6 Best Registered Agent Services for 2022 (Honest Evaluation)
When you form an LLC, partnership, or corporation, the state will offer you two choices: serve as your agent or hire a registered professional agent. But what’s a registered agent, and which one is the best? To help you answer these questions, we’ve scoured through the web, tried, and hand-picked the top six registered agent services.
This guide will compare the top six registered agent service companies in 2022 and pinpoint their pros and cons. With these trustworthy and skilled service providers, you can rest assured you’ll never miss another vital email, protect your privacy, and stay up-to-date with any new legal requirements.
Most importantly we’re confident that our thorough guide and evaluation will save you dozens of hours of research!
Let’s go ahead and start!
TL;DR: Our #1 recommended service: Northwest Registered Agent!
A Quick Glance at Registered Agents
Registered agents’ primary role is accepting “service of process” if an individual or business issues a lawsuit against them.
Service of process is well-detailed documentation that reveals why the company/individual is suing you. Your registered agent will record the necessary information and help ensure the paperwork is up-to-date, so your business stays compliant.
Furthermore, professional registered professionals accept official emails to update you on new changes in state requirements. Typically, registered agents must meet the following criteria:
- Registered agents can be an individual or a business (foreign or domestic)
- Individual registered agents must be a resident of the state
- Business entity registered agents should ensure they’re registered to operate in the state
- The registered agent should provide their physical address
- The registered agent should be at the physical address during office hours
The Top 6 Registered Agent Services for 2022 & Quick Feature Comparison
Without further delay, let’s dive in and compare the top six registered agent services for 2022:
|Registered Agent Service||Features|
|Northwest||Personalized customer service|
Streamline ordering process
Local document scanning
|> VISIT SITE|
Convenient online dashboard for documents
LLC Filing services
Socially conscious company
Excellent and fast customer support
|> VISIT SITE|
|IncFile||Free year of registered agent |
Automatic mail forwarding
Email and SMS notifications
|> VISIT SITE|
|IncAuthority||Truly LLC formation and incorporation |
31+ years track record
Stellar customer reviews and excellent customer support
|> VISIT SITE|
|Rocket Lawyer||Support from legal experts |
Accessible customer service
Available in 50+ states
Legal service subscription is a distinct and crucial option
|> VISIT SITE|
|Swyft Filings||Instalment payments option|
Flexible pricing models
Free business tax consultation
Federal EIN acquisition
|> VISIT SITE|
Best Registered Agent Services (With In-depth Explanation)
1. Northwest Registered Agent (our #1 choice!)
Northwest Registered Agent is the perfect option for entrepreneurs planning to launch their company online. The platform provides a secure and reliable web portal where you can store and retrieve confidential company information.
While using Northwest, we noticed it offers a seamless user experience, personalized customer service, and same-day local scans. In addition, the platform provides free digital mail forwarding and operates in all states.
Northwest’s Registered Agent’s Price:
Northwest charges $125 for registered agent services in one to four services, but the rate drops to $100 for five+ states. Moreover, unlike its competitors, the platform does not increase its cost after the first year.
- Lifetime support from Local Corporate Guides
- Automated Privacy features
- Free mail forwarding and scanning
- Free year registered service with an LLC business formation package
- Premium customer support via phone and email
- Operates in 50 states and Puerto Rico
- Safe and reliable agent service
- Not a very “old” service.
ZenBusiness is famous for offering expert insights and guidance in creating LLC and its excellent registered agent services. The platform includes an easy-to-use and intuitive dashboard to access updates and ensure easy management.
By choosing the Complete plan, ZenBusiness helped us save time and energy by filing annual reports, notifying us of upcoming compliance deadlines, and checking in with the state on our behalf. One reason we enjoyed using this platform is that it’s socially conscious. And since ZenBusiness takes Community Service seriously, it awards loans and grants to regular customers.
ZenBusiness Registered Agent’s Price
ZenBusiness offers free registered agent services for a year with its LLC formation package. On the other hand, their pricing model costs $99 for the first year and then $119 per year. We paid an additional $50 to enjoy ZenBusiness’s Worry-Free Compliance Guarantee.
- One year of registered agent services with an LLC formation package
- Convenient registered agent dashboard
- Affordable registered agent service
- Excellent and around-the-clock customer support
- Wide variety of high-quality services
- Intuitive agent dashboard with email notifications
- It doesn’t include options to purchase add-ons and other features
IncFile is the perfect registered agent service for businesses looking for cheap yet effective services. The platform offers impressive features in its business formation packages and registered agent services. By choosing this platform, you can access a secure and personalized portal to store and access official documents.
Furthermore, every time you receive a new document, Incfile sends you an email and text message to notify you. The platform also includes an easy-to-use dashboard to track and instantly access documents.
IncFile Registered Agent’s Cost
What made IncFile stand out for us was that it offered free registered agent services for the first year. After a year, the platform costs $119 while promising to keep you updated with deadlines and filing documents.
- Easy-to-use interface
- One year of registered agent service with LLC formation free of charge
- Excellent turnaround times
- Receives IRS mail correspondence on your behalf
- Automatically forwards legal documents
- Offers customer support by phone and email
- Slow customer support
- Lots of unnecessary add-ons and upsells
IncAuthority is another excellent registered agent service perfect for startups and small businesses. The platform offers free LLC formation and incorporation filing services with a free year of registered agent service.
We chose this platform because of its comprehensive range of high-quality features it offers. IncAuthority helps you stay compliant and safe from hefty fees and penalties by providing digital storage and delivery services. That way, the platform immediately receives, sorts, and prioritizes official documents, making it easy for you to access them whenever you want.
IncAuthority Registered Agent’s Cost
Their RA service costs $139/year and they provide it free of charge for the 1st year if you’re subscribing to their LLC formation package.
- INC care supports
- One year free registered agent service
- Digital storage and delivery
- Business name check services
- Stellar customer reviews
- Tax planning consultation
- Preparation of business formation documents and state filing
- Poor pricing transparency
- Delayed filing
- Expensive non-basic bundles
5. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a registered agent service well-renowned for providing expert legal assistance and help to entrepreneurs and business owners. With over 800,000 past customers and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there’s no doubt this platform is an excellent option for startups and multinational businesses alike.
Another feature that makes this organization unique is it charges its customer monthly to access its service. It was a notable selling point for us since we didn’t have to waste money on tools and services we didn’t need. A bonus of Rocket Lawyer is that becoming a member offers you access to significant discounts!
Rocket Lawyer Registered Agent’s Price
Rocket Lawyer Registered Agent Services cost $149.99/year for non-members and they offer a 25% discount for members who subscribe to their service.
- 25% discount with a premium subscription
- Excellent legal assistance
- Available in every state
- Distinct and expert legal service subscription
- Solid reputation and massive customer base
- It doesn’t offer full refunds
6. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings boasts a super straightforward signing-up process: you fill out a questionnaire and are ready to go! The affordable LLC formation service offers you a private and secure online account where you can file and post official documents.
In addition, the platform allows you to post important emails in your online portal and enjoy 24/7 access. When we tried Swyft Filings, we especially enjoyed how the automated technology and expert registered agents sent timely reminders to ensure we stayed compliant.
Swyft Filings Registered Agent’s Price
Furthermore, the platform offers a customized company kit, tax identity acquisition, and regular compliance alerts to help you launch and grow your brand without breaking the bank. The best part? The platform offers three packages with additional services like a customized digital corporate kit, documentation filing, and a free website to meet your business needs. However, if you’re only seeking registered agent services, the platform charges $149 per year.
- Flexible pricing models
- Customized digital corporate kit
- No cancellation fees
- 100% refundable
- Secure online storage
- Timely alerts and reminders
- No discounts
What are the Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a professional registered agent service offers endless benefits like peace of mind, privacy, compliance, and the ability to focus energy on growing your business.
Let’s also discuss the key advantages of a registered agent service in-depth:
Top Reasons to Use a Registered Agent Service
You Want to Direct Attention to Building Your Business
Compliance requirements can be quite time-consuming and labor-intensive, requiring the completion of lengthy forms and understanding confusing terms.
By working with a registered agent service provider, you can save yourself the trouble of dealing with the intricacies of compliance and focus on building and growing your business.
You Want to Diminish the Risk of Non-Compliance
If compliance matters are not your area of expertise and interest, hiring a skilled registered agent with intimate knowledge of state and federal regulations is the way to go.
That way, the registered agent will help you stay compliant, avoid hefty penalty fees, and maintain your company’s reputation.
You Have a Home-Based Business
Your registered agent’s address is part of the public record, meaning anyone can access it. That also means they will receive a significant amount of junk mail and cheesy marketing messages.
But hiring a registered agent can eliminate your business’s unsolicited mail, allowing you to prioritize official documents.
You Want to Incorporate in a State Apart from Your Business’s Location
You legally must hire a registered agent with a physical address in your business’s state. If you’re working from another state than where your company is incorporated, outsourcing a registered agent can help you meet this legal requirement.
For instance, if you form a New Jersey corporation or LLC, but your company’s location is in another state, you can work with an NJ-based registered agent.
You Don’t Maintain Normal Business Hours
According to state laws, registered agents must be available during official business hours to receive and sort business documents.
If you tend to set your working hours, working with an expert registered agent service ensures you never miss a crucial deadline or document.
You Travel Frequently and Don’t Have a Permanent Worksite
You’ll find receiving and accepting official documents challenging, especially if you frequently travel due to work. For instance, electricians and real estate agents attending service calls often stay out of the office.
Therefore, you can benefit from hiring a registered agent service provider that accepts documents on your behalf and ensures you don’t miss crucial deadlines.
Pros of Working With a Registered Agent Service
Now, let’s dive into the top benefits of hiring an expert and reliable registered agent service:
- Ensures Business Compliance
The number one pro of working with a registered agent service is it helps you stay up-to-date with state requirements by sending email and text notifications. That way, it ensures you don’t have to pay hefty legal fees or risk losing your business.
In addition, registered agent service providers offer you expert state-specific accounting and legal assistance to keep you on top of legal requirements. A bonus is that they scan and keep copies of corporate documents to ensure you always have backup files in case of theft, natural disaster, or unexpected losses.
- Offers Privacy
Whether you offer your warmest smiles to every customer or listen patiently to a rude buyer, you might still face an angry, disgruntled client who wants to sue you. The problem? You’ll never know when someone is trying to take advantage of your business. Luckily, registered agent services protect you from these situations.
Moreover, the state delivers lawsuits as “Service of Process” to your registered agent’s address. But local law enforcement will send it to your home or business if you lack one. And police officers delivering documents in front of your friends, family, employees, or neighbors can threaten your credibility.
Another issue is that handling official paperwork puts you at risk of losing the lawsuit due to technicality. You might lose by default if you don’t compile the documents correctly. Hiring a skilled registered agent helps protect your business, maintain your privacy, and ensure your business stays in operation in such cases.
- Increases Business Free Time
For startups and small businesses, time is money. Therefore, working with a registered agent can help you maximize your time, focus on growing your business, develop creative solutions, and make strategic business decisions.
Or, you can make room to relax by having a professional take care of your company mail. So, while a skilled registered agent will receive, sort, and prioritize legal documents, you can take a well-deserved break from your work.
- Provides Flexibility
Choosing to act as your registered agent means you’ll have to be available to receive official documents during official business hours- a task that’s impossible to achieve if you’re handling business work.
Hiring a registered agent allows you to focus on your business operations instead of tracking deadlines and accepting documents during work hours.
How to Choose the Right Registered Agent?
Your registered agent is the legal outpost for your organization, warning you of risks and protecting you from unnecessary penalties. Therefore, you must examine several factors when choosing a registered agent for your business.
Ideally, you want a registered agent that offers trustworthy, consistent, and reliable services. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you select the ideal registered agent:
Step # 1: Choose a Professional Service
We know what you’re thinking; the tasks of a registered agent aren’t that difficult. All you need is an office that’s open during official hours.
Wrong! Oversimplifying the tasks of a registered agent is the number one reason people choose to act or hire an employee as a registered agent. But this comes with an array of risks, such as the person missing state attempts delivery if they’re on vacation or otherwise unavailable.
In such cases, if the notice concerns a legal action, you’ll receive a judgment against you by default without even being aware. Therefore, it’s best to choose a skilled registered agent service that specializes in handling documents, forwarding them instantly, and keeping you updated with new state laws and official changes.
Step # 2: Consider Value
Your goal should be finding a registered agent who offers expert, foolproof document delivery and customizable electronic notification with the help of cutting-edge software and a team of skilled registered agents.
Instead of seeking the cheapest registered agent service, look for one that offers value and equips you with tools and services to help navigate each state’s requirements.
Step # 3: Check Additional Features
When choosing the ideal registered agent service, you must also determine the required features and tools. At a minimum, the platform should offer same-day electronic uploading and processing of documents without hidden fees.
In addition, consider looking for the following features:
- Compliance Management – The platform should notify you to file annual reports and send reminders for deadlines
- Document Management – The registered agent service should offer local scanning for official documents to enable you to access them online
- Availability – Ideally, the platform should provide reliable and friendly customer service
- Thorough Coverage – Look for a registered agent service that offers services in all 50 states
Step # 4: Evaluate Software
Choose a registered agent service that provides reliable and fast software that ensures timely transmissions of documents.
In addition, the platform should send documents in your desired format, provide real-time data on your organization’s standing, print reports, and manage other corporate filings.
Step # 5: Pricing
Determining your budget is an excellent way of narrowing down your options. Remember, price matters, but in proportion to the value, you receive.
While the DIY approach will help you save money, it’ll also increase the risks. Therefore, choosing a registered agent that offers effective yet affordable services is best.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
You can choose to act as your registered agent, given you meet the following criteria:
- Your name and business/personal address are available as public record
- You’re a resident of the state where your company operates
- You’re available during business hours at the listed address during business working days
- You accept and sort your mail diligently to respond to crucial documents and stay updated with deadlines.
You may also choose to hire an employee or friend if they meet the following requirements:
- They’re 18+
- They have a physical address where your business operates
- They’re available during official business hours
The Bottom Line
We used a proven and carefully selected methodology to list the top six most reliable, trusted, and affordable registered agent services. To provide you with the best, we considered accessibility, transparency, features, and pricing factors to highlight every service provider’s top features, pros, and cons.
So, no matter which of the six registered agent services you choose, one thing’s for sure; you’ll enjoy exceptional quality services at budget-friendly costs!
Do I need a registered agent?
According to U.S. state laws, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations must have a registered agent. Therefore, it’s legally essential for you to hire a registered agent.
Apart from that, working with a registered agent offers you the following benefits:
- Peace of mind
- Ability to divert your time and attention from your business
Which is the best-registered agent service for me?
Your ideal registered agent depends on your unique business needs. We recommend trying ZenBusiness, Northwest, and IncFile since they offer high-quality and reliable services at affordable costs.
But if you have to choose one and the best, we definitely recommend Northwest.
Does a registered agent service include a compliance assistance tool?
Although not all, most registered agent services offer ongoing compliance assistance.
Can I change my registered agent service after forming/growing my business?
Yes, you can switch your registered agent service by following the method provided by your state. Most state laws require you to fill out a form and pay an affordable fee, whereas others allow you to change your service provider and indicate it as part of annual report filing.
How much do registered agent services cost?
Most registered agent services charge a fee between $90 and $190. However, you can find several for free!
Looking to Incorporate an LLC? See LLC Services Reviewed by Us:
#1: ZenBusiness review.
#2: Northwest Registered Agent review.
#3: IncFile review.
#4: IncAuthority Review.
#5: Nolo review.
#6: MyCorporation review.
#7: CorpNet review.
#8: Rocket Lawyer review.
#9: LegalZoom review.
#10: Harbor Compliance review.
#11: Swyft Filings review.
#12: BizFilings review.
#13: BetterLegal review.
#14: Active Filings review.
#15: Tailor Brands review.
#16: Incorporate.com review.