How much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
Registered agent services typically cost about $99-$300 a year, depending on the company and the specific services included. Some companies offer a variety of separate filing, business formation, and other services as well for additional fees.
For information about registered agents, see our guide What is a Registered Agent?
Fees of Five Best Registered Agent Services of 2021
Professional services fees for our Best Registered Agent Services of 2021 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.
- Northwest charges $125 a year for registered agent services.
- 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.
- LegalZoom’s 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 want to change your registered agent, some states will charge a small fee to file the necessary paperwork, while others will let you do it for free.
Costs of Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
The only direct costs of acting as your own registered agent are the document filing fees you will have to pay that are normally included in the fee that you pay a registered agent service. However, there are hidden costs to be aware of:
- It will cost you time that you could be using to develop your business.
- Missing a court summons (service of process) if you can’t be reached could mean that a default judgment could be entered against you.
- Not being available to receive other important documents or missing filing deadlines that a registered agent service would remind you of could result in fines.
Other Reasons to Hire a Registered Agent Service
There are additional reasons to hire an affordable, national, third-party registered agent service – like ZenBusiness or Incfile – including:
- Compliance With the Law
- Peace of Mind
Visit our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide for help with making the right choice for your business.
Compliance With the Law
A registered agent sends regular reminders to help your business stay current on requirements imposed by the state. In addition, a registered agent can file documents like llc annual reports and other official government notifications.
A registered agent will also keep copies of your important documents in case the originals are lost to a natural disaster or theft.
Peace of Mind
With a registered agent, you can have peace of mind that important papers are being received and handled properly. This allows you to focus on your business and helps maintain work-life balance.
Acting as your own registered agent means you need to be available every day during business hours to receive official government documents.
If you act as your own registered agent and work out of your home, your home address (where you receive documents) will be a matter of public record, which you may not want. Alternatively, if you work in an office, you could be served with a lawsuit or other sensitive documents in front of your employees.
Hiring a registered agent service solves both of these issues by having documents delivered to the registered agent’s address.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost Frequently Asked Questions
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or entity that a company designates to receive court summonses and other official government documents. The government has to be able to reach a business during normal business hours, and the registered agent fills that role.
Should I pay for a registered agent?
We recommend hiring a registered agent service for peace of mind, legal compliance, privacy, and flexibility in your work hours. Registered agent services aren’t very expensive and allow 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 every day during normal business hours to receive documents.