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If you aren’t sure which business formation service will work for you, the easiest option is to dive into the detailed comparison of the most well-known options on the market.
So, be sure to check our Northwest registered agent review!
It contains information about the features of this provider, pricing comparison with the competitors, and recommendations on who should pick Northwest as their go-to option.
History and Reputation on the Market
Northwest was launched in 1998 and remains a middle-sized company — about 200 employees — due today. Its office is located in Spokane, WA, but the company operates nationwide, and you can reach out for their services regardless of where you operate.
The company offers a wide range of legal services, including LLC or corporation formation, filing operating agreements as a separate service, and of course, their registered agent.
We’ve found only a few reviews — 152 on Google Maps with a 4.6 average rating — and it seems that users love Northwest. They value top-notch customer service with real people instead of robots and appreciate the accuracy and ease of use.
So, without further ado, let’s focus on reviewing Northwest Registered Agent features.
The first thing that catches the eye is that the company prefers to keep things minimal and simple. This is probably where their motto: “We’re just not annoying” stems from. Northwest doesn’t hide any upsells or additional fees and offers you only bare necessities, such as:
- LLC formation. If you want to form an LLC, Northwest has got you covered. The company will handle all the paperwork: searching for available names, domains, and creating the ‘doing business as’ name, filing the Articles of Organization, designating a registered agent, writing an operating agreement, and filing the resolution for a bank account. As a separate service, you can also purchase EIN obtainment service and compliance.
- Incorporation. Corporations are usually the most difficult to register, but if an LLC isn’t right for you, you can incorporate it with the Northwest as well. The company will file your paperwork with the state and serve as your registered agent by providing a phone number, physical address, and e-mail for all the correspondence and documentation.
- Registered agent. Finally, you can purchase the Northwest Registered Agent service as a standalone feature and keep all your documents organized in one place. Plus, it adds a layer of personal data protection between you and the state.
What Makes Northwest Unique?
Since Northwest only offers you a bare minimum, that may prompt the question:
How does it manage to compete with other services, which have a way more broad amount of features?
Well, that’s because Northwest has something unique hidden in its pocket:
- Privacy by default. Northwest makes your data protection a priority and keeps your personal information away from public records. Aside from their registered agent service, the company also creates a mail-forwarding address and a virtual office for you, so your data won’t interfere with your working stuff. Plus, they create an additional VoIP phone number that forwards the important calls to your actual number.
- Excellent customer support. The company made their customer service the most prominent feature, and the user reviews support that. Their customer support representatives are called Corporate Guides, and the company assigns to you a personal Guide right after you subscribe to their services. Corporate Guides have extensive expertise in business management, law, accountancy, and other related fields.
I was impressed by the responsiveness and expertise of the customer support and I liked that they were mostly reachable
- Manual document scanning. The Northwest is only one nationwide provider that scans EVERY document before sending it to you. I’ve tested other competing services and they don’t go through this painstaking process. So, it’s nice to have a company that takes an extra step.
This is probably the most anticipated part of Northwest registered agent review, so let’s start right away.
The company tendencies to keep things plain and simple are present here as well:
Unlike many competitors, Northwest comes with only one pricing option, which is $225 per year.
Here’s what included:
- A service filing fee ($100) — for filing the paperwork, which is needed for incorporation.
- Registered agent fee ($125) — free for the first year, and then annually billed after renewal.
Plus, you will need to pay state fees to register your business, and Northwest provides you with a convenient interactive map, so you can check the final cost of incorporation before the checkout.
Aside from the regular package, the provider allows you to pay for their additional services, such as:
- Compliance calendar ($100/year). The company will track all the important deadlines and update permits for you, so you can maintain good standing with the state.
- EIN obtainment service ($50). Employer Identification Number (EIN) is crucial for any business. It acts as a Social Security number and allows you to open a bank account and manage your taxes. You can obtain EIN by yourself but in case you haven’t done it, the company will help you.
- Second telephone number ($9/month). You can choose any area code, and keep your business calls separated from your private phone number.
- S-corporation registration with the IRS ($50). If you qualify for an S-corp status and acquire a pass-through taxation scheme, Northwest can file all the documents for you and register you with the state.
As you can see, even the additional services of the Northwest can be useful for some and don’t come as an unnecessary expense.
How Does Northwest Compare to Other Services?
Finally, let’s see if the Northwest is actually as reasonably priced as they sound by comparing them with other similar services on the market.
- Northwest vs Zenbusiness. Zenbusiness offers you three packages: Starter ($39/year), Pro ($149/year), and Premium ($249). All of them include a 12-month registered agent and all the essentials you need to launch and operate your business. So, as you can see, you can save $76-186 per year with Zenbusiness. However, Zenbusiness doesn’t offer the same level of data protection and customer service and is relatively new on the market.
- Northwest vs Incfile. Incfile has a $0 service fee in the Silver package, meaning that you’ll have to pay only for the operating agreement template ($40) and state fees. Aside from that, Incfile offers you a Gold ($149/year) and Platinum ($299/year). Like Zenbusiness and Northwest, Incfile also includes a free registered agent service for the first year, and after renewal, you’ll have to pay $119 per year.
- Northwest vs Legalzoom. The Economy pack at Legalzoom starts at $149 per year. If you want more services, you can go for the Standard ($329/year) or Express gold ($349/year) which is way more expensive than Northwest. But wait, there’s more: Legalzoom doesn’t include registered agent and compliance services, and you’ll have to pay for them separately, $249 and $280 per year, respectively. Finally, Legalzoom is much more cluttered with unnecessary upsells than Northwest.
Our verdict is:
Northwest pricing falls right in the middle but may seem a bit over the top because of the bare minimum that the company offers. However, if you’re willing to pay for the expertise, fast operation, and extra layer of identity theft protection, you may consider Northwest as your provider of choice.
Pros and Cons: Overview
|Impressive experience in the field||Might seem a bit overpriced|
|Personalized customer service||Only one pricing point|
|Identity theft protection||Not the fastest option on the market|
|Doesn’t have a ton of upsells||Shorter track record than in competitors|
|Their representatives manually scan every document without limiting it to the legally required copies|
|They may help you with obtaining EIN and managing your compliance|
|Handle paperwork for LLC, corporations, non-profits, and S-corp status|
|Their registered agent as a standalone service is pretty good|
|Website is easy to use|
Who Should and Shouldn’t Subscribe to Northwest Registered Agent?
The last part of our Northwest registered agent review will help you decide whether it’s worth the purchase for you in particular, based on the info we provided earlier.
So, let’s see who will most likely benefit from a Northwest subscription:
- Those who look for a convenient registered agent. The company clearly states in its name that they are focused on providing you with registered agent service. And according to user reviews, their RA lives up to the expectations, and the $125 per year price point is pretty much adequate. So, if you’re looking for a registered agent or planning to change your current one, be sure to check Northwest.
- Those who value data protection. Now, a registered agent already acts as a layer of privacy between you and the state, but Northwest takes it to a whole new level and keeps all the business information separated from personal contacts.
I liked that my valuable data remained secure when testing Northwest RA.
It also gives you full control and management of that data.
- Those who want expert and personalized customer support. Northwest Corporate Guides can give you an in-depth consultation on any question that may arise while you managing your business. Plus, the company appoints you a personal expert, which can make you feel like a VIP.
During my review, I found the legal expert helpful and my questions and complaints were properly answered quickly.
Or, you might probably look for another service if:
- You’re tight on the budget. Even though Northwest offers competitive pricing, I found that other services offer similar features at a lower price point during my tests. So if the budget matters to you, you may want to look for another provider.
- You need more features. Northwest cuts their services to the bare minimum, and if you want to give the third-party provider more control over your business, you may look for companies with more versatile and customizable plans.
Northwest is located in Washington. How do I use their service if I’m not from Washington?
Northwest operates nationwide, which means that you can use their services regardless of your resident state. The company creates a virtual office for you and provides you with a physical address and contacts on their behalf.
Does Northwest have a refund?
Northwest has a 60-day money guarantee and will refund you the full cost of service fees minus $25, which is a refund fee if you aren’t satisfied. Note that state filing fees are non-refundable.
Do they offer discounts?
At the moment of writing this review, Northwest doesn’t offer any permanent discounts.
However, if you need to open a business in multiple states, you may get a discount on their registered agent service. The discount is $10 if you open a business in 4-9 states, and $25 starting from the 10th state.
How quickly will Northwest process your filing information?
Northwest turnaround time varies in the state. Some states may check your filing documents in a couple of days, others will take several weeks.
However, Northwest offers you an expedited turnaround time for almost every state, and you can purchase it separately at the checkout.
Is it worth paying for additional features?
This depends on your preferences. Some entrepreneurs prefer to get a full package with compliance and EIN and forget about all the long waits and browsing through endless taxation forms. Others might work with their documentation by themselves. But we encourage getting a full package because it allows you to keep all the important paperwork stored in one place.
ConclusionNorthwest is a solid, expert, and convenient business formation service. We cannot say that it’s the best option on the market, but it certainly understands its target audience and offers all the necessities to keep your business up and running for a reasonable price.
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