Choosing the right registered agent service or resident agent is an important decision that can have a major impact on your Maryland business.
The right Maryland registered agent will make sure that your personal information is kept safe and off the public record and will ensure that your LLC meets its legal obligations.
The wrong Maryland registered agent will cause problems for your business, such as legal problems if they aren’t making sure that your business is meeting its legal obligations.
I started with a list of over 60 different registered agents or resident agents in Maryland, rated the top 12 and then wrote detailed reviews about the top three. Here my choices for the registered agent in Maryland:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
My choice for the #1 best registered agent in Maryland is Northwest Registered Agent. They provide all of the services your business needs in order to meet its legal requirements, they charge a competitive fee and their customer service is the best in the entire registered agent industry.
There are a lot of perks to Northwest Registered Agent’s services.
They provide your business with all of the services that a Maryland resident agent must in order to meet the legal requirements of LLCs according to laws in the state of Maryland.
They’ll scan ALL of your mail and legal documents (not just the legal documents) the same day they’re received and upload them to an online portal. And, they give you compliance filing alerts to let you know about important filing deadlines (like your annual report).
You’ll find that their system is both easy to set up and to navigate. It’s even easy to sign up for registered agent service in multiple states or for multiple years and it can all be done through the same online system because Northwest is a national registered agent.
But their best feature is their customer service.
They’re US-based and consist of former lawyers, entrepreneurs, business owners and accountants with extensive business knowledge. Aside from simply providing customer service, they also offer business support.
They charge a fee of only $125 per state per year, making them an affordable option.
Their biggest flaw is also their best feature: their comprehensive approach to customer service.
The fact that they ask so many questions and are so patient with customers can be a real pain if you’re in a hurry. In fact, if you’re pressed for time it’s often simpler to just look up your question on Google.
Northwest Registered Agent will provide your Limited Liability Company (LLC) with all of the registered agent services it needs to meet its legal obligations, while also providing your business with an easy-to-use, online system – all for only $125 per state per year.
When you also consider their industry-leading, customer service team and business support, it’s easy to see why I chose them as the best Maryland registered agent service.
If you need a Maryland registered agent service that will provide your LLC with support through all its stages of business development while still offering a low price, check out Northwest Registered Agent here:
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
If you’re more concerned about spending the absolute least you can on a Maryland registered agent service, Harbor Compliance is a solid choice.
Harbor Compliance provides all of the services that a Maryland resident agent must, plus it includes compliance alerts to let you know about important deadlines (like your annual report).
You’ll also notice that their online system is easy to set up and to use.
My biggest complaint about Harbor Compliance is that all of their services may be good, but none of their registered agent services are exceptionally great.
They don’t supply any services that feel like perks or extras, their online system could use a few changes to fix a few glitches and make it even easier to use, and their customer service team won’t answer your business questions.
Harbor Compliance is a Maryland registered agent service that will provide your company with all of the services it needs in order to meet its legal obligations, at the lowest price of any legitimate registered agent service on my list, but the quality of their services feels lacking when compared with Northwest Registered Agent.
You can read about Harbor Compliance’s Maryland registered agent service here: Harbor Compliance.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom is my #1 pick for best premium Maryland registered agent service.
LegalZoom is a big company that is known and respected throughout the business world because of their reputation for the other services they provide (for example, templates for legal documents). They’re also a premium Maryland registered agent service.
On top of all the usual services you expect from a registered agent service, LegalZoom offers up to $1,000,000 in identity theft protection.
They charge $299 per state per year for their registered agent services and the only premium service you get for this price is the identity theft protection.
The other problem is that they specialize in legal document templates, so their registered agent services aren’t optimized, and they definitely aren’t prioritized. Because of this their customer service team isn’t as knowledgeable about the registered agent service as they are about LegalZoom’s other services, which results in a customer service team that’s less than useful.
While LegalZoom is a well-known name in the business world, their premium Maryland registered agent service leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re already doing business with LegalZoom for something else, or if you have some logical reason to require your identity theft protection and your resident agent be on the same bill, then LegalZoom may be worth it to you. But otherwise, it’s unnecessarily pricey.
You can learn about LegalZoom here: LegalZoom
ZenBusiness is a tricky registered agent service to rate. For starters, they offer two different price tiers.
The first price tier covers some of the most basic resident agent services. This tier costs $99 per state per year. But to get some of the more crucial registered agent services, like compliance alerts, you’ll have to pay an additional $50 per state per year.
ZenBusiness focuses primarily on their LLC formation services, which is probably why their resident agent services are so unimpressive.
You can read about ZenBusiness’s agent service in Maryland here: ZenBusiness
Read my full ZenBusiness review and learn about the services they offer.
IncFile provides the bare minimum services. Of course, they provide your LLC with an address in the state of Maryland and accept mail and service of process on your behalf, but they don’t provide compliance alerts or any “extras”.
They charge $119 per state per year for these minimal services, too.
You can learn more about IncFile here: IncFile
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a cheap knockoff of LegalZoom that isn’t that much cheaper.
Just like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers registered agent services, their agent services aren’t the focus of their business. But, they charge $125 per year and they don’t provide the same quality or quantity of services that Northwest Registered Agent does.
You can read about Rocket Lawyer here: Rocket Lawyer
7. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings is yet another agent service in Maryland that offers very little but charges a lot. Your LLC will get little more from their services than an address in the state and mail forwarding. They don’t even offer any sort of compliance alerts but they have the audacity to charge $159 per state per year for their services.
If you’d still like to read about SunDoc Filings for some reason, you can do so here: SunDoc Filings
InCorp was an interesting agent business to review. It’s another registered agent company that makes it difficult to determine whether it’s worth the cost.
They provide the same type of full-service agent services that you would expect. And they only charge $99 per state per year for their services which puts them in the same price range as Harbor Compliance.
The downside is that their system is so confusing and outright frustrating to use that it lost major points.
You can learn about InCorp here: InCorp
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is an LLC formation service that also provides registered agent services in Maryland. However, other than the fact that they can help your LLC draft its Articles of Organization, the registered agent services they provide are beyond minimal, yet they charge $159 per state per year for these minimal services.
You can read about Swyft Filings here: Swyft Filings
If you'd like to know more about Swift Filings' services, please read my full Swift Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a “premium” registered agent. They offer the full-service options you’d expect from them as your Maryland registered office, but they don’t offer compliance alerts. Shockingly, they charge $299 per state per year for their simplistic services.
The only “premium” service that they offer for this price is they cover any state fees or filing fees you may incur when you file to change your Maryland registered agent and sign up for their services.
You can learn more about CSC Global here: CSC Global
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. is the only agent on my list that focuses solely on registered agent services.The problem is that they charge $200 for minimal services.
You can read more about Registered Agents Inc. here: Registered Agents Inc.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is yet another registered agent in Maryland that provides scant services. They charge $129 per year, which is $4 more than Northwest Registered Agent and the service you receive is not even half the quality of Northwest’s.
You can read about Jumpstart Filings here: Jumpstart Filings
Registered Agent Review Summary
I started with a list of over 60 different registered agent services in Maryland and through a thorough review process found that the highest-rated registered agent service in Maryland is Northwest Registered Agent.
They provide your business with all of the services it needs to remain a legally functioning LLC, and also have the best customer service team in the registered agent industry. What’s more, they do all of this for only $125 per state per year.
Sign up for Northwest Registered Agent to get the best registered agent service in the state here: Northwest Registered Agent
Maryland Registered Agent Review Methodology
These are the methods and logic I used to come to my conclusions.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me because I’ve spent more time researching and dealing with the registered agent industry than most people.
It all started when I had to find a registered agent for my two businesses.
I wanted the best registered agent I could get. So I did a ton of research and read loads of promotional pamphlets.
I read more online reviews and spent more time on the phone with customer service teams than was reasonable.
I’ve also helped thousands of people to find the right registered agent to suit their business needs.
Since the creation of this site I’ve helped save thousands of people countless hours of research as well as helping them choose the right registered agent for their business, and I can help you too!
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
This is the 4-stage investigative process I used for the list I started with of over 60 registered agents in the state.
Stage 1: Reviews
I read reviews left on Facebook, TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau, and Google Business. This initial stage was important because it helped me to identify over 50 different registered agent businesses that were either all-out scams or used unethical pricing practices. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
I logged onto each company’s business website and took note of their “About” page, checked out their service packages on their sales pages, made sure they had a local Maryland location, noted how many methods of contact they displayed for their customer service teams (phone, email, chat), and then called their customer service team if anything was unclear.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
I reached out to people who had visited my site, both new visitors and those whom I’d helped to find a registered agent. I asked them about their experiences with their registered agent and how satisfied they were with that company’s services. This was a pretty revealing stage as well because it gave me an idea of what it’s like to deal with each company.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
You can learn a lot about the behind-the-scenes culture of a company by speaking to their sales team. So, I gathered up all of the negative comments, feedback and issues I’d found with the services, called each company’s sales team and asked them very direct questions about them. The answers they gave let me see how they dealt with feedback.
Once I completed my 4-stage investigation process, I was left with only 12 different companies. Here is the system I used to rate them.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first rating factor, offerings, is arguably the most important. If the registered agent you’re considering appointing doesn’t offer the services your company needs, the rest of the factors are inconsequential.
Many companies provide mail forwarding, scanning documents and uploading them to an online portal and keeping your personal information off the public record. Others offer things like compliance alerts and provide LLC formation services. Still others offer premium services like paying for filing fees and providing identity theft insurance.
Factor 2: Value
The most important pricing factor is whether their services are worth the fee they charge.
Unfortunately, the price range of registered agent services varies widely from $39 basic services to $299 for premium services, making it difficult to determine what a good price is.
During the course of my research, I found that the companies that offered services for $39-$59 per year used a deceptive pricing technique. For that price, you get services that are less than minimal. In order to get the services you actually need from these companies, you have to pay additional fees that sometimes cost more than premium services.
You’ll notice that none of these companies are on my list because of their shady practices.
Factor 3: Ease of Signup
I actually signed up for each of the 12 registered agent services on my list in order to test this factor.
Did the agent have an automated, simple, signup process, or did they require biometric identification confirmation and heaps of paperwork be sent to some sketchy-seeming P.O. Box in a foreign land?
Factor 4: Ease of Use
I saved you a headache by finding out for myself how difficult each system was to use.
I logged into each agent’s system to determine how easy they were to navigate. I did this by performing relatively simple tasks and took note if I got stuck during the tasks.
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how simple a registered agent’s online system is, you or someone in your office will eventually have a question about it. Good customer service is really crucial in these instances.
The way I tested each agent’s customer service team was to call them and ask them a fairly simple question. I noted whether they solved my problem efficiently, how courteous the team was, how quickly they responded to me, and how many people I had to speak with in order to resolve my problem or answer my question.
The Best Maryland Registered Agent Results Summary
I investigated over 60 different registered agents and then rated the top 12. Here are the best three registered agent services in Maryland:
Best Overall Registered Agent — Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
The reason I chose Northwest Registered Agent for my #1 spot is they offer all of the services your company needs, all of the services you want, they only charge $125 per year and they provide the best customer service in the industry.
But their biggest draw is their customer service.
With their business support service, their team offers you sound advice that will help you get and keep your business on the right track and moving forward in the future.
If you want a registered agent that can help support your business from formation to expansion and beyond, sign up for Northwest Registered Agent today here: Northwest Registered Agent
If you don’t believe me about the quality of their services, there are over 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews online that indicate that my experience with them wasn’t just a fluke.
Best Budget Registered Agent — Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance is a good option if you’re low on funds.
They offer most of the same basic services that Northwest Registered Agent does. However, you won’t get all of the same features, and their customer service team isn’t on the same level as Northwest’s.
You can read about Harbor Compliance here: Harbor Compliance
There's a lot more to Harbor Compliance's service than I tell you about here. Read my full Harbor Compliance review for more details on their service and offerings.
Best Premium Registered Agent — Legal Zoom (6.59/10)
LegalZoom is a good option if you’re looking for a premium registered agent. A lot of the other premium agents I researched didn’t offer services that were as good as LegalZoom’s.
They provide nearly all of the basic services your company needs, except compliance alerts.
The only real premium service they offer is up to $1,000,000 in identity theft protection for your LLC, but it’s $299 per year.
You can learn more about LegalZoom here.
Making sure that you appoint the right registered agent is crucial to ensure business success, keeping your company in good legal standing and keeping your personal details off the public record.
I investigated over 60 different registered agent services and my investigation concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Maryland.
This is because they include all of the services you need for your LLC, their online system is easy-to-navigate, they have an industry-leading quality customer service team who can answer nearly any question you have about running your business and they’re only $125 per year.
If you want the very best registered agent that Maryland has to offer, head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.