Best Free Registered Agent Service (When Forming Your Business)
Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service free for one year when you form your business through them.
What Are the Best Free Registered Agent Services?
Although there are no completely free registered agent services, some of them offer free registered agent services for a year with LLC formation as an incentive to sign up. These include two of our Five Best Registered Agents of 2021: ZenBusiness and Incfile.
We chose ZenBusiness as the best registered agent service because of the company's great customer support and excellent value.
- One year of included registered agent services with all limited liability company (LLC) formation packages
- Registered agent services starting at $99
ZenBusiness not only includes a year of registered agent services with its LLC formation packages but also offers exceptional value thereafter by protecting your business and privacy for $119 a year. Again, if you are not forming an LLC and just seeking registered agent services, the company offers an incredible deal of $99 a year.
ZenBusiness customer reviews highlight the company’s ability to provide speedy support and create a high degree of customer satisfaction.
You also can upgrade to the ZenBusiness “complete” registered agent services, which adds a worry-free compliance guarantee. This guarantee includes:
- Annual filing report alerts
- Documents submitted on your behalf (you’ll only be responsible for state fees)
- Two free changes to your filings per year (state filing fees may still apply)
- Coverage of the costs required to regain good standing if your company should miss a deadline or state requirement
Incfile ($119/yr) is a great choice on a lower budget. It has served more than 150,000 customers since 2004, and its Learning Center is full of helpful information for business owners.
- One free year of registered agent services with LLC formation
- $119 annual fee after the first year
Incfile also provides a convenient registered agent dashboard, which allows you to track and instantly access important business documents. In addition, the company sends email and SMS notifications so you can stay updated on the status of your documents.
Other Registered Agent Services to Consider
These companies round out our top five registered agent services of 2021.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is well known for its exceptional customer service and knowledgeable staff. This company locally scans every document you receive. Most registered agent services only scan certain documents like a legal summons.
- Registered agent services
- Business data protection
- Compliance calendar
- Unlimited cloud storage
If you choose Northwest as your registered agent service, you'll also receive an online account so you can easily access important business documents and forms. Its site is simple to navigate, and you can receive extra support through its online tools and helpful business experts.
Rocket Lawyer has provided services to more than 800,000 businesses. For business owners who anticipate needing legal help, the company’s legal services plans can include registered agent services for free for the first year.
- A 25% discount with a premium subscription
- $149.99 annual fee for non-members
Rocket Lawyer is known for providing high-quality legal services, help, and advice for business owners and entrepreneurs. The company is incredibly experienced with many customers. Rocket Lawyer also promises a 100% satisfaction guarantee with its registered agent services.
LegalZoom has high brand awareness, higher pricing, and a strong foothold in the registered agent services industry.
- $159 annually with LLC formation
- $299 annually
LegalZoom's registered agent services include features such as business data protection, a compliance calendar, and unlimited cloud storage. Although its prices are higher than the competition, you may feel more comfortable choosing this service since it has more experience and brand recognition.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent?
Anyone who meets the state’s criteria can be a registered agent. You can even be your own.
Criteria vary from state to state, but generally speaking, a registered agent must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state in which the company was formed
- Be available during normal business hours to receive official documents
In addition, if the registered agent is an entity, it must be authorized to do business in the state.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
A registered agent service accepts and sends legal documents, acting as your company’s main point of contact with the state. You can be your own registered agent, but consider the following benefits of using a registered agent service:
- Compliance. Your registered agent service will help your business keep up with state regulatory requirements.
- Peace of Mind. By using a registered agent service, you can focus on growing your business.
- Flexibility. A registered agent service allows you to work whenever you want instead of having to make yourself available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday.
- Privacy. Your registered agent service’s address — not your personal or office address — will be a matter of public record.
For more information, see our guide Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?
Best Free Registered Agent Services Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best registered agent service?
Is a registered agent service worth it?
We recommend hiring a registered agent service for flexibility, peace of mind, help with legal compliance, and privacy. For a small annual fee, you can work whenever you want and don’t have to be available to receive official documents during normal business hours, and you can focus on building your business instead of handling paperwork. You can also receive advice on filing deadlines and other compliance issues, and your home address will stay private.
How much does it cost to hire a registered agent?
Registered agent services generally run about $100-$300 a year.