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Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

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Northwest Registered Agent LLC Formation Service

As you navigate the world of starting a new business, it oftentimes feels like you meet a roadblock at every step.

It’s no secret turning your phenomenal idea into a legitimate business is complicated.

Some things make you want to pull your hair out, and others leave you screaming at your laptop at 2 AM, wondering why nothing seems to be going your way. Some things may even make you cry and consider giving up.

But… forming your LLC and registering it with the state isn’t one of those things with the right guidance. In fact, it’s probably one of the easiest parts of legitimizing your new idea thanks to business entity formation services like Northwest Registered Agent.

Best known (as you may tell by their name) as a registered agent service provider (called resident agent or statutory agent in some states), Northwest also offers entity formation services where they fill out and file legal forms with the Secretary of State.

While Northwest doesn't have a free LLC formation service, like some popular plans with Zenbusiness and Incfile, their price of $39 plus state fees has a lot of value in terms of both perks and customer service the others don't offer. If you’re wondering if their services are legit and worth the dent in your wallet, you’re in the right place.

I have used their services to help clients set up their LLCs and in this review, I'll cover how to use their services, what I like about them, what I don’t like, their pricing structure, real-life customer reviews, and answer your most pressing questions. In this review.

Editor's Rating:
4.42

Pros

  • There aren't multiple plans to choose from
  • Fast order process
  • Fewest upsell screens
  • Knowledgable customer service
  • Registered agent services are included at no cost in the first year
  • They don’t sell your data to third parties
  • 100% transparency (and no hidden fees)

Cons

  • They don’t have a free filing plan

Northwest Registered Agent Review 2023

Northwest Pricing

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Even though there isn’t a free option from Northwest, unless you file yoursef, their $39 plan offers a ton of value, especailly with their included privacy features. Also, their upsells are among the lowest cost compared to the other formation services review companies that we have reviewed.

Most other service providers have multiple pricing plans (or are free). But Northwest Registered Agent has one LLC formation plan that starts at $39 + state filing fees. This makes it easy for you to get started because you don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what plan is best for you.

It’s a straightforward, transparent, and unquestionably honest approach to LLC formation services I haven’t seen anywhere else. Plus, their value-added services and unique business operation justify the premium price tag, in my opinion.

Forming an LLC with Northwest

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

With only a few screens to complete and very few add on services, Northwest is the fastest LLC formation tested so far.

How easy is it to form an LLC with Northwest? Super fast!

Instead of a bunch of upsells (they save theirs until the end on only one page), getting the LLC filed will take five minutes or so to get through.

To show you how easy it is, I’m going to do a screen-by-screen walk-through to show you what it’s like to form an LLC with Northwest. 

Step 1: Go to Northwest’s Website

The normal price is $100 (plus state fees), but if you use our discounted StartingYourBusiness.com link, the formation price is $39 plus state fees. Once arriving, click on form your LLC.

Step 2: Select the Entity & State of Formation

On the first screen, you will choose the type of entity you want to form. Then once you select your state from the drop-down menu, you will get an update on the fees to file the state, along with Northwest’s fee.

In this example, I’ll choose the LLC.

Next, select your state. In this example, I’ll choose Illinois, and you can see the price update in the order summary. $154 is the actual cost to file with the Illinois Secretary of State. The only other fee is the $39 Northwest fee. After picking the state, you will see the time it will take to file, plus an additional option comes up to speed up the filing for an additional fee. 

Step 3: Enter the Company Information

On the next screen, we enter the name of the LLC that we want to use. Every state requires using a unique name, and no other LLCs in the state can register the same name.

Before submitting the final paperwork, Northwest will verify that the name you want is available. 

The next section asks about the business purpose, which is what the business will be doing or selling. I recommend keeping with the generic business purpose because if you enter something more specific and your business activity significantly changes, you are typically supposed to amend your purpose statement with the Secretary of State. 

Next, you can choose to use the physical address and mailing address you want on record with the state. It’s important to point out here that a post office box can’t be used for the physical address and is one of the things that makes the Northwest service worth paying a little more for because of the private address. 

If you use their registered agent service, the agent and that address are free for the first year and $125 a year after that. 

Choose whether you want Northwest to manage these addresses for you, and then click continue. 

Step 4: Enter Management of the LLC

The next screen is titled management and we start off by selecting whether the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed

Member-managed is the most common choice as the owner or owners, who are called members in an LLC, are also involved with the day-to-day operations of the business. A manager-managed LLC is one where the members hire someone to manage the business. 

Then you will choose how many members will be in the company. For a lot of new businesses, it may only be the person starting the business and maybe their spouse, but it could include a friend, family member, or a business partner.

Enter the names of all LLC members and the address that will be recorded with the Secretary of State. If you prefer to keep that private, remember to select the Northwest address. Otherwise, you can use your own address and then select continue. 

Step 5: Create your Account

Next, we are going to set up our account with Northwest and enter our email address and password. After entering that info, click continue. ‘

Step 6: Enter Contact Information

Next, enter your contact information. This can be a personal address that won’t be listed.

Unlike earlier, you can elect to can use a PO Box or a mailing address that is different from your registered agent or store if that’s where you choose to send mail from the state. You also have the option to send a copy of lawsuits and legal notices to your attorney in addition to the registered agent. 

After entering this info, click continue. 

Step 7: Pick Any Optional Services

Something else I really like about Northwest is they save all of the upsells for the end, unlike the other entity formation companies where they have separate screens for all of the services they want to sell you, which makes Northwest the fastest company that I’ve reviewed so far to form an LLC with.

The optional services include:

Tax ID Number: $50 – The tax ID number, officially referred to as the Employer Identification Number (EIN), is a number that is assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service, much like a social security number for an individual.

I have seen other formation companies charge up to $99, and $50 is the best so far, but if you apply for an EIN directly with the IRS, there is no cost, and it takes just minutes to do.

S-Corporation Election: $50 – One of the benefits of the Limited Liability Company is to choose a tax election. An LLC can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, s-corporation, or c-corporation.

This is a subject to talk with your accountant, as everyone’s financial situation will vary, but most LLCs will want to wait to make this election until they are profiting over $60,000.

To elect the s-corp tax election, Form 2553 has to be filed with the IRS. We have information showing how you can file IRS Form 2553 at no cost.

Premium Mail Forwarding: $20/month – Premium mail forwarding is an option where your mail is sent from a private mailing address to you. This is a virtual mailbox service with digital scanning or physical mail forwarding.

Virtual Office: $29/month – The virtual office service includes the premium mail forwarding service, plus phone service and a dedicated office address, with its own lease and unique suite number. This can be useful for establishing a permanent address to make your business look more legit, and could be especially useful if you are a remote business or working from home. There are only ten states to choose from at the moment, but for a mere $9 more a month than the mail forwarding service, you get an actual business address and a second phone number too.

Certified Copy: $Varies – The certified copy option is to get a certified copy of your Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation, which is the LLC formation paperwork that is filed with the Secretary of State. For some states, you can select this option, but it depends on how Northwest files the paperwork. If they file online, the paperwork is returned by email, and you will have the option to get a physical copy. If they file via mail, the paperwork is returned by mail, and you will have an official copy without ever having to pay for it.

The only instance that I can think of where I would consider getting a certified copy is if you have plans to go after government contracts, as this paperwork is needed to register for certain certifications.

Trademark Service: $499 – Northwest also offers a federal trademark service. The cost is $249 plus the $250 filing fee from the United State Patent & Trademark Office. 

Learn more about trademarks to see if this option applies to you.

Phone Service: $9/month – Last, you can opt for a phone service from Northwest. This is a private number for your business for $9 a month.  This service sounds fine, but you can get a free number through Google Voice and also forward it to your phone. If you want the phone service and are also ordering the mail forwarding too, you may as well get the virtual office with its unique suite number, as you won’t spend any additional money to get it.

Step 7: Pay and Check Out

All that’s left to do is pay the state fee and fee to Northwest and check out!

Northwest’s Reputation

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

There are not nearly as many online reviews as there are for ZenBusiness and Incfile, which makes it hard to evaluate. Overall, the reviews are positive, but we would have liked to see more of them.

Northwest Better Business Bureau Reviews

The BBB has only 110 customer reviews with 4.45 stars out of 5 and a BBB rating of B+.  You can see that Northwest is not accredited, which, while it doesn’t sound good, it just means they haven’t paid to be a Better Business Bureau member. A+ is the highest score, and I’m not exactly sure what the deficiencies there were that dropped them to a B+.

You can see the complete list of official reviews here. Or take a look at what some of their recent customers have to say:

They helped out with everything from start to end. I highly recommend using their services. Customer ********************** is very helpful with any questions. The staff knew how to answer all my questions and was extremely involved in making sure everything was done promptly and efficiently. – Stevie N

Some reviews weren’t as happy about their service. I’m guessing there is more to this story as the initial complaint is about the price to file a form and then saying they cancelled the registered agent service.

Terrible experience with Northwest and would not recommend their services. They charge $100 service fee for filling a simple form with state which only cost $9. Their customer *********************** is not friendly at all and they do not reply to emails. Emailed multiple times regarding a cancellation of service no single returns. For services not rendered to customer, they do not refund, in addition, they will cancel your full registered agent service without no single notice or ****** reason. This is the most awful registered agent service i ever had.

Trustpilot Reviews

Normally I only use the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot when doing reviews to keep things consistent and not cherry-pick the review services that only show positive results, but there were only a total of 12 reviews on Trustpilot. Unfortunately, the score is low too, with 3.3 stars out of 5, but 12 reviews are hard to get a feel for the quality of services, but seeing fewer than half are five stars isn’t ideal. ZenBusiness and Incfile have thousands of reviews on this site, and I expected to see Northwest have a lot as well.

You can see the entire set of reviews here, but I’ve included a positive and negative review.

Easy Process.
I didn’t have too much knowledge on LLC’s, the process was easy and fast, the same week all the process was done with no issues and everything 100% digital without waiting for mail. Also affordable (around $100 than competitors), I recommend it for small businesses. – Alex C.
Completely unsatisfactory. Can not recommend at all. Northwest’s customer support (or “Corporate Guides” as they call them) isn’t going to be any help either. Rather than work to understand the issues their services have and improve them, they are quick to cancel your subscribed services and kick you to the curb. If by chance you reserved your company’s name with the state secretary prior to formation, good luck getting Northwest to assist in filing your LLC/EIN paperwork.they can’t perform the functions you hired them for. – A L

Google Reviews

So to find another source of reliable customer reviews, I’ll see what people had to say on Google Reviews.

There are 623 Google Northwest Registered Agent reviews with an average of 4.7 stars. Among them is a recurring theme of high-quality and responsive customer service from Northwest’s guides, quick service, and nothing but top recommendations from real-life users.

Read the complete list of Google Reviews or check out what these recent customers have to say about their experience:

Awesome company with straight forward pricing and a great service. Alan Patterson was friendly, professional, and super helpful. Highly recommend.
horrible – they take money from your account without approval. I signed up thinking it would be fine to use just as a R.A. I told them that’s all I wanted, just the reference. I told them I did not want to use them for my filings and that I would file on my own. What did they do? They filed my filings and charged me. Then, I called them and made them reimburse me because they could see that I only signed up. This business uses automation to your disadvantage and they are difficult to deal with. Customer Service should be told ONCE. We should not have to call continuously to keep them from charging us monthly for a service we did not sign up for. I’m reporting this business to the BBB.

Northwest Registered Agent LLC Review Conclusion

Just like any business, there were negative reviews, and despite the good reviews, they didn’t stack up as well as, say Incfile. Most of the time, there was an attempt to remedy the situation, but not as consistently as Incfile or Zenbusiness.

Now that you know the full process of forming an LLC with NorthWest Registered Agent, I want to talk about the good things that stood out to me. I also want to dive deep and discuss why they matter and what they mean to you.

What I Like About NorthWest Registered Agent’s LLC Formation Service

1. Ease of formation

Using our link, for only $39 dollars, you get the LLC paperwork filed, registered agent service in the first year, business address, mail forwarding, and more. While this isn’t free, I believe that the additional privacy protections they include are going to be well worth more than $39 over the lifetime of owning the business to a lot of people. 

2. They Don’t Sell Your Data to Third Parties

Whether they tell you or not, many entity formation providers make big bucks selling your information to third parties. Oftentimes they make thousands of dollars by giving your email and contact info to other people.

Additionally, the company you signed up for may get kickbacks for sending you to other providers to fulfill the promises they made to you. They may outsource their registered agent services, customer support, or other departments.

But Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t. They do everything in-house and minimize their use of third-party apps and software to keep your data private. They claim to have never sold their customer’s information and say they never will. I can’t verify whether other formation companies do this, but Northwest has promoted this benefit for many years, and I’ve never seen any dispute.

3. Filing Speed

Third, the turnaround times with Northwest and compared to the other reviews so far, the time to file with free plans are slowed often slowed down, depending on how long it takes the state to process.

Northwest will charge for expedited processing if the state offers it too, but many formation companies will slow down the standard filing from states that process in days and stretch it out to several weeks and then offer to speed up the processing for a fee.  

Let’s take filing an LLC in the state of Tennessee, for example. If you were to file directly with the state, your LLC is processed immediately at no extra cost. With Northwest, there is a five-day filing time.

The standard processing with ZenBusiness is 2-3 weeks.

While Incfile is three weeks.

So if you were in a hurry to get your LLC filed with some other popular entity formation companies and paid for expedited processing, they would actually cost more than Northwest. For most, it’s not going to matter, but this is another positive in my book on the integrity of Northwest. They could artificially slow down the filing process and then charge more to process faster, but they don’t.

4. Few Upsells

Another positive aspect of Northwest in my book is that they have the fewest and least intrusive upsells. Northwest puts all of them on one page just before checkout, and they don’t try to scare you into buying something you don’t need.

There are a total of 9 screens to form an LLC with Northwest, while Incfile has 8 upsell pages alone, in addition to the LLC-related pages, while Zenbusiness has 6 upsell pages.

Speaking of the upsells also reminds me that the additional services are generally much better priced than the competition. For example, the EIN registration is only $50 at Northwest and $99 at ZenBusiness. Also, the registered agent service is $125 per year, whereas ZenBusiness charges $199. 

5. 100% Business Transparency

At Northwest Registered Agent, “We believe wholeheartedly that getting a job well done should not be considered a luxury, nor should a customer ever be tricked into buying something they don’t need. And a customer should never be sold something they don’t need.”

The company was started by a ski bum who saw an opportunity to help business owners and entrepreneurs like you simplify the process of starting a business. Because of that, they do business differently, with a foundation built on transparency, privacy, and simplicity.

You always know how much you’re going to pay without scratching your head in confusion. Everything is laid out in layman’s terms that are easy to understand. And if there’s anything you don’t get, you can contact them at any time.

What I Don’t Like About Northwest Registered Agent

Despite all of the advantages of Northwest, there were a couple of minor negatives.

1. No Free Plan

Other entity formation services (competitors like IncFile and Inc Authority) offer a basic package for forming an LLC for free, plus the state filing fees. Alternatively, many other service providers offer tiered pricing plans so you can bundle services and save money.

With Northwest Registered Agent, they have one plan. It’s not free, but it’s only $39 plus the state fee. There is a lot of value in Northwest’s LLC formation service, but when most competitors have a free plan, it can be hard to justify spending extra.

2. Online Reviews

Northwest has much fewer reviews than Incfile and ZenBusiness, even though they are a major player in the entity formation and registered agent industry. It would be good to see more reviews to more easily compare against the competition.

Final Thoughts on the Northwest Registered Agent LLC Service Review

Although their services come with a premium price tag, you get a ton of added value as well as a premium customer support team dedicated to helping you and your business succeed. Plus, you can reach out to them at any time with questions, concerns, or any confusion you may have.

Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t try to sell you non-essential services masked as essential, and their foundation is built on transparency, privacy, and lending a helping hand. Their single pricing plan makes one less decision for you, and their complete transparency is a breath of fresh air.

With hundreds of happy customers and 25 years of service, you can rest easy knowing they deliver on their promises and are a friend to help you through the complex world of starting a business.

Get started forming your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent FAQs

How do you contact Northwest Registered Agent directly for support?

Contact information for Northwest Registered Agent:
Phone: 509-768-2249
Email: support@northwestregisteredagent.com
Online: https://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/contact

How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to other LLC providers?

In our reviews, Northwest is one of our top three LLC services, with Incfile and ZenBusiness ranking very close together.

Where I felt Northwest excelled over other services was transparency, privacy, and speed of formation.

How much does Northwest Registered Agent charge to form an LLC?

The cost to form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent is discounted from $100 to $39 plus the state fee when using our link.

Should I reserve an LLC name before forming an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent?

While it doesn’t hurt to see if your LLC name is available, Northwest will verify your name is available before submitting the paperwork.

Learn how to check your state’s database and see if your LLC name is available.

How quickly does Northwest Registered Agent process LLC formations?

While all entity formation companies offer expedited processing for an additional cost, Northwest is one of the fastest at processing the standard filings.

Every state is different, but when you start the order process, the actual time will be displayed.

How do I log into my Northwest Registered Agent account?

To log into your Northwest Registered Agent account here – https://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/login

Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

Should You Use Northwest Registered Agent to Form Your LLC? (2023 Review)

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I have over 21 years as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, where I worked with over 1,600 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses.

As a small business advisor, I got fed up with clients finding inaccurate and outdated information when they were researching how to start a business online, so I launched StartingYourBusiness.com to be a trusted resource.

I'm constantly adding and revising this site, but if there is a question you have about starting a business or need help finding something, please ask!

2 Responses

  1. I currently have an LLC w/ NW Reg. Agent for an online company. Can I place another business under this LLC by just doing a DBA?

    1. Hi Lisa – You sure can. Every state has different steps to do so, but you will need to register for a DBA with the Secretary of State (or whatever the name is of the state agency that registers LLCs). In some states, there is also a DBA registration for sole proprietorships and partnerships that happens at the state level, but this is a different registration.

      Alternatively, Northwest can file a DBA for you if you don’t want to dig through your state’s form.

      You do need to be aware that if one business is sued, the assets of the other business(s) within the LLC are at risk as well, since they are in the same legal entity.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

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