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If you want to open a business in Massachusetts, you should consider one of the most important aspects when forming an LLC - Massachusetts registered agent search and selection.
Before filling out and filing your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, every business owner must hire an RA (an individual or a commercial entity) to indicate the physical address of that agent in the articles.
Registered agents take responsibility for obtaining the business's legal documents, including:
Their reception on behalf of your company;
They are also committed to notifying you about any important events related to your business.
Note that the appointment of your Massachusetts registered agent for service of process is mandatory for all LLCs and corporations. Without an RA, the Secretary of State will not approve your articles of organization (for LLCs) or articles of incorporation (for corporations).
What Are Requirements for an RA?
As an LLC owner, you can be your own registered agent for your company. This can also be any of your friends, family members, acquaintances, co-workers, etc. The same goes for commercial RA services. Whoever you choose must meet the following requirements:
Be 18 years of age (or older) and a resident of the state that has a registered office (physical location);
If it's an entity that provides registered agent services, then it must also have an office registered in the state;
Be constantly available at the office during regular business to accept/forward tax/legal mail and accept service of process.
Registered Agent Service in Massachusetts
When hiring a third-party RA company, make sure its services match your business needs. For example, you may need legal/tax advice, business name search, DBA/trademark registration, etc. Thus, pay attention to the additional services of your chosen company.
Before we get into an in-depth review of the best registered agent services Massachusetts has to offer to businesses, let's see what can be offered in major cities across the state. Perhaps, you'll like some of them better.
Registered Agent Services in Boston, Massachusetts
The city of Boston is the capital of MA, also known as "New England." Finding an RA here, as in any other city in the state, is not hard at all.
InCorp, a fairly old firm that has been in the business since 1998, is located at BOSTON, MA 02108-4209 SUFFOLK COUNTY. According to the company's website, you can hire an RA for $129/year, and in case you plan long-term cooperation, the fee will be $87/year.
BizFilings can also become a reliable registered agent for LLC in Massachusetts. However, the prices of this company are higher. Thus, the RA service will cost you $220. There are discounts for new customers though.
Registered Agent Services in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Pittsfield is another large and prominent city in Massachusetts. This is where you can hire a Massachusetts Registered Agent agency for $49 per year. The RA provider is known for its instant customer response, compliance tracking, and hassle-free online system.
Harbor Compliance is one of the most reputable RA services in Pittsfield that may interest you. The offers start at $99, but the longer you plan to work with the company, the less you'll pay in the end.
Now let's get to some of the best nationwide RA services that provide their agents in all 50 US states (one in every state).
Northwest Registered Agent
Cost: $125 per year
Northwest is one of the veterans in the RA market. In 2022, the service provider is celebrating 24 years of productive service.
Northwest was originally a small family business, which has gradually expanded to all 50 states. Today the company tops in almost all online reviews. But let's check out the pros and cons of the company.
Prices and solutions. RA services are the main focus of the company. The company offers transparent fees and optimal pricing for the RA service;
Formation. The provider helps businesses with LLC formation (RA services included), business name selection, filing a Certificate of Organization, etc;
Website. The online platform is very well-designed. On the web pages, you can find information about the national RA, learn how to open an LLC, get insights, tips, etc.;
Customer service. Northwest has excellent managers (Corporate Guides) who can help you find answers to all your business-related questions;
Privacy. The company will also offer privacy protection and minimize the exposure of and access to your personal data (Privacy by Default).
EIN service cost. Northwest charges an extra $50 for the EIN service. However, you can get one yourself for free on the IRS website;
Price. Some Northwest competitors offer RA services for free for the first year (or at a lower price).
Northwest Client Reviews
Customers have almost no complaints about the service. Most of them are satisfied with the quality of work and praise Northwest for professionalism. Moreover, a lot of the company's clients note that by cooperating with Northwest, they were able to save time and money.
The provider has also received an "A-" rating from the BBB.
LegalZoom Registered Agent
Cost: $299 per year
The history of LegalZoom started back in 1999 and, like the previous service, the business formation company is in high demand with startups, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.
However, the main difference from Northwest is that in addition to its RA service in Massachusetts, LegalZoom also provides quality legal and tax advice, offering its clients ongoing support from relevant experts.
Experience and solutions. Professional agents will provide timely notifications about your due dates for submitting documents to the state government;
Compliance calendar. You can easily track your emails about critical tax and annual report deadlines;
Registration. To order the RA service, simply answer 5 questions in the questionnaire, and you will receive all the information on your registered agent;
Website. A convenient online platform of the company will delight its visitors with a range of services and valuable information;
Unlimited cloud storage. You can store as many of your business documents as you need on the company's website;
Protection. LegalZoom is the only company that offers $1 million in identity theft protection and credit monitoring for your business;
Fee coverage. LegalZoom will handle the paperwork with your state and cover any fees if you decide to switch to a new RA;
Extras. LegalZoom is not only a one-stop shop where you can form an LLC or order quality RA services - the team includes professional attorneys and accountants.
Prices are perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of the company. To start your cooperation with LegalZoom, you'll have to pay $299 per year. That said, the service doesn't offer free RA services in any of its packages.
When we're talking about Massachusetts registered agent reviews and LegalZoom, everything seems quite fine, even though negative comments about the company still exist.
As a result, the service received 3.5/5 points on some review sites. However, Trustpilot rates the company at 4.5/5, and BBB gives 4.6 points.
It's also worth noting that customers were most complimentary about the registered agent service in their reviews.
ZenBusiness Registered Agent
Cost: $99 per year
ZenBusiness company is considered one of the youngest and most promising on the market, which helps people open limited liability companies in 50 states. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the service started in 2015.
Price plans. Each plan includes preparation of Articles of Organization, a 25% discount for an RA, phone and email support, and a virtual guide;
Website. The online platform system, which is powered by artificial intelligence, will help you find the most beneficial solution;
Customer service. The team is responsive and ready to help customers during regular business hours by phone and also on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.;
Special programs. With ZenBusiness, every customer can get more than expected by participating in the "Affiliate Program" or bringing a friend;
Guarantees. You can safely order and pay for services without risking your money. The agency guarantees a 100% refund in case you don't like the plan.
Unfortunately, at ZenBusiness, RA services are more of an add-on;
Despite the fact that ZenBusiness's platform looks stylish and modern, it's quite difficult to navigate when you need to find, say, the pricing section.
The ratings of this provider are somewhat higher than those of its competitors. For example, on Trustpilot, the numbers reached 4.7 out of a possible 5, and on BBB, ZenBusiness received a decent "B+" rating.
IncFile Registered Agent
IncFile opened its doors to startups and small businesses in 2004, and today the company operates in all 50 states of America. The main focus of the provider is the business formation and related services.
Competitive pricing. When buying one of their packages, you get a year of RA services for free. And once the term expires, the service will cost $119/year;
Website. The online platform is easy to understand and convenient to use. IncFile has also prepared useful articles and reviews for its clients;
Customer Service. Company consultants are always ready to listen and provide support to customers during regular working hours (Monday through Friday);
Tax support. Business owners can get valuable advice from tax experts for free.
The most significant drawback of the company, in our opinion, is the lack of bulk purchases, although the prices are quite attractive. That is why it's actually on the list of the best Massachusetts registered agents.
In addition, it's difficult to get in touch with the customer service team, even though its managers are responsive to customer inquiries.
Customers note that cooperation with IncFile has brought positive results. They praise the service for favorable prices and detailed answers on the website. Therefore, the firm received high ratings on various review sites (4.6/5 on average).
Still, the company is not BBB accredited.
Rocket Lawyer Registered Agent
Cost: $149.99 per year
Rocket Lawyer is one of the largest law firms in the U.S. Founded in 2008, the company mainly provides legal services and registered agent services Massachusetts.
Thus, it's a worthy option for those who require both quality RA services and legal help from expert attorneys.
Rocket Lawyer Pros:
Experience. Rocket Lawyer has already managed to create its army of fans. The service provider has already served over 7 million clients;
Guarantees. Rocket Lawyer is 100% confident in its RA service. Thus, the company offers a full money-back guarantee, should any difficulties arise;
Prices. In addition to a free 7-day trial through the website, the cheapest package costs $39.99, which includes a 25% discount on the RA service;
Website. The company's online portal is simple and concise, allowing users to quickly find what they need;
Support service. The company's team provides exceptional support in this area as it does in legal assistance.
Rocket Lawyer Cons:
Rocket Lawyer as a registered agent service is expensive compared to competitors, although not too expensive to add it to the list of the most pricey providers.
Rocket Lawyer Reviews
Most of the comments that clients leave on various review sites about Rocket Lawyer are positive, resulting in an average score of 4.7 out of a possible 5 for the company. Additionally, BBB also gives an A+ rating.
Registered Agent Review: Conclusion
If you want to save on LLC formation, then IncFile will be the most suitable company, as it charges $0 for the business formation services (excluding state fees). ZenBusiness also offers bargain prices on its RA services at $99/year (Standard).
An extended list of quality RA features is available with Northwest for $125/year. And for those who require ongoing legal support, we recommend checking out Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom.
If you like one of the services and decide to list its office in the paperwork, you must first fill out and file the Notice of Appointment of Registered Agent form with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts so you can use the address.
Benefits of Using Massachusetts Registered Agent Services
Each business owner can be responsible for their own correspondence, but even small firms may find this inconvenient, if only because it requires the owner to be available at the office at all times so as not to miss important notifications from the state.
Therefore, it's best to hire a professional RA service for this purpose. Other reasons to have a professional registered agent in Massachusetts are as follows:
RA service providers take full responsibility and allow business owners to focus properly on their firm's development;
A professional registered agent will ensure that all state requirements are met and the company is fully compliant;
Total confidentiality and timely notifications.
Best Registered Agent Review: How We Choose
We approach the choosing process creatively based on in-depth analysis. Our team collects comprehensive information on the actual services available on the market so that we can study each of them and form our own unbiased conclusions.
Why You Can Trust Our Choice
We're an independent team of experts that researches Massachusetts registered agents listed on the Secretary of State's website. Our main goal is to provide unbiased reviews and recommendations to our readers.
That said, those who read and study the content on our website can definitely count on:
Credibility. All information is approved by government agencies and is in the public domain;
Support. Our reviews include valuable tips, recommendations, and resources to help business novices navigate today's realities;
Accuracy. We know that state laws and regulations are constantly changing, therefore, we involve expert attorneys in our work;
Simplicity. We do not overload our reviews with complicated terms, because we strive to talk about complex things simply.
How We Selected the Best Registered Agent Service Massachusetts
During our registered agent Massachusetts search, we gather comprehensive information and look for all possible options for cooperation. So if you look for an RA on your own, you will come across several dozens of business formation agencies. Analyzing all of them will take quite a lot of time and is surely not easy at all.
We choose the best services by doing the following:
We study various Massachusetts registered agent reviews;
We evaluate the experience of RA companies, their range of services, and price plans;
We evaluate client recommendations on review sites and compare company offers with those of competitors to determine the most beneficial providers.
Once we have our candidates for reviews, we then test each agency by contacting the customer support team and asking about the registered agent service, how is it better than other statutory agent services, and why we should consider it the best.
What's more, our team communicates with clients of RA services to get first-hand impressions of the partnership.
Best Registered Agent
Choosing a Best Registered Agent is easy. Select your State to get started.
Choosing a registered agent for a business is a complex and responsible task, as the reputation and success of your business will depend on the specialist.
Our review is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to save time on searching and find a reliable RA who can meet all their needs in the shortest possible time.
We wish you good luck and the smoothest launch of your venture!
How to change a registered agent in Massachusetts?
You can change your RA by filling out the RA change form and submitting it to the Secretary of State or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts along with paying the state fee.
Note, however, that the online filing does not require you to pay the fee - it's only relevant if you send the form (a hard copy) by mail or fax.
Follow our step-by-step instructions below:
1. If you don't want to become your own registered agent in Massachusetts, you need to find a suitable candidate and get their consent to be an RA for your LLC or corporation; 2. Notify your former RA of the change; 3. Send the form to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a convenient way.
The processing time takes up to 5 days for regular mail, 48 hours for fax, and almost instantly online. Another way to change the agent is to submit an annual report with information about the new RA.
Can I be my own registered agent in Massachusetts?
Every business owner has the right to be his or her own registered agent in Massachusetts, just as much as their adult family members or friends (provided they are residents of the state). That's because you don't have to have any special skills for the role.
However, it's still recommended to find a professional registered agent in Massachusetts. This can be a specialized RA service or a business formation company that has been legally helping businesses in this field for years. In addition to their expertise, many such companies will also act as guarantors of high quality and provide additional services.
How to find a registered agent in Massachusetts?
The Internet or social media has become a major tool for finding a variety of services, including registered agents. However, this can be less convenient because you, as the owner, will have to analyze the offers yourself and choose the best candidates.
Therefore, the easiest way to find a registered agent for a corporation in Massachusetts is through review sites like ours.
Do you need a registered agent in Massachusetts?
Absolutely, you need a registered agent in Massachusetts. And it's not just about the law that says every limited liability company or corporation must maintain an RA.
Registered agents will make your business life much easier by receiving all important correspondence on behalf of the business and forwarding legal/tax documents to the owner. This way, you will not miss any important notifications or lawsuits related to your business, as your RA will not allow this to happen.
Additionally, your registered agent will timely remind you about your annual reports and ensure confidentiality.