Northwest Registered Agent Review: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives

BY Reviano Team, Dec 11, 2022


Northwest Registered Agent Review
Review Summary

Service Name:


Northwest Registered Agent

Service Type:


Business Formation Services

Monthly fee:


Starting at $39 per month

Summary:

Northwest Registered Agent is a company that can help incorporate your business and provide other additional services you may need, such as phone service and mail forwarding.

Rating:

Northwest Registered Agent has built a strong reputation for providing excellent LLC formation and registered agent services and has rightly become a first-choice among US businesses. Since they operate in all 50 states, you can always use this service wherever you are, and they promise never to sell your data. Therefore, knowing if this service works well for your needs makes sense before purchasing.

In this Northwest Registered agent review, we look at how the service works, its pros, cons, and more compared to other top registered agent services.

What is Northwest Registered Agent?

Northwest Registered Agent is a company that can help incorporate your business and provide other additional services you may need, such as phone service and mail forwarding.

One stand-out feature of Northwest Registered Agent is how they offer their service. Most other services have multiple paid plans, and you have to upgrade to access their business-formation services, such as EIN and articles of organization.

In contrast, Northwest Registered Agent offers a single-paid plan that includes registered agent service and LLC filing. You can get everything else as add-ons, and they're not pushy about upselling them to you. This aspect of Northwest Registered Agent makes them very appealing to customers.

Who Needs Northwest Registered Agent?

  • Those who want to form an LLC, C Corp, nonprofit, or any other entity type.
  • Those who want to receive mail from anybody but do not wish to disclose their address publicly.

Northwest Registered Agent Services

  • LLC formation service
  • Registered agent service
  • Mail forwarding
  • Virtual phone service
  • Virtual office services
  • A business address in any state of your choice
  • Annual business compliance filing
  • Annual report reminders
  • Obtaining a Federal Tax ID number or EIN on your behalf
  • Certificate of good standing
  • Free legal forms

Pros

  • Offers same-day LLC filing
  • Mail forwarding & Virtual office services
  • VoIP business phone number
  • Free legal forms
  • Transparent pricing
  • Scans, uploads, and forwards important business mail
  • No penalties for late payment
  • Top-notch customer support
  • Keeps your address off public records, unlike most other LLC filing companies
  • It does not sell customer data, unlike other incorporation services
  • Northwest's registered agent service is free for the first year of business formation
  • Over 20 years of experience

Cons

  • The registered agent service is costly compared to some other filing companies
  • Additional cost for EIN service
  • Many add-ons can get expensive
  • Not BBB-accredited

Northwest Registered Agent Services in Detail

LLC formation service

You can register your business with Northwest Registered Agent. Just provide your details, and Northwest Registered Agent with handle the rest with the Secretary of State. Be it an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit, Northwest Registered Agent charges the same price ($39 + state fees). The state fees vary from state to state. This money doesn’t go to Northwest but to the Secretary of State.

Registered agent service

NW Registered Agent's address will be listed in public records in place of yours. In addition, legal mail (such as lawsuits) intended for your company will be sent to Northwest, who will promptly forward it to you.

By so doing, Northwest Registered Agent guarantees that your personal information and privacy are well-protected. They'll also make sure your business meets all legal obligations at all times.

Northwest Registered Agent offers its registered agent service free for the first year after forming your LLC.

VIP service

Under the monthly VIP service, you will get premium services like same-day filing.

Mail forwarding

Northwest Registered Agent can receive business mail on your behalf, then scan and forward it to you. Since they use their address in place of yours in public records, fewer people will get to know your address. This can help prevent many unpleasant events.

Virtual phone service

When you sign up for this service, Northwest will provide you with a local phone number for your business. Phone services from Northwest Registered Agent cost $9/month. The first month is free.

Virtual office services

Northwest Registered Agent can provide you with a virtual office address if you don't have a physical commercial location where you work, which is a requirement for forming an LLC. Even though you don't physically work from there, you’ll have all the office-related services your business needs. The service costs $49/month regardless of the state where the virtual address is located.

Business address

If you only need a business address without office-related services, this service would work well for you. You can receive business mail at that location, keeping your home address private.

Annual business compliance filing

The annual report is critical to every registered business's compliance requirements. Northwest Registered Agent can help you file the report annually for $100 to ensure the state is always updated on whatever changes your business has made that year. This helps to keep your business complaint.

Annual report reminders

Northwest will remind you before your annual report filing is due.

EIN service

Northwest can help you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for $50 if you have an SSN or ITIN. If you're a non-US resident, Northwest can still help you obtain an EIN, but the price is $200.

Certificate of good standing

A certificate of good standing is required if you're forming a foreign LLC in another state. Northwest can help you get it for $50.

Free legal forms

Northwest Registered Agent provides a free library of all the basic legal documents your limited liability company needs. It includes templates for articles of organization, LLC operating agreements, and more. The templates can give you an idea of how to create yours, although you can leave it to Northwest to file everything for you.

Northwest Registered Agent Services Pricing

Northwest Registered Agent will help register your LLC, C Corp, or nonprofit for $39 + state fees. The registered agent service will then be free for the first year, after which it will renew for $128 annually.

All of that comes in a single package. However, if you desire additional services like EIN acquisition, virtual office address, and phone service, you can pay for them as add-ons.

  • Phone service: $9/month (free trial available)
  • EIN filing: $50
  • Virtual office: $49/month
  • Mail forwarding: $40/month
  • Compliance filing: $100
  • S Corp filing: $50
  • Certificate of Good Standing: $55
  • Trucking agent coverage: $125/year
  • Foreign LLC formation: $100

"You get Annual report reminders, mail scanning and uploading, and lifetime support, all for free."

Northwest Registered Agent FAQs

Is Northwest Registered Agent legit?

Yes, Northwest Registered Agent is a legit company and has been operating since 1998. Since that time, the company has left thousands of satisfied businesses in its wake. The business is located in Spokane, Washington.

Is Northwest Registered Agent good?

Yes, Northwest Registered Agent is a good choice. Northwest has amassed many positive reviews across Google and other review websites, and they are well-known for their excellent customer service.

Although it is yet to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars across Google. This shows many people are delighted with the service.

Do I need a registered agent to operate a business?

It's not mandatory to have a registered agent for your LLC. However, it's advisable to have one to ensure proper and timely filing of compliance and tax documents. Late filing may attract penalties, and you don't want that. Hiring a registered agent can also help keep your address away from public records since the registered agent's address may be used in place of yours.

Can I use a virtual address for LLC?

Yes, using a virtual address for your LLC is completely legal. A virtual address is a real physical address and is therefore acceptable as your business address, even though you don't have to work from there physically.

Can I use myself as a registered agent?

Yes, being your own registered agent is legal as long as you meet the requirements. However, keep in mind that there are downsides to this. You must be physically present at the address to receive legal and tax correspondence, so if you know you won't be there during normal business hours, you shouldn't take this path. Also, doing so would mean that your address will be listed on all public records. If you are trying to keep things private, hiring a third-party registered agent is your best bet.

How to cancel Northwest Registered Agent?

You can cancel Northwest Registered Agent LLC anytime by logging in to your online account and canceling the service in your client portal. You can also call them on the phone to cancel it for you.

Nothing weird will happen after cancellation. You won't lose your LLC or anything of that sort. They would just stop ongoing services, such as receiving mail on your behalf. However, you need to immediately file a change of registered agent filing with the Secretary of State and appoint a new agent.

Can I trust Northwest Registered Agent?

Yes, according to the reviews, Northwest Registered Agent is reliable and trustworthy. They would never scam you. Even when there's a miscommunication, and you mistakenly opt for a service you don't need or you're billed for a service you didn't select, you can place a call immediately to terminate it and request a refund.

What Do Customers Say About Northwest Registered Agent?

Northwest has impressed many customers with a 4.7-star Google rating out of 615 reviews. Some reviewers consider it the best LLC formation service for small business owners. Others mentioned how quickly Arnold, Christopher, or Zach immediately picked up their call, "held their hand," and walked them through the entire business formation process.

The few complaints stem from customers who misunderstood the service or made mistakes. For example, one reviewer accused Northwest Registered Agent of charging him for business filing when he needed a registered agent. However, he was later reimbursed.

Northwest Registered Agent has a 3-star rating out of 13 reviews on Trustpilot, which is a fair rating. However, some complained of their calls not being picked up after several tries, while one said that the Northwest Registered Agent's website is "bad and confusing."

But of course, others spoke highly of the fast, friendly customer service team and easy process. However, the number of reviews (13) is rather small to make a firm judgment.

Northwest Registered Agent Alternatives & Competitors

Compared with other top business formation services and registered agents, how does Northwest Registered Agent stack up? Let's see.

Incfile logo

Incfile

4

Like Northwest, Incfile offers a free registered agent service for the first year. In terms of customer service and responsiveness, NW Registered Agent comes top. However, Incfile provides more features, including Trademark registration, business bank account setup, and free LLC formation services.

At 4.7 stars, Incfile has a better rating on Trustpilot than Northwest Registered Agent. They're also known as one of the most affordable filing companies. They will register your business for $0 + state fees and offer the first year of registered agent service for free, after which it becomes $119 per year.

However, Incfile can get more expensive than Northwest when you opt for the upsells. The customer service and approval time can also take longer, 1-3 weeks, compared to Northwest's 3-5 business days.

verdict

If cheaper filing fees are your top priority, Incfile is worth a shot. However, Northwest has more top-notch customer support and tends to be cheaper in the long run. And depending on the upsells you buy, Incfile may sell your data. Northwest never sells your data.

Zenbusiness logo

ZenBusiness

4

ZenBusiness is one of the best LLC formation services in the world right now. The starter package costs $49 + state fees, which gives you LLC formation and one year of free compliance report and free registered agent service. There's a special offer for the starter package at $0 + state filing fees.

The 4.8 Google rating (Northwest has 4.7) shows that customers consider ZenBusiness a premium registered agent service. They also have more reviews than Northwest. But filing with the starter package takes about 2-3 weeks, much longer than Northwest.

If you want faster and more robust services, you have to go for the pricier packages, costing $199 and $299, billed annually. You can also pay extra for the expedited filing option. ZenBusiness charges $70 for EIN service, $20 more than Northwest. They also do not offer same-day document delivery.

verdict

Although ZenBusiness stacks up well against Northwest Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest for its excellent customer support team and better pricing. Everything comes in one package, and you pay for any extra service you desire.

leglazoom logo

Legal Zoom

3.8

LegalZoom is arguably the biggest name in the LLC formation world, and for a good reason. The service includes everything you need for your limited liability company, including filing articles of organization, a business address, and mail forwarding. They have a long history and have impressed customers over the years.

LegalZoom offers more ongoing legal services than its competitors, including Northwest. In addition, by subscribing to the service, you get access to data protection, identity theft protection, compliance calendar, credit monitoring, and unlimited cloud storage for business docs, among others.

LegalZoom can help you handle the paperwork if you change your registered agent. But in terms of pricing, LegalZoom is one of the most expensive LLC formation services.

LegalZoom's LLC service starts at $79 + state fees, while Corporation formation starts at $149 + state fees. Northwest Registered Agent forms LLC and C Corp for $39 + state fees. They charge a hefty $299 per year for registered agent service compared to Northwest's $125. Approval time also takes up to a month.

verdict

LegalZoom bugs you with many upsells you don't need that may raise your bill sky-high, and cancellation is usually difficult. Unless you require the company's legal services, you're better off with Northwest Registered Agent.

Inc authority logo

Inc Authority

3.5

Inc Authority offers a free plan for you to try out the service. Like Northwest, Inc Authority provides you with registered agent service FREE for the first year. But it also scores one over Northwest by offering a free business formation service. All you need to do is pay the state filing fees.

Inc Authority is another premium registered agent service. They claim to offer 100% Free LLC services, and it's true. However, they also top this offer with business name checks and responsive customer service.

But after the first year, Inc Authority becomes very pricey, costing $399-$799 yearly, depending on how many upsells you choose.

verdict

Inc Authority is a preferred alternative to Northwest Registered Agent if you're considering the cost for the first year. It also offers a free plan, unlike Northwest. But the package doesn't include five free forwarded pieces of business mail as Northwest does.

Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance

4

Harbor Compliance is an LLC service provider best suited for highly regulated industries. Their core services revolve around compliance and provide a rich database of government requirements so you can always stay up-to-date with new and existing regulations while navigating your new business.

Harbor Compliance bags a 4.3-star Google rating across 107 reviews, just a little behind Northwest. They also have quick turnaround times, so you can get your business running ASAP.

Although great for highly regulated industries, the average SMB may likely not find Harbor Compliance a great deal as the service is overpriced and the website outdated.

verdict

Harbor Compliance costs a hefty $399, and there's no smaller package or flexibility to select only what you need. Hence, you may find many of the additional services that come with the package irrelevant to your business. Consider an alternative if you desire better value for money and more flexibility.

BetterLegal-logo

BetterLegal

3

Better Legal is relatively new in the registered agent business. Although they just started operation in 2017, they are BBB-accredited, unlike Northwest Registered Agent.

With an A+ BBB rating, Better Legal has become a trusted brand in the business registration space. It also has a Trustpilot rating of 4.7. They offer state compliance services, filing of annual reports, and drafting operating agreements in addition to LLC formation and registered agent services.

BetterLegal often outsources some of its processes to make its LLC services faster, including registered agent services. They offer same-day filing just like Northwest, with a single package and zero upselling. Customers have been quite impressed with their ease of use.

Although named BetterLegal, the company isn't a law firm and does not offer legal advice.

verdict

BetterLegal costs $90 per year (or $10/month) for its registered agent services, which is cheaper than Northwest Registered Agent. If you need a monthly payment package to test the waters, BetterLegal is a great fit.

Rocket Lawyer-logo

Rocket Lawyer

3

If you need a professional service that doesn't only handle business formation service but one you can also discuss sensitive information, Rocket Lawyer might be a good fit. The company offers a host of legal features like attorney consultations.

You can get a free LLC formation by opting for Rocket Lawyer's legal services membership. You pay $39.99 monthly as a membership fee. For non-members, Rocket Lawyer gets much pricier than its competitors, and the LLC formation service comes with limited features.

The company formation costs $99.9 + state fees, while registered agent service costs $149.99 yearly.  It's one of the few registered agents that offer a free trial.

A 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot shows how impressive customers are with Rocket Lawyer.

verdict

Rocket Lawyer might not be a cost-effective choice if you're a small business on a tight budget. But of course, if you seriously require legal services, you'll find the high price worth it.

Final CONCLUSION

Now, the million-dollar question: how does Northwest Registered Agent compare to the top LLC formation services? When comparing Northwest Registered Agent to other services in the LLC space, we can see the price is more mid-range, and you get quality registered agent services that are commensurate with the price.

Notably, Northwest will never make it seem like they are forcing you to buy more services than you need. You can select what your business requires and ignore all else.

Regarding the EIN service that's expensive and somewhat unnecessary, you can easily opt out and choose another add-on. Hence, Northwest Registered Agent pricing gives you everything you need and nothing you don't.

Also, Northwest Registered Agent focuses on the human side of things, as they ensure you always speak to a live person rather than an automated receptionist. And if you leave a voicemail, they try to call back within the next two hours.

Finally, Northwest Registered Agent offers a rich privacy and data protection service. While other LLC services may sell your data depending on the upsell you choose, Northwest will never sell your data.

For these reasons, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent as the best filing and registered agent service provider for US businesses.