If you’re looking into Registered Agent Services in West Virginia, you may be surprised to know that you’re not required to hire a Registered Agent in West Virginia.
That’s right. West Virginia is one of only two states where Registered Agents aren’t required.
We’ll explain why this is and whether or not you should still consider hiring a Registered Agent Company for your West Virginia LLC.
What is a West Virginia Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent is simply a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail (called Service of Process) in case your LLC is involved in a lawsuit.
However, West Virginia does things a little bit differently.
By default, the West Virginia Secretary of State is the “Agent of Process” (Registered Agent) for all West Virginia LLCs.
This means if someone were to sue your LLC in West Virginia, they’d serve those papers on the West Virginia Secretary of State.
And then the Secretary of State would forward that paperwork to you (at your West Virginia LLC’s mailing address.
If you follow so far, you may be asking yourself, “Then what’s the point of hiring a Registered Agent Service in West Virginia if it’s not required?”
And you’d be smart in asking that. Because you don’t have to hire a Registered Agent Service.
However, there is still one reason you may want to consider hiring a Registered Agent Service in West Virginia: to keep your address off public records.
Keeping your address off public records
When you form an LLC in West Virginia, there are several addresses that get listed in your LLC paperwork (called the West Virginia Articles of Organization). These address go on public records:
- The address for your business’s physical location (where your business operates from)
- Mailing address for tax returns
- Designated Office
- Principal Office (where you keep your business records)
- Payroll & Reporting address
- Unemployment Compensation Payroll Reports address
While you can list your own address here, some people don’t want to do that.
An alternative is to hire a Registered Agent Service that will let you use their West Virginia office address throughout your Articles of Organization paperwork.
We have a recommendation for this below.
Is there a Registered Agent Service that can help with both?
Yes, there is. We recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.
They are the only Registered Agent company that will allow you to use their address throughout your West Virginia LLC filing.
This way, you can keep your home address off public records, if privacy is a concern of yours.
Do I have to hire a Registered Agent Service in West Virginia?
Again, no, you’re not required to. You can simply use your home address (or a business address) on your LLC paperwork.
Best West Virginia Registered Agent Services recommendations by LLC University®
#1. Northwest Registered Agent – Registered Agent Service
Our #1 recommended Registered Agent Service is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent is the 2nd largest Registered Agent company and they’ve been in business for over 20 years.
Any mail that is sent to them will be scanned by them and uploaded to your online account.
Northwest offers excellent customer service, and they’re easy to reach by phone or email. Their cancellation policy is also straightforward, and not hidden (unlike other companies).
Our favorite feature of Northwest is that they allow you to use their office address throughout your LLC filing so you can keep your address off public records. Northwest has offices in all 50 states, so this service is available nationwide.
- Best customer service team
- Address privacy (Use their address instead of yours on LLC formation paperwork)
- Helpful and knowledgeable staff
- Live person answers the phone every time
- Straightforward pricing models
- Not the cheapest
Registered Agent Services: Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year.
LLC Services: Northwest Registered Agent charges $39 + state fee, and they include Registered Agent Services free for the 1st year.
Online customer reviews: Customer reviews praise the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Northwest.
At other Registered Agent companies, people found that advertised prices appeared cheaper, but when it came time to checkout, they were hit with added fees and upsells. In contrast, Northwest’s advertised price was the same low price at checkout.
#2. MyCompanyWorks – Registered Agent Service
MyCompanyWorks was recently acquired by Registered Agent Solutions Inc. (RASI), a major player in the corporate compliance industry (aka Registered Agent service for large companies).
Although they’ve been acquired, MyCompanyWorks operates independently and specializes in serving small business owners.
Like other West Virginia Registered Agents, MyCompanyWorks scans and uploads any mail that is sent to your LLC, including notices from the state. However, if your West Virginia LLC receives a legal document (aka Service of Process) they will send it to you via overnight mail so you have all the information you need to respond or contact your company attorney.
- Great customer support team
- Positive reviews on ease of use and affordable pricing
- Useful website with helpful features
- Good cancellation policy
- Doesn’t offer address privacy
Registered Agent Service: MyCompanyWorks charges $99 per year for Registered Agent Service.
LLC Service: MyCompanyWorks offers LLC packages starting at $59 + state fees. If you upgrade your package, you’ll get a free year of Registered Agent Service – and they’ll also get an EIN for your LLC.
Online customer reviews: Customer reviews on Google for MyCompanyWorks reflect positive experiences with the prices, ease of use, and DBA services. We think MyCompanyWorks is a great Registered Agent service.
#3. IncFile – Registered Agent Service
IncFile has been recognized as one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies by Inc. 5000. The IncFile website itself is well-designed and easy to use.
In addition to their Registered Agent services, IncFile also offers a great stand-alone business license research service. This can be very helpful for new businesses looking to save time.
We like IncFile’s affordable prices and the fact they offer exactly what they advertise.
- Free LLC formations and free 1st year of Registered Agent Service
- Scans and sends any mail your LLC receives
- Customizable email notifications
- Customer service not the best
- Strict refund policy
Registered Agent Service: IncFile charges $119 per year for their Registered Agent Service.
LLC Service: IncFile’s LLC formation service starts at $0 + state fee. However, like ZenBusiness, many customers end up paying more at checkout. That said, if you form your LLC with IncFile, they will include one year of Registered Agent Service for free.
Online customer reviews: Trustpilot reviews are above average. While some customer reviews report errors on their filed documents, as well as issues with upcharges, customers seem overall satisfied with IncFile.
#4. ZenBusiness – Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness is a well-known name in the Registered Agent industry. They scan and upload mail sent to your LLC, just like the other Registered Agent services.
One downside is that their website has a lot of flashy advertisements that make it hard to find information you’re looking for. Our biggest complaint is that you must use an “interactive chat” with an AI robot to get any information, which takes a long time to work through all the questions and answers.
- Large, reputable company
- Scans and uploads mail to your dashboard
- May be hard to cancel, hidden fees
- High price for average service
- Some high-pressure upsells
- Customer service not as helpful as other companies
Registered Agent Service: ZenBusiness charges $199 per year for their Registered Agent service.
LLC Service: ZenBusiness’s LLC formation service packages start at $0 + state fee. However, many people end up paying more for necessary items as they progress through checkout.
Online customer reviews: ZenBusiness customer reviews are mixed across Google and Trustpilot. The negative reviews – amongst the many positive reviews – complain about delays and confusing charges.
#5. Harbor Compliance – Registered Agent Service
Harbor Compliance has its headquarters in Pennsylvania, but they offer Registered Agent Services in all 50 states.
They specialize in handling multi-state compliance issues, which can be very helpful for companies that need Registered Agent services – and business licensing services – in two or more states. This makes Harbor Compliance a great service for larger businesses with locations in multiple states.
Any mail that arrives for your LLC will be scanned and uploaded into your account. And you’ll have online access to view all your mail. If your West Virginia LLC operates in multiple states, you’ll be able to access all the mail in one centralized dashboard.
- Basic, no frills website makes things simple
- Good for bulk service: multiple businesses, multiple states
- Experience with Non-Profits
- Discounts available on already competitive pricing
- Customer reviews praise responsiveness and helpfulness
- Doesn’t offer address privacy
- Usually not the best for small business owners
Registered Agent Service: Harbor Compliance charges $99 per year for Registered Agent Service. However, you can get a discount if you pay for multiple years upfront.
LLC Service: Harbor Compliance’s LLC formation service packages start at $99 + state fee.
Online customer reviews: Harbor Compliance has a mix of customer feedback on Google, with some customers reporting concerns about services in certain states. That said, customer reviews on Facebook are overall positive, with business owners often praising Harbor Compliance for their helpfulness and speed in responding to questions.
#6. Rocket Lawyer – Registered Agent Service
Rocket Lawyer is a unique Registered Agent service because they focus on subscription plans that include a variety of business services and online legal services – not just Registered Agent services.
Rocket Lawyer’s main product is their legal advice service and business forms. If you subscribe to that membership, you can get a discount on Registered Agent services (and on LLC formation services).
If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for forms and a few minutes’ conversation with a lawyer, then choosing Rocket Lawyer as your Registered Agent in West Virginia probably isn’t the right choice.
- Offers a wide variety of services
- Sends physical copies of your legal mail if your email isn’t working
- Expensive, even for subscribers
- Subscription model can be tricky, refunds are rare
- More focused on legal advice and forms, it can be hard to find what you need
Registered Agent Service: Rocket Lawyer charges $150 per year for Registered Agent Service, unless you subscribe to Rocket Lawyer Premium for $40 per month (then it’s $112 per year for Registered Agent Service).
LLC Service: Rocket Lawyer charges $99 + state fee to start an LLC for you, unless you subscribe to Rocket Lawyer premium for $40 per month (then it costs $0 + state fee for them to form your LLC).
Online customer reviews: RocketLawyer has largely positive customer reviews across Trustpilot, SiteJabber, and Google. Customers seem to appreciate Rocket Lawyer’s customer service experience and the wide variety of services they get with a subscription, including legal forms and advice, business filing, and Registered Agent discounts.
#7. LegalZoom – Registered Agent Service
LegalZoom is one of the biggest names in the Registered Agent industry, but what do you actually get with that name recognition? In our opinion, not too much. Their prices are high compared to other companies in the business formation industry, and it’s difficult to get good information from customer service.
The bottom line is: customers, vendors, and other businesses aren’t judging your West Virginia LLC based on what Registered Agent you hire. The “prestige” of a company like LegalZoom doesn’t matter to them. So you don’t gain anything from paying extra for the big name.
- Large company
- Includes identity theft protection and credit monitoring
- They may pay the change of Registered Agent fee if you’re switching companies
- Has a reputation for being hard to cancel
- Expensive, paying premium price for average service
- Customer service has long hold times and aren’t very knowledgeable beyond advertising LegalZoom services
Registered Agent Service: LegalZoom charges $299 per year for Registered Agent Services.
LLC Service: LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages start at $0 + state fee. Upgraded packages are available, but none include free Registered Agent service.
Online customer reviews: Online customer reviews vary widely for LegalZoom. While there are no Google reviews for LegalZoom, the Trustpilot and SiteJabber reviews share a strong contrast of quite positive and equally negative reviews.
Best West Virginia Registered Agent Services FAQs
Are there any free Registered Agent Services?
No, there are no free online Registered Agent Services. They all cost money.
The only way to get free Registered Agent service is to be the Registered Agent yourself, or ask someone you know, like a friend, family member, accountant, or attorney.
Is LegalZoom a good Registered Agent?
No, not really. LegalZoom has good name recognition, but their services aren’t any better than the competitors even though they charge more. And having a “name brand” Registered Agent doesn’t help your company. Customers don’t see that information.
Online customer reviews also complain that their business formation service isn’t much better. Many customers who hired LegalZoom to handle their business formation process weren’t always happy with the end result.
Can I be my own Registered Agent in West Virginia?
Yes, you can be your own Registered Agent in West Virginia as long as you meet the West Virginia state requirements.
There are no states that require you to hire a company or a lawyer to be your Registered Agent. Don’t let anyone on the internet tell you differently!
But you might not want to be your own Registered Agent for privacy reasons. Your LLC’s Registered Agent information is public record, so anyone can find their address.
And if your company is involved in a lawsuit, the papers will be delivered to the Registered Agent.
For example, let’s say you own your own hair salon and list your name and the hair salon address as your LLC Registered Agent’s name and address. If your company is sued, the legal documents will be delivered to the hair salon during normal business hours. And that might be embarrassing if you have clients in the room.
Pro Tip: There is one company however, Northwest Registered Agent, that can help solve this problem. If you hire Northwest to form your LLC – and to be your Registered Agent – they can also use their office address throughout your LLC paperwork. This means, even if Member information is required, you can still keep your name and address off public record.
That said, the benefit of being the Registered Agent is that you’ll save money.
Most Registered Agent Services charge $100 to $300 per year, so that’s how much money you can save.
You can learn more about being your own Registered Agent in West Virginia by reading Can I be my own Registered Agent in West Virginia.
How do I choose a Registered Agent?
Choosing the right Registered Agent for your LLC depends on your specific business needs.
We’ll guide you through your options and how to choose a Registered Agent, so you can confidently pick the best one for your LLC.
Do you need a Registered Agent for an LLC in West Virginia?
Yes. The West Virginia Secretary of State requires all business owners to appoint a Registered Agent when they file their LLC paperwork.
The only states that don’t require a Registered Agent are West Virginia and New York.
If you’d like to hire a company to start an LLC for you, check out our article on Best LLC Services in West Virginia!
How much do Registered Agents cost in West Virginia?
That depends whether you will be your own Registered Agent, ask a friend or family member to be your Registered Agent, or hire a company.
If you or a friend or family member will be the Registered Agent for your LLC, it doesn’t cost anything ($0). You will only pay the West Virginia LLC filing fees.
If you choose to hire a West Virginia Registered Agent Service, the fees range from $100 to $300 per year.
Good news: There are no state fees associated with listing a Registered Agent.
Do I need a Registered Agent in every state?
No, you don’t need a Registered Agent in every state.
You just need a Registered Agent in the state where you formed your LLC.
The exception to this would be if you need to register your LLC as a “Foreign LLC” in another state. Then you’d need a Registered Agent in that new state.
For example, if you have a West Virginia LLC and do business in Morgantown, but now want to expand into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you’ll need to register your West Virginia LLC as a “Foreign LLC” in Pennsylvania. And along with Foreign LLC registration, you’ll need to appoint a Registered Agent in Pennsylvania.
If you’re looking for a Registered Agent for a Foreign LLC, check out our review of the Best Registered Agent Services for all 50 States.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.