When looking for the best registered agent service to meet your company's needs, use the following as a checklist when doing your research to ensure you are covering all of the important bases.
- Pricing Considerations: The registered agent fee you will pay can vary significantly depending on which service companies you talk to. While you can often save a lot of money by switching to a new agent, make sure you are comparing "apples to apples" when comparing registered agent services. What does the price include? Will you be paying a lot extra for each service of process received? Does the service provider offer any value-added "extras," such as free annual status checks?
- Change of Agent Process: If you are considering a switch to a new registered agent, make sure to find out how the change process works. Some, but not all, registered agent companies will make it easy for you to make the switch by preparing and filing the required paperwork at no cost to you. Some providers will charge you for the statutory fees to make the required state filings, which could wipe out any savings you might experience. Some companies will even offer the convenience of initiating a Limited Power of Attorney so they can sign off on all of the change of agent forms to save you time.
- Entity Management System: Does the registered agent service company offer a robust entity management system that will enable you to easily keep track of your entities and stay on top of annual report, business license renewal and other important deadlines? Will you be charged a fee to use the entity management system or is it offered free of charge and included in the fee you are paying for statutory representation?
- Partial or Full Solution For Your Needs? Does the service provider offer statutory representation services in all of the states/jurisdictions where your company does business? Do they provide the ancillary services you will need to manage your entities and stay in compliance? Or will you need to find additional providers to obtain business license services, annual/periodic report filing services, legalization/authentication services for international transactions, filing services to restore an entity to Good Standing, etc.? While you may be able to find different service companies to help with these needs, will you save time and money and find it easier to stay on top of your governance responsibilities by working with one provider rather than many?
- Level of Customer Service: While there are many providers of registered agent services that offer good prices, will the low-price providers be able to provide fast, responsive service when you need assistance and are facing tight deadlines? Will you be working with one assigned service specialist or team who understands your needs or will you be working with different people each time you request assistance, requiring you to spend more time explaining what you need and why?
By using this checklist to guide your selection, you will improve the chances of choosing the registered agent that is right for you.