It’s important for nonprofit owners to choose the best registered agent services for their businesses.
The right registered agent will make sure you meet all your compliance deadlines and keep your privacy and personal assets secure.
The wrong registered agent will cost you way more than it’s worth. It could cause your company nasty lawsuits and leave you vulnerable to hackers and scammers.
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 services for a nonprofit:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
I chose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent for a nonprofit because it provides all the services you need at an affordable price, and to top it off, it has the best customer service in the industry.
Northwest Registered Agent has a lot going for it.
It’s a full-service registered agent service and a business formation service. Its registered agent services include a physical address for privacy purposes and a convenient registered agent dashboard for viewing your documents, as well as accepting important legal documents and mail on behalf of your nonprofit during normal business hours and sending annual report notices. And Northwest will scan and upload EVERY PIECE of mail you receive (most registered agent services only do this with legal documents).
It’s also a national registered agent service, which means it can grow with your company as it expands.
It’s easy to use the sign-up system and the online portal allows you to purchase registered agent services for multiple states at once through the same portal, which is an uncommon feature in the registered agent industry.
But the main reason I chose to put Northwest in my #1 position is its unbeatable customer service.
These days many registered agent services outsource their customer support teams to foreign countries and then staff them with inexperienced employees with inadequate training. But Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t follow that trend.
Instead, Northwest provides a US-based customer service team made up of former lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. These experts, called Corporate Guides, are trained not only to answer questions you have about their registered agent services but also about any question you have in regard to running a nonprofit.
Available during normal business hours on business days, they have vast experience in creating, developing, and running a business, so they either answer your questions or know how to find the answer you’re looking for.
This level of support is unique to Northwest, and no other registered agent service offers it. Given the fact that problems arise at some point for every business owner, and the fact that business advice of this caliber can cost up to $5,000 a day from consulting firms, it was an easy decision to put Northwest in first place.
Northwest’s registered agent services are only $125 per state, per year, as well, which is only $26 more than the cheapest registered agent services on my list. So, there are a lot of reasons to fall in love with Northwest Registered Agent.
Many high-end services have this issue, and it’s true of Northwest Registered Agent, as well. Its best feature is also its biggest drawback: customer service.
There’s really not a way to call the customer service team for a quick and easy question and answer. Unfortunately, because they’re insistent on providing patient, efficient, and quality customer support, you’ll be on the phone with them longer than you feel is necessary when you want a quick and simple answer to an easy question.
They ask a slew of questions and listen patiently to make sure they fully understand the ins and outs of your problem before they’ll give you any sort of answer or start making suggestions. This is because they’re trying to make sure the advice they give you solves your problem the first time and you won’t have to call back. But it results in the calls taking longer than it would take to just Google your question.
Of course, this is quite a high-end problem, but it can be quite annoying when you want rapid responses to your questions.
I chose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service because it provides an easy-to-use system and a slew of services that go beyond basic registered agent services. Supported by an excellent customer support team that will take time out of their day to answer questions you have not only about their registered agent services, but about running your nonprofit, as well, it’s hard to believe that Northwest is the second-cheapest registered agent service on the market.
If you want a registered agent that will support your growing business at an affordable price and provide outstanding customer service, then sign up with Northwest Registered Agent here.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance came in second place on my list of the best registered agent services for a nonprofit because it offers all the services you need, and it does so at the lowest price in the registered agent industry.
Like Northwest Registered Agent, Harbor Compliance is a full-service registered agent. Some of the registered agent services it provides include accepting legal documents on behalf of your nonprofit during regular business hours, a registered agent address to use on the public record for privacy reasons, an online document management portal, and scanning and forwarding your documents, as well as compliance notifications for your annual reports.
Completing the sign-up process is easy, and you can sign up for registered agent services in multiple states quite simply. But Harbor Compliance’s most noteworthy feature is its price. It charges only $99 per state, per year for its registered agent services, which makes it the most affordable registered agent services of any full-service registered agent on the market. It’s even $26 cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent’s reasonable price.
The biggest problem with Harbor Compliance’s registered agent services is that while they’re all good, they don’t include any remarkable registered agent services. Nothing about Harbor Compliance is going to knock your socks off.
Though its registered agent services cover all the basics, you won’t find any premium services among them. When you speak to a customer service representative, they’re able to answer questions about your registered agent account, but Harbor Compliance’s customer service just isn’t on par with the exceptional customer service provided by Northwest, and they won’t answer business questions about your nonprofit.
So though Harbor Compliance’s registered agent services are good, none of them are really great.
Harbor Compliance offers reliable registered agent services to meet the needs of your nonprofit. It provides a full range of registered agent services for the cheapest price on the market, without any extravagant features or unnecessary bells and whistles.
If you’re comfortable trading away industry-leading customer service just to save $26 a year, you can check out Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom — 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
If you’re interested in premium registered agent services, LegalZoom stood out as the best in a pool of dissatisfying options.
As a premium registered agent service, LegalZoom offers all the services you can get from full-service registered agents with the addition of a premium service. This means that it provides someone to accept legal documents and mail on behalf of your nonprofit during normal business hours, the all-important physical address, electronic document delivery and online document access, basic mail forwarding service, and compliance alerts to remind you of deadlines for annual reports. It also provides up to $1 million in identity theft protection, which is its premium service.
There are two major drawbacks to LegalZoom’s registered agent services.
The first drawback is its price. At $299, LegalZoom is twice as much as Northwest. The $176 difference between the two is far more than it costs to purchase identity theft protection from a third-party company, so that price isn’t justifiable.
The second is that registered agent services make up only a fraction of LegalZoom’s overall service catalog. They’re outshadowed by the popularity of other services, such as online legal services and business formation service packages. This means that LegalZoom’s registered agent services aren’t highly prioritized, and because they don’t get the attention they need, these services are lackluster.
Compared to some of the best registered agent services on my list, LegalZoom’s system isn’t the easiest to use and its customer support team isn’t the most helpful.
LegalZoom is a well-respected registered agent provider that offers premium registered agent services that are more expensive than buying them yourself from a third-party company, and they aren’t as well supported as some of the best registered agent services on my list.
Unless you’re using LegalZoom’s other services (like its legal services or business formation services), or you want identity theft protection bad enough that you’ll pay way too much for it, Northwest Registered Agent’s registered agent services are the better option.
If you want to find out more about LegalZoom, check out the website here.
ZenBusiness is a good source of registered agent services online. It’s a full-service registered agent, so its registered agent services include a physical address and someone at that address to accept legal mail and legal documents for your nonprofit, compliance notifications and annual report filing, a banking resolution template, 2 document amendments, and an operating agreement template. It charges $199.
ZenBusiness, unlike Northwest Registered Agent, doesn't offer customer support at the same level as Northwest, so you’ll still pay more for registered agent services than they’re worth in the long run.
If you’d like a complete list of its services, click here to read my full ZenBusiness Review.
IncFile is another company that specializes in business formation services but also offers minimal registered agent services. While it’ll accept legal mail on behalf of your nonprofit, IncFile leaves out some basic registered agent services, such as compliance alerts. You’ll pay $119 per state, per year (plus state fees) for these bare-bones services, so IncFile is only a good option if you feel comfortable paying more for less when it comes to registered agent services.
IncFile does offer free registered agent services for the first year if you sign up for its business formation services, but you’ll end up paying more for registered agent services in the long run if you take part in this promotion, just as with ZenBusiness.
If you’re interested in reading more about IncFile, visit the website here.
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a less expensive version of LegalZoom, by which I mean that its registered agent services are only a minor part of its service offerings. Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent services cost $149 per state, per year, and you get bare-bones services for that price. On top of that, the customer support isn’t on par with what you’d expect for that price.
If you’d like more information about these registered agent services, as well as the other services Rocket Lawyer provides, read my complete Rocket Lawyer review.
7. Sundoc Filings
Sundoc Filings is another company that specializes in LLC formation service but also provides registered agent services as an afterthought. And since these minimal registered agent service offerings will cost you $159 per year, best to give it a pass.
InCorp provides business formation services as well as registered agent service. But its registered agent service proved an interesting conundrum for me to review.
InCorps charges the same price as Harbor Compliance ($99 per year) and has the same registered agent service catalog. But its system is quite difficult to use. It has a confusing layout and its navigation is awkward. The customer service is adequate, but when a registered agent service has such a difficult system, it should provide customer service that goes beyond “adequate.” That’s why it wasn’t one of my top recommendations for the best registered agent service for a nonprofit.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings supplies registered agent service and even offers compliance alerts to keep you up to date with your filing deadlines, but it charges $149 per year.
Swyft Filings also has a slew of other services, which you can read about in my Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a registered agent service provider that supplies premium services. But its premium registered agent service offerings are disappointing. The only premium registered agent service CSC Global offers is covering any state fees you incur when you switch to its registered agent service. But it charges $299 per year, which is far more than you’d pay for state fees on your own. It would be far less expensive to choose Northwest Registered Agent’s registered agent service and then cover the state fees out of pocket.
11. Registered Agents Inc.
Registered Agents Inc. provides the same registered agent service catalog as Northwest but charges $200 per year. Meanwhile, Northwest Registered Agent only charges $125 per year for its registered agent service, and its customer support beats Registered Agent Inc.’s.
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is a business formation service that offers registered agent service as well. But it offers a mediocre registered agent service catalog and charges $150 per year.
Jumpstart Filings doesn’t even offer a year of free registered agent service when you sign up for its business formation service.
Registered Agent Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is my top choice for the best registered agent service for a nonprofit because it offers all the services that business entities need for only $125 per year.
Northwest backs up its complete registered agent service list with a team of US-based customer service agents made up of former accountants, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and small business owners. They’re at your service to answer not only questions you have about your registered agent service but also any questions you may have about owning and running a nonprofit.
It’s easy to get signed up in the system, which is quite user friendly and intuitive, making them a great choice if you’re looking for a registered agent service to meet your legal requirements and keep your personal information off the public record.
If you’re looking for the best registered agent service for a nonprofit that will go beyond meeting your legal requirements by also accommodating and supporting your business as it grows, then check out Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
There are hundreds of registered agent services online. And while it can be great to have so many online registered agent service options, it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to choose the best registered agent service from the sea of online registered agent service providers. So, I created this article as a convenient reference guide to the top registered agent services for a nonprofit. Here is how I found the best registered agent services.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me to provide you with quality recommendations for the best registered agent services because I’ve spent more time combing through the disarray that is the registered agent industry than probably anyone else.
My education and experience began with me trying to find the top registered agent services for my two businesses, a cafe and a health website. I sold those businesses eventually and took some time to decide what to do next. The answer was made clear when colleagues and friends reached out to me to ask about registered agent service. After I talked to them, it was pretty clear to me that even though every business should have a registered agent, the average person doesn’t know much about registered agent services, and they definitely don’t have the time to go through all the information to find the best registered agent service to meet their needs. Since I already had loads of knowledge about the registered agent service industry, I started giving advice.
How I Selected the Best Registered Agent
I used a four-stage research process to choose the best registered agent services. This is how I gradually weeded out a list of more than 60 different registered agent service providers to generate the list as it stands today, and to further narrow it down to the three best registered agent services for a nonprofit.
Here’s my method.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first step in finding the best registered agent service was to read thousands of online reviews on various websites like TrustPilot, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau, as well as several other business review websites. There were so many reviews I couldn’t count them all, so to save you the trouble of reading them all, I combed through them.
Truthfully, there was no possible way I could read every last review for each registered agent service online. That would have taken me years. But what I did instead was read the reviews for registered agent service providers that were more than a paragraph. These thorough online reviews provided me with ample information to determine which registered agent service companies were worth researching further, and which ones were obviously scams or used deceptive pricing practices.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After I’d eliminated the truly subpar registered agent service companies, the next stage was to analyze the websites of the remaining contenders.
Some of the factors I considered were their registered agent service offerings and products, how many avenues of contact customers could use to get assistance, the history of each registered agent service company, awards that companies had won, and the locations of each company.
Analyzing websites provided me with a picture of the registered agent service providers, who they are, and what they have to offer.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
Online reviews and website analysis are somewhat limiting. To learn what it’s really like to work with a registered agent service company, you need to speak with the customers of that company. This is why speaking to customers was the third stage of my research.
So that I was provided with genuine feedback that hadn’t been influenced by the companies, I spoke to customers to whom I’d recommended registered agent services, as well as visitors to my website who were already using registered agent services.
I asked questions about their customer satisfaction levels and whether the needs of their companies were being met. Their answers provided me with information that helped paint a very clear picture of the quality of service each company supplied, regardless of the claims made on their websites.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
The last portion of my research involved calling their sales and customer service teams. I gathered up all the complaints, information, and dirt on the companies that I had accumulated during the other stages of my research and asked pointed questions about why these things were happening and how they were failing.
This stage gave me a lot of insight into how companies handled feedback, and whether they used it to grow and improve their services. Some of the registered agents I spoke to indicated that the customers making complaints were just a little “crazy” and that their complaints were unwarranted, so I shouldn’t pay them any mind. But the best registered agent services told me that they’d used this feedback to improve their services so that the problems I had described were solved, or at least improved.
This stage separated the best registered agent services from some of the more unsavory options on the market, and gave me 100% confidence in my top recommended registered agent service.
I rated the remaining 12 best registered agent service companies for a nonprofit on five factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I considered when rating registered agent services was the services they offered.
If a company doesn’t offer the services you need, then it doesn’t matter if they offer affordable registered agent services, how intuitive their system is, or how great their customer service is. There’s no point in using a registered agent if they don’t provide the services you need.
Some of the things I was looking at in this stage included whether they provide free digital mail forwarding and an online document storage portal, or if they only provide basic mail forwarding, whether they issue compliance notifications and advanced compliance software to keep your company up to date with filing deadlines, or if they simply provide you with a calendar that lists your compliance deadlines, whether they offer identity theft insurance or they just offer some vague promise about keeping your information secure, and whether they offer business formation services, or even the best LLC services.
The companies with the best service offerings climbed to the top of my list, while those with poor service offerings fell further down the list.
Factor 2: Value
The second factor I evaluated was the value for money that each company provided, and I found a lot of variation in this area.
I discovered during my investigation that there are three basic pricing tiers used by registered agents: budget, full service, and premium.
Budget services typically run between $39–$59 per year, full-service agents cost $99–$129 per year, and premium services start at $299 per year or more.
Of course, I chose to position the agents who provide the best value for the money at the top of the list, and those who don’t provide much value lower on the list.
While looking into these three different pricing tiers, I found that even though budget services seem like a great value, they only appear so thanks to deceptive pricing. Sure, it costs $39 to sign up with the company. But to get any of the services that you actually need (like compliance notifications or an online portal), you have to pay so much in fees that they’re actually more expensive than many of the full-service options on my list.
Because of the discovery of these deceptive pricing practices, I chose to eliminate any budget registered agent options from my list.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
The third rating factor I used was how easy it is to sign up with a company.
It can be beyond frustrating to find a registered agent that offers all the services you need at an affordable price, only to find that they take weeks or months to get you set up in their system.
That’s why I chose to rate each registered agent service on how easy it is to get set up in their system. The companies with simple, streamlined sign-up processes found higher positions on my list, while those companies with confusing, time-wasting, and labor-intensive sign-up processes were placed further down the list.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Getting set up in a registered agent’s system isn’t the only part of the process that can be time consuming. After getting set up in the system, you don’t want to spend hours learning to navigate a confusing, outdated system. This is why I chose ease of use as the fourth rating factor.
The systems that were the easiest to use made the top of my list, while those with nightmare-inducing, stressful systems were placed at the bottom of my list.
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how easy it is to use a company’s system, or how intuitive their interface is, you’ll eventually run into a problem and have a question. This is where good customer service can make or break customer satisfaction levels.
Your customer service experience can be the difference between having a positive customer service experience and quickly getting back to your work day, or having a truly horrible customer service experience and waiting on the phone for hours only to speak to a representative who can’t resolve your issue.
With this in mind, customer service was the final rating factor I used.
The companies who had customer service teams that responded in a timely manner and answered questions and solved problems lickety-split earned higher positions on my list than those whose customer service teams keep you on hold for hours then don’t do a good job of answering questions.
The Best Registered Agent Results Summary
After I researched and rated the top 12 registered agent services using my four-factor research process and five rating factors, I’m confident that the best registered agent service for a nonprofit is Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Overall Registered Agent: Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest took the coveted #1 spot on my list because not only is it a full-service registered agent, it offers affordable prices and provides the best customer service in the registered agent industry.
When you sign up for its $125 per year (plus state fees) package, you’ll get and individual or business entity to accept mail from government agencies on behalf of your nonprofit, your company’s registered agent address, an online portal to access ALL your mail (the vast majority of registered agent services only upload legal documents), and compliance notifications. Northwest makes it a point to keep your personal information safe and secure.
But what makes it a truly great registered agent service is its customer support. Northwest has a US-based customer support team made up of people who are former lawyers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and accountants with years of experience in the business world. They use this experience to not only answer questions about your registered agent service (which is the only type of customer service that most registered agents provide for business entities), but also answer any questions you have about running your nonprofit.
There are more than 3,000 positive customer reviews for Northwest online, so you know my experience with them wasn’t just a stroke of luck.
If you want quality registered agent service, head over to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Northwest Registered Agent also offers business formation services. If you’d like to learn more about those, check out my guide on the best LLC services.
Best Budget Registered Agent: Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you’re looking for a full-service registered agent for a low price, then Harbor Compliance is a good choice.
It offers the same professional registered agent services as Northwest, and it charges only $99 per state, per year.
Harbor Compliance’s customer service team won’t answer questions you have about how to run your business entity, and they aren’t as patient or friendly as Northwest Registered Agent’s, but they can adequately answer questions you have about your registered agent service.
I go into more detail about Harbor Compliance’s services in my full Harbor Compliance Review.
If you’re not concerned with the additional help and support that Northwest Registered Agent provides and would rather save a measly $26 per year than trust over 3,000 positive customer reviews, then you can learn more about Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent: LegalZoom (6.59/10)
LegalZoom is a good option if you’re interested in premium registered agent services. It offers all the standard registered agent services that you’d expect, as well as all the services that Northwest Registered Agent provides, with the addition of up to $1 million in identity theft protection and covering any state fees you’re charged for switching over to its service.
LegalZoom charges $299 per year for these services, which is $176 more than Northwest Registered Agent charges. This feels like a ridiculous fee because the only additional feature you get for this price is identity theft protection, which you can easily purchase for less elsewhere. You could save yourself some money by choosing Northwest, and then purchasing identity theft protection from a third-party company.
However, if you’re looking for a reliable registered agent and would like the convenience of paying for a registered agent and identity theft insurance at the same time, then LegalZoom is a good option.
If you’d like to learn more about LegalZoom, visit the website here: LegalZoom.
Choosing the best registered agent service for your nonprofit is vital to ensuring that both your personal information and your personal assets are protected, and that your nonprofit meets all state and federal compliance regulations.
I investigated more than 60 different registered agent companies and then used a four-stage research process and five rating factors to review the top 12.
My extensive investigation, as well as thousands of positive reviews online, concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent service for a nonprofit.
Northwest offers all the services that a full-service registered agent should provide, as well as helpful, patient, and experienced customer service representatives who will walk you through any problems you have with your registered agent service and answer any business questions you have. It has an online document management system that’s easy to use, and the online system allows you to sign up for registered agent services in multiple states from the same portal, which means that Northwest is able to grow with you and support your business no matter how big it grows.
If your nonprofit needs a registered agent service that supplies all the registered agent services you want as well as providing industry-leading customer service from a team of experts, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent.