Once I needed a Tennessee registered agent for my new LLC, I searched high and low for recommendations I could trust, which was difficult, considering my serious trust issues.
In the end, I relied on my own skills and judgment to find the best Tennessee registered agent available. That involved months of research and personally signing up with 13 registered agent service options in Tennessee.
If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of Tennessee registered agent competitors and need guidance, you’re at the right place.
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
With months of calling customer service agents, squinting at fine print, and creating color-coded spreadsheets behind me, I now know that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in Tennessee.
- They have a registered street address in all 50 states.
- They will scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail.
- They maintain an online account where I have 24/7 access to ALL my important documents.
- They cost only $125.
- They have an easy sign-up system.
- They send compliance deadline alerts to notify me about upcoming deadlines I need to meet to stay in good standing with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
Northwest caught my attention among a million other resident agent options with this list of features. Not many registered agent choices on my radar met ALL the marks on my list, but Northwest did from the start.
So I zeroed in on them. I looked for their weaknesses because obviously they were too good to be true.
I inspected the usual suspect: their customer service department. But when I called, something interesting happened.
The customer service agent who picked up my call was polite, listening as I pelted him with questions. After a minute of my ranting, he confidently offered his advice, which was actually helpful.
I was shocked. Offering every feature I was looking for and having excellent customer service had to be a fluke.
It wasn’t. Every member of their customer service team can offer advice thanks to their real-life experience in the business world.
So while Northwest caught my attention from the start, their customer service sealed the deal.
If your business could use that kind of guidance, head over to Northwest’s website.
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 may be the cheapest registered agent on the market, but their services are quality enough to earn my recommendation.
They checked off all the boxes and even threw in a dedicated account manager. That dedicated account manager couldn’t offer the small business advice Northwest’s customer service agents could, but it was still nice to have somebody who knew my account.
If your business is on a tight budget, check out Harbor Compliance to meet all your registered agent needs.
*Prices listed are per state, per year and do not include state fees.
FORMATING NOTE: SEPARATOR
Narrowing down over 60 Tennessee registered agent services until I found the best registered agent service on the market took time, money, and lots of caffeine.
If I revealed just how many hours I’ve spent sifting through Google searches for “Tennessee registered agent service,” you’d probably question my sanity. And for good reason.
The thing is, I’ve always been like this. I’ve always trusted my own opinion above others, which has served me well in the business world. It didn’t earn me as many points on the playground.
Thanks to those trust issues, I have developed impressive research skills that may or may not border on obsession. For example, in my quest for the best Tennessee registered agent services, I also looked into LLC formation service.
I went down the rabbit hole with that as well. If you need a recommendation for the best LLC formation service in Tennessee, I have an article on that, too.
But I digress. The point is, I’ve always liked to research things for myself, especially before making big decisions. And small decisions. And medium decisions.
I’ll just say that making a decision on anything is a process. My microwave just broke? Great. Now I just have to check every online review available for every microwave brand in the region, compare prices, see what microwaves my friends have . . . You get the idea.
In the business world, this translates to me investigating every facet of information I can find before making a decision on behalf of my limited liability company. Belief me, choosing a Tennessee registered agent is a BIG decision.
These are the people handling your legal mail, your private information. If they mishandle that information, your limited liability company is vulnerable to cyber attacks and other nasty consequences that could threaten your Tennessee LLC.
When it came time for me to choose my own registered agent, I thought for sure that my friends in the business world would have recommendations.
Wrong. There was a gaping hole in knowledge about the Tennessee registered agent scene. Funny enough, not many people have the time or energy to conduct a thorough investigation into Tennessee registered agent service options.
So I did it myself. Over the course of many months, I buckled down on my research skills, reading every Tennessee registered agent service website, review, and advertisement I could find.
But that wasn’t enough. Could I really trust this random business owner who left a review three months ago? Do they have the same standards that I do for a registered agent service?
The uncertainty was killing me, so I decided to sign up with over a dozen Tennessee registered agent services on my own time. That means my recommendation for the best registered agent service is backed up by countless hours of research AND my personal experience with each statutory agent on this list.
In order to conduct a thorough investigation for the best Tennessee registered agent service, I had to set some guidelines. After all, how can you label something the “best” if you don’t have criteria?
But before we get to those criteria, I’ll lay out the groundwork of what a registered agent service does. Or at least what they’re supposed to do. At the start of my search, all I knew was that a Tennessee registered agent service gave you an official address to receive mail on your company’s behalf. While that’s true, you might want to know the full scope of their responsibilities:
- Providing a physical street address in Tennessee to accept service of process and other legal documents, list as a business address on public record, and receive certified mail
- Scanning and uploading 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 normal business hours
- Serving as a point of contact for the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office or any process server delivering to your Tennessee business
- Staying available during normal business hours to receive service of process and other business documents
- Sending notifications about important deadlines (e.g. Tennessee annual report reminders, court dates, etc.) to help you with corporate compliance
With that behind us, it’s time for my first rule: no upsells. The right registered agent will be transparent about the basic or additional services they offer. They’ll advertise one price and you’ll be expected to pay that price.
The wrong registered agent service will advertise one price, then not deliver on all the services listed. That’s because they like to hide caveats in the fine print, usually saying that some listed services are actually “add-ons” that cost extra. Even if those “add-ons” are basic services that every registered agent service should offer.
Any registered agent service that tried to upsell me was off my list.
Rule number two is at least 10 years in business. Having experience didn’t guarantee that a registered agent service had the quality I looked for, but it did give me peace of mind. I’d prefer my own commercial registered agent to have dealt with the Tennessee Secretary of State before.
Also, registered agents handle a lot of important information. Aside from providing an office address for the public to see, they’re safeguarding your personal information. Not to mention receiving delicate legal documents like service of process. I’d trust a Tennessee registered agent service that had proven it could handle these duties over a newbie that could make rookie mistakes.
Lastly, I looked for a resident agent with a solid online presence. As a Tennessee business owner, you’ll be accessing your registered agent online portal constantly. This is where your account information and uploads of important documents will be kept 24/7. An online account that’s too complicated or outdated wastes your time and gives you a fat headache. Believe me, I know.
This goes for the sign-up process, too. Most registered agent services have decent websites but their sign-up processes are a hassle. One Tennessee registered agent asked me to fax documents over. Fax. Speaking of headaches . . .
My own registered agent would have a simple sign-up process and an updated website. Any registered agent that didn’t offer these crucial features was off my list.
My deep dive into the world of Tennessee registered agents may have cost me my sanity, but it was worth it for my Tennessee LLC. And yours.
My first rule knocked out quite a few competitors from my original registered agent Google search. These were the registered agents that had no problem advertising one price while trying to charge me more after I signed up. Any registered agent’s name behind my LLC would not conduct business that way.
The next rule cut off a few more registered agents. These were the registered agent options who’d just entered the registered agent scene. They hadn’t served any other business entities yet and advertised themselves as “fresh faces.”
While I appreciated their enthusiasm, I knew my ideal Tennessee registered agent would have handled official mail before and corresponded with the Tennessee Secretary of State many times over. I didn’t want my Tennessee LLC to be a learning experience for any of those green commercial registered agent options. They were eliminated.
My last rule narrowed down my search to the last few Tennessee registered agent services that I ended up signing up for. Those other Tennessee registered agents had red flags in their websites or sign-up processes. Some sites just looked scammy. Others weren’t laid out well, and I’d be clicking away for minutes before finding what I was looking for.
A simple sign-up process was important to me. My own registered agent in Tennessee would make that initial interaction as stress-free as possible. Those other registered agents that had too many steps or otherwise overcomplicated the sign-up process were kicked out of my search.
At the end of the day, I had 13 Tennessee registered agent services left. To find the best registered agent in Tennessee, I signed up with each of them to get firsthand experience to rate them by.
Here’s what I found.
With months of research and personal experience under my belt, I ended up with these 13 Tennessee registered agent services (from my favorites to not-my-favorites):
My Favorite Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is my pick for the best registered agent in Tennessee because of their range of services, quality of those services, and their excellent customer service that all push my business entity to succeed.
Northwest Registered Agent first caught my attention with the services they offered.
In fact, they offered the whole package right from the get-go. They provided my Tennessee LLC with a business address meant to be kept on public record. That registered office address would serve as a point of contact for emissaries like the Tennessee Secretary of State.
That office address is also open during normal business hours to receive service of process, accept legal mail, and then upload that mail to my online portal. Unlike most Tennessee registered agents, Northwest uploaded and forwarded ALL mail addressed for my business entity.
Aside from handling my mail and legal documents during normal business hours, Northwest maintained a compliance calendar to keep my LLC in good standing with the Tennessee Secretary of State. They sent notifications about upcoming deadlines to keep track of, from annual reports to filing fees to court dates.
But the registered office address and reminders for my annual reports didn’t completely sell me on this statutory agent. No, that would be their excellent customer service.
Their Corporate Guides, Northwest’s in-house customer service team, went above and beyond every other customer service department I encountered with Tennessee registered agents. That’s because they weren’t just there to answer questions about my own registered agent.
Every Corporate Guide has professional experience in the business world. They were all former accountants, lawyers, salespeople, and small business owners before working for registered agents. That means they’re able to provide small business advice that goes beyond registered agent information.
When I say great customer service, I mean great customer service. The Corporate Guides were there during regular business hours to help me troubleshoot nearly every problem that came my way. Whether it was a question about formation documents or some Tennessee law I wasn’t aware of, the Corporate Guides were more than willing to help.
I recommend Northwest Registered Agent to any business looking for an affordable resident agent that’ll go the extra mile.
They’re trustworthy enough to handle your personal information and legal documents. In my time with them, ALL my mail was processed and forwarded thanks to their same day document scans.
Their compliance calendar helped me stay on the good side of the Tennessee Secretary of State, and their Corporate Guides also saved my new business multiple times.
If Northwest sounds like the right registered agent for your business, visit their website.
My Budget Pick: Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance is the best budget option for a registered agent in Tennessee, and they’re capable of fulfilling all the legal obligations business entities require.
As far as the registered agent basics go, I couldn’t complain. Harbor Compliance assigned my business its own address to keep on public record.
This street address was available during normal business hours to receive service of process, accept my mail, and handle any legal documents that came my way. While they weren’t as timely as Northwest, they got the job done.
They don’t just accept service of process. They also scan, upload, and forward your mail. The online portal is available for you to access your important legal documents. Like Northwest, they also send compliance deadline alerts to keep you aware of annual reports deadlines and other critical dates.
One feature I didn’t expect was the dedicated account manager. She was waiting for me on the other side of the sign-up process, ready to answer my questions about my new registered agent’s services.
However, the dedicated account manager doesn’t offer small business advice like Northwest’s Corporate Guides. They’re just there to keep tabs on your account and answer your registered agent-related questions.
I recommend Harbor Compliance to any business looking to save money AND have a dependable registered agent in Tennessee.
While they’re a no-frill registered agent service, they get the job done at a price you rarely find amongst Tennessee registered agents.
If you’re ready to file the Change of Registered Agent form, check out Harbor Compliance.
The Other Registered Agent Services
After my top 2 choices for a Tennessee registered agent, I also explored these other 11 options during my search (listed in no particular order):
Rapid Registered Agent—A few fun features
Rapid Registered Agent is a basic registered agent in Tennessee.
They’re mid-priced at $120, but their only features outside of the registered agent norm are not charging for text reminders and auto-filling forms.
If you hate paperwork and think auto-filling forms is worth the extra few bucks, maybe this is the right registered agent for you.
Rocket Lawyer—Great for online legal services
Rocket Lawyer is a more expensive option, at $149.
But that might be because they offer legal counseling and documents on top of the basic registered agent services.
If your Tennessee business could benefit from their online legal services, feel free to investigate them yourself.
Team ‘Nothing Special’
Some resident agent options in my search aspired for greatness. Others were fine settling for mediocrity. Team “Nothing Special” falls in the latter category.
This registered agent group includes SunDoc Filings ($159), Jumpstart Filings ($150), Swyft Filings ($159), Registered Agents Inc. ($200), IncFile ($119), ZenBusiness ($199), and InCorp ($99).
They all fall within a similar price range. None of them offer any remarkable features. Some of them were more promising than others, but they had downsides too large to ignore—like not offering a basic feature or overcharging.
Every registered agent in this group didn’t impress me enough to make my top two.
Team ‘Big Brand’
Unlike Team “Nothing Special,” the registered agent options on this list know they’re special. And they charge accordingly.
Both CSC Global ($299) and LegalZoom ($299) are considered “premium” registered agents. They have fancy logos and well-spoken sales reps, but when it comes down to the actual services they offer, they function like any other registered agent in Tennessee.
That’s not to say their services aren’t good. They are. But my choice for the best Tennessee registered agent was based on value. I couldn’t stomach the premium prices just for the brand name.
If you’re looking for a big name in the registered agent world, Team “Big Brand” might be for you.
Wrapping It All Up
Once I realized none of my friends could give me a suggestion for a Tennessee registered agent service, I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands. That meant putting my trust issues and research skills to the test.
Thanks to my hours of experience in the registered agent world, I now confidently recommend Northwest Registered Agent to any business owner looking for a registered agent in Tennessee.
Northwest offered all the basic registered agent features I searched for—and then some. They provided a street address to list on public record and a registered agent name to put on my formation documents.
They were the only registered agent in Tennessee that I signed up with that uploaded and forwarded ALL my mail. A key feature of a quality registered agent service is the ability to handle sensitive information and documents. Northwest was able to deliver on that.
Aside from processing mail and receiving service of process on behalf of my business, Northwest also sent compliance deadline alert reminders to keep me on top of annual report filings, state fees, and other critical deadlines.
But these basic services didn’t secure the #1 registered agent spot. That would be their Corporate Guides, the customer service agents that go above and beyond other registered agent customer service departments.
Thanks to their experience in business-related fields, Northwest’s Corporate Guides were able to offer me small business advice that got my new LLC out of more than a couple of scary situations. They listened to my problems and actually gave helpful advice, which is more than other registered agent customer service representatives can say.
That’s why I 100% recommend Northwest to any business looking for a Tennessee registered agent.
Visit them today at Northwest Registered Agent.
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