Best Registered Agent Services in 2022

23 Min Read
0 Reviews
Last updated September 5, 2022
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
Disclosure: We earn a commission from some partner links. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

The modern business environment has shifted toward small and mid-scale businesses. That’s why privately owned smaller companies and family-run ventures are on the rise now. Meanwhile, when it comes to a legal structure, more and more entrepreneurs choose a limited liability company framework for their entities. Taxation system flexibility and liability protections an LLC structure brings are hard to argue with. 

Best Registered Agent

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Along with some privileges both for the business and for its owners, an LLC structure also has certain legal requirements to be formed. A registered, statutory, or resident agent is one of such requirements set forth by state law. 

What is a representative agent? Who can fulfill this function for your LLC? How a registered agent service could help? Why is it an optimal alternative to follow? And what is your best agent service choice in 2022? We are going to answer these questions below and explain why you can trust our suggestions.

Northwest Registered Agent
4.6
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $39
Pros and Cons
of the company
ZenBusiness
4.7
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $49
Pros and Cons
of the company
IncFile
3.3
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $5
Pros and Cons
of the company
BetterLegal
4.9
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $299 + filing fee
Pros and Cons
of the company
MyCorporation
4.9
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $99 + state fees
Pros and Cons
of the company
Rocket Lawyer
4.7
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $39.99
Pros and Cons
of the company
Harbor Compliance
4.4
Google Maps Rating
Price starts: from $99
Pros and Cons
of the company

What Is a Registered Agent for an LLC?

Once an LLC is formed, it gets a status of a legal entity that functions and exists independently of its owners. In the legal plane, it means that your company will have powers and liabilities of its own. Speaking of the latter, observing the state rules is one of your entity’s key obligations. For that purpose, an LLC should consistently maintain smooth communications with the state, government, and public authorities. This is where a registered agent comes into play. 

The main agent’s function is receiving and handling your service of process that covers any official letters from state authorities, public organizations, and government agencies addressed to your LLC. Tax notes, filing requests, lawsuit notices, and court summons are to name a few. Most often than not, those pieces of mail require a prompt response or some sort of action to be taken from business owners. And failure to do so might cause quite serious problems for your company. 

As such, a registered agent for an LLC serves as an intermediary to maintain consistent contacts and smooth communications between your company and the state. By receiving and handling your mail and notifying you about any urgent letters and requests, an assigned representative works to ensure your business’s good standing status.  

It’s worth noting that you should find and appoint a statutory agent before filing your formation documents with the state. The agent’s data are to be entered into your Articles of Organization to be further introduced into the state registries. So, technically, you won’t be able to register your LLC without an assignee on your side.

Who Can Be A Registered Agent for an LLC?

Taking into account the importance of the representative agent’s role for the business, the rules and requirements for this function are not strict at all. Any adult individual (above 18 years of age) residing in the state of formation or a legal entity conducting business in that state could serve as your mail-handling agent. The main rule is that a person or entity should have a registered address in the required state (no P.O. boxes are allowed) and should be permanently present under that address during business hours on weekdays. 

In fact, you can be a registered agent for your business yourself. However, when it comes to delegating this task to a legal entity, your LLC cannot be its own representative agent. Meanwhile, your family member, friend, or even neighbor can easily perform this role. Likewise, you can appoint your accountant, tax consultant, attorney, or even an employer of your LLC.

Being Your Own Registered Agent vs Designating a Third Party

Standing on the verge of LLC formation, many beginner entrepreneurs wonder whether they should take this position upon themselves or delegate it to a third party. Since the agent’s duties look like nothing special, businessmen tend to do that job on their own. They strive to save on the registered agent cost and think that they ensure better protection for their sensitive mail when handling it by themselves. 

However, there are many downsides to this choice, and entrusting this task to a third party entails more pluses. Yet, we are not talking about some random persons. We suggest that you either hire an individual with some appropriate professional background or choose a dedicated service for this purpose. The latter, in our opinion, is one of the best registered agent solutions for business.

Benefits of Using a Professional Service as a Registered Agent for Business

A dedicated representative service combines a professional approach of a personal mailing agent with reasonable pricing while processing your mail in a more diligent and organized manner. 

There are more advantages to using representative services that we find valuable enough:

  • Solid privacy protection: An expert service will make sure that no one but your assigned rep will have access to your correspondence and your online account and document storage will be securely protected from hackers and unauthorized access. Besides, it will be not your personal details but the service company’s data that appear in state registries as required for registered agent info;
  • Better record keeping: With a dedicated agent service on your side, your business correspondence will have a due amount of attention and be kept under better control. Important letters won’t get lost in the piles of junk mail. Your mailing rep will timely sort out all urgent and crucial notifications and immediately make them available to you. This way, you won’t miss reporting dates or messages from courts, tax departments, and other state authorities;
  • More flexible time planning: When you let an agent service obtain your mail for you, you get more free time for your other business tasks and personal affairs as well. In fact, you’ll be free to schedule your workday as you deem necessary and won’t be bound to your place of work or home, whatever you choose as your registered address;
  • National presence: Most companies function as national registered agent services operating throughout the country and having registered offices in all US states. Thus, they can serve as your mail-handling assistants for multiple locations. Should you need to move or expand your business to other states, you won’t have problems finding an agent service there. 
If you agree that a professional service is the best registered agent alternative for your business, below, we’ve made a list of the top-ranked representative services to narrow down your choice.

Best Registered Agent Services Reviews

On our list, you’ll find 8 companies that differ in pricing, values they bring, and overall approach. All of them have a business mail-processing service on their menus and have something to offer to various types of customers and business needs. Take a look at our concise yet informative reviews to pick the service that will best work for you.

Order
Processing
Time
Registered
Agent
EIN
Registration
Operating
Agreement
Zenbusiness2-3 weeksIncluded$70Yes
Legalzoom30 days$299$159$99
IncfileNext dayIncluded$70$40
Swyft Filings7 days$149$70$35
Northwest1-3 weeksIncluded$50$50

Northwest Registered Agent

We give the palm to the Northwest for many reasons. This company excels in many aspects and has managed to achieve a perfect balance between pricing and service quality. The side-by-side comparison of the company’s pros and cons further supports our vision.

Northwest Pluses

Northwest is a solid industry operator with a range of business formation and maintenance services on the list. The company has gained strong customer loyalty and permanently lingers at the top of the ratings. Its name is among the best mail-processing services as well thanks to the advantages it brings:

  • Dedicated service: Initially started as an agent service company, Northwest has an in-house team of professionals. So, whatever your formation state, you can rest assured that your documents will be handled by an internal specialist. Besides, should you decide to open an affiliate in another state, you’ll have a dedicated representative there too;
  • Feature-rich service range: Along with regular document handling and using their registered address for your business mailing purposes, Northwest has a few premium features down its sleeve. Thus, all your emergency and vital papers will be scanned and made available to you online the same day. Besides, you’ll get a compliance calendar at your disposal and receive alerts via email or your online dashboard to catch up with your reporting and filing schedules;
  • Secure private data protection: Processing all your documents internally, Northwest will make sure your sensitive info won’t be accidentally exposed to third parties. Likewise, your online data are kept safe thanks to advanced security protocols and added protective features the company applies to its online platform;
  • The ultimate ease of use: Northwest boasts one of the best client portals in the industry. The simple and quick signup process and intuitive interface make it a breeze to use for anyone. Even if you are a tech dummy, you’ll get the hang of all the functions in an instant; 
  • Exclusive customer support approach: With outstanding customer support overall, Northwest has something special to offer to its clients. Thus, you’ll get access to its team of Corporate Guides consisting of specialists with expertise in different areas. The company employs former lawyers, accountants, business consultants, and entrepreneurs from various industries who can give you business-specific recommendations; 

Reasonable pricing: At $125 for an annual subscription, Northwest hits a sweet spot in agent’s pricing standing perfectly in between budget and more expensive top-tier services. And the value it brings for the price is beyond all praise.

Northwest Minuses

Considering Northwest representative service in detail, we might say that it’s nearly perfect and has almost no drawbacks. What we see as a minus here is the company’s biggest plus in fact. We mean Northwest’s top-of-the-line customer support. 

In some situations, the Northwest client service turns out to be too sophisticated and advanced. Its help reps are trained to tackle serious issues and will throw at your a whole bunch of additional questions to make the problem clear and reveal any associated mistakes or potential errors. While it’s good for the overall business strategy, it might feel a bit confusing and offputting when you just need a quick answer to a simple question. 

Roundup

Northwest deservedly takes the top position on our list since it ticks all the boxes in our estimation criteria and has all the features a great agent service should have without going crazy in prices.

InCorp Registered Agent

InCorp is yet another dedicated representative service we’ve spotted. With a nationwide agents’ network, it’s as reliable as Northwest and can cover your business needs in any US state. The only reason it follows Northwest in our rating is the InCorp minuses you’ll see below.

InCorp Pluses

Similar to Northwest, InCorp has been started as an agent service that has eventually expanded to business formations as well. Operating since 1998, the company has packed its representative service with unique features that give it an edge over many competitors:

  • A brand-specific Entity Watch Technology will stand on guard of your private data security and work to prevent identity theft. In addition, it will keep an eye on your business compliance status by monitoring the public databases and state registries;
  • An Entity Management System software inbuilt in your InCorp online dashboard will work as your compliance calendar and enable better document organization overall;
  • Consolidated billing will ensure easy and problem-free accounting for multiple agent reps in different states;
  • Customer-centered client support is the company’s biggest claim to fame. Each InCorp customer is assigned a personal help rep who will be in charge of all your issues and readily answer all your questions. It means you’ll contact one and the same person each time you need support that will save you the need to repeatedly explain your situation;
  • Bulk discounts are a great offering for any entrepreneur who plans to stay with InCorp representative service for a long time and seek to save some money. While regular registered agent cost starts at $129 per annum and perfectly matches the average market rates, each next year will come at a reduced price. And a 5-year subscription offers the lowest annual rate of $87.

InCorp Minuses

Unlike Northwest, which ideally balances formation and agent services, InCorp rather gravitates toward the mail-handling service and lags behind in formations. For this reason, the company lacks brand power and image as a formation service.

Roundup

While not the best formation service out there, InCorp is our solid recommendation for those who seek reliable and quality mail-processing service. It will get you covered across the country.

Harbor Compliance

Founded in 2012, Harbor Compliance is one more experienced registered agent service provider that relies on its local offices in all US states and doesn’t outsource the mailing routines to third parties. This fact alone makes it a worthy choice.

Harbor Compliance Pluses

The biggest advantage of Harbor Compliance representative service is low pricing. Starting at $99 per year, the cost can be further lowered subject to a multi-year subscription. If you order the service for three years and pay for it in advance, you’ll get a 10% discount straight away. Bulk discounts are also applicable to multi-state and multi-entity orders. 

The best features of Harbor Compliance representative agent service include:

  • Reporting reminders;
  • Same-day document scanning;
  • Consistent online access to your docs.

Harbor Compliance Minuses

While offering low prices, Harbor Compliance lags behind in refunds. Should you want to cancel their agent service, you won’t get a prorated refund. 

Somewhat weak customer support is another significant drawback. You’ll be able to access their help reps without a problem and can get help in any organization and agent-related issues. Yet, there is no personalized support or specific business-related help as in InCorp and Northwest accordingly. 

Finally, Harbor Compliance provides no physical mail delivery that comes as a default feature with many other services.

Roundup

With competitive pricing and decent service behind it, Harbor Compliance is one of the cheapest registered agent services. As such, it will be a great match for those who want affordable representative agent service with solid essential features. 

ZenBusiness

Being a relatively new star on the agent and formation industry horizon, ZenBusiness still shines bright. What sets it apart from the competition is its smart price-to-value ratio, which is by far the best on the market today.

ZenBusiness Pluses

With ZenBusiness, it’s fairly simple. It has two main outstanding features that give the company a strong competitive advantage:

  • Budget-friendly pricing: All companies combine mail-handling services with business formation assistance, and ZenBusiness does it in the most efficient way. At $49, it offers a full-fledged service pack covering business formation from scratch and an annual agent’s subscription. The representative service alone comes at $99 per year, which is also 30% below the market rates;

Up-to-par registered agent service: The protected online dashboard with permanent online access to the document scans, same-day forwarding for crucial mail, compliance alerts, and helpful customer support are all included in an agent service pack.

ZenBusiness Minuses

The reasons why ZenBusiness’s agent service is in the fourth position in our rating are the tricky sign-up process that will take you through multiple questions before you learn the service price and an added $50 fee you’ll have to pay to make use of the compliance calendar.    

Roundup

ZenBusiness is a real find for those who seek agent and formation services in a smart and affordable combination. The prices won’t hit your budget too much and you can count on helpful and responsive customer support, which is a big plus alone.

LegalZoom

If you value brand power and a hard-to-beat business reputation, you can’t go wrong with LegalZoom. An industry old-timer, it’s a provider from a premium sector that comes up with quite high prices. LegalZoom representative service rate is $299 per annum, which is pricey for many beginner entrepreneurs.

However, for the price, they offer some unique features such as unlimited online document storage and a $1,000,000 identity theft protection guarantee. Same-day document scanning and compliance reminders are also included. Besides, LegalZoom boasts excellent customer support. Its experienced help reps can provide professional help in many issues and situations.

So, if you value professionalism and brand power and are ready to pay some extra for that, LegalZoom is a good alternative for you.

Incfile

Incfile is synonymous with affordability. Anyone with a limited budget will appreciate this service. Offering a $0 formation bundle that covers a whole year of representative agent service for free, Incfile is a strong alternative to ZenBusiness if your goal is not only the business mail-handling service but also the business registration. 

However, in a year, get ready to pay $119 annually for the mail-handling service which is quite barebone and covers nothing but the basics. More than that, Incfile’s customer support leaves much to be desired.

Rocket Lawyer

A solid legal market player, Rocket Lawyer is less centered on the agent service than other companies on our list. The company’s main focus is legal services it provides to businesses and individuals as one-off options or within a membership subscription. 

Rocket Lawyer agent service costs $149 as a one-time product and comes at $112 within a subscription pack. It only covers bare basics and is somewhat expensive for what it offers. 

Highly ranked by the customers and supported by a recognizable name, Rocket Lawyer will best match those businessmen who rather seek added legal help and consider a registered agent service as a secondary feature.

BizFilings

BizFillings is up to providing formation and compliance help to smaller businesses. As such, it has its own registered agent network and offers smart business solutions for startuppers and seasoned entrepreneurs alike. 

BizFilings agent service stands at the higher end of the price range at $199 per year. For the price, though, it ensures strong compliance support with its branded BizComply feature, offers pro-rated refunds for the canceled service, and will forward not only the service of process but also other pieces of mail if necessary. 

Overall, BizFilings could compete with our top-liner service if it were less expensive.

Best Registered Agent Reviews: Quick Conclusions

Whether you seek your first-time registered agent or want to swap your current representative for a new one, Northwest and InCorp are our top recommendations. Both companies offer premium features and excellent service quality. 

With Northwest, you’ll get everything you expect from a good representative service at a fair price. InCorp provides great bulk discounts that will be appreciated by those who plan long-term cooperation.

Best Registered Agent Service for an LLC: How We Choose

Basic StandardPremium
Zenbusiness$39$149$249
Legalzoom$79$329$349
Incfile$85$234$384
Swyft Filings$49$149$299
Northwest$225

If you wonder how we pick companies in a plethora of service companies operating on the market, we are ready to share our approach and methodology. We’ll explain in detail how we make our choice and why our recommendations are trustworthy.

Why You Can Rely on Our Choice

While you are free to do your own search to find the best registered agent for your company, this search won’t be even nearly as deep and accurate as the one that we’ve already made for you. And there are several reasons for that. 

Given the number of representative service operators in the modern market, it will take you ages to scrutinize all providers. Most likely than not, you’ll limit your choice by a few options that will pop up first on your search list. We, in turn, are capable of considering much more alternatives. Not only is it our job but also we already have an eye for the right details and know what to look for. 

To make it clear to you how we select the best mail-processing services, here is an algorithm we normally apply:

  1. Checking online reviews: We scroll through tons of unbiased customer reviews published on the most popular review platforms such as Trustpilot, Consumer Affairs, Yelp, Google, and Better Business Bureau. At this stage, we sort out providers with the highest ratings;
  2. Analyzing the service companies’ websites: We proceed to navigate through the web platforms of A-ranked companies to get a complete vision of what stands behind them, what services they come up with, and how they work;

Interviewing the sales reps: The final step is to get in touch with the sales teams of the selected service providers. We ask a lot of questions including the tricky ones to see how sales reps will react and handle the situation. This way, we analyze the service quality and check how each provider delivers on its promises.

Estimation Criteria

Once we have a list of the best registered agent service providers, we grade each of them under a few main criteria to determine the leader and rank the rest accordingly:

  1. Range of features offered: Some companies get down to basics in the service ranges they provide while others strive to add some value with premium features. When hiring a professional service, you certainly expect to get more than mere basics. Hence, such aspects as same-day scanning, compliance alerts, online doc storage, or enhanced data protection are what is worth paying some extra;  
  2. Prices: By and large, all services fall within the budget and full-fledged categories by pricing. Agent services priced below $50 usually provide the essentials to match the law requirements. Meanwhile, at $99 to $150, you can expect more additional features associated with the agent service. In the end, it’s the value for the price that matters. You shouldn’t overpay for something you don’t need;
  3. Ease of use: Online service should be easy to use by default. Companies using outdated software, clunky platforms, and tricky processes are not worth your attention. Choose the ones that have integrated advanced technologies for the sake of your comfort, convenience, and security;

Customer support: The last but not the least aspect to consider is client support. The way companies treat their users demonstrates their diligence and professionalism to the best. A reliable, responsive, and knowledgeable support team capable of offering efficient solutions is a must-have feature for the best registered agent company.

FAQ

There are a number of common questions nearly all beginner entrepreneurs ask themselves when looking for a registered agent for their LLCs. To stop guessing, check our quick responses to those most frequently asked questions.