9.5/10 (Expert Score)Product is rated as #2 in category Business Incorporation
- Superior customer service
- Quick formation service
- Excellent registered agent service
- Privacy by default
- In-house, US-based services
- Superior customer service
- Quick formation service
- Excellent registered agent service
- Privacy by default
- In-house, US-based services
If you’re looking to legally set up a company in the US and would like support for business formation filing, or require a registered agent, this Northwest Registered Agent review is for you. Our review will take you through the Northwest Registered Agent platform and services.
Northwest Registered Agent overview
Since 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has been providing business formations and registered agent services. Its primary services are business formation and registered agent services for LLCs, Corporations and Non-Profits. They also provide annual compliance services among several other services you may find useful such as a virtual office or VOIP phone numbers.
They are a mid-sized family business and have helped form over two million businesses. Their comprehensive services feature everything a starting entrepreneur will need.
The benefit of an online provider like Northwest Registered Agent is quick and easy business formation or ongoing compliance support without the higher costs of a traditional legal and accounting services. It means you have guaranteed quick formation and compliance with the relevant states and will maintain good standing certification.
Using a registered agent is important as gives you freedom from requiring your own physical office in the relevant state(s), as well as privacy since you don’t need to list your personal address on public records.
Read on for our Northwest Registered Agent review that summarizes everything you need to know about using this online service in detail, which will help you weight it up against other options and decide if it’s the right solution for you.
Who is Northwest Registered Agent for?
Northwest Registered Agent is suited to entrepreneurs and SMEs looking for support to form an LLC, DBA, Corporation or Non-profit entity.
First-time entrepreneurs – If you’re setting up your first business then Northwest Registered Agent will smoothly take you through the time consuming and often confusing system of legally forming a business in the relevant US state. They promise to ensure you won’t have any unnecessary filing hold ups or complications when it comes to legal compliance.
Time-poor entrepreneurs – If you want to set up more than one legal business entity but are already strapped from time with your existing workload then Northwest Registered Agent provides a convenient solution. You don’t need to waste your precious time and energy with formation or annual filing paperwork when it’s better spent managing your strategic business activity.
SME businesses new to the US system – If you’re looking to create an entity in the US but are unfamiliar with the legal process, Northwest Registered Agent can take you through the process quickly with full compliance for the relevant state. They also have a registered agent service with ongoing annual reporting and compliance services. You’re legally required to have a permanent office or registered agent in all states your business is registered in.
Northwest Registered Agent Features
Northwest Registered Agent delivers customizable business formation, registered agent and annual filing compliance services. You order and receive the service online through their website and personalized dashboard.
Customized formation and compliance services – Northwest Registered Agent’s services and fees are itemized out so you can customize your order to save money on services you don’t want. They offer:
- Company Formation Service
- Registered Agent Service
- Yearly Business Compliance Filing
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Register an Existing Company in Other State(s)
- Wyoming Domestication Service
- FCC 499-A Telecommunications Registered Agent
- Premium Mail Forwarding Services
- VOIP Business Phone Number
- Corporate Book and Seal
- Virtual Office Service
- S Corporation Election With IRS
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Certified Copy
- FMCSA BOC-3 Trucking Compliance
- Notary Stamp
Free online account management – With your online account you’ll have access to your all your documents which Northwest will upload for you. You can create any kind of pre-populated state filing or amendment without re-entering your company information, plus you’ll receive annual report reminders so you don’t miss the relevant deadlines.
Expert customer support – The team of seasoned Northwest Registered Agent ‘Corporate Guides’ are on hand to provide customer support by phone, email or chat during business hours. If you have any questions during the formation process or after your company is filed and active, you can rest assured you’ll be able to talk to a legal specialist who knows every aspect of starting and maintaining a business in your state.
Certificates, banking information and operating agreements are included – With the formation package, you’ll get everything you need to take to a bank to open a business bank account, plus a custom operating agreement and membership certificates included too. This will save you time.
Pros and cons
There are some great reasons to use Northwest Registered Agent, and also just a few small cons to be aware of during your decision-making process.
- Superior customer service – The excellent customer experience and level of support provided is what Northwest Registered Agent prides itself on. They have made it the core focus of their competitive strategy and employ a premium customer support team they call Corporate Guides. They say the first person you talk with will be able to answer your questions.
- Quick formation service – You’ll get the fastest filing speed available on the market with all orders processed on the same working day – quicker than other services such as ZenBusiness where standard filing time can be up to 2-3 weeks. However, note that Northwest don’t control the state filing speed and the fastest state filing speed will cost a premium depending on the state.
- Excellent registered agent service – Northwest Registered Agent deliver a full year of their high-quality Registered Agent Service upon formation and don’t raise the price thereafter. With their own offices in all 50 states, they’ll receive, scan and upload every document received to your online account from only those locations – not just the documents they are legally required to. Every document you’ll need to file with the relevant state is pre-populated for easy annual filing, you’ll get reminder when deadlines are coming up, and you can access all your documents from your secure online account.
- Privacy by default – They have actually trademarked this as a feature of their service they take it so seriously. Northwest Registered Agent won’t sell your information to any other companies or partners. Plus, they also run their own servers and write their own code, keeping your data completely in-house and secure.
- In-house, US-based services – Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t outsource any of its services or send you to offshore call centers. It maintains its own offices in all 50 states and employs US-based support experts. The custom-drafted operating agreement articles included within the formation service are written by their own lawyers too.
- More expensive – Northwest’s starting price point is on the more expensive end compared to some of the other providers out there. If you’re on a tighter budget, there are more affordable service providers to look into.
- Mandatory registered agent charge – If you’re looking for a business formation service, you’re also going to be obligated to pay for their year-long Registered Agent Service at the full price. Plus, rather than it being an opt-in, you’ll need to remember to notify them if you no longer desire their services ahead of the annual renewal date.
- Less customer reviews – Compared to other providers, Northwest Registered Agent has fewer customer reviews online. Some people may prefer more reassurance when considering Northwest’s slightly more expensive services. For example, they currently don’t have a Trustpilot rating.
- No publication service – In some states, you are required to publish your company’s formation announcement in a regional newspaper. Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t do this on your behalf. However, they do offer some assistance with it by providing the instructions to do it yourself. If you’d prefer a service to handle the requirements for you, look into ZenBusiness.
How it works
The online service is ordered and delivered remotely through Northwest Registered Agent’s website, starting on the services selection page. The website is easy to use and the process is simple.
Select the main service you want – Start by selecting the primary service you’d like and then click ‘Continue’.
Enter the information required – Using the tab menu, and depending on which primary service you’ve selected, the information you’ll need to provide will include:
- If purchasing the registered agent service, you’ll first be required to select which state(s) you need the service for. On the ‘Account’ tab you’ll need to create your online account login information, along with your company name and entity type.
- If creating a new company, on the ‘Order’ tab you’ll need to select what type of entity you want to create and the primary state. On the ‘Company’ tab you’ll need to enter information such as your desired company name (which Northwest will check for availability) and what the registered address will be. On the ‘Management’ tab you’ll need to select how you want the company to be managed and who the relevant members are.
- On the ‘Contact’ tab you’ll need to enter your contact details.
- On the ‘Optional items’ tab you can pick any additional services you want.
- On the ‘Payment’ tab you’ll need to enter your payment details.
Start using your online account – After payment, you will be instantly logged into your new online account with registered agent information also provided instantly. You can manage your company details and use the system to populate all relevant state filing forms required. Northwest Registered Agent promise to get your filing processed the same working day.
Access and manage your information – Your online is account is where your formation, compliance and any registered agent communication documents will be uploaded as soon as Northwest Registered Agent receive them, which you’ll be notified of. The account will also give you reminders when annual filing information is required.
Northwest Registered Agent pricing
With Northwest Registered Agent, you pick the services you want rather than signing up for a standard plan that may include features you don’t need.
Northwest only offers a single formation package that includes same-day processing, the Registered Agent Service for a year and official certificates. Note that the annual registered agent feature isn’t optional for their formation service.
The list of available services with prices are:
- Company Formation Service ($225 + state fees, and includes the Registered Agent Service for a year)
- Registered Agent Service ($125)
- Register an Existing Company in Other State(s) (fee depends on states)
- Wyoming Domestication Service ($525)
- Yearly Business Compliance Filing (fee depends on the state)
- FCC 499-A Telecommunications Registered Agent ($125)
- Employer Identification Number or EIN ($50 or $200)
- Premium Mail Forwarding Services ($40 monthly)
- VOIP Business Phone Number ($9 monthly)
- Corporate Book and Seal ($80)
- Virtual Office Service ($49)
- S Corporation Election With IRS ($50)
- Certificate of Good Standing ($50)
- Certified Copy ($50)
- Apostille ($400)
- FMCSA BOC-3 Trucking Compliance ($125 per year)
- Notary Stamp ($45)
Do I need to use a business formation and registered agent service?
No, a business formation filing service is not legally required. However, it’s also not necessarily the best option to go it alone either. Legal requirements vary from state to state and it can be confusing. Using an experienced service will save you time and avoid error or complication
On the other hand, business entities are required to appoint a registered agent with an office in every state where they transact business unless they have their own premises where they’ll always be open and available to receive mail during weekday business hours. That can be tricky for entrepreneurs working alone, or with a small staff that aren’t permanently located at a fixed office address. Using the Northwest Registered Agent service will also help you stay compliant by reminding you when your annual filings are due.
How quickly does Northwest Registered Agent complete a formation?
Northwest Registered Agent can’t control how long it takes a state to process and complete your filing. However, they do control the amount of time they take to prepare your paperwork and file it.
Northwest Registered Agent are the fastest service as standard, promising to process all orders on the same day.
When you select your state from the dropdown menu of the application, an estimated turnaround time will be displayed. In some states, their turnarounds are as quick as just a couple business days, but in others you’ll need to wait several weeks. However, the individual states do provide expedited turnaround for an extra fee for, which again will vary by the state in question.
How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to other options, and what is it best for?
Northwest Registered Agent provide top-notch customer service and support. The formation service is quicker than most other competitors. However, Northwest Registered Agent is not the best priced service available, focusing on the higher quality of its customer service as its main selling point instead.
In terms of packages, Northwest Registered Agent only offers a single formation filing package that includes same-day processing and official certificates. You’ll pay $225, not including the state fee which will depend on the state(s). This includes the registered agent fee of $125.
For comparison, ZenBusiness provides three packages for different price points and their Starter package is only $49 per year (plus state fee). The main downside is that the Starter package has a slower filing speed of 2-3 weeks and the registered agent fee goes up after the first year. ZenBusiness is the biggest rival for Northwest Registered Agent when it comes to quality of service for the price.
LegalZoom is the best-known provider in the industry and provides more ongoing legal services. LegalZoom also offers several packages at different pricing points. The Economy package, although cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent at $79, doesn’t offer certificates and same-day process service, however it does include an EIN. Their Standard package has expedited filing speed but is much more expensive at $329 before state fees. Hence, it’s still best to use Northwest if you want to process on the same day and get official certificates at a lower price point compared to LegalZoom.
For those on a tighter budget, IncFile and Inc Authority both offer free business entity formation services, providing the most competitive basic service. However, be aware that they will try to up sell other services and you are likely to require some of the paid extras.
Is Northwest Registered Agent good value for money?
The formation package provides value for money if your priorities are speed and the availability of high-quality customer support.
The features included also represent reasonable value:
- Name availability search
- Same day business filing
- Full registered agent address use
- Document scanning/upload to your online account
- Northwest’s dedicated Corporate Guides for customer service
- Membership or stock certificates
- Initial resolutions
- Custom-drafted operating agreement articles written by lawyers
- Annual reporting reminders and compliance
- LLC operating agreement
- State resources
An EIN isn’t included; however this is something you can do yourself if you don’t want to pay the optional $50 or $200 fee for it.
After the first year, you’ll have the option to renew the Registered Agent Service for the same $125 fee. Compared to competitors, this is an average price yet it offers a service based on higher quality support and data security. This definitely provides value if those features are a priority for you.
Note that Northwest Registered Agent don’t mark up the state filing fees. If you aren’t sure what a state fee is, it’s the filing admin fee a state charges to register your company. It varies between states from $40 to $500. For example, the state fee for Illinois costs $150 for two years, but Michigan state fees cost $50 for 2 years.
What do existing customers have to say about Northwest Registered Agent?
What if I change my mind and want to cancel?
Northwest Registered Agent says:
“We’re extremely fast and efficient. The downside of that is the money that comes in the door goes out just as fast. The state doesn’t offer refunds, so we cannot offer refunds on state fees. If you’re on the fence about whether you need to form a new company, we recommend you just wait a few days to place the order. Once you place your order, we’re instantly off to the races. After you place this order, you’ll have a filed company before you know it.”
However, note that they will offer you a refund in case of mistakes on their part.
To conclude the review, Northwest Registered Agent is among the highest quality company formation and registered agent services you can get. They are an established provider, having been in business for 20+ years.
Their service features everything a starting entrepreneur needs, including dedicated customer support for those who are new to the process and in need of more support, same-day formation processing as standard, and more. The customer support really is superior, particularly if you prefer being able to talk to someone knowledgeable on the phone.
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. With Northwest Registered Agent, the process is extremely quick and easy.
Unlike with some other providers, there aren’t hidden fees, they won’t try to up sell you, outsource parts of the service to cut costs, or charge extra for scanning and uploading your mail to a secure online account. Their tagline is self-explanatory; “We’re just not annoying”!
Some of their competitors can save you money, like ZenBusiness, and have a higher volume of customer feedback, like LegalZoom. It just depends what your priorities are.
See more business formation tools to continue your research.
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