Getting the best registered agent in North Carolina is crucial to business success.
The right North Carolina Registered Agent will help your company meet all of its legal obligations, including accepting service of process on behalf of your North Carolina LLC, keeping your personal information off the public record, protecting your business assets, and keeping your business in good standing with the Secretary of State.
The wrong North Carolina Registered Agent will be costly to your business in several ways. Not only will they charge more for their services than they should, if they’re careless with your business information, you could be vulnerable to hackers and scammers. Even worse, you could be subject to lawsuits.
I've investigated over 60 North Carolina registered agents, rated the top 12, and then wrote detailed reviews of the best 3. Here are my picks for the best registered agent in North Carolina.
1. Northwest Registered Agent Review — 9.10/10 (Our Top Pick)
Northwest Registered Agent is my number one choice for the best registered agent in North Carolina because they have a great list of service offerings, they charge the 2nd lowest fee on my list, and they provide the best customer service in the registered agent industry.
As a full-service registered agent in North Carolina, you get all of the services you need for your business in North Carolina from Northwest Registered Agent.
They give you a street address in North Carolina that your corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) needs, accept service of process (from a process server), mail, and documents on behalf of your LLC during regular business hours, they scan ALL of your mail (not just the legal documents) and put in on an online portal for you to access with an online account and compliance alerts for things like your annual report to keep you in good standing with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
Their signup process is quick and easy, and setting up their online system is pretty painless. It’s easy to use your online account to sign up for services in multiple states from the same portal. Because they’re a national registered agent, Northwest Registered Agent has offices in every state so they can grow alongside your LLC no matter which state your business expands to.
Their best feature and the reason they’re in the top spot on our list is their customer service.
Their excellent customer service is a breath of fresh air in the business world. Their customer service is based in the U.S. and consists of former lawyers, business owners and entrepreneurs who have enough experience and know-how to answer your business questions, not just your registered agent inquiries. Plus, if they don’t know the answer to your question, they’ll look it up.
Northwest is the only North Carolina registered agent on our list with this level of customer service. Because of all of the challenges that any LLC faces and how many questions that every business owner has, it was pretty easy to choose Northwest as my number one choice for the best registered agent in North Carolina.
They charge $125 per year for their registered agent services, which makes them the 2nd cheapest North Carolina registered agent on my list. So, there are lots of reasons to choose Northwest Registered Agent!
Northwest’s best feature can also be its most annoying: its comprehensive customer service.
There’s no way to get off the phone quickly with their customer service team. They ask lots of questions and go out of their way to understand your problem before they even bother to try to answer it or give you suggestions. While thorough customer service isn’t always a problem, it can be really bothersome if you want to have your question answered and then get on with your workday.
It’s often a lot faster to just Google your question than to call their customer service team.
This is a small complaint considering all of the other excellent services that Northwest Registered Agent provides, and the fact that even if it isn’t fast, their customer service is remarkable. The only time this problem really comes up is when you’re in a hurry.
The best registered agent in North Carolina is Northwest Registered Agent. This is because they provide every registered agent service your business could possibly need, they have an easy-to-use system, the 2nd lowest fee on our list, and the best customer service in the entire North Carolina registered agent industry.
If you’re looking for a North Carolina registered agent with great customer service, that can support your business no matter how far it grows, and only charges $125 per year, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance is a wonderful alternative if you're looking for a low-cost North Carolina registered agent for your business or LLC. The services they provide aren't as extensive as those provided by Northwest Registered Agent, but their charge is $26 cheaper each year.
Harbor Compliance is another national registered agent with offices in every state, so they can grow with your LLC if it grows to another state, similar to Northwest Registered Agent, so you won't have to change registered agents as you expand and grow.
Harbor Compliance offers all of the essential services required by the North Carolina Secretary of State for your North Carolina LLC, corporation, or other business enterprise.
You'll be given a street address in North Carolina for your business, as well as the ability to receive mail and legal documents (such as service of process) on behalf of your LLC, forward your mail, upload legal documents to an online portal that you can access with an online account, and receive notifications about compliance filing deadlines that your LLC must meet.
Their online registered agent system is rather user-friendly and simple to use, which is fantastic news for anyone at the office who has to to use it.
The main disadvantage of Harbor Compliance's services is that, although they are competent at all of them, they aren't great when compared to other registered agents in the state.
They give several essential services for your business, but no “extra services” a nd their customer service staff does a decent job, but not as well as Northwest Registered Agent's staff.
In summary, Harbor Compliance provides acceptable services for your LLC or corporation without distinguishing itself in any specific service area.
Harbor Compliance guarantees that your company or LLC will comply with all of North Carolina's legal requirements, and they offer the lowest rate of any registered agent on my list.
If you don't require any additional features for your North Carolina business or LLC, or if you're on a tight budget, Harbor Compliance is a decent North Carolina registered agent for you.
3. LegalZoom Review – 7.92/10 (Best Premium Registered Agent)
As the third-best North Carolina registered agent service, LegalZoom has my highest recommendation for a one stop shop for legal services
The most obvious advantage of using LegalZoom as your commercial registered agent service is that they are a well-known and trustworthy organization in the business field. Their reputation precedes them, and they are best known for delivering on their service promises, so you can be certain that when you use their services, they will maintain your LLC or company in good standing with the Secretary of State. They've also been in business for a longer period of time than the other services on my list.
One significant advantage of LegalZoom's premium North Carolina registered agent service is that you receive more than just basic services for your company or LLC. Of course, you'll obtain your company the standard street address in the state, they'll take mail and legal papers for your LLC during regular business hours, and they'll offer mail forwarding for your firm. In addition, LegalZoom includes $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance as part of their package.
In today ’s tech-dominated world, this insurance may provide you with significant piece of mind when it comes to online security and cybercrime.
Unfortunately, LegalZoom's definition of “premium” registered agent service may differ from yours. They seem to depend on the fact that they are one of the most well-known companies in business to get away with giving less value in terms of services, and instead rely on this reputation to attract new customers.
Their premium registered agent services cost a whopping $299 plus state fees each year, far exceeding Northwest Registered Agent's rate. When you consider that you can get identity theft insurance from third-party providers for considerably less than the $176 difference between Harbor Compliance's and Northwest's fees, this “premium” service isn't the fantastic deal that it's marketed to be.
LegalZoom is more renowned for its templated legal papers, thus they don't devote as much attention to their business registered agent services. Unfortunately, this implies that their customer care crew isn't as informed about their registered agent service, making them less helpful than you'd want. Their online system is also not well optimized.
LegalZoom is a well-known brand in the business sector, with an excellent reputation for some of its services. If identity theft protection is one of your considerations when selecting a registered agent, they might be a suitable fit. However, if you want exceptional services at a reasonable price, a competent customer support staff, and an easy-to-use system, LegalZoom isn't the ideal registered agent in North Carolina.
Check out LegalZoom's services to learn more.
4. ZenBusiness Review
ZenBusiness is a company that provides LLC creation and resident agent services.
Their basic registered agent package is the Pro Package, which costs $199 per year. This package offers the same basic services as Northwest Registered Agent (an online document storage portal, receive Service of Process on your behalf, annual report filing, registered street address, and so on), as well as a compliance alert system.
ZenBusiness, on the other hand, is essentially an LLC creation service rather than a specialized registered agent. As a consequence, their platform is not completely suited for registered agent services, and they provide less assistance than other registered agent services.
Click here to read my complete ZenBusiness review.
5. IncFile Review
IncFile is a North Carolina registered agent service that offers minimal services. They give you all the services that a registered agent must, like a street address in North Carolina, they receive mail and service of process for your business on business days, and more in order to keep your Limited Liability Company (LLC in good standing with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
They charge $119 per year for their services. You can get a year of free services when you sign up for their LLC formation services. But, in the long run, you’ll wind up paying more for these services than they’re worth.
If you’re looking for a North Carolina registered agent that charges as much as ZenBusiness without giving you premium services, you can check out IncFile here.
6. Rocket Lawyer Review
Rocket Lawyer is a cheap imitation of LegalZoom.
As a North Carolina registered agent service, they give you some of the basic services, like a street address in North Carolina for your business entity, they accept service of process for your business and giving you compliance notifications to keep you in good standing with the Secretary of State. However, they charge $149 for the services they offer.
7. SunDoc Filings Review
SunDoc Filings is a North Carolina registered agent service and LLC formation service that gives you minimal services. You get a physical street address in the state of North Carolina, as well as the acceptance of mail and service of process for your business entity to keep it in good standing with the Secretary of State. However, they charge $159 per year for their North Carolina registered agent services.
8. InCorp Review
InCorp is a North Carolina registered agent and LLC formation service that will provide you with the services your business entity needs. You’ll get the physical street address in the state your business resides in and they’ll accept mail and service of process on behalf of your business to keep it in good standing with the Secretary of State.
They provided us with an interesting rating conundrum. They charge $99 per year for their services in North Carolina, the same as Harbor compliance does. However, their computer system is really hard to learn and navigate and it’s sure to cause a headache for your entire office, which is why it landed so low on my list.
9. Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings is a registered agent that will provide your business in North Carolina with everything you need to stay in good standing with the Secretary of State. You get a physical address, and they accept service of process and other important mail for your business. However, they charge $149 per year to become your registered office.
If you'd like to learn more about Swyft Filings services, please read our full Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global Review
CSC Global is a ‘premium’ registered agent that will provide you with basic services to keep your business in good service with the Secretary of State such as accepting service of process and other important documents on behalf of your business in North Carolina.
Their ‘premium’ service includes the fact that they’ll cover any state filing fee you incur due to your change of registered agent in North Carolina. However, they charge $299 per year. For that price, you could purchase Northwest Registered Agent’s services, pay the state filing fee you incur for the change of registered agent, and it still wouldn’t cost as much as CSC Global’s fee.
11. Registered Agents Inc. Review
Registered Agents Inc. is a registered agent in the state of North Carolina that will provide you with the same services as Northwest Registered Agent, such as providing your business in North Carolina with a registered office and accepting service of process on your behalf. However, they charge $200 per year for their North Carolina registered agent service, and they don’t have customer service that’s as good as Northwest Registered Agent’s, either.
12. Jumpstart Filings Review
Jumpstart Filings is a North Carolina registered agent, as well as an LLC formation service. So, they can provide your business in North Carolina with a registered office. However, they charge $150 per year for their NC registered agent service, and they don’t provide you with free NC registered agent services for a year when you sign up for their LLC formation services, like many other registered agents on this list.
Registered Agent Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is my number one choice for the best registered agent in the state of North Carolina because they offer all of the services your business could need, and they’re so much more than a registered office.
They provide the best customer service in North Carolina. They have a team of former lawyers, entrepreneurs and business owners who make up their customer service team, and they’re experienced enough to answer any question you may have. They not only answer questions about their services, but also any business questions you may have.
Their signup process is simple and quick, and setting up their online system on the computers in your office is easy. Their online system is easy enough to navigate enabling everyone in the office to use it.
They only charge $125 per year, which means they have overall the second-lowest price for registered agents in the state.
If you need a new registered agent or are thinking about changing your registered agent and want the best customer service, not only in the state of North Carolina but in the registered agent industry, sign up for Northwest Registered Agent here.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
This is how we arrived at our recommendations on the best registered agents in North Carolina.
Why You Should Trust Me
I have spent more time researching each individual North Carolina registered agent business in the state, as well as the registered agent industry as a whole, than almost anyone else.
I started by researching agents to decide which one to appoint for my two businesses. Then, my businesses closed and I began looking for a new project. While talking to other friends and business owners, I found out that I had more knowledge about registered agents than most business owners, and that due to the closure of my other two businesses I had more time to research them.
So, I began giving people advice. That grew into a successful website people could access for information on different North Carolina registered agents, and I'm now able to give advice to people on the internet, like you.
So, when I make a recommendation about a registered agent, you can trust that the one I favor will absolutely be the best North Carolina registered agent for your office.
How I Selected The Best Registered Agent
I started out with a list of over 60 North Carolina registered agent businesses in the state. I thoroughly investigated them and ruled out all but 12, then rated them in order of best to worst, writing detailed reviews about the top 3.
Here is how my 4-stage investigative process was conducted.
Stage 1: Reviews
You can actually learn a lot about a business through online reviews. So, I read reviews from places like Facebook, the Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot and other places people could leave reviews. There were thousands, so I didn’t read every last one, in truth.
I read the reviews that were longer than a paragraph or two – the ones that gave me a lot of details about their experience with the North Carolina registered agent in question.
These reviews informed me which of the registered agents in the state of North Carolina I could rule out entirely because they were obvious scams, or used deceptive pricing practices. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
The next thing I looked at was each agent’s company website. I did a deep dive and combed through all the information on their pages. From this, I found a few things other than simply how each agent represented itself.
I looked at the services they offered (were they simply a registered office?), their location (they had to be in the state of North Carolina), their business history, any awards they’d won, and how many different methods they listed to contact their customer support.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
There’s only so much information you can get from online reviews and company websites. In fact, many people won’t post a review online unless they’ve had either an especially positive or an overwhelmingly negative experience with an agent.
So, I reached out to customers in the state of North Carolina who visited my site and chose to appoint a registered agent based on my suggestions. Input from those who already had a registered agent in North Carolina was useful as well because I was able to ask them about the service they had received from their specific agent and how satisfied they were with it.
This gave me a much better understanding of not only the agents themselves but also of their services. I got the whole picture and not just what the agents guaranteed on their sites.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
The next stage was to contact the sales team of each of the North Carolina registered agents on my list in the state. Finding out how their sales teams reacted to the tough questions paints a better picture of the company’s sales tactics and customer service practices.
I rounded up all of the negative feedback, comments and issues I found during our investigation and asked the sales teams about them directly. Some agents told us that they’d used that feedback in order to change their practices, so there was no longer a problem. Others chose to tell us that I shouldn’t listen to those comments because that customer was just ‘crazy’.
The interactions with the sales teams let me know whether a company was capable of learning from customer feedback and growing, or if they placed the blame on the customers instead and didn’t try to improve their services.
After my 4-stage investigative process, I was left with 12 registered agents for your North Carolina LLC. Here are the factors I used to rate them:
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor is arguably one of the most important when it comes to choosing a North Carolina registered agent. If an agent doesn’t provide the services you need, it’s not going to matter how low their prices are or what sort of customer service they provide because they’ll be of no use to you.
I considered things like whether they simply provide your company with a registered office and forward important mail (such as service of process) to you, or whether they scanned your documents and put it on an online portal for you, whether they give you compliance notifications, or just give you a calendar, and whether they provide you with identity theft protection, or just give you a vague promise that they’ll keep your information safe.
The North Carolina registered agent with the best LLC services landed my number one spot, while those with less palatable options found themselves lower down my list.
Factor 2: Value
Another important factor is value for money, which is why it was the second factor I considered. During our investigation, we found that prices vary GREATLY from agent to agent. This makes it difficult for the average person to determine what the best price for an agent actually is related to the value they provide.
I found that there are three price tiers for registered agents in the state of North Carolina: budget, full-service and premium.
Budget prices are between $39-$59 per year, full-service prices are typically between $99-$129 per year, and premium prices start at $299.
Budget options may seem like a good idea, but their pricing is deceptive. While they say they charge $39-$59 per year for their services, the services provided at that price are so minimal that you’ll need to purchase additional packages from them. These packages include basic services, like compliance alerts, and will run you more than many premium services without actually providing you with any premium services.
So, because I feel like this is a deceptive pricing practice and an unethical tactic, budget services were left off of my list.
The agents that offered the best services for the price gained higher positions on my list, while the ones who offered minimal services for expensive prices fell further down the list.
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
It can be a real turnoff when you find a North Carolina registered agent with a price you can afford and all the services you need, only to find that their signup process is complicated and takes forever to complete.
For that reason, the third factor I considered was the ease of signup.
The agents with streamlined, automated signup processes got higher positions on our list, while those that required things like tons of paperwork mailed back and forth to a PO Box in some distant land earned lower positions.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
Once I determined whether an agent has great services, reasonable prices, and an easy signup process, the fourth factor I considered was how easy their online system is to use.
No one wants a cumbersome online system that’s so hard to use that everyone in the office is frustrated with it.
So, the agents that have easy-to-use systems that are simple to navigate earned higher places on my list than those whose systems are clunky, complicated, and hard to navigate.
Factor 5: Customer Service
No matter how easy an agent’s computer system is to use, you or someone in your office will have a question for your registered agent service at some point. And, because your registered agent’s job is to keep your company in good legal standing with the Secretary of State, it’s vital that they provide you with good customer service and actually answer your inquiries.
Not only that, getting fast customer service from your North Carolina registered agent may mean the difference between quickly solving your problem and returning to your work, or being stuck on hold all day.
This is why customer service was the fifth factor I considered.
The agent with the best customer service made the top of my list, while those with less exceptional customer service fell lower on the list.
The Best North Carolina Registered Agent Results Summary
When put through my 5-factor rating system, it became clear that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in North Carolina.
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.10/10)
Northwest Registered Agent was an easy choice for my number one spot because they offer such great services and the best customer service in the industry.
For only $125 per year, they provide everything you need to ensure your Georigia business remains in good standing, including a physical street address in North Carolina, a statutory agent, an online portal to access all your important mail including service of process, and alerts for important upcoming compliance deadlines.
They're also the only registered agent in North Carolina with a US-based customer support team of former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who will answer not only your registered agent questions, but also any questions you have about growing and managing your small business.
It's worth noting that there are over 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews, so I'm not the only one with a positive experience with them.
If you want a North Carolina registered agent service that will provide everything you need to ensure your business remains in good standing and support you as you grow your new business, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best Registered Agent for New LLCs – ZenBusiness (7.95/10)
ZenBusiness is a premium agent and is the best choice for those who haven’t actually started their corporate business as they’re my #1 choice for the best LLC formation service. They provide a year of registered agent service when you sign up for their LLC formation services, for which they charge a one-time fee of $49.
They don’t actually offer registered agent services that are separate from the LLC formation services, so while that doesn’t help a fully-formed business, it can help budding businesses.
After the year of free services, they charge $119 per year in subsequent years. That’s $6 per year less than Northwest’s services, but their customer service isn’t as good.
If you’d like free North Carolina registered agent services along with LLC formation services, and you aren’t too concerned about how good their customer service is, you can check out ZenBusiness here.
Best Budget Registered Agent – Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance is a great budget option because they do everything you’ll need a registered agent to do (including receiving service of process and other important documents) for considerably less than most other registered agents on my list.
Their services are pretty much the same as those of Northwest Registered Agent. But, they charge $99 per year for their services.
Their customer service is nowhere near as friendly or comprehensive as Northwest Registered Agent’s, however. They will answer any question you ask them about their registered agent service or computer system, they won’t answer general business questions.
And if you still aren't sure, just browse the hundreds of positive Harbor Compliance reviews online.
If you’d like a budget-priced North Carolina registered agent and aren’t as concerned about customer service, you can find out more about Harbor Compliance here.
Your choice of a registered agent in North Carolina is very important because it can make or break your business. A good registered agent will keep your business’s assets protected, keep your personal information safe, and make sure that your business is meeting compliance requirements.
I investigated over 60 different registered agents in North Carolina, then weeded out the lower offerings using a 4-stage investigation process, leaving us with 12. I rated those 12 using my 5-factor rating system and wrote detailed reviews about the top three.
I found that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in North Carolina.
They offer all of the services any business needs, no matter how big or small, along with an outstanding customer service team that will patiently answer any business question you may have. Their online system is easy-to-use and it includes a function to let you add more services for multiple states on the same system, allowing your agent services to grow along with your company.
If you’re looking for a North Carolina registered agent service that will provide you with all of the services you need, world-class customer service at a great price, then sign up for Northwest Registered Agent today.