Best Registered Agent Service in California

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Choosing the best registered agent service in California depends on your needs. Most new business owners will save money and time by using an LLC formation company that includes first-year registered agent services for free.

Whatever your needs, continue reading our best California registered agent reviews to find the best registered agent for your business.

Review Approach:

We compared the most popular services and based our selection on:

  • Business needs
  • Reliability
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Features
  • Price

Best California Registered Agent Services

     
Northwest
($125/year)
Four point seven out of five star rating.
4.7/5

BEST OVERALL VALUE

  • Meets most business needs
  • Free mail forwarding (great benefit)
  • Dedicated account manager (US based)
  • First-year-free with LLC formation services
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ZenBusiness
($199/year)
Four point five out of five star rating.
4.5/5

HONORABLE MENTION

  • Great customer service
  • $99 for the first year
  • Worry-free compliance guarantee
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Incfile
($119/year)
Four point three stars.
4.3/5
  • First-year-free with LLC formation services
  • Free online tools, resources, and guides
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Rocket Lawyer
($150/year)
Four point three stars.
4.3/5
  • Free email alerts
  • Save money on legal services by bundling
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Northwest is our favorite registered agent service because of its transparent pricing, reliable service, and premium all-inclusive features:

  • The first year free with their $29 LLC formation service
  • A dedicated account manager
  • Online Statement of Information filing
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Same-day mail and document scanning/uploading
  • Email and push notification reminders
  • Required registered office address in California
  • State compliance monitoring

Our No. 1 Recommended Service

Northwest ($125/year) is the best registered agent service in California owing to its affordability, reliability, excellent support, numerous services, and the simplicity of setting up an account.

1. Northwest ($125/year)

Northwest provides quality registered agent services to keep you compliant with California business formation laws. You get your first year free when you use its California LLC formation services ($29 + State Fees) to register your startup. 

Northwest Registered Agent is known for placing its customers' privacy as its top priority. They develop devoted "Corporate Guides" for each customer to walk them through state policies and ensure they are always up to date on regulations. You can access to your documents online and will be notified in advance of important filing deadlines. 

Northwest Pros

Northwest's registered agent service has premium online services, outstanding customer service, and zero hidden fees you're looking for. 

More advantages of going with Northwest:

  • Reliability — With their knowledgeable Corporate Guides at the helm, Northwest ensures that your services are consistently smooth.
  • Privacy — Northwest never sells your data and totally commits to protecting your anonymity
  • LLC Formation and More — In addition to their quality registered agent services and LLC filing, Northwest offers great additional features such as virtual mailboxes.
  • Free Year of Services With Formation — Northwest offers the first year of registered agent service free with their LLC formation package.
  • 24/7 Platform Accessibility — Access your documents anytime, anywhere
  • Great Customer Reviews — Northwest is rated 4.7/5 stars on Google, and customers report that Northwest is “so welcoming” and that working with the company is an “amazing experience overall.”

Northwest Cons

  • Their prices are not the lowest on the market; however, the services and customer support you receive make the cost worthwhile, plus, they offer one year free with LLC formation.

Northwest Pricing and Features

Get everything you need to stay compliant with Northwest, including:

  • Easy sign-up through Northwest's secure website.
  • Service of process — Northwest will receive legal and tax documents on your behalf and provide you with a physical registered agent address in California.
  • Mail scanning and forwarding services
  • Lifetime Corporate Guide assistance is available via telephone and email 
  • Compliance filing services (e.g, Statement of Information preparation, etc.)
  • Online platform for storing and retrieving documents and other mail
  • Notification services to remind you of upcoming filing deadlines

Northwest

Northwest provides low-fee registered agent services for entrepreneurs and startups, along with loyalty discounts and no hidden fees. With competitive rates and superb customer focus, many individuals and businesses trust Northwest's registered agent services.

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For a more in-depth look at Northwest, check out our Northwest review.

2. ZenBusiness ($199/year)

While not as well-established nor as experienced as Northwest, ZenBusiness still offers a lot of value for its California registered agent clients. For $199 per year, ZenBusiness handles all your legal and tax documents, making them available to you anytime through its online platform. ZenBusiness also provides notification alerts of upcoming filing deadlines and offers a website that is easy to navigate and place your order through.

ZenBusiness Pros

Great for startups on a budget needing basic registered agent services, ZenBusiness offers lots of advantages:

  • Friendly Customer Service ZenBusiness has good customer reviews and provides quality services to its clients
  • "Worry-Free Compliance" Guarantee Receive alerts for filings that will keep your business in good standing with the state.
  • Extra Services You can add LLC formation (and additional helpful features) to your services for an extra fee.
  • 24/7 Accessibility Reach your online dashboard anywhere, any time.

ZenBusiness Cons

  • ZenBusiness doesn't offer a free year of registered agent services with their LLC formation services.
  • ZenBusiness' prices are the highest on our list.

ZenBusiness Pricing and Features

ZenBusiness only costs $199 per year and guarantees to help you stay compliant with California business formation laws, providing you with: 

  • California service of process
  • Online document storage (access anytime, anywhere)
  • Secure handling of legal documents
  • Reminders for when to file your Statement of Information (with up to two free changes per year)
  • Physical California mail address
  • Convenient LLC formation add-on services

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness simplifies the startup process by offering affordable registered agent services statewide. And if you have any problems along the way, they will always have someone on hand to assist.

Visit ZenBusiness

For a more in-depth look at ZenBusiness, check out our ZenBusiness review.

3. Incfile ($119/year)

Maintain California state requirements with Incfile’s registered agent services. Incfile offers an easy online dashboard for viewing your legal and tax documents securely. Its registered agent service is adequate for most business needs, and its customer service experience is highly rated. 

Incfile Pros

There are many advantages of using Incfile as your California registered agent service provider, including: 

  • Backed by Customers Incfile has a strong reputation for providing excellent customer service.
  • Routine Compliance With Incfile, you get basic registered agent services, including Statement of Information notifications and compliance monitoring.
  • One Year of Free Registered Agent Service Get your first year of registered agent services free when you purchase Incfile’s LLC formation service.

Incfile Cons

  • The price may not buy you as much value as what you get with other registered agent services in California.
  • Incfile has been known to change its terms and conditions without notice.
  • Incfile does not offer many of the additional features or benefits that some of its competitors do.

Incfile Pricing and Features

Incfile registered agent services cost $119 per year for basic registered agent services, such as:

  • Physical business address in California
  • Service of process
  • Online platform for accessing documents 24/7
  • Experienced staff to guide you through filings
  • Extra services you can pay for (e.g., LLC formation, EINs, banking resolutions, etc.)

Incfile

Incfile will help your business maintain compliance and meet state requirements at an affordable price, handling your legal and tax documents securely.  

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For a more in-depth look at Incfile, check out our Incfile review.

4. Rocket Lawyer ($149.99/year)

Rocket Lawyer is a reputable registered agent service that offers a wide range of legal services to businesses of all sizes. The company has been in operation since 2008 and has helped millions of people and businesses with their legal needs. Rocket Lawyer offers a free trial membership so you can test out its service before committing to a full membership.

Rocket Lawyer Pros

Rocket Lawyer offers a membership package that gives you access to legal forms and templates for navigating the legal side of running a business while serving as your registered agent in California. 

Some of the pros of Rocket Lawyer's services include:

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee — If you're not happy with your registered agent services, Rocket Lawyer will provide a full refund.
  • Large Customer Base — Rocket Lawyer has helped over 7 million businesses, indicating a history of happy clients.
  • Expert Legal Assistance With Rocket Lawyer's network of legal professionals, you can rest assured that your business is in good hands.

Rocket Lawyer Cons

  • If you're looking for the cheapest option available, Rocket Lawyer might not be for you. However, if you're looking for quality legal services, Rocket Lawyer is a great option, and their prices reflect this.

Rocket Lawyer Pricing and Features

Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent services run $149.99/year, giving you the following features:

  • Service of process and California-based registered agent address
  • Email notifications and online access to legal notices
  • Compliance assistance with the State of California and reputation protection
  • Experienced professional agents and access to attorney network when needed
  • Member discounts on other services
  • One year of free registered agent service when you sign up for Rocket Lawyer’s business bundle.

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent services can help your business maintain compliance and meet state requirements affordably. 

Visit Rocket Lawyer

For a more in-depth look at Rocket Lawyer, check out our Rocket Lawyer review.

How to Change an Agent for Service of Process in California

A time may arise when you need to change your agent for service of process in California. Perhaps you were serving as your own agent and have recently moved out of state. Or, you may be disappointed with your current registered agent service and are considering changing to one of the recommended services above. 

Whatever your reason, changing your agent for service of process in California is a rather simple process: 

1. Fill Out a Statement of Information

To officially change your agent for service of process with the California Secretary of State, simply submit an updated Statement of Information either online, by mail, or in person. If you are within your normal filing period for your Statement of Information, you can include the change then. There is no overall fee for filing a Statement of Information, but in-person filings have a $15 counter service fee.

To add a registered agent service as your new agent, fill out Item 6c on the Statement of Information form. Do not fill out Items 6a or 6b — these are for individual agents.

2. Allow Change to Process

It will take anywhere from a day or two to several weeks for your form to be processed by the California Secretary of State. This is because processing times fluctuate depending on the time of year and volume of submissions. Filing directly online is recommended to speed up the processing times.

After you have submitted your completed form and it has been processed, the California Secretary of State will send you confirmation. After this is completed, California will send all service of process to your new agent.

Northwest

Looking for a reliable and affordable registered agent service? Northwest’s experienced team will make sure your documents are filed correctly (and on time) so you can focus on running your business. Plus, their low annual price makes them a great value for your money.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be my own registered agent in California?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent in California, but as a registered agent, you must have a physical address in California and be available during normal business hours to accept service of process and other correspondence.

Do all business entities in California need an agent for service of process?

Yes, most formal California businesses are required to designate a registered agent that resides in the state. There may be some exceptions for less formal, individual entities like sole proprietorships.

How much does an agent for service of process cost in California?

The cost of a registered agent in California will be about $50 to $300 annually. The price will vary depending on what optional services are included and the experience and reputation of the service. 

What’s the cheapest way to start an LLC in California?

The cheapest way to start an LLC in California is to form it yourself. However, this method costs time, which could potentially cost you more in the long run. Check out our review of the best LLC services in California to see if a professional service can help you out.

How much does it cost to change an agent for service of process in California?

There is no fee to change registered agents in California, but in-person filings will incur a $15 counter service fee. 

How do I find the agent for service of process of a company in California?

You can look up business entities and their registered agents by business name or filing number. Simply go to the California Secretary of State website. If you require further information, you could try contacting the company and asking them directly, or searching other public databases.

Is it best to use a professional registered agent service?

A professional registered agent service offers state compliance for your limited liability company and most other California business entity types. They provide a business address and business hours. Some nationwide registered agent service providers offer online accounts and free registered agent services with the purchase of a business formation package.