In this article, we’re focusing on the 7 best registered agent services available online (currently). At the end of the day, when you figure in everything involved in the service and state fees, their prices are somewhat similar. What it’s really about are the greater features and conveniences these companies offer.
Quick Definition: Without a physical location for your business a registered agent can come from an independent professional 3rd party registered in the state, in some states be someone within your own organization that you elect, or an online provider like those below. It’s the agent/office’s job to receive “service of process” notices, state paperwork, tax & court docs, official notifications, etc. on behalf of your company.
Available in all 50 states as well as D.C., like the other providers below they can act as your registered agent and help with many other aspects of founding/incorporating a business. Their prices are among the lowest and the longer you appoint them as your registered agent the more you save.
From no call queues, should you have questions and pick up the phone, to their lightning fast information system to keep you updated, their service has a suite of features you may fall completely in love with. Definitely worth consideration.
IncFile is arguably one of the most popular online incorporation service providers for a variety of reasons, and yes, they can serve as your registered agent along with a plethora of convenient features.
So again, 9 times out of 10 folks in your position don’t choose IncFile as their registered agent because of their pricing but the massive platform that can come along with it to help you run your business.
Where Rocket Lawyer differs is they offer access to legal professionals (not employees of Rocket Lawyer, but many types of independent attorneys), so their registered agent service for most of their customers in as add-on.
It’s competitively priced but be absolutely sure you understand the way they charge. Don’t forget when the next time you’ll be charged is. In fact, that’s a good general rule.
If you get a year of their services, set a reminder on your phone or something so you’re not surprised when a charge appears a year later. Ironically this is one of the primary complaints in reviews of these types of services online – easy to avoid.
If you’re incorporating through their platform or getting your foreign qualification taken care of, then they offer a good deal – 6 months free. Other than that their specific registered agent service delivers the basics like most other providers.
They do have BizComply, their web-based compliance management tool which you may find appealing as it contains a convenient calendar of compliance-related events, email alerts, provides access to relevant business forms, and stores your data in one secure place.
CorpNet is another provider that helps entrepreneurs and smaller teams start and run their businesses. They handle a large assortment of business filings at heavily reduced prices from working directly with a law firm.
Is there anything super-special about their registered agent service? Nope, not really. There’s not much complexity to the service in general – it’s about getting your documents quickly and securely. And, as you can see their prices are about average for the industry.
Along with IncFile and Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom is one of the titans of the industry without a doubt. They offer access to legal professionals like Rocket Lawyer, but at an extra cost – pricing starts at $23.99.
In terms of social proofing, like reviews and testimonials, they have some of the most. Where they really shine is customer service. While they charge a mere $10 more than a few others, there’s a ton that comes along with it. But, on the flip-side, try to have a really good idea of what you need before getting involved with huge operations like LegalZoom.
Incorporate.com charges a bit more for their registered agent service, and to be perfectly honest, it’s not absolutely clear why if all you’re going by is their website info. They’ve been in business a very long time, so it’s likely a premium service they’ve adopted because of the host of other services most customers get at the same time – for example while incorporating an LLC.
Here’s another screenshot that shows how their pricing breaks down, for example if you want to get this service while forming an LLC in Arkansas:
It’s common for independent professionals to charge a bit more than the prices you can get with companies who have a presence in all 50 states. These providers are far less expensive in most cases.
You’ll never have important documents delivered in front of clients, employees, or customers. Imagine getting a court summons in front of a potential partner or investor?
There’s peace of mind in knowing you’ll never miss this kind of paperwork due to bad weather, someone stealing mail, or because you’re on vacation. These providers have the technology to ensure you don’t miss a beat.
Because the agent’s registered address or office isn’t going to change, you can freely move your business around wherever you want. Also a great option for web-based business for obvious reasons.
The state-based penalties for not having a registered agent heavily outweigh the costs – losing business licenses, hefty fines, the inability to enter into contracts, and potentially criminal charges!
There really aren’t any downsides to working with an online registered agent service provider like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer unless you’re setting up shop in a state where you can be your own registered agent and are qualified to do so. This could save some money.
We’re not going to answer this for you, but we can give you our opinion of who we feel are the best for most entrepreneurs and startups looking for a less expensive registered agent service they can depend on – InCorp. Although IncFile and LegalZoom are also amazing providers, as is Rocket Lawyer if you could use some access to legal professionals.
Don’t rush into this, especially if you’re a fresh entrepreneur and this will be your first time using a registered agent. Keep in mind you’re looking to form a long-term relationship and your needs may likely grow beyond a relatively simple convenience like service of process. Cheers!