A registered agent service usually costs between $50 and $300 per year.
However, those services for $50 are typically local based registered agents that only serve one state and don’t have the breadth of services of the larger national providers.
It will normally cost between $99 and $300 a year for a full service registered agent provider (our recommendation).
Although you can sometimes save money, if you are starting an LLC, by taking advantage of the bundled service that our favorites Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile and ZenBusiness offer where you get a free year’s worth of registered agent service if you form your LLC through them (highly recommended).
Fees of The Three Best Registered Agent Services
Here are the fees charged by our three recommended national registered agent service providers, along with some of the extras they offer.
|ZenBusiness||$99 per year||$39 LLC and Registered Agent Bundle||9.4|
|Northwest Registered Agent||$125 per year||Best customer service||9.3|
|Incfile||$119||Free LLC formation bundle||9.1|
See here for our full review of the 11 main providers and what they offer.
Costs of Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You might be tempted to save money by acting as your own registered agent (where this is allowed by law).
But you will find there are risks to being your own registered agent. For example, your address becomes public on company filings, you are required to have someone present during business hours on all work days.
Plus you will have to pay the filing fees that are usually included in the cost of your registered agent service.
But perhaps the biggest cost is the time it will take away from your business.
Other Reasons to Hire a Registered Agent Service
Compliance With the Law
A registered agent is across the filing timeframes and deadlines to keep your LLC active and operation and in compliance with the law.
A registered agent will also keep copies of your important documents in case the originals are lost to a natural disaster or theft.
Peace of Mind
The fact you know a registered agent is handling all these things like deadlines and reminders to file your annual report gives you peace of mind and leaves you to focus on developing your business, not thinking about paperwork for the Secretary of State’s office.
If you are going to act as your own registered agent, you are signing on to have someone present at that address from 9-5 on all working days of the year!
Most people find the lack of flexibility of being able to come and go makes acting as your own registered agent an unappealing option.
An important function of a registered agent’s role is to receive service of legal documents. Most people don’t want their neighbors to witness them being served with legal documents either at their home or office, so that’s another reason that using a professional registered agent service makes sense.
Plus the address of an LLC’s registered agent goes on all its corporate filings, so going with a DIY setup exposes your address for public consumption!
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost Frequently Asked Questions
What is a registered agent?
In simple terms, a registered agent is an individual or entity (say a law firm or accountant) in a particular state that serves as that LLC’s physical address.
At its simplest, a registered agent serves as a physical address at which to receive service of process in the event of a legal issue arising.
But in reality, a registered agent usually plays a number of other functions for the owners of an LLC, including:
Receiving and passing on government correspondence on behalf of the LLC in a timely manner
Passing on any other correspondence and (in some cases) phone calls in a timely manner
Tracking compliance events for the LLC such as deadlines for filing annual reports
When you form an LLC (or another kind of corporate entity) in a particular state, you will be asked who will serve as your registered agent so it is a key part of the LLC formation process.
Can I be my own registered agent?
There is nothing stopping you from doing it – it is legal in all states. But as we mentioned, there are many risks to being your own registered agent and lots of downsides.
Should I pay for a registered agent?
Yes, it is money well spent to have someone to take care of this function.
The Best Registered Agent Services: Our Preferred Firms
As we mentioned, our recommend registered agent services are ZenBusiness, Northwest Register Agent and Incfile.
They all offering great services and pricing and look after their customers.
See below for more info and the best deals.
Price: $99 per year
Best customer service
|Northwest Registered Agent|
Price: $125 per year
Price: $119 per year
Best no frills
Price: $99 per year
Price: $299 per year