LLC formation services are the modern entrepreneur’s best friend.
After all, filing registration paperwork is annoying (if you don’t mind paperwork, then this review probably isn’t for you), so an LLC formation service can remove some of that headache for you.
But which formation service should you use? There are dozens of options available to choose from. To put your money to good use, you’ll want to choose the right one.
Generally speaking, a good formation service does two things. First, they help you form your business, offering advice along the way. Second, they’ll help you maintain your new company by reminding you of due dates, state requirements, and more. Other important factors to consider are the service’s track record, their cost, and how easy it is to use their service.
In this review, we’ll give you our in-depth opinion of Northwest Registered Agent’s LLC formation service.
Rocket Tip: Looking for the best and most affordable LLC formation services? Compare the top 3 options (ZenBusiness vs Incfile vs Northwest) to see how they stack up.
What is Northwest Registered Agent?
Northwest is an online business formation service based out of Spokane Washington. Since their founding in 1998, they’ve helped to form more than 2 million businesses.
They’re not the biggest company out there—and they’re proud of that. As they put it, they’re smack in the middle: not too big and stuck in their ways but not too small to keep you from getting the help you need.
Northwest places a high priority on offering you high-quality, personalized service. And they do this by giving you just the services you need, and nothing more. Their motto is, “We’re just not annoying.”
Northwest also prides itself on doing things differently, and they deliver. In fact, they were the first to locally scan documents from their clients on the same day. So if they receive a document on your behalf, they’ll have it scanned and uploaded to your account on the day it arrives.
How does Northwest work?
Whenever you’re ready to form an LLC with Northwest, you simply provide the info below and they’ll handle the paperwork with the state.
- Basic order information: the type of business you want to form and what state
- Company: your desired business name and your business purpose
- Management: How your business will be managed (member-managed or manager-managed), how many members you will have, the names of each manager, and an address to file with the state
- Account creation: the email and password you want to use for your Northwest account
- Contact person: the name, email, and address of the person you want Northwest to contact with any questions or legal concerns (can be your attorney)
- Add-ons: If you want any add-ons to your business formation package (i.e., certified copies, certificate of good standing, etc), you can select them here.
- Payment: to finish up your order, Northwest will need your credit card information and a billing address if it’s different from your mailing address.
That’s really all there is to it. But if you have questions about any section on the form, Northwest provides little pop-ups (marked with a “?”) to give you the guidance you need.
Is Northwest a good option?
In short, Northwest Registered Agent is one of our top choices for LLC formation services. They have a proven track record, and we love their no-surprises approach to business formations.
While they may not be the fastest service on the planet or best branded, they get the job done. And their packages come at a great value; with Northwest, you’ll get more for the same price than you would from their competitors like LegalZoom.
What are Northwest’s customers saying?
The overwhelming majority of reviews for Northwest are positive, so we honestly had a little bit of a hard time finding drawbacks to discuss here. But even the best companies have their drawbacks, so we’ve tried to summarize the good and the bad below.
Here are the aspects that Northwest’s customers loved:
- Prompt, reliable customer service through both email and phone support
- No up-sells; what you see is what you get
- User-friendly website with lots of guidance
And here’s what customers didn’t like:
- Processing delays
On the whole, we agree with these reviews. Northwest does its best to file things promptly, but they don’t appear to be the fastest service in the industry. But they make up for that via excellent customer support and great features. And since they don’t try to force additional features on you, there are no price surprises to deal with, either.
Who is Northwest best for?
Northwest Registered Agent is best for entrepreneurs who want a no-nonsense service without the “Hey, buy this, too!” that other LLC formation services give.
Since Northwest offers several package options, you can choose which is right for you. Their basic package is great for any new business, but if you want a little more help, you can spring for their Deluxe package.
Northwest: Our in-depth review
Cost to form an LLC
For a business, money is always a factor. That goes for new and established businesses alike. That’s why you should always factor in cost when considering an LLC formation service. Northwest Registered Agent is no exception.
When you buy a LLC formation package from Northwest, you get two things: one of the best prices in the industry and the most bang for your buck. Even their most basic package includes features that their competitors don’t offer until their “premium” packages.
Here’s a breakdown of Northwest’s LLC formation packages:
Basic: At $49, Northwest’s entry-level package is one of the best price points in the industry. And the package is nothing to sneeze at, either: Northwest will form your LLC for you. And they also throw in a free year of registered agent services. After that year expires, you can continue using them if you wish; their $125 annual fee is also one of the best in the industry.
Deluxe: Northwest’s next option is their Deluxe package, priced at $149. Your extra $100 will get you everything included in the basic package, plus an operating agreement and an EIN. Now, a word of caution, here: technically, you can complete both of these documents yourself. An EIN is free through the IRS and you can use a template to create an operating agreement. But if you want the help of and convenience of a professional, then Deluxe may be just right for you.
Premium: Need faster processing? Then you’ll want to sign up for Northwest’s Premium package. This will run you $199, but it includes all the services of Deluxe, and you’ll be guaranteed same-day processing. That said, unless you really need to have your business started today, it’s better to stick with the Deluxe plan. The processing time for this package is not much different.
Add-ons: Northwest offers a wide variety of add-ons, from a Tax ID, certified copies, certificates of good standing, and much more. All of these add-ons are completely optional; Northwest does not subscribe you to any services without your permission, so you have full control over the additional services you get.
Northwest’s order process
Have you ever tried to order something online, only to get lost in a never-ending series of cluttered web pages? The harder it is to order a service, the less likely you are to use it. Streamlined ordering is an important component of any good formation service.
Northwest’s order process is about as simple as it gets: you simply input your state. Then from there, you’ll give them some information about your business, including your desired name, your purpose, your address, management for your business, and contact information. After you provide that information, you can review your order and any add-ons and then fill in your payment information.
With Northwest, there’s no gimmicks and no surprises, making it one of the easiest order processes in the industry.
Customer Support Friendliness
Since online formation services are entirely virtual, they can sometimes feel a bit impersonal. But good customer support—complete with friendly, prompt customer service representatives—brings a personal touch to your experience.
Northwest Registered Agent promises to offer next-level support, and we have to agree with them. Northwest offers both email and phone support to their customers. And both services do not disappoint.
In fact, when we put them to the test, both email and phone support passed with flying colors. For email, we had a response within 24 hours. And if that seems long to you, rest assured that the response they gave was worth the wait. They gave a detailed response that went above and beyond our actual question.
Our phone conversation was just as rewarding; their friendly representative asked us questions to ensure that every angle of our question was addressed. Northwest’s phone support is where the company really shines. Competitors often outsource their customer support to call centers. Northwest doesn’t, and the difference is clear.
LLC Formation Speed
Technically speaking, you can file your own LLC paperwork yourself. But you’re a busy, budding entrepreneur, so you may not have the time to spare. Hiring a formation service like Northwest Registered Agent can save you time—provided they’re fast enough. Poor processing times could leave you wishing you’d formed on your own instead.
On average, Northwest processes its orders within a few business days. This is not the fastest processing time in the industry, but what they lack in speed they make up for in reliability.
If you’re in a rush, you can spring for the Premium package to get same-day processing. Ultimately, though, the bigger factor in processing time is the state’s own processing time. Northwest gives you an estimate of your state’s processing period. Most states take a few business days.
Northwest’s final score
In short, we love Northwest Registered Agent. They might not have the fastest processing times or coolest website, but they excel in everything else. Their packages offer some of the best value in the industry, and their customer support is second to none.
That’s why we’re excited to give them a near-perfect score of 4.7.