Choosing the best registered agent service is a decision of the utmost importance for your business entity. According to the Legal Information Institute, “an entity refers to a person or organization possessing separate and distinct legal rights, such as an individual, partnership, or corporation.”
The right registered agent will make sure that your business entity meets all its legal compliance requirements and safeguard your personal information by keeping it off the public record.
The wrong registered agent could be costly, and may even leave you vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals, scammers, and even lawsuits.
I've investigated 60+ registered agent services, assessed the top 12, and written in-depth reviews of the 3 best. Here are my picks for the best registered agent service for an entity:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
My top pick for the best registered agent service for a business entity is Northwest Registered Agent because it’s a full-service registered agent that supplies all the services you need at the second-least-expensive price on my list, and it provides the best customer service in the online business services industry.
There are so many things to love about Northwest Registered Agent’s professional registered agent service.
Northwest offers all the registered agent services you need (as well as LLC formation services) which includes the vital registered agent address so that you don’t have to list your personal address on the public record, an individual or business entity who is available during standard business hours to accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your business, a convenient registered agent dashboard to manage your documents, and free annual report service. Northwest also goes beyond basic mail forwarding services to scan and upload ALL your mail—many registered agent services only upload the documents.
Not only is the sign-up system simple, it allows you to sign up for registered agent service in multiple states from the same portal, which makes it the ideal registered agent service for companies that anticipate expansion to multiple states in the future.
Once you’ve signed up and are established in the system, it’s quite easy to use. The system was designed to be easily navigated by people who don’t have the strongest technological skills, and it allows you to manage registered agent service for multiple states through the same portal, which is an uncommon feature not offered by most registered agent services.
But the #1 reason Northwest is my top pick for the best registered agent service is its customer service.
These days, most registered agent services outsource their customer-support teams to foreign countries and then staff them with employees that lack the training and experience to offer efficient support to customers. But Northwest doesn’t follow that trend.
Instead it provides a US-based customer-support team that consists of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who do a great job of patiently listening to your problems and offering effective solutions to them as well as answering all your questions about your registered agent service account. But they go above and beyond by also offering business advice. These experts use their experience starting, developing and managing businesses to answer any questions you have regarding your own business.
Northwest is the only registered agent service to offer quality customer support of this caliber to help you with the many challenges you’ll face as a business owner, so it was easy to name it the best registered agent service. This high-quality customer-support team is available during all normal business hours on business days, as well, so you’re not limited to a few measly hours a week to reach them.
In addition to all of this, Northwest’s registered agent services are only $125 per state, per year, which means it’s only $26 more than the cheapest registered agent service on my list. So, like I said, there’s a lot of reasons to love Northwest Registered Agent.
As is the case with many high-quality services, Northwest Registered Agent’s best feature is also its biggest downside: customer support.
Calling Northwest’s customer-support team isn’t a matter of a 15-second, rapid-fire question-and-answer session that allows you to quickly obtain the information you need and get off the call. They’re dedicated to providing top-tier customer service, which means that sometimes when you want a quick answer, it takes them a while to answer your question and terminate the call.
They ask loads of questions about your particular problem in an attempt to understand all the ins and outs of the situation before they answer your question or offer up solutions, which means that they’ll likely get the answer right the first time, but also that the call will take far longer than it would have taken to just Google the answer to the question.
This is an extremely high-quality issue, and only a slight criticism of Northwest Registered Agent that you’ll likely only encounter when you’re in a rush to get a quick answer or solution.
Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service because it provides all the registered agent services that business entities need, a straightforward portal system, and the second-best price in the industry, and it backs all those features up with an exceptional customer-service team that will go out of their way to make sure they understand your questions and provide you with solutions that will solve your problems efficiently the first time.
If you’re looking for great registered agent service to support your growing business for a reasonable price of $125 per year, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Full-Service Registered Agent on a Budget)
Harbor Compliance received second place on my list of the best registered agent services because it supplies all the registered agent services you need at a low price—the lowest price on this list of the best registered agents for a business entity—making it a wonderful value.
Harbor Compliance is a full-service registered agent, like Northwest Registered Agent. Some of the registered agent services it provides include someone in the office to accept mail and legal documents from government agencies during standard business hours, the all-important physical address, an online document management portal, scanning and forwarding of your documents, and compliance alerts (for your annual reports and other important filing deadlines).
Completing the sign-up process is simple, and you can sign up for registered agent service for multiple states with ease. But the feature that makes Harbor Compliance stand out most is its price. It costs only $99 per state, which makes it the full-service registered agent service with the best value for your money. It’s also $26 per year less expensive than Northwest Registered Agent. When it comes to affordable registered agent services that get the job done, Harbor Compliance fits the bill.
The biggest disadvantage of Harbor Compliance is that even though all its registered agent services are good, it doesn't provide any services that are truly exceptional. While it offers a full range of registered agent services, you won’t find any premium services in its catalog. The customer-support team is sufficient to answer questions about your registered agent service, but they don’t go the extra mile to answer business questions like Northwest Registered Agent’s team does.
So while Harbor Compliance does a fine job of offering good services, it doesn't excel in anything.
Harbor Compliance is a good choice for dependable registered agent services because it meets all your registered agent needs. It not only purveys all the registered agent services your business needs, it does so at the best price on my list of the best registered agent services, making them the most-affordable quality registered agent service on the market.
If you’re looking for an affordable registered agent service and you’re comfortable with trading away next-level customer service just to save $26 per year, read more about Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
If you’re interested in premium registered agent services, LegalZoom is a good bet because it’s the best of all the premium registered agent service options I researched. A premium registered agent offers extra features that don’t usually come with registered agent service, like a “full-service plus” agent.
LegalZoom is another national registered agent, and like other national registered agents, it allows you to sign up for registered agent service in multiple states. It’s also a premium registered agent service, which means that it provides all the full-service registered agent service options you need, such as the coveted physical address, someone to accept legal documents and mail on behalf of your entity during business hours, an online document management portal, mail forwarding service, and compliance alerts (for important filing deadlines like annual reports). Additionally, LegalZoom supplies up to $1 million in identity theft protection, which is a premium registered agent service not provided by most agents.
LegalZoom has two major shortcomings.
The first is its cost. It charges $299 for its premium registered agent services, with the only additional feature for that price being identity theft protection. There’s a $175 difference between LegalZoom’s fee and Northwest Registered Agent’s, so if you’re concerned about identity theft protection, you could easily sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s excellent registered agent services, buy identity theft protection from a third-party dealer, and still save money.
The second shortcoming is that registered agent service is only one of its functions, and it sort of gets lost among all of its other services. LegalZoom’s focus on its online legal services results in registered agent services falling by the wayside, not being optimized or even highly prioritized.
Its system isn’t the most user friendly of the options on my list, and its customer support pales in comparison to that offered by some of the other best registered agent services on my list.
LegalZoom is a well-known company in the business world with a strong reputation due to its legal services. It provides premium registered agent services at excessively high rates, and its customer support isn’t on the same level as some of the other registered agents on my list of the best registered agent services for an entity.
The only reason to choose LegalZoom over Northwest Registered Agent is if you’re already using its LLC formation or legal services and want to take advantage of its registered agent services as well, or if you’re determined to choose a registered agent service with identity theft protection, no matter the cost. Otherwise, Northwest Registered Agent is the better option.
If you’d like to read more about LegalZoom’s services, you can visit the website here: LegalZoom.
The remaining registered agents that I researched while developing my list of the best registered agent services for an entity are reviewed in less detail.
ZenBusiness is a solid choice for national registered agent services online. Its registered agent services start at $199 per state, per year. This plan includes compliance alerts and annual report service, expedited document filing, online document storage (through their online portal), and receiving and forwarding of all legal notices. However, they don’t provide customer support on Northwest Registered Agent’s level.
Another drawback is that ZenBusiness doesn't offer free registered agent services for a year if you sign up for its registered agent services, this means you’ll wind up paying more and receiving less in the long run.
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive list of ZenBusiness’s services, read my full ZenBusiness Review.
IncFile is another LLC formation service that offers minimal registered agent services. Even though you won’t get compliance alerts with this registered agent service, it costs $119 per year. If you’re interested in paying more for registered agent services than they’re worth, then IncFile is a good option.
IncFile offers a year of free registered agent services when you sign up for LLC formation service, but even with that promotion these services aren’t a good value when all is said and done.
You can learn more about IncFile here: IncFile.
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a cheaper replica of LegalZoom. Like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service is only one of the features on its overall service list. Rocket Lawyer charges $149 for registered agent services that are really bare bones, and the customer support isn’t as good as one would hope to receive when paying that much for a service.
If you’re interested in the rest of the services from Rocket Lawyer, you can read my full Rocket Lawyer review here.
7. Sundoc Filings
Sundoc Filings, like many other companies that made its way onto my list of the best registered agent services for an entity, is a business formation service that also supplies registered agent services. Unfortunately, its registered agent services are sparse, and it charges $159 per year for them, making it hardly a good deal.
InCorp is another business formation service that offers registered agent service. Its registered agent services can be a bit perplexing to the average consumer, however.
It charges $99 for registered agent services, the same price as Harbor Compliance—the cheapest registered agent service on my list. And it offers the same list of services as Harbor Compliance. But the drawback lies in the quality of its services.
InCorp’s online system is a nightmare to use. Its interface has a confusing and impractical layout, its navigation is labyrinthine. The customer support is tolerable, but when a company provides a system this difficult to use, it should really supply customer support that’s more than just “tolerable.” This is why InCorp isn’t higher up my list of the best registered agent services for an entity.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings does offer compliance alerts with its registered agent service, unlike some registered agents on my best registered agent services list, but it charges an absurd $149 per state, per year for these services.
It also offers a slew of other services, which you can read about in my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a “premium” registered agent service in that it offers very little in terms of premium services. For $299 per state, per year, the only premium registered agent service feature CSC Global supplies is covering any state fees you’re charged for switching over to its service. For far less you could switch to Northwest Registered Agent instead and cover the state fees yourself.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. delivers the same registered agent service options as Northwest Registered Agent but charges $200 for them, whereas Northwest only charges $125 per year for its registered agent service, and it provides superior customer support.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is another business formation service that supplies minimal registered agent service features. It costs $150 per year to hire these bare-bones services.
While it does have business formation services, Jumpstart Filings doesn’t offer the “free registered agent service for a year” promotion that other companies on my list of the best registered agent services for an entity offer.
Registered Agent Review Summary
The reason I chose to name Northwest Registered Agent the best registered agent for an entity is that it offers all the services you need for your company and only charges $125 per state, per year.
It backs its services up with a US-based customer support team made up of former lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who are patient and knowledgeable when answering your questions about registered agent service. They’ll also do their best to find you the answers to all your burning business questions, which is a service unique to Northwest’s professional registered agent services.
Northwest has a simple sign-up system and it’s easy to navigate the online portal once you’re established in it, which makes it easy to choose this company as the best registered agent service.
If you want a reliable registered agent service that will help your company meet all its legal requirements, keep your information safe, and have the ability to scale and support your business no matter how big it grows, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
There are so many registered agent services online that choosing the right registered agent service for your entity can seem like an overwhelming, even herculean task. Because of this, I spent months evaluating service providers to find the best registered agent services in 2022 and help you choose the right registered agent service for your entity. Here’s how I found the best registered agent service.
Why You Should Trust Me
When it comes to the registered agent industry, you should trust me because I’ve spent more time in the trenches of the messy registered agent service industry than nearly anyone else has.
My experience with registered agents began when I needed to find a good registered agent service for my two businesses: a health website and a cafe. I ultimately sold both of those businesses and began pondering my next business venture. When I talked to my friends and colleagues, it was immediately apparent that many of them didn’t have the knowledge of registered agents that I do, and they didn’t have the time to root through hours upon hours of research to find the best registered agent service for their companies. Because I already had the knowledge and information, I began to give them advice and recommendations.
Since then, that practice evolved into this review site where random internet friends can find their ideal registered agent service.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
I conducted a four-stage research process to trim down a list of over 60 registered agent service providers down to a short list of only 12.
Here’s my research process.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage in finding the best registered agent service by evaluating service providers was weeding through thousands of online customer reviews. I read negative and positive customer reviews on various online review platforms, including Facebook, Trust Pilot, and the Better Business Bureau. There were innumerable online reviews, but I went through them so you wouldn’t have to.
Honestly, I didn’t read EVERY online review because that would have taken years to complete. But I did read through customer reviews that were longer than a single paragraph and described customer satisfaction levels. These lengthy customer reviews provided me with enough information to remove the obvious scam companies from my list, as well as those registered agent services who used dubious pricing practices. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After I’d eliminated the low-grade registered agent service providers, the next stage in my research process was a thorough analysis of each company’s website.
Some of the things I looked at were the service features of each registered agent service, the number of contact methods for customer service, the history of the company, awards they’d won, and the locations of each registered agent. For instance, are they a national registered agent or will business owners need a different registered agent if they expand to other states?
This gave me a better idea about each company, the services it offers, and what qualities it represents.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
The information from online customer reviews and website analysis is limited. To gain a thorough understanding of what it’s like to work with a company, you need to speak to customers directly. That’s why the third stage of my research was speaking to real customers of the registered agents on my list.
To ensure that I got unbiased customer reviews that hadn’t been tainted by the companies themselves, I reached out to customers to whom I’d recommended registered agents as well as visitors to my site that were already using registered agent services.
I asked them how well they felt their needs were being met and their customer satisfaction levels, and they gave me detailed information about the sort of service quality and customer support they received. This gave me a better idea of the services delivered by each company and allowed me to determine whether they were living up to the claims made on their websites.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
The last stage of my research was calling up the customer service and sales teams of each registered agent provider. I collected all the reviews, criticism, feedback, problems, and spilt tea I’d discovered during my other research stages and asked direct questions about them.
The information gathered from this stage was incredibly insightful because it revealed which companies used feedback to innovate and better their services according to customer feedback so that the problems were effectively solved, and which companies blamed their shortcomings on their customers.
This step really separated the wheat from the chaff and left me 100% confident about my top recommended registered agent service.
The 12 registered agent services that remained after my research process were rated according to the following five rating factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
If you’re going to acquire registered agent services, you need as many relevant services as you can get. The first rating factor I considered was the service offerings of each registered agent service.
If a company doesn’t provide the services your business needs, then a low price, easy sign-up process, and great customer service are inconsequential. If it doesn’t have the services you need, nothing else matters.
Some of the things I analyzed included if they provide you with an online document management system or just basic mail forwarding service, if they actually offer compliance alerts or just give you a compliance calendar with filing dates on it, if they offer identity theft protection or just issue a vague promise about guaranteeing the safety of your information, and if they offer business formation services or even the best LLC formation services.
The registered agent providers with the best selection of services earned higher positions on my list, while those with lackluster service catalogs were given lower positions.
Factor 2: Value
The second rating factor was the value the company’s services provided for the money. This is an area where I saw GREAT disparity.
During my research I found that registered agent providers use three different price tiers: budget, full service, and premium.
Budget providers cost between $39–$59, full-service options cost between $99–$129, and premium registered agent prices start at $299 and go up.
Naturally, the registered agents that provided the best bargains for their services were awarded better positions on my list, while those that weren’t worth the money fell down the list.
My investigation into registered agent service pricing also revealed that though budget providers seem like a good idea, their advertised pricing is deceptive.
It really does only cost $39–$59 to get signed up with the company, but to get any of the standard registered agent services you need, like compliance alerts instead of just a compliance calendar, your legal documents scanned and uploaded to an online portal, and same day mail forwarding, you’ll have to pay a lot more. In fact, the additional fees charged for some of these services can cost more than some of the full-service providers on my list of top registered agent services.
Because I don’t agree with these deceptive pricing practices, I chose not to include budget providers on my list.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
If you were to partner with a registered agent who offers all the services you want at a price you love then find out that it takes weeks to complete their sign-up process it would obviously be frustrating.
I tested out the sign-up process of each registered agent provider as the third rating factor to ensure that you choose a provider that doesn’t waste your time during the sign-up process.
The providers that had the most automated, efficient processes with the lightest workloads are found towards the top of my list, while those with labor-intensive, complicated, lengthy sign-up processes plummeted towards the bottom of the list.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Unfortunately, the sign-up process isn’t the only instance where registered agent providers can waste your time. After becoming established in the system, nobody wants to waste hours learning how to navigate an unnecessarily complicated, antique system. This is why I decided to evaluate service providers according to how easy their systems are to use.
Each registered agent service provider with intuitive, user-friendly systems rose up my list, while those with complicated systems and troublesome navigation were given lower ratings.
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how intuitive or user-friendly a registered agent service provider makes its system interface, you’ll still eventually encounter a technical issue or have a question about the services. It’s during these trying times that quality customer service is crucial.
The quality of the customer service provided by your registered agent can mean the difference between quickly receiving an answer, efficiently solving your problem, and allowing you to move on with your work day, or being placed on hold for hours only to speak with an ill-trained representative who can do little to solve your problem and only leaves you feeling more confused than you were before you placed the call.
The providers with the most prompt, friendly, and efficient customer service received higher ratings than those who took hours (or days) to respond and provided poor explanations that didn’t solve problems.
The Best Registered Agent for Entity Owners Results Summary
After I put each registered agent service through my four-stage research process and then evaluated them using my five rating factors, I determined that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent for an entity.
Best Overall Registered Agent: Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick for the best registered agent service online because it provides a full range of services to meet the needs of your new business, it has reasonable rates, and it has the best customer service in the industry.
Some of the services you get when you sign up for Northwest’s $125 package include a registered business address for your new business or limited liability company, an online document management system that gives you access to ALL your mail (not just the legal documents), and advanced compliance software as well as compliance alerts for important filing deadlines. You’ll also appreciate that this statutory agent, or resident agent, will keep your personal information safe. And, as a new business owner, if you choose Northwest’s business formation services, you get a year of free registered agent service.
But by far this agent’s best feature is its US-based customer service team made up of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. They not only provide effective assistance when answering questions relating to registered agent service, but they will also answer questions about starting, developing, and managing a new business based on their years of experience and knowledge. This industry-leading customer service team is available on normal business days during business hours for the convenience of customers.
Northwest has more than 3,000 positive customer reviews online, so I’m certain that my experience with its registered agent services in 2022 wasn’t coincidental.
Get quality registered agent service here: Northwest Registered Agent.
As I’ve mentioned, Northwest Registered Agent also provides LLC formation services, which you can learn about in my guide to the best LLC services.
Best Full-Service Registered Agent on a Budget: Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking for reliable registered agent services but you don’t want to spend a ton of money on them, then Harbor Compliance is a good choice for you.
Harbor Compliance offers the same services that Northwest Registered Agent supplies but charges only $99 per state per year for its services.
The customer-service team isn’t as competent, patient, and comprehensive as Northwest Registered Agent’s, and they won’t answer your business questions, but they can adequately answer any question you have about registered agent services and walk you through any problems you encounter with the system.
Harbor Compliance offers a lot of services and I can’t list them all here, so to learn more about them read my Harbor Compliance review.
If you’re happy with compromising industry-leading support to save a measly $26 per year, then you can read more about Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent: LegalZoom (6.59/10)
If you’re in the market for a premium registered agent service that also offers legal services, then LegalZoom is the best choice you can make. It provides all the full-service features that Northwest offers, with the addition of $1 million in identity theft protection as well as covering the fees you incur when you switch over to its services.
LegalZoom charges $299 per state, per year for these services, which is $175 more than Northwest Registered Agent’s, but it’s still a good option if you’re looking for premium services.
You can learn more about LegalZoom here: LegalZoom.
It’s essential that you choose the right registered agent service to ensure the protection of your personal information and that your business entity meets all the state and federal compliance regulations.
I began with a list of more than 64 different registered agent services and then used my four-stage research process and five ratings factors to reduce it down to the 12 top registered agent services, and then from there choose the 3 best of the best.
This investigative process revealed that Northwest is the best registered agent for an entity.
It offers all the basic registered agent services that new businesses need and provides expert and patient customer service to help guide you through any issue you have, whether it’s a technical issue or a business issue. Northwest also has an online document management system with a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage registered agent services in multiple states from the same portal seamlessly so that they can scale up and support your company as it grows.
If you’d like industry-leading registered agent services from the best registered agent possible, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent.