5 Best California Registered Agent Services in 2023

Searching for the best California registered agent service to help maintain LLC compliance? A registered agent is known as an agent for service of process in California; we've done the research to help you decide which company is best for you and your business.

You can also explore our full guides to learn more about registered agents and the advantages of using a professional registered agent service.

Top Registered Agent Service in California: Northwest Registered Agent

Top 5 California Registered Agent Services

Best Registered Agent Services
Northwest

4.7/5

BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE

  • Premium customer service
  • Streamlined ordering process
  • Privacy by default
  • Local document scanning

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ZenBusiness

4.5/5
  • Affordable pricing
  • Convenient online dashboard for documents
  • Positive customer reviews

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Incfile

4.3/5
  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Automatic mail forwarding
  • Learning center with free information

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Rocket Lawyer

4.1/5
  • Support from legal experts
  • Accessible customer service

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LegalZoom

3.4/5
  • Established brand with high authority
  • Ongoing legal services

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Registered agents are individuals or business entities that accept important legal documents on behalf of your company. A registered agent is sometimes referred to as a statutory agent or resident agent.

We compared California registered agent service providers based on:

  • Value and cost
  • The needs of small businesses
  • Additional services that may be useful to entrepreneurs

Quick Comparison:

  1. Northwest ($125/year) is the best California registered agent service for small businesses due to its affordable pricing and knowledgeable customer service.
  2. ZenBusiness ($99/year) 
  3. Incfile ($119/year) 
  4. Rocket Lawyer ($149.99/year) 
  5. LegalZoom ($299/year)

1. Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is the top registered agent service in California based on overall quality and transparent pricing. Northwest provides a streamlined user experience and best-in-industry customer support and data privacy protection.

With Northwest serving as your California registered agent, you'll gain an online dashboard to track essential legal and business documents, business address service, and business mail forwarding. In addition, you'll get the most transparent and straightforward pricing of any registered agent service.

Northwest Registered Agent's virtual mailbox service scans your mail and forwards it to you electronically, which means you can track your legal mail from anywhere.

Northwest's $125 Basic Plan Includes:

  • California Registered Agent Service

Northwest Registered Agent will accept service of process on behalf of California businesses at its location in Sacramento.

Top California Registered Agent Service: Northwest

Northwest Registered Agent provides excellent customer service, excellent California registered agent packages, and transparent pricing plans.

2. ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is another good choice for a California registered agent because of the service's helpful customer support and excellent value.

ZenBusiness’ Basic Package Includes:

  • California registered agent services starting at $99 
  • Digital dashboard for business document access

ZenBusiness offers an option to upgrade to the “Complete Coverage” registered agent service, which adds on their “Worry-Free Compliance” guarantee. This provides:

  • Alerts for annual report filings
  • Documents submitted on your behalf (you're only responsible for state fees)
  • 2 free changes to your filings/year (state fee may still apply)

Honorable Mention: ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is a quality California registered agent service, offering many features and great customer service.

3. Incfile

Incfile has served over 150,000 customers since 2004, and its Learning Center offers helpful information for business owners.

Incfile's Basic Package Includes:

  • A full year of included California registered agent services with LLC creation
  • $119/year fee after the first year (or $119/year fee without forming an LLC)

Incfile also offers a convenient digital dashboard to help you track and instantly gain access to important legal correspondence. Additionally, the company sends SMS and email notifications so you can stay up-to-date on statuses of legal documents.

Incfile's virtual mailbox provides international businesses with a principal street address for their business entity in addition to a registered agent office address.

Honorable Mention: Incfile

Incfile is a good registered agent service to hire if you are working with a smaller budget and want a lot of features.

4. Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer has provided services to over 800,000 companies. This business service is excellent for LLC owners who will need extra legal help. Its “Business Bundle” package includes free registered agent services for the first year.

Rocket Lawyer Packages:

  • A 25% discount with a premium services subscription
  • $149.99 annual fee for non-members
  • Business Bundle Plan includes a free year of registered agent services

Rocket Lawyer offers exceptional legal help and advice to founders. The service is highly experienced in providing high-quality California registered agent services. It also promises a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Exclusive Deal: Need affordable California registered agent service, legal resources, and incorporations? We partnered with Rocket Lawyer to offer our readers a discounted price!

Best Legal Services Value: Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer Business Bundle: $349.99 + State Fees (Regularly $649.97 + State Fees), includes a free year of registered agent services.

5. LegalZoom

LegalZoom offers powerful brand recognition, more expensive prices, and a strong foothold in the registered agent and LLC service industry.

LegalZoom's Registered Agent Plan Costs:

  • $159 annually with LLC formation
  • $299 annually

Its service includes a compliance calendar, business data protection, and unlimited cloud storage. 

LegalZoom's prices are higher than competitors, but you may feel more secure choosing its service due to its brand power and experience.

Electing or Changing a California Agent for Service of Process

Businesses are required to elect their agent for service of process when they fill out formation documents for their California LLC or corporation.

Electing a California Registered Agent for a New Business

To start an LLC on your own and appoint a registered agent service, choose the article that matches your business entity type:

If you are hiring a formation service to create your LLC or corporation, the service will elect your agent for service of process for you when it fills out your formation documents. 

Some formation services, like Northwest, provide free registered agent service when you form a corporation or LLC with them.

Recommended: If you use a business formation service to start an LLC or corporation, you can receive free registered agent services from companies like Northwest

Changing Your California Agent for Service of Process

If you already have an LLC, nonprofit, or corporation in California and you want to hire another registered agent service to replace your existing one, the new agent will fill out one of the following forms on your behalf: 

Benefits of Using a California Registered Agent Service

Registered agents act as a business's point of contact with the state by accepting and sending legal mail. While it's possible for entrepreneurs to be their own California registered agents, there are several advantages of hiring a registered agent service:

Compliance

Your registered agent service will help your company stay updated with state requirements.

Peace of Mind

With a California registered agent service, you can focus your time, energy, and attention on growing your enterprise.

Flexibility

California registered agents will enable you to choose your own business hours instead of having to make yourself available between the regular business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday to receive service of process.

Privacy

The public record will list your registered agent's address — not your personal or California business address.

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California Registered Agents FAQ

How do I choose an agent for service of process in California?

Hiring a registered agent service provider is an investment in time management, privacy, and peace of mind. Not all California registered agents are alike. We recommend using a dependable national registered agent service.

Visit our Best Registered Agent Services review to learn more.

How much does a registered agent in California cost?

The cost of hiring a registered agent service typically ranges from $99 to $349.

Do you need a registered agent in California?

The State of California requires that all LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits elect and maintain an agent for service of process and registered office.

Should I be my own California registered agent?

Although you can be your own registered agent, we recommend using a professional service provider. Hiring a registered agent service will help you save time and money, maintain your privacy, and provide you with peace of mind. Read our Can I Be my Own Registered Agent article for more information.

Should I hire a registered agent in California?

We recommend that most small businesses hire an agent for service of process for their California businesses as an alternative to being their own registered agent. Take a look at our Should I Hire a Registered Agent guide to learn more.

How much does it cost to change my registered agent in California?

Changing a registered agent can cost anywhere from $0-$50 per state depending on how many states you're registered in to do business with your LLC.

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