Are you about to enter the LLC formation process, but you don’t have the expertise necessary to go the DIY route? Do you also lack the budget to hire a business attorney to form your LLC?
Thankfully, there are service providers like Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings that can conveniently form your new company at reasonable rates. But how are you supposed to figure out which one is the right pick for you?
In this Northwest Registered Agent vs BizFilings comparison guide, we’ll discuss their main commonalities and differences. By doing so, we hope to make your decision a bit easier by helping you decide which one has your best interests in mind.
Do Northwest and BizFilings Offer Good Value?
Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings are both highly popular and reputable companies operating in the LLC services industry. Either one of them can easily form your compliant LLC, and they both have reasonable rates, especially compared to hiring a lawyer. However, in our opinion, Northwest Registered Agent has some advantages that BizFilings just can’t match.
First and foremost, Northwest Registered Agent has the best customer support in this industry, with a level of customization no one can match. Furthermore, Northwest receives fantastic customer feedback, whereas BizFilings has very few reviews available at all.
Overall though, BizFilings is a decent alternative to Northwest Registered Agent – if that’s something you’re looking for.
Would you like to get some more info before making your decision? Read on to find out everything you need to know about these two respected LLC formation service providers.
7 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: With either Northwest Registered Agent or BizFilings, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money compared to hiring a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Seeing as the LLC isn’t a terribly complex business structure, you may not even need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.
2) Customer Support: While saving money is always great, you don’t want to go it alone either. These service providers both have customer support networks that can answer all of your tough questions, saving you lots of wasted time hunting down answers on your own.
3) Experience: Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings have each formed thousands of LLCs before, so you can be confident in their abilities to form your LLC in a compliant, efficient manner. They have the expertise necessary to get the job done right.
4) Efficiency: Are you in a rush to get your LLC formed? That’s no problem whatsoever for service providers like Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings. They both offer expedited service (for an added cost, of course) that can dramatically speed up the turnaround time for your LLC.
5) Registered Agent Service: These two companies both include registered agent service with their LLC formation packages. BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service with their $99 Basic LLC service package, while Northwest Registered Agent throws in a full year.
6) Additional Services: These providers have plenty of other services available to help you maintain your LLC’s compliant status. From foreign qualifications to LLC operating agreements, Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings have you covered.
7 ) Security: Both of these companies truly care about your online security. BizFilings secures its website using Norton Web Security, while Northwest Registered Agent runs its own servers and has its own in-house coders and developers.
Side by Side Comparisons
BizFilings charges $99 plus state fee for their Basic package, but Northwest Registered Agent has a $225 price point for LLC service.
It goes without saying that paying $99 is always preferable to paying $225. However, pricing isn’t everything. As you’ll see in the following categories, Northwest is actually our preferred option thanks to some significant advantages. Even though their prices are more than double what BizFilings charges, we believe Northwest packs more value into their LLC service package.
The major difference between these two LLC services is the fact that Northwest Registered Agent includes a year of registered agent service with their LLC formation packages, but BizFilings only supplies six months. Other than that, they’re quite similar.
This category is a clear advantage for Northwest, but it’s not quite enough to close the pricing gap. Let’s see how they stack up as we move through the rest of these categories.
Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998, and since then they’ve served thousands of customers on their way to becoming a trusted and reliable midsize company in the business services industry. As for BizFilings, they’re a similarly experienced operation with 500,000+ businesses formed since 1996.
BizFilings has pretty solid customer service, with helpful support reps that are usually easy to get ahold of. They’re available from 9 am to 8 pm ET, Monday through Friday.
While BizFilings has more of a standard customer support system, Northwest Registered Agent truly excels in this area. Northwest’s support is incredible. They keep 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 can immediately answer our questions.
Northwest has turnaround times that vary by state, and they also offer expedited service that can speed up your formation from a matter of weeks to just a few days in some states.
BizFilings does things a bit differently in this regard, as their turnaround times are based not on the requirements of your state, but rather on which level of LLC service you purchase from them. Their Basic package typically takes 4-6 weeks, and the Standard and Complete packages are in the 7-10 business day range. They also have expediting available, but with a $60 surcharge in addition to the actual state expediting fee.
This is another category where these services are essentially equal. Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings both have order status tracking tools on their websites, and they are both effective.
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. If you would like to see a list of our favorite registered agent service providers, simply click this link.
As we already discussed, Northwest Registered Agent includes a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation package, whereas BizFilings only includes six months in their LLC packages. After your free service period ends, BizFilings charges $149 per year, and Northwest has an annual fee of $125.
BizFilings has basically no customer feedback at all available online. In fact, we found just 18 total reviews for their services on the entire internet. Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t have a ton of customer feedback either, but they do have around 270 reviews and they’re nearly all positive.
Ease of Use
Both of these service providers have user-friendly and intuitive websites, and it’s quite simple to order services from either. Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings both simplify the LLC formation process considerably, and this category is basically a toss-up.
With either Northwest Registered Agent or BizFilings, you’ll have access to a broad selection of additional services that can help you build, maintain, and expand your new LLC. They have quite a few services in common, as you can order registered agent service, annual reports, foreign qualifications, operating agreements, EIN acquisition, and more from either one of these companies.
However, there are also some exclusive services offered by each company that the other one doesn’t provide to their clients. For instance, only Northwest offers mail forwarding and virtual office services, while only BizFilings provides services like dissolutions, amendments, and entity conversions.
Better Service to Form an LLC?
With Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings, we’re discussing two of the top LLC formation services available online. They’re both highly experienced, and they’re capable of forming your new LLC in an efficient and effective manner.
Because they’re both strong options, some of you may remain undecided. With that in mind, we’ll cap off this comparison by briefly touching on some of the main reasons you may prefer one over the other. No matter which one you choose, we wish you the best of luck with your new LLC!
➥ Choose Northwest Registered Agent if You Are:
Do you want a full year of registered agent service bundled in with your formation? Are you interested in their premium customer support? These are a few of the reasons people love what Northwest Registered Agent has to offer.
➦ Choose BizFilings if You Are:
Are you looking for a company that handles every state-specific step of the LLC formation process? BizFilings is the only one of these two options that offers publication service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use Northwest Registered Agent, Which Package Should I Choose?
Northwest’s prices are always fair, and we never feel like we’re paying more than their services are worth. 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.
How Does Northwest Compare to Other LLC Websites?
Northwest Registered Agent, one of the best LLC websites, has formed more than two million businesses since 1998. Check out the comparison reviews below if you’d like to see how this giant stacks up to other good LLC websites.
Northwest Registered Agent compared to:
Does Northwest Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Yes and no. Northwest doesn’t offer to handle state-specific requirements entirely, 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.
However, we will reiterate that BizFilings does offer this service, and they also have an excellent price point of just $100.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
Neither of these service providers goes too crazy with the upsells, but Northwest Registered Agent has the advantage in this category because they really don’t have any upsells at all.
To be clear though, this category is a very minor issue because BizFilings is also quite good in this regard.
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.
As for BizFilings, this is one of the main weaknesses in their offering. Early on in their LLC formation service order form, you’ll come across some third-party partnership offers like their deals with Palo Alto and ADP. Further down the page, you encounter several more of them, with offers for Grasshopper call forwarding, Hubspot customer relations management, Pitney Bowes SendPro shipping, and an unnamed business insurance provider.
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
BizFilings charges two different processing fees depending on when you request your refund.
If you cancel your order before they perform your business name availability check, they’ll refund your purchase price less a $50 fee. If you request a refund after the name check but before they submit your articles of organization to the state, there’s a $75 fee. Otherwise, refunds are not available.
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?
Depending on your state, one or the other could be much faster. Northwest has turnaround times based on the actual requirements of your formation state, and they vary from just a few days all the way up to several weeks.
BizFilings instead bases turnarounds on which LLC formation package you purchase: Basic takes 4-6 weeks, while Standard and Complete have processing times of 7-10 business days.
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 business entities 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 BizFilings form our businesses.
Ready to Create Your LLC Online?
Create your LLC with BizFilings or Northwest.