Registered Agents: An Insider Perspective on Top Services in the USA

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  • There are 3 options when choosing a registered agent
  • Registered agents receive legal documents on your behalf
  • ZenBusiness is the most popular registered agent service in the US

Every LLC needs to have a registered office where any legal documents can be delivered to. The person allocated to have the authority of receiving these documents is called a registered agent. In order to have a registered office, the LLC needs to have a reliable street address located in the state where the LLC is formed. 

The registered agent should be available during normal office hours to receive documents such as summons, complaints and even subpoenas. Therefore it is crucial to choose the right service agent for your LLC. 

Who can be a Registered Agent?

There are three options to choose from: hiring a commercial registered agent, be your own LLC’s registered agent or appoint a friend or family member. In order to be your own registered agent or for a friend or family member to be one, there are a few requirements that needs to be met:

Be 18 years or older

Have a physical address in the state where the LLC is former

Must be available during the business hours of the LLC

Hiring Registered Agent Service

There are many advantages to hiring a registered agent service. There are certain legal requirements to filing reports and other government documents, a registered agent is there to keep the LLC up to date on what these requirements are and to inform them of certain deadlines.  To this end, the best registered agent may make use of a compliance diary, helping to ensure that the LLC is compliant with the law. 

Running your own LLC can be very time consuming and your focus needs to be on many things. Another advantage of a registered agent is that they offer assistance. This takes away a lot of unnecessary stress and enables you to focus on other aspects of the business. When choosing to be your own registered agent, you need to be available to receive documents and correspondence during the business hours you set out, which can limit your flexibility and freedom. One of the biggest advantages of hiring a registered service agent is having your business remain private. The address of the LLC will not be registered or listed in a public record, preventing the embarrassment of, for instance, receiving a lawsuit in front of your employees or customers. Hiring a registered agent service can cost your LLC money, but if you weigh it up against the advantages it just makes sense. 

Choosing the best service

There are three things to take into consideration when choosing a registered agent service, the nature of the LLC, the needs of the LLC and additional services that the LLC requires. The following are the top registered service agents in the US:

  1. ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is known for their excellent customer support and great value for money. When you subscribe to their service, for a starting cost of $99, you get one year of registered agent services with its LLC formation package. You have the option to continue using their service thereafter for $119 a year. 

  1. Northwest Registered Agent

Choosing to go with Northwest when starting your LLC is great value for money. For only $225, plus state fee, they include a years’ worth of registered agent service fees for free. Northwest scans every document that you receive and their package includes many services. They ensure your business data is protected, they set up compliance calendars and they offer cloud storage that is unlimited. Your LLC is also granted an online account where you can access business documents and forms. Northwest truly is great value for money. A review done by Google on the 8th of August 2021, shows that Northwest scored 4.5 stars.

  1. Incfile

If you are on a strict budget, then Incfile is the best option. They offer one year free registered agent services, where after you pay an annual fee of $119. The Incfile website offers a learning centre, where LLC owners can access helpful information regarding LLC formation. A great feature they offer is sending SMS reminders to LLC owners in order to keep them up to date with the status of their documents. 

Whether you choose to be your own registered agent or to hire a registered agent service, make sure to do enough research regarding the pros and cons. If you choose to go with a service, you always have the option to change your registered agent, but it will cost a small fee. The question is, do you want to save money or do you want to save time?

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