One of the first things you need when you are forming an LLC, is the best registered agent service you can obtain.
There are several choices when it comes to registered agent services, and we are going to use this article to explain the range of services and which ones we prefer.
Although you can go with a local registered agent service, this review is focused on national registered agent services only.
These offer coverage in all 50 states, so wherever you want to start or expand your company, they can look after you.
What to Look for in a Registered Agent Service
I will keep this brief as most readers want to get straight to the review and find the best registered agent service for their needs, but there are few things to consider when you are ready to purchase registered agent services.
You do want to choose carefully and use the comparisons here as when do select a registered agent you are bound to them for at least a year and changing registered agents – while it can be done – is a hassle.
Most people are most focused on price, and that’s fair enough. Your company will hopefully be around for decades and over time differences in price add up. We have listed the prices of these registered agents and also included bundled deals that they offer on LLC formation packages and discounts, such as receiving free registered agent services for a year when you form an LLC, or 10% off when you need services in more than four states or for multiple business entities. It’s worth remember with all LLC formation packages there are state fees to pay on top of the cost.
Most registered agent services offer similar core features in terms of receiving mail, scanning and uploading documents, providing a business address for receiving service of process during normal business hours and maintaining an online portal with reminder functions for annual report filings and other compliance events. Where they differ is really how they provide these things and how easy they are to access and navigate. We’ve broken this down for each of these 11 registered agents.
Reputation among customers is a really import measure for choosing the best registered agent service. Remember, many people each buy a registered agent service and lots of them take the time to write about the experience. We’ve scanned these customer reviews for this article to give you a sense of what kind of customer experience you are likely to get with these registered agent services.
Our Best Registered Agent Service
For those who want to cut straight to the chase, in our view the best registered agent service is ZenBusiness. It is cheap, popular and has bundled options for forming an LLC (pay $39 for the LLC formation and get free registered agent service for a year).
Honorable mentions here go to Northwest Registered Agent, Incorp and Incfile. All are top registered agent services that will help you form your company and keep track of annual report filing and other compliance matters.
Best Registered Agent Services Compared
We’ve pulled together this comparison table of the 11 best registered agent services ranked from top to bottom. The table spells out their prices, any extras they offer and what they are best known for.
Price: $99 per year
Best customer service
Price: $125 per year
Price: $119 per year
Best no frills
Price: $99 per year
Price: $299 per year
Price: $99 per year
Price: $150 per year
Price: $129 per year
Live chat support
Price: $149 per year
Price: $164 per year
Our 11 Best Registered Agent Services: Detailed Reviews
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
ZenBusiness is one of a number of new registered agent and LLC formation companies and has quickly won top spot in the industry for the blend of value and service that it offers, and the way it simplifies the process of starting your business.
ZenBusiness has the equal cheapest pricing for a national registered agent service at $99 and a great bundled deal that sees them give you one year of free registered agent service when you take their $39 LLC formation package. That’s a cheap price to form an LLC and the bundle represents great value.
As one of the newer players, you’d expect ZenBusiness’s technology and interface to be industry leading – and it is. Users get access to a simple to use portal to access their documents and a good selection of free how-to-guides on the super clean and easy to navigate ZenBusiness site. They have strong chat and phone based support.
ZenBusiness was formed in 2017 and employs about 250 people and is growing rapidly. It’s head office is in Texas and the company’s mission statement is about making it easy to start and run a business.
Customers like the way ZenBusiness cuts through the jargon of forming a business and makes it as simple as possible. Some customers praised them for removing the “headache” from forming and running a business from a compliance perspective and their phone and live chat support is highly rated. ZenBusiness gets a big tick in terms of customer satisfaction.
ZenBusiness is our recommendation as the best registered agent service, particularly for people starting a business for the first time. ZenBusiness’s processes and customer support make getting a registered agent service and forming an LLC simple for first-timers and the bundled deal mentioned earlier represents great value.
2. Northwest Registered Agent
Price: $125 per year
- They scan all docs from their local offices
- Long-standing company
- Great customer service with personalized support
Northwest is known primarily for its excellent customer service and the fact they scan and upload all documents in their local offices giving you prompt access to all correspondence.
Northwest’s flat rate of $125 per year is good value, but about 25% more than the cheapest services available. They do have a bulk discount where if you need registered agent service in five or more states, the price comes down to $100.
Northwest Registered Agent’s strong suit is peerless customer service at a competitive price. It’s customer support team are all US based and they promise all emails are answered on the same day and calls either answered directly or returned within two hours.
They also have a strong collection of how-to guides on their site that answer many of the questions people have when they are forming an LLC and choosing a registered agent service.
Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998. It is a family-owned business with more than 550 employees, 200 of whom are in customer service roles.
Customers agree that the support from Northwest Registered Agent is industry leading with reviews saying the help they provide is “unmatched” and their representatives are “helpful and caring”. Reviewers also mentioned the comprehensive self-help guides that Northwest Registered Agent have on their site.
Northwest Registered Agent may well be the best choice for people starting out in forming an LLC. While you can get a quality registered agent service for $99 a year (Incorp, ZenBusiness and Incfile), the extra support Northwest provides means they are a better choice for inexperienced customers. They’ll also help you form an LLC with several packages available. We’ve ranked them number two in terms of the top registered agent services.
- No frills but effective
- Equal cheapest prices
Incorp specialises in registered agent services, so it is no surprise it ranks highly here. While others may have a more modern interface, Incorp’s service has stood the test of time. I use Incorp for one of my LLCs and have been more than happy with the service for the price.
Incorp’s $129 annual cost – which is discounted when you pay for two or more years – is the one of the lower rates in the industry and represents great value for money. It is worth noting that Incorp did recently lift its pricing from $99 to the $129 figure. It does impact their competitiveness to a degree, but they had previously had the same pricing for more than a decade.
Incorp has all the normal features you’d expect – an online portal, notification systems for compliance events and good customer support.
Incorp has been around since 1998 and has more than 100,000 registered agent customers.
Customers have expressed satisfaction with Incorp’s service saying that customer support workers have gone the extra mile to help them.
As I mention, I have used Incorp and would do so again. I actually just renewed my service with them for one LLC mainly because I didn’t have time to switch to ZenBusiness or one our other preferred choices. The main reason I would try another service is that our leading supplier, ZenBusiness, has a more modern and easy to use interface (and with the price rise is now cheaper), and Northwest has the industry’s most highly regarded customer support. But if you have used registered agent services before, Incorp is well worth a try.
Price: $119 per year
- Free LLC formation is tempting
- Good customer reviews
- Digital dashboard
- Automatic forwarding of all correspondence
Incfile’s annual fee come in $20 a year above the industry-leading price, but there is still a lot to like about this registered agent service. For example, their bundled deal where the registered agent service is free if you use Incfile to form your LLC introduces some decent value.
$119 a year is relatively good value.
Incfile has all the features you’d expect – online interface, mail forwarding via electronic document delivery and assistance with LLC formation. They also offer excellent customer support.
Incfile was founded in 2004 in Houston, Texas, with a mission to make business formation simpler. It’s trusted registered
Customer feedback on Incfile’s services is very strong across all popular online review platforms and speaks volumes for both the quality of their product and customer service.
Incfile is a popular (they 500,000 registered agent customers) and solid choice, particular if you are forming an LLC as opposed to changing registered agent or adding a service in a new state.
- 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
LegalZoom really is the gorilla of the online business formation services market. They’ve been able to create great brand presence through their large advertising budget and the content they generate.
They are a full service online business solution service offering far more than registered agent service and have helped form more than 2 million businesses.
Their registered agent service is good, particularly if you have needs beyond merely a registered agent – for example you need legal documents or advice, trademark registration or you are forming a new LLC.
The thing that stands about LegalZoom, apart from its prominence, is its pricing. They charge $299 per annum, which is significantly more than their peers.
However, you can get this service for a far more competitive $159 if you form an LLC with LegalZoom.
LegalZoom has a tidy interface for online document access and wide range of services – they even have personal legal products such as estate planning and legal consultations. This range of features is probably the dominant reason to go with LegalZoom – if you do have a diverse range of needs it is convenient to have all your services with one provider, even if it does cost a little more.
LegalZoom was formed in 2001 with a mission to make legal services accessible and affordable for everyone. They expanded from essentially selling online legal documents and forms to adding a network of participating attorneys on hand to provide advice.
The company is listed on the Nasdaq and operates in all 50 states.
Customers love the diverse range of services they can get from LegalZoom – with comments from customers reflecting it really is a one-stop shop for legal and company formation matters. It is rated 4.5 out of 5 on the Better Business Bureau site and its reps actively work to resolve complaints raised via that channel.
If you have needs beyond just a registered agent service or LLC formation service – say you want trademark advise, corporate structure guidance or other more complex questions – than LegalZoom is a very good option. They are big, reputable and responsive. If you just need the basics, though, there are great registered agent services for a third of the price.
- Equal lowest price
- Annual reporting software for multiple year purchases
- Multi-state specialist
- Discount of 10% for multiple years of four or more states
Harbor Compliance has been around since 2012 and has a good track record in the industry. Their pricing is the equal cheapest in the industry and, with their discount, potentially the cheapest. They are a really good choice if it is only a registered agent service you are after.
The $99 price for a registered agent service puts them right in the conversation price wise. And if you purchase service in four or more states, then you get 10% off.
Harbor Compliance has all the features you’d expect from a registered agent service including a good portal and management system. The other standout feature with Harbor Compliance is their method of customer service – they actually assign a customer support worker to oversee your service to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Harbor Compliance was founded in 2012 with a mission to use technology to simplify business formation and compliance. The company now has offices in every state in the US.
Customer reviews for Harbor Compliance are on the whole good. Oddly, their page on the Better Business Bureau appears to have been taken down.
I’d definitely consider Harbor Compliance if I was forming a company in multiple states that was otherwise fairly simple. Their pricing and customer service model for their registered agent service are both appealing features.
- Industry leading price
- Money back guarantee
- Good customer feedback
- Free registered agent service for a year on their upper tier LLC formation packages
Another solid choice price wise, MyCompanyWorks also gets good customer reviews for its registered agent service. They are one of the smaller players, but have grown rapidly of late and were named within the Inc5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the US.
MyCompanyWorks’ rate of $99 per year is equal to the cheapest national registered agents.
A cheap price and customer service are the key advantages that MyCompanyWorks has. Their registered agent service is solid enough and has a decent online portal and all the services you’d expect from a reputable registered agent service.
MyCompanyWorks has a lot of useful online guides to company formation dedicated to taking the hassle and pain out of it. They also great content for people starting an LLC from outside of the US including details on tax forms, bank accounts and more and they make a great choice for foreign investors wanting to incorporate in the United States.
MyCompanyWorks was founded in 2001 (it was known as MyNewCompany) at the time and the Las Vegas based operation has helped more than 60,000 businesses in that period.
MyCompanyWorks gets great customer feedback across a number of review platforms and you can have confidence in their customer service.
We’d recommend MyCompanyWorks if you are forming a company for the first time as they have a decent LLC formation offering starting from $59 (plus state fees). It is worth noting, though, free registered agent service for a year is only available on the two upper tier packages.
- Been around since 2008
- Offers additional legal services
- 25% discount on registered agent fee for customers buying their legal services plan
Rocket Lawyer offers an interesting mix of services for businesses. I guess they are most closely compared to LegalZoom in that their main offering is broader than just registered agent services. That said, they do have a reasonably priced registered agent service that is worth considering if you have additional needs beyond that and want to keep everything with the one provider and platform, which is something we do recommend.
Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent services is priced at $149.99 a year. Their LLC formation service is also reasonably priced at $99.99 (plus state fees).
Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service has all the features you’d expect along with a satisfaction guarantee.
Where they shine is in how they have commodified legal services with transparent price and per unit pricing. For example, you can ask a lawyer to review a document or answer a question for a fixed price rather than enter into a consultation that’s billed per minute and gets expensive really quick. They also offer a subscription service that offers some of these legal services free and others at a reduced cost.
Rocket Lawyer has been around since 2010 and enjoyed great success with its model. They say they have helped an amazing 20 million customers since starting out.
Customer reviews for Rocket Lawyer are overwhelmingly. Given its model of legal services, the company places a lot of emphasis on bespoke personal assistance and this may well account for how well it is received by customers. They offer customer support across three channels (chat, phone and email)
I think Rocket Lawyer is a great choice if you are starting a business that’s not necessarily straightforward and have additional legal questions or issues to resolve. Even if you aren’t having those issues right now, you can get the registered agent service for a fair price knowing you can use the same firm for any legal queries that crop up down the track.
Legal Inc’s claim to fame is being a tech-driven fully automated registered agent service.
They are definitely one of the smaller players and don’t have the best price in the industry.
Legal Inc’s registered agent service is price at $129 a year. That’s not great in our view for a company that puts great store in being fully automated. Wouldn’t you strive to be cheaper than all other registered agent services?
LegalInc has all the services you’d expect for a registered agent. The difference is the backbone to them is fully automated. That’s good in theory, but personally unless it allows me to save money, I’d sooner go with an option with some human oversight and control.
LegalInc was formed in Texas in 2012 and its speciality appears to be provide software for legal firms along with company formation and registered agent services.
There are relatively few customer reviews for LegalInc suggesting their service is having difficulty finding a foothold in the registered agent services sector.
To be honest, we’d be looking elsewhere for registered agent services. In my mind, if you are going to be fully automated, you need to be cheaper than the conventional registered agents, which use technology to receive, process, upload and distribute documents, but have strong human oversight of the process.
Swyft filings excels more for its LLC formation packages, but its great customer service makes it a reasonable choice for a registered agent, although it’s pricing is 50% above the industry minimum.
- Not the cheapest
- LLC formation good value but not registered agent product
- Live chat support
$149 a year is towards the upper end of the price scale for registered agent services. Sure, it is cheaper than LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and various others, but it is 50% more expensive than the industry leaders on price.
Swyft Filings has really good website that spells out some of their key features such as their money back guarantee and their cheap (from $49 plus state fees) LLC formation services. They also have some decent, easy-to-understand information on forming companies and remaining compliant.
Swyft is another Texas based legal and business services provider. Since its founding in 2015, Swyft Filings has helped more than 200,000 entrepreneurs start and grow their new businesses. They are know for their annual Swyft State of the Industry reports that uses the data they obtain from LLC formations to reveal trends in overall business.
Customer reviews for Swyft Filings across a range of review platforms are very good with a large number of reviews logged.
Swyft Filings is not a bad option. It’s not the cheapest for registered agent services, but it is very good value for LLC formation and we are really encourage by the many positive reviews the business gets from customers.
Price: $164 per year
- Been around since 1996
- Backed by large global compliance firm Wolters Kluwer
- Not the cheapest
- Six months registered agent fee with company formation
They are, however, backed by a large global legal compliance company (Wolters Kluwers) and do have a good reputation.
$164 a year is towards the more expensive end for registered agent services. BizFilings does offer six months free registered agent service for anyone buying one of their company formation packages.
BizFilings offers all the standard features of a registered agent service at that price of $164 a year, which includes their BizComply online compliance management tool. That’s their proprietary entity management service (most registered agent services offer their own equivalent).
These guys have been around since 1996 and helped half a million businesses over that period. It’s hard to see them attracting business via their registered agent services alone, so some of their business in that area probably comes from upselling clients in other parts of the business.
The fact their aren’t many reviews for BizFilings’ registered agent services suggests they aren’t getting great traction in that part of the market.
They have an established customer service department and they are a longstanding and reputable firm, so I wouldn’t hesitate to use them on those terms, it’s probably just the price that rules them out for me.
Final Thoughts on the Best Registered Agent Service
Hopefully the table here and our recommendations help you to find a professional registered agent service. Choose carefully as when you select a registered agent, chances are you are going to be with them for a good while. While there are other operators beyond these 11, we are confident this review captures the best registered agent services in the market.