Getting the best registered agent in Hawaii is critical for any business.
The right Hawaii registered agent will protect your personal assets and keep you in compliance with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
The wrong Hawaii registered agent will charge you hidden fees, jeopardize your business and fail to safeguard your personal assets and data.
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 service in Hawaii:
Table of Contents
1.Northwest Registered Agent – 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
The results of my exhaustive research process were conclusive — Northwest Registered Agent offers everything your business needs and is the best registered agent operating in Hawaii.
When it comes to serving as a registered agent, Northwest Registered Agent has mastered the essentials.
They offer a Hawaii street address that accepts service of process, legal documents, and communications from the Secretary of State. They handle your mail responsibility and will quickly forward it to you in addition to scanning and uploading the documents to your online portal where you can access them almost instantly.
They are also incredibly responsible with your assets and data. Northwest Registered Agent will help you set up your business entity so that your personal assets are protected, and they will keep your personal information off the public record. Unlike other registered agents, they also won’t sell your email address or home address to marketing companies.
Northwest Registered Agent also offers compliance alerts to remind you of upcoming filing deadlines and will set up an individualized calendar for you to keep key dates in mind such as the due date for your annual report.
All of these services are backed up by the best customer service team in the industry.
Not only does Northwest Registered Agent hire former lawyers, accountants, and entrepreneurs to guide you through any registered agent-related challenges you’re facing, but they will also provide guidance on any small business issues and challenges you face.
They are the only registered agent service to offer this kind of small business support and so at $125 per state per year, are an easy choice for my #1 pick.
On occasion, the service department at Northwest Registered Agent can feel like too much of a good thing. A very quick question can sometimes be met with an answer that feels a little more thorough than necessary. It might cost you a few extra minutes on the phone, which can feel like an eternity when you’re knee-deep on the million other responsibilities you have as a business owner.
This is certainly a petty complaint, to be sure. I’ll gladly trade a few lost moments here and there for a customer service staff who has the patience to explain a regulatory change that I wouldn’t get my head around otherwise.
Northwest Registered Agent has one of the best reputations of any registered agent because, simply, they are the best. They have a great grasp on the essentials, throw in some amazing extras and dominate the industry with their incredible customer service.
For $125 per year, they are great value and they won’t let your business down.
If you want a registered agent that will protect your business and your personal assets for one of the best rates in the business, go to Northwest Registered Agent.
2.Harbor Compliance – 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
If your wallet makes your decisions, Harbor Compliance is a solid but unspectacular budget alternative.
Harbor Compliance is trustworthy and reliable. At no point will they blow you away with their offerings or customer service, but they won’t let your company down.
For $26 per year less than Northwest Registered Agent, they meet all legal requirements as a Hawaii registered agent. They provide you with a registered office that is available during normal business hours to receive service of process and all other documents. They’re not as quick as Northwest, but Harbor Compliance also forwards, scans, uploads, and notifies you of all incoming communication.
Their website is fairly user-friendly and they offer compliance alerts and even pick up the phone and give you a call if something is particularly time-sensitive.
At times it is clear why Harbor Compliance is so cheap. It is obvious that they have not invested much money in their customer service team, which is not as quick or as knowledgeable as Northwest Registered Agent.
Their website is also far from perfect and could use a few tweaks that they probably won’t get around to making.
In general, it seems Harbor Compliance is content to be a budget registered agent rather than improving their offerings or service.
If your budget is so tight that annual savings of $26 versus Northwest Registered Agent will make or break your business, then Harbor Compliance is a good choice.
They fulfill all their legal requirements to be a registered agent in Hawaii so your company remains in good standing with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
If you can forgo outstanding customer service in order to save some money, head to Harbor Compliance today.
3. LegalZoom – 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom is a large, reputable company that has helped millions of people by offering a wide array of legal services including registered agent service.
LegalZoom is the most renowned name on this list, and when it comes time to entrust your company to a registered agent, sometimes it can be comforting to go with a familiar name.
They also offer so many different legal services for both personal and business use, that you may have used them before for other tasks. With just one online account, you can log in to LegalZoom for help with your last will and testament and your registered agent service.
LegalZoom also has a unique offering that you won’t find in another registered agent. Included with your registered agent services is a $1 million identity theft insurance policy. With the ongoing prevalence of identity theft and other similar cyber crimes, this policy can provide you with substantial peace of mind.
LegalZoom is the most expensive registered agent ($299) on my list. They charge three times as much as Harbor Compliance and more than twice as much as Northwest Registered Agent.
The million dollar identity theft insurance policy is a valuable add-on, but it is not worth enough to justify paying $299 per year for your registered agent service.
LegalZoom is enormous, so when it comes to finding answers to your specific questions about Hawaii registered agent services, it is easy to get lost.
LegalZoom has a great reputation in the legal services industry and they can serve as a one-stop-shop for all your legal needs.
As your registered agent in Hawaii, they will cover all the basics and also include some valuable perks such as identity theft insurance. In the end, however, it is not enough to justify their enormous price tag. You can get more individualized service at better rates elsewhere.
Check out LegalZoom here.
4. ZenBusiness Review
ZenBusiness is a relative newcomer to the registered agent business. They are a very successful LLC formation company that began offering registered agent service just to their clients who formed a company with them.
They have since expanded their registered agent service to everyone, but have not yet fully optimized the offering. They offer a standard service with an address in Hawaii that’s open during regular business hours, from which they forward, scan and upload your mail. That’s all fine and good, but if you want premium services such as compliance alerts, that will cost you extra.
For whatever reason, ZenBusiness decided to offer a two-tiered pricing system that manages to miss its mark both in the budget and in the premium categories. Their budget service ($99) offers fewer services than Harbor Compliance, and their premium service ($149) is more expensive than Northwest Registered Agent.
ZenBusiness is so good at other aspects of their business, especially LLC formation, that I’m hopeful they’ll come to their senses about their pricing system soon. Stay tuned.
5. IncFile Review
IncFile is a responsible Hawaii registered agent that does a good job with the basics. They won’t mishandle service of process or other important legal documents and they’ll keep you in good standing with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
They don’t offer compliance alerts, and at their $119 price point, you can either save money and go with Harbor Compliance or spend five extra dollars and hire Northwest Registered Agent.
6. Rocket Lawyer Review
Rocket Lawyer is a less expensive version of LegalZoom that offers many of the same advantages and disadvantages as its larger competition. They are a one-stop, legal shop that won’t offer you a great level of personal service.
Even though they are $150 cheaper than LegalZoom, they’re still relatively expensive ($149) compared with companies that are more focused on their Hawaii registered agent service.
7. Sundoc Filings Review
Sundoc Filings is another poorly-priced, national registered agent. Their limited offerings, which don’t include compliance alerts, would suggest that they consider themselves a budget service, but their price ($159) is certainly not a budget price. You can get a lot more and pay a lot less at other registered agents.
8. InCorp Review
InCorp is a national, commercial registered agent that offers a very good budget service with a physical street address in Hawaii that is open during business hours and all the other essentials. If it weren’t for one very important oversight, they would be in competition with Harbor Compliance for the title of best budget registered agent service.
Unfortunately, however, they’ve neglected their online system. Their website makes me long for the days of the telegraph and other more convenient, reliable modes of communication. InCorp must be aware of the problem, but they seem unwilling to make the proper investment to fix it.
9. Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings is another Hawaii registered agent who seems to have stumbled upon their price point by chance rather than by accurately assessing their level of service. They charge $149 per year for a very pedestrian service that won’t give you peace of mind or satisfy your budget.
10. CSC Global Review
Based solely on what they charge for their service, CSC Global belongs in the “premium” category as they cost $299 per year, but the quality of their service does not live up to that price. For such an expensive service, you would expect some serious perks, but alas, they don’t even offer compliance alerts.
One of the few perks that CSC Global does offer is that if you switch to CSC Global, they will pick up the fees associated with changing your registered agent. Those fees can be expensive, so there is some value in this offer, but whatever money you save will soon be swallowed up by CSC Global’s expensive annual fees.
11. Registered Agents Inc. Review
Registered Agents Inc. loses points for name originality, high fees ($200 annually) and a limited service that doesn’t go much beyond the basics. You can find another company to issue you a street address, act as your point of contact with the state of Hawaii and forward your mail, that will charge you substantially less and offer you quite a bit more. They’ll probably have a more clever name as well.
12. Jumpstart Filings Review
Jumpstart Filings is a national registered agent with a fairly competitive rate ($129) but beyond a registered office and mail forwarding, they don’t offer a whole lot. For $129 you can afford Northwest Registered Agent and have $4 left over for a good cup of coffee.
Registered Agent Review Summary
As part of my exhaustive research, I looked at more than 60 registered agents active in Hawaii. I found 12 that were worthy of further review, but just one stood out as the best — Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent ranked highest in nearly every category I evaluated. From the essential services such as protecting your personal assets to useful add-ons like compliance alerts, they are the best.
They also offer a very intuitive easy-to-use web portal and their signup process is hassle-free.
On top of that, their customer service team is the most experienced, knowledgeable team in the industry, and will support you with not only your registered agent enquiries, but also help with any small business challenges you’re facing. For $125 per state year, you can’t get better value.
If your business deserves to be guided and protected by the best registered agent in Hawaii, go to Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
This is how I determined the best Hawaii registered agent.
Why You Should Trust Me
You won’t find too many people who have spent as much time researching registered agents as I have.
When I started my first company, I didn’t think twice about who would serve as my registered agent in Hawaii. There was simply too much else to worry about, and it didn’t seem like a big decision. The more I thought about it, however, the more I wanted to make sure I picked the right registered agent.
After all, this would be the company that handled my most important legal and regulatory documents. They would literally hold the fate of my company in their hands. If they mishandled service or process, for example, there could be severe legal repercussions for my business.
Once I realized what was at stake, I began researching in earnest.
I started by going through a mountain of registered agent’s marketing materials. I wanted to get a sense of what companies offered what services. The more materials I went through, the more I began to understand the vast disparity between registered agents. Of the 60 agents I examined, some offered a wide range of services and others offered little more than hype.
From there I waded deep into the murky waters of online reviews. It can be hard to determine fact from fiction in some reviews, but I read enough entries on enough review sites to get a very good picture of which Hawaii registered agents were legitimate and which were merely after my money.
I also called the registered agents directly. I spent so much time on the phone, I can still hum the hold music from more than a handful of registered agents.
As I was researching, I talked to friends in the local business community. Some of them were also in the process of selecting a commercial registered agent in Hawaii and were as bewildered as I had been about all the various options.
Many fellow business owners complained about the lack of reliable research on registered agents, so I began to share my findings. At first, I just shared it with my circle of friends, but eventually, through this website, I’ve been able to help thousands. I hope I can be of help to you too.
How I Selected The Best Registered Agent
I used a four-stage process to select the best registered agent in Hawaii.
Stage 1: Reviews
I was able to eliminate a number of less-than-honest registered agents by simply going through online reviews. I went through quite a few different review sites such as Facebook, Google Business, the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot.
Some reviews seem manipulated by the registered agents themselves, but after you read enough, certain patterns emerge. I began to see a number of complaints about registered agents who charged significantly more than their advertised price. They would heavily promote one price, usually in the $39-$59 range, without disclosing that this price only covered your initial signup. The true annual cost of their service would be more than twice as much as advertised.
I eliminated almost 50 registered agents that used this pricing strategy. A registered agent must be, above all, a company I can trust. If they are trying to deceive me from the onset, I’m taking my business elsewhere.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
For my next step, I went through the websites of the 12 registered agents that hadn’t eliminated themselves. I read from the banner headlines to the fine print in order to determine exactly what products and services they offered as part of their registered agent service. When I needed clarification, I didn’t hesitate to call customer service.
The registered agent business seems pretty simple, but I found 24 distinct services offered by the 12 remaining registered agents. To see what Hawaii registered agent service offered the most comprehensive service, I made a spreadsheet charting which of the 24 services each agent offered.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
Merely offering a service isn’t the same as executing it well, so I wanted to talk to real customers to see how their registered agents were performing specific services. I was lucky in that I had a network of local business owners and was able to ask them direct questions about their experiences with their registered agents.
Now that this website is live, I’ve been getting feedback about registered agents from a number of readers who are doing business in Hawaii. I’m very grateful for the contribution and will continue updating this site with any new information I receive.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
My final stage was to circle back to the companies themselves. Now that I knew them inside and out, I wanted to question them directly on some of the criticisms I’d heard regarding their service.
Of course, the sales teams at any registered agent will sugarcoat everything, but how they responded to my questions taught me a lot about their corporate culture. It became very easy to discern which registered agents were open to customer feedback and which weren’t at all interested in improving their service.
Factor 1: Offerings
Like I said above, registered agents offer a surprising variety of services for such a simple business.
Every registered agent offers a registered office at a Hawaii street address which is open during normal business hours. They all accept legal documents and service of process on behalf of your business and they all forward these documents to you.
They will all serve as your point of contact with the state of Hawaii Business Registration Division and the Department of Commerce and Commercial Affairs, and, theoretically at least, will keep your name and address off the public record.
For many registered agents that is the extent of their offerings, but other agents offer a lot more.
Additional services offered by registered agents include compliance alerts, personalized business calendars, scanning and uploading services, different types of online portals, fee reimbursement related to a change of registered agent and identity theft insurance, to name just some.
I made a list of 24 distinct services offered by my top 12 registered agents and went through each registered agent’s website and confirmed with a phone call exactly which of these services they offered. I then ranked each registered agent according to the number of services they offered.
Factor 2: Value
It can be hard to discern value in the registered agent world because companies use a variety of different pricing schemes and offer a variety of different services. For example, some registered agents charge a baseline fee for essential services and a higher rate if you add conveniences such as compliance alerts.
I also encountered a number of registered agents who advertised a signup fee but charged you a higher rate for annual service. I eliminated this group from my final list, but pricing amongst my top 12 was still quite varied.
In the end, the simplest way to measure value was to determine who offered the most services at the lowest rate.
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
Of course, your time also has value, a fact that seems to have been lost upon whoever is responsible for the signup systems of some of the registered agents I surveyed. You’d be amazed at their ability to turn what should be a simple process into a colossal time suck.
I signed up for all 12 registered agents listed above and rated them according to how simple and efficient their signup process was.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
Unsurprisingly, some of the agents who had difficult signups also had trouble with designing an efficient website.
I went through all 12 sites, established an online account and tried to complete a number of simple tasks. I tried to upload and access documents as well as make profile changes and use my online portal for those agents that had one. I noted each time I ran into issues and rated each site according to how user-friendly and intuitive they were.
Factor 5: Customer Service
You probably won’t need to have your registered agent’s number on speed dial, but should an issue arise with your annual report or other state-required filings, your registered agent must be able to guide you to a quick resolution.
A good customer service team can save you from the monstrous headaches that can come with dealing with the Business Registration Division, allowing you to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of running your business.
I called the customer service teams of each of my top 12 registered agents and asked them some standard questions. I based my ratings on how accurate, efficient and courteous they were.
The Best Hawaii Registered Agent Results Summary
I’ve investigated over 60 registered agent services and reviewed the top 12. Here are my top three picks.
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.10/10)
After I completed my exhaustive research and rating process, Northwest Registered Agent came out as the clear winner. They finished at number one in almost every factor I considered and their customer service is infinitely better than most other registered agents on this list.
Northwest Registered Agent executes all the functions Hawaii requires of a registered agent leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business. They assign you a physical address and will keep your personal name and address off the public record. They also responsibly handle service of process, other legal documents and communication from the state of Hawaii on behalf of your business.
Northwest is also more than willing to go the extra mile as exemplified by their extended offerings such as compliance alerts, a personalized filing calendar and an internet portal to which they immediately upload your most critical documents. They are also available in every state, should you choose to also conduct business on the mainland.
What truly sets them apart from their competitors is their customer service department. Northwest Registered Agent has invested a lot of money into training and retaining the best service reps, and it is apparent from the moment they pick up the phone. Your call will be answered by someone of considerable knowledge and experience, rather than an answering machine that tries to push you to check out the FAQs on a website.
All that, and they charge the very competitive price of $125 per state per year.
If you want the right Hawaii registered agent for your budget and your peace of mind, go to Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Budget Registered Agent – Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance isn’t in the same league as Northwest Registered Agent when it comes to customer service, but if your budget is your main priority, they will save you $26 per year while providing reliable service.
Harbor Compliance doesn’t offer a lot of frills, but they cover the essentials. You can trust that they will be responsible for service of process and other critical documents. They have an online portal to which they upload any correspondence you receive. Their website isn’t without its flaws, but it gets the job done.
They are a perfectly adequate registered agent. Hawaii business owners could do better, but they could also do a lot worse than Harbor Compliance.
If you can do without superb customer service and want a budget service that gets the job done, go to Harbor Compliance.
Best Premium Registered Agent – LegalZoom (6.59/10)
When you are first getting acquainted with all the registered agents operating in Hawaii, finding a recognizable name like LegalZoom can be a welcome sight. They are well-known, reliable and have a great reputation.
Their Hawaii registered agent service does come with some great perks, like free identity theft insurance, but it is extremely expensive ($299). They charge three times the annual price of Harbor Compliance and double that of Northwest Registered Agent. At some point, their “free” add-ons don’t seem so free, and you can find better service at a cheaper price elsewhere.
If you have no budget whatsoever and appreciate add-ons such as free identity theft insurance, LegalZoom is the best premium commercial registered agent option in Hawaii.
Check out LegalZoom.
Choosing a Hawaii registered agent might not be your top priority as you go through the endless work required to start and run your own business. It is not a decision you should take lightly, however. When you consider that all of your company’s most critical paperwork will first pass through the hands of your registered agent, you get a sense of how much is at stake.
When I finally realized what a critical role my registered agent would have in the future of my business, I took my decision seriously and did my homework. I looked at more than 60 registered agents operating in Hawaii, weeded out the less-than-honest agents and ended up with a top 12. I vetted those 12 very carefully with a four-stage process that rated them by five factors. In the end, there was a clear winner, Northwest Registered Agent.
They offers just about everything you could possibly want from your registered agent:
- Protection of your personal data and assets
- A Hawaii street address for receiving all your critical documents
- Mail forwarding, scanning and uploading
- Near-instant access to your documents through your online portal
- Help with the formation of your business entity
- Compliance alerts so you don’t miss key deadlines
- A personalized filing calendar
Beyond that, they employ an incredibly experienced group of former lawyers, accountants and entrepreneurs as their customer service team. They can help guide your business through whatever challenges you encounter.
All this at one of the best rates in Hawaii, $125 per year.
If you want the best registered agent in Hawaii to guard your personal assets and guide your business through thick and thin, go to Northwest Registered Agent.
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