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Starting a business will come with a lot of essential responsibilities. For example, you’ll need to develop a business idea, do market research, create a business plan, and secure funding. These tasks can be challenging on their own and don’t even involve the legal aspects of starting a business.

One of the most critical parts of starting a business is selecting a business structure. You’ll need to decide between registering as an LLC, corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. 

Each of these business structures comes with unique characteristics. No matter which one you opt for, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent when your business is formed. 

Registered agents, not to be confused with resident agents, are individuals or companies that receive legal documents, official notices, and process services on your business’s behalf. 

Usually, they must be reachable during normal business hours at a registered office with a registered agent address (some physical address or business address at which they can receive legal notices and other mail correspondences).

In addition to these responsibilities, registered agents also play a crucial role in incorporation, filing articles of organization (or articles of incorporation) with the state. These formation documents are entered into the public record, contain basic details about your company, and make your business entity official.

Which registered agent services are the best in 2023?

By law, you can act as your company’s registered agent. The problem is that you’ll have the added responsibilities of managing state documentation, including legal correspondence and time-sensitive incorporation services. 

That means you’ll need to handle all the necessary annual reports and official notices to keep you in compliance with the state. Failure to remain in good standing could result in non-compliance penalties, including fines and the loss of business licenses.  

Hiring a registered agent is generally much better than taking on these additional and unnecessary burdens. Registered agent services aren’t costly — in fact, free registered agent services are available — and they are well worth the cost. 

Here is a list of the seven best registered agent services that you should consider first: 




Northwest Registered Agent has two pricing plans depending on how many states you conduct business in. You’ll have to pay $125 annually for each state if it’s four or less, and you’ll have to pay $100 annually for each state if it’s five or more. 

You’ll also be eligible for a free year of registered agent service by purchasing a business formation package. These prices will remain the same year after year. 

Northwest will scan any state and legal mail and place them into your account the same day it arrives. There is a free mail forwarding feature in case any nonlegal documents are sent to Northwest. You can request that Northwest scans these documents instead, but they’ll charge a fee after the first five occurrences. 

Northwest offers a Privacy by Default guarantee, which promises that the company won’t sell your business data. Customer service is available via phone, email, or online chat and is typically answered within two hours. 

The main issue with Northwest is that it can be pricey compared to other options. Also, the turnaround times can be inconsistent, and there is an extra charge for employer identification number (EIN) services.




ZenBusiness has a few pricing plans available. The standard package costs $99 for the first year and increases to $199 for each year after that. The Worry-Free Compliance package starts at $199 for the first year and increases to $398 annually. 

You’ll also have the option for business formation packages that start at $39 annually and include registered agent services for a year. 

ZenBusiness has thousands of positive customer reviews and is one of the highest-rated options on this list. 

The team at ZenBusinss will scan any documents they receive involving your business, upload them to your dashboard, and send notifications if you need to pay special attention to them or take any actions. 

Customer support is available through phone or online chat from Monday to Friday and on Sundays. Email support is also available, but it will usually take a business day before you receive a response. 

The biggest downside of ZenBusiness is that the renewal fees double for both pricing plans after the first year. 

Additionally, the best features are only available with the more expensive plan. You’ll miss annual filing, compliance deadline reminders, and status monitoring by selecting the standard package.


Harbor Compliance

Learn MoreOn Harbor Compliance’s Website

Harbor Compliance charges fees that range from $89 to $99 annually, depending on the state. If you commit to a multi-year service contract, you’ll also be eligible for a discount between 5% and 10%. 

Harbor Compliance specializes in business sectors that are tightly regulated, such as architecture, construction, healthcare, and nonprofit organization. 

The best feature of Harbor Compliance is that they utilize business management software and advanced compliance software. Using this software allows Harbor Compliance to ensure that all critical deadlines are met and that your documents are accessible and secure. Legal documents are expedited with the same filing and delivery options. 

You’ll also receive compliance guides, whitepapers, annual report notifications, business licenses, financial services, and nonprofit creation information. Customer service is available via phone, fax, email, and physical mail.  

The main issue with Harbor Compliance is that they don’t have the reputation offered by some of their competitors. 

The company hasn’t been around as long and is yet to build up a solid foundation of trust. There are also no LLC or corporation formation services, so it’s not a good match for new businesses.


Rocket Lawyer

Learn MoreOn Rocket Lawyer’s Website

Rocket Lawyer charges $149.99 annually for its services, but you can save up to 25% if you’re a part of the Rocket Lawyer Premium membership program. 

The cost of joining this program is $39.99 each month. Alternatively, you can purchase the Accelerate legal services plan for $49.95 a month and receive a full year of registered agent services for free. 

Rocket Lawyer provides many of the same services as the other options on this list. They receive all relevant legal documents involving your business, scan them, upload them to your dashboard, and send you an email to let you know. 

Rocket Lawyer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee that promises a full refund if you’re not pleased with your registered agent. Customer support is available via phone from Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Online chat and email contact are also available. 

The main issue with Rocket Lawyer is that it can be expensive for what you get. You’ll still experience the benefits of having a registered agent, but you’ll be missing simple features that can enhance the partnership. 

For example, there are no alerts for impending filing deadlines. It’s not a huge issue until you have a deadline coming up soon and aren’t aware of it. There are also no formation package options that include registered agent service.




IncFile has an unbeatable pricing option that is the lowest on this list. Your first year of registered agent service is free if you incorporate your business with them. Each year afterward, the price will be a flat rate of $119. 

IncFile automatically forwards all legal documents that they receive and can accept IRS mail correspondence on your behalf. Whenever new documents arrive at IncFile, they send you email and SMS text message notifications after uploading them to your dashboard. 

Another positive for IncFile is that their turnaround times are exceptionally fast. Customer service, along with email exchanges, is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific Time. 

The most common complaint about IncFile is that they tend to upsell frequently and push for add-ons. Customer support can be somewhat lacking and take a while when you try to contact them online. 

The process requires a request form that must be completed first, which can be an extra hassle. Some users have reported inconsistent document scanning, and a few critical documents were missed.



Learn MoreOn LegalZoom’s Website

LegalZoom has one of the most straightforward pricing plans on this list. It’s a flat rate of $299 annually: no changes, hidden fees, or varying packages. 

There are a lot of unique features that come with using LegalZoom. For instance, you’ll have access to a compliance calendar, unlimited cloud storage, and business data protection. LegalZoom’s primary goals are to protect company owners’ privacy and prevent non-compliance penalties. 

Another benefit is that the web interface is straightforward compared to other options. LegalZoom is so confident in their service that they offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee or your money back. 

The phone-based customer service support is the best in the industry and is available from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time on weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time on weekends. 

The only major issue with LegalZoom is that the price is higher than other options. You’ll be enjoying many benefits, but it’s difficult to justify paying for services you don’t need and aren’t going to use.



Learn MoreOn BetterLegal’s Website

BetterLegal offers two payment options: pay-as-you-go services at $10 per month or subscribe annually for $90 per year. You’ll experience the same levels of service regardless of which option you choose, but the annual subscription will save you 25% on costs. 

BetterLegal provides similar services to all the other options on this list. They receive your documents, scan them, and notify you after uploading them. BetterLegal has incredible customer feedback that is amongst the highest in the industry. 

Common praise includes their fast turnaround times and simple sign-up process. Customer support is available via online chat or phone Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific Time.

A few concerns commonly pop up in customer reviews for BetterLegal. The documentation management and notifications aren’t always clear, which can cause some problems for business owners. Also, the online chat support isn’t live, so it can take a little while before you get a response.

Starting up a business can be extremely exciting. You’ll need to do so many things that it can be easy to forget a few. 

The problem is that skipping some of the legal requirements of starting a business can land you in hot water. It’s best to leave the legal aspects of running a business to the experts. 

Hiring a registered agent is an easy and inexpensive way to avoid legal trouble. Each of the seven services listed above is more than capable of meeting your legal needs. 

There’s no reason to take on any extra burden when you can simply hire one of them to help your business. For more compelling business content, check out our website.

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