I have always been skeptical about the Pennsylvania registered agent industry because I’ve had a couple of bad experiences over the years when dealing with some unscrupulous registered agents in the Keystone State. From missing court dates due to delayed service of process notifications to rude and irritable customer support personnel, I’ve seen it all.
So, to save me the pain of falling into the same trap again, I decided to review the top Pennsylvania registered agent service providers.
Here’s what I found out.
Best Registered Agent: Northwest Registered Agent
- Easy sign-up process
- Mail scanning, uploading, and forwarding
- Alerts for important upcoming compliance deadlines
- $125 per state per year
- Corporate Guides who can answer your small business questions
- No dedicated account manager
Northwest Registered Agent places a strong value on providing high-quality services, and they achieve this by providing my business in Pennsylvania with all the services it requires to stay on good terms with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Here’s a short rundown of their registered agent services:
- They promptly processed and forwarded my Certificate of Organization to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
- They accept service of process and other legal documents on behalf of my business in Pennsylvania.
- They scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail.
- They send me compliance alerts that remind me of important filing dates and keep me in good standing with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
- They are available in all 50 states.
- They provide an online document storage portal where I can keep all my important legal and business documents.
- They maintain a registered office address that is a physical street address in Pennsylvania and can accept legal documents and official communication during normal business hours.
- They keep my personal information off public record.
Northwest is a fantastic registered agent and limited liability company (LLC) formation service. I’ve tried several other companies, but Northwest is simply the best. They’re only a little more expensive than the next registered agent on my list, but completely worth it.
Their customer support is the reason they deserve such high praise. They are quick to respond, well trained, and eager to assist with any aspect of the LLC creation process. They will respond fast regardless of whether it’s via phone or email.
It turns out that their customer support personnel are well-trained business executives with backgrounds in various disciplines, such as small business, marketing, and accounting. They are always available (during regular business hours, of course) to provide great business advice, whether or not it concerns their registered agent service.
No other commercial registered office provider has this level of customer service.
If you need a Pennsylvania registered agent that will guide you during your entire LLC journey, visit Northwest Registered Agent today and learn more about their LLC services.
Best Budget Option: Harbor Compliance
- Simple online system
- Fast and prompt service
- All the basics
- Only $99*
- Dedicated account manager
- No small business advice
Harbor Compliance is the ideal Pennsylvania registered agent if your business requires personalized customer support and the cheapest registered agent services in the industry.
For as low as $99 (including state fees), they scan, upload, and forward all my business mail, provide filing deadline notifications, and answer any concerns I may have regarding their services. Also, in case my business gets sued for any reason, they are more than capable of notifying me of service of process.
Their dedicated account manager isn’t quite on par with Northwest’s Corporate Guides. In reality, they only provide assistance with matters concerning their service. Harbor Compliance doesn’t go above and beyond to offer business advice for your LLC.
Visit their website to learn more about their services.
There were over 50 commercial registered office providers in the state of Pennsylvania that I had to put through my rigorous research process. Clearly, I had my work cut out for me.
When I started my business journey in the state of Pennsylvania, I had a few rough experiences with commercial registered office providers who (as far as I’m concerned) were only out to swindle me.
I twice missed important court summons because my registered agent at the time wouldn’t bother to notify me. I ended up paying hefty fines and since then I’ve always been skeptical about the whole Pennsylvania registered agent industry.
When I decided to establish my second business entity in Pennsylvania, I wasn’t sure which registered agent I could trust because, frankly, I was tired of being taken for a ride. I reasoned the only way I could be sure was to test and review every single commercial registered office provider in the state of Pennsylvania.
It was the only sure-fire way of putting my mind at ease on this issue, once and for all.
So I signed up to every registered agent in the state, keyed in my credit card details and started my year long research of the best Pennsylvania registered agent service.
Before I started out on my fact-finding mission, I created a list of criteria a registered agent must meet to act as a roadmap during the review process.
First, I needed a national registered agent service in Pennsylvania that includes all the services that are necessary to establish my business in Pennsylvania and also help my new business maintain great correspondence with the Pennsylvania Department of State. Their prices need to be clear cut and there should be no annoying upsells.
Any Pennsylvania registered agent service that does not meet the above criterion was removed from my list.
Second, I needed to find a registered agent service that has a proven track record of reliability and service delivery. I’ve lost faith in these new registered agent service providers that are more interested in making a quick buck. At least 10 years operating experience was my bare minimal consideration.
Third, my registered agent service of choice needed to be in tune with the times. They needed to adopt current technologies to make their services as streamlined and fast as possible. This includes a well-designed website, a simple and intuitive sign-up process, and a glitch-free mailing system.
For the fourth (and last) criterion, I needed a Pennsylvania registered agent service with great customer support personnel who were kind, supportive, and ready to assist my LLC with my business problems.
Using my carefully laid out criteria, I was able to differentiate those Pennsylvania registered agent service providers that were phony from those that were legitimate.
There are Pennsylvania registered agent service providers that advertise low prices but then charge extra for “add-ons” that are essentially standard LLC (limited liability company) services. Any company that used this type of click-bait advertising was removed from my list.
When I was going through online customer reviews, I realized that I shared bad experiences with most people who also had fallen prey to unscrupulous Pennsylvania registered agent service providers. Some customers expressed worry about the lack of essential commercial registered agent services, while others expressed dissatisfaction with price structures, and yet others with poor customer support.
After 12 long months of arduous research, I was able to eliminate a large number of Pennsylvania registered agent services that showed little promise and I was left with a short list of 14 registered agent services that were worth a second look.
These are my findings (in order of preference) after months and months of testing and research:
My Favorite Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest offers some of the most comprehensive registered agent services available on the market. I admire how they keep their prices consistent and transparent, and they have a stellar reputation for providing excellent customer support.
Northwest Registered Agent is one of the few trustworthy firms that can handle the job. For $125, their basic registered agent service provides pre-filled state registration forms for ease of use, automated compliance alerts that remind me of pending annual report filing dates, online access to my scanned business documents, and a registered office address in Pennsylvania that accepts service of process on behalf of my LLC and keeps my own street address off public record.
Their customer support is their most admirable aspect. Their Corporate Guides are really good at their job. I barraged one of them with questions, all of which were patiently answered with detail and expertise. Within 30 minutes, I went from knowing next to nothing about business creation to being able to move ahead with confidence.
On top of that, the agent provided outstanding business advice on issues such as sourcing well-trained employees and how to grow my business’s presence on social media. No other commercial registered office provider includes this level of guidance in their packages.
Northwest claims to offer next-level customer support, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they more than live up to this promise.
Northwest Registered Agent is the place to be. Their website is simple to navigate, they provide excellent customer service, their service is prompt, and their Corporate Guides are quite pleasant. Working with them has been a pleasant surprise.
If you need a Pennsylvania registered agent service that provides excellent customer support and everything a registered agent must for your business to stay in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of State, look no further than Northwest Registered Agent.
My Budget Pick: Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance is another good Pennsylvania registered agent that handles all the legal obligations on behalf of my business while charging the lowest rate in the industry.
Harbor Compliance provided all I needed to get my business in Pennsylvania up and running, including filing and submitting my Certificate of Organization to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, and setting up a registered office address in Pennsylvania that can accept service of process on behalf of my Pennsylvania business.
I received direct access to a dedicated account manager when I purchased a package. The dedicated account manager was the person I contacted when I had a service-related question during business hours, not a call center employee. There’s no waiting on hold, and I never had to deal with a customer care representative who had no understanding of what my company does.
However, the glaring difference between Harbor Compliance’s account manager and Northwest’s Corporate Guides is that the former does not go above and beyond to offer business advice. That said, they are still a welcomed bonus.
If you’re looking for a low-cost Pennsylvania commercial registered office provider to help you open a new business in the state, Harbor Compliance is a good choice.
Their online platforms are intuitive and easy to use, saving you time during your LLC formation process, and if you get stuck, your dedicated account manager is always at hand to help you through the process.
For more details about their services, visit the Harbor Compliance website today.
Other Registered Agent Services
Rapid Registered Agent—A few fun features
For $120 per year (plus state fee), Rapid Registered Agent doesn’t really offer much to write about. Sure, they’ll provide the essential LLC services that a registered agent must to keep my company in good standing with the law, but their customer support is pretty generic and nowhere near that of Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides.
Still, they are a reputable company that’s been around for a long time and they have quite favorable online ratings and reviews.
Rocket Lawyer—Great for online legal services
Rocket Lawyer charges $149 for minimal commercial agent services in Pennsylvania. They will only file your LLC registration documents and provide an online portal where you can store important legal and business documents. The reason their registered agent service is underdeveloped is that their major focus is providing online legal advice.
If you need a commercial registered office provider that offers your LLC both legal advice and a couple of registered agent offerings, visit their website to learn more.
Team ‘Nothing Special’
This group comprises Pennsylvania registered agent service providers who only perform what your new Pennsylvania business requires of them. They include IncFile ($119), Jumpstart Filings ($129), SunDoc Filings ($159), ZenBusiness ($149), Swyft Filings ($149), Registered Agents Inc. ($200), and InCorp ($99).
These registered agent service providers don’t add anything distinctive or intriguing to the mix. For more extensive services at a lower cost, you should continue with Northwest Registered Agent.
Team ‘Big Brand’
Finally, there is Team “Big Brand.” These are the registered agent behemoths who have no qualms about raiding a client’s wallet, despite the fact that their LLC services are basically the same as everyone else’s.
They are LegalZoom ($299 plus filing fee), Wolters Kluwer ($305 plus filing fee), and CSC Global ($299 plus filing fee). All they have to offer your LLC is a well-designed website and adequate customer services.
Wrapping It All Up
After years of mistrust and losing faith with the Pennsylvania registered agent industry, I have finally been able to test and review the 14 best Pennsylvania registered agents.
For $125, Northwest Registered Agent provides all the essential services that my company needs:
- Filing my Articles of Organization on behalf of my Pennsylvania business entity
- Scanning, uploading, and forwarding my mail
- Appointing a registered office in Pennsylvania available during normal business hours to serve as a point of contact and accept service of process
- Providing compliance alerts that remind me of filing deadlines, like my annual report, to keep my LLC in good standing with the Secretary of State
- Providing an online account and storage portal for important business and legal documents
Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides are the reason they rank so high. They have helped me since I started my business journey and will continue to do so by providing excellent business advice that will help me manage my Pennsylvania business.
If you are in the market for a registered agent in Pennsylvania that provides top-notch business advice and a wide variety of comprehensive services for your LLC, look no further than Northwest Registered Agent.
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