Since getting its start in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has carved out a name for itself as a no-nonsense company providing online LLC formations and registered agent services nationwide.
This Northwest Registered Agent LLC service review discusses all of the details that set them apart from the competition and should help you decide whether you’d like to use their services.
Pros & Cons of Northwest
Pros of Northwest Registered Agent
✔ Their customer support is rock-solid. Northwest Registered Agent keeps their premium customer support in-house, with a team of professionally trained Corporate Guides. Every time we have called with questions about complicated state rules or forming an LLC, the first person we talk to is always able to immediately answer our questions.
✔ They’re one of just a few LLC services that include a full year of registered agent service upon formation.
✔ As part of their company guidelines, Northwest Registered Agent won’t sell your information to other companies. They also run their own servers and write their own code. In short, they take your security and privacy seriously.
Cons of Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent LLC Pricing
With Northwest Registered Agent, customers have one filing option. No packages, no frills, and no energy spent trying to figure out which features you should choose. If you’d like to examine the way they advertise these services, feel free to check out their own website for all the details.
LLC Filing ($225 + State Fee)
This Is Best For: Entrepreneurs looking for registered agent service and personalized support with their LLC formations (and don’t mind paying a higher price for it).
➢ Name Availability Search: They will search your state’s official business database to make certain that your desired LLC name is still available and hasn’t already been claimed by another individual or business entity.
➢ Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization: These documents outline your basic company information so that your state can officially form your new LLC. Northwest Registered Agent will prepare these documents on your behalf, then file them with your state of formation.
➢ One Year Registered Agent Service: Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent. The registered agent is in charge of receiving important legal documents on behalf of your LLC, then forwarding them to you. Northwest will serve as your registered agent for one year, after which you can renew your service for $125 per year, although you are under no obligation to do so.
➢ Fast LLC Filing: Northwest Registered Agent will process your order and submit your LLC formation papers to your state quickly after you purchase their service.
Deep Dive: Northwest Incorporation Review
Overall Pricing and Value
For $225 (plus state fee), you can form your LLC 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 its founding, Northwest has helped form around 2 million businesses. They 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 (around 700), most of the ones we found were positive and aligned with the mission and values promised by Northwest.
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.
Best LLC Service Alternative
|🥇 ZenBusiness||$0 + state fee||Excellent||Absolutely|
If you’d like to explore other LLC services, choose ZenBusiness. We have formed 400,000+ businesses and accumulated thousands of positive reviews. We'll form your LLC for free — just pay your state's required fee!
Northwest Registered Agent Customer Reviews
|Google (669 reviews)||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|BBB (121 reviews)||4.5 out of 5 stars|
There aren’t a lot of online customer reviews for Northwest Registered Agent, but we did manage to track down around 700 of them on Google and BBB.
The vast majority of these reviews are positive, with customers praising the support they receive and complimenting Northwest Registered Agent for the speed of their services.
Overall, Northwest Registered Agent receives high-quality customer feedback, although the volume of reviews is not nearly as high as some competitors who have thousands of reviews available online.
Here’s what Northwest’s customers said they like about its services:
- Reliable, thorough registered agent service
- No hassles, no-nonsense company
- Good customer support
Here’s what their clients have some issues with:
- Higher prices than some competitors
- Difficulties canceling services
Customer Service Quality
Northwest is well-known for their Corporate Guides, which is what they call their support representatives. Each Northwest client is connected with these representatives, and you can contact that person directly if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Their Corporate Guides are quite knowledgeable about a variety of issues that you may come across as a client. In addition, their response times are always impressive, as they respond to all emails and calls quickly, and they’ve provided in-depth answers to every question we’ve ever asked them.
About Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest opened for business in 1998. Since then, they’ve helped around 2 million customers.
They also form hundreds of new LLCs and corporations each day, which is an impressive customer volume. Overall, Northwest isn’t one of the industry giants, but they’re not a small mom-and-pop operation either. They’ve found a niche as a quality midsize service provider, and their credibility is evident across every Northwest Registered Agent review we’ve seen online.
Northwest describes their mission statement on their website, saying it revolves around five key tenets: “You should always be able to talk to us. Money should never get in the way of our relationship. You should always get what you want as fast as possible. We won’t sell your data. We charge the same price every year.”
A fun fact about Northwest is that they were the first major nationwide registered agent service provider that locally scans every document they receive on your behalf. Their competitors only scan the government-issued forms they’re legally required to scan, but Northwest goes the extra mile.
How Does Northwest Registered Agent 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-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.
Is Northwest Registered Agent Right for You?
At the end of the day, there are more factors working in Northwest Registered Agent’s favor than there are working against them. They offer strong overall value and customer support.
Of course, they won’t be the perfect choice for every entrepreneur forming an LLC, so to wrap things up, here are a couple of scenarios where you perhaps should or should not use Northwest Registered Agent for LLC services.
✔ When to Use Northwest Registered Agent
If you’re looking for personalized customer support and a full year of registered agent service, Northwest Registered Agent is a good option for you.
✖ When NOT to Use Northwest Registered Agent
Some of their competitors can offer similar features for much lower prices. There are also some services that have a higher volume of customer feedback than Northwest has. If these are priorities for you, you might want to look elsewhere.
Northwest is a solid choice for entrepreneurs who don’t mind paying higher prices and want a focus on customer service with zero upsells whatsoever.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Northwest questions? We’ve got answers.
Is Northwest Registered Agent Legit?
Northwest Registered Agent opened for business in 1998. Since then, they’ve become one of the top national LLC formation services available, as they form hundreds of new business entities each week.
Seeing as they’ve been around for decades and they’ve served a high volume of customers, we were a bit surprised to see that Northwest only has about 400 reviews available online. Still, it’s impossible to doubt the quality of those reviews, as the vast majority of them are positive.
Northwest's Office Is in Spokane, Washington. How Do I Use Their Address as My Registered Office?
Northwest’s tagline, “Use Our Address, Not Yours” refers to the information used on state filings such as Articles of Organization.
Yes, Northwest’s home base is in Washington, but they have registered agent offices in every single state/jurisdiction. You can use their address in your state on state filings when you use their services.
How Does Northwest Registered Agent Compare to Other LLC Providers?
Northwest Registered Agent is a solid company in the business services industry, and they’re one of our top picks for anyone looking for personalized customer support.
If you’d like to do some more research and read comparative reviews of Northwest, here are our most popular:
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
Their refund policy is fairly convoluted, but in general Northwest Registered Agent will refund your money if you request a refund within 60 days ― minus $25.
However, they do say on their website, “We form hundreds of LLCs every day, and each filing is backed by our 100% error-free guarantee. Although extremely rare, in the 20 years we’ve been in business, we’ve learned that mistakes do happen. Should an error occur, we’ll file every amendment required to make sure your company information is accurate (at no cost to you).”
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You do always have this option, and there are quite a few entrepreneurs who do choose to form their own LLCs. This process can take time because each state has its own rules and regulations regarding how LLCs are formed and maintained.
On the other end of the spectrum, some entrepreneurs choose to hire a lawyer to form their new businesses, but this is much more costly than using an online incorporation service.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Registering an LLC With Northwest?
Each state (minus Florida) has a way to reserve a business name before forming your entity itself. In general, this is only necessary if you aren’t yet ready to enter the formation process.
If you’re ready to start your business, there’s no reason to reserve your name before forming your LLC with Northwest. We will note that certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business.
Can I Start an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
Yes, there is no requirement that you be present in the U.S. while starting an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be an American citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like American citizens are.
Does Northwest Help With New York Publication Requirements?
Northwest plays a sort of middle ground with state-specific requirements. Using the New York publication requirement as an example, they don’t offer to handle this step for you, but they do offer significant assistance with it.
When you hire Northwest to form a New York LLC, you can use their registered agent address in Albany as either your “address for service of process” or your “principal office.” Then, all you need to do is follow their convenient step-by-step instructions to publish your LLC info in area newspapers.
Interested in a company that will handle this process for you? Take a look at our guide to the best New York publication services.
What Is the Northwest Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You can contact Northwest via phone by calling 509-768-2249. Instead of posting a general contact email address on their website, they provide a support inquiry form on the “Contact Us” page that you can fill out to start the email support process.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does Northwest?
In our opinion, Northwest keeps the upsells to an absolute minimum.
Quite a few of their competitors, especially LegalZoom, place a considerable amount of pressure on you to buy expensive add-on features that drive your total cost way up — but Northwest doesn’t bother us in this regard.
How Quickly Does Northwest Process LLC Formations?
Northwest’s processing times vary depending on your state of LLC filing, but in general, they’re pretty fast. If you need to speed up your formation turnaround time, you can upgrade to their expedited service which can reduce your processing time from weeks down to just a few days in some states.
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Northwest Registered Agent Do?
Aside from forming your business entity, Northwest’s core services include registered agent service, annual reports, mail forwarding, and virtual office services. They can also help you with foreign registrations, international business formations, IRS registrations, S corporation tax elections, operating agreements, and business licensing.
Is It Worth the Money to Get an EIN via Northwest?
This is a tough question to answer without knowing the specific needs of your unique business. We personally enjoy getting an EIN included with our LLC formation, even if it means spending extra to add it on or to upgrade to a higher level of incorporation service.
The convenience of not having to get one ourselves through the IRS is worth it for us, and we like to have our Articles of Organization and EIN confirmation in the same place. However, we would completely understand if you’d rather save some money and acquire your own EIN from the IRS directly.
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 LLC services for free.
Does Northwest Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They certainly do, and they even include a full year of registered agent service with every LLC 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 Other Services Does Northwest Offer?
As with most competitors, Northwest provides a wide variety of additional services to help entrepreneurs form, maintain, and grow their businesses. We dug into the list of features Northwest offers to see how much they charge for each of these services.
Let’s take a look at everything Northwest Registered Agent offers and discuss which services are good deals and which ones you can ignore.
- Registered Agent Service ($125): If you don’t use Northwest’s LLC service, you won’t have access to the free year of registered agent service they offer with each formation. Instead, you’d have to pay the reasonable rate of $125 per year, which is a pretty good deal when you consider that Northwest locally scans all documents they receive as your registered agent.
- Annual Report ($100): Most states require some sort of annual or biennial report from entrepreneurs. This report keeps the state updated regarding some basic attributes of your business, like your address or your registered agent’s name. To be honest, this price point feels a bit high — the annual report is quite a simple document in most states.
- EIN ($50): While it’s quite easy to obtain your own EIN from the IRS for free, Northwest charges a lower rate than the vast majority of competitors for this service (the typical price point is around $70).
- LLC Kit ($40 or $80): Northwest offers two different versions of its LLC kit — there’s a $40 version that comes in a ½-inch zip-up binder and an $80 version that comes in a 2-inch binder with a slipcase. Either kit includes a selection of document templates. Overall, this is an unnecessary feature from a compliance standpoint but if you want an LLC kit, Northwest’s pricing is better than most.
- Certified Copy ($50): If you need any official copies of your state-filed business documents, Northwest will acquire them for $50. This is a solid price point that’s right in line with industry norms.
- Foreign Qualification ($150): If your LLC already exists in another state, you need to file a foreign qualification rather than a formation. Considering that some competitors charge considerably more for this same service (like LegalZoom’s $229 price point), this is a reasonable offer.
- Mail Forwarding ($40 per month): Not only will Northwest Registered Agent receive and forward your mail, but they’ll even provide you with an exclusive suite number in their office. This service is only available for customers based in Delaware, Texas, Idaho, Florida, Wyoming, and Montana.
- Call Forwarding ($9 per month): Northwest provides you with a custom phone number for your business and enables you to access all of your calls and messages from anywhere you have high-speed internet access.
- Virtual Office ($49 per month): Northwest’s virtual office service gives you phone service, same-day digital document scanning, a unique suite number, an office lease, and weekly physical mail forwarding.
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