There are lots of Ohio statutory 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 Ohio, you need to designate a statutory 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 statutory agent service.
These companies will serve as your statutory 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 Ohio, there are quite a few reputable companies offering statutory 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 Ohio statutory 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 statutory 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 statutory 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 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.
We appreciate Northwest’s volume discounts for statutory 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 statutory agent service as well. As a standalone 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 an impressive 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 rock-solid 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 an experienced option, look no further.
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, 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 Ohio statutory 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 statutory 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
It was time and ZenBusiness made it easy…
I’d been sitting on the idea of forming my LLC for a couple of years and finally took the leap. I was surprised at how easy and fast the whole process was. Using ZenBusiness proved to be more cost effective than some of the other leading competitors out there, too.
My new entity
This is not my first rodeo with a new entity, but it’s my first one in another state and the process was quick and flawless.
Belle's service is top level
This morning I spoke with Belle; she was professional, understanding, and informative regarding my business needs. She answered all my questions and made my experience very very pleasant I am sure I will use your services again in the near future as I rearrange my business. It is very tough to find people within companies who care about more than just the money. I felt that it was about making me feel comfortable and important to Belle. Thank you again, Belle!!!!! Respectfully, Isaac Q Watson
over 400,000 customers agree!
Every business entity in the state of Ohio is required to have a registered agent. In fact, you will not be allowed to finish the formation process for your company until you designate your registered agent.
One thing we should note before jumping in: Ohio technically refers to this position as a “statutory agent.” Practically speaking, there’s no difference between this position and a registered agent. It’s a simple difference in word choice. Throughout the rest of this guide, we’ll continue to refer to it as a registered agent, but don’t be confused if you see the term “statutory agent” on Ohio’s website and official communications.
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 registered 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.
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.
One quick note before we dive in: Ohio law exclusively refers to this role as a “statutory agent,” while most states call it a “registered agent.” This is simply a difference in word choice; both words refer to the same individual.
In Ohio, we’ll need to take a look at The Ohio Revised Code, which says:
All of the companies we’re about to discuss meet these regulations and are great 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 registered agent services we’ve listed here serve businesses across the country. But if you Google “Ohio Registered 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 registered agent service that services Ohio 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 Ohio” 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 Ohio-only registered 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 registered 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 registered agent down the line, we think it’s essential to pick the right registered 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 Ohio, there aren’t many complicated requirements for statutory agent eligibility. Any individual or business entity located within 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 not 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 on how to change your statutory agent in Ohio, look here.
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.
If you’re interested in hiring an attorney but don’t know where to start, we recommend taking a look on Avvo. We also dug through the top-rated lawyers on Avvo to create our own list of the top five business attorneys you could contact regarding statutory agent service:
The best place to learn more about forming an Ohio LLC is our comprehensive step-by-step guide. You might also be interested in checking out our list of the best Ohio 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 Ohio LLC service? Choose ZenBusiness.