Do you need to form an LLC, but you don’t want to bother with the complexities and hassles of DIY?
There are many companies like Northwest Registered Agent and Inc Authority that offer high-quality LLC formation service, but it can be tough to figure out which one is the best option for your new business.
In this Northwest Registered Agent vs Inc Authority comparison, you’ll find all the information about these two reputable service providers to make a choice. Let’s find out which one is the right choice for your LLC!
Do Inc Authority and Northwest Offer Good Value?
Inc Authority has a significant pricing advantage, as they’re one of only two companies in this industry that offers LLC formation service for free — all you need to do is pay your state fee. However, Northwest has some advantages of its own, like offering the best customer support in this industry, with a highly personalized approach that Inc Authority can’t compete with.
Is There a Better Alternative?
While Inc Authority and Northwest both have plenty of positives, neither of them are our absolute favorite company in this industry. In general, we prefer to use ZenBusiness to form an LLC.
We think ZenBusiness is the most well-rounded company in this industry today. They have an outstanding pricing model that ensures every entrepreneur can afford to form an LLC, and their customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
These two companies each have their own advantages over ZenBusiness in certain areas — Northwest has better customer support, and Inc Authority has a lower entry-level price point — but ZenBusiness still comes out ahead of both companies, in our opinion.
7 Things They Have in Common
1) Affordable: With either Northwest or Inc Authority, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process.
2) Great Customer Feedback: Both of these companies receive high average rating scores in their customer reviews, which indicates an excellent level of client satisfaction.
3) Registered Agent Service: Northwest and Inc Authority both include one full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation service packages. Considering the fact that every LLC needs a registered agent anyway, this is a great offer.
4) Customer Support: These two services both have customer support networks that can answer your tough questions. Why go it alone when you can get help from Northwest or Inc Authority?
5) Efficiency: With either Northwest or Inc Authority, you’re getting a service provider that’s capable of processing an LLC formation quickly. If you’re in a hurry, they both have options available that can speed up your formation.
6) Experience: Both Inc Authority and Northwest have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and they both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely trust them to have the experience they need to form your compliant LLC.
7) Trustworthy: These are both entirely legitimate operations with strong track records. These aren’t fly-by-night companies, but rather they’re well-respected entities with plenty of expertise to get the job done right.
Side by Side Comparisons
It’s impossible to beat Inc Authority’s offer when it comes to pricing. That’s because they’re one of only two companies in this industry that offers the formation of an LLC free of charge, as long as you pay your own state fee. As for Northwest, they charge $225 to form your LLC.
Everyone would obviously rather pay nothing than $225, right? This viewpoint might be solidified even more once you realize that Northwest and Inc Authority provide extremely similar features in their LLC formation packages. We do think that Northwest has some solid advantages over Inc Authority, but the pricing and features categories aren’t where you’ll find them.
As we mentioned, Northwest bundles in 12 months of registered agent service with any LLC formation package purchase, although they don’t include any other valuable features to mention. In their free package, Inc Authority includes one year of registered agent service and an S corporation tax election filing (which most LLCs don’t need).
For most of our readers, these LLC formation packages are functionally quite similar. After all, it’s likely that only a small percentage of you will end up electing to have your LLCs be taxed like S corporations. We will note that Northwest’s registered agent service is a premium offering that Inc Authority can’t quite match, but we’ll explain that further in a moment. Overall, these companies offer very similar features, which makes the pricing difference even more significant.
Northwest was formed in 1998, and since then they’ve served more than two million customers. They also indicate on their website that they deal with hundreds of new LLCs and corporations every day. Inc Authority has been around longer, but they’ve served a much smaller volume of customers. Inc Authority was formed in 1989, and they’ve formed more than 145,000 LLCs and corporations over the years.
Inc Authority offers customer support via chat, phone, or email. They have excellent response times, as we’ve never waited for long before we hear back from their representatives, and their reps are also knowledgeable and friendly.
Northwest, on the other hand, has the best customer support in this industry. Their highly trained support representatives have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to draw upon, and they go way beyond the level of the traditional “call center” style of support offered by most competitors.
With Inc Authority, turnaround times are based on the requirements of each state. These processing times can vary from just a couple of business days all the way up to several weeks.
Northwest’s turnaround times also vary based on state requirements, so these two companies have very similar processing speeds in most states.
Both of these service providers have order tracking tools available on their websites. Simply log into your account and you’ll find your order status in your profile.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business entity that receives important document deliveries (like service of process) from your state government, informs you of the receipt, then forwards the documents to you. This is so crucial because the state needs to have a reliable means of contacting your business at any time.
Northwest includes 12 months of registered agent service with any LLC formation, and this service costs $125 per year after that. Inc Authority includes 12 months of registered agent service with any LLC formation package, and they charge a reasonable $99 per year otherwise.
Inc Authority’s customer satisfaction reputation is fantastic. We found more than 5,000 reviews of their services, and they were overwhelmingly positive. Their clients clearly love their free LLC formation service offering, and they also seem to appreciate their quick processing speeds.
Northwest receives mostly positive customer reviews. We found nearly 200 reviews of their services, and the vast majority of their feedback is quite positive. Still, for a company with millions of customers, we had hoped for a higher volume of reviews.
Ease of Use
These companies are relative equals in this category, as they both make the LLC formation process quite simple compared to forming your own business using the DIY method. Still, we will give Northwest a slight edge because their website is a bit more streamlined and user-friendly than the Inc Authority site is.
It’s probably no big surprise to discover that these companies offer many of the same services, like registered agent service, operating agreements, EIN acquisition, business licensing, and more. However, they also each have a few services that the other company does not provide.
For instance, Inc Authority business credit and funding evaluations that can help you grow and expand your business — services that Northwest does not offer. On the other hand, Northwest provides its clients with mail forwarding and virtual office services, which you can’t order from Inc Authority.
Which Is Better to Form Your LLC?
Northwest Registered Agent and Inc Authority have plenty of common characteristics that make them two of the top LLC formation services available, but they also have some major differences that set them apart.
If you haven’t yet made up your mind between them, let’s finish this comparison review by quickly describing some scenarios that may sway your opinion one way or the other.
Regardless of which one you ultimately choose to help form your LLC, we think you’ll be quite pleased with the service you receive from these great companies.
➥ Choose Inc Authority if You Are:
Are you interested in getting your LLC professionally formed for free? Perhaps you prefer using companies that have large collections of positive customer feedback? Inc Authority should be a good fit for your business.
➦ Choose Northwest Registered Agent if You Are:
Do you want to experience the best customer support in this industry? Maybe you’re seeking more of a premium service? Give Northwest a look.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I Decide to Use Inc Authority, Which Package Should I Choose?
We only recommend Inc Authority’s free LLC formation package, as we feel that their premium paid packages are all too expensive for what you get. Inc Authority’s free package is already pretty well-rounded, as it includes a full year of registered agent service.
Does Northwest Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Yes and no. Northwest doesn’t offer to handle state-specific requirements entirely, but they do offer significant assistance with them.
If, for example, you need to complete New York’s publication requirement, Northwest encourages you to use their Albany, NY address as an “address for service of process” or a “principal office.” They then provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you complete this requirement.
By contrast, Inc Authority does not offer any assistance with publication requirements. If you would rather hire a company that will handle this entire process on your behalf, we recommend ZenBusiness or BizFilings.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
Northwest doesn’t have any upsell attempts at all, which is yet another reason why we appreciate them so much. Inc Authority does have a page of optional add-on services at the end of their order form, but it’s not presented in a pushy manner, and since they’re a free service to begin with, it doesn’t really bother us at all.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
Northwest does not sell or share your personal info with other companies. In fact, their dedication to your privacy is so thorough that they run their own servers and write their own code to prevent giving anyone outside the company access to your info.
Inc Authority doesn’t exactly go overboard with third-party offers, but they do have a few, including a business checking account from Bank of America, along with a tax planning consultation and a business funding analysis.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
On Inc Authority’s website, they specifically mention that they will not grant any refund requests for any reason. As for Northwest, they have a flat $25 fee for refunds, which they refer to as a “You changed your mind fee.”
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
Inc Authority’s turnaround times vary from state to state ― in some states, they can get your LLC formed in just a few days, while in some others it will take several weeks.
Northwest’s processing speeds also vary by state, so for the most part, these companies will have similar turnaround times in most states.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
Of course, you can. In fact, thousands of American entrepreneurs form their own businesses each year. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing this, we will caution that because each state is allowed to create their own rules regarding how LLCs are formed, there is some variance from state to state regarding how an LLC is formed.
Furthermore, we appreciate the peace of mind we receive from hiring a reputable company like Northwest or Inc Authority to form our businesses.
Ready to Create Your LLC Online?
Create your LLC with Inc Authority or get started with Northwest.