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In the process of registering a limited liability company, 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 ServicePriceLegit Service?Known ForFree Agent?
IncFileStarts at $0YesFree ServiceYes
NorthwestStarts at $39YesCustomer SupportYes

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 $79 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, good customer support, and more.

IncFile

  • For the Most Affordable
  • LLC Formation Service

 

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 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) Positive Customer Reviews: While IncFile certainly has a larger volume of customer feedback, both of these companies receive favorable 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 offers a free package, so its LLC service is cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent’s base rate of $39 + state fee. (If you don’t use our discount, Northwest actually charges $225!)

Right out of the gates, the first category is a win for IncFile. You don’t need us to tell you that paying nothing is always preferable to paying $39.

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.

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 very good. They keep their 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 a personalized customer support network that is quite helpful.

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. And when it comes to email support, you may as well not bother. IncFile rarely makes an effort to respond to emails in our experience. 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 it a strong mid-sized LLC service provider. IncFile has a solid track record as well, as they’ve helped form 500,000+ businesses since 2004.

Turnaround Times

Both of these companies have processing times that vary by state, and also depend 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 was the first major nationwide registered agent service that locally scans every single document you receive, whereas most of their competitors still only scan the government docs that they’re legally required to scan. Northwest will also provide volume discounts if you purchase service in several states.

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 400 reviews, but IncFile has nearly 34,000. 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 ServicePriceLegit Service?Known ForFree Agent?
IncFileStarts at $0YesFree ServiceYes
NorthwestStarts at $39YesCustomer SupportYes

While IncFile can save you some money, Northwest has a strong customer support team, while IncFile’s support can be a bit hit or miss. Furthermore, we always appreciate how Northwest maintains a laser focus on client privacy.

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 customer support appeal to you? Or perhaps you prefer a company that prioritizes your privacy above all else? 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.

IncFile

  • For the Most Affordable
  • LLC Formation Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

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

The best 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.

As for Northwest Registered Agent, their $225 package costs just $39 with our discount. Like IncFile, Northwest also includes a year of registered agent service with this package.

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.

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 service handles NY publication requirements, although Northwest does at least offer a set of step-by-step instructions. 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. Also, each state sets its own rules and regulations regarding LLC formations, so there can be quite a bit of legwork just to determine what your state requires.

 

In Conclusion

Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile are two of the most popular LLC formation services, and it’s always difficult to pick a winner between them.

We wouldn’t blame you for preferring one over the other — either way, you’re using one of the best LLC filing services in the industry.

 

Ready to Create Your LLC Online?

Create your LLC with Northwest or for free with IncFile.

IncFile

  • For the Most Affordable
  • LLC Formation Service


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BestLLCServices.com is a website now owned by ZenBusiness Inc. BestLLCServices.com reviews products and services that the ZenBusiness family of sites sells. Readers should be aware of this when evaluating service providers, reading reviews, and making purchase decisions.