I’ve tested the 13 best registered agent services in Rhode Island. Here’s my review.

I’ve always had trouble trusting others, and when it came time to choose a Rhode Island resident agent, I decided that I would take matters into my own hands rather than rely on anonymous online reviews.

So I signed up for 13 registered agent services myself and spent months comparing all the information I could gather before deciding on the best Rhode Island registered agent.

If you don’t know where to start looking for a Rhode Island registered agent, keep reading.

The Best Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent

Positives:

  • 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

Negatives:

  • No dedicated account manager

After months of comparing prices, scanning websites, and calling customer support departments, I determined Northwest Registered Agent to be the best registered agent in Rhode Island.

Here’s why: 

  • They are a nationwide registered agent service with a registered address in all 50 states.
  • They cost only $125.
  • They will scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail.
  • They maintain an updated online account where I can view all my important documents and mail 24/7.
  • They have an intuitive sign-up system.
  • They notify me about ALL compliance dates I need to meet to stay in good standing with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

From the beginning of my search, I knew Northwest Registered Agent was special. This list of features was the “whole package” I was looking for in my ideal registered agent.

So of course I had to look for their weaknesses. For most registered agents, that was the customer service department.

But when I called Northwest’s customer support, I didn’t encounter rude agents or vague answers that didn’t actually help my situation. 

Instead, the agent that answered my call listened to my problems and actually gave useful advice. Turns out, that agent and every other on Northwest’s team has professional experience in the business world as previous accountants, lawyers, salespeople—you get the idea. That means they can provide small business advice and not just generic information.

While that list of services originally caught my attention, it was the excellent customer service that sold me on Northwest.

If you’re ready to choose a new Rhode Island registered agent, check out Northwest Registered Agent.

Best Budget Option: Harbor Compliance

Positives:

  • Simple online system
  • Fast and prompt service
  • All the basics
  • Only $99*
  • Dedicated account manager

Negatives:

  • No small business advice

Harbor Compliance is another option that caught my attention from the start.

For the lowest price on the market, they still offer everything I was looking for in a registered agent.

Aside from the basics, they also provide a dedicated account manager to walk you through the steps after sign-up. While they can’t offer small business advice, the dedicated account manager is still helpful.

If your Rhode Island LLC could use a budget-friendly registered agent, head over to Harbor Compliance.

*Prices listed are per state, per year and do not include state fees.

FORMATING NOTE: SEPARATOR

My Process

Finding the best Rhode Island registered agent took months of collecting in-person responses from actual customers of these registered agents, pestering sales team representatives, and critiquing websites for presentation and quality.

My Start

I’ve never been great at delegating.

Starting with group projects in high school, I always took on the bulk of the work. I simply couldn’t trust others to perform the research and execute the presentation like I could. 

A large part of the problem was my considerable trust issues. Since childhood, I’ve struggled with trusting the opinions of others. I felt more comfortable using my own judgment, letting myself succeed or fail rather than relying on someone else. 

Whether I’m genetically predisposed to not trusting others or learned it from some jarring experiences on the playground, this trait has followed me from secondary school to the professional world.

On the bright side, skepticism comes in handy when making big business decisions. Going into a business decision with nothing but biased online reviews for support is usually costly and, well, bad for business. 

All those years of doing the work myself have given me the confidence to be where I am now, with a limited liability company under my belt and rookie mistakes behind me. Mostly behind me.

Even with some background on formation documents and legal matters going into my first Rhode Island LLC, I had no idea where to start looking for a registered agent service.

By that point, I had a few friends with their own Rhode Island businesses. I figured they’d have some tips and tricks on finding a competent Rhode Island registered agent service.

I was wrong.

When I asked for recommendations on a Rhode Island registered agent service, they only knew a registered agent’s name was needed for paperwork and that they gave business entities a physical address to operate out of, which isn’t wrong but doesn’t show the full scope of a registered agent service’s responsibilities at all. So there I was, back at square one with no Rhode island registered agent recommendation to speak of.

That’s when my years of doing all the work myself kicked in. If none of my friends had the time to comprehensively research the best registered agent service for their Rhode Island business, I’d have to take on the challenge myself. Starting with a Google search.

As you can imagine, searching “best Rhode Island registered agent” generates a TON of results. I was beyond overwhelmed until I developed a system of criteria to guide my search by. 

But that was just phase one. I didn’t know going into this project that online research wouldn’t be enough until phase one was over and I still had 13 registered agents on my list.

Phase two was intense. To get the best information possible, I had to investigate for myself rather than relying on anonymous online reviews. So I personally signed up for those 13 registered agents on my list, backing up my recommendation with online research and my firsthand accounts.

My Criteria

Like I said, the search results for “Rhode Island registered agent service” were overwhelming. I couldn’t possibly sign up for and personally evaluate each Rhode Island registered agent service from that initial search. So I developed a system.

This system included three guidelines to categorize registered agents, measuring different aspects of their services. But before I could even start that process, I had to figure out what a Rhode Island registered agent service was supposed to be doing. After some preliminary research, I came up with a list of all the basic registered agent services that should be offered in the “full package”:

  • Providing a physical street address in Rhode Island to accept service of process and other legal documents, list as a business address on public record, and receive legal notifications
  • Scanning, uploading, and forwarding important documents (like service of process) to your registered agent’s online portal
  • Accepting and forwarding all mail, legal notices, and paperwork sent to your business entity during regular business hours
  • Serving as a point of contact for the Rhode Island Secretary of State or any process server delivering to your registered office address
  • Maintaining a compliance calendar to keep your business on top of important deadlines (Rhode Island annual report reminders, court dates, etc.) and in good standing with the Rhode Island Secretary of State

As you can see, a Rhode Island registered agent service is more than a glorified mailbox service. While they do provide a local office to accept legal documents and other mail, they also help your business stay compliant with the Rhode Island Department of State.

Which brings me to my first guideline: no upsells. I wanted my own registered agent to deliver on what they advertised. A professional registered agent service should offer the whole package at one price and then charge that price.

Registered agents like to advertise the “whole package” and then hide basic services in the fine print as “add-ons.” The right registered agent wouldn’t need to trick me into paying more.

Second guideline: at least 10 years in business as a Rhode Island registered agent service. Some LLC formation services like to wade out into the registered agent service world. In fact, I also have an article on the best LLC formation service

But the best Rhode Island registered agent would ideally have experience as a registered agent service. This meant having a history of properly handling sensitive documents and interacting with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. I didn’t want my business to be a learning experience for any new registered agent service.

My last guideline was having an up-to-date online presence. Nowadays, a professional registered agent service needs a strong website to serve businesses properly. As a business owner, you’ll be accessing your online account on a daily basis. If that online account isn’t user-friendly, you’ll be tearing your hair out every day.

This guideline extended to the sign-up process. A sign-up process that wasn’t intuitive showed me that the registered agent didn’t prioritize their customer’s transition into their service, which wouldn’t cut it for my own registered agent.

My Journey

I started out with over 60 Rhode Island registered agent services on my radar. By the end, I had my recommendation for the best registered agent available. 

My first guideline narrowed down the bulk of Rhode Island registered agents. I got really good at reading the fine print to weed out any “add-ons” that should’ve been included from the get-go.

If I couldn’t trust a Rhode Island registered agent to advertise their actual prices, how could I trust them to correspond with the Rhode Island Secretary of State on behalf of my business?

The next guideline knocked out a few more. Some resident agent advertisements presented “fresh faces” ready to take on the world. I wasn’t willing to sign up with a registered agent that had no track record with the Rhode Island Department of State. So those options were out.

Lastly, online presence separated the good resident agent options from the not-so-good options. Any sign-up process that gave me a headache was marked down. Same for websites—anything that looked scammy, unprofessional, or overcomplicated was off the list.

At the end, I had 13 registered agents on my list with one clear winner.

Here’s what I got.

My Results

These are the Rhode Island registered agents I most thoroughly investigated (in order of preference):

My Favorite Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick for a statutory agent because they complete all the basic services a Rhode Island registered agent service should, with some newsworthy extra features.

My Experience

As far as Rhode Island registered agents go, Northwest offers a range of services I rarely found at the price they offered.

They provided a physical address where all mail directed toward my Rhode Island business could be accepted. That way, my registered agent’s address would be on public record, instead of my personal information.

Aside from assigning my business its own address, Northwest was available during normal business hours to receive service of process, accept legal documents, and process other mail. In my time with them, they handled legal documents on behalf of my business entity.

Unlike other Rhode Island registered agents, Northwest scanned, uploaded, and forwarded ALL my mail in a timely manner. Their registered agent online system was easy to navigate, and I had 24/7 access to all my uploaded documents.

Another feature that’s usually charged extra as an “add-on” is the compliance alert calendar. Northwest helps your business with corporate compliance by sending reminders about annual report deadlines, online filings, and court dates. These notifications will keep your business on top of legally required paperwork.

Besides reminding you to file your annual reports and staying available for any process server that comes around, Northwest rises above every other Rhode Island registered agent with one feature: Corporate Guides.

The Corporate Guides, Northwest’s in-house customer service team, are made up of professionals with experience in business-related fields like accounting, law, and small business ownership.

They’re equipped to field questions about your Rhode Island registered agent AND general business information. When I was in a tough spot with my domestic limited liability company, having small business advice just a phone call away took a load off my shoulders.

My Recommendation 

If your Rhode Island business could use a resident agent that will meet all your legal obligations AND provide unmatched customer support, I recommend looking into Northwest Registered Agent.

They’re able to provide a registered office address, accept service of process, and process your mail. As an added bonus, their compliance calendar helps keep your business in good standing with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

But their ability to receive service of process or remind you to file your annual report isn’t what put them at #1. That would be their Corporate Guides, which are unlike any other Rhode Island registered agent service in their ability to offer small business advice.

If your business is looking to change from your current registered agent, visit Northwest Registered Agent.

My Budget Pick: Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance earned the #2 spot with their budget-friendly price and efficient services that meet every requirement for a Rhode Island registered agent.

My Experience

Harbor Compliance matched up well with the services I was looking for in a Rhode Island registered agent. 

Like most other Rhode Island registered agents, they’ll provide a street address where your resident agent will stay available as a point of contact during normal business hours.

They accept service of process, receive mail on behalf of your business entity, and upload important documents to your online portal. As you can see, that registered office address isn’t just a mailbox for your Rhode Island business. 

Your resident agent is constantly handling important documents and information. If you need to access uploads of legal documents, like service of process, outside of normal hours, Harbor Compliance offers 24/7 access to your online portal.

Aside from the basic statutory agent duties, they also have a compliance deadline alert system that reminds you about annual reports and other important filing deadlines. Other Rhode Island registered agent options charge extra for that feature.

Another “extra” is the dedicated account manager. Don’t let the fancy title fool you—they don’t offer anything as individualized as the small business advice Northwest’s Corporate Guides provide. The dedicated account manager is there to answer any questions you have about your new registered agent service. They know your account, sure, but anything beyond registered agent information isn’t in their wheelhouse.

When all is said and done, Harbor Compliance is a bare-bones Rhode Island registered agent service. They’ll cover the basics that every registered agent should be offering, and they’ll do it for the cheapest price you’ll find in Rhode Island.

My Recommendation

Harbor Compliance is a worthy #2 out of the original 60 Rhode Island registered agent services I examined because they’re able to meet all your legal obligations and keep you in line with Rhode Island statutes.

If you’re looking to change from your current registered agent to a brand new registered agent, explore Harbor Compliance.

The Other Registered Agent Services

With those top 2 Rhode Island registered agent services behind us, I’ll move on to the 11 runners-up in my search for the best registered agent (listed in no particular order): 

Rapid Registered Agent—A few fun features

Rapid Registered Agent covers the fundamentals.

For $120, they’re more expensive than Harbor Compliance. BUT they auto-fill your paperwork and don’t charge for text reminders.

As much as I hate paperwork, I couldn’t justify putting Rapid Registered Agent above Harbor Compliance for those small perks.

Rocket Lawyer—Great for online legal services

Rocket Lawyer is a bit pricier for a registered agent.

At $149, they’re a significant chunk more expensive than Harbor Compliance and $29 more than Northwest. 

But there’s a reason behind the price difference. If you couldn’t tell from their name, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t just function as a registered agent—they offer a variety of online legal services.

If your Rhode Island company will regularly need legal counseling to transact business, maybe Rocket Lawyer is worth the price difference.

Team ‘Nothing Special’

The average registered agent is, well, average. They might have a good price but a confusing online system to navigate. Or they offer all the basic features a registered agent should be including in the full package, but it’s overpriced.

Every registered agent grouped in Team “Nothing Special” falls in that average category. They might have a couple quality services, but the negatives were too significant to ignore. Team “Nothing Special” includes Swyft Filings ($159), Registered Agents Inc. ($200), IncFile ($119), ZenBusiness ($99), InCorp ($99), SunDoc Filings ($159), and Jumpstart Filings ($150).

While they’re good for a registered agent’s name and business address to file in your paperwork, they’re too mediocre to earn my recommendation for the best Rhode Island registered agent.

Team ‘Big Brand’

Speaking of mediocre, Team “Big Brand” is anything but. Both registered agent services in the group, CSC Global ($299) and LegalZooom ($299), offer “premium” services.

They’ll provide a Rhode Island street address and act as a point of contact during normal business hours, but they add some oomph to the process with their big names. These are giants on the Rhode Island registered agent scene. Everyone recognizes their names and logos.

But that comes at a cost. Literally. Their prices are double or triple the prices of my top two registered agent picks. While both registered agent options in this group perform well and are widely recognized Rhode Island resident agents, I was looking for the best value options. 

When it came down to the registered agent services they offered, they were performing the same duties as their competitors and simply charging more for their name.

Wrapping It All Up 

I’ve spent more time researching the Rhode Island registered agent scene than anybody you know, unless you happen to know someone else with deep-rooted trust issues and a compulsive need to research. As such, I was ready to put the work in and find the best Rhode Island registered agent for myself.

Out of the dozens of options I started out with, I recommend Northwest Registered Agent to anyone considering a new registered agent.

Northwest has the registered agent basics down. They’ll provide a Rhode Island physical street address, protect your private information, and ease you into the registered agent world with a simple sign-up system.

They’re available during regular business hours to accept mail or important documents (like service of process) on your behalf. They’re one of the rare registered agents that offers same-day scanning, so your mail will be scanned and uploaded to your online portal quickly.

Their compliance calendar reminded me about filing deadlines, state fees, and other dates that were important for keeping my Rhode Island LLC on the good side of the Secretary of State.

But that’s not what makes Northwest the BEST registered agent in Rhode Island—that’d be their Corporate Guides. These in-house customer service agents have real-life experience in business-related fields like accounting, entrepreneurship, law, and sales.

That means those Corporate Guides were equipped to help me with questions about my registered agent AND general hang-ups with my new business. Knowing the Corporate Guides were ready to support me and help troubleshoot my problems gave me peace of mind I wasn’t expecting.

That’s why I recommend Northwest Registered Agent to any new LLC or business in Rhode Island.

If your business could use personalized guidance, visit their website today.

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