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 services, 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?
Northwest and Inc Authority are two reliable and affordable LLC services.
Inc Authority has a significant pricing advantage, as they’re one of a very small handful of 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 high-quality customer support with a highly personalized approach that Inc Authority can’t compete with.
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) Positive Customer Feedback: Both of these companies receive high average rating scores in their customer reviews, which indicates a strong 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 good 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.
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It’s impossible to beat Inc Authority’s offer when it comes to pricing. That’s because they’re one of only three companies in this industry (along with ZenBusiness and IncFile) 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? We do think that Northwest has some solid advantages over Inc Authority, but the pricing category isn’t where you’ll find them.
As we mentioned, Northwest bundles 12 months of registered agent service with any LLC formation package purchase, although they don’t include any other valuable features. 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 taxed like S corporations. Overall, these companies offer very similar features.
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 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 quick 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 personalized customer support. 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. Northwest also offers volume discounts if you need service in multiple states. 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 quite good. We found more than 10,500 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 400 reviews of their services, and the vast majority of their feedback is quite positive.
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 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 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 personalized customer support? Give Northwest a look.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I Decide to Use One of These Companies, Which Package Should I Choose?
Northwest’s prices are higher than most competitors, costing $225 plus your state’s fee. They only offer one package for LLC formations, but it includes everything you need to get your business off the ground — a name availability check, the preparation and filing of your formation documents, and a year of registered agent service.
Inc Authority’s free LLC formation package is its most popular, and 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.
If you’d like more information on the best options for New York LLC publication services, including ZenBusiness, check out our full guide on this topic.
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.
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 its 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 to form our businesses.
Northwest Registered Agent and Inc Authority are two of the most popular LLC formation services available, and they both have plenty of strong attributes.
We wouldn’t blame you for preferring one over the other — either way, you’re using one of the best companies in the industry.
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