Since opening in 2015, ZenBusiness has already found a number of ways to stand out from the pack. So far, we’ve already formed 500,000+ businesses. Take a look at what we have to offer for registered agent service!
Next up is Northwest Registered Agent, a company that offers personalized customer support. Northwest no longer provides free mail forwarding service with its statutory agent offering, which used to be a cornerstone of its service. However, it still has plenty of intriguing attributes.
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.
Northwest offers a year of statutory agent service in Ohio with any business formation service purchase. However, at $225, the price point for this package is higher than most competitors, especially when compared to the free LLC formation package we offer at ZenBusiness.
We appreciate Northwest’s volume discounts for statutory agent service, although these are only applicable for larger companies that operate in several states. 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 may outweigh its disadvantages. That said, if affordability is your priority, you might want to look elsewhere.
Like ZenBusiness, IncFile offers a free business formation service. IncFile provides statutory 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 a popular pick for statutory agent service in Ohio.
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 good option for statutory 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 ongoing legal assistance, it has an interesting offer.
Rocket Lawyer has a few thousand reviews available, with mostly positive scores. While its statutory agent pricing doesn’t jump off the page, subscribers to Rocket Lawyer’s $39.99/month legal services program receive 25% off statutory agent service, making its pricing for this service a bit more competitive.
We don’t have any major complaints about Rocket Lawyer’s support network, as its representatives are responsive and helpful. Rocket Lawyer offers extended support availability from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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, they could be worth a look.
LegalZoom is similar to Rocket Lawyer in that it’s a company with millions of customers served and offers advanced legal services. LegalZoom will charge $199 per year for a Ohio registered agent service. You can add on this service with any business formation package, as it is not included.
We are impressed by LegalZoom’s 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is nearly identical to the ZenBusiness refund policy. Also, they have extended support hours, with 14 hours per day of weekday availability and nine hours on weekends, too.
That said, LegalZoom does have a high price tag for a registered agent service. 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.
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Let ZenBusiness handle this legal responsibility
Every business entity in the state of Ohio is required to have a statutory agent. In fact, you won’t be allowed to finish the formation process for your company until you designate your statutory agent.
One thing we should note before jumping in: Ohio refers to this position as a “statutory agent,” while most other states call it a registered agent. It’s a simple difference in word choice.
The most important aspect of this role is receiving document deliveries from the state government and process servers, then alerting your business of the delivery before forwarding the documents to you. The role of the statutory agent is so important because it establishes a point of contact for your business with the state and others so that they have a reliable place to get in touch with an official representative of your company at any time.
The Ohio Secretary of State provides a Statutory Agent Search tool that can help you with finding an agent, but its usefulness is limited. You will need to know at least part of the agent’s name; when you type it in, the tool will pull up additional info for all agent names containing the part you typed. So you’ll need to do some legwork yourself. But between that independent research and this guide, you should be set to go.
Each state has its own rules and regulations surrounding statutory agents. For the most part, these laws are fairly similar, but it’s always worth taking a look to see what Ohio requires.
In Ohio, we’ll need to take a look at the Ohio Revised Code, which says:
All of the companies we discussed above meet these regulations and are options for Ohio statutory agent service. When you’ve made your choice, you can indicate your statutory agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization.
As you’ve probably noticed, the statutory agent services we’ve listed here serve businesses across the country. But if you Google “Ohio Statutory 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, Ohio included. A statutory agent service that services Ohio alone may have detailed knowledge about those requirements. Granted, most national services do an excellent job of understanding local requirements. But they might not give you the same “homegrown Ohio” feeling as a local agent service.
That said, national businesses like ZenBusiness give you streamlined solutions. Let’s say you’re using a local Ohio-only statutory agent service, but it’s time to add locations in Michigan. You could search for an additional agent that services Michigan 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 Ohio business.
The role of an Ohio statutory 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 statutory agent down the line, we think it’s essential to pick the right statutory 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.
With ZenBusiness, you can purchase reliable statutory agent service at an affordable rate, leaving this role in the hands of experts while you focus on growing your business.
FAQs About Ohio's Best Statutory Agent Services
In Ohio, there aren’t many complicated requirements for statutory agent eligibility. Any individual or business entity authorized to do business in the state can serve as your company’s statutory agent. The only requirements are that they have a permanent address in Ohio and that your company itself can’t serve as its own statutory agent (although you or one of your co-owners may assume this role individually).
Like most states, Ohio does not have an explicit age requirement (some states require the appointed agent to be at least 18 years of age). That said, we do recommend that you pick a responsible individual that you trust or one of the services listed above. If the statutory 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 statutory agent is an individual, that person must live in Ohio. If your agent is a business entity, that company must either be a domestic Ohio business or one with the authority to conduct business in the state.
Ohio keeps the process of changing your statutory agent pretty simple. All you have to do is download the Statutory Agent Update form, fill it out, and submit it to the Secretary of State. Ohio charges a $25 fee for this document, too, but once it’s submitted, your agent will be updated. For more information, see our Ohio change of statutory agent page.
If your statutory agent chooses to resign and no longer serves as your agent, they will notify you and the Secretary of State by filing the Statutory Agent Update form and including their information. In our opinion, it’s pretty convenient that Ohio provides just one form for all agent-related changes.
As long as you file the Statutory Agent Update in a timely manner (ensuring that there’s no lapse in your statutory agent coverage), then you won’t incur any additional penalties or fees. That keeps the agent change fees at just $25.
One common option is to serve as your company’s own statutory agent or enlist the assistance of a trusted friend or family member. The other route is to hire an attorney or accountant to handle this role. Maybe you prefer the added professionalism these people can provide, maybe you have an existing relationship with an attorney or accountant you trust, etc.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.
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