Do you need to incorporate a business, and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? Northwest Registered Agent is one of several reputable companies that can get the job done.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison guide of the top incorporation services or top LLC services.
Northwest Review Overview
When it comes to online incorporation services, here’s what matters most:
- Is it a good deal?
- Is it a reliable company?
- Is there good customer support?
- Is the website easy to use?
- How quickly do they incorporate?
Based on these criteria, Northwest is a good service. They have personalized customer support that goes well beyond the typical “call center” setup. Plus, they include a year of free registered agent service which is worth $125 and keeps your personal information private.
While they’re not the largest online incorporation service, Northwest’s customer reviews are almost entirely positive. There is also something to be said about getting the personalized customer service you deserve.
Deep Dive: Northwest Incorporation Review
Overall Pricing and Value
For $225 (plus state fee), you can incorporate and receive a full year of their registered agent service. Once the first year is up, they will continue serving as your registered agent for $125 per year, which is a lower price than many competing incorporation services offer.
While Northwest is a smaller company than some others (like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer), we believe their narrowed focus helps them to provide a high level of quality to their customers.
Northwest was founded in 1998 out of Spokane, Washington. They’ve found a niche in being a medium-sized business and boast a motto of “We’re Just Not Annoying.” Their primary goal is to simplify business formation and registered agent services, while being transparent with their customers.
Since their founding, Northwest has helped form around two million businesses, and share on their site that they are currently working with upwards of 200 new LLCs and corporations each day. While there aren’t too many reviews online for the company, most of the ones we found were very positive, and aligned with the mission and values promised by Northwest.
Guru Fact: Northwest was the first national registered agent service to locally scan 100% of documents received, and provide digital copies online for their customers.
Here’s a quick look at some of their customer reviews:
“Starting a business is hard. Forming an LLC with Northwest was the easiest step in the process. I am THOROUGHLY satisfied with the money spent, and look forward to a working relationship with them moving forward.”
“I rapid-fired so many questions at [the customer service rep], all of which were answered patiently with specificity and experience. Within 30 minutes, I went from being someone who knew little to nothing about company formation, to being someone who was able to move things forward with certainty.”
“Save yourself a lot of heartache and phone time, and proceed directly to Northwest Registered Agent if you are starting a company and need to register it. This company actually picks up the phone and answers questions knowledgeably.”
Northwest offers phone and email support. You can fill out a form on their site to send an email, and we were impressed when we tested it out to get an idea of how responsive their customer service team is. While it took nearly 24 hours to receive an email back, the response was detailed and the rep went beyond simply answering our question and checking off an email response.
We also called them. The representative who answered the phone took the time to ask for details so that he could give us the most accurate answer. Northwest claims to have personalized customer support, and we were pleased to see that they live up to this claim.
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 personalized customer service stands out.
Ease of Placing an Order
You want to start a business, but you have no idea where to begin. Maybe you don’t know how much goes into forming and running a business behind the scenes, but you shouldn’t lose sleep over figuring it out.
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process as simple as possible. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own. But with Northwest, the process is quick and easy.
The application process with Northwest is streamlined and easy to follow. You simply enter your personal/business details and pay for the order.
Overall Turnaround Time
When you select your state from the dropdown menu of the application, an estimated turnaround time will display on the screen. Depending on your state, these could vary quite a bit ― in some states, their turnarounds are as quick as just a couple of business days, but in others, you’ll need to wait several weeks. Most states have expedited service available for an additional fee, so you’ll see two turnaround times on the order form.
Northwest Pricing & Features
Unlike many of their competitors that offer multiple packages of bundled features, Northwest offers just one option for incorporating a company.
While this package may not have the “bells and whistles” that some other formation services boast, this is part of the reason many entrepreneurs choose to use Northwest. They focus 100% on giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t.
This Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are simply looking to incorporate online and get a service known for its straightforward, no-nonsense attitude.
In their $225 package, Northwest will handle all your paperwork with the state to form a business, and give you a year of their popular registered agent service.
The fact that they include their registered agent service (which normally costs $125 annually) for a full year at no extra charge is impressive. For many entrepreneurs, this is a selling point.
Why is this an advantage? Using Northwest as your registered agent means that you can use their address as your official business address, and they’ll receive all of your important government documents for you. This also eliminates the need for your personal information to be shared publicly, and greatly cuts down on the junk mail you will receive.
Furthermore, Northwest was the first national registered agent service that locally scans every document they receive on your behalf, as most of their competitors only scan the government docs they’re legally required to scan.
How Does Northwest Work?
Whenever you’re ready to incorporate with Northwest, you simply provide the info below and they’ll handle the paperwork with the state.
- Basic order information: The type of business you want to form and which state you want to register it in.
- Company: Your desired business name and your business purpose.
- Management: How your business will be managed (member-managed or manager-managed), how many members you will have, the names of each manager, and an address to file with the state.
- Account creation: The email and password you want to use for your Northwest account.
- Contact person: The name, email, and address of the person you want Northwest to contact with any questions or legal concerns.
- Add-ons: If you want any add-ons to your business formation package (i.e., certified copies, certificate of good standing, etc.), you can select them here.
- Payment: To finish up your order, Northwest will need your credit card information and a billing address if it’s different from your mailing address.
That’s really all there is to it. But if you have questions about any section on the form, Northwest provides little pop-ups (marked with a “?”) to give you the guidance you need.
LegalZoom vs Northwest: What’s the Difference?
On the surface, LegalZoom and Northwest seem to accomplish the same purpose: helping you register a company. And while that’s true, the difference between them goes much deeper than that. Northwest has some significant advantages and disadvantages when compared to LegalZoom.
Here are a few key differences:
- First and foremost, Northwest has a starting price point of $225 that is much higher than LegalZoom’s rates of $79 for LLC service and $149 for incorporations. This is even more of a difference when you consider that Northwest includes registered agent service with their formation package, and LegalZoom never includes this feature in any of their formation packages.
- Northwest has personalized customer support with a highly customized approach, whereas LegalZoom does not offer a similar level of specialized customer service.
- LegalZoom is one of the most popular and well-known brand names in this industry, with a huge volume of customers served over the years.
Final Thoughts on Northwest
Out of all the services we’ve reviewed, they’re one of the easiest to use, and they have personalized customer support. Who doesn’t like that combination?
While they may not be as well-known as services like LegalZoom, this midsize company does just about everything at a high level and is very no-nonsense. If you decide to use Northwest as your online incorporation service, we’re confident you’ll be happy you did.
What Is Northwest Registered Agent?
Northwest is an online business formation and registered agent service based out of Spokane, Washington. Since their founding in 1998, they’ve helped to form more than 2 million businesses.
They’re not the biggest company out there, and they’re proud of that. As they put it, they’re smack in the middle: not too big and stuck in their ways but not too small to keep you from getting the help you need.
Northwest places a high priority on offering you high-quality, personalized service. And they do this by giving you just the services you need, and nothing more. Their motto is, “We’re just not annoying.”
Northwest also prides itself on doing things differently, and they deliver. In fact, they were the first to locally scan documents from their clients on the same day. So if they receive a document on your behalf, they’ll have it scanned and uploaded to your account on the day it arrives.
What Are Northwest’s Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
Northwest has personalized customer support, which is a noteworthy advantage for them. There are very few companies that can match their level of customization, especially compared to some competitors that outsource their support to massive call centers.
Their biggest disadvantage is their pricing. It can be difficult to justify spending $225 for Northwest when Incfile and ZenBusiness offer incorporation or LLC service for free.
If I Use Northwest, Which Features Should I Buy?
Northwest only has one incorporation package, so this isn’t a decision you’ll need to make. It’s a valuable package with good features, and it has all the essential elements (like registered agent service).
What is the Northwest Order Process Like?
Northwest’s order process is about as simple as it gets: you simply input your state. Then from there, you’ll give them some information about your business, including your desired name, your purpose, your address, management for your business, and contact information. After you provide that information, you can review your order and any add-ons and then fill in your payment information.
With Northwest, there’s no gimmicks and no surprises, making it one of the easiest order processes in the industry.
Do They Offer Publication Service?
In some states, you need to publish your company’s formation in a regional newspaper. For example, Arizona and Nebraska require publication for LLCs and corporations, New York requires it for LLCs only, and Pennsylvania and Georgia have this requirement for corporations only.
While Northwest does not offer to handle your publication requirement on your behalf, they do offer some assistance with it. If you form a business in a state that requires publication, they’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions for you to complete your own requirement.
However, if you’d prefer a service to handle the requirements for you rather than provide instructions, look into ZenBusiness.
Does Northwest Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They certainly do, and they even include a full year of registered agent service with every LLC and incorporation service package. They also offer annual report service, which is available for $100 plus state fee. If you have ongoing compliance needs, you can count on Northwest to assist you.
What Is Their Refund Policy?
Northwest doesn’t have the most straightforward refund policy in the industry, but generally speaking, they will provide a refund as long as you request it within 60 days of your initial purchase date. They do have a $25 processing fee for all refunds though, which is worth noting.
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