Appointing a Massachusetts registered agent (AKA resident agent) is a vital step to forming your own LLC or business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The right Massachusetts registered agent will provide all the right services to ensure that you’re compliant with all the state laws and regulations established by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
The wrong Massachusetts registered agent will neglect to provide compliance alerts or annual report reminders to remind you of important filing deadlines, fail to notify you upon receiving Service of Process from a process server, and could threaten the stability of your entire business.
I checked out more than 60 different registered agent services in the state of Massachusetts, rated the top 12, and then wrote detailed reviews about the top three. Here are my recommendations for the best registered agent in Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
1.Northwest Registered Agent—9.13/10 (Best Overall Registered Agent)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top recommendation for the best Massachusetts registered agent service because they provide everything you need in a registered agent service while also offering industry-leading small business advice (not just support).
Northwest Registered Agent sets the standard for the Massachusetts registered agent service industry.
When you choose Northwest Registered Agent, they not only accept Service of Process from a process server and all your mail and legal documents on behalf of your business and provide you with a Massachusetts street address, but they also provide you with several additional features that make running your business easier.
But they don't just receive mail and legal documents on behalf of your business, they also scan and upload all your mail to an online service the same day it’s received. They provide an online account to access these uploads 24/7 and, on top of all that, they also provide compliance alerts and annual report reminders so that your business won’t miss an important LLC filing date (for things such as annual reports) and risk trouble with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
But the biggest reason Northwest Registered Agent gets the gold medal is their outstanding customer service team.
Their US-based team is composed of people who used to be professional accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Instead of just answering questions about your application progress and how to reset your password, they draw from their own business experiences to answer any questions you have about starting, managing, and growing your business.
This level of advice can cost more than $5,000/day, but if you choose Northwest Registered Agent, they include it in their rate of only $125 per state per year.
There really aren’t many negative remarks I can make about Northwest Registered Agent. I only had a negative experience with them on a few occasions, and ironically these experiences involved their best service—their customer service.
Even though their customer service was excellent in most scenarios, there were a few times where I felt they were being too thorough with their questions and taking up too much time. In these situations, I only needed a short and simple answer but I ended up feeling like I would have gotten faster results from Google.
In all honesty, this is a nonissue, as these occasions were infrequent. And having a customer service team with that level of dedication is hardly a bad thing.
Northwest Registered Agent is the right choice for your business if you want a Massachusetts registered agent service that provides all the basic registered agent services and quality enhancements designed to make your LLC thrive. They provide the highest quality service in the state at a fantastic value with phenomenal customer service and business support.
If you want a registered agent that will support your growing business, check out Northwest Registered Agent today.
2. Harbor Compliance—7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance ranks second on my list of best Massachusetts registered agent services because they do all the basics at the best price, but lack the small business advice available with Northwest Registered Agent.
Harbor Compliance’s service package ensures that your LLC is compliant with all the Massachusetts state regulations and laws regarding LLCs.
Their Massachusetts registered agent service doesn’t really raise industry standards the way that Northwest Registered Agent’s does, though. They provide the necessities, like providing a registered office street address, scanning and uploading your legal documents from official state offices like the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth to an online portal which you can access with an online account, mail forwarding, and receiving Service of Process from a process server for your business as a registered agent must in the state of Massachusetts.
They also provide a user-friendly, online system and include compliance alerts similar to Northwest Registered Agent, so you still get annual report reminders with Harbor Compliance that will assist with your Massachusetts LLC filing requirements.
Although they provide decent services for your Massachusetts business, nothing that Harbor Compliance offers really shines or stands out.
They provide standard services that will keep your LLC in good standing, but leave out the extras and features. Their customer service team, while adequate, is hardly the expert customer service team at Northwest and they won’t answer all your important business questions to keep your LLC on track. Their online system is still buggy and can be frustrating to use sometimes, so it could use some work.
In short, Harbor Compliance is good for your budget but not strictly the best Massachusetts registered agent overall.
If you prefer using lower-cost alternatives for your Massachusetts business, Harbor Compliance is worth considering for your resident agent or registered agent service.
Though their services aren’t exceptional, Harbor Compliance does provide decent service at a low cost and budget-friendly rate of $99 per state per year, which is the lowest-priced resident agent service in the state.
So if you don’t feel the need for the extra resident agent features or excellent customer service, you can read about Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom—6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom takes the medal in a very poorly fought matchup for the best premium Massachusetts registered agent by offering something that most people don’t need at a crazy price.
LegalZoom is well-known for their business services, and their reputation as a trusted business entity (not just in the state but nationwide) means that when they promise a set of services for your business, you can be sure they’ll deliver.
They will make sure your business complies with the LLC laws and regulations of the state of Massachusetts as a registered agent must, and they’ll make keeping your LLC in good standing a simple process even if they are a bit costly.
Some of the standard resident agent services they provide include a registered office with a physical address in the state for your LLC to use, accepting mail and legal documents on behalf of your business during business hours, scanning your documents, and uploading them to an online portal for you to access anytime.
They’ll also cover any state filing fee associated with filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent should you choose to change your current Massachusetts registered agent to their service.
LegalZoom charges $299 per state per year and included with that offer is a $1,000,000 identity theft insurance policy. With today’s market being so heavily reliant on technology, this insurance can grant you some serious peace of mind when it comes to cybercrime and online criminals.
Unfortunately, you and LegalZoom may have different definitions of the word “premium.” Their service package doesn’t include as many features or extras as Northwest Registered Agent, and they seem to rely primarily on their reputation to attract new clients.
LegalZoom specializes in providing templated legal documents for businesses; therefore their Massachusetts registered agent service is lackluster. As a result of them not focusing on the resident agent aspect of their business, their online system is poorly optimized for their registered agent services, and the customer service team is lacking as well.
Although they do offer identity theft insurance, similar protection plans are available at less than the $176 price difference between LegalZoom and Northwest Registered Agent’s Massachusetts registered agent service, and there typically isn’t a state filing fee associated with filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent that high either, so there isn’t much value there.
Although they have a good reputation and are established in the business world, LegalZoom fails to offer the same kind of value as other companies. Their service package is very pricey and lacks features provided by others at cheaper rates, and their customer support team isn’t as helpful either. And while it’s true they can be trusted to deliver on promised services, they don’t seem to promise much.
Unless you absolutely must have identity theft insurance with your registered agent services, or are already using LegalZoom’s other services, there are better resident agent deals available on the market in the state.
If you need an LLC formation service on top of a Massachusetts registered agent, ZenBusiness may be a good choice for you. In addition to offering assistance with your Certificate of Organization or Articles of Organization, ZenBusiness also provides two different Massachusetts registered agent service packages.
The first package is priced at $99 per year and includes all the basics a Massachusetts registered agent should provide. They’ll forward your mail, receive Service of Process and legal documents, give your business a registered office and street address in the state of Massachusetts to use, and be your point of contact during regular business hours.
The second service package includes all the features of the first, but also adds a compliance filing alert system, assisting with keeping track of all those important filing dates for your LLC for an additional $50.
Considering that ZenBusiness is primarily an LLC formation service and that Northwest Registered Agent provides compliance filing alerts at a lower cost, ZenBusiness is only a good choice if you’re already subscribed to their other business services and would prefer to keep your expenses under one account.
For my full review of ZenBusiness, click here.
IncFile is another registered agent in Massachusetts that fails to bring anything remarkable to the table. Their resident agent offerings are minimal and they provide barely more than the required services of a resident agent in the state of Massachusetts.
IncFile will act as your legal point of contact during regular business hours, provide your LLC with a registered office physical address in the state of Massachusetts, and receive your Service of Process and important legal notices; however, they don’t provide the additional services or features, such as annual report filing reminders or compliance alerts, that other Massachusetts registered agent services do.
Even though their Massachusetts resident agent service is only $119 per state per year, Northwest Registered Agent provides far better service for only $6 more. With this in mind, I don’t recommend IncFile for the Massachusetts registered agent service for your LLC.
6. Rocket Lawyer
Presenting itself as a budget-friendly alternative to LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, unfortunately, fails to do any more than most other registered agents in Massachusetts.
Their Massachusetts registered agent services are priced at $149 per state per year and although you get the necessities for your LLC (such as a legal point of contact, registered office and physical address in the state, and receiving Service of Process), Rocket Lawyer doesn’t provide any extra features or services (such as filing reminders for annual reports) to make their offer worth considering.
Since you get more for less with Northwest Registered Agent, Rocket Lawyer isn’t the best registered agent Massachusetts has to offer.
7. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings is another unremarkable Massachusetts resident agent and registered agent service, only providing the bare minimum services a Massachusetts registered agent must. SunDoc Filings only provides a registered office as your legal point of contact during regular business hours, street address, mail forwarding, online document access, and scanning of your important legal documents.
So while you get a registered office address in Massachusetts and a few basic services, SunDoc Filings lacks any kind of multi-year purchasing discounts, annual report filing reminders, or other features provided by Northwest Registered Agent. Consider choosing another company for your registered agent in Massachusetts.
A bit of an odd entry on this list is InCorp. InCorp offers services similar to Harbor Compliance and even matches their rate of $99 per year. InCorp provides an office address in the state of Massachusetts, online document access, compliance filing alerts, and multistate registration as well as several other services.
However, the reason InCorp dropped so low on this list is their online system, which is possibly one of the worst customer experiences I’ve had. Their system is poorly designed, confusing, and filled with bugs and technical glitches which make the entire experience very user-unfriendly.
Considering you get a much better experience and a more user-friendly system with Northwest Registered Agent, I can’t recommend InCorp for your Massachusetts registered agent service or other business needs.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is yet another LLC formation service that offers a Massachusetts resident agent service in addition to assisting with your Certificate of Organization or Articles of Organization. Their package doesn’t provide any more than the most basic services and with a rate of $149 per state per year, they aren’t the best registered agent Massachusetts has to offer.
For more on Swyft Filings, check out my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is another would-be “Premium Service” on my Massachusetts registered agent list. Their service fee is an expensive $299 per year and while CSC Global will provide you with services like an office address in the state, important document scanning, and online document access, they fail to provide any other noteworthy service to justify the cost of their services.
The one service they provide that is worth mentioning is that CSC Global will cover any state fees or fee for filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form when you change your registered agent service to theirs. However, I’m not aware of any state fees (or any filing fee for that matter) charged when filing a Statement of Change form that justifies this price.
With their steep price and lack of features (such as reminders for annual report filing), I cannot recommend CSC Global over Northwest Registered Agent.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. stands out as the only company on this list and in that state that exclusively offers registered agent services. This specialization comes at a cost of $200 per state per year, and their “specialization” is severely lacking. Registered Agents Inc. only provides the absolute bare minimum service in their offerings. You’ll get little more than an office address in the state and a point of contact to accept your mail and Service of Process. If you need a Massachusetts registered agent, I recommend looking elsewhere.
To read about Registered Agents Inc. click here.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Coming in dead last on this list is Jumpstart Filings. As you would expect from their ranking, Jumpstart Filings provides minimal service that fails to justify their rate of $129 per year. Jumpstart Filings only provides you with a registered office address and will be available to receive Service of Process during regular business hours on behalf of your LLC.
Considering that they don’t even offer mail forwarding with their service and their rate is higher than that of Northwest Registered Agent, don’t waste your time with Jumpstart Filings. Instead, consider hiring another Massachusetts registered agent.
To learn about Jumpstart Filings and their minimal services, click here.
Registered Agent Review Summary
With over 60 candidates to investigate, narrowing it down to just the top 12 registered agents in Massachusetts was a difficult process. But after that process and reviewing the top 12, I found that the best registered agent in Massachusetts is Northwest Registered Agent.
They provide all the services your business in Massachusetts will need to survive and thrive. From compliance filing alerts and accepting Service of Process to same-day scanning of all your mail and documents and an outstanding, US-based customer support team that includes former lawyers, entrepreneurs, and business owners, all bases are covered.
At only $125 per state per year, no other service comes close to the value they provide.
If you need a new registered agent that will make keeping your business in good standing with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth a breeze, and make it easy to maintain a registered agent, contact Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
This is how I identified the best registered agent.
Why You Should Trust Me
The primary reason you should trust me is I’ve endured this incredibly tedious process on my own. When I needed to find a registered agent for my own two businesses, there wasn’t any kind of guide or rankings chart available to help me refine my search.
I didn’t want to deal with the hassles of government bureaucracy and the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, or the stress of worrying about missing any important filing dates for my business. This meant I had to invest a large amount of my time in finding the best registered agent service, one that would allow my business to grow and thrive.
This process was long and difficult. There were oceans of promotional material that I had to sift through in order to get any trustworthy information. I spent countless hours chatting up sales representatives and customer support teams, pouring over online reviews, and talking with customers about their own experiences to find out which of the more than 60 services was the best.
Since launching my website I’ve helped thousands of people, including close friends and family, save all the time it took me to find the right registered agent for their own businesses. Thousands of people, just like you, have been able to use this guide to save countless hours of researching to find the best registered agent service available.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
Here are the four stages I used for my investigative process:
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage in finding the best Massachusetts registered agent is reading the online reviews for each business. I spent hours on sites like Facebook, TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau, and Google reading countless reviews for the registered agents I was investigating. This helped me see the bigger picture and figure out which services were worth my time and which ones weren’t.
This stage also allowed me to weed out nearly 50 registered agents that were engaging in a marketing strategy that I found to be unethical and distasteful (more on that later).
Stage 2: Website Analysis
Once I had eliminated the scams, bad deals, and false advertisers, I was left with the rough draft of the top 12 list I detailed above for you. The next step was to compare the remaining contenders to see how well their offers and services stacked up with each other.
This stage of the process was primarily spent analyzing each company’s website, searching through their “About” sections, reviewing their offers, and speaking with their customer support and sales teams to attempt to clear up any confusing language on their websites. This part of the process helped me form an idea of how much value each service provides.
Once I’d finished this stage, I had a 13-column, 24-row spreadsheet that showed the features and services of each business.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
The third stage of my process to find the best Massachusetts registered agent was to contact customers of the agents on this list and discuss their experiences with each company. Did they provide adequate business services or raise the bar? Which registered agents truly helped the business thrive and which ones weren’t worth your time?
I asked those same questions to several people I had previously helped find registered agents for (some were close friends or family and some were new friends who came to my website and found their ideal agent). The idea was to find out how they rated the registered agent service they’d chosen.
The feedback from these customers allowed me to determine the quality of service provided by each Massachusetts registered agent service, which ones hid features away behind paywalls and unclear advertising, and how each service compared with other services on my list.
Stage 4: Speaking with Their Sales Team
The final stage in determining which of the over 60 different registered agents was the best in Massachusetts was to reach out to each of their sales teams. Sales teams are notorious for providing you with biased information, but if you know how to ask the right questions they can also provide you with a lot more information than they’re aware of.
I took note of how each team responded to criticism or other negative feedback. Some teams would take the criticism in stride, address the problem and work on improving the customer experience. Others would shift blame around to other members of the team or even the customers themselves, never making an attempt to address the issue.
This stage allowed me to determine what each company’s office culture was like, and see which of them sought to improve the customer experience and which ones only cared about their profit margins.
Once my list had dwindled to the best 12 Massachusetts registered agents for your Massachusetts LLC, I was able to rank them according to the following factors:
Factor 1: Offerings
The vast amount of services offered by Massachusetts registered agents can be a lot to take in, so one of the factors I considered was what each registered agent service provided to help prevent you from getting overwhelmed. It was important to see which provided the basics, such as a registered office address, and which exceeded expectations by providing an online account with 24/7 access to all your important legal documents or giving you compliance filing notifications. Cheap LLC Formation Services (and sometimes, also the best LLC formation services) are also offered by some registered agents and could be important to have.
Some of the services barely covered agent services that are essential to your business, like being available to accept Service of Process during normal business hours. Some of them don’t even provide mail forwarding.
And others provide services that raise the bar, offering you online account access to a database containing all your legal documents and mail, or a phenomenal customer support team comprised of business experts.
And others still will provide you with identity theft protection and sell themselves as a “premium registered agent service.”
So as you can see, ranking them by offerings is very important to the overall process of determining which registered agent is the best in the state of Massachusetts.
Factor 2: Value for Money
Variety and the range of services are important for ranking which Massachusetts registered agents are the best, but even more important is how much value each company provides for the money they charge you.
Some registered agents charge as high as $299 per year but don’t provide enough service to justify that price. Others advertise prices as low as $39 per year but leave the range of services offered vague and unclear.
This is why value is such an important part of this process.
While investigating the value of each service, I discovered that many Massachusetts registered agents’ advertising prices in the $39–$59 range were using vague and unclear descriptions of services. Further investigation revealed that these prices were only true at the point of entry and to get even the most basic and essential services you had to pay additional fees and charges, sometimes costing you over $120 per year in addition to the initial fees.
I find this type of deceptive pricing to be unethical, so any registered agent service in Massachusetts that used this pricing method was immediately removed from my list.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
Another important factor when ranking the top 12 Massachusetts registered agents was which of them had simple, easy, and intuitive sign-up processes. Whether or not a service is simple and easy to sign up for is important; confusing, complex, and frustrating sign up processes are the last thing anyone wants for their business.
I took note of how many steps each registered agent service had during their onboarding or sign-up process. Registered agent services with lengthy or needlessly complex sign-ups were ranked lower on the list or removed entirely.
So as you can see, ease of sign-up was a very important factor for ranking which registered agents are the best in Massachusetts.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Finding the right value and having an easy sign-up process are both important in ranking the best registered agents in Massachusetts, but one thing that can make or break a service's rank is how user-friendly their online system is.
It’s important that you choose a service that uses a simple and easily navigated, online system because clunky or poorly optimized systems can hinder the growth of your business. After all, what good is an online document repository if you can’t figure out how to access it and it frustrates everyone in your office? Some of the systems for the Massachusetts registered agent services I investigated were difficult or confusing to navigate, some were full of bugs and glitches and others would crash or freeze in the middle of performing a task.
For reasons like that, ease of use was an essential factor in ranking which Massachusetts registered agents are the best for your business.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The real deal breaker for any entry on this list though is customer service and support.
Easy sign-up processes and user-friendly systems are the ideal and a poor customer service team will drive you to consider other options and can cripple the growth of your business in Massachusetts. Good customer support can not only make business operations easier, it can even bolster the growth of business entities.
Having a Massachusetts registered agent with an outstanding customer support team can make a world of difference for your business, allowing you to get the help you need and quickly return to the workday. Bad customer support teams can often leave you feeling frustrated and confused and can make help requests take hours.
This is why customer service and support are such an essential factor in ranking the best registered agents in Massachusetts. I invested the time and energy into contacting the customer support teams of each candidate on this list. I asked them fairly standard questions and took note of how prompt and polite they were, and how quickly they were able to provide assistance. The longer and more frustrating this became, the lower each service ranked on the list.
The Best Massachusetts Registered Agent Results Summary
After I investigated more than 60 different registered agents in the state and ranked the 12 best, here are my top three recommendations for the best registered agent in Massachusetts.
Best Overall Registered Agent—Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest Registered Agent is my #1 recommendation for a registered agent in Massachusetts. They provide every service you need to remain compliant with all the rules and regulations of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth and make staying in good standing incredibly easy.
Their services are available at a fairly low rate of $125 per year and included with that price are an online account with 24/7 access to your documents and mail that is so user-friendly that anyone in your office will be able to use it, an amazing customer support team (with lifelong access to them), same-day scanning for all the mail and documents they receive for LLCs or business entities and compliance filing notifications.
Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t just provide those services, they also provide all the necessities—a registered office address, being available to accept legal documents on behalf of your business during normal business hours, and peace of mind. Their expert-level, US-based customer support team is made up of people who used to be professional lawyers, business owners, and entrepreneurs and are available any time you need assistance with your service or business advice. They exceed service expectations, giving you the best answers to your questions and providing the best advice and customer service I’ve ever experienced.
With over 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews online, it’s clear that I wasn’t the only one to reach this conclusion.
If you need a Massachusetts registered agent that will provide you with the best combination of value, service quality, and customer support then you can’t go wrong with Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Budget Registered Agent—Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance is a strong second option, especially if your business is working with a limited budget or you want to reduce costs, though you do lose out on the lifelong customer support of Northwest Registered Agent.
Their services are comparable with Northwest Registered Agent. They’ll provide your LLC with a registered physical address in Massachusetts, accept Service of Process and other legal documents on behalf of your LLC.
Harbor Compliance’s online system is user-friendly enough that you won’t be constantly frustrated with it and people in your office will have little trouble learning to navigate it, even though it still has a few bugs and glitches. They also have an adequate customer service team that will provide assistance with technical issues and help you answer any questions you have about your Massachusetts registered agent services; however, they can’t measure up to the quality support team of Northwest Registered Agent.
Don't just take it from me. There are also hundreds of positive Harbor Compliance reviews online from other happy customers.
If you’d like a Massachusetts registered agent that will provide all the basics (like an address in the state) and allow you to save $26 per year without any of the extra features that Northwest Registered Agent provides, then Harbor Compliance is the choice for you.
Best Premium Registered Agent—Legal Zoom (6.59/10)
If you’re in the market for a premium registered agent service that includes identity theft protection as part of their service package, then LegalZoom is a good option for your business needs.
Though they are more expensive than Northwest Registered Agent, LegalZoom provides all the necessities your business in Massachusetts will need to remain compliant with all the LLC laws and regulations of the state of Massachusetts. Included with their $299 service package is a $1,000,000 identity theft insurance plan, so you can have some peace of mind when it comes to cybersecurity.
They’ll also provide you with an online account to access your uploaded documents 24/7, as well as a registered office address in Massachusetts as part of their services, so you can rest assured they will cover all the bases as your registered agent.
LegalZoom is more worthwhile if you've already subscribed to some of their other services, considering that the cost of identity theft insurance is often less than the price difference between LegalZoom and Northwest Registered Agent.
If you need a premium registered agent service for your business in Massachusetts and would prefer to have identity theft insurance included with your service package and are happy to trade away Northwest’s excellent services to get it, check out LegalZoom here.
Choosing the right registered agent for your Massachusetts business is crucial. Not only can this help you avoid legal trouble with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, but a good registered agent service will also ensure your private information (like your name and address) stays off the public record, helping you avoid any identity theft-related catastrophes.
I created this list of the top 12 Massachusetts registered agents by investigating over 60 candidates and eliminating the bad deals and obvious scams before ranking the remaining candidates according to their offers, value, sign-up process, customer support, and ease of use.
My investigations and this review process left me with only one answer to the question of which service is the best: Northwest Registered Agent.
They provide every service and quality feature your business needs to succeed, (definitely more than just providing you with a registered agent’s name and office address!) and they raise the bar on what the industry should expect out of registered agents.
Included in their price of $125 per year are the following services:
- Registered office address with your agent’s name and address in Massachusetts (because an LLC must have a physical address in the state of Massachusetts) to keep your information off the public record
- Accepting of legal documents and Service of Process on behalf of your business, office, or LLC during normal business hours
- Scanning and uploading all your mail and important legal documents to your online account with 24/7 access
- Mail forwarding
- LLC Services, such as assistance with filing your Certificate of Organization or Articles of Organization
- Compliance alerts to ensure you never miss another important filing date again
Furthermore, Northwest Registered Agent’s system is simple to navigate and user-friendly, and you gain lifetime access to their customer support team.
And all these services come priced at the extremely valuable rate of only $125 per state per year.
If you want the best registered agent Massachusetts has to offer, or want to change agents by filing a Statement of Change form, contact Northwest Registered Agent today.
FAQ: What is a Resident Agent?
In Massachusetts and several other states throughout the country, you’ve likely seen advertisements or documents that refer to needing a “resident agent” instead of a registered agent. If this seems confusing, allow me to try and clear this up for you.
If you're curious as to what the difference between a resident agent and a registered agent is, well there really isn’t one. The term “resident agent” is an older and more outdated term for a registered agent. Other terms similar to resident agent are “agent for Service of Process” and “statutory agent.”
Don’t let this confuse you. The terms are interchangeable and anytime a document or regulation says you need a resident agent, any registered agent service will suffice. Resident agents aren’t a separate kind of service or entity, so if your Certificate of Organization still says “Massachusetts resident agent” instead of registered agent, your chosen registered agent service is still what you would list there.
The requirements are the same too, regardless of which title a service prefers to use. Resident agents and registered agents must have a physical address within the state of Massachusetts, and they must be available to accept Service of Process during regular business hours on behalf of your business.