Choosing the best registered agent service for your corporation is pretty crucial to your business’s success.
The right registered agent will secure your privacy and personal assets, as well as ensuring that your business meets its legal compliance requirements.
The wrong registered agent can leave your business open to scammers and hackers, and even cause your business to be sued.
I've investigated more than 60 registered agent services, assessed the top 12, and written in-depth reviews of the 3 best registered agent services. Here are my picks for the best registered agent service for a corporation:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
I chose Northwest Registered Agent as the top professional registered agent service for a corporation because it offers everything you need for your business entity, including exceptional customer service, at an affordable price.
There are a lot of things to like about Northwest Registered Agent’s registered agent services.
Northwest provides a whole catalog of registered agent services. Of course, Northwest will accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your corporation during standard business hours, as well as providing a physical address to use on formation documents, as most registered agent services do. It also provides a convenient registered agent dashboard and annual report service. But Northwest goes above and beyond the basic mail forwarding service to scan and forward every piece of mail that your corporation receives (most registered agent services only forward legal documents).
Northwest is one of the few national registered agents in the country, which means that it’s registered with government agencies in each state to provide registered agent services. So no matter where your business expands to, Northwest can follow.
It’s easy to sign up with the system, and you can even purchase additional services through the wizard for multiple states simultaneously, which makes this an ideal registered agent service for large corporations or companies that plan on expanding soon.
That user friendliness continues beyond sign-up. The system was designed with less tech-savvy individuals in mind, and it allows you to easily manage registered agent services for multiple states from the same dashboard, which is a feature you don’t see from many registered agent services.
But the main reason Northwest is my choice for the best registered agent service for a corporation is its great customer service.
These days it’s normal for registered agent services to outsource their customer support to countries overseas and then employ under-trained staff with little experience in the business world to staff it. But Northwest Registered Agent rebels against these customer support trends.
It has a US-based customer support team made up of former accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. These Corporate Guides, as Northwest calls them, not only patiently help you with any issue you have in regards to your registered agent services but also provide you with business advice.
Because of their extensive experience and knowledge in the business industry, they can help you with any question you have about starting, developing, and managing a business, as well as any additional questions you have about your business journey.
They’re the only registered agent service that offers this level of customer support, and considering this expert business advice, which consulting firms charge upwards of $5,000/day for, it was an easy choice to name Northwest Registered Agent the best registered agent service for a corporation.
When you also consider that its registered agent services cost $125 per state (which is only $26 more than the least expensive registered agent service I investigated), there are lots of reasons to love Northwest Registered Agent’s registered agent services.
As is the case with many high-end services, Northwest Registered Agent’s best feature is also its biggest drawback: their customer support.
When you call their customer support team, there’s no way to quickly get answers or resolutions to your problems to expediently get off the phone. They put so much importance on providing patient, efficient customer support that when you want a quick solution, it will take longer than you anticipated.
They ask a lot of detailed questions about your problem in an attempt to learn the intricacies of your problem, provide you with accurate advice, and solve your problem adequately the first time so that you don’t have to call back. But this means the phone call will take more of your time than Googling the answer would.
Of course, this is a high-quality problem that only comes up when you want a quick solution or answer to a simple question.
Northwest Registered Agent is a great registered agent service because it provides all the services you need in an easy-to-use registered agent portal, it offers the second-least-expensive price on my list of the best registered agent services for a corporation, and it has the best customer support in the registered agent industry, with team members who will take the time to learn about your problem and supply the right advice the first time.
If you want a great registered agent service that will provide you with excellent registered agent services for $125 per state, per year, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance is #2 on my list of the best registered agent services for a corporation because it provides all the services your business needs, and it’s the most affordable registered agent service on the market.
Harbor Compliance, like Northwest Registered Agent, offers a full range of registered agent services. In addition to accepting legal documents during normal business hours and providing a physical address to list on the public record for privacy, Harbor Compliance also includes an online document management portal, mail forwarding, and annual report service.
It’s easy to complete the sign-up process, and quite simple to sign up for registered agent services for multiple states at once. But the most outstanding feature is the price. Harbor Compliance only charges $99 per state, per year for its registered agent services, which makes it the most affordable registered agent service in the industry. It’s even cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent by $26.
The drawback to Harbor Compliance’s registered agent services is that while it’s good at everything, there’s nothing it’s great at. You’ll find all the services you need among the service offerings but no premium options. And though the customer support staff is able to answer questions about registered agent services, unlike Northwest Registered Agent, they don’t provide small business advice.
So while Harbor Compliance is good overall, none of its services are truly exceptional.
Harbor Compliance provides reliable registered agent services that will meet all the basic needs of your company. And it provides this full range of basic registered agent services at the lowest price on the market, without any fancy bells or whistles.
If you’re okay with foregoing outstanding customer support to save $26/year on your company’s registered agent service, you can check out Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
If you’re interested in premium registered agent services, LegalZoom is the best in a sea of disappointing and overpriced options I found among the “premium” registered agent services.
Not only is LegalZoom a premium registered agent, it also offers national registered agent services. It provides all the standard registered agent services you need, such as accepting mail and service of process during regular business hours and supplying a physical address to keep your private address off the public record. LegalZoom’s offerings also include mail forwarding, compliance alerts (for annual reports), and up to $1 million in identity theft protection, which is a premium feature you won’t get from most other registered agents.
There are two downsides to LegalZoom’s registered agent services.
The first and most notable is the price. LegalZoom charges $299 for its registered agent services, which is twice as much as Northwest Registered Agent, and more than many of the registered agent service providers on my list of the best registered agent services for a corporation. What’s worse is that even though there’s a $176 difference in price between Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom, the only additional feature that LegalZoom supplies is identity theft insurance, which you can purchase from third-party companies for far less.
The second downside is that LegalZoom’s registered agent services make up only a portion of the services the company offers, so they’re not specialized or optimized, and they aren’t the company’s top priority.
LegalZoom’s system isn’t the most intuitive, either, and their customer support isn’t highly efficient when compared to other registered agent services.
LegalZoom is a trustworthy registered agent that offers premium registered agent services at fees so high that it’s cheaper to purchase the premium services separately. They’re also not as well-supported as other companies on my list.
The only way I can see it being worth it to you to purchase registered agent services from LegalZoom is if you either use its other services (like its online legal services) and want one company to handle all your business concerns, or you want to buy overly expensive identity theft protection insurance for some reason.
If you’d like to learn more about LegalZoom’s products and services, you can visit the website here.
ZenBusiness offers reliable registered agent services online. It charges $199 for registered agent services online. In this plan, ZenBusiness includes worry-free compliance notifications, up to 2 document ammendments, a custom operating agreement or corporate bylaws, and speedier processing. Every corporation must have corporate bylaws to regulate its operations and comply with state law.
The most unfortunate part of ZenBusiness is that despite them being more expensive than Northwest Registered Agent, they don't offer a free year of registered agent service and their customer support is also not at the level that Northwest's corporate guides provide.
To learn more about these services, read my complete ZenBusiness review.
IncFile is another LLC formation service that also offers registered agent service, but it supplies the bare minimum in terms of service offerings. It charges $119 per year for its registered agent service, and you won’t even get free annual report service for that price.
Like ZenBusiness, IncFile offers free registered agent service for the first year if you use its LLC formation service, but you’ll ultimately pay too much for their registered agent service over time.
So IncFile is only a good option if you’re in the business of paying more for less. You can read more about IncFile here.
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a cheaper version of LegalZoom. Its registered agent service is only one of its services, which includes online business services and online legal services. In fact, it’s more well known for these other services (for example, business formation service and legal services) than its registered agent services. They charge $149 and only provide the bare essentials. It’s also worth mentioning that if you have high expectations for a registered agent’s customer support, then Rocket Lawyer will let you down.
If you’d like to learn more about Rocket Lawyer, I give a more thorough breakdown of its services in my Rocket Lawyer review here.
7. Sundoc Filings
Sundoc Filings is another business formation service that also offers registered agent service, but they’re just not much to sneeze at, with too few features to serve a growing business. At $159/year for these minimal services, you’re much better off with one of the above choices.
InCorp is yet another formation service that also provides registered agent service, but it was quite difficult to rank it on my list of the best registered agent services for a corporation.
It not only charges the same price as Harbor Compliance ($99 per year), but it also offers the same catalog of registered agent service offerings. Its system is glitchy and insanely hard to use. It’s not well laid out, making it difficult to navigate. InCorp’s customer support is acceptable, but with a registered agent system so difficult, you’d really expect more-than-acceptable support. That’s why I don’t recommend them highly among the best registered agent services for a corporation.
9. Swyft Filings
It’s nice that Swyft Filings includes compliance alerts along with its registered agent service, but it’s not worth the $149 it charges when you can get that and more from other registered agents.
Swyft Filings offers a slew of other services aside from its registered agent service, so to read about those you can check out my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a premium registered agent service that offers very little in terms of premium registered agent services. The only premium registered agent service it provides is paying any state fees you incur if you switch to its registered agent service. But the cost is $299 per year, so it’s cheaper to switch to Northwest and cover the state fees on your own.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. offers the same registered agent service offerings as Northwest Registered Agent but charges $200 while Northwest only charges $125. And for that $200 you won’t get good customer support or next-level premium services to make the price worth it.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is yet another business formation service that also provides registered agent service. However, its registered agent services are minimal, and it charges $150 per year for them.
Jumpstart Filings doesn’t even offer a year of free registered agent services when you sign up for its business formation service, so you can’t even save money that way.
Best Registered Agent Review Summary
I chose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service for a corporation because it covers all the basics and only charges $125 per year.
Northwest also has a top-notch customer service team made up of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. These experts can not only answer any question you may have about registered agent service but will also answer any questions you have about owning a corporation either based on their experience or by doing research to find the answer.
It’s easy to sign up for Northwest’s registered agent service and its portal system is user friendly and easy to navigate, which makes it an excellent choice for the best registered agent service for a corporation.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
There are tons of registered agent service providers online, and though it’s great to have options, too many choices can make choosing the best registered agent service for your corporation difficult.
That’s why I created this comprehensive list of registered agent service providers for your corporation. Here’s how I found the best registered agent service for a corporation.
Why You Should Trust Me
When it comes to evaluating service providers to find the best registered agent service for your corporation, you should trust me because I have more experience combing through the medley of registered agent services than nearly any other person on the planet.
My experience started because I was first looking for the best registered agent service for my two companies—a cafe and a health website. I eventually sold both of those businesses and began considering my next venture. I learned from speaking to friends and colleagues from my cafe and health website days that many business owners don’t have the time or mental energy to devote to finding the best registered agent service for their businesses. So because I already knew my way around the registered agent service industry, I began giving them recommendations.
Dishing out solid registered agent service advice eventually snowballed and turned into an online business, and now I’m here providing registered agent service advice to thousands of people on the internet, like you.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
To select the top registered agent services for a corporation, I used a four-stage investigative process. Through this process I slowly narrowed down a list of over 60 registered agents to my top three registered agent service suggestions.
Here’s how I did it.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first step I took to find the top registered agent services for a corporation involved reading thousands of online reviews. These reviews were on sites like TrustPilot, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau, as well as many other online review platforms. I honestly read more reviews than I could count, but I sifted through all this customer feedback (reading both critical and positive customer reviews) so that you don’t have to.
Full disclosure: I didn’t read every online review for every company. That would have taken years! But I did read through the reviews that were more than a paragraph or two and provided real customer feedback and information about customer satisfaction levels. This valuable customer feedback allowed me to gain insight into each company and learn which ones were scams and which ones were worth the time it took to further investigate.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
Once I’d weeded out the B-list and C-list (and sometimes even D-list) registered agent service providers, the second stage involved checking out the websites of the registered agents that remained on my list.
Some of the things I considered were the registered agent service offerings of each company, the variety of customer service contact methods available to customers, the history of each registered agent company, any awards they’d won for their registered agent service, and their locations.
This gave me a better understanding of the registered agents that remained on my list, how they operate, and what they offer.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
You can really only get so much information from online reviews and reading through a registered agent service provider website. To get all the nitty-gritty details about what it’s like to work with a professional registered agent service provider, you’ll eventually have to speak directly to customers who have worked with the company. This is why speaking to customers of each registered agent service provider was the third stage of my investigation.
To make sure I got unbiased customer feedback from a range of different demographics, I contacted customers to whom I’d recommended registered agent services, as well as visitors to my site looking for a new registered agent service for their business or corporation.
I asked for customer feedback about their customer satisfaction levels, as well as detailed descriptions of how well their needs were served and the quality of services each registered agent provided. This customer feedback allowed me to learn what each registered agent company actually delivers and not just what they promise to deliver on their website.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
The last stage of my investigation was calling the sales team of each registered agent company. I collected all the customer feedback, negative reviews, and issues I’d found with each company’s service and asked them hard-hitting questions about their failings.
This painted me a clear picture of how each company grows and adapts its professional registered agent services in accordance with customer feedback. Some of the sketchy companies claimed that customers with negative feedback were just “crazy” and that I shouldn’t pay them any attention, while some of the best services explained how they’d taken that feedback and used it to improve their services so that the problems I was describing weren’t actually problems anymore.
This stage differentiated the winners from the losers, and by the time I completed it I was 100% confident that my registered agent recommendations will benefit any corporation.
The twelve registered agent providers that remained on my list after the investigation process were rated according to these five factors to find the best registered agent for a corporation.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor considered was the service offerings of each company.
It doesn’t matter what sort of fees a registered agent charges, how user friendly their system is, or how stellar their customer service is, if they don’t offer the services you need then they aren’t the best registered agent for your corporation.
Some of the things I considered with this factor included whether the company provided a way for you to access your legal documents online or simply mailed them to you, whether they provide you with compliance notifications or just a calendar with important deadline dates on it, whether they provided identity theft insurance or just gave a vague promise to keep your information protected, and whether they offered the best LLC formation services.
The companies with the most comprehensive lists of product offerings were placed higher on my list, while those with scant services were weighed down to the bottom of the list.
Factor 2: Price
The second rating factor was each company’s value for the money, which is a factor with a great deal of variation from company to company.
During my research I discovered three categories of pricing among registered agents: budget, full service, and premium.
Budget services are typically between $39–$59/year, full-service options are usually $99–$129/year, and premium options cost $299/year and up.
I placed the registered agents that provided the best value for money at the top of my list of the best registered agent services for a corporation, and the ones with little to offer at the bottom.
My investigation during this stage turned up an interesting fact. Although budget services seem like a great idea, their pricing is deceptive.
In most cases it only costs $39 to sign up for their registered agent services, but to get any of the basic services you need (like compliance alerts and online document management portals) you’ll pay a fortune in additional fees. These deceptive pricing practices and add-on schemes can cost you far more than a full-service registered agent, and in some cases even more than a premium registered agent service.
For that reason, I chose not to allow any budget options on the Best Registered Agent for a Corporation list.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
Partnering with a registered agent that has excellent service offerings and an affordable price only to discover that it takes days or weeks to complete their sign-up process can be a real turn off.
So that you’re guaranteed to choose a registered agent for your corporation that offers the services you need at a price you can afford and doesn’t waste your time, the automation of the sign-up process was the third rating factor I looked at.
The companies with automated, streamlined systems that require minimal effort on your part were placed in high positions on my list, while those with confusing, time-consuming, and labor-intensive systems fell to the bottom of the list.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Getting set up in the system is only one part of the process that can be time consuming. After sign-up, you don’t want to deal with an antiquated, complicated system, so I rated each registered agent service on how user-friendly their system is to use.
The companies with the most simple, user-friendly systems ranked higher on my list than those with confusing, headache-inducing systems.
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how easy it is to use a system or how user friendly the navigation is, there will inevitably be an aspect of the system that requires clarification. It’s in these times that good customer service is crucial.
Customer service interactions can be the difference between waiting on hold for hours for a simple explanation or quick fix, or being able to quickly solve your problems so that you can get back to your day and complete your to-do list.
This is why the last factor I considered was the quality of customer service each registered agent provider delivers.
The providers that dole out simple answers to your questions quickly and allow you to complete phone calls in a timely manner received higher positions on my list than those whose customer service that didn’t respond for hours (or days), or provided vague answers or inadequate explanations that are sure to leave you more confused than you were when you first placed the call received lower positions on my list.
The Best Registered Agent for a Corporation
After I analyzed each of the twelve registered agent services on my list using my four-stage investigative process and five factor rating system, my top recommendation is Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Overall Registered Agent: Northwest Registered Agent (9.08/10)
Northwest Registered Agent earned the coveted #1 spot on my list because it offers all the full-service registered agent options you need at a reasonable price, and it provides outstanding customer service to back it all up.
When business entities sign up for Northwest’s registered agent services they receive a registered business address (to keep your information off the public record for privacy reasons), scanned copies of ALL your mail and access to them online (not just the legal documents), and compliance notifications for things like your annual reports.
But Northwest’s stand-out feature is its US-based customer service team made up of former entrepreneurs, small business owners, lawyers, and accountants. These Corporate Guides will use their years of knowledge and experience to answer questions about their registered agent service and also answer any questions you have about owning and managing your small business. Northwest’s customer-service team is available to business entities during normal business hours on all business days, which is pretty convenient.
You can be sure that my experience wasn’t a fluke because it has over 3,000 positive customer reviews online.
Check out Northwest Registered Agent here if you want to get the best registered agent for your corporation.
Best Budget Registered Agent: Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking for a reliable registered agent for a low cost, Harbor Compliance is a good choice.
It offers the same service catalog as Northwest Registered Agent does for only $99 per year.
Harbor Compliance’s customer-service team can answer your questions adequately, but they aren’t as helpful as Northwest Registered Agent’s, and they won’t answer business questions.
You can read a more in-depth breakdown of its services in my full Harbor Compliance review.
If you don’t want the extra services that Northwest Registered Agent provides so you can save $26 per year, then you can check out Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent: Legal Zoom (6.59/10)
If you want premium registered agent services, then LegalZoom is the best premium option. On top of offering all the services that Northwest does, it also provides $1 million in identity theft protection insurance, as well as covering the state fees you get charged for switching over to their services.
You’ll pay $299 per state, per year for these services, which is quite a lot for identity theft protection. But if identity theft insurance is a top priority for you and you’re okay with spending an additional $176 per year on it, then Legal Zoom may be an option worth considering.
To learn more about LegalZoom’s services, go to the website here.
Making sure you get the best registered agent for your corporation is crucial because it can keep your privacy and assets protected and ensure that your company complies with state regulations.
I looked into more than 60 different registered agents then reviewed and rated the top 12 best registered agents for a corporation based on a four-stage investigation process and five rating factor system.
My analysis and thousands of positive user reviews led me to the conclusion that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent for a corporation.
Northwest provides all the services that are expected from a full-service registered agent, as well as friendly, courteous customer service agents that are able to guide you through any problem or situation you may face due to their experience and knowledge.
If you’re looking for registered agent service that meets all your needs, as well as providing industry-leading customer service, then head on over to Northwest Registered Agent today.