Best Registered Agent Service in 2020 [Budget Options]

Every business entity that’s home-based, runs in multiple states, or has unusual working hours can benefit from registered agent services. Registered agents receive service of process (SOP) documents for the company, keep it compliant, and make sure filing deadlines are met. Those forming a new LLC would do well to choose the best registered agent service. To make the choice a bit easier, we’ve focused on the following in this article:

  • ✓ Our Methodology
  • ✓ Reviews
  • ✓ Benefits
  • ✓ Buyer’s guide
  • ✓ FAQs

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Best Registered Agents Reviewed

1. Legalinc

Money-back guarantee

Cloud-based platform

Automated and efficient

Best For Multi-State Businesses

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Legalinc can help you form a business in under 5 minutes, and keep it compliant thanks to an automated, centralized, cloud-based system. It can provide any document you need and even help reinstate your business.

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2. Nationwide Incorporators

Operating agreements

Corporate minutes

Providing seller’s permit

Best Attorney-Led Registered Agent Service

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Though they don’t provide legal advice, Nationwide Incorporators’ attorneys do all the necessary work to help clients make an educated decision when starting a business.

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3. Harvard Business Services

Specialized airplane and yacht mail forwarding plan

Free registered agent service with LLC formation

Available for international clients

Best For Delaware LLCs

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Harvard Business Service is a complete solution offering everything from LLC/corporation formation to cancellation services and everything in between. It provides plenty of additional services like obtaining an EIN or a business license. It even offers specialized airplane and yacht mailing services.

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4. CSC

Real estate recording and searching

Expedite processing

Digital brand services

Best For Expedite Processing

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CSC offers detailed registered agent services, a wide variety of additional services such as brand protection, and on top of all that, it’s quick and privacy-focused.

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5. National Registered Agents, Inc.

Color-coded notifications

Tax filing services

Detailed corporate services

Best For Tax Filing

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National Registered Agents, Inc. offers plenty of corporate services you won’t see anywhere else and the user-friendly tools to go with them. The services are available in all states as well as internationally.

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6. USA Corporate Services

Bookkeeping and accounting

Manhattan legal address and mail forwarding

Conference room available

Best For Startups Wanting a Manhattan Address

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USA Corporate Services simplifies the process of starting a business and keeping it compliant. All those who want to start a business with a Manhattan address/virtual office should choose this company.

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7. United Corporate Services

Personalized compliance calendar

U.S.A. Patriot Act Representation

Annual reports

Best For Companies Conducting Business with Foreign Banks

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United Corporate Services simplifies the process of staying compliant, especially for those doing business with foreign banks. Your business will be constantly monitored and you’ll be alerted of every approaching deadline.

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8. Computershare

Name check

Global Entity Management System

Change of agent forms

Best For Global Organizations

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Computershare is great for global businesses (especially those located in the U.S. and UK) in search of a dedicated registered agent service and a centralized management system.

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9. Registered Agents Inc.

100% refund

Instantly accessible forms

Digital reminders

Best For B2B Law Firms

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Registered Agents Inc. is an affordable, customizable solution that takes your privacy seriously. You can choose what you want to do yourself, and what you need help with. And in case you don’t like the service, you’ll get a 100% refund.

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10. URS Agents LLC

Charitable registrations management services

Agent change fee covered

International corporate services

Best For Nonprofits

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Thanks to specific management services, agent change coverage, transparency, and international services, URS Agent LLC is definitely a great online registered agent service for nonprofits.

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How We Choose Our Top Companies - Our Methodology

A registered/resident/statutory agent service encompasses many duties. Not only do these companies need to keep your business compliant, but they should also be able to help you manage your documents. We looked for companies registered in all 50 states and checked to see whether their customer service was responsive and helpful. Here’s everything we looked for while making this list of the top 10 registered agent services:

  • Compliance management. All of the companies on our list ensure that your business is compliant with state-specific laws and standards.
  • Document management. To prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from knocking on your door, many of these companies manage all your documents and keep them in one, easily accessible place. 
  • Coverage. Most of the companies from our list have coverage in all 50 states, while some even cover the District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and more. So whether you’re looking for the best registered agent service in California, Oregon, or Texas, we’ve got you covered.
  • Customer service availability. Like any good company, companies providing registered agent services should have responsive, helpful customer support in case you need any assistance. 
  • Reputation (customer reviews). Finally, we based our list not only on the information from these companies’ websites but by looking at trustworthy reviews as well.

At a Glance

  • Automated and efficient
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Cloud-based platform
  • Detailed services
  • Available in all states and Washington D.C.
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Confusing ordering system
  • Not fit for small businesses

 

If you run a multi-state business, Legalinc is the best online registered agent service for you. The company prides itself on having automated corporate filing processes, thus making them accurate and efficient. Licensing, registration, and white-labeled services are only the beginning. Here’s everything you get by hiring Legalinc:

  • Entity management platform. You get alerts and notifications about document receipts, compliance, and renewal deadlines, plus there are monthly entity compliance checks.
  • Automation. Experts do all the paperwork, so you can file compliance reports (in all 50 states and D.C.) in a few clicks. Legalinc takes care of all corporate filings, dissolutions, and mergers, and even makes filing articles of amendment easy.
  • Entity compliance repair and restoration. If your business loses its good standing with the state, Legalinc will take care of it. If it gets dissolved or revoked, Legalinc can reinstate it.
  • Document retrievals. Whether you need a certificate of good standing, apostilles, or Articles of Organization, Legalinc can retrieve those documents, as well as certified copies.
  • UCC search and filings. An online dashboard makes all documents easily manageable.

Finally, there are OFAC Search, USDOT Filings, and corporate kits and supplies.

According to many, Legalinc has the best registered agent software and offers incredible services thanks to it. In case you’re not satisfied, there’s also a money-back guarantee. The only real downside is a somewhat confusing ordering system.

At a Glance

  • Providing seller’s permit
  • Operating agreements
  • Corporate minutes
  • Covering all 50 states
  • Correcting errors with no fees
  • Scalable
  • Lack of platform or automation
  • No estimated processing times on the website

 

This company offers attorney-provided services and documents. It’s among the top registered agent formation services, perfect for starting any sort of business (nonprofit, S-corporation, C-corporation, general partnership, etc.) While Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t offer legal advice per se, the company will provide enough details for you to make informed decisions. Its services encompass:

  • Business licenses. All 50 states are covered, and you can get a Foreign Registration as well.
  • Seller’s Permit. If you’re looking to provide services or start transacting business in another state, Nationwide Incorporators can get you a seller’s permit.
  • Operating agreement. You can get these whether you’re an LLC member or running a manager-managed LLC.
  • Corporate minutes. The company will ensure your minutes are up-to-date in case of a lawsuit or a tax audit.

In an unlikely case of an error, Nationwide Incorporators will correct it at no additional cost. It’s likely the best registered agent for startups since it allows registration of virtually any type of company. On top of that, it’s scalable and lets businesses go multi-state once they’re ready to. The biggest flaw it has is the lack of automation and visibility, as there’s no platform you can log in to follow your files, deadlines, etc.

At a Glance

  • Available for international clients
  • Specialized airplane and yacht mail forwarding plan
  • Free registered agent service with LLC formation
  • Affordable
  • Many additional services
  • Free lifetime customer support
  • Only in Delaware
  • Higher priced packages don’t add much value to the basic plan

 

If you need help with LLC registration in Delaware, there’s no one better than Harvard Business Services to act as your registered agent. This BBB-accredited company is also available for those looking to form a domestic or international corporation.

Harvard Business Services is likely the most affordable registered agent service in the U.S. Still, it offers a wide variety of services to keep your business compliant with Delaware laws and regulations. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • EIN
  • Delaware certificate of good standing
  • Mail forwarding and virtual office services (with a specialized airplane and yacht mail forwarding plan)
  • Digital stock ledger
  • Business license
  • Stock amendment
  • Apostille service for foreign clients
  • Easily cancel an LLC or dissolve a corporation
  • Certified copy of Articles of Organization

There are plenty of benefits for these services. For one, your mail forwarding doesn’t need renewing as long as you still have credits. Forming a company gives you free lifetime customer support, and then there’s pricing. Not only is Harvard Business Services the best service to open an LLC in Delaware, but you also get a year of free registered agent services. One obvious downside is that the only U.S. state you can do business in is Delaware.

At a Glance

  • Digital brand services
  • Real estate recording and searching
  • Expedite processing
  • Registered in all states and Washington D.C.
  • Wide variety of services
  • Focused on privacy
  • Expensive
  • Not fit for small businesses

 

Around 90% of Fortune 500 companies give their business to this BBB-accredited establishment. Thanks to their expedite processing, many see it as the best registered agent when it comes to service of process. Here’s everything it offers:

  • Quick document delivery. Even if you’re traveling internationally, CSC will receive the documents and deliver them to you electronically in up to 24 hours.
  • CSCNavigator® platform. Your entity data and day-to-day transactions integrate with ease, and all data is stored on secure servers. No wonder many think of CSC as the best registered agent when it comes to privacy as well.
  • Compliance calendar. Get alerts about filing requirements and ensure that your business stays compliant.
  • Entity management and compliance. CSC takes care of everything: global subsidiary management, annual reports, business licenses, etc.
  • Business filing services. You can get everything you need, from the Articles of Organization to a foreign qualification.
  • Digital brand services. CSC ensures your online brand stays protected.
  • Global financial markets. The company provides independent directors, corporate governance, and compliance. It also takes care of fund administration.

If you need a company that not only provides a great resident agent service but plenty of additional services like digital brand protection and real estate recording and searching, CSC is the right solution. Unsurprisingly, registered agent cost comparison shows that it’s among the most expensive services out there.

At a Glance

  • Detailed corporate services
  • Color-coded notifications
  • Tax filing services
  • Representation in all 50 states, international representation
  • User-friendly tools
  • Great customer support
  • Expensive
  • No customer reviews

 

This company offers services across all 50 states, and can also give you international representation (including Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as all Canadian provinces and territories). In terms of user-friendliness, it offers probably the best registered agent tools, which provide:

  • Entity formation and management. You can choose to create a business entity in the U.S. or outside of it.
  • Entity monitoring service. NRAI collects documents from the Secretary of State and color-codes notifications so you know whether they’re just informative or point to something compliant/non-compliant. The company also provides monthly legislative updates, scam alerts, and electronic legal service of process.
  • Corporate services. These include tax preparation and filing, amendments, mergers, annual reports, dissolution, UCC searching, and filing. Some offices even offer additional corporate services like mortgage and banking licensing and compliance, insurance broker/agent licensing and compliance, and paralegal services.
  • Document retrieval. You can easily acquire a good standing certificate, tax certificates, and letters, as well as certified copies.
  • Independent director and special purpose entities. NRAI provides these without requiring director and officer insurance for each transaction.

National Registered Agents, Inc. made it into many best registered agent service reviews thanks to its user-friendliness. NRAI’s corporate services are very versatile and its customer support has been described as great. The biggest downside we can see is a high price.

At a Glance

  • Conference room available
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Manhattan legal address and mail forwarding
  • Registered in all 50 states and D.C.
  • Great for startups
  • Company secretary service
  • Not a wide variety of services
  • No platform

 

Though USA Corporate Services is registered in all 50 states and D.C., one of its main services has to do with New York. Those who wish to have a prestigious legal address in Manhattan often go for USA Corporate Services. Other than that, the best registered agent service for those eyeing NY helps entrepreneurs start their business, both inside and outside of the USA. Here’s what the company has to offer:

  • Virtual office service. Besides forwarding mail from it, the company also lets you use a Manhattan address as your virtual office, with the option of using the conference room for 2 hours a month.
  • Company secretary service. USA Corporate Services will not only remind you about the annual state filings, it will also maintain your shareholder and director registers.
  • Corporate document retrieval. Get good standing certificates or certified copies in no time.
  • Finally, the company also provides bookkeeping and accounting services.

USA Corporate Services is likely the best registered agent for startups that want to have a legal address in Manhattan. It also offers bookkeeping and accounting services. One of its flaws is that it doesn’t offer as many services as some of its competitors.

At a Glance

  • Annual reports
  • Personalized compliance calendar
  • U.S.A. Patriot Act Representation
  • Registered in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico
  • Wide variety of services
  • Business entity monitoring
  • Not the best customer service
  • Some billing issues

 

If you’re working with foreign banks, the best registered agent service to help you in 2020 is United Corporate Services. Whether you need business formation services or require someone to aid you with an established business, this company can help you. It provides:

  • Corporate filings and searches. United Corporate Services does everything from obtaining EIN and performing name searches to filing annual reports. It also protects your intellectual property, performs federal & state tax lien searches, and bankruptcy tracking.
  • Mail forwarding and office. Choose your legal address from all 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.
  • Personalized compliance calendar. Get notified via email about annual reports and tax deadlines.
  • Business entity monitoring. Don’t worry about losing your good standing status – were it to happen, United Corporate Services would notify you and fix it.
  • U.S.A. Patriot Act Representation. If you’re conducting business with foreign banks, you must obtain signed certifications from them. This company does the work for you.
  • Independent director services.

All banks and broker-dealers who conduct business with foreign banks should employ United Corporate Services to take care of their compliance. One thing that keeps it from being the overall best resident agent service is that their customer service isn’t great.

At a Glance

  • Change of agent forms
  • Name check
  • Global Entity Management System
  • Global
  • Detailed document retrieval
  • Has 10,000 units under administration
  • Pricing not publicly available
  • Not many customer reviews

 

Computershare is one of the best registered agent companies that many global businesses rely on. It can help your company with its first steps (like getting a business license and a name) and make sure it always stays compliant. Here’s what you’re getting:

  • Name availability. If you’ve chosen a name for your company, Computershare will check its availability and register it.
  • Change of agent forms and receipts. Before signing the Registered Agent Acceptance form, Computershare will settle everything regarding the agent change. Once that’s done, all data will be reconciled, and annual report filing will be taken care of.
  • Document retrieval and updating. Any document you might need – amendment, apostille, dissolution, merger, good standing certificate, certified copy – Computershare can get it.
  • Global Entity Management System. A centralized system allows you to access all your data and documents instantly.
  • UCC filing and search.

Computershare is likely the best registered agent service for global businesses. It does everything from name search to data reconciliation and updating and has a centralized platform for full transparency. But since it doesn’t have publicly available pricing nor many customer reviews, it’s hard to say whether the company offers a low cost registered agent service.

At a Glance

  • Digital reminders
  • 100% refund
  • Instantly accessible forms
  • Affordable
  • Customizable services
  • Privacy-focused
  • Not a wide variety of services
  • Not many reviews

 

Registered Agents Inc.’s fully customizable services are appropriate for businesses of all sizes. Though it primarily serves B2B law firms, the company adjusts to every company’s needs and budget. No matter what state you’re in, if you’re browsing registered agent sites looking for something affordable and customizable, you’ve found it. With Registered Agents Inc., you’ll be getting:

  • Business resources. As soon as you log in, you’ll have access to every business form you could ever need. What you do with it is up to you. You can choose to do corporate filings yourself (but with the help of Registered Agents Inc.’s resources), or outsource it to the company.
  • Digital reminders. If you decide to do it yourself, don’t worry. The company will send you alerts and reminders of the upcoming deadlines.
  • Privacy. Thanks to strict protocols, your privacy and security with Registered Agents Inc. are guaranteed.

If you’re in the US and looking for the best registered agent service, but you’re also on a budget, we recommend Registered Agents Inc. All solutions are customizable, and there’s a 100% refund at the end of the first year if you’re not satisfied. However, if you’re looking for a lot of extra services, this might not be the right solution for you.

At a Glance

  • International corporate services
  • Charitable registrations management services
  • Agent change fee covered
  • Online access
  • Wide variety of services
  • Registered in all 50 states plus Washington D.C.
  • Pricing not publicly available
  • Limited resources

 

Whether you’re looking for the best registered agent company to form a traditional LLC or you want to start a non-profit company, this BBB-accredited service will get you set up. Registered in all 50 states plus Washington D.C., it offers plenty of services:

  • Document preparation and filing. Anything you need – incorporation, name registration, mergers, publication, tax clearance – URS has you covered.
  • Agent change fee. You’ll hardly find free LLC services anywhere, but URS has you covered when it comes to changing your agent for service of process.
  • Corporate materials. Get a corporate kit, certificates, and seals, or choose a blank file for your corporate minutes and LLC operating agreement.
  • Annual registration services. Includes annual reports and a free status check.
  • Charitable registrations. If you’re forming a nonprofit, URS will handle the entire registration process (state fees included) via its charitable registration management services.
  • Online access. You get complete visibility into company records, invoice history, document storage, forms center, etc.
  • Independent director/manager.
  • International corporate services.
  • UCC searches.

Anyone looking for the best registered agent service for LLC shouldn’t skip URS Agents LLC. It’s especially great for nonprofits, for which there are specific management services. However, since they do not publish their pricing on their website, you’ll need to contact their customer support to find out what their current prices are.

How to Choose a Registered Agent Company

If you’re not too familiar with everything registered agent companies can do, you may not be sure how to choose the best registered agent for your business. Here are a couple of things that might help you make the right decision: 

  • Main features: 
    • Coverage. Check to see which states the company works in. Can it help you form an LLC in another state? Does it make it easy for multi-state businesses to stay compliant? The very best registered agent services in the USA can provide all of these.
    • Compliance. Look for information on how the company stays compliant with the laws and regulations. Does it do proactive checks? Do you get instant notifications if something is wrong? 
    • Customer support. How available is it? Is it flexible? Responsive? Answering these should help you narrow down the list pretty quickly.
  • Extra services. As you may have noticed, not all companies offer the same amount of extra services. If you need name search, EIN, an LLC operating agreement, or organizational minutes, but a certain company doesn’t offer those, it’s not the right one for you. Likewise, you may be looking for a legal address and mail forwarding services in a prestigious place, but not all companies will be able to provide it for you. The bottom line is – pay attention to your business needs. The best registered agent service for small business may not be the same one as for large B2B corporations.
  • Restrictions. Can you get registered in any state you choose? Can you carry out international business? Does a certain company allow you to run a multi-state business? Is there a limit to how many uploads you have or how quickly you receive service of process (SOP)? All of these things matter when choosing a registered agent service.
  • Customer reviews. Finally, the best way to know if these companies are just as good as they claim to be is to check what the existing customers say about them.

Who Needs Registered Agent Services?

Finding the best registered agent service can benefit any company, regardless of what it does. Thanks to Model Registered Agent’s Act (MoRAA), registered agents can help each and every company stay compliant. However, those who stand to gain from it the most are:

  • Home-based businesses. Every business needs a legal address for receiving legal documents, so why not have one that’s not connected to your home? It certainly does wonders for privacy, and it makes your business look more professional.
  • Businesses that run outside regular business hours. The best registered agent filing service can help your business stay compliant even if it doesn’t work during regular business hours. Unusual working times make things tricky when it comes to following laws and regulations, something an experienced registered agent can help you with. You can trust them to receive service of process (SOP) at any time and forward it to you ASAP. 
  • Businesses that run in multiple states. Different states have varying laws and regulations. The easiest way to make sure you’re compliant with each of them is to employ a registered agent service that covers them all.

Benefits of a Registered Agent 

Getting a registered agent has plenty of benefits for any business, and staying compliant with the state laws and regulations is just one of them. Here’s everything you gain by hiring the best, most compliant registered agent service: 

  • Privacy. If you run your own business, but want to stay separated from it in the legal sense (a.k.a. remain a natural person and not have it registered at your address), the best way to do so is via a registered agent. You’ll have a legal address connected to them, thus keeping your privacy intact. 
  • Convenience. You can be your own registered agent, but it’s not an easy job to take on. One single mistake can cost you and your company a lot of money. With a registered agent, you can sit back, relax, and have someone else take care of all the boring (and stressful) paperwork. Plus, you can contact them whenever you wish, and you’ll likely have full access and visibility when it comes to the documentation.
  • Risk-free compliance. The best registered agent will alert you about any deadlines coming up, even if they’re the ones taking care of it. That way, you’ll stay in the loop, but without all the stress involved in the paperwork. Most companies have automated notifications, and they regularly check your company to make sure it remains compliant with the current laws and regulations. Some even offer refunds if you’re not satisfied with their services.
  • Help with tax filings. Besides important documents, many of these companies also take care of tax preparation and filing for you. 
  • Choosing where to have your business. If you want to start a business in a state you don’t live in, you can start checking the best registered agent services by state, or simply find one that’s registered in all 50 of them. The benefit of using these companies is that you can choose a prestigious legal address for your business, no matter which state you live in.

Best Registered Agent Service At A Glance

Legalinc – Best For Multi-State Businesses

Nationwide Incorporators – Best Attorney-Led Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services – Best For Delaware LLCs

CSC – Best For Expedite Processing

National Registered Agents, Inc. – Best For Tax Filing

USA Corporate Services – Best For Startups Wanting a Manhattan Address

United Corporate Services – Best For Companies Conducting Business with Foreign Banks

Computershare – Best For Global Organizations

Registered Agents Inc. – Best For B2B Law Firms

URS Agents LLC – Best For Nonprofits

Wrap-up

Whether you’re about to form a limited liability company, expand your company into other states, or are simply tired of all the paperwork related to your company’s compliance, getting a registered agent service is the right choice. Most of these companies do everything from name checks to filing taxes. In between, they can provide document retrievals, deadline alerts, and even independent directors. No matter what your specific business needs are, finding the best resident agent service will help you keep your privacy and ensure your business stays compliant and stress-free.

Common Questions About Registered Agent Services

What is a Registered Agent Service?

A registered agent service primarily serves to receive service of process (SOP) for you. It’s a legal entity that ensures you never skip an important file (or a deadline) from any government agency

Is a Registered Agent Required When Creating an LLC?

Yes, in every state. Every natural person or sole proprietor should look for the best registered agent provider out there before creating an LLC.

Can My Accountant Be My Registered Agent?

They can, but it’s not always the best decision. For one, being a registered agent isn’t an accountant’s main area of expertise. And if later on you wish to expand into other states, you’ll hardly be able to unless you’re working with a registered agent service.

How Do I Change A Registered Agent?

If you’ve found the best registered agent service and wish to change your old one, simply fill out the form provided by the business services office of your state. You should also submit the consent form signed by your new agent, though this step may vary from state to state.