The registered agent you choose for your business is crucial to its success.
The right Virginia registered agent will make sure that your business assets are protected and that your personal information stays off the public record. They’ll also ensure that your company meets all of its legal obligations.
The wrong Virginia registered agent will cost your company a lot more than just money. They charge more for their meager services than they’re worth and are careless with your business information which could leave your business vulnerable to hackers and scams, and possibly open to personal lawsuits.
I investigated more than 60 different Virginia registered agent services, rated the top 12, and then wrote thorough reviews about the top three. Here are my choices for the best Virginia registered agent service.
1. Northwest Registered Agent Review – 9.13/10 (My Top Pick)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick for the best Virginia registered agent service because they offer all of the services your Limited Liability Company (LLC) needs in a registered agent at a very competitive price while providing the best customer service in the industry.
Northwest Registered Agent covers every base you need from a registered agent service.
They provide a street address in Virginia, they accept mail, service of process, and legal documents on behalf of your company during normal business hours, scan ALL of your mail and documents (not just the legal documents, unlike most other registered agents in the state) and put them on an online portal which you can access with an online account.
They also give you compliance alerts to remind you when you need to file an important document (like your annual report) to keep your LLC in good standing with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
It’s easy to sign up for their services, and their system is easy enough to learn so that everyone in the office will be able to navigate it. They have an office in every state so, using their portal, you can also sign up with them in multiple states which is a unique feature. So, no matter which state your business expands into, Northwest Registered Agent can assist you with the growth of your business.
But it’s their customer service that is their stand-out feature.
It’s really refreshing to find a customer service team that isn’t outsourced, or more concerned about keeping call lengths to a minimum rather than actually helping its customers.
Northwest’s customer service team is based in the United States and it’s made up of ex lawyers, entrepreneurs and business owners. Therefore, every person on their customer service team has the experience and expertise needed to answer any question you have. And, they not only answer questions about their registered agent services, but any business question you have.
If they don’t know the answer they will look it up and revert to you. Considering the fact that every new business needs a ton of support, especially during the first year of their LLC, together with all the other advantages, it was easy to make the choice to put Northwest Registered Agent in our top position.
At $125 per year (which makes them only $26 per year more than my budget choice below) it’s well worth the extra to get excellent, all-round service.
Northwest’s best feature is also their biggest downfall: oddly it’s the thoroughness of their customer service.
When you call Northwest Registered Agent’s customer service team, they do their best to provide your company with comprehensive customer service. This means that they ask a ton of questions in order to understand your problem, and they wait until they absolutely understand your problem and know the solution to it before they give you an answer or even make suggestions.
This is great when you want a quality answer and a detailed explanation, but it’s not so great when getting that answer impacts the rest of your workday. It’s a pain whenever the whole office is held up waiting for an answer to one customer service call.
Of course, this is only a small complaint against Northwest Registered Agent, and it really only comes up when you need a solution to your problem or query in a hurry.
Northwest Registered Agent is the best Virginia registered agent service because they offer all of the full-service offerings that your LLC needs, they have the best customer service team not only in the state of Virginia, but in the entire industry, their computer system is easy to use, and they provide all of these features for the second-lowest price of any Virginia registered agent service on this list.
If you need a Virginia registered agent service that will provide you with excellent customer service, answer any business query you may have about your LLC, and provide your business with a great range of registered agent services, sign up for Northwest Registered Agent here.
2. Harbor Compliance Review – 7.92/10 (Best Budget Registered Agent)
Harbor Compliance is my second choice for the best Virginia registered agent because they provide you with all of the services your business in Virginia needs in a registered agent, and they have the lowest annual fee in the state.
Harbor Compliance provides a lot of the same services as Northwest Registered Agent.
They are your business point of contact, provide your business with an office address, accept legal mail and legal documents, as well as receive service of process on behalf of your LLC during regular business hours, scan your legal documents and put them on a portal for you to access with an online account, and give you compliance alerts to remind you when you need to file an important document (like your annual report).
It’s easy to get through their signup process, and you can sign up for their registered agent service in multiple states simply through their portal. Their online system is easy enough to use, and it won’t take long for everyone in your office to learn to navigate it, but it could definitely be improved.
Their stand-out feature is their price. They charge a mere $99 per year for their full-service offerings. This is the cheapest Virginia registered agent service on the market. They’re even $26 cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent.
There’s one drawback to Harbor Compliance that’s not readily apparent when reading about their registered agent services. It is simply this: while they are good at everything they do, they aren’t great at anything they do.
They provide your business with a good range of full-service options, but there are no premium services. Their computer system is fairly easy to navigate, but it could be better.
And, their customer support is adequate, answering your questions, but they don’t provide any of the business support available with Northwest Registered Agent.
Harbor Compliance is a good option for those who are looking to save some money. They offer the same general full-service options that Northwest Registered Agent does, and they do it for $99 per year.
If your priority is price and not support or service, then you can read more about Harbor Compliance here.
3. LegalZoom Review – 6.59/10 (Best Premium Registered Agent)
LegalZoom is the best and most well-known premium Virginia registered agent on my list, and I looked at a lot of really unsatisfactory premium services.
They’re a commercial registered agent that will provide full-service registered agent services that any LLC in the state of Virginia could benefit from. They will become your business’s point of contact and provide a physical address, accept mail, legal documents and service of process during business hours.
They scan your documents and allow access to them via an online portal, and give you compliance notifications to let you know when you need to file an important form (like your annual reports).
A great but costly bonus is that they provide your business with up to $1 million in identity theft protection and cover any state fees you incur from deciding to change your registered agent service to theirs.
For all this, they charge a whopping $299 per year for their commercial registered agent services. However, their registered agent services get quite neglected and overlooked because registered agent services aren’t the only service they offer.
If you’re looking for a Virginia registered agent with a big name that can provide you with premium services and cost really isn’t an issue for you, you can get more information about LegalZoom here.
4. ZenBusiness Review
ZenBusiness is an LLC formation service that offers everything you want from a registered agent, but for some reason, has two pricing tiers.
The first tier is $99 per state per year and includes everything included by Northwest Registered Agent, with one notable exception – compliance alerts. To get access to their compliance alert system, you need to pay an additional $50 per state per year.
This is probably because their primary focus is on LLC formation services, rather than registered agent services, so they haven’t fully optimized their offering. But, regardless of the reason, they’re still more expensive than Northwest Registered Agent and don’t offer the same level of support available.
If you want to read a full breakdown of their products and services, check out my ZenBusiness review.
5. IncFile Review
IncFile is a registered agent in Virginia that offers very minimal services. They provide your LLC with a business address and they will accept mail and service of process on behalf of your business.
They give you 1 year of free agent services, but just like ZenBusiness, they charge a lot after that year is up. Their fee is $119 per year in subsequent years.
You can read about IncFile here.
6. Rocket Lawyer Review
They give your business in Virginia a business address in the state and accept legal correspondence and documents on behalf of your Limited Liability Company (LLC). However, they charge $149 per year for these bare-bones services and less-than-adequate customer service.
If you want to read more about their services, check out our Rocket Lawyer review.
7. SunDoc Filings Review
SunDoc Filings is yet another registered agent in Virginia that provides few services but charges high prices. Like any registered agent must, they provide your Virginia business with a business address in the state and accept legal mail and correspondence for your LLC. However, they have a $159 per year price tag.
So, if you want an expensive registered agent that provides you with the bare minimum in terms of service, you can read about SunDoc Filings here.
8. InCorp Review
InCorp is a registered agent in Virginia that was an interesting conundrum not just for any Virginia business but also for me as I was reviewing their services. Of course, they provide the services that any registered agent must, like providing your Virginia business with a business address and accepting mail and legal documents for your company.
They charge $99 per year, which is the same price our budget choice charges. The problem is that their online system is really hard to use, and their customer service isn’t good enough to support such a frustrating system.
If the price looks good to you, I’d recommend you check out Harbor Compliance instead.
9. Swyft Filings Review
Swyft Filings offers a lot of the same services as our top three agent services provide, and those that any registered agent must have.
They give your Virginia business a business address in the state and offer compliance alerts to notify you of upcoming filing deadlines for each form you need to file for your company, but they charge $149 per year.
You can get the same services, as well as better customer service, from Northwest Registered Agent for $25 per year less.
If you want a full breakdown of their products and services, check out our Swyft Filings review.
10. CSC Global Review
CSC Global is a ‘premium’ registered agent service in Virginia that offers very little in terms of any actual premium services.
They provide your Virginia business with a business address in the state of Virginia, along with some other basic services.
The only premium service they provide is that they cover any filing fee your company is charged when you change to their services. However, they charge $299 per year. For far less than that you could hire Northwest Registered Agent, pay the filing fee your company got charged for making the change, still pay less than $299, AND receive excellent customer service!
If there’s some reason you want to pay $299 for less-than-great services, you can learn more about CSC Global here.
11. Registered Agents Inc. Review
Registered Agents Inc. offers many of the same services provided by Northwest Registered Agent. They provide you with a business address in Virginia, and they’ll even give you compliance alerts to remind you of upcoming filing deadlines for each form your company needs to file.
Their fee is the drawback, however. They charge $200 per year, while Northwest Registered Agent charges only $125 and provides better service.
12. Jumpstart Filings Review
Jumpstart Filings offers both registered agent and LLC formation services in Virginia. Their registered agent services are pretty minimal, and you’ll get little more than a physical street address in the state.
There are a couple of major drawbacks to Jumpstart Filings, however. Firstly, they charge $150 per year. Secondly, they don’t offer a free year of registered agent service when you sign up for their LLC formation services. So, if you’re looking for an LLC formation service along with free registered agent services for a year, it’s better to go with ZenBusiness.
Registered Agent Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is my top choice for best Virginia registered agent because they offer a ton of great services beyond those that a registered agent must provide (like a physical street address in Virginia), they charge $125 per year which makes them the second cheapest registered agent on the list, and their customer service is the best in the industry.
Their U.S.-based customer service team is made up of ex lawyers, business owners and entrepreneurs who have years of business experience. They’re very patient with customers and offer comprehensive service. What’s more, you can ask them questions about any aspect of your business, not just their registered agent services, and they do their best to answer them.
They have a simple signup process, and their computer system is easy to navigate. And they offer compliance notifications to let you know about upcoming filing deadlines.
If you want the best registered agent Virginia has to offer, or if you want to change your registered agent service in order to obtain better services, sign up with Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best Registered Agent Review Methodology
Here is the reasoning behind the ranking of the best registered agent.
Why You Should Trust Me
I have spent more time interacting with and researching the registered agent industry than almost anyone else in this industry.
I began researching registered agents for my two businesses (a cafe and a health website). When I closed down those businesses eventually, I began to look for a new project. I quickly learned by talking to friends in the cafe industry, as well as those in the business industry at large, that most people don’t know as much about the registered agent industry as I do, and they don’t have the time to do research that I undertook.
That turned into my new business venture and I started a website so that I could give this advice to people on the internet, like you.
Selection Of The Best Registered Agent
I used a 4-stage investigative process to whittle down a list of over 60 registered agents for your Virginia LLC. Here’s how I did it:
Stage 1: Reviews
The first thing I did was check out reviews that customers had left online. I looked at various sites, like TrustPilot, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau, along with any other site that any Virginia resident had left reviews about a resident agent service. Truthfully, there was no way I could read every last review.
Instead, I read reviews that were more than a couple of paragraphs long and provided. with ample information about the type of service that each resident agent provided to a person or company.
There’s a lot you can learn from online reviews. For instance, I was able to determine pretty quickly which services were outright scams and which ones used deceptive pricing practices. (More on that later.)
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After reading online reviews, I did a thorough investigation of each agent’s business website.
Some of the things I looked at were the services they provided (do they just offer a business address, or do they provide a variety of services like compliance filing alerts?), their company history, their location (they had to have an address in Virginia), how many methods they listed to contact their customer service team (phone, email, chat), and any awards they’d won and displayed on their website.
This gave me an idea about how they presented themselves and some of the services they advertised.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
While online reviews are a good place to start, they don’t give you the full picture. Most people won’t even leave a review online unless they’ve either had an overwhelmingly positive or extremely negative experience with a company.
So, I reached out to customers who had come to my website and obtained a registered agent based on my recommendations, as well as those who already had registered agents before coming to my site, but were looking for a change. I asked them about the service they received from their agents and how satisfied they were?
This definitely gave me a better idea of what working with each agent was like and how they interacted with customers, regardless of what their website said.
Stage 4: Speak With Their Sales Team
The next thing I did was call each company’s sales team. I gathered up all of the negative feedback, comments and issues I could find and then asked them direct questions about them. Their answers were pretty telling.
Some of them. said things like that they’d taken the feedback and used it in order to fix the problem, so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Others blamed the customer for the issue, indicated that they were ‘crazy’ and that I shouldn’t listen to them.
The reactions of the sales team let me know what interacting with each company is like, and whether the company uses feedback to change and grow, or just ignores it.
After the 4-stage investigative process, I was left with 12 companies. Here are the factors I used in order to place each Virginia registered agent.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I considered is arguably the most important: the services each agent provides. If an agent doesn’t offer the services your company needs, then everything else is pretty irrelevant because they’re of no real use to you.
I looked at things like whether the service simply offers a business address in Virginia; if they forward your mail or actually scan it and put it on an online portal; if they just give you a calendar with compliance filing deadlines on it, or if they actually give you compliance filing alerts every time a new deadline approaches, whether they actually offer identity theft protection or just give you a vague promise to keep your information safe, and whether they offer a cheap LLC service or possibly even the best LLC service.
The company with the best services won our top position.
Factor 2: Value
Value for money is an important factor to consider when you’re researching any service. However, prices for registered agents in Virginia vary WIDELY. In fact, it can be hard for the average person to determine what a good price for a registered agent actually is because of this, so I’ll address that here.
I found that there were three different pricing tiers that were offered by registered agents in Virginia: budget, full-service and premium.
Budget services usually charge around $39-$59 per year, full-service agents run between $99-$129 per year, and premium services start at $299.
Budget services initially seem like a great idea until you figure out that they’re using deceptive pricing practices. The services they provide for $39-$59 per year are so minimal that you really won’t get by on them. And, in order to get the services you’d expect (such as compliance filing alerts), you’ll have to pay additional fees that can cost more than what some premium services charge.
Because of this, you’ll notice that I don’t put any budget services on my list. I don’t approve of these deceptive pricing practices and feel they’re unethical.
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
It can be a pretty big turnoff to find a registered agent that offers all the services you need at a reasonable price, only to discover that its signup process is overly complicated and takes forever.
So, those agents whose signup processes are automated, simple and quick earned higher positions on my list than those who required mountains of paperwork to be sent to a PO Box address along with the blood of your firstborn child and then took forever to reach there.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
If a registered agent’s computer system isn’t navigable, it can be a real pain. So, for this reason, I incorporated this factor into my rating system.
The agents whose computer systems were easy-to-use and simple to navigate took higher positions on my list than those whose systems would potentially cause an office-wide headache because of the overly-complicated navigation system.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The last factor I considered was customer service because no matter how easy a computer system is to use, you’ll eventually have a question. Plus, your registered agent can quite literally mean the difference between avoiding legal problems and causing them, so their customer service is important.
The registered agent with the best customer service easily earned the top position on my list, while those whose customer service was lacking earned lower positions.
The Best Virginia Registered Agent Results Summary
After my 4-stage investigation process, my list of registered agents was whittled down from over 60 to 12. My 5-factor rating system helped me determine that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Virginia.
Best Overall Registered Agent – Northwest Registered Agent (9.13/10)
Northwest Registered Agent is my first pick for the best Virginia registered agent because they offer a wide range of services at a reasonable price AND they have the best customer service not only in the state but in the industry.
They only charge $125 per year for their services, which is the second-best price on my list. They give your company a business address in the state, they scan ALL of your mail and documents and then put them on an online portal for you to access, and offer compliance alerts.
They also offer registered agent services in all 50 states, so as your business grows, Northwest Registered Agent can grow with it.
With more than 3,000 positive Northwest Registered Agent reviews, you can be confident that my experience was not a fluke.
If you want the very best registered agent service you can get for your company, you should sign up for Northwest Registered Agent here.
Best Budget Registered Agent – Harbor Compliance (7.92/10)
Harbor Compliance offers a variety of services for the best price on the list.
They provide a business address, compliance alerts, and scan and forward your mail. And they do all of this for only $99 per year.
Their customer service team isn’t as helpful or patient as Northwest’s and they’ll only answer questions about your registered agent service, whereas Northwest’s customer service team will answer any business question you may have.
If you’re willing to sacrifice great services and customer support in order to save $26 per year, then you can get more information about Harbor Compliance here.
Best Premium Registered Agent – LegalZoom (6.59/10)
If you’re looking for a registered agent service that offers a little more, LegalZoom is the best of an unremarkable group of premium options.
They provide everything included by Harbor Compliance (while also lacking the customer support of Northwest Registered Agent), including a physical address in Virginia, mail uploading and forwarding, an online portal, and compliance alerts, but the feature that lands them on the premium list is their identity theft insurance.
When you sign with LegalZoom, you get $1 million worth of identity theft protection included in their service.
The downside is that to access this insurance, you have to pay $299 per state per year for their base package — more than double the cost of Northwest Registered Agent and triple the cost Harbor Compliance.
In fact, you can purchase that level of identity theft insurance for less than the difference, making them not a great option.
So, if you desperately want identity theft insurance with your registered agent service or are already using LegalZoom for other services, they’re worth considering. But if you’re not, there are better options on my list.
The choice you make when appointing a registered agent for your company is a vital one. Your agent can protect your business assets, keep your personal information off the public record and make sure your legal obligations are met.
I investigated over 60 different agents, then rated the best 12 and picked the top three from there.
My investigation process led us to the conclusion that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Virginia.
You’ll get a variety of full-service offerings from Northwest, along with excellent customer service from a team of experienced professionals. Their computer system is easy to navigate and it’s easy to sign up for registered agent service in multiple states from the same portal.
If you want industry-leading customer support and registered agent services, then check out Northwest Registered Agent here.
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