13 Best Registered Agents in North Carolina

Updated: January 5, 2023  

Are you planning to start a business in North Carolina? As you prepare the essential documents to file your business entity, you will need to appoint a registered agent with the North Carolina Secretary of State. In this guide, we will help you find the best registered agent in North Carolina and answer frequently asked questions about registered agent services.

N.W. Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is the best overall due to its numerous pros and a minimal number of cons. Perfect for all sorts of registered agent work.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is the ideal choice if you're interested in starting and growing your business with all sorts of registered agent services right at your fingertips.

Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance has very affordable registered agent plans that both small and large companies can benefit from. There are also zero hidden fees

Inc Authority

If you have an LLC and want to use efficient registered agent services - Inc Authority is your best bet. You'll get the first year free; great if your business is new.

Incfile

Incfile has some of the best-priced plans in the market. But what makes Incfile stand out is that you get the first year free and - there is no cost to business formation.

You will need to maintain a registered agent to meet statutory requirements in order to keep your business current and active on the records of the Secretary of State’s Office. A registered agent must be an individual or business entity that resides in North Carolina and has a physical address. You can appoint yourself, a colleague, or a third-party service as long as they give consent and maintain an active status with the Secretary of State. 

A commercial registered agent will save you time, provide organization and flexibility, and help you keep track of legal mail and filing deadlines. Not meeting these essential responsibilities can result in penalties and unnecessary fees. I have utilized some of the services below and have spent 20+ hours researching these registered agent providers to find the best solutions for my personal business endeavors. I hope these reviews can help you do the same.

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service in North Carolina?

1. Northwest Registered Agent

Best Overall Registered Agent in North Carolina ($125/year)

Northwest Registered Agent has quality services to help businesses of all sizes. You can sign up for business formation service or just order annual registered agent service. As your registered agent, they will help you maintain compliance by being available during normal business hours for service of process documents and official mail deliveries. Their address will be the point of contact for legal business mail, keeping your personal address private. This also relieves you of the responsibility of being available at the physical address from 9-5, giving you flexibility and privacy.

When Northwest registered agents receive mail for you, they will scan and upload a digital copy of your legal mail to your online account. They will also send you annual reports reminders and keep all your documents securely stored in your online portal. Their service saves you time and helps you keep track of legal filings and essential deadlines to keep you in good standing. 

Pros

  • Great Customer Service: Call or email for professional help from knowledgeable staff.
  • Business Formation Package: Order business formation services for $225 and get a year of registered agent service.
  • Same-Day Update: Get same-day updates when official mail is received and view your documents from your online portal.

Cons

  • Not the Cheapest: Other services have similar benefits for a lower price.
  • Mail Forwarding Fees: There is a $20 fee if you need more than five normal business documents forwarded per year. 
  • Pay For Formation Service: Their business formation service is not free, and some other competitors offer it for free upon signing up.

Pricing

Registered Agent Service ($125/year): Have all your official mail securely handled, get digital copies of important documents, same-day alerts, compliance reminders, and quality customer service with Northwest Registered Agent.


2. ZenBusiness 

Best Registered Agent in North Carolina to Start and Grow Your Business ($199/year)

ZenBusiness is a popular service provider with a lot of business solutions to offer. They have quality registered agent services for a reasonable price. If you are in the start-up phase, they will help you file your formation documents for a low price and give you the first year of registered agent services for free.

ZenBusiness registered agents are a reliable point of contact for receiving service of process notices and sending you report filing reminders. Their North Carolina office stays open during business hours to ensure you never miss a legal notice and stay compliant. When official mail is received, they relay the message to you and scan your documents so you can view them from your online account. If your business were to be sued, they would pass on the information to you, helping you keep your legal matters private. With Zenbusiness, you can also order services for taxes, accounting, funding, bookkeeping, and comprehensive reporting, to help you save time and keep up with compliance.

Pros

  • Formation Filing with Free Registered Agent Service: Order business formation services for $49 and get your first year of registered agent services for free.
  • Great Customer Service: Get help when you need it by phone or email.

Cons

  • Reporting Service Fee: Get your annual reporting filed for an additional $100.
  • Unnecessary Upsells: They bait you with unnecessary add-on services, such as a $99 EIN fee, which you can get for free from the IRS.

Pricing

Registered Agent Service ($199/year): ZenBusiness will cover your registered agent needs, notifying you of mail deliveries and deadlines and organizing your important documents online.

Service Package Upgrades:

$199/year for pro package 

$299/year for premium package


3. Harbor Compliance

Best Registered Agent for Affordability ($99/year)

Harbor Compliance registered agent services are competitive and reliable. You can appoint them to handle your service of process deliveries and ensure your business can always be reached to maintain compliance. Their service provides you with a secure address for privacy and peace of mind. Harbor Compliance’s North Carolina office remains open during normal business hours for receiving your official mail. When mail is received, they notify you and scan a copy making it available to you from your online account, so you have 24/7 access to important files. If legal papers are served, their service provides a layer of protection, keeping your legal matters private and your data protected. 

Harbor Compliance registered agents will also send you reminders when it’s time to file annual reports. You can find other business services such as annual reporting services, compliance document filing, licensing for regulated industries, payroll tax registration, and more. 

Keep your business up to speed and get step-by-step compliance guides through their online information center.

Pros

  • Low Prices: Competitive prices for quality registered agent services 
  • No Hidden Fees: Transparent service with no hidden fees.

Cons

  • Customer Service: Reports of bad customer service experiences.
  • No Refund Policy: If you are not satisfied and wish to cancel your service, they will not give you a refund.

Pricing

Registered Agent Service ($99/year): Maintain compliance and stay on top of legal mail with  Harbor Compliance registered agent services. They will be available during business hours to receive your legal mail and notify you for your peace of mind.


4. Inc Authority

Best North Carolina Registered Agent Service for LLCs ($99/year)

Inc Authority is a great service for new businesses. They have a business formation service that includes the first year of registered agent service, all for free. All you need to do is pay the state filing fees and they will get you set up. Inc Authority only provides registered agent services to new businesses that use their formation service, so If you have already filed your business, this service is not for you.

Inc Authority registered agents represent your business and maintain regular business hours to receive legal mail on your behalf. When mail is received, they will send you a notification and scan your official documents, and keep them stored on your online account. You can also rely on your agent to send you report filing reminders to keep you in good standing with the state. Their essential service helps you stay organized and current on deadlines and legal requirements. You can also order additional business services through Inc Authority, such as comprehensive reporting, and build a custom business service package to help you with general business administrative services.

Pros

  • Free for the First Year: Get your business entity formed, plus a year of registered agent services, all for free.
  • Low Cost: Renew your service annually to save time and money and stay compliant.

Cons

  • Business Formation is Required: You must form your business with them to use their registered agent service.
  • Pricey Upgrades: Their business packages do offer you more support but cost upwards of $300 a year.

Pricing

Registered Agent Service (Free first year, then $99/year): Inc Authority will help you get started with full-service business formation and one year of registered agent services for free. Renew your service for $99, and they will handle your legal mail, document storage, and compliance alerts.


5. Incfile

Best Registered Agent Service for Starting Your North Carolina Business for Free ($119/year)

Incfile provides business services for thousands of small to large businesses across the US. They offer a free business formation service and registered agent services to accept your legal mail. If you form your business through Incfile, they will provide you with the first year of registered agent services for free. With their physical address on file, you don’t have to worry about receiving service of process or being available 9-5. Your registered agent will take care of this for you.

When mail is received, they will notify you, send you a copy of the documents, and store them in your online portal. You can also count on their compliance and annual reporting reminders to keep you up to date and in good standing with the state. Incfile will help you save money and provide you access to a library of free learning guides available to you online. 

Pros

  • Start your Business for Free: Free business formation that includes registered agent service for one year for $0.
  • Instant Savings: Free start-up costs and a low-cost annual renewal.

Cons

  • Fees for Unnecessary Services: When signing up, watch out for sneaky upgrades and add-ons that are not necessary. 
  • Customer Service: Clients have left some negative reviews about their experience.  

Pricing

Registered Agent Service (Free first year, then $119/year): File your business formation paperwork and get a year of registered agent services, all for free with Incfile. You can rely on their filing and mail service to keep you up to date and complaint.


6. Rocket Lawyer

Best Risk-Free Registered Agent Option in North Carolina ($149.99/year)

Rocket Lawyer is a top-tier service supporting entrepreneurs with registered agent services, compliance, administrative help, and legal support. Their service saves you time and helps you stay organized and compliant. As your registered agent, they will be available during normal business hours to ensure your official government documents are received. If your business were to be sued, they would accept the papers and notify you promptly. They can also provide you with legal help and have comprehensive business plans available.

Rely on same-day notifications when new mail is received, annual reporting reminders, and access all your scanned documents from your online account. When you sign up, you will get a 7-day free trial to explore all their service offerings. Rocket Lawyer services also come with a satisfaction guarantee, so if you have an issue or wish to cancel service, you will be refunded.


7. LegalZoom

Best Registered Agent in North Carolina for Compliance Support ($299/year)

LegalZoom has a great registered agent service, but its price is higher than some of its competitors. They do have a free business formation service, so if you have not established your business entity, this is a good place to start. As your registered agent, their physical address will go on file for your business to receive legal notices and official mail.  

You can rely on your agent to be available from 9-5 every workday to accept your legal mail, notify you, and scan and upload your files to your online account. From your online portal, you can access all your scanned documents and compliance calendar alerts. LegalZoom has other business solutions that you can order if you need help with filing and annual reporting, taxes,  business licenses, legal help, trademark services, and more.


8. CSC Global

Best Registered Agent in North Carolina for Global Business Connections ($299/year)

CSC Global has a local North Carolina registered agent service and other business solutions 

from licensing to legal support. Their price is above average, so it may not be worth it unless you want to take advantage of their unique offerings. They have global and financial resources for entities that do business overseas.

Appointing CSC Global as your registered agent means they will be available during normal business hours to ensure your legal mail deliveries can be processed. Their service helps you stay flexible and protected by meeting state requirements and giving you a solution for staying on top of legal mail. They will scan and upload your official mail to your online portal and can send copies to your lawyer upon request. Enjoy convenience with email alerts, annual reporting reminders, legal document scanning, and pre-filled PDF forms for fast filing.


9. InCorp

Quality Registered Agent Service Provider in North Carolina ($129/year)

InCorp has been around since 1998. They provide quality registered agent services and more. You can rely on them for business formation guidance, annual reporting services, to various legal filings. They can help you at every step of the way and keep you updated on official mail deliveries. 

As your registered agent, their local office address goes on file with the state as your point of contact. Your agent will be responsible for being available during regular business hours to receive service of process and send you notifications. This helps protect your privacy, gives you flexibility and convenience, and keeps you compliant. Your important documents will be scanned and uploaded to your online account, and you will receive annual reports and compliance filing reminders. InCorp also offers discounts if you use their service in multiple states. 


10. Swyft Filings 

Best Registered Agent in North Carolina for Quick Communications ($149/year)

Swyft Filings is a go-to service when you need help with your business. They provide business formation services, registered agents, and annual reporting for a competitive price. You can sign up for their registered agent services online, and they will give you everything you need from them to file with the secretary of state. As your point of contact, they will be available during normal business hours to receive your incoming business mail. 

When they accept mail on your behalf, they send you a same-day notice. Their online system is convenient to use and will have scanned copies of your service of process for 24/7 access to your documents. They will also send you annual report reminders, and you can order their fast filing service if you need it. Swyft Filings helps protect your privacy while keeping you organized, up-to-date, and flexible with timely alerts.


11. SunDoc Filings 

Standard Registered Agent Service in North Carolina ($159/year)

SunDoc registered agent service is convenient and provides you tools to keep track of incoming legal mail, filing dates, and taxes. Enjoy peace of mind with automated alerts and 24/7 access to your important documents from your online account. Your registered agents acts as the point of contact for your business, and their address will go on file with the state for receiving legal and tax documents on behalf of your business. Their office is open during normal business hours to ensure your business can be reached for state compliance and legal mail deliveries. They have support staff ready to assist you by phone, email, or from their website.

Keep up with important business alerts, with same-day processing for all official mail and annual reporting reminders, so you stay in good standing with the state. SunDoc registered agents can also forward legal documents to your attorney upon request.


12. North Carolina Registered Agent

Best Rates for Registered Agent Service in North Carolina ($49/year)

North Carolina Registered Agent has one of the lowest cost services available. Their registered agent service covers the basic duties, and they will provide you with their address and contact info to put on file with the state. This will make them the designated entity for receiving legal mail on behalf of your business. Their office will be open during standard operating hours for receiving legal mail on your behalf. Their service includes same-day document scanning and an online account for storing your service of process records. Stay organized and up to date on compliance with automated annual reporting and state filing requirements. This is a straightforward service, with no hidden fees, add on’s, or upsells. 

North Carolina Registered Agent service can take care of your basic needs for a low annual price to ensure all important communications between the government and your business are received and relayed to you. 

13. Registered Agents Inc

Basic Coverage North Carolina Registered Agent Services ($200/year)

Sign up for Registered Agents Inc and appoint a local North Carolina registered agent to handle your business’s legal mail and notify you of deliveries and deadlines. Their service fee is higher than some of the other services listed here, but they are reliable. Your registered agent will be responsible for accepting service of process and maintaining regular office hours, so you never miss an important legal mail delivery. 

Their knowledgeable customer service representatives are available to help you by phone or email. They will send same-day notifications when mail is accepted and make a digital record of your official documents so you can view them from your account immediately. If your business were to be sued, they would let you know privately and forward you the documents giving you an extra layer of privacy. In addition, they send you annual report reminders, tax notifications, and state filing deadlines to help you maintain compliance.


What Is a North Carolina Registered Agent?

A North Carolina registered agent is an individual or entity with a physical address and is responsible for accepting service of process documents on behalf of a business.

How Can a North Carolina Registered Agent Help Your Business?

Hiring a North Carolina registered agent service can make your life a lot easier. They will take on the responsibility of receiving your service of process and maintaining normal business hours to keep you in good standing with the state.

  • Secure Physical Address: Your registered agent must have a physical address for receiving legal mail. Their address will go on file as the point of contact for accepting service of process on behalf of your business.
  • Privacy: In case your business were to be sued, your registered agent will accept the service of process and notify you promptly. This provides a layer of privacy, so you can handle your legal matters discreetly. 
  • Compliance: Your North Carolina registered agent will be available during normal hours to relay notices to you and send reminders about filing deadlines so you can meet state requirements and stay up to date on compliance.
  • Convenience: Rely on same-day mail notifications and an online dashboard where you can view and print legal mail and essential documents 24/7. 

Is a Registered Agent Legally Required in North Carolina?

You are required to appoint a North Carolina registered agent at the time of forming your business and maintain one to ensure your business is always able to be reached for legal reasons. 

North Carolina Registered Agent Q&A

How Much Does a North Carolina Registered Agent Cost?

A commercial North Carolina registered agent typically costs between $49 – $300. Some services offer additional business resources, including free entity formation and the first year of service free.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in North Carolina?

When you start a business in North Carolina, you can appoint yourself as the registered agent as long as you meet the state requirements of having a physical address where you are available to receive service of process during normal business hours.

Can a Company in North Carolina Change Its Registered Agent?

If you need to change your registered agent, you must notify the Secretary of State’s Office within sixty days to update the information you have on file.

How Long Does It Take to Get a North Carolina Registered Agent?

It won’t take you much time to sign up for registered agent service. Simply choose a service provider, sign up online, and then submit their info and necessary documents with the state. State processing times may vary.

N.W. Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is the best overall due to its numerous pros and a minimal number of cons. Perfect for all sorts of registered agent work.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is the ideal choice if you're interested in starting and growing your business with all sorts of registered agent services right at your fingertips.

Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance has very affordable registered agent plans that both small and large companies can benefit from. There are also zero hidden fees

Inc Authority

If you have an LLC and want to use efficient registered agent services - Inc Authority is your best bet. You'll get the first year free; great if your business is new.

Incfile

Incfile has some of the best-priced plans in the market. But what makes Incfile stand out is that you get the first year free and - there is no cost to business formation.

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