Owning a business can be rewarding, but before you embark on that endeavor, you must attend to many details – including picking out the best registered agent service. With so many services competing for your dollars, you might have a hard time deciding. We’ve done some research to help you out.
Pricing plans and features
- ⦿Secure Employer ID number and business documents
- ⦿Google Ads credit promo code for all accounts
- ⦿$5,000 grant program
If you are looking for the best company to form an LLC that also offers services such as online document access and a virtual business guide at an affordable price, then ZenBusiness is your perfect match. The company’s services are an effective blend of affordable prices, a simple application process, and buildable subscription models. All ZenBusiness pricing models include a free accounting consultation. What’s more, the highest tier plan comes with a domain name, business mail address, and expedited business formation.
2. Business Anywhere
Pricing plans and features:
- ⦿Free registered agent services during the first year of subscription
- ⦿Virtual mailbox feature available to the subscribers of Package Three
- ⦿Quick application process
Business Anywhere is yet another business formation service you can use to start your LLC. This company offers a variety of features, from one-year-long free registered agent services to a virtual mailbox. All packages include filing of the articles of organization (not to be confused with articles of incorporation).
- ⦿LLC establishment
- ⦿Free services
- ⦿Great for startups
IncFile offers comprehensive business start-up plans. Though it shouldn’t be your go-to if you’re looking for continued legal support, IncFile is a reliable option for those in need of a little help with forming their business. Some of its services even come free of charge, though most packages are a mix of paid and gratis features. Simply put, if you need legal help with getting your small business up and running on a budget, check out IncFile.
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Pricing plans and features
- ⦿Free Northwest registered agent LLC service for one year
- ⦿Same-day processing
- ⦿Lots of additional services
Praised for its secure and reliable services, Northwest Registered Agent may be the best online company to form an LLC for you at minimal cost. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses use its LLC formation package because it's so affordable. In addition, the company provides a registered agent for one year. Northwest is an excellent choice for clients who want fast LLC services. With its higher pricing plan, documents are filed within two business days.
5. Rocket Lawyer
- ⦿Legal form specialists
- ⦿Flexible pricing options
- ⦿Affordable subscription
Legal forms for real estate, business, and personal use are the focal point of this company’s services. Business users can access NDAs, create LLCs, build Independent Contractor Agreements, and other standard contracts. It’s safe to say that, in the online legal services market, Rocket Lawyer is a powerhouse. The pricing structure is suited to long-term use: A $39.99 monthly subscription grants you access to various legal forms for free; in addition, significant discounts or one-off payments for extra services become available, bringing flexibility to Rocket Lawyer’s offer.
Key Facts About Registered Agents
Before you choose a registered agent, you should know exactly what you’re signing up for. Considering everything that you must do to start a business, it’s easy to understand why this task might end up at the bottom of the priorities list. However, the choice is more important than you might think. That’s why we’ve prepared a short guide to registered agent services.
What Is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is sometimes called a statutory agent or agent of process. It is a person or entity that is authorized to accept tax correspondence and legal documents on behalf of your business. The agent must be located in the state where your business was founded.
Do I Need a Registered Agent?
Whether you appoint a registered agent or not is not a matter of preference. You are obligated by law to name a registered agent for your company. This applies to every business entity registered in every US state.
Failing to have a professional registered agent can have serious repercussions. You’ll be unable to incorporate your business. You’ll lose your right to due process and certificate of good standing. You may be fined. You could face increased personal liability for business lawsuits. And you could lose your business entirely.
The bar for “professional” is pretty low, however. A professional registered agent must have a physical business address within the state and must be available at that address to accept official mail during normal business hours.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
In most states, the rules for registered agents are the same. A registered against can be a person who is at least 18 or a registered agent company. Corporations and LLCs can’t act as their own agents, but the role can usually be assigned to one of the company’s owners or employees. The physical address of your agent’s workplace must be in the state in which your business was established.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
If our warnings have convinced you that it’s a good idea to hire a registered agent, you are now most likely interested in knowing how much the service will cost you. After all, managing finances properly and controlling costs are important factors when running a small business, especially a startup.
Our research reveals that registered agent service providers typically charge $100 to $300 per year. That’s less than $10 to a high of $25 per month – an affordable price for a necessary service.
How We Evaluate Registered Agents
When you set up a business you want everything to be just right. It’s your company, so you want to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Selecting a company that provides good registered agent services is a critical step in this process. You certainly don’t want someone incompetent handling your legal papers. Before we reveal our top picks, let’s take a quick walk through our evaluation criteria.
To identify the very best registered agent companies, we start by checking out their reputations. We look at the company’s history along with awards, customer reviews, and Better Business Bureau ratings. The sum of these factors is a relatively clear picture of how seriously these companies take their responsibilities and the effort they put into meeting them.
Once we have established a company’s trustworthiness, we move on to availability. This is of paramount importance. There’s no benefit in finding the perfect service, only to find that it does not maintain a presence in the state where your company was founded. For that reason, only the best registered agent service providers that offer agents nationwide earned a place on our list.
Most of the companies on our list provide LLC and corporation formation support in addition to registered agent services. Some let you purchase the registered agent’s services separately.
If you haven’t set up your business yet, you should look into a company registration service to handle the paperwork and make sure you’re paying the right fees to the right offices. They can handle the whole ordeal at a fair price. The à la carte services are best for those who already have a business up and running or wish to file registration paperwork themselves, and therefore need nothing but a corporate or LLC registered agent.
You should always try to get the most bang for your buck. That’s why we thoroughly evaluated everything these companies’ registered agents do for you. We made sure to check the quality of all their extra services, as you never know when you might need some legal advice or business-management assistance.
Any reputable company that wants to retain its client base will pay special attention to how it treats customers. And as a business owner, you’re bound to have a question or two about the professional registered agent services you have contracted for. We evaluate the speed and expertise of the support teams at registered agent companies and document the ways in which they can be contacted.
5 BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICES IN 2022
- Northwest Registered Agent
- Rocket Lawyer
Registered Agent Service Providers - Reviews
Pricing plans and features
- ⦿Online document access with each package
- ⦿Website creation features
- ⦿Domain name services
Founded in 2015, ZenBusiness is one of the best online LLC formation services for entrepreneurs. Numerous client reviews have praised this company for its straightforward application process and vast array of features that can be added to all plans. However, we also noted that ZenBusiness provides registered agent support at the price of $199 per year – i.e., it’s not free with any of the packages.
Prices and Services
ZenBusiness offers three subscription models: Starter, Pro, and Premium. All packages provide a small-business bank account through Bank of America and an accounting/tax consultation from 1800-Accountant. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay for registered agent services on all of them.
At $0, the Starter plan represents one of the internet’s best value propositions for basic filing services. The company’s staff will help ensure your desired business name is available and will prepare and file all the documents.
In addition to its standard LLC filing service, the ZenBusiness team will provide constant support via phone, email, and live chat. This is a one-time formation service, so it won’t renew and doesn’t include an operating agreement.
According to ZenBusiness LLC reviews, clients who sign up for the Pro plan have the highest satisfaction rates. The Pro plan costs $199 and includes expedited filing services, the company’s “Worry-Free Compliance” service for reminders about upcoming deadlines for annual report filing, and an operating agreement template.
The $299 Premium package is the best LLC formation service for clients looking to set up an internet domain, website, and email services for their business. This plan also includes ZenBusiness’ “Rush” paperwork filing, along with an Online Tools bundle (domain name, domain name privacy, email address, and customizable website).
When choosing a package at ZenBusiness, be sure to review the features and services that you get with each package, but be aware that you’ll have to pay for most services additionally, no matter which plan you opt for. On the plus side, this mix-and-match approach allows you to get the free plan, and only pay for what you need.
|Name Availability Search||Included||Included||Included|
|Online Document Access||Included||Included||Included|
|Articles of Organization||Included||Included||Included|
|Google Ads Credit||Promo code||Promo code||Promo code|
|Operating Agreement Template||$125||Included||Included|
|Employer ID Number||$99||$99||$99|
|Business Domain Registration||$25/year||$25/year||Included|
|Business Domain Name||$25/year||$25/year||Included|
The Application Process
Thanks to its newly updated, fast application process, ZenBusiness is the best LLC website for aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot of experience in business formation. As ZenBusiness provides its services in all 50 states, you can choose where you want to establish your business and whether you want to create an LLC or a different kind of corporation.
Then, there are several questions about your experience as a business owner, including the number of your employees. Based on this input, the company will suggest an appropriate package, with clearly outlined costs. You can easily change your choices during the application process.
The time needed to register your LLC depends on the pricing package you select and the state where you register your business. A lot of entrepreneurs choose Delaware, because the state has simple laws and affordable taxes, but there are cheaper options, too.
You can expect your online LLC formation in Delaware to be completed within two weeks with the Starter package, and just a few business days if you go for the Premium plan.
Security and Support
The ZenBusiness website has a great help center with articles that explain the company’s services, pricing models, and refund policy. There are also informative guides on how to start and manage small businesses.
ZenBusiness enjoys a positive reputation among customers. Nevertheless, the company previously received complaints that its customer support team could have longer hours.
We’re happy to report that management has taken this suggestion seriously and improved its live chat and email support, providing longer hours on both platforms. You can now reach the agents from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time, Monday to Friday, or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time on Sundays.
ZenBusiness also has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, proving its excellent reputation. Moreover, it’s been accredited since 2019. In line with the favorable BBB rating is its Trustpilot score of 4.6. All in all, it’s one of the best websites to start an LLC.
Pricing plans and features:
- ⦿Free registered address during the first year of subscription
- ⦿Customer support available via email
- ⦿No hidden fees
Business Anywhere features one of the best websites to create an LLC. The company was formed with the goal of transforming the way some services, such as company formation, registered agent service, virtual mailbox, and notary services are provided. It’s headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, and its services are available in all 50 US states.
Prices and Services
Like most candidates on this LLC formation companies list, Business Anywhere has a tiered pricing model. There are three packages, named simply Package One, Package Two, and Package Three.
Apart from the regular services, such as filing articles of organization, all packages include free registered agent service during the first year of subscription. This is a neat feature we are thrilled to see, given that the pricing is generally higher than that of some other companies. The prices of the three plans are as follows:
- Package One: $37
- Package Two: $297
- Package Three: $497
Keep in mind that, on top of the package cost, you’ll also be required to pay state fees. In the table below, you can see what each package has to offer. The packages were designed with diverse customer groups in mind, but whichever you choose, it will aid you in filing your LLC with ease.
|Package One||Package Two||Package Three|
|Filing articles of organization||Included||Included||Included|
|Registered agent service (first year)||Included||Included||Included|
|Registered address (first year)||Included||Included||Included|
|Scanning of legal mail||Included||Included||Included|
|Operating agreement template||Included||Included||Included|
|Filing the EIN application||–||Included||Included|
|Customized operating agreement||–||Included||Included|
|Virtual mailbox with a physical address||–||–||Included|
|Choosing Wyoming, New Mexico, or Arizona addresses||–||–||Included|
|Unlimited personal and business mail||–||–||Included|
|Up to 2 mail recipients||–||–||Included|
|Unlimited mail scans||–||–||Included|
|Worldwide mail and package forwarding||–||–||Included|
A great thing about Business Anywhere is that your subscription gets automatically renewed annually at a discount price. Thus, after your first year, the price of Package One and Package Two is reduced to $147, while Package Three will cost $397.
The Application Process
Business Anywhere’s online application process takes you through a series of quick steps that are simple to complete. Since the website allows you to apply with such ease, it may be the best site to start an LLC, or at least one of the top picks.
First, you need to sign up on the website. The information you need to fill in includes your full name, address, city, state, and postal code. You’ll also be asked to provide your email and create a password.
Once logged in, you can start the process of registering your business. This process comprises five stages. First, you need to select your state and business type. You may choose between two business types, namely LLC and corporation.
Next, you’re asked to input information about the company. That includes providing three potential company names, what kind of business operation the company would be engaged in, and info about the company’s location.
The third stage involves giving details about company management. After that, you’re prompted to choose one of the three Business Anywhere company formation packages.
The final stage is the checkout, where you’re presented with all of the information you provided, so that you can review it to make sure there are no errors. Finally, all you need to do is input your card information and confirm the purchase.
Security and Support
On the company website, you can find an FAQ section and a blog that can help you find all the information you need. Furthermore, those who sign up for the second or third tier are offered a free consultation. You may also reach customer support via email, so if you have any dilemmas about your LLC startup, ask away.
Unlike some other companies offering a business formation service, Business Anywhere hasn’t been reviewed extensively and has neither a BBB rating nor Trustpilot reviews. However, we did come across a couple of reviews of this service provider which praised Business Anywhere, citing no hidden fees and a quick application process as key reasons why this company is worth giving a try.
- ⦿Free registered agent for a year
- ⦿Paid packages for admin tasks
- ⦿Great for essential legal services
Formed in 2004, IncFile is not as established or well-known as some of the other companies listed here. However, getting a business up and running often goes together with a low budget, and many online legal firms could be out of your price range. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be determined to make things work.
We previously mentioned that you should be wary of or even altogether avoid free online legal services, but IncFile is one company that deserves a review. Although not all of its services are free, they can help you form your LLC for no charge. You’ll only need to pay the state fee, but this applies to other legal services that help you start your business as well.
Our research often found that one-off legal services tend to be pricey to persuade you to get a subscription. Not IncFile! It specializes in starting new firms, so it’s an excellent option to consider if you don’t believe you’ll need legal help once your business has been formed and deserves a spot among our best online legal services reviews.
They have three packages, depending on how much help you figure you’ll need to get incorporated. The Silver package is the most basic and is also the free option. IncFile will create and fill out the forms for creating your organization, let you perform name searches, and they’ll be your registered agent for free for the first year. This may seem very basic, but remember that you’re getting all that for no charge. A particularly remarkable aspect of this package is the representation offer for the first year. Some of the other best–rated online legal services websites charge upward of $100 for the same thing, meaning you’ll likely save over $200 by opening your business via IncFile – a frugal choice for a new business. From the second year onward, IncFile will start charging you $119 per year, and even this is still a competitive price.
The Gold package costs $149 on top of the state fee. You’ll receive the same services listed in the Silver package, as well as some extras: An EIN business tax number, IRS form 2553, express shipping, unlimited customer support, a business bank account, and tax consultation, amongst other things. This is an excellent bundle of features that we feel matches the price, making IncFile one of the top online legal services for startups.
The upgrades don’t stop there. You can double the price to get the Platinum package for $299. Being a Platinum member means expedited filing, business contract templates, a domain name, and a business email, on top of everything covered by the Gold package. The paid packages are comprehensive. While you can technically do most of the legwork yourself for little to no monetary cost, you would waste valuable time that could otherwise be spent on growing your business.
You may find IncFile lacking in some areas if you compare it to online legal services that charge more: For instance, no legal consultations are available. Still, IncFile was designed to be an agile service that gets your business started, not a full-on law firm. However, one area it undoubtedly drops the ball in is customer service. While this aspect may not be as significant, since IncFile is not a legal consultation service, this is still a drawback.
To summarize, IncFile is excellent for opening a business for a low price, but you’ll need to look elsewhere for proper legal support.
Pricing plans and features
- ⦿Secure LLC services
- ⦿Company will not sell your information
- ⦿Rich FAQ page
Northwest Registered Agent has been in operation for more than 20 years. Although its name suggests it provides only registered agent services, the truth is, Northwest Registered Agent offers a full suite of services and products for establishing and managing your business.
Prices and Services
One of the reasons Northwest Registered Agent may be the best company to file LLC paperwork on your behalf is that it offers affordable pricing. The company’s website is loaded with a lot of documents, legal forms, and templates. All of these documents are free. If you want to incorporate your business on your own, these documents will give you a big head-start.
You’ll find sample articles of organization, LLC operating agreements, an LLC EIN guide, and a lot more useful documents. You can even download forms for creating a nonprofit organization or C corporation.
What is the cheapest way to get an LLC rolling at Northwest? It’s the Basic plan, which we consider the best value on the market. The $49 package includes the most important LLC services: a registered agent and articles of organization filing.
The package is similar to the ZenBusiness Starter plan, but the filing time is much faster. With Northwest’s Basic plan, the filing process takes only six days. Like ZenBusiness, Northwest also offers registered agent services free of charge for 12 months. After the first year, the contract automatically renews at $125 per year.
While the Basic package is enough if all you want is to meet legal requirements for forming a company, you might be happier with the Deluxe package. With this $149 LLC company formation package, Northwest’s agents take care of all aspects of LLC formation, from filing documents with the state to creating an operating agreement and filing for an EIN. Lifetime customer service is also included, along with a year of registered agent service. Moreover, the filing time is reduced to four days.
If you want even faster turnaround time, there’s always the Premium package. You get all the same features included in the Deluxe plan, but filing the paperwork takes only two days. This package costs $199. Of course, like other LLC formation companies, Northwest also allows you to customize your package as you wish.
The Application Process
With Northwest, you can incorporate online quickly and easily. The processing time can be as short as one business day (with the Platinum package). But even if you choose the Basic plan, Northwest Registered Agent reviews your information and completes your documents quickly.
Like other LLC companies, Northwest allows you to track your order by email updates and an online status report.
Security and Support
Northwest prides itself on providing the most secure environment for your personal and business information. Unlike many of its competitors, Northwest guarantees that it will not share your information with other companies.
The company also takes responsibility for mistakes during the incorporation process. If there are mistakes in document creation, the company will refund the fees for that part of its service.
Countless customer reviews say Northwest offers the cheapest LLC registration services on the market. This is the top-rated, best LLC service, Reddit users say.
Launched in 2016, BetterLegal is a Texas-based business formation service provider. Although it hasn’t been operating for too long, the company has already established itself as one of the industry leaders thanks to its fast turnaround times, seamless user experience, and affordable prices. In addition to providing some of the best LLC services, BetterLegal can also help you set up a corporation.
Prices and Services
Unlike some of its competitors which offer tiered pricing structures for LLC formation, BetterLegal charges all of its customers a $299 one-time fee plus state filing fees. The flat fee includes the preparation and filing of the certificate of formation, obtaining an EIN, creating an operating agreement, and getting your banking resolution along with several other helpful documents such as S-corp tax election, ownership amendment form, officer designation, and meeting minute template.
- ⦿Great legal consultation service
- ⦿Excellent subscription benefits
- ⦿40% off discounts on lawyer services
With every organization comes paperwork, and depending on your field of work, this can either be an acute or a chronic matter. If you regularly issue contracts to clients or have to fill out NDAs consistently, your need for legal know-how is more of the persistent variety. Luckily, you need look no further than Rocket Lawyer – a company specializing in legal forms.
There’s a host of forms for you to choose from: Rocket Lawyer is one of the most reputable online legal services for covering all standard business documents. With a subscription plan, you’ll gain access to hundreds of form types. They are easy to create, and you can also receive online signatures for faster agreements. If you want regular access to legal documents, we recommend taking on the subscription for $39.99 a month. This is the same price as the charge per document for non-members, so if you figure that you’ll require an average of more than one legal document a month, this is hard to beat.
Members are also eligible for attorney access, an exclusive offer even among the best online lawyer services. Any legal questions that you have can be passed on to a lawyer for a personalized answer on your issue. On top of that, you’ll be able to have 30-minute phone calls for legal consultation on any arising matters. If it takes longer than that, the lawyer’s rates will apply, but they’ll be discounted by 40% percent. Members who wish to have Rocket Lawyer as their registered agent will receive a 25% on the $149.99 annual fee, another great perk for those in need of regular legal aid.
Rocket Lawyer is an online legal services platform prioritizing quick access and clarity, and its clean interface is in line with these principles. A mobile app where you can process your legal forms and conduct other relevant business on the move is also part of the deal.
Members also get the best pricing on Rocket Lawyer. On the other hand, one-off tasks can be quite pricey compared to the competition. For example, forming an LLC with Rocket Lawyer costs $99.99 if you are a non-member, which is relatively expensive for an online legal services company. However, if you have a monthly subscription, this service comes free of charge, on top of any additional legal paperwork that your new business may encounter.