There are lots of Maryland resident agent services available today. Find the best option for your company through the comparison guide below.
Alternatively, you can simply get started with Mark Cuban’s recommended service – ZenBusiness. We will keep your business compliant while managing state and tax correspondence on your behalf.
If you operate an LLC or corporation in Maryland, you need to designate a resident agent to accept document deliveries from the state. You have a few options regarding who should provide this vital service, our favorite of which is hiring a resident agent service.
These companies will serve as your resident agent in exchange for an annual fee, keeping your business in compliance with state law by receiving documents like service of process, tax documents, reminders for ongoing compliance requirements, and more.
In Maryland, there are quite a few reputable companies offering resident agent service, which can make it difficult to determine which company is your best choice. That’s why we took a deep dive into all of your options to create this list of the best Maryland resident agent services. Which one should you use?
Rated #1 by Mark Cuban, Forbes, & NerdWallet
At ZenBusiness, we pride ourselves on providing convenient, easy-to-leverage business services that leave you more time to actually run your business. When it comes to ongoing resident agent service, ZenBusiness has a great $99 rate for the first year and a competitive $199 rate for subsequent years.
If you haven’t yet formed your LLC or corporation, we offer an outstanding bargain. We will form your new business for free — all you have to do is cover the required state filing fee.
Let’s take a look at some of our advantages and disadvantages compared to our top competitors.
There are more than 10,000 reviews of ZenBusiness online, and nearly all of them are positive, giving us one of the best customer satisfaction reputations in the industry. We also have a helpful and knowledgeable customer support department that can answer your tough questions.
Next up is Northwest Registered Agent, a company that offers personalized customer support. Northwest no longer provides free mail forwarding service with its resident agent offering, which used to be a cornerstone of its service. However, it still has plenty of advantages.
How does Northwest Registered Agent stack up to the competition?
Northwest Registered Agent’s calling card is its personalized customer support. Instead of outsourcing its support network to a generic call center with questionably trained representatives, Northwest keeps its support team in-house. Everyone who answers the phone for Northwest is a professional who knows their stuff.
Northwest offers a year of resident agent service in Maryland with any business formation service purchase. However, at $225, the price point for this package is higher than most competitors.
We appreciate Northwest’s volume discounts for resident agent service, as they’ll slash your rate from $125 to $100 annually if you require service in at least five states. In addition, they receive strong customer reviews and offer free ongoing compliance reminders.
Overall, if you prioritize personalized customer support, Northwest’s advantages likely outweigh its disadvantages.
Like ZenBusiness, IncFile offers a free business formation service. With IncFile, this includes a year of resident agent service as well. As a standalone service, IncFile provides resident agent service at an annual rate of $119, which is a solidly competitive price point.
With more than 30,000 reviews available online, IncFile maintains high average rating scores, making them an impressive pick for resident agent service in Maryland.
However, one drawback of using IncFile is how they can be rather relentless with upsell attempts. IncFile has plenty of add-on features available, and it will certainly remind you of that fact several times as you work your way through their order form. It can also take IncFile a while to respond to customer support messages, especially via email.
Overall, IncFile is a rock-solid option for resident agent service, albeit without some of the bells and whistles you’ll find with some competitors.
Rocket Lawyer is one of the industry’s biggest names, with millions of customers served and a robust advertising budget that gets its name out. Rocket Lawyer’s pricing is a bit high, but if you’re looking for an experienced option, look no further.
Rocket Lawyer has a few thousand reviews available, with mostly positive scores. While its resident agent pricing doesn’t jump off the page, subscribers to Rocket Lawyer’s $39.99/month legal services program receive 25% off resident agent service, free business formation service for new members, and more.
We are always impressed with Rocket Lawyer’s support network, as its representatives are responsive and helpful. Rocket Lawyer offers extended support availability from 9 am to 9 pm every weekday. If you’re willing to spend a bit more in exchange for a company with tons of experience, or if you’re interested in Rocket Lawyer’s legal services subscription, give them a look.
LegalZoom is similar to Rocket Lawyer in that it’s a company with millions of customers served and offers advanced legal services. However, LegalZoom has an unfortunately high price point for Maryland resident agent service. You can get your first year for $249 if you add it to a business formation package, but even that isn’t a great deal.
We are impressed by LegalZoom’s 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is nearly identical to the ZenBusiness refund policy. Also, they have the longest customer support hours in this industry, with 14 hours per day of weekday availability and nine hours on weekends too.
That said, LegalZoom’s high price tag for resident agent service is a problem. Seeing as this company also excludes valuable features from its business formation packages, the other options in this guide all have better value propositions than LegalZoom.
Take it from real customers
Thanks a lot
Thanks a lot, that saved me time and energy.
Super simple and great customer…
Super simple and great customer service. Had a quick change needed before signing my S-Corp doc. They made the change within a few hours and got it taken care of.
It was pain-free and wildly easier than…
It was pain-free and wildly easier than I expected. ZenBusiness provided trustworthy guidance so that I could pour my energy into the business itself rather than the process!
over 400,000 customers agree!
Every business entity in the state of Maryland is required to have a resident agent. In fact, you will not be allowed to finish the formation process for your company until you designate your resident agent.
One quick note: most states refer to this position as a resident agent (so do we, actually). Maryland, however, refers to them as resident agents. That’s just a semantic choice; don’t let it throw you off. Throughout the rest of this guide, we’ll call it a resident agent.
The most important aspect of this role is receiving document deliveries from the state government, then alerting your business of the delivery before forwarding the documents to you. The role of the resident agent is so important because it establishes a point of contact for your business with the state so that they have a reliable place to get in touch with an official representative of your company at any time.
Unlike some states, Maryland does not provide a comprehensive (or even partial) list of resident agents in the state. You’ll need to do your own research to find your agent. Thankfully, that’s where this guide comes in.
Each state has its own rules and regulations surrounding resident agents. For the most part, these laws are fairly similar, but it’s always worth taking a look to see what Maryland requires.
One quick note before we dive in: Maryland always refers to this role as the “resident agent” in their official forms and statutes. It means the same thing as a “registered agent” in other states. It’s simply a different phrase to describe the role.
In Maryland, we’ll need to take a look at The Corporations and Associations Chapter of the Maryland Code, which says:
All of the companies we’re about to discuss meet these regulations and are great options for Maryland resident agent service. When you’ve made your choice, you can indicate your resident agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization.
As you’ve probably noticed, the resident agent services we’ve listed here serve businesses across the country. But if you Google “Maryland Resident Agent,” you’ll probably see results for local services, too. These can be local entrepreneurs with a knack for clerical tasks, offices dedicated to serving businesses in their counties, or statewide companies.
On one hand, using a local service can have its advantages. Some will be cheaper than nationwide firms (but not always!). And each state has its own nuances for business compliance requirements, Maryland included. A resident agent service that services Maryland alone will have detailed knowledge about those requirements. Granted, most national services do a good job of understanding local requirements. But they probably won’t give you the same “homegrown Maryland” feeling as a local agent service.
That said, national businesses like Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness give you streamlined solutions. Let’s say you’re using a local Maryland-only resident agent service, but it’s time to add locations in Delaware. You could search for an additional agent that services Delaware businesses. But that’s going to require a lot of additional paperwork, including new receipts, new automatic payments, more emails…you get the idea. But if you’re using a national service, you can cut down the “new” paperwork and focus on what really matters: growing your business.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you, and there’s no “wrong” answer. The most important thing is that you appoint one so you can run a compliant Maryland business.
The role of a Maryland resident agent is critical to your company’s compliance and legal standing. This position requires dealing with seemingly simple tasks, yet if they’re handled incorrectly, they could cost you a considerable amount of money in fines and could even potentially see the state dissolve your business.
While you can always change your resident agent down the line, we think it’s essential to pick the right resident agent for your business starting at the formation phase. You should also keep an eye on your compliance standing to ensure nothing goes awry along the way.
In Maryland, there aren’t many complicated requirements for resident agent eligibility. Any individual or business entity located within the state can serve as your company’s resident agent. The only requirements are that they have a permanent address in Maryland and that your company itself can not serve as its own resident agent (although you or one of your co-owners may assume this role individually).
Unlike most states, Maryland also requires that individual registered agents be at least 18 years old. We recommend that you pick a responsible individual you trust or one of the services listed above. If the resident agent does not fulfill their duties completely and accurately, it can cause unnecessary hassle for a business. Most responsible adults can fill this role easily, but we do recommend careful consideration while you make this appointment.
Yes. If your resident agent is an individual, that person must live in Maryland. If your agent is a business entity, that company must either be a domestic Maryland business or one with the authority to conduct business in the state.
Maryland keeps the process of changing your resident agent pretty simple. All you have to do is download the Resolution to Change Principal Office and/or Resident Agent form, fill it out, and submit it to the Department of Assessments and Taxation. Include the $25 filing fee, and you’re set to go. For more information on how to change your resident agent in Maryland, look here.
If your resident agent chooses to resign and no longer serves as your agent, they will notify you. They are also required by law to notify the Department by writing a letter of resignation. There is no fee for the resignation, and Maryland does not require an official form, but it’s an essential step if your agent resigns.
Unless you choose to expedite your filings, Maryland only charges $25 for the process of changing your resident agent. File correctly, and that’s all you’ll have to pay. However, if you file late (causing a lapse in your resident agent coverage), you may incur additional penalties and fees, so we highly recommend filing this as soon as your agent resigns.
The best place to learn more about forming a Maryland LLC is our comprehensive step-by-step guide. You might also be interested in checking out our list of the best Maryland LLC formation services.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Best Registered Agent Services Reviewed in all States
We break down the best registered agent services in every state. View all of our guides below.
Want the best Maryland LLC service? Choose ZenBusiness.