team isn’t nearly as patient, efficient, or experienced as Northwest Registered Agent’s. But they’re definitely adequate and can answer your questions and guide you through technical difficulties well enough.
Harbor Compliance offers a slew of services beyond just its registered agent services, and I can’t feasibly list them all here, so check out my Harbor Compliance review for a more detailed breakdown of its service offerings.
If you’re willing to trade outstanding customer support just to save $26 per year, then you can learn more about Harbor Compliance at the website here.
Best Premium Registered Agent: LegalZoom (6.59/10)
If you’re interested in premium registered agent services, then LegalZoom is your best option. It supplies all the full-service options that Northwest Registered Agent does, as well as up to $1 million in identity theft protection. LegalZoom also covers the cost of state fees you incur when switching over to its service.
LegalZoom’s premium service costs $299 per state, per year, which is $175 more per year than Northwest Registered Agent charges, and the only extra feature you get for that price is identity theft protection. For $175 you could easily choose Northwest Registered Agent’s comprehensive services, purchase identity theft protection from a third party, and still have money left over.
You can learn more about LegalZoom here: LegalZoom.
It’s crucial to your company that you choose the best registered agent service because the right registered agent will keep your personal information and assets safe while also making sure your company meets all the legal compliance requirements and deadlines enforced by government agencies in your state.
I looked into more than 60 different registered agent services and reviewed the 12 best by using a four-stage investigative process and five rating factors.
After I combed through thousands of online customer reviews, my investigative research determined that Northwest Registered Agent is easily the best registered agent for a company.
Northwest offers all the registered agent services that businesses should expect from a full-service registered agent, like an online document management system and compliance alerts, as well as an industry-leading customer service team that will patiently answer any question you may have and offer up effective solutions to any problem you may encounter.
Northwest also provides an easy-to-navigate online document management system that allows you to apply for registered agent services in multiple states using the same portal.
If you want a registered agent that offers a full range of services to meet the needs of your company, as well as an industry-leading, US-based team of customer service representatives, then sign your company up with Northwest Registered Agent today.