Best Registered Agent Services 2024 – Forbes Advisor

The best way to choose a registered agent is to research which providers offer the exact services your business needs—such as a personalized online document management portal and approaching deadline notifications.

You may also want to consider other legal services that are offered by the provider, as many businesses prefer to consolidate their legal matters with one legal representative. This Forbes Advisor list of the best registered agent services is a terrific place to start your search for your registered agent.

Essential Registered Agent Services

When hiring a registered agent, be sure the provider you select delivers the solutions you need. Here are the essential services you should expect from your registered agent:

  • Electronic upload of all documents on the day they are received
  • Notifications of upcoming registration renewals
  • Alerts to receipt of high-priority, time-sensitive legal documents
  • Secure document storage
  • Access to an online portal so you can view your documents 24/7
  • Generous customer service availability
  • Timely customer support

Registered Agent Requirements

Each state has slightly different requirements for who can and cannot serve as a registered agent. In all states, registered agents must be 18 years or older and maintain a physical address in the state; P.O. boxes are not allowed. The chart below highlights the main requirements, though you will need to consult with your state for exact regulations.

*Maine requires that corporations and LLCs have an agent of service of process.

Local vs. National Providers

When shopping for registered agent services, you may wonder if there’s a big difference between going with a local vs. a national service provider. Going with a national provider offers a few advantages for companies conducting business in multiple states.

Most national registered agent services can support you in every state you are registered to conduct business as a corporation or LLC. If your business is registered in multiple states, you’ll need an agent in each state. Having one service provider that can cover you in all the states in which you operate is not only efficient for you, it may help you save money as some registered agencies offer discounts for multiple-state registrations.

If you only plan to form a business in a single state, you may prefer to go with a local registered agent provider. Fees vary among local providers, as do their capabilities; however, you may be able to obtain services from a local agency for less money—sometimes half or even less—than you’d pay a national provider.

Before selecting a local provider, be sure to check out customer reviews on its Google Business Profile or other local customer review sites, as service quality varies considerably.

Software Functionality

All registered agent services use software to scan, upload and store legal, tax and other documents on behalf of their clients. Clients can then access these documents through a secure, private portal. However, the ease of accessing these documents can vary between different service providers.

You want to verify you can quickly and easily retrieve your documents whenever you need them. Investigate the software the registered agent service uses and ask for a preview of the dashboard you will use for document management. This preview of what to expect can help you evaluate whether the software is user-friendly and offers the features you need to manage your documents effectively.

By choosing a service provider with easy-to-use software, you can avoid frustration, save time and ensure that you always have the documents you need at your fingertips.

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