• Free plan offers a lot of value (state filing fees still apply)
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Free 1-hour tax consultation
best value
  • Free plan offers a lot of value (state filing fees still apply)
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Proactive customer service called to discuss next steps
best value
  • No free plan, but pricing is fair and upfront
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Free business name availability check
easiest
  • Affordable premium package
  • Simple entity formation
  • Highest-rated customer service
  • Personal data isn’t sold
  • Minimal upsells
fastest
  • Best known legal services company
  • Offers a full suite of business legal services
  • Lifetime customer services
  • Helped set up over 1.6 million LLCs
best known

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. 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. 

They do the hard stuff like filling out and filing your paperwork with your Secretary of State. All you have to do is give them your basic information so they can get started.

When it comes to online LLC and incorporation services and basic legal services, Northwest Registered Agent may not be the cheapest (but not the most expensive either) service. They offer some unique features compared to competing services and reasonable services. 

If you are wondering if their services are worth your hard earned cash, you’re in the right place. 

I used their services to set up an LLC to help answer your most pressing questions. In this review, I cover how to use their services, what I like about them, their pricing structure, and real-life customer reviews. 

So, let’s get started!

Summary: High-Level Pros and Cons of Using Northwest Registered Agent

As I went through the steps of forming my LLC, I documented what I enjoyed and the things I didn’t like about their process. Here’s my experience in a nutshell (in case you don’t want to read the full review). 

What I like (AKA the good stuff):

  • They offer numerous legal forms for free
  • Easiest filing of all the business formation services we have tested
  • Same business day filing is available
  • Access to an online dashboard
  • 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)

What I don’t like (AKA the not-so-good stuff):

  • They don’t have a free filing plan 
  • They charge for an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Overall, Northwest Registered Agent is a premium Limited Liability Company formation service that includes a lot of extra services other service providers charge big bucks for. 

They value transparency, privacy, and simplifying the complex world of starting and maintaining a business regardless of where and how you do business. They don’t sell your data to anyone and their team consists of top-notch industry experts (corporate guides) who know how to get the job done. 

How to Set up an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent

To get started, go to the Northwest LLC filing page and the three formation packages come up. 

Looking at the features for each of the packages, there isn’t a lot of difference between them.

For most people, the Basic Package at $79 (plus state fees) will do just fine.  In this package, Northwest will:

  • File the LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State (or similarly named state agency),
  • Set up a free Registered Agent for the first year. Every state requires an LLC to maintain a Registered Agent who is the central point of contact to accept important documents or service of process if the company is sued.  The owner, family member, or anyone for that matter who lives in the state of formation and is available during business hours can be the agent that will save the $125 per year renewal fee.
  • Lifetime customer service for what that’s worth.
  • Annual report compliance.  Every state requires a periodic report to update the information of the LLC, such as the owner’s contact information, Registered Agent information, and pay a fee.  Most states require this annually, while states like Pennsylvania are every 10 years. While the state will send a notice, the annual report compliance from Northwest is an extra notice, which is important because if you miss the state deadline, your LLC could be dissolved.

The Basic Package is the only one out of the three where the Employer Identification Number (EIN) isn’t included.  You will want to register for an EIN in most cases, however this takes about five minutes and costs nothing when registering directly from the Internal Revenue Service. 

If you have more than one member, it may be worth spending the extra $100 (plus state fees) to get the Deluxe Package because a customizable Operating Agreement is included along with the EIN filing. While the Operating Agreement isn’t required in most states, most banks will require one before they will open an LLC bank account. Northwest offers a free multi-member LLC Operating Agreement that you would need to spend some time with to get it to work for your LLC.  You can also get a customizable one from RocketLawyer for $40 if you want to save some money.  

The Premium Package ($199 plus state filing fee) includes everything from the Deluxe Package plus same-day expedited processing.  This isn’t the time it will take to form your LLC as you need to add the state filing processing time. The order processing time is just a few days already on the Basic and Deluxe Package, so unless you are in an extreme hurry, this package is unnecessary.  If the state provides the option, expedited service is available on all three packages for the cost of the state fee, which will speed up the processing time even more. 

Forming an LLC with Northwest

The order process is probably the easiest and fastest of all the services we tested. Walking through the registration, we will start by choosing the Basic Package by clicking on the “Get Started” button.  Here you are asked which type of business entity you want to form and the state of formation. We are choosing the LLC and Kansas.

Once everything on your screen is correct, click continue. Then, enter the business name you want to use. Northwest will do a name availability search after checking out to make sure the name available and will let you know if it needs to be changed. Each state requires the entity name to be different from all other corporation and LC names. You can check to see if your name is available here before forming the entity. You can decide if you want to use a generic business purpose or type in the services, products, and/or software you offer. Keeping the business purpose is generally recommended in case you decide to add products or services that are not similar to what you initially declared.

Then, choose the physical and mailing address you want on file with the state. Forming your entity with Northwest Registered Agents means you can use their address for no extra charge.

This is nice because it keeps your address off the public record.

From there, indicate if your LLC is member or manager owned. You can click on the question mark next to each option to learn more about them. Most LLCs are member-owned but choose the one that makes the most sense for your business.

Then, enter the contact information for each member or manager you want to be listed on the LLC filing paperwork. Again, you can choose to use Northwest Registered Agent’s address in place of your own to keep your address private.

Click the plus sign to add as many members as you need. Then click continue.

Next, set up your account using your email address and preferred password. Fill in your contact information and determine if you want them to send a copy of any lawsuits or legal notices to your attorney. If so, fill in your attorney’s information so they can do so.

Then click continue.

After that, you have the option to add additional services. Unlike most formation services, Northwest doesn’t have the annoying pages and pages of upsells. Instead, they have one page with sliders by each option, a description of each, and all are turned off by default. 

    • Annual compliance filing — these reports are usually due once a year or every other year. Hiring Northwest Registered Agent means they do the paperwork and use their contact information to file annual reports with your state when they’re due. Probably one of the best additional services is the annual report notifications. There aren’t any upfront fees with this notification service, but if you opt in to the filing service, they will automatically charge you $100 + state filing fees approximately 90 days before your next report is due.
    • Federal Tax ID Number — also known as an EIN number. If you have a social security number, this service is $50. If you don’t have one, it’s $200 and may take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to complete. Alternatively, you can apply for an EIN number directly with the IRS for free.
    • S-Corporation election — many LLCs lower their tax obligations by being taxed as an s-corporation. Hiring Northwest Registered Agent to do this means they file the paperwork with the IRS and charge you a one-time $50 fee. You can also learn how to do it on your own by filing IRS Form 2553 with the IRS at no additional cost.
    • Premium mail forwarding — They’ll provide an address and suite number for your business in the state in which you wish to receive mail. This service is $40/month and is unlimited with the choice of digital scanning or physical mail forwarding.
    • Virtual office — an alternative to premium mail forwarding that costs $49/month.
    • Certificate of Good Standing — The Certificate of Good Standing is an official document that shows you meet the requirements to operate as an LLC in your state. It’s most commonly used if you want to do business in another state. This service costs $62.50.
    • Certified copy – proof that your filing paperwork is authentic. You’ll get an official document with your state’s seal and a signature from your Secretary of State. This isn’t required to form your LLC but you may need one if you want to do business in another state. This service is $67.
    • Apostille — a document that certifies your certification. This is only necessary for foreign nationals that want to have an American company do business in another country. This service is $400.
    • 2nd telephone number — a secondary phone number in any state (with any area code) that forwards to your personal home/cell/business phone. You can use this number in place of your personal number to keep your phone number private. This service is $9/month. If you want a phone number in every state, it’s $459/month.
    • Corporate supplies — extra physical items you may like to have for your business (you can get something similar on Amazon for $50). These options include:
      • GoBook — a zippered binder organizer ($40)
      • GoBook and embossing seal ($70)
      • Binder/Slipcase — a 3-ring binder with a slipcase cover ($80)
      • Binder/Slipcase and embossing seal ($100)
      • Embossing seal ($30)
      • Notary stamp ($35)
      • 10 certificates ($15)
      • Overseas shipping for corporate supplies ($150)
    • FMCSA BOC-3 Filing — The BOC-3 blanket agent service provides nationwide DOT registration coverage for trucking services. The cost is is $125/year with no additional documentation fees.
    • FCC 499-A Registration — FCC telecommunications service. This service is $125/year and includes registered agent services to complete your registration requirements with the FCC.

    In all, that’s nearly $1,000 in one-time fees, $350 in annual fees, and $548 in monthly fees. But, the good news is most of these add-ons aren’t necessary for most businesses.

Decide which options make sense for your business and budget. You can see your total cost on the right so you always know exactly how much you owe. When you’re ready, click continue. All that’s left is entering your payment information… and you’re DONE!

That wasn’t near as complicated as you thought it would be, right? Congrats on your new LLC!

What I Like About Northwest Registered Agent

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 for you.

1. Numerous FREE Legal Forms

They have 17 free LLC legal forms (plus countless forms for other entity types) you can use to start and maintain your business. While you may be able to find these online, it’s nice having access to everything you need in one place. The full list includes:

  1. Articles of Organization
  2. Articles of Organization in Guam
  3. Meeting minutes
  4. Operating agreement
  5. Single-Member operating agreement
  6. Manager-Managed operating agreement
  7. Multi-Member operating agreement
  8. LLC capital contribution
  9. LLC membership certificate
  10. LLC EIN
  11. LLC bank account resolution
  12. LLC member resolution
  13. LLC manager resolution
  14. Articles of amendment
  15. LLC operating agreement amendment
  16. LLC capital contributions bill of sale
  17. LLC membership interest bill of sale

They’re organized in an easy-to-understand manner. And If you have experience doing it (or are feeling particularly adventurous), you can use these forms to file them with your state/the IRS on your own.

In my opinion, this shows how dedicated Northwest Registered Agent is to helping you with your business. Their end goal isn’t to make millions of dollars; it’s to simplify the complex process of starting a business.

2. Personalized Online Dashboard

Whether you opt for the self-service route or hire Northwest Registered Agent, you instantly get access to a personalized online dashboard. This is where they store your documents and any legal correspondence they receive as your registered agent.

Additionally, you can immediately see any unread documents, invoices, and things that require your immediate attention. You can also see the status of any pending orders.

This makes keeping track of your documents easy and ensures you don’t miss important deadlines or anything else requiring your attention.

While many service providers offer this, not all of them do and they’re not as easy to use as Northwest. One thing that makes theirs unique is that forms are automatically populated with information you’ve provided so you don’t have to spend hours giving them the same info over and over again.

3. Registered Agent Services Are Included

Any registered business (such as an LLC) has to have a registered agent on file with the State. This person or entity receives service of process to comply with due process laws in the United States.

Related: When is a registered agent needed?

Hiring a registered agent means:

  • Your address is private and off the public record
  • You don’t have to be available during normal hours of operation to receive mail
  • No annual report date tracking on your part (they remind you when things are due)
  • You can avoid embarrassing situations at your place of business

Most (but not all) entity formation services offer registered agent service free for the first full year. So, this doesn’t particularly make Northwest Registered Agent special.

They normally charge $125/year (which is cheaper than many other providers). But it’s included in your package when you use them to form your LLC.

It’s also important to note that this is their core service offering.

They utilize top-of-the-line technology to provide an excellent experience for their customers. In fact, they’re the only national registered agent that has the ability to locally scan your correspondence in real time.

4. 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’ve never sold their customers information and never will.

You can rest easy knowing no one else has access to your sensitive data and you’re in good hands. You can even use their address on your state filings to create an extra level of separation between your business assets and personal life.

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.

They have a custom-coded chat interface inside your personalized dashboard or you can give them a call whenever you need to.

They take pride in the fact that they don’t hide behind phone trees and everyone who answers the phone is a seasoned industry expert with the knowledge to answer your questions and guide you forward.

What I Don’t Like About Northwest Registered Agent

The advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages of Northwest, but I did notice a few things I didn’t particularly like throughout the process. None of them are deal-breakers in my opinion, but I still want to go through them and talk about why they stood out.

1. No Free Filing Plan (Or Any Plans for that Matter)

Other entity formation services (like IncFile and Inc Authority) offer a basic LLC formation solution for free + 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 (it’s $79 + state fee) for the Basic Package which equates to a mid to high-priced plan with other providers. So, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but a better deal than LegalZoom). The closest competitor based on the price point and services is ZenBusiness

With that being said, Northwest Registered Agent provides a lot of added-value other providers don’t, plus possibly the best customer service in the business. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s inherently bad. Plus it cuts out a decision you have to make and simplifies the process.

2. They Charge for an EIN Number

An EIN number is required to hire employees and open a business bank account. Additionally, it helps create a barrier between your personal assets and your business assets by replacing your social security number on legal documents and for tax purposes.

Every LLC formation service I’ve used charges for an EIN number so this isn’t something unique to Northwest Registered Agent and their price is among the lowest. However, it’s something I don’t agree with because you can easily apply for an EIN number for free through the IRS.

 

 

Additional Northwest Registered Agent Services

Entity formation services aren’t among Northwest Registered Agents’ core services. In fact, most of their business revolves around high-quality registered agent services.

Additionally, they offer other services to help new and seasoned business owners alike start and maintain their businesses. Several of them are included (or add-ons) in their LLC formation package but are offered as standalone products as well. These services include:

  • Registered agent services  — $125/year
  • Annual report filing service  — $100 + state fees per filing
  • Mail forwarding — $40/month
  • Virtual office — $49/month
  • Corporation formation — $225 + state fees
  • Foreign LLC registration — $225 + state fees
  • Non-US-Resident formation — varies

Related: Learn the differences between a foreign and domestic LLC

Exploring Northwest Registered Agent’s Reputation

Of all the entity formation services I’ve used, Northwest Registered Agent has the highest customer feedback ratings and overall industry reputation. They’re considered a premium, trustworthy, and quick incorporation service with an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.

Their strong moral principles shine through in their customer reviews and their quick response time and friendly response to all customer issues and complaints.

They have one customer complaint filed in January of this year (2020). It mentions having difficulty canceling services. But, Northwest Registered Agent resolved the issue within four days of it being placed. You can read the full complaint, here.

Real Northwest Registered Agent Reviews from BBB and Google

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Northwest Registered Agent has 33 reviews on the Better Business Bureau with an average rating of 4.25 stars. You can see the complete list of official reviews, here. Or take a look at what some of their recent customers have to say:

“I’m so happy I found them! Customer service is immaculate and they made it so easy for me to start my business. I will always use their services! Thanks Morgan!” – Jade T (May 2, 2020)

“What a refreshing service. In a world of automation and robot call trees, Northwest is a breath of fresh air. It’s never been so easy for me to register an LLC (this was my 4th) and I can’t imagine EVER using another service now that I’ve found them. Real people! That’s the best part of NWRA… real people. And their customer service is over the top amazing. I rarely gush about service providers, but this time I found a company who truly deserves it and walks the talk.” – Nico J. (January 15, 2020)

Google Reviews

There are 121 Google Northwest Registered Agent reviews with an average of 4.7 stars. Among them is a recurring theme of high-quality 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:

“I received exceptional service from Brad at Northwest Registered Agent. Brand went above and beyond my expectations to file my entity formation in an expedited fashion, then hung with me when I decided to make a change that required him to call the Secretary of State directly to alter my filing — incredible! Northwest is way more than just another online registered agent — there actually are highly competent and genuine service-oriented people behind it. I’m thrilled with my choice to work with Northwest and Brad!” – Brian Steinbrueck (February 2020)

“Thank you so much for your fine customer service experience. I was bragging to my team about Melody. She took what I thought would be a long and arduous call and turned it into a very positive, even uplifting experience. That is hard to find in business. I hope our team does as good a job with our clients as Melody did with me.” – Mary Beth Pennington (March 2020)

TLDR; Conclusion to Northwest Registered Agent LLC Service 

I had a hard time finding any negative reviews and customer issues that weren’t quickly taken care of and resolved in a professional manner. In fact, most of the reviews online mention top-notch customer service from friendly and educated people invested in helping their customers succeed.

You can rest easy knowing they’re a legitimate business offering exceptional registered agent and entity formation services. They’re quick to respond and fix their mistakes while providing a helping hand to anyone who needs it along the way.

Northwest Registered Agent LLC Services: Worth the Hype!

Although their services come with a slight premium price tag, Northwest is an excellent choice for forming an LLC. 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. 

With hundreds of happy customers and 13 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

  • Free plan offers a lot of value (state filing fees still apply)
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Free 1-hour tax consultation
best value
  • Free plan offers a lot of value (state filing fees still apply)
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Proactive customer service called to discuss next steps
best value
  • No free plan, but pricing is fair and upfront
  • Lifetime customer support
  • Free registered agent in the first year
  • Free business name availability check
easiest
  • Affordable premium package
  • Simple entity formation
  • Highest-rated customer service
  • Personal data isn’t sold
  • Minimal upsells
fastest
  • Best known legal services company
  • Offers a full suite of business legal services
  • Lifetime customer services
  • Helped set up over 1.6 million LLCs
best known