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 platform is best for you and your company.
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
Top 5 California Registered Agent Services
|Best Registered Agent Services|
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
Registered agents are individuals or business entities that accept important legal documents during normal business hours on behalf of your company. A registered agent is sometimes referred to as a statutory agent or resident agent. Most states require entrepreneurs to provide their registered agent's name and address when forming their limited liability company (LLC).
We compared service providers based on:
- Value and cost
- The needs of small businesses
- Additional services that may be useful to entrepreneurs
- Northwest is the best registered agent service for small businesses due to its affordable pricing and knowledgeable customer support.
- Rocket Lawyer is a great value if you need legal information and access to free documents in addition to registered agent services.
1. Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest is the top registered agent service 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, you'll gain an online dashboard to track essential legal and business documents, California business address service, and business mail forwarding. In addition, you'll get the most transparent and straightforward pricing of any platform.
Northwest'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
- Privacy by Default®
- Local Corporate Guides®
- Free Limited Mail Forwarding/Scanning
- Same-Day Local Document Scanning
- Free Phone Service for 60 Days
- Lifetime Customer Support
Northwest will accept service of process on behalf of businesses at its location in Sacramento.
Top Registered Agent Service: Northwest
Northwest provides excellent customer support and transparent registered agent pricing plans.
ZenBusiness is another ideal option for a professional registered agent service because of the company's helpful customer support and great value.
ZenBusiness’ Standard Package ($199/year) Includes:
- High-quality registered agent services
- Access to important legal documents through an intuitive online dashboard
- Expert customer support
Note that if you have already formed your California business and are just looking to change your registered agent platform to ZenBusiness, they offer 50% off ($99) for the first year.
Another valuable service worth mentioning is ZenBusiness’ Worry-Free Compliance guarantee ($199/year as a standalone service or included in Pro and Premium LLC formation packages). This guarantee includes:
- Annual report reminders
- Important documents submitted on your behalf (you'll only be responsible for state filing fee)
- Two free changes to your filings per year (state filing fees may still apply)
- Protection for any costs if you fall out of compliance with state law
Honorable Mention: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness is a quality registered agent service, offering many features and great customer service.
Incfile has served over 150,000 customers since 2004, and its Learning Center offers helpful information for California 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 physical 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 service is excellent for LLC owners who will need extra legal help.
Rocket Lawyer offers exceptional legal help and advice to founders. The service is highly experienced in providing high-quality 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.
LegalZoom offers powerful brand recognition, more expensive prices, and a strong foothold in the registered agent industry.
- $249 for the first year with LLC formation
- $299 annually on its own
Its service includes a compliance calendar, 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, corporation, or other business entities.
Electing a California Registered Agent for a New Company
To start an LLC on your own and appoint a registered agent service, choose the article that matches your business entity type:
- How to Form an LLC in California
- How to Start a California Corporation
- How to Form a Nonprofit in California
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 formation service to start an LLC or corporation, you can receive free registered agent services from platforms like Northwest
Changing Your California Agent for Service of Process
If you already have an LLC, nonprofit, corporation, or other business entity 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 company’s point of contact with the state by accepting and sending legal mail. While it's possible for small business owners to be their own California registered agents, there are several advantages of hiring a registered agent service:
A professional service provider 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.
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.
The public record will list your registered agent's address — not your personal or California business address.
Explore Individual Reviews
California Registered Agent FAQs
How do I choose a California registered agent?
Hiring a professional 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 registered agent?
Although you can be your own registered agent in California, we recommend using a professional service provider. Hiring a 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 a registered agent in California. 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.