is now owned by ZenBusiness Inc. Readers should be aware of this when evaluating service providers, reading reviews, and making purchase decisions.
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Need to start an LLC but you don’t want to bother with the complexities of forming your own company?

There are many companies like Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness that offer high-quality LLC formation service, but it can be tough to tell how they’re different.

With this ZenBusiness vs Northwest Registered Agent comparison guide, you’ll find the information you need to choose the best LLC service for you.


Do Northwest & ZenBusiness Offer Good Value?

LLC ServicePriceLegit Service?Known ForPositive Reviews?
ZenBusinessStarts at $49YesExcellent ValueAbsolutely
NorthwestStarts at $39YesPersonalized 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 $79 or more to form an LLC — but don’t include the features to justify their prices.

Alternatively, ZenBusiness and Northwest are two of our favorite options that include important features like free annual report or registered agent service, great customer support, and more.

They are two of the best LLC services online with great features and overall value.


  • If you want personalized
  • customer support


6 Things They Have in Common

1) Affordable: With either ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process.

2) Great Customer Feedback: Although ZenBusiness has a higher volume of reviews, both of these companies receive high average ratings in their customer reviews.

3) Valuable Features: Both of these companies have feature-rich LLC formation service packages. Northwest includes a year of its namesake registered agent service, while ZenBusiness bundles in a year of annual report service.

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 ZenBusiness or Northwest?

5) Efficiency: These companies both work quickly, and they can get your formation processed with the state in a matter of weeks or even days.

6) Additional Services: Both Northwest and ZenBusiness have many other services that they can offer to help you focus more on building your business and less on paperwork.


Side-by-Side Comparisons

Pricing and Features

ZenBusiness and Northwest have very similar pricing and feature sets in the entry-level LLC formation packages. Both provide the full preparation and filing of your articles of organization, along with free registered agent service for one year from Northwest and annual report service from ZenBusiness.

Beyond that in their base package, ZenBusiness also bundles in up to two amendments and a Statement of the Organizer form. Overall, these companies have pretty similar offerings in this category.


Northwest Registered Agent opened for business in 1998, and over the years they’ve served about two million customers. ZenBusiness has only been around since 2015, but we’ve already formed several thousand businesses in that time.

Customer Support

Northwest has personalized customer support, thanks to its Corporate Guide system. Northwest’s support team is far more knowledgeable than most competitors, and they can answer even your toughest questions about LLC formations.

ZenBusiness offers phone, email, and chat support Monday through Friday between 9 am and 9 pm ET and on Sundays from 11 am-8 pm ET. ZenBusiness has made customer support a consistent priority and we pride ourselves on continuously improving our offering. Today, we think we compete quite closely with Northwest in this area.

Turnaround Times

Both LLC websites will show exactly how long it takes to form an LLC in your state. For an answer on how long it’ll take, visit each website and select “LLC” and your state.

Northwest Registered Agent structures its turnaround times based on each state’s processing speeds. In general, their LLC formations are equally efficient as most competitors.

However, ZenBusiness has an entirely different setup. While our turnaround times also vary by state to a degree, our processing speeds depend on which package you purchase.

Registered Agent Service

Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or online agent service 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.

ZenBusiness does not include registered agent service with its LLC formation packages. We charge $99 for the first year and $199 for subsequent years of service. Northwest bundles in a year of registered agent service with any of their LLC formation packages, and they charge $125 per year after that.

It’s also worth noting that Northwest was the first major national registered agent service provider that locally scans every document they receive on your behalf. Their competitors typically only scan the government-issued docs that they’re legally required to scan.

Customer Reviews

ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as we have more than 10,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. People are clearly satisfied with our services, and they frequently praise our efficiency, along with the general ease of use provided by our platform.

We were able to find nearly 400 reviews for Northwest Registered Agent, and their reviews are also positive in nature. Their customers like Northwest’s personalized customer support, and also enjoy how quickly they process formations.

Ease of Use

These companies are relative equals in this category, as both make the LLC formation process quite simple compared to forming your own business using the DIY method.

Additional Services

Both ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent provide access to many additional business services, and there’s a considerable amount of overlap between these companies’ offerings. For instance, either of them can help you with EIN acquisition, annual reports, foreign registrations, and more.

However, each has some services that the other doesn’t provide. ZenBusiness offers bookkeeping and accounting services, which Northwest doesn’t. On the other hand, only Northwest provides its customers with virtual office and mail forwarding options.

Finally, keep in mind that ZenBusiness includes a year of annual report service with all of its LLC formation packages, which Northwest does not.


Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?

LLC ServicePriceLegit Service?Known ForPositive Reviews?
ZenBusinessStarts at $49YesExcellent ValueAbsolutely
NorthwestStarts at $39YesPersonalized SupportAbsolutely

In summary: Northwest’s biggest selling point is its personalized customer support. As for ZenBusiness, we balance great pricing and features with a socially conscious platform that focuses on more than just turning a profit.

There are quite a few common characteristics between ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent, but as you can see, there are some significant differences as well. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some scenarios where you might want to choose one over the other for your company’s LLC formation service.

Regardless of which one you end up selecting, we think that both of these companies are reliable and will form your new business with minimal hassle and stress.

➥ Choose ZenBusiness if You Are:

Seeking a company that gives back to the communities it serves? Do you appreciate our large collection of positive customer reviews? Do you want annual report service bundled into your LLC service package? These are a few great reasons to choose ZenBusiness.

➦ Choose Northwest if You Are:

Is personalized customer support a priority for you? Or perhaps you want to go with a company that has a longer track record? Perhaps you prioritize their free year of registered agent service? For any of these reasons, Northwest is a good choice.


  • If you want personalized
  • customer support

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

If I Choose ZenBusiness, Which Package Should I Choose?

Depending on your budget and the needs of your business, there are two different ZenBusiness packages that we really like.

First, it’s hard to find any fault with our Starter plan, because it costs just $49 and it includes the full formation of your LLC, one year of annual report service, and up to two amendments.

You might also be interested in our $299 Premium plan, which adds a custom operating agreement and a business website package, among other features.

Both are well-rounded and a great deal.

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

This is always an option, and thousands of entrepreneurs form their own LLCs every year in the United States.

You can save money on formation fees if you form your own business entity, but it can be quite a bit of hassle, because each state has its own rules and regulations for LLC formations.

How Does ZenBusiness Compare to Other Business Formation Services?

Would you like to take a look at a couple of other options? Check out our comparisons of ZenBusiness to other top-rated LLC services, LegalZoom and IncFile:

Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

Northwest charges $25 as a convenience fee for processing refunds, or as they call it, a “You changed your mind fee.” ZenBusiness has a refund policy that is one of the best in the industry. While many competitors have vague refund policies or even refuse refunds outright, ZenBusiness offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.


In Conclusion

ZenBusiness and Northwest are two good LLC 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 value LLC websites in the industry.


Ready to Create Your LLC Online?

Start an LLC with Northwest or ZenBusiness.


  • If you want personalized
  • customer support

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