There are numerous things to consider when choosing a registered service agent for your business. In this guide, we take a look at some of the current market leaders in this area and the quality of the service they offer. The best one for you will depend on your individual needs and the type of business you operate; there is no single best option for everybody.
Our top 3 picks for best registered agent:
|Northwest Registered Agent|
Free services for a year when you form a business
Has more than two decades of experience in the industry
Provides personal assistants to help you through
|Incfile Registered Agent|
Free services for a year and lifetime customer support
Glowing reviews and testimonials abound
Business and tax consultation service included for free
Simple automated service
No upselling or pushy sales reps
Setting up an LLC is much quicker and cheaper than forming other types of corporation, notably S and C corporations. If you approach it the right way, setting up a new LLC should be a painless process. To ensure smooth sailing throughout, you will need to secure appropriate registered agent services.
A registered agent isn't an optional extra. Many US states require businesses to use registered agents, sometimes known as statutory agents, during the registration process for their LLC.
With so many registered agent services to choose from, the process can be daunting for any business. We have compiled a list of the very best registered agent services available to Americans today. Let's take a look at the best choices.
1. Northwest Registered Agent (Best Customer Service)
North is a big name in the registered agent industry. They have been operating since 1998, meaning that they now have more than two decades of experience to draw upon. During that time, Northwest has assisted clients from a diverse range of industries.
Over the preceding two decades, Northwest has maintained an excellent reputation and consistent track record. The internet is awash with glowing user reviews for the service, with nary a bad word to be found. If these first-hand testimonials don't convince you to use Northwest, their impressive client roster should.
One aspect of their service that Northwest that consistently praised for is their customer service. For people looking to register their first business, the simplicity of the service is sure to appeal to them. But it is always reassuring to know that there is a robust customer support system in place if you encounter any technical issues.
Every individual client at Northwest is assigned their own personal support representative. This individual will serve as a personal assistant, ensuring that your business's needs are met. You will even be able to reach out to them directly anytime you need it. These representatives are knowledgeable and can help you navigate both minor and major obstacles.
One unique feature of this service that we really like is that they are the only countrywide registered agent provider that locally scans every client document they handle as a matter of policy.
Northwest Registered Agent Service Features:
Registering an LLC through Northwest costs $225, plus your state’s filing fee. You will receive a year of free services for this price. As soon as your application is processed, you can begin taking advantage of Northwest’s services.
2. Incfile Registered Agent Services (Most Affordable Registered Agent)
IncFile is one of those businesses that does what it does so well; its name has become synonymous with its industry. Anyone who has spent any time dealing with registered agent services will know the name IncFile already. They offer one of the cheapest, quickest, and most intuitive services around. Whether this is your first time registering an LLC or you have already been through the process in the past, IncFile is bound to impress.
Incfile first launched in 2004. Despite being relative newcomers, they have clearly learned a lot over the last 16 years. During that time, they have served clients from a range of different backgrounds. This varied experience is evident from the variety of services that they offer. No matter what type of business you are registering, IncFile has experienced agents ready to help.
IncFile is, without a doubt, one of the best registered agent services out there in terms of value and affordability. You can register a new LLC via Incfile for as little as $0, not including state fees and other taxes.
Not only is this one of the most affordable packages out there, but it also comes with 12 months’ access to IncFile's other registered agent services. This affordability makes IncFile one of the best registered agents available for SME's and startups on a budget.
With such low rates, you could be forgiven for doubting the legitimacy of IncFile's service. There's no need to worry, though; IncFile is one of the most reliable and consistent registered agents for quality and professionalism.
There aren't really any caveats here; IncFile has been just an excellent all-around service since its launch. For the entry price, you don't just gain access to the standard range of services you expect from a registered agent. You will also be entitled to take advantage of lifetime customer support, free business and tax consultation, online order tracking, and the ability to form a new business within 24 hours. In addition to these benefits, you also get access to a company name availability checking service.
Every solution that IncFile offers comes highly recommended. We have yet to find a disappointing package or service from IncFile. We can barely find a single negative word about them anywhere online. The overwhelming majority of user reviews are glowing. This feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that IncFile has served more than 250,000 clients in the last decade or so. Only a handful of those clients has left negative reviews.
No service is perfect, but we struggle to put our fingers on anything specifically wrong with IncFile.
While IncFile has successfully served businesses of all conceivable types in the past, it is geared somewhat towards online businesses. To this end, IncFile offers a series of add-ons that will appeal to any online merchant.
Key Features of Incfile Registered Agent Service:
Incfile Registered Agent Service Pricing
To form an LLC through Incfile will cost $0, plus the applicable state’s fees. For this price, you also gain access to a whole host of excellent features, including registered agent services for the first year,
There are different subscription tiers available. For example, the Gold tier costs $149, but will save you from spending extra on administrative documents like an employment ID number or IRS form.
Silver = $0
Gold = $149
Platinum = $299
ZenBusiness is a streamlined registered agent service whose services are largely automated. Clients won’t receive as much guidance or hand-holding from ZenBusiness. However, this is one of the fastest services for registering a new business. If you are in a hurry, ZenBusiness can promise speed.
ZenBusiness doesn’t offer the same comprehensive range of legal and administrative services that its competitors do. However, this enables a much more agile service. If you just want to get up and running as quickly as possible, this is the best registered agent service for you.
Basic = $49/year
Premium = $149 - $249/year
4. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is another service whose priority is getting you set up as quickly as possible. The main focus is on their registered agent services.
Swyft Filings offers a fast and cheap company registration service. You can get the whole thing done in as little as seven minutes.
$49 = basic with the option to upgrade specific options.
5. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is the newest service on our list, having opened in 2019. In addition to providing the usual services, it also provides enhanced business incorporation and formation experiences. Inc Authority is one of the best options around for new startups, thanks to its free (other than state filing fees) entity formation service. There are just four steps to registering your business. Customer support is provided via phone and ensures smooth sailing throughout your journey.
The barebones entity formation is completely free with Inc Authority. There are no hidden costs or other catches. Premium packages are available for those that want to pay for additional services.
Why Use A Registered Agent?
Some states allow you to act as your own registered agent. However, designating yourself as a registered agent means that you need to expose your personal details to the public. It also means that you will take on responsibility for the various services a registered agent will perform for you.
The work that a registered agent does will need to be done irrespective of whether you do it yourself or hire someone else. Hiring someone else to take on the work leaves you free to focus on the more important aspects of running your business.
What Is A Registered Agent?
There is a legal requirement for every new business to register using registered agent services in most states. It doesn't matter whether you are running a large office-based business or a small online retailer, you must register with your state. In order to ensure full compliance, you will need registered agents with your business for the long-term.
Failing to maintain registered agent services can be calamitous for your business. Businesses who let their registered agent services lapse often find themselves being penalized over things that their agents would have spotted. There have even been cases where the state has dissolved the business entirely because it is not represented appropriately.
Registered ants are like partners in your business. They have an important role to play in ensuring that all your most important admin is in order and up to date.
What Should You Consider When Choosing A Registered Agent Service?
There are several essential factors that you need to consider when choosing a registered agent service. There are far too many services that are out there to count now; picking the right one for your business can seem a bit daunting. The secret to finding the right registered agent service for your business is to focus on these critical facets.
First of all, you need to know exactly what services the registered agent offers. You don't want to waste time and money on an agent that doesn't provide the services you need. Similarly, you don't want to pay for services that you are never going to use. It is good to start by defining exactly what services you need and then looking for registered agents that provide them.
You also need to be certain that the registered agent you choose provides registrations in your state. The exact laws and regulations regarding the work of registered agents can vary from state to state. Make sure that the registered agent you hire is authorized to work in your state.
The registered agent service providers we have outlined above are the very best that the US has to offer in 2020. Anyone who needs to register a new LLC or Corporation can turn to the providers above with confidence.