All LLCs - Limited Liability Corporations - require a registered agent on file for each state where the company will operate.
While it's not uncommon for sole proprietor LLCs to list themselves as registered agents, most companies prefer to use professional registered agents' services. While there are plenty of options out there, some choices are superior. This article will cover six of the best Registered Agent services for LLCs.
There will also be a detailed explanation for the six criteria factors used to compile this list of LLCs' best Registered agents.
Northwest Registered Agent: Best overall
Northwest Registered Agents has been providing LLCs and corporations with legal services since 1998. There are over 200 specialists (Corporate Guides) throughout the US to help entrepreneurs set up the legal structure.
This agency helps business owners protect their privacy by not listing their addresses on business forms. A specialist will also handle all the necessary paperwork, from researching LLC names and obtaining a federal tax ID to completing and filing the articles of organization.
Agents will also manage any legal paperwork that the company receives, such as civil suits, annual compliance documents. Northwest Registered Agent is an excellent option for:
- LLCs (single or multiple owners)
- Corporations (C and S)
- Partnerships (General, limited, limited liability)
Northwest Registered Agents will not be able to assist sole proprietorship businesses. But given the minimal requirements for this type of business, a registered agent will rarely be necessary.
It costs $225 to hire Northwest Registered Agent to help set up your business as an LLC. This fee includes an agent handling all the necessary paperwork to get your LLC established and serving as the registered agent for one year. They will also assist with stock certificates, resolutions, and corporate bylaw documents.
To continue listing Northwest as your registered agent, you'll have to pay an annual fee of $125. While serving as the LLC's registered agent, all mail (including junk and crucial legal documents) will go to Northwest. You'll receive a scanned copy and any additional information to review.
For more on their services, read our full Northwest Registered Agent review.
- Fair pricing
- Free RA service for your first year with formation
- IncFile is slightly cheaper for basic RA service (though only $6 per year)
ZenBusiness: Best package deal
ZenBusiness operates as a Limited Liability Corporation formation company, specializing in helping businesses create and maintain an LLC.
This company has helped entrepreneurs throughout the US establish LLCs since they opened the doors to their Texas-based office in 2015.
Praised for their fantastic customer support, simple user dashboard, automated processing, and affordable plans, ZenBusiness has plenty to offer businesses just starting on their journey to becoming an LLC.
In addition to serving as a registered legal agent and a physical mailing address for your LLC, ZenBusiness can also provide CPA assessments, website development, compliance guarantee, and EIN acquisition.
Customers have three plans to choose from - Starter, Pro, or Premium - allowing businesses to pick the option that gives them all the essential features.
ZenBusiness is a valid option for multiple types of business formations, including:
- S and S corporations
- Sole Proprietorships
Unlike other registered agents, ZenBusiness handles all types of business formations. They're also more affordable, with their cheapest plan - Starter - costing just $49 a year. Although the Premium plan costs $299 a year, the additional features mean there's less work for the business owners, like filing for an EIN, domain registration, and building a website.
Customers can keep up with their business documents through an easy-to-navigate dashboard, where everything gets scanned and filed by the registered agent. You also have the option to request physical copies get mailed to you.
There are also compliance alerts that notify users when there are important papers to review. From start to finish, ZenBusiness makes it easy for business owners to establish an LLC and list an experienced registered agent.
We have all the details and more of our opinion on ZenBusiness in our ZenBusiness review.
- Good for most SMBs
- Great pricing
- Stellar customer service
- They haven't been around as long as other options
IncFile: Most affordable
IncFile is another LLC formation company, founded in 2004 in Houston, Texas, to make it easier for business entrepreneurs to form LLCs.
Entrepreneurs can use IncFile to handle all the steps necessary to establish an LLC. But they also offer services you may need once your business is running, like accounting, compliance, name changes, or dissolutions, and hiring a registered agent.
You also get access to helpful business resources, such as business name search, calculating taxes, and steps for starting your company.
IncFile can help business owners set up multiple types of company structures, including:
- Corporations (S or C)
- Sole proprietorships
When you choose IncFile, you can establish your LLC for free; you pay for state filing fees. But IncFile isn't the perfect fit for everyone. They cannot help you establish a partnership, although they can assist with dissolving one. They can also assist with compliance and accounting.
Rather than offering yearly plans with multiple features, IncFile's pricing varies by task. The cost to form LLCs or corporations varies by state, with the cheapest being $40 and $520 as the highest. C or S-corp fees also vary by state from $50 to $725. Non-profits range from $8 to $237. You'll pay $0 to $299 or higher, depending on chosen services.
A business license package costs $99, while $199 (plus the federal filing fee) gets you a legal trademark. Using IncFile for a registered agent is free for the first year after starting the LLC and $119 each year after that.
Head over to our IncFile review for more details and our thoughts on their services.
- Good pricing for business owners on a budget
- Quick trademark registration
- Lots of options
- Fairly aggressive upsells
Rocket Lawyer: Best for legal advice
Rocket Lawyer has been a reliable source of legal services at affordable prices since they started in 2008. To date, they've helped more than 20 million customers with legal assistance.
This company assists with business and personal matters and offers free legal forms. They can also help small enterprises to become incorporated.
Entrepreneurs use Rocket Lawyer to get legal advice, have contracts and other legal documents reviewed, learn about state regulations, and get help with business finances, like opening bank accounts or credit cards. Rocket Lawyer can also help form the following entities:
- Corporations (C or S)
- Sole proprietorships
Customers have two options when forming an LLC or other business entity - a one-time LLC formation for $99.99 (plus state filing fees) or a monthly subscription for $39.99.
The monthly plan allows you endless questions with a lawyer, free filing, and a 30-minute consultant for new projects. When you purchase a single formation, Rocket Lawyer will prepare and file the company's articles of organization, conduct a name search to ensure your choice is available, phone or email customer support access, and online and hard copies of completed forms.
To hire Rocket Lawyer to serve as your company's registered agent, you have to pay $149.99. Members who use a monthly subscription plan get a 25% discount on the price. New members have the opportunity to try a free trial for seven days to see if you'd prefer a monthly plan or a single purchase.
Rocket Lawyer is a valuable option for companies who need access to legal advice, help with forming an LLC or other business entity, and having a registered professional agent listed. But if all you need is a registered agent, there are more affordable options.
For more thoughts, read our entire Rocket Lawyer review.
- Great for business owners who want accessible legal help
- Good bundle options
- Not the cheapest for entrepreneurs who just want basic RA service
LegalZoom: A-Z service
LegalZoom is another legal service provider that assists customers worldwide by connecting users with local legal experts. This company also offers multiple legal documents, the necessary instructions, and assistance for filling the items out.
Many businesses rely on LegalZoom to obtain all the required paperwork to establish a new entity without using a lawyer. But if you need a lawyer, LegalZoom can help you find one in your area.
Since starting operation in 1999, LegalZoom has helped over 4 million clients, making it one of the top legal service companies available online. Over 1.5 million customers use LegalZoom as their registered agent.
LegalZoom can help the following entities fill out the required paperwork for establishing a new business:
- S or C Corporations
- Sole Proprietorships
The cost to hire a registered agent from LegalZoom is $299 annually. There are no additional fees, but there also are no extra features you can add for extra expenses.
When you hire an agent from LegalZoom, you get courtesy calls any time there are court documents to review, and a Compliance Calendar ensures you stay on top of crucial dates.
Given the limited services offered and the higher costs, small business owners may decide to go for a cheaper registered agent than LegalZoom. However, they are a great resource to use for all the legal paperwork needed to form an LLC or other business entity.
Read our entire LegalZoom review for all our thoughts on the pros and cons of their registered agent service and more.
- Comprehensive services
- Well established
- Great for all types of businesses
- Not the most affordable for basic registered agent needs
CorpNet: Easiest to use
CorpNet is an organization founded by Nellie and Philip Akalp. Since its inception, CorpNet has helped over 500,000 customers and established over 100,000 businesses.
Whether you're looking to form an LLC, C, or S-Corp, partnership (general, limited, or limited liability), sole proprietorship, or non-profit, CorpNet has the experience and resources to jumpstart your next business venture.
The price to hire CorpNet to operate as a Registered Agent is $149 a year, available in all 50 states in America. If you have multiple companies to list, you can get a 20%-65% discount.
Compared to other registered agent prices, CorpNet does have a higher cost. If all you need is an RA, you may want a cheaper choice. But CorpNet also offers other services besides registered agents.
You can also use this company to obtain business permits and licenses, trademarking, payroll and sales tax registrations, compliance, and business filings. CorpNet also offers plans for incorporating a business as an LLC or other entity. But again, at much higher costs than other RAs.
For more thoughts, jump over to our CorpNet review.
- Great for business owners who incorporated with CorpNet and want an all-in-one solution
- Exceptional customer service
- More expensive for basic RA service
How We Assess Registered Agent Services
To narrow down the wide variety of Registered Agent Services to find the top options to present for this list, we focused on the following criteria. These factors played an essential role in determining the companies chosen as the best registered agent services. Also be sure to read our guides on registered agents 101 and the risks to being your own registered agent.
Document Management & Online Experience
How each company manages client documents is a crucial consideration. Registered agents have to be available to accept mail on behalf of a company during regular business hours. As a business owner, you'll want to access the mail you receive as needed.
Most agents use online portals or dashboards to allow clients access to business documents. Other companies may offer the option to mail you physical copies along with the electronic files.
User ability is also a factor. Clients don't want to jump through hoops to view their paperwork. It should be easy to navigate to your documents and review them at any time.
Professional registered agents manage multiple clients at the same time. So, it makes sense that there's a processing time between when the registered agent receives your company's mail and when they get it uploaded.
The timeframe for processing can vary by company. Some agents offer to expedite document processing for an additional fee or with specific subscription plans.
But given that registered agents handle all of your legal documents, you'll want to find one with a reasonable turnaround time. You don't want to risk missing a crucial deadline because your documents got tied up in "Pending."
Many people prefer to use registered professional agents because they have more experience and knowledge about state laws.
Using an RA can help keep companies compliant with all regulations and laws, so you don't face penalties or issues with the Secretary of State.
An agency's compliance record is a crucial component to consider when comparing multiple companies.
A company is only as good as the customer service it provides. When reviewing different companies, their customer service department's quality will play a significant factor in the final rating.
Clients should contact an agent for help without long delays or have to go through multiple steps. The best companies offer numerous ways to get support, including through a direct phone number, email, or even live chat.
Companies that don't offer helpful solutions to problems aren't as recommended. While you likely won't face any issues, you don't want to be stuck without a fix if something does go wrong.
Price and Value
Regardless of the size or budget of your business, price always matters. No one wants to pay a high fee for minimal services. And you don't have to be stuck paying for things you don't need and won't use.
When comparing registered agent services, it's crucial to ensure you're getting the most value for your money. With so many different agent options, it's easy to pick one that offers the specific service you need for the price you can afford.
Other Perks and Services Offered
Many registered agent services offer additional products besides just serving as an RA. Some companies can help you incorporate your business as an LLC, corporation, or other entity.
You can find companies that do accounting, website building, compliance and annual reports, applying for EINs, and other crucial services for forming a legal business.