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IncFile vs Northwest Registered AgentAre you in the process of registering an LLC, but you’re not sure which of the many LLC service providers is right for you?

Companies like Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile can streamline the formation process for you, but how are you supposed to figure out which one has your best interests in mind?

In this Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile LLC service comparison, you’ll find concise breakdowns of their common points and their major differences. By the end, you should have a better idea of which one you’d like to use for LLC service.

 

Do IncFile and Northwest Offer Good Value?

LLC ServicePriceScoreKnown ForRecommended?
IncFileStarts at $0 (4.8/5)Free ServiceAbsolutely
NorthwestStarts at $225 (4.6/5)Customer SupportAbsolutely

Before we dive into this comparison, let’s briefly talk about what good value in an LLC service looks like. Most LLC services, like LegalZoom, charge $99 or more to form an LLC — but don’t include the features to justify the high price.

Alternatively, IncFile and Northwest are two of the top options online and include important features like free registered agent service, great customer support, and more.

Northwest (Starts at $225)

  • For great features
  • & excellent customer support

 

6 Things They Have In Common

1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a business lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. The LLC isn’t a terribly complex business structure, so you may not need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.

2) Customer Support: While you are cutting costs significantly, you’re also not going the full DIY route. Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile both have extensive customer service networks that ensure help is just a phone call or email away.

3) Registered Agent Service: Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent include a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation purchase. Considering the fact that every LLC needs to designate a registered agent anyway, this is a highly valuable feature.

4) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, these companies have your back. Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent have expedited service available that can cut your processing times down from weeks to mere days.

5) Experience: Both of these companies have extensive track records of successful formation services. IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent each serve thousands of clients, meaning they have the experience necessary to earn your business.

6) Great Customer Reviews: While IncFile certainly has a larger volume of customer feedback, both of these companies receive excellent reviews from their clients. It’s clear that most customers are pleased with the service they receive from IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent.

 

Side by Side Comparisons

Pricing (The Main Difference)

IncFile’s starting price point of $0 + state fee for LLC service is far cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent’s base rate of $225 + state fee.

Right out of the gates, the first category is a big win for IncFile. You don’t need us to tell you that paying nothing is always preferable to paying $225. However, this is just the first chapter in this story, and we have a sneaking suspicion that Northwest will find their way back into this competition as we walk through some more sections of this comparison.

Features

The base offerings for both these companies are quite similar, as they both include the preparation and filing of your articles of organization, as well as a year of registered agent service. The only notable differences are IncFile’s inclusion of a 30-minute business tax consultation, and Northwest Registered Agent’s premium customer service (more on this below…).

It seems like this section is more or less a toss-up, right? Both of these companies offer similar feature sets in their baseline LLC formation packages, so there’s not a clear winner in this category. Let’s see if any of the other categories add some clarity to this competition.

Customer Support

Northwest’s customer 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 very first person we talk to is able to immediately answer our questions. In our opinion, Northwest has the best customer support in this entire industry.

IncFile has good support as well, but they’re not quite as responsive as Northwest Registered Agent, as we’ve experienced wait times in excess of 24 hours. Their employees also generally aren’t as knowledgeable as the Corporate Guides at Northwest.

Experience

Northwest Registered Agent has served more than a million customers since it opened in 1998, making them a strong mid-sized LLC service provider. IncFile has a solid track record as well, as they’ve helped form 250,000+ businesses since 2004.

Turnaround Times

Both of these companies have processing times that vary by state, and also depending on whether or not you order expedited service. As for how they compare side by side, Northwest Registered Agent is a bit faster in some states, while IncFile holds an advantage in others. Overall, this is a toss-up.

Order Tracking

In another close similarity, both Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile offer convenient order status tracking tools on their websites. If you ever need to know where you stand in the formation process, you can find out exactly what phase of formation your LLC is currently in.

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, see our comparison guide.

Both of these companies offer a year of registered agent service with LLC service, and Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year after that, whereas IncFile has a similar price point of $119. It should be noted that Northwest Registered Agent is the only nationwide registered agent service that locally scans every single document you receive, whereas their competitors only scan the government docs that they’re legally required to scan.

Customer Reviews

These incorporation services both have high-quality reviews, with their customers being nearly universal in their praise. The one major difference is in the quantity of these reviews. Northwest Registered Agent has around 200 reviews, but IncFile has nearly 18,000. Both of these companies have high levels of customer satisfaction, it’s just that IncFile has more evidence of this fact.

Ease of Use

Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile both offer services that are easy to obtain online. While both sites are perfectly functional, IncFile’s is a bit more convenient and user-friendly, so they have a slight advantage in this area.

Additional Services

Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent provide their customers with access to a broad selection of additional business services. As you might expect, there’s a considerable amount of overlap in the services these two companies provide, as either of them can help you with foreign qualifications, registered agent service, EIN acquisition, annual reports, and more.

However, only Northwest offers mail forwarding and virtual office services, while only IncFile provides its customers with trademark name search service.

 

Better Service to Form an LLC?

LLC ServicePriceScoreKnown ForRecommended?
IncFileStarts at $0 (4.8/5)Free ServiceAbsolutely
NorthwestStarts at $225 (4.6/5)Customer SupportAbsolutely

Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile are two of the most popular LLC services available for good reason, and we have no problem recommending either of them. Still, IncFile has a couple of advantages that make them our preference.

Most importantly, IncFile’s pricing can save you some money, as they will form your LLC for free, which is obviously a significant discount compared to Northwest’s $225 rate. In addition, IncFile has a much larger volume of customer feedback, although both companies do receive good reviews.

However, depending on the requirements of your specific company, your preference may be with one or the other for a variety of reasons.

If you haven’t yet decided which LLC service to use, we’ll close this comparison by describing some scenarios that may swing your decision one way or the other.

When to Choose Northwest:

Does the personal touch of their great customer support appeal to you? Or perhaps you like the idea of your registered agent locally scanning all documents? These are a couple of the top reasons entrepreneurs choose Northwest Registered Agent.

When to Choose IncFile:

Is your priority to use the most affordable LLC formation service? Maybe you prefer to use companies with lots of customer feedback? Give IncFile a look.

Northwest (Starts at $225)

  • For great features
  • & excellent customer support

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?

Our favorite IncFile LLC formation service package is the entry-level Silver package, which is available for free (plus state fee).

Even with the low price point, this package includes a year of their registered agent service. Obviously, we’re not aware of a cheaper way to get LLC formation and registered agent than this.

If you want some additional features, you could step up to their $149 Gold package, which includes an EIN and an operating agreement, but also bundles in some less worthwhile features like an LLC kit binder. Want a closer look? Check out IncFile’s pricing page.

Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?

This is a hard question to answer, simply because neither of these companies ever bothers us with upsell attempts like LegalZoom does.

Both IncFile and Northwest keep the upsells to a minimum, and we never feel pressured to add more features, or upgrade to a higher tier of LLC formation service.

How Does IncFile and Northwest Compare to LegalZoom?

When reviewing LLC formation services, it’s impossible to not talk about the most well-known option, LegalZoom. If you’d like to see how the two services in this comparison stack up to it, see our IncFile vs LegalZoom comparison or Northwest vs LegalZoom comparison.

Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?

If you choose to leverage IncFile’s “special offers” from their package select screen, you should know that these offers involve sharing your info with third-party partners. Specifically, they’ll share your info with Bank of America if you select their business bank account offer, and with a website building company called SnapWeb if you select their “business website and domain name” offer.

By contrast, Northwest does not push any third-party partnership offers in their LLC formation packages, so if you’re concerned about the privacy implications of IncFile’s practices in this regard, Northwest is a solid alternative.

Which LLC Formation Service Is Faster?

Northwest and IncFile both have processing times based on the capabilities of your formation state ― the quicker your state processes orders, the shorter your turnaround time will be.

While Northwest might be a day or two faster in some states, and IncFile may have a slight advantage in others, they are mostly quite similar.

Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

IncFile says that your order is refundable (less a $30 cancellation fee) until payment is sent to your state, which is usually within 24 hours of placing your order. After that, you will not receive any refunds.

Northwest has a refund processing fee of $25, which they call their “You changed your mind fee.” They don’t place any further limitations on their refund policy regarding timing.

Does Either Handle New York Publication Requirements?

No, they do not. Neither LLC services handle or help with NY Publication requirements. If this is something you need, ZenBusiness may be your best bet.

Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?

You do always have this option, and quite a few people choose to form their own LLCs every day in America. However, the DIY route doesn’t provide the same peace of mind that comes with hiring a reputable LLC formation service like IncFile or Northwest.

 

Ready to Create Your LLC Online?

Create your LLC with Northwest or for free with IncFile.

Northwest (Starts at $225)

  • For great features
  • & excellent customer support


About Aaron Franklin

Frustrated by all the options and aggressive online sales tactics, I created BestLLCServices.com to cut the clutter and bring clarity to entrepreneurs starting an LLC. Our focus is on reviewing and comparing the top LLC formation services while also crafting free resources that help you start a business. We sincerely believe finding the right service and free information should be a simple process so you can get started with minimal friction.