Opening a business in Virginia is not a walk in the park, especially if you are like me and have a deep fear of being swindled by unscrupulous registered agents who provide scant service while charging outrageous amounts of money.
I decided to get over my fear by embarking on a 12-month investigative journey to find the best Virginia registered agents.
Here are the results of my research.
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 distinguish themselves from other agencies by being entirely open and honest with their customers. There are no hidden costs or salespeople reading from a script, no confusing phone extensions in lieu of an actual person, and customer support is never unpleasant or annoying.
Here’s a list of their awesome services:
- They provide a business name and physical address in Virginia while hiding my actual street address details from public record.
- They appoint a registered office that receives Service of Process on behalf of my Virginia LLC.
- They file and submit my Articles of Organization on behalf of my Virginia business to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
- They regularly send me compliance alerts that remind me of important filing dates.
- They scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail to my easily accessible online account.
- They charge only $125.
- They are available in all 50 states.
Northwest is the best registered agent service on the market. Their pricing is competitive and every formation package includes one year of premium registered agent service.
Their customer support is, however, the highlight of their service. Whereas many competitors in this industry outsource their customer support to large, anonymous call centers with several major clients, Northwest’s true commitment to providing the best possible US-based customer service stands out from the rest of the competition.
Their customer service agents not only helped me during my LLC formation process, but also have always been available (during regular business hours, of course) to provide amazing business advice whether or not it concerns their registered agent service.
If you need first-class customer support and amazing LLC services from a Virginia registered agent service, visit Northwest Registered Agent today to get started on your business journey.
*All prices are per state, per year, and do not include state fees.
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 best suited for entrepreneurs who are on a budget. Their transparent pricing, affordability, and dedicated account manager are the reasons they rank second on my list.
They provide all the essential resident agent services that my business in Virginia needs to stay compliant with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
After submitting my Articles of Registration, the dedicated account manager called me the next day to collect the necessary information to establish my Virginia business. The agent also answered questions I had about forming a limited liability company.
These dedicated account managers are a welcomed bonus, but unlike Northwest Registered Agent, they don’t go over and above their mandate to provide small business advice. They only assist with service-related issues.
Visit Harbor Compliance to learn more about their Virginia registered agent service.
It took me 12 months of diligent study to identify the best resident agent in Virginia. Take a look at the steps I followed to make my selection.
I’m usually quite skeptical of the Virginia registered agent service industry.
This is because I’ve been swindled twice by unethical registered agents, which has led to my Virginia business missing important filing and court dates. I ultimately had to pay hefty fines to the State Corporation Commission.
These two instances have left me with a deep mistrust of registered agents and at one time I even swore off ever hiring another commercial registered agent. But, as they say, time heals old wounds and I decided a while back that the only way to determine which company to trust was to test and review every single Virginia registered agent service.
So I took out my credit card, signed up with every single Virginia registered agent service, and began my year-long review.
Before I started looking for the top Virginia registered agent service providers, I made a list of criteria that would lead me through the process.
The first criterion involved the types of business services my chosen registered agent would have to perform:
- Provide a business name and a physical street address in the state of Virginia while hiding my actual street address details from public record.
- File and submit my Articles of Organization and other legal documents on behalf of my LLC to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
- Scan, upload, and forward ALL my mail to my online account.
- Regularly send me compliance alerts that remind me of important filing dates and keep me in good standing with the law.
- Operate in all 50 states.
- Serve as a point of contact to accept all legal documents including Service of Process on behalf of my Virginia business
Any registered agent in Virginia that did not offer any or all of these features was removed from my list. I also didn’t consider any company that indulged in forceful upsells. My preferred registered agent must have transparent and fixed prices for all their services.
Second, I needed to find a registered agent that had a bit of “mileage” in the industry. This means that the company must have been in the industry long enough to be reliable and dependable.
For my third criterion, I judged the registered agents according to how technologically adept they were. Nobody wants a registered agent that still uses fax machines to communicate with its customers. A commercial registered agent that is in tune with the times must employ every medium at it’s disposal to better communicate with its customers.
Finally, my ideal registered agent in Virginia must have reputable and trustworthy customer service employees. My registered agent’s customer service must be available at all times and capable of addressing my difficulties in a polite and supportive manner.
I was left with 13 Virginia registered agent service providers who showed some potential at the end of the final screening round.
I thought I had my job cut out for me when I started my research, but the amount of registered agents I marked off my list during the opening stages of my research shocked me.
A few Virginia registered agent service providers claimed to have renounced aggressive upsells and marketing, but a closer examination of their websites proved the opposite. Any Virginia registered agent service that employed these “in your face” marketing practices was out.
Reading unfavorable site reviews and unhappy customer comments was the next step in my hunt for the best Virginia registered agent. Some voiced concern about the lack of important business and registered agent services, while others were dissatisfied with price structures, and still others with poor customer service. After eliminating the underperformers, I was left with a list of 16 Virginia registered agent companies that appeared to be promising.
I was down to just 13 agencies after dismissing these substandard Virginia registered agent service providers. Take a look at the reviews I’ve written below.
Here are the results of my 12 months of hard work:
My Favorite Registered Agent Service: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent offers everything I need to be in good standing with the State Corporation Commission, as well as the best customer service in the business.
Northwest Registered Agent made sure that my Articles of Organization were filed and submitted to the State Corporation Commission, and they provided me with a business name and street address in Virginia where I could receive Service of Process and other formal correspondence.
They scan, upload, and forward all legal mail and significant official papers to my online document portal, as well as ensuring that I receive compliance reminders for critical filing dates, such as the submission of my annual report.
But it was their customer service that made me fall in love with them. It’s far and away the greatest you’ll find in Virginia.
Each of their Corporate Guides is an expert in a field that is important to my Virginia business entity. They walked me through every step of the limited liability company (LLC) formation process and provided crucial business advice on matters such as marketing and hiring qualified workers for my Virginia business, and they were available during normal business hours throughout the week when I needed them.
Northwest Registered Agent is an excellent choice for anybody searching for a Virginia registered agent that offers exceptional customer service and a plethora of extras without trying to upsell extras that clients do not require.
Sign up with Northwest Registered Agent today to start your business journey in the state of Virginia. They provide the most competent, trustworthy, and cost-effective services for your business.
My Budget Pick: Harbor Compliance
Harbor Compliance finished second overall because they assigned me a dedicated account manager devoted to guiding me through my LLC formation process. They are also the most affordable registered agent in Virginia, with a fee of $99.
Their website was easy to navigate, which helped me save time during the registration process. All the bells and whistles on their website suggest they put a lot of effort in the design.
One thing I appreciate about Harbor Compliance is how up front they are, and their marketing strategy reflects that. They provided all the services that my Virginia business needed to start operating, with no hidden fees or clickbait packages that persuaded me to upgrade to a more costly plan. They forwarded my formation paperwork to a physical street address and promised to notify me whenever Service of Process papers were served.
The dedicated account manager they provided was a welcomed surprise, and the agent is available all week during normal business hours to update me on any new changes to my Virginia registered agent account. While the agent does not have the same degree of expertise as the Northwest Registered Agent Corporate Guides, he is able to assist me with registered agent service issues relating to my business in Virginia.
Harbor Compliance is Virginia’s most economical commercial registered agent, charging only $99 (plus state fees). They’re a well-known firm that provides dependable registered agent service.
They’ll be your point of contact and make sure your company stays on the right side of the law and that your legal obligations to the State Corporation Commission are met. If your LLC encounters any difficulties, their dedicated account manager will guide you through the sign-up process and provide service-related assistance throughout your business journey.
To learn more about Harbor Compliance’s registered agent service, go to their website today.
The Other Registered Agent Services
I investigated 11 additional companies in my quest for the best registered agent service in Virginia. They are listed below in no particular order.
Rapid Registered Agents—A few fun features
In Virginia, Rapid Registered Agent charges $120 per year. They provide affordable and convenient features, such as a business address and name in the state of Virginia, an online account, and timely Service of Process notifications.
Their customer service is adequate, but not as good as the service provided by Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides.
Rocket Lawyer—Great for online services
Rocket Lawyer is an online law firm that provides a few commercial registered agent features, such as delivering Service of Process documents to your mail and giving you access to an online document storage portal where you may store critical company documents.
Despite the fact that they specialize in legal advice rather than registered agent service, Rocket Lawyer is a good alternative if you need all your Virgina business’s legal requirements handled by one firm.
Team ‘Nothing Special’
These Virginia registered agent service providers are so identical they don’t warrant a full review. They are Jumpstart Filings ($150), SunDoc Filings ($159), InCorp ($99), ZenBusiness ($199), Swyft Filings ($149), and Registered Agents Inc. ($200).
Sure they’ll provide all the essential services a registered agent must, but they don’t add any exciting features that would give them an edge over the rest of the competition.
Team ‘Big Brand’
These are Virginia registered agent service providers that emphasize their brand identity while providing standard service. They are LegalZoom ($299 plus filing fee), Wolters Kluwer ($305 plus filing fee), and CSC Global ($299 plus filing fee).
They pull no stops when it comes to promoting their image even though they essentially sell the same services as everyone else. You’re better off hiring Northwest Registered Agent for your LLC since they don’t go over the top with their marketing and their service is transparent.
Wrapping It All Up
After spending countless weeks trying to rid myself of my overbearing skepticism of the Virginia registered agent industry, I realized there was only one company that could provide everything I needed from a registered agent in Virginia, and that company was Northwest Registered Agent.
For just $125, they perform every service my company needs:
- Scan, upload, and forward my mail.
- Accept legal documents and upload them to an online document portal that lets me access my legal documents.
- Provide compliance alerts that remind me of upcoming filing deadlines.
- Provide a business address and name in Virginia while hiding my actual street address details from public record.
- Receive Service of Process on behalf of my Virginia LLC at a physical address during normal business hours.
To top it all off, their customer support is by far the best in the business. The Corporate Guides will keep your LLC up to date on all of the information you’ll need to be on the right side of the law, as well as offer sound business advice to help your business in Virginia avoid any sticky situations.
If you need a registered agent in Virginia that offers fantastic business guidance and dependable business services, visit Northwest Registered Agent today and get started with your business venture in the Old Dominion.
If your Virginia LLC needs a reputable registered agent that provides excellent business advice and a vast array of reliable business services, visit Northwest Registered Agent today to sign up.
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