Free Registered Agent Services: Myth or Reality?

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Many entrepreneurs and small business owners wonder if there is a registered agent service that is free.

The truth is that – other that acting as your own registered agent – there is no registered agent service that is free.

While there is no completely free registered agent service, some companies offer free services for a year with LLC formation.

However, after the first year, there is usually a fee that can range from about $100 to $300 dollars a year depending on the company. It is important to note that the fees charged by registered agent services are not regulated by the government, and companies are free to set their own prices.

See here for our list of the best registered agent services available that offer services in any state.

What is a Registered Agent Service?

A registered agent service is a company or individual that acts as the official point of contact between a business entity and the state in which it is registered. The registered agent receives important legal and compliance documents, such as service of process notices, government correspondence, and compliance-related documents, on behalf of the company.

Most states require that a business entity has a registered agent to ensure that there is a reliable way to contact the company for legal and compliance purposes.

This means the registered agent must have a physical address within the state where legal documents can be served during business hours.

The registered agent’s address is also used by the state to send annual reports and other important notifications to the company.

While some business owners choose to act as their own registered agent (despite the risks that this can entail), many opt to hire a registered agent service to handle this important responsibility.

This is because a registered agent service can provide a level of privacy for the business owner, as well as ensure that all legal summons (service of process) and compliance documents are received and handled in a timely manner.

See also:

Registered agent vs Virtual Office

Free Registered Agent Services For a Year

While it is true you can’t get an ongoing registered agent service for free, some companies offer free registered agent services for a limited time as part of their LLC formation package.

For example, ZenBusiness offers a free registered agent service for one year with its LLC formation package. After that, the service costs $99 per year. This can be a good option for businesses that are just starting out and want to save money on initial costs.

Alternatives to Free Registered Agent Service

Our recommend registered agent services include Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness, and BetterLegal.

It’s important to consider the reputation and customer service of the registered agent service. Look for companies with high customer satisfaction ratings and positive reviews. This will ensure that you receive the best possible service and support.

The table below contains the companies that we think offer the best registered agent service.

Best value


Price: $99 per year

  • Popular and solid value for money
  • Bundled deals on LLC formation ($39 LLC formation includes one year of registered agent service)
  • Good customer service
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Best customer service
Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent

Price: $125 per year

  • They scan all docs from their local offices
  • Long-standing company
  • Great customer service with personalized support
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Great value


Price: $119 per year

  • Free LLC formation is tempting
  • Good customer reviews
  • Digital dashboard
  • Automatic forwarding of all correspondence
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Best no frills


Price: $99 per year

  • No frills but effective
  • Equal cheapest prices
  • Reliable
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Strong brand


Price: $299 per year

  • Big name and brand power
  • Partnerships with lawyers
  • More than just LLC formation
  • $159 for registered agent fee if you form an LLC with them


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While there are no completely free registered agent services, some companies do offer free services for a year with LLC formation. After this first year, these registered agent companies charge about $99 to $300 dollars a year. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the service provided by these companies can vary greatly.

It’s recommended to do thorough research before selecting a registered agent service. Factors to consider include the cost, reliability, customer service, and additional features offered. Some companies may charge a higher fee but provide better service and additional benefits such as compliance monitoring and document storage.

Overall, it’s important for business owners to understand the role of a registered agent and ensure that they have a reliable and trustworthy one in place. While it may be tempting to act as your own registered agent, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and drawbacks before making a decision.

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Rick Wallace is an investor who has established several LLCs in different states. He writes about starting businesses via LLCs including topics such as choosing a registered agent.