Although the cost of registered agent services varies from company to company, it generally ranges from $99 to $300 a year. With some companies, you pay a lower rate the first year and a higher rate if you renew. In addition, some companies bundle registered agent services with business formation and other services.
Recommended: If you’re looking to start a business, read about how to choose a business structure. If you want to start an LLC, check out our list of the Best LLC Services.
Typical Registered Agent Costs
You will generally pay about $99 to $300 a year for registered agent services. The total cost depends on the company and the specific services it offers. Some companies offer related services for an additional fee, such as business formation and business formation.
For information about registered agents, see our What Is a Registered Agent guide.
Fees of Five Best Registered Agent Services
Professional service fees for our list of the best registered agent services are as follows:
- ZenBusiness offers two tiers of registered agent services at $99 and $149 a year, as well as separate LLC formation packages that include registered agent services. Various products and services such as faster filing, an operating agreement template, annual report filing, a certificate of good standing, and a business email address are also available a la carte for additional fees. State filing fees are additional and depend on the state.
- Incfile provides a free year of registered agent services with LLC formation. After that, it charges $119 annually. Incfile offers a variety of other services as well for an added charge, such as name changes, dissolution, foreign qualification, annual report filing, and business license searches.
- Rocket Lawyer offers registered agent services for a $149.99 annual fee. A 25% discount is available with a premium subscription. It also features other services like legal consultation and incorporation filing for additional fees.
- Northwest charges $125 a year for registered agent services.
- Harbor Compliance starts at $99/year for registered agent service, and offers multi-year discounts.
- InCorp starts at $99/year, and also provides multi-year discounts.
- LegalZoom registered agent services are relatively expensive at $299 a year or $159 annually with LLC formation. As with most of the other companies on this list, other services are also available.
If you already have a registered agent, you can change it by filing the appropriate paperwork with the state. Some states charge a fee for this, while others let you do it for free.
Costs of Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
There is only one direct cost of being your own registered agent: the fees that the state charges to file documents. These fees are normally included in the fee that you pay a registered agent service. However, there are hidden costs of being your own registered agent, including:
- The time required to be available to receive official documents, which you could use to develop your business.
- The cost of potentially missing a court summons (service of process) if you can’t be reached, which could result in a default judgment being entered against you.
- The cost of being unavailable to receive other important documents or missing filing deadlines that a registered agent service would remind you of, which could result in penalties, fines, or other sanctions.
Other Reasons to Hire a Registered Agent Service
Other benefits of hiring an affordable, national, third-party registered agent service – like ZenBusiness or Incfile – include:
- Compliance With the Law
- Peace of Mind
Visit our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide, which will help you decide if a registered agent service is right for your business.
Compliance With the Law
State requirements for businesses can be hard to keep up with. A registered agent service helps with this by sending regular reminders of filing deadlines. A registered agent service also can file documents like LLC annual reports and other official government notifications.
Finally, a registered agent service keeps copies of your important company documents in case the originals are damaged, lost, or stolen.
Peace of Mind
A registered agent service provides assurance that important papers are being dealt with properly. With this peace of mind, you can better focus on your business and maintain a work-life balance.
If you act as your own registered agent, you must be available every day during regular business hours to receive official government documents. A registered agent service relieves you of this responsibility and lets you set your own work hours.
If you act as your own registered agent and work out of your home, your home address (where you receive documents) will be listed in a public record. If you work in an office, you could be served with a lawsuit or other sensitive documents in front of your employees. For many people, both of these present privacy issues that can be avoided by using a registered agent service.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost Frequently Asked Questions
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or entity designated by a company to receive service of process and other official documents from the government. The registered agent allows the government to reach a business during normal business hours.
Should I pay for a registered agent?
We recommend hiring a registered agent service because it provides peace of mind, help with legal compliance, privacy, and work-hour flexibility. For a small annual fee, a registered agent allows you to focus on running your business.
Can I be my own registered agent?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are at least 18 years old, have a physical address in the state in which your business operates, and are available to receive documents daily during regular business hours.