Entrepreneurs know how valuable a professional registered agent service can be. But do you really need a registered agent and can’t just be your own?
Read on to learn all about finding the services of the best registered agent.
Why use the service of a registered agent?
The registered agent acts as a point of contact for your company and liaises with the state and attorneys for the service. This is especially the case with large companies.
The main reason for using a registered agent service is to ensure that your company has a reliable way to be contacted in a due process situation.
Do all states require registered agents?
Yes. A registered agent is required by law. You won’t find a way around this in any state, unfortunately.
Our top recommended services for registered agents
Below we explain each recommended registered agent service that we believe is one of the best registered agent services:
- One year of registered agent for free
- Price: Free registered agent services on their Silver Service package up to $299 on their Platinum Service package
- They provide LLC formation services.
- Automatic email forwarding
- They offer expedited filing with their Platinum Service package
- 18 years in business
- Refund or cancellation fees are less than $30.00
What does IncFile cover?
IncFile includes LLC formation services, registered agent services, compliance services, and startup services.
Who is Incfile best for?
IncFile is the best registered agent service if you are working on a smaller budget.
- Affordable prices
- Handy online dashboard for documents
- Positive customer reviews
- Price: Starter costs $49, billed annually – excludes state-level fees. $199 for the Pro package and $299 for the Premium package.
- No email forwarding services
- When purchasing an upgrade, the order can be processed in days instead of weeks
- Seven years in business
- Refund Policy: ZenBusiness offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
What does ZenBusiness cover?
- Company Formation (LLCs or Companies)
- Operational Agreements
- Find availability name
- Submit changes
- Certificates of Good Reputation
- Bank resolutions
- Registered Agent Services
- DBA (doing business as) registration
- Founding Publication of the State of New York
- Federal Employer ID Number
- Ongoing state compliance requirements
- Annual business reports
Who is ZenBusiness best suited for?
ZenBusiness is best if you want to use online business services without dealing with a big company like LegalZoom. They offer great customer service and business rates.
3) INC authority
- Free LLC Application
- Great customer support
- One year free registered agent service
- 20% discount on added services
◦ Price: $0.00 to $799.00
◦ They provide free LLC filing services.
◦ Free email forwarding
◦ Time frame (how fast the order is processed)
◦ In operation since 1989
◦ Refund Policy: If canceled within 14 days, you will get your money back. After that you will not get your payment back.
What does INC Authority cover?
INC Authority covers LLC formation and business ownership assistance. In addition, basic paperwork and other legal services. You can also choose to add services such as Federal Trademark, business financing or planning, etc.
Who is INC Authority best suited for?
This registered agent service is best for companies that want to incorporate their business for free.
GET INC AUTHORITY
- First class customer service and privacy
- Streamlined ordering process
- Scan local documents
◦ Price: $100 until $125 per year
◦ They provide LLC filing services.
◦ Free email forwarding by your Northwest registered agent
◦ Their turnaround time may vary and be a bit inconsistent.
◦ They have been around since 1998.
◦ Refund Policy: If the company has already submitted documents for you, you can get a prorated refund of their service fees. You will not be reimbursed for any government levies.
What does North West cover?
Your northwest registered agent will provide you with LLC filing services, company formation services and all other documents related to setting up a company.
Who is Northwest best for?
If you are looking for any kind of registered agent services then Northwest’s registered agent services are the best.
GET NORTHWEST REGISTERED AGENT
- Flexible pricing model
- Spread payment possible
- Free business tax advice
◦ Price: basic plan cost $49.00
◦ Provide LLC services
◦ Basic email forwarding service
◦ Time frame: about 15 business days.
◦ 7 years in business
◦ Refund Policy: 60-day money-back guarantee on fees paid (not applicable to state fees or payments to third parties).
What does Swyft Filings cover?
Swyft Filings offers company formation services, custom business kits, tax identification acquisition, compliance alerts and many more services. Please note that a registered agent service must be booked additionally and is not included in the price.
Who is Swyft Filings best suited for?
Best for small businesses with little cash flow.
GET SWYFT REGISTRATIONS
- Established brand
- High authority
- Ongoing legal services
◦ Price: $79 until $349
◦ Provide LLC services
◦ Email forwarding
◦ Time frame: between 2 days and 20 business days (depending on the package)
◦ 21 years in business
◦ Refund Policy: You can get a refund if you sign up within 60 days.
What does LegalZoom cover?
This registered agent service provides LLC services and legal assistance. They even support you in personal matters or help with intellectual property such as wills, estate planning documents, copyrights and powers of attorney.
Who is LegalZoom best suited for?
LegalZoom offers the best registered agent services for someone who regularly seeks help for legal documents and copyright issues or just general legal services.
Services typically covered
Depending on which registered agent services you hire, they will offer you the following services:
- Franchise tax/annual reports
- Official government forms
- Service of processes (lawsuits) and legal documents
In the case of a large company, the registered agent will handle the paperwork and forward it to the responsible offices in the company.
If you are your own agent, you handle this paperwork yourself.
Typical costs for using a registered agent service
The typical costs associated with hiring registered agent services vary depending on the company you decide to go with. But in general, you can expect your registered agent to cost between $99 and $300 per year.
Depending on the company, you may be charged a lower fee in the first year.
How to Choose the Right Registered Agent Service?
Here’s how to make sure you choose the right registered agent:
- Talk to other people in your industry and ask them who they use.
- Attend trade shows to find registered agents who are well versed in your industry.
- Ask registered agent services for their references.
- Read reviews on the internet.
- Make sure they provide the services you need.
- See if their offerings fit your budget.
How do I change my registered agent?
Changing your registered agent services isn’t as difficult as you may think.
The requirements to change your registered agent vary from state to state. So are the state fees involved in changing your registered agent services. While some may not charge you anything for filing a change of registered agent, other states may indeed charge a small state fee.
To change your registered agent services, contact your local Small Business Administration services. You will receive links to your state’s business services website and all the information you need to change your registered agent.
Another option is to call your state’s business formation services office. They can also provide you with all the information you need.
In most states today you can find the forms ready for download on their websites. Otherwise, you can get them directly from your country’s business services office.
In general, you must provide:
- A change to the registered agent form.
- A form that displays the contents of your new registered agent as your new registered agent.
- Both forms must be signed by you and the second form must also be signed by your new registered agent.
You must file the form on your state’s online filing system or by mailing it to your state’s office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I switch registered brokers?
Yes, you can, with the right papers.
Is a registered agent the same as an owner?
Not always. The owner can be the registered agent, but not the other way around.
Are Registered Agents Worth It?
That depends on the size of your company and whether you need any other services.
How many registered agents can an LLC have?
As many registered agent services as you need and as many as you have business entities in several states.
Is a registered agent’s address public?
Can I use my registered agent’s address as my business address?
Yes, unless you have a real business address.
Do I have to be my own registered agent for an LLC?
You can be your own registered agent in most states as long as you meet state requirements. For small business owners, it may just not make sense to hire registered agent services. Therefore, you might be better off being your own agent.
This may seem like the easiest solution for all businesses. However, being an agent means being available during all business hours throughout the year. If you are not available, your business could have serious consequences.
In addition, if you are your own RA, your private contact information will become public. This means that you may be compromising your privacy.
As an entrepreneur with a medium to large company, hiring professional registry brokers is the wisest choice. Here are the main reasons why you should hire a registered agent instead of being your own agent:
- You do not need any additional papers
- You don’t want to deal with legal documents yourself
- You want to keep your personal information private
- Your business does not have a physical address
- You work during different office hours
- Your company has offices in multiple states
Article paid for by: Ascend Agency, Contact@ascendagency.com
The news and editors of the Bay Area News Group had no role in preparing this entry.