Making sure that you choose the right Tennessee registered agent service is a crucial choice that could mean the difference between the success or failure of your business entity.
The right Tennessee registered agent will make sure that your LLC meets its legal obligations and maintains good standing with the Tennessee Division of Business Services and the Secretary of State, and that your personal information remains secure and off the public record.
The wrong Tennessee registered agent is likely to cost you a lot more than money. The wrong Tennessee registered agent service could be careless with your personal information and it could fall into the hands of those with nefarious intentions, like hackers and scammers. What’s worse is if your Tennessee registered agent service doesn’t make sure that your LLC meets its legal obligations you could lose your entire business.
I investigated over 60 different Tennessee registered agents, then rated the top 12 and wrote detailed reviews about the best three. Here are my choices for the best registered agent in Tennessee.
Table of Contents
1.Northwest Registered Agent – 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
The reason Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick for the best registered agent in Tennessee is they offer all of the registered agent services that your business needs in order to avoid trouble with the Tennessee Secretary of State, and they provide the best customer support in the whole registered agent industry.
You’re going to find a lot of reasons to like Northwest Registered Agent’s services.
They offer all of the services you need for your Tennessee LLC. Northwest provides your business with an office address in the state, they receive service of process from a process server, mail and documents on behalf of your LLC during normal business hours, and provide mail forwarding.
They also offer all of the services you want. They scan ALL of your mail and documents (not just the documents) before uploading them to an online portal for you to access with an online account the same day, and send out compliance filing notifications to let you know when you need to fill out an important form or file a document for your LLC (like annual report filing) in order to remain in good standing with the Tennessee Secretary of State and the Division of Business Services.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get set up with their online system and how easy it is to navigate. Because they have offices in every state, you can sign up for registered agent service in multiple states from the same portal. And because they have offices in every state, this means that Northwest Registered Agent can support your business no matter where it grows.
The main reason they’re my top choice for best Tennessee registered agent service is their industry-leading customer service.
These days many companies are quick to outsource their customer service to foreign countries with inexperienced agents who aren’t knowledgeable about the industry. So the fact that Northwest’s customer service team is US-based and made up of agents who are former business owners, entrepreneurs, accountants and lawyers with years of business experience is a refreshing change.
When you call their team, they listen to your questions and problems patiently and ask questions themselves in order to make sure that they understand your problem before they try to answer or offer solutions. They don’t just read off a scripted response in a monotone. Plus, their attention to detail means that they answer your questions efficiently the first time so that you don’t have to call back again with the same problem.
They charge only $125 per state per year for their registered agent service, which is the 2nd- lowest fee on my list. When you take that into account, it’s pretty easy to understand why they’re at the top of my list.
There’s only one drawback to Northwest’s services, and interestingly it’s also their best feature: their comprehensive approach to customer service.
There isn’t a way to call their customer service team, ask a one-sentence question, get a one-sentence response and get off the phone quickly. When you call up their customer service team, they patiently listen to you and ask lots of questions in an attempt to make completely sure that they understand your question. If you’re in a hurry, this can be a real pain.
There were a few times that I called them up to ask a quick question and they asked more questions than I had time to reasonably answer. In these instances it’s faster and simpler to just Google your question.
This is only a small knock against Northwest’s excellent registered agent service, and it’s not something you’ll encounter frequently.
Northwest Registered Agent is a registered agent in Tennessee that provides all of the services that your LLC needs to avoid legal troubles from the Tennessee Secretary of State, they have an online system that’s easy to set up and navigate, and their fee is only $125 per state per year.
They have the best customer service you’ll find in the registered agent industry as well. So with all of their great service offerings and attention to customer care, it’s easy to see why they’re the best Tennessee registered agent service.
If you want a registered agent that will go out of their way to provide the best service possible and charge a reasonable fee, sign up with Northwest Registered Agent.
2.Harbor Compliance – 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
If you’re looking to save money on a Tennessee registered agent service, Harbor Compliance is a good option, but their service offerings and customer support team aren’t on the same level as Northwest’s.
Harbor Compliance offers all of the services that a registered agent must in order to keep your LLC out of legal trouble for only $99 per year per state.
As your registered office, they provide your business with a street address in Tennessee, receive mail and legal documents and accept service of process during regular business hours on behalf of your company, scan your legal documents and upload them to an online portal for you to access with an online account and issue compliance filing alerts to remind you when you need to file any important form or legal document for your LLC (like filing your annual report) to maintain good standing with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
The major drawback to Harbor Compliance’s registered agent service is that their services are only adequate or good at best.
They provide the basic services that a registered agent must in order to keep your LLC out of legal hot water, but they don’t really provide any services that feel like “extras”; while their customer service team provides adequate customer service, they aren’t as polite, patient or comprehensive as Northwest Registered Agent’s team.
So while they’re reasonably good at everything they do, none of their services are exceptional .
Harbor Compliance offers all of the basic services that a registered agent must provide in order to keep your LLC in good standing with the Secretary of State and they offer the lowest fee of any registered agent service in Tennessee.
If you’re willing to trade away Northwest’s superior service offerings and outstanding customer service in order to save a measly $26 per year, you can read more about Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom – 6.59/10 (Best Premium Service)
LegalZoom is #3 on our list of best overall Tennessee registered agent services, but it’s my top pick in terms of premium registered agent services.
LegalZoom is a big company with a good reputation throughout the business world, so they aren’t just a premium registered agent, they’re also a commercial registered agent service.
They offer all of the basic services that a registered agent must in order to ensure that your Tennessee business meets all of its legal obligations. When you appoint them as your registered office, they accept service of process, mail and legal documents for your company, provide your business with a street address in Tennessee and keep your personal information safe.
The main benefit of LegalZoom’s premium registered agent service is the identity theft protection they offer along with their other services. They provide up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance. It can be really nice to be afforded this level of protection in a world so rife with cyber criminals and scams.
LegalZoom uses its big name and reputation in order to charge far more for their services than they’re worth. They charge $299 per state per year for their services, which is $176 more than Northwest’s excellent services. For less than $176 you could easily appoint Northwest as your registered agent, purchase identity theft insurance from a third party and STILL have money left over, so there’s really no reason to justify charging a fee of $299 for their services.
LegalZoom’s primary business service is providing templates for legal documents, not their registered agent service. Because of this their registered agent service isn’t focused on, which is pretty typical of a commercial registered agent. Their online system isn’t as refined as you’d hope it would be for the price you pay for their services and their customer service isn’t knowledgeable about their registered agent services, so they aren’t as helpful as they could be.
LegalZoom is a big name in the business world with a great reputation, and they also happen to offer registered agent services.
If you want to pay more for your registered agent’s name than their services, you can check out LegalZoom here: LegalZoom
Here are the other Tennessee registered agent services that made my list:
ZenBusiness is a Tennessee registered agent, as well as an LLC formation service. For some reason they have two different pricing tiers for their registered agent service.
For $99 per year they provide all the services that a registered agent must offer in order to avoid legal trouble for themselves as well as your LLC. As your registered office they provide your business with a physical address in the state, receive mail, documents and service of process on your company’s behalf during normal business hours, scan your documents and upload them to an online portal for you to access with an online account, and provide mail forwarding.
As you can see, they’re missing one important service: annual report reminders. In order to get annual report reminders or compliance filing alerts to remind you when you need to file an important form or document for your LLC, you have to pay $50 per state per year, in addition to the $99 per state per year for their basic services.
It’s pretty likely that the reason for these unusual pricing tiers is because they focus more on their LLC formation services. While it is helpful that they can assist you with filing the Articles of Organization for your business, their registered agent services aren’t worth the fee they’re charging for them.
IncFile is a Tennessee registered agent option that offers very little in terms of registered agent services. If you appoint them as your registered office, they provide all of the registered agent basics like a street address in the state of Tennessee, accepting mail and documents on your company’s behalf during business hours and mail forwarding. But they don’t provide any “extras” like compliance filing alerts to let you know when you need to send in an important form or document, or LLC formation services to help you draft and file your Articles of Organization.
6. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a cheap imitation of LegalZoom’s registered agent services that isn’t that much cheaper.
They charge a ridiculous $149 per state per year for their services and as a commercial registered agent you can expect the least in terms of services. As your resident agent they provide you with an agent address in the state of Tennessee, accept mail, documents and service of process on behalf of your business and forward your mail. But given the fact that they provide fewer services than Northwest and yet charge a higher fee than Northwest, they’re not really worth consideration.
7. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings is another Tennessee registered agent with service quality that doesn’t match the fee they charge. As your resident agent, of course they provide an address in the state of Tennessee for your LLC and accept service of process, mail and legal documents on behalf of your company during business hours. But they don’t offer compliance filing alerts to let you know when you need to submit an important form or document for your company, or any other “extras”.
InCorp is a Tennessee registered agent whose services proved to be an interesting conundrum when reviewing them.
They provide the same basic services that Harbor Compliance provides and charge the same fee: $99 per state per year. As your agent, they offer an office address in the state, accept mail, service of process and documents on behalf of your business entity during business hours and forward your mail.
You may be wondering why they are so far down the list. Their online system is such a nightmare to navigate that InCorp fell several positions down my list.
9. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a Tennessee registered agent service and LLC formation service that deserves to be this far down the list because it offers basic services with no frills and a large price tag. Their services include an office address, accept mail and documents for your corporation during regular business hours and mail forwarding. The problem is that they charge $149 for basically just providing only the services they have to in order to call themselves a registered agent.
10. CSC Global
CSC Global is a “premium” registered agent service in the state. They charge $299 per state per year for their services, which include all of the services you need for your corporation. As your registered office, they provide your LLC with an address in Tennessee, accept mail and documents on your company’s behalf and forward your mail.
But the only “premium” service they provide is paying your state fees when you file a change of registered agent form to change over to their service. However, it’s definitely not worth $299 per year just to try to avoid a filing fee. You could easily change your Tennessee registered agent, sign up for Northwest’s services, pay the state fees yourself and still not spend $299.
If you want the bare minimum registered agent services for your Tennessee LLC, you can read about CSC Global here:
11. Registered Agents Inc.
I was pretty excited about Registered Agents Inc. because it’s the only agent option on my list that specializes solely in registered agent services.
They provide all of the services you need for your corporation, like an office address in Tennessee, accepting mail and legal documents for your company and mail forwarding. The problem is: they charge $200 for their services.
If you feel like you’d like a registered agent that charges your company $200 for basic services, you can check out CSC Global here:
12. Jumpstart Filings
Jumpstart Filings is another agent that charges too much for their services, as many on this list do. They charge $129 per month for their scant services, sofor $4 less you could sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s superior services and industry-leading customer service.
If you’d like to sign up for Jumpstart Filings’ high-priced, basic registered agent services, you can do so here:
Registered Agent Review Summary
I started out with a list of over 60 different registered agent services in Tennessee that I investigated, then I rated the top 12 agents and wrote through reviews of the best three. This process led me to the conclusion that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent Tennessee has to offer.
They offer all of the services that are necessities for business entities, along with a few services that feel like nice “extras”. They also have an experienced US-based customer service team who lead the industry in terms of comprehensive customer service. And they charge a fair fee of $125 per state per year, which is only $26 more than the lowest fee on my list.
They may not offer any sort of premium services, but the quality of their services and customer service team more than makes up for that. Furthermore, their online system is easy to get set up with and has an intuitive interface that you’ll be able to learn to navigate quickly.
If you want a registered agent that can support your corporation no matter how big it grows, sign up with Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
Here are the logic and the methods I used to choose the best registered agent in Tennessee.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me because I’ve spent more time dealing with the registered agent industry than most sane people care to. I’ve learned so much that I’d wager that I even know more than some of the people who work at the registered agent companies that are on my list!
It started when I began searching for a registered agent for my two businesses. I didn’t know much about registered agents at the time, but I knew enough to know that I didn’t want to find myself in legal hot water or trouble with the Secretary of State.
So, I read through mountains of promotional pamphlets and online reviews in order to determine what was fact and what was hype about each company. I also ran up a ridiculously high phone bill because I spent hours on the phone with various customer service teams.
I’ve helped thousands of people find the right registered agent for their business entities. It was while I was guiding some of my friends and colleagues in the business community to their ideal registered agents that I realized I had more knowledge about registered agents than most people and I had more time to research agents than many people do, as well. This made it obvious to me that I was the right person to give this advice.
Since starting this website I’ve helped thousands of people to find the ideal registered agent for their companies, and I can help you find yours too!
How I Selected The Best Registered Agent
My search for the best registered agent in Tennessee began with a 4-stage investigation of over 60 different agent companies.
Stage 1: Reviews
You’d be surprised how much you can learn about a company simply from reading online reviews. So the first stage of my investigation process involved me combing through thousands of online reviews on TrustPilot, Facebook, Google Business and the Better Business Bureau.
This stage helped me to weed out all of the agents who were outright scams, and those who were using deceptive pricing practices. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
The next stage of my investigation led me to do a deep dive into each of the remaining companies' websites. This would let me know what services each agent provided and what sort of promises they made to potential customers.
This stage of investigation was simple enough. I just jumped onto their websites and read things like their “About” page, their company history and their sales pages, determined if they had an address or office in Tennessee, how many different methods they list to contact their customer service team (phone, email, chat), and called their customer service team if something didn’t make sense to me.
By the end of this stage I had a spreadsheet with 12 rows and 24 columns that listed each company’s service offerings.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
Of course you’ll be able to find out which services a company offers by going to their website. But speaking to customers will let you know how well they provide these services.
So, I reached out to customers who came to my site looking for advice, as well as those whom I had already helped to find a registered agent and I asked them how satisfied they were with their registered agent service.
This stage gave me a raw look at how each of the companies on my list treated their customers.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
The last stage of investigation led me to call each company’s sales team. Of course a company’s sales team is going to provide biased information, but seeing how they may handle negative feedback reveals a lot about the company as well.
I gathered up all of the negative feedback, comments and problems I’d found throughout my investigation, called the sales teams and asked them very direct questions about them. Some of the sales teams told me how they’d taken that feedback and used it to correct the problem so that it was no longer an issue. Other sales teams insinuated that there was no problem and that I shouldn’t listen to that one “crazy” customer.
This let me know which companies used feedback to grow and provide better services and which ones blamed their failings on the customers and kept the same faulty business practices.
Here are the rating factors I used to rate the 12 agents on my list.
Factor 1: Offerings
This factor is arguably the most important. If an agent doesn’t offer the services that your corporation needs, then none of the other factors are relevant.
Some agents provide your business with an address in the state, keep your personal details safe, accept mail on behalf of your business during business hours and forward your mail. Other agents provide compliance filing notifications to let you know when you need to file an important form or document for your LLC (like filing your annual report), scan your mail to upload onto an online portal, or provide LLC formation services. Still other agent companies provide premium services, such as identity theft protection and paying the filing fee when you file a Change of Registered Agent form.
I rated each agent service on my list based on the service offerings they provide.
Factor 2: Value
Of course the services that a registered agent provides are important, but it’s also important to compare the services that they offer to the fee that they charge for the services and determine if you’re getting a good value for the price.
There are three different types of pricing tiers when it comes to registered agent services in the state: budget, full-service and premium. Budget services cost between $39-$59 per year, a full-service option usually costs between $99-$120 per year and premium services usually cost at least $299 per year.
During my investigation I found that the budget options weren’t actually the value they seemed to be. The services you’re supplied for $39-$59 per year are so insufficient that you’ll eventually have to purchase more services to make up for it (like compliance filing notifications). In order to get these services from the budget agents you’ll have to pay additional fees up to $120 per year on top of the $39-$59 you’re already paying.
Because they aren’t upfront about these additional fees, the pricing practices of the budget agents seems unethical to me. That’s why
I didn’t include a budget option on my list.
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
It is so frustrating to find a registered agent with all of the services you want and need and at a great value only to find that signing up for their services is a complicated and lengthy process.
Do they have a simple, quick and automated process? Or do they require you to fill out tons of paperwork, then find a fax machine to fax it all to them and send in biometric identification only to be left waiting for them to finish processing it all?
Just so you didn’t have to waste time finding out which agents have the best signup processes, I signed up for each agent service on my list.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
It’s important that a registered agent’s online system be easy to use. It can be really frustrating to find a registered agent service that ticks all the boxes, get through the signup process and then find out that their online system is outdated, slow and so frustrating to use that everyone in the office hates it.
I actually got set up with each of the online portals of the registered agents on my list. I logged on and attempted to perform several simple tasks and then took note of if I got hung up. (And then called customer service if I did.)
Factor 5: Customer Service
It doesn’t matter whether a registered agent has the most user-friendly system in existence, you’ll eventually have a question or a problem that you’ll need them to walk you through. When you’re having problems navigating the system or you’ve run across a glitch in the system, customer service is extremely important.
A company with excellent customer service will help you to solve your problem efficiently and have you back to work in no time. But a company with less-than-adequate customer service can cause you a lot of frustration and may not even solve your issue. If you’ve ever tried to call a government agency during lunch hour on a weekday, you know the pain and frustration that bad customer service can cause.
I called the customer service team of each of the agents on my list and asked them simple questions. I took note of how polite and friendly their sales team was, their efficiency, their response time and how many people I had to speak to in order to receive a resolution to my problem.
The Best Tennessee Registered Agent Results Summary
I investigated over 60 different registered agent services, then rated the top 12 and wrote in-depth descriptions about the best three. Here are my top three picks for the best Tennessee registered agent.
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest Registered Agent earned my top spot because they supply all of the services that you need for your business entity, they charge a reasonable fee for their services and they provide the best customer service in the entire registered agent industry.
They provide the services you need, like an address in the state of Tennessee, accepting mail and legal documents on your company’s behalf, and keeping your personal details safe. They provide all the services you want for your company too, like scanning and uploading ALL of your mail and documents to an online portal (not just the documents) for you to access the same day, issuing compliance filing alerts to let you know when you need to file an important form or document for your LLC (like filing your annual report), and offering discounts for service for multiple states and multiple years.
But their best feature is their customer service.
They have a US-based customer service team that’s made up of people who are former entrepreneurs, business owners, accountants and lawyers who have years of business experience. They have enough business experience to help answer any business question you approach them with, and with their business support they’ll actually let you ask these questions and answer them and not just questions about their registered agent services.
My experience with Northwest Registered Agent definitely isn’t unique. There are over 3,000 positive reviews about them online.
If you want the best registered agent Tennessee has to offer, check out Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Budget Registered Agent – Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
If you want to save $26 per year and you’re willing to pass up Northwest’s fabulous service offerings and stellar customer service, Harbor Compliance is a solid option.
They provide all the services that you need to keep your company in good standing with the Secretary of State. You’ll get the coveted address in Tennessee, they’ll accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your LLC, scan your documents and forward your mail.
While their customer service team isn’t as comprehensive or polite as Northwest Registered Agent’s, they do provide adequate customer service and can walk you through most technical issues.
If you’re looking to save money and want a registered agent who provides basic services with no frills and adequate support, you can read about Harbor Compliance here: Harbor Compliance
Best Premium Registered Agent – LegalZoom (6.59/10)
If you want a premium registered agent service, LegalZoom is the best premium option in the state.
They provide all of the basic service options that you would expect from a registered agent like becoming your business’s point of contact, providing your business with an agent address in the state, accepting mail and legal documents on your behalf, scanning your mail and uploading it to an online portal, and forwarding your mail.
On top of all that, they also offer up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance.
This feature costs nearly twice what Northwest Registered Agent charges (an additional $176). For less than $176 you could appoint Northwest Registered Agent as your registered agent, then buy identity theft insurance so it’s really not worth $299 per state per year just for this one service.
If you’d really like to pay more for identity theft protection than you need to, you can read about LegalZoom here: LegalZoom
Choosing the right registered agent is a vital business decision that could mean the difference between business success and financial ruin. A good registered agent will keep your personal information off the public record while also ensuring that your LLC is in good standing with the Secretary of State.
I investigated over 60 different registered agent services, rated the top 12 and then wrote detailed reviews about the best three.
This investigation and rating process concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best Tennessee registered agent.
Their services include everything you need to keep your company in good standing, and all of the services that you want as well. They provide an address in Tennessee, scan ALL of your mail and documents (not just the documents) before uploading them to an online portal for you to access the same day, forward your mail, provide LLC formation services to help with things like drafting and filing your Articles of Organization, and compliance filing alerts to let you know when you need to file a form or document for your LLC (like filing your annual report).
Even better, they provide all of these services for the reasonable price of $125 per state per year. You’ll be pleased with the ease of their signup process and their user-friendly system navigation. And their US-based customer service team of experienced former lawyers, entrepreneurs, business owners and accountants sets the customer service standard for the entire registered agent industry.
If you’re looking for the best registered agent service for your LLC, sign up with Northwest Registered Agent.