Are you thinking of creating your own business to pursue your passions and dreams? Then you’ll want to do your research before embarking on such a grand adventure.
Part of the process is naming a person or entity as your registered agent. This can be yourself or an employee, but it’s best left to the professionals. And luckily for you, there are many who can lend you their expertise.
However, it can be difficult to sift through the heaps of companies available to choose the best registered agent service. So to help you out, in this article, we’ll discuss the criteria you need to consider.
Who Needs a Registered Agent?
In general, all businesses are legally required to have a registered agent. However, if you’re a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you’re exempted.
This means that if you have a limited liability company (LLC), limited partnership (LP), or limited liability partnership (LLP), then you’ll have to name a registered agent for your organization.
Is a Registered Agent Service Worth It?
As we’ve said, you can be your own registered agent. However, it comes with many hassles that’ll quickly pile on top of your other business obligations.
Using a professional service means you have access to people who will take care of all responsibilities for an affordable price. For example, we at Business Anywhere charge as low as $147 per year for our registered agent service, which is but a drop in the bucket.
Now that we’ve cleared up some questions you may have, let’s dive into what you should look for in a registered agent service.
Reliability and Reputation
A registered agent is someone who can receive official mail on your behalf, which means it’s imperative that they convey important information to you in a timely fashion. For this reason, you’ll need a service that’s both reliable and has a great reputation.
Look for registered agent services with a solid reputation for reliability and professionalism. To do this, research reviews, testimonials, and ratings from other customers to gauge their reputation. Sort the reviews by “most recent” to see if they’ve upheld their standard of service throughout the years.
The companies you consider should have years of business experience under their belt, as this establishes a stable track record. Avoid newly established companies with little proven experience in the industry since you’ll be taking a gamble and a larger risk.
There are many requirements for a person or entity to become a registered agent, so you want to make sure the service you pick is completely compliant.
For example, they must be legally qualified to act as your registered agent in the state(s) where your business is registered. They should have a physical address in each state and be available during regular business hours to receive legal documents for your business.
On that note, you should determine if the registered agent service covers all the states where your business is registered or plans to operate. Some services may have limitations on the number of states they cover, or they may charge extra fees for additional states. Make sure you’re aware of the terms and fees before proceeding.
Notification and Document Handling
Consider how the registered agent notifies you of received documents. Do they offer online notifications, email alerts, or mail forwarding? Make note of your preferences and shortlist the registered agents that offer your favored channels.
More importantly, ensure that they promptly forward any legal documents, notices, or official correspondence to you. Again, check online reviews to get peace of mind regarding the speed of service.
Earlier, we said that a registered agent receives official documents for you, and they’re responsible for delivering them to you fast. But that’s only part of reliability.
Even the best registered agent service can make mistakes sometimes, so whoever you choose must have excellent customer support. Take a look at what’s provided by them and see if you can easily reach them through various methods, such as phone, email, and live chat.
Responsive customer support is essential, especially during critical situations. You don’t want business fines or even a shutdown due to the agent’s flakiness.
Additional Services and Features
What is the best registered agent service? One that has additional services and features. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, after all, and if you can get comprehensive help from one company, not only will that save you money, but also time.
Some registered agents offer additional features, like:
- Business registration
- Compliance monitoring
- Document filing
- Annual report reminders
- Virtual mailboxes
- Online notary services
Consider whether these extra services align with your business needs and budget. From there, you can select a good balance that’ll make your life easier without too much of a financial drain.
Cost and Fees
Speaking of finances, compare pricing structures and fee transparency among different registered agent services.
While yes, cost is important, you should prioritize value and reliability over the cheapest option. Saving a little bit of cash won’t matter when you’re in deep legal trouble that’ll cost time, energy, and money to fix.
You should be aware of any hidden fees or price increases after the initial sign-up period too. If you have any questions or need clarification on the terms, don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t sign anything unless you’re 100% sure of what you’ll get and how much you’ll pay.
Ask for Recommendations
If all else fails, ask for recommendations from fellow business owners, legal advisors, or industry peers who have experience with registered agent services.
These personal referrals can provide valuable insights into the quality of service. In addition, you can have in-depth discussions where the other parties can answer questions or concerns you may have with the companies.
Choose the Best Registered Agent Service Possible
Picking the best registered agent service can be a difficult process. There are so many companies that it can be tough to narrow things down. However, our comprehensive list will not only save you time, but also increase your chance of choosing a stellar service.
If you’d like an even easier time, then go with Business Anywhere. We have years of experience, a user-friendly platform, many additional services, outstanding customer support, and competitive prices. Entrepreneurship will be a pleasant journey when you utilize our experts.