For your limited liability company (LLC), or other business entity, it is important that you select the best North Carolina registered agent.
A registered agent in North Carolina will protect your privacy. It will provide you with a physical address to your North Carolina business, and ensure that you don’t miss any compliance deadlines or receive correspondence from the state offices.
Choosing the wrong North Carolina registered agent could endanger your financial security and cause you to pay more in the long-term. You risk being sued, missing important notices, and having critical information stolen by hackers and scammers.
I have researched and tested 10+ North Carolina registered agent services, and I have rated the top 4.
These are my top picks for North Carolina registered agent services
#1 – Northwest Registered Agent
First is Northwest Register Agent. This company offers a more premium registered agent service. Northwest offers free mail forwarding with its registered agent service. This is a core part of the company’s service.
What is the Northwest Registered Agent’s performance compared to the rest?
Industry-best customer support
I like their pricing
I like the fact that Northwest has 50 offices in 50 states
I also like the US-based customer service
Volume discounts available
Registered Agent 1st year free with the business formation
Business formations at high prices
The outstanding customer service is the calling card of Northwest Registered Agent. Northwest does not outsource its support to a call center with untrained representatives. It is not unreasonable to assume that every Northwest representative who answers the phones is an industry expert.
Northwest offers a one-year registered agent service with a $39 business formation.
Northwest offers volume discounts on registered agent services. They’ll reduce your rate by $125 to $100 per year if you need service in more than five states. They also have strong customer reviews and free annual report reminders.
Incfile’s biggest claim to fame is its free business formation service. This includes a year of registered agent service. Incfile is only one part of their offerings. Let’s see what else they offer.
Register agent for free business formation
I like their prices and a 20-year history of experience
Excellent customer feedback
I don’t like that they are known for many upsells. It starts cheap but can add up.
Incfile has over 30,000 reviews online. This makes them a top choice for registered agent service in North Carolina. We are unaware of any other company that receives this many reviews and the same high-quality feedback as Incfile.
Incfile can be a bit pushy with upsells. Incfile offers many add-on options, which will be a reminder to you several times as you go through their order process.
Incfile has been in business for almost 20 years, and they have assisted with forming over 500,000 businesses.
We love ZenBusiness in many ways. ZenBusiness offers a great deal if you aren’t yet forming your North Carolina LLC/corporation. They will create your business entity and provide a full year of registered agent services for $39 This combination of features is at an unbeatable price!
ZenBusiness charges $99 annually for ongoing registered agent services in North Carolina. Let’s look at the pros and cons of ZenBusiness, and then talk about how they can impact your decision.
I like the price point at $99
I like the “Worry-free guarantee” compliance feature
Great customer feedback
Strong customer service
ZenBusiness might outsource the registered agent service
Registered agent service is a $99 add-on with LLC formations
Some competitors have more experience than others.
Although the $99 price tag for North Carolina registered agent service is not the lowest, it is still very affordable. ZenBusiness offers a $149 package which includes an annual report service. This is a great deal.
ZenBusiness has received over 6,200 online reviews. Nearly all of these were positive. This gives them one of highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. ZenBusiness also has a knowledgeable and helpful customer service department that can answer any of our difficult questions.
While ZenBusiness is a newer service. They have less experience than many of their competitors, including LegalZoom and Northwest. ZenBusiness is one of North Carolina’s best registered agent services.
LegalZoom has many similarities to Rocket Lawyer. However, it is a large company that serves millions of customers and charges a high price for North Carolina registered agent services. LegalZoom’s rates are almost double those of Rocket Lawyer and three times that of ZenBusiness.
Millions of customers served
The longest hours of support in the industry
100% satisfaction guaranteed
Customer reviews are often negative but improving recently
I don’t like LegalZoom’s very high prices
I liked LegalZoom’s 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. It is much more robust than many other companies’ refund policies. They also have the longest customer service hours in the industry, with nine hours of availability on weekends and 14 hours on weekdays.
LegalZoom’s extremely high cost of registered agent service is a problem. LegalZoom does not offer registered agent services as part of its business formation packages. This means that the value propositions for other options in this guide are significantly better than LegalZoom.
What does it mean to be a North Carolina registered agent.
Each state in the United States requires that business owners have a registered agent. A registered agent is someone who accepts documents and legal documents for your LLC or any other type of business entity.
How is a North Carolina registered agent chosen?
After you have chosen a registered agent, it is necessary to include the name of the person or entity in the LLC formation paperwork that you file with North Carolina Secretary-of-State, Business Registration Division. This paperwork is known as Articles of Organization (or Articles of Incorporation). To properly file, you will need the name and address of the registered agent. The registered office address of your business will be the address listed on these documents.
Who qualifies to be a registered agent in North Carolina?
North Carolina does not have any strict requirements to become a registered agent. All states have the same requirements, even North Carolina.
If the registered agent of a person is not a business entity, they must be at 18 years.
A North Carolina street address must be provided by the registered agent. It must be a physical address. Boxes are not permitted.
Registered agents must be able accept legal notices for your LLC from the registered agent during normal business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
Agents must be in good standing with state if they are a business.
Is it possible to be my own North Carolina registered agent?
Yes. North Carolina, just like other states, allows business owners to act as their own registered agents. To fulfill the requirements of the agent requirement, you will need to have a residence or business address within the state.
My Research for Choosing the Best North Carolina Registered Agent
Here is how I determined the best registered agents in North Carolina to help you form your LLC.
When it comes to researching information about North Carolina registered agent services, and comparing their respective packages, I’ve been there myself. It all started when I needed to find the best registered agent for my business website.
For my website to receive mail and process service, I needed a street address that was available during normal business hours. To keep my businesses in good standing before the Secretary of State, I needed compliance alerts.
In conversations with small business owners, entrepreneurs aspirants, and friends who own online businesses, I discovered that not everyone has the time or patience to search from website to site for the best North Carolina registered agent service provider. However, many required registration agents. They would rather choose the first registered agent available and pay less to avoid this frustrating process.
My knowledge helped me and my colleagues make informed decisions about North Carolina registered agent services. It surprised me that my advice would be trusted and make the business formation experience easier for many people who read my website.
How I Chose the Best North Carolina Registered Agents
I began with over 10 service providers. After a four-part screening process, I narrowed down the list to 4. I selected my top four best services based upon my four key evaluation steps.
My First Step: Reviews
I began by reading and gathering reviews, the honest voices of thousands of people just like me. I was overwhelmed by reviews on Facebook, TrustPilot and Better Business Bureau that would allow me to classify them according to different criteria (ease of use, affordability, customer service, privacy protection, taxes, fees, etc. ).
I was able to identify obvious frauds and misleading offers.
My 2nd Step: Website Analysis
After I had eliminated illegitimate providers, I went on to examine the websites of the remaining corporations in order to gain a better understanding about what they stand for, how authentic their advertising is.
I was particularly interested in the optimization of their products, services, customer support, company history, and any awards or recognitions they had received.
My 3rd Step: Talking with actual customers
Websites and sales teams can tell you about the company, but customers will tell you how they deliver it. Are they efficient? Are they efficient? Are they polite? Are they polite?
Online reviews may fill in some gaps, but most reviews are written by people with overwhelmingly positive experiences. This can distort your perspective. Talking to current customers will give you a better picture.
I reached out both to people who I had helped to find a registered agent and to new visitors to my website looking for one. It was great to hear their stories.
This allowed me to get a comprehensive and complete picture of each service.
My 4th Step: Talking with their Sales Teams
I talked to each company’s sales staff to complete my research. After collecting all complaints, files and reviews, I started asking tough questions about their failure to meet customer expectations.
Many companies will simply ignore negative reviews. Others will explain that they have incorporated feedback and improved their operations.
This was the last step that separated the average and the exceptional.
My Rating Aspects
Four key aspects influenced my selection for the best registered agent to represent your North Carolina LLC.
#1: I Checked the Services and Features
The company’s service menu was the first and most important factor that I evaluated. Other factors such as cost and ease of use, customer support, etc. don’t really matter if a company doesn’t offer the required services that North Carolina registered agents expect. I reviewed the different companies as a shopper and consumer would.
My own needs for finding a good registered agent were considered. I asked myself, is this a registered agent service that I would be comfortable working with? Do they provide the features that I need for my business?
These were the aspects I considered:
Is the registered agent able to give you access to documents online? Or can you simply mail them to your North Carolina registered street address?
Is the registered agent able to alert you about compliance dates and filing deadlines for annual reports? Or does the registered agent only give your LLC or business a calendar?
Is there a privacy guarantee or insurance against identity theft provided by the registered agent?
Is the registered agent also able to provide a cheap LLC formation service, or is their LLC formation (limited liability company) their best product/service?
Is the registration agent responsible for filing and paying state fees?
You have the option of filing the change online or mailing the form.
Is the registered agent willing to accept the service of process?
Registered agents offering the most North Carolina registered agent services were ranked at the top, while those with fewer offerings were placed near the bottom or in the middle.
#2: I Checked the Pricing
While most people jump to the pricing, it is important to consider the product’s value. This factor can vary greatly from one North Carolina registered agent to the next. For a good registered agent, expect to pay $125 to $299 per year. Brand names like LegalZoom charge $299 per year, but most people in the registered agent industry know that the best service and privacy is from Northwest, and they charge an affordable $125 per.
#3: I Checked the Ease of Use
Your time is valuable when you start a company or LLC here in North Carolina.
The ease of signing up was my next factor. The easiest, most efficient, and least intrusive systems rose quickly to the top of my list. If a company asked me to move from one document to another in a slow system, I gave them one of my lowest ranks.
#4: I Checked Their Customer Service and Support
All customers require support and assistance, no matter how easy, intuitive, and user-friendly a system may be. While not all business owners are tech-savvy, every North Carolina business owner should have a registered agent they can trust.
In choosing the right agent to represent a business or LLC within North Carolina, I considered customer service as the final factor.
I assessed North Carolina registered agent services based on whether they could efficiently and quickly resolve customer problems with highly-trained and experienced representatives. North Carolina registered agents are not required for small businesses or limited liability companies in North Carolina. They should be able to quickly answer your calls and provide generic answers.