After reading up on the importance of finding the right registered agent in North Dakota, I put my trust issues and research skills to the test by conducting a deep dive into the world of registered agent services.
I personally searched through over 60 North Dakota resident agents until I found one that met MY standards, which is saying something.
If you’re as frustrated with the lack of recommendations for a North Dakota registered agent as I was, keep reading.
The Best Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent
- Easy sign-up process
- Mail scanning, forwarding, and uploading
- Alerts for important upcoming compliance deadlines
- $125 per state per year
- Corporate Guides who can answer your small business questions
- No dedicated account manager
After immersing myself in price comparison spreadsheets, “About Us” pages, and customer reviews for months on end, I’m confident in recommending Northwest Registered Agent.
- They have a user-friendly sign-up system.
- They notify me about ALL compliance dates I need to meet to stay in good standing with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
- They are a national registered agent with addresses in all 50 states.
- They will scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail.
- They provide an online account where I have 24/7 access to all my important documents.
- They cost $125.
Do you know how hard it is to find an affordable registered agent that offers everything on this list? Odds are you don’t because very few people are crazy enough to spend months researching the subject.
Lucky for you, I’m one of those people.
A registered agent regularly handles your private information and legal documents like service of process, so I figured it was worth the effort to find a good one. Northwest Registered Agent was one of the good ones.
But I didn’t believe it at first. No other registered agent in North Dakota offered everything I wanted for that price. So I tested out what should have been a weak link—their customer service department.
To my surprise, the agent that picked up my phone wasn’t phased by my onslaught of questions. He listened and offered helpful, specific advice.
Did I happen across their star customer service agent? While he was great, I soon learned that EVERY member of their customer service team was qualified to offer the kind of advice he did, thanks to their real-life experience in the business world.
So while they offer every feature I wanted in a registered agent in North Dakota, their customer service cemented their #1 spot.
If your business could benefit from this kind of support, head over to Northwest Registered Agent.
Best Budget Option: Harbor Compliance
- Simple online system
- Fast and prompt service
- All the basics
- Only $99*
- Dedicated account manager
- No small business advice
When it comes to quality, Harbor Compliance wasn’t far behind.
They offer every service you need from a registered agent to stay in good standing with the state AND they’re the cheapest on the market. My legal documents and private information were never mishandled, and they got the job done.
But they don’t have any standout features like Northwest does. So while they’re great for business on a tight budget, they aren’t my #1.
If you could use a budget-friendly registered agent, take a look at Harbor Compliance.
*Prices listed are per state, per year and do not include state fees.
FORMATING NOTE: SEPARATOR
Pinning down the best North Dakota registered agent service was no cakewalk, taking a grand total of 12 months and countless hours of scrolling through registered agent websites.
I’m a problem solver. So when I discovered that none of my close friends or business associates had much information about North Dakota registered agent services, it was time to step in.
From my first steps, I developed a deep mistrust of the world. Maybe it had to do with my mum letting me fall so many times, laughing the whole time. Maybe it was coded in my DNA.
Whatever the true explanation is, I’ve always had trust issues. As I grew older, I learned to reframe this as “high standards.” It’s manifested in many different ways over the years. Coffee machine went out? Time to sift through every possible make and model online and create color-coded spreadsheets.
My willingness to put in the legwork, necessary or not, turned out to be a great characteristic once I entered the business world. I meticulously research every business decision, big or small. I’ve even branched out and asked my few trusted business friends for advice from time to time.
So when it came time to open my North Dakota business and find my own registered agent, I originally didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. I had plenty of friends who had their own business and should’ve had recommendations for a North Dakota registered agent service.
To my surprise, nobody had a recommendation. The general thought was that a North Dakota registered agent service was basically there to receive official mail and list on formation documents.
But my preliminary research showed there was more to it. Sure, a North Dakota business needs a registered agent’s name to list on public record. A registered office address is important, and you need to have a local office to handle incoming mail. On top of that, the right registered agent service helps your business stay in compliance with the North Dakota Secretary of State while protecting your personal information.
Here’s the scary part for a business owner who picks the wrong commercial registered agent. The wrong North Dakota registered agent can mishandle important paperwork and your personal information, leaving you vulnerable to hackers and scammers.
Personally, I didn’t want to get hacked. When my business buddies didn’t have any recommendations for a resident agent, I started doing some serious research. I scoured the internet for months, learning the difference between a noncommercial registered agent, commercial agent, and statutory agent (hint: there’s some overlap.)
After my initial phases of online research, I hit a wall. The hundreds of online reviews weren’t cutting it. How could I trust the review of a random business owner in Kentucky when my business is in North Dakota? I decided to take matters into my own hands.
And that’s how I ended up handing my credit card information to 13 different registered agent services. Over the course of the next months, I got firsthand experience comparing over a dozen North Dakota registered agents to supplement my mounds of online research.
It’s probably safe to say that I’ve spent more time investigating North Dakota registered agent services than anyone you know, so when I say I’ve found the best registered agent service out there, it carries some weight.
I couldn’t go around labeling the “best” North Dakota registered agent service without setting up some criteria. There were over 60 commercial registered agent services in my original Google search for “best North Dakota registered agent service.” These guidelines helped me weigh my options and objectively compare them to each other.
But before we get to those criteria, I have to lay the groundwork for what commercial registered agents are expected to do:
- Provide a physical street address in North Dakota to accept service of process, list as a registered office on public record, and receive official mail
- Receive, scan, and upload important documents (like service of process) to your registered agent’s online portal
- Process and forward all mail, official paperwork, and other legal notifications sent to your North Dakota limited liability company during normal business hours
- Serve as a point of contact for the North Dakota Secretary of State or any other government agencies corresponding with your registered office address
- Offer worry free compliance to keep your business on top of important deadlines (annual report reminders, court dates, etc.) and in good standing with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office
Now that we’ve established the basic responsibilities of a North Dakota registered agent service, we can talk about upselling. My first rule: no upsells. I’d expect my own registered agent to be transparent in how they conduct business. That means advertising exactly what they deliver.
I didn’t want a North Dakota registered agent service that would try and trick me into paying more, hiding “add-ons” in the fine print that should’ve been included in the original package.
Now, some North Dakota registered agents started as LLC formation services and recently ventured into the world of registered agents. While it’s nice for the same entity that handled your formation documents to take care of the registered agent side of things, often these original LLC formation services didn’t have all the features I wanted in a registered agent service. That’s why I have a separate article on the best LLC formation service on the market.
Back to the criteria. My second rule in this process: at least 10 years in business. I was looking for a resident agent with a good track record, one that was proven to keep businesses in good standing with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
That’s not to say a new registered agent service couldn’t do a good job. But to me, having a long history of competent, trustworthy work lowered the chances of that registered agent making rookie mistakes, like mishandling my important legal documents.
Finally, I needed my own registered agent to have an up-to-date online platform. As a business owner, you’re accessing your online dashboard almost on a daily basis. Having a user-friendly website is critical to your everyday function.
Even the sign-up process is taken into consideration with this rule. You can appoint your registered agent online, but it shouldn’t cause a migraine. A simple sign-up process showed me that a registered agent prioritized their customer’s experience and adapted to modern demands. Any registered agent that didn’t wasn’t good enough.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find a North Dakota registered agent service for my business entity, but I didn’t expect it to be such a rollercoaster.
First of all, squinting at fine print on registered agent infographics took some getting used to. It ended up being worth it though. Turns out a TON of registered agents like to hide fees in that fine print. So that narrowed down my search significantly.
Second, any noncommercial registered agent or commercial registered agent in my search that tried framing their “fresh faces” as an asset was off my list. North Dakota was the first state in the US to adopt the Model Registered Agents Act, so luckily they had quite a few registered agents with longevity. I simply couldn’t risk a newbie North Dakota registered agent service fumbling my private information.
Finally, I weeded out registered agents by critiquing their websites. Some websites just looked scammy. I didn’t want to risk information for my business entity falling into the wrong hands, so any noncommercial registered agent or commercial registered agent that appeared untrustworthy was off my list.
As I went through the registered agent online sign-up process, I was able to eliminate a few more contenders that were overcomplicated and clunky.
After months of searching, I finally had 13 North Dakota registered agent service options on my list.
Here’s what I found.
With over 60 commercial registered agent and noncommercial registered agent services on my radar originally, these 13 made the final cut (in order of preference):
My Favorite Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is at the top of my list because they had every feature I looked for in a North Dakota registered agent service AND excellent customer service.
There’s a hefty list of reasons to like Northwest Registered Agent.
For one, they’ll take care of every legal obligation you can want from a registered agent service. They provide an actual street address in North Dakota that functions as a business address in all your correspondence. This physical address is where they’ll accept legal documents and official paperwork on your behalf.
Northwest was the only registered agent service I found that scanned and uploaded every piece of mail before forwarding them. Not only that—they processed all my mail in a timely manner. It was rare to find a registered agent in North Dakota that was small enough to have that quick of a turnaround.
Besides that quality service in regard to every legal document that came my way, Northwest was available during regular business hours to accept ALL important documents. They were available to receive service of process and serve as a point of contact on behalf of my business.
One feature I particularly liked about Northwest was their “worry-free compliance.” With all the formation documents and other mounds of paperwork I dealt with as a new business owner, I was liable to forget deadlines for annual reports. Luckily, Northwest’s compliance deadline alert system let me know when to file my North Dakota annual report and other time-sensitive paperwork to stay in compliance with state law.
But that’s not all. Providing a North Dakota street address and being available during normal business hours is pretty standard, but Northwest Registered Agent rose above the competition with their excellent customer service department.
These Corporate Guides (what they call their customer service agents) went above and beyond answering questions about their registered agent functions. Instead, they drew from their real-life business experience to offer small business advice.
As former salespeople, accountants, IT workers, and other professionals, they were more than happy to share their experience in websites, logistics, marketing, and other fields. When I hit a bump in the road (which occurred pretty much on a daily basis), it was a huge relief to know the Corporate Guides were just a phone call away.
I recommend Northwest Registered Agent to any business entity that wants a quality North Dakota registered agent service that will take care of their legal obligations AND provide excellent customer service.
Northwest Registered Agent stood out from the start thanks to their long list of features I was looking for, including processing all mail and legal documents, staying available during normal business hours, and having a good track record with handling personal information.
But their Corporate Guides secured their spot as the #1 North Dakota registered agent service. With small business advice usually costing thousands of dollars per day, Northwest’s Corporate Guides are a hidden gem in the registered agent world.
If you’d like your own registered agent service to offer personalized guidance and fulfill all their responsibilities as a North Dakota registered agent service, visit Northwest Registered Agent.
My Budget Pick: Harbor Compliance
While Harbor Compliance wasn’t my #1 pick for a registered agent in North Dakota, they are a close second thanks to their delivery on basic registered agent services and budget-friendly price.
Harbor Compliance makes sure you’re taken care of.
They handle all the basics you need to abide by state law, starting with providing a street address in North Dakota. Their local office is available during regular business hours to receive your state mail, accept service of process, and any other documents that come your way. Apart from forwarding all your mail, they’ll also scan and upload your important documents to your online portal.
While it’s not a North Dakota registered agent’s only duty, I wanted my own registered agent to have a compliance calendar, which Harbor Compliance did. Their annual report reminders and other notifications about upcoming deadlines helped keep my limited liability company on track.
One feature I wasn’t expecting was their dedicated account manager. Not every North Dakota registered agent offers this feature, so it was nice to have someone who answered my questions following the sign-up process.
But the dedicated account manager could only provide information related to my North Dakota registered agent. Anything unrelated to services offered by my registered agent was off the table. That’s where Northwest gained a serious advantage.
Overall, Harbor Compliance is a jack of all trades. They can complete all the duties you need from a North Dakota registered agent, but they haven’t mastered any single feature that makes them stand out. Their real appeal lies in their affordability.
I recommend Harbor Compliance to any business owner that needs an affordable North Dakota registered agent service and isn’t interested in the extra bells and whistles.
If you need a change from your current registered agent, check out Harbor Compliance.
The Other Registered Agent Services
When it comes to North Dakota registered agent services, they can’t all be winners. Here’s a summary of the other 11 North Dakota commercial registered agent services I found on my journey (in no particular order):
Rapid Registered Agent—A few fun features
Rapid Registered Agent is on the cheaper end at $120. And they have a few features I liked.
For example, they auto-filled paperwork. If you hate paperwork as much as I do, you know that’s a big deal.
They also check off most of the boxes I was looking for in a North Dakota registered agent service. BUT they’re more expensive than Harbor Compliance without adding anything extra.
Rocket Lawyer—Great for online legal services
Rocket Lawyer is on the pricier side at $149. While they’re a decent registered agent in North Dakota, they charge more than both Harbor Compliance and Northwest Registered Agent.
That’s also because they offer legal counseling and documents in addition to being a North Dakota registered agent service. If your business could benefit from a North Dakota registered agent that doubles as a legal liaison, maybe the price is worth it.
Team ‘Nothing Special’
Some members of team “Nothing Special” are the same price. Most are more expensive than my top two picks for a commercial registered agent. All members didn’t meet my standards for one reason or another.
The North Dakota registered agents in this group include InCorp ($99), SunDoc Filings ($159), Jumpstart Filings ($129), Swyft Filings ($149), IncFile ($119), ZenBusiness ($99), and Registered Agents Inc. ($200). Whether they charge too much for the bare minimum or have poorly designed websites, each registered agent on this list isn’t my favorite.
Team ‘Big Brand’
Unlike the last group, team “Big Brand” includes only two North Dakota registered agent services: LegalZoom ($299) and CSC Global ($299).
They take care of every legal responsibility you need from a North Dakota registered agent, and they do it with style. The whole appeal of each registered agent in this group is their branding. Resources go toward their logo and “premium” services, so you’re buying the name on top of the registered agent.
But I prioritized value in my search for the best North Dakota registered agent, not logos. So while each commercial registered agent in this group can be trusted to receive service of process or offer other services considered “premium,” they weren’t what I was looking for.
Wrapping It All Up
Thanks to the gaping hole in knowledge about North Dakota registered agent services, I decided to put my trust issues to good use and find the best registered agent in North Dakota.
I recommend Northwest Registered Agent out of the dozens of North Dakota registered agent options I started out with.
Northwest Registered Agent has all the features I looked for in my ideal North Dakota registered agent. They accepted, scanned, and uploaded ALL my mail before forwarding it. I had 24/7 access to all documents sent to the North Dakota street address they provided.
Their compliance deadline alert system kept me aware of deadlines for my annual reports and other filing dates. The online dashboard was easy to navigate, and I had no doubt that they could safely handle a service of process should one come my way.
But their standout feature wasn’t anything automated—it was the human factor. Their Corporate Guides wowed me from the first phone call. No other registered agent in North Dakota had a customer service department so in tune with the business world.
Their small business advice stemmed from real-life experience and put my mind at ease. I could spend less energy worrying about little problems that came up and more energy invested in my business.
That’s why I recommend Northwest Registered Agent to any business owner looking for a quality registered agent in North Dakota.
You can investigate them for yourself at Northwest Registered Agent.
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