Northwest Registered Agent | Reviews by SmallBizGenius

Pros:

  • pros Free registered agent service for a year
  • pros Exceptional customer support
  • pros More than 20 years in business
  • pros Clients’ personal data is never sold to third parties
  • pros Many positive customer reviews
  • pros High level of security
  • pros Huge library of educational resources
  • pros Long list of add-ons

Cons:

  • cons Not the cheapest option
  • cons User experience could be better
Northwest Registered Agent Review

Score: A+

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About Northwest Registered Agent

Founded in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has quickly built a strong reputation for offering high-quality services at a fair price. While this company may not carry as much brand power as some of its closest competitors, according to Northwest Registered Agent reviews it’s slowly becoming one of the most trusted options in the industry. Although its name may suggest otherwise, Northwest is much more than just a registered agent company. This provider also offers a full suite of corporate compliance tools and incorporation services, including one of the market’s best LLC formation services.

According to the company’s website, Northwest forms hundreds of limited liability companies every day and has already helped incorporate more than two million businesses. Given its motto – “we’re just not annoying” –  it’s clear that this provider strives to offer simplified but transparent registered agent and business formation services. Unlike many similar companies, Northwest doesn’t sell its clients’ information to third-party advertisers. Moreover, the company will let you use its address in all of your state filings to make sure that your privacy is uncompromised.

One of the best things about Northwest is that it provides twelve months of service with all of its plans at no additional cost. Additionally, thanks to its flexible package offerings and long list of additional features, this provider can meet the needs of almost any business at a fair price. To top it all off, reviews on Northwest Registered Agent suggest that this company has exceptional customer support. 

If you are an entrepreneur ready to start your own small business or a medium-sized business owner in need of a new registered agent, we suggest you explore what Northwest Registered Agent has to offer. Keep reading our review for a detailed look at the company’s main services, pricing plans, application process, and all other specifications.

Northwest Pricing Plans

To make sure that it can accommodate the needs of a wide spectrum of clients, Northwest Registered Agent offers three tiers of bundled features. However, should all three plans (Basic, Deluxe, and Premium) fail to meet your specific needs, there’s also the option to tailor-make your own set of services by combining some of the additional features. When it comes to costs, Northwest’s lowest tier of LLC formation service is one of the market’s most affordable options, and the higher tiers are also priced reasonably. While some of its competitors may offer a longer list of services at a similar price point, it’s still safe to say that Northwest has a good cost-benefit ratio.

Basic package – $79 per year + state filing fees

Northwest’s Basic package is best suited for entrepreneurs who are simply looking to form an LLC. For $79 plus filing fees, Northwest will take care of all your business formation paperwork with the state.

The biggest selling point of the Basic package is that it comes with a full year of registered agent service with no extra charge. As your registered agent, in addition to accepting any official mail, lawsuits, and tax notices on behalf of your business, Northwest will also provide you with a few additional services. These include local office mail scanning without forwarding the documents to scan hubs, access to customer support along with a local corporate guide, annual report compliance, and an online account to monitor your business. 

In addition to offering its main feature for free for a limited period and charging $125 afterward, another great thing about Northwest Registered Agent is that it makes sure to scan each document that it receives on your behalf, not just the government docs they are required by law to forward.

Deluxe package – $179 per year + state filing fees

Judging by Northwest LLC reviews, the Deluxe plan is the company’s most popular offering. For $179/year (plus the state filing fees), you get everything that comes with the Basic plan with the addition of EIN and operating agreement features.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Tax ID Number works as a company’s Social Security number in that it helps the government identify your business for tax purposes. Without an EIN you can’t hire employees or apply for a business bank account. While it’s possible – and completely free – to request your Federal Tax ID Number directly from the IRS, letting Northwest take this task off your hands is much easier. 

If you are an entrepreneur forming an LLC, you’ll need to create an operating agreement. In short, this document outlines how your company will operate from financial and managerial viewpoints. According to Northwest Registered Agent reviews, this service proved to be quite valuable as other options include creating the document from scratch or using an online template.

Premium package – $199 per year + state filing fees

Northwest’s Premium package is best suited for entrepreneurs who are on the hunt for the fastest turnaround time for their business formation. For $199, you’ll receive everything that comes with the two lower tiers plus a same-day paperwork processing guarantee. Keep in mind that this feature only ensures fast processing on Northwest’s end and can’t speed up the state’s part of the procedure. 

Given that this company’s online incorporation service is quite fast as it is, we suggest you save the extra $50, unless you absolutely have to incorporate as soon as possible.

Additional Features

In addition to the three tiers of bundled plans, Northwest services for an LLC also include a list of helpful add-ons that you can use to customize your package. Here’s an overview of the additional services offered by this provider:

– Compliance filing service: 

To keep your LLC compliant and in good standing, you need to file specific reports with your state. Although each state has somewhat different reporting requirements, these statements are usually due each year or every other year. Depending on the state where your business is located, this report may be referred to as an Annual Statement, Statement of Information, Annual Report, Biennial Statement, Decennial Report, Periodic Report, or Franchise Tax Report. 

With Northwest’s compliance filing service, you don’t have to worry about missing a deadline on these statements, as the company will file them on your behalf. You’ll be notified 90 days before the report is due and five days after that Northwest will automatically file your report. Note that you’ll be charged for the required state fees plus $100 for the service provided by Northwest. Signing up for this feature comes without any additional charges, and you can cancel the service anytime.

– EIN: Northwest can get you an Employer Identification Number from the IRS regardless of whether or not you have a Social Security number (SSN) and an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Note that if you don’t have an ITIN or an SSN, you may be charged a little extra.

– S corporation election with the IRS: 

If you choose for your LLC to be taxed as an S corporation, your company won’t need to pay any taxes. However, you and other owners will have to report the company revenue as your personal income.

With this service, you won’t have to worry about obtaining your S corp election from the IRS, as Northwest Registered Agent will do it for you.

– Free mail forwarding: We recommend Northwest’s free mail forwarding option to clients who don’t need a unique suite number.

– Premium mail forwarding: If you’d like to increase the credibility of your address, you should consider Northwest’s premium mail forwarding package. For a monthly fee of $40, you can choose the state where you’d like your mail to be sent and get an address and a unique suite number for your company in that state. As far as forwarding options go, you can opt for weekly physical mail forwarding or same-day digital scanning.

– Certificate of Good Standing: 

A Certificate of Good Standing is a state-issued document used to prove that an LLC has met statutory requirements and, therefore, can do business in that state. This type of document is most commonly used by those who need to register their companies in another state to be able to operate there. 

In most states, this document is called Certificate of Good Standing, however, it may also be referred to as a Certificate of Status or Certificate of Existence. Note that the cost of this Northwest Registered Agent service may vary from state to state.

– Certified copy:

A certified copy affirms that a company’s approval document – such as Articles of Organization – is authentic. It usually comes with a state seal and a signature from the Secretary of State’s office.

Keep in mind that you’ll only need a certified copy of a document if you are registering your LLC to do business in another state as a foreign company. Also, note that fees may vary from state to state.

– Apostille: An apostille is a form of certification that you’ll need should you decide to take your American company to do business in another country. Note that you won’t need this service unless you plan on operating outside of the United States.

– Second telephone number: Northwest agency can also provide a second phone number for your company. The service is available nationwide, and the pricing starts at $9 per month. The calls can be forwarded to any of your existing numbers, and you can use the second number anywhere you wouldn’t list your personal numbers such as online listings and registrations.

 Corporate supplies: As far as corporate supplies go, the list includes notebooks, binders, certificates, embossing seals, and notary stamps. Based on Northwest registered agent reviews, one of the best things about this feature is that Northwest offers overseas shipping for all products.

Feature

Cost

Compliance filing service

$100/filing

EIN

$50 - $200

S corporation election with the IRS

$50

Free mail forwarding

$0

Premium mail forwarding

$40/month

Certificate of Good Standing

$60 - $100

Certified copy

$50 - $100

Apostille

$400

Second telephone number

$9 - $459

Corporate supplies

Starting from $35

Refund Policy

As far as refunds go, Northwest’s policy isn’t the most straightforward in the industry. However, if you request a refund within no more than 60 days of your initial purchase, you will be given your money back. Note that refunds come with a $25 processing fee.

Northwest Registered Agent Application Process

Online Application 

Thanks to the company’s user-friendly online ordering system, applying for Northwest’s LLC formation service is quick and easy. Northwest offers its services in all 50 states and can help you form an LLC, a corporation, and a non-profit corporation. To start the process, you’ll need to choose your desired business type, location, and service package. Next up, you’ll be asked to provide a little more info about the company that you’re forming such as its name, purpose, management type, owner’s name, and mailing address. From there, you’ll be able to set up your account and fill in your personal information. At this stage of the Northwest application process, you’ll be given an opportunity to decide whether you want your attorney to receive a copy of any lawsuits and legal notices automatically. 

After providing all the required information, you’ll proceed to your order summary. At this point, you’ll be able to include any additional services and customize your plan. Once you’re happy with the list of items that you’ve decided to go for, you’ll be redirected to the checkout to provide your payment information. 

LLC Forming Time 

Once you’ve submitted your application, Northwest’s professional filers will start working on your order and contact you with any questions. To check the progress of your request, you can either sign in to your account or wait for email updates. As soon as the process is completed and Northwest receives your documents from the state, you’ll be emailed the filed paperwork. 

If you purchase the Premium service package, Northwest will prepare and file all your paperwork on the same day. The filing time increases to a minimum of four and six days for the Deluxe and Basic plans respectively.

This Northwest review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that the paperwork filing service comes with a 100% error-free guarantee. In other words, should an error occur, Northwest will take the responsibility of filing every amendment needed to ensure that every piece of information is accurate. In this case, you won’t have to face any additional fees.

User Reviews

Judging by its A+ Better Business Bureau score, there is no doubt that this company has an impeccable reputation. While there aren’t that many customer reviews for Northwest Registered Agent online, there’s still enough user feedback to learn about the company’s biggest advantages and disadvantages.

As far as complaints go, some customers say that the platform could be easier to use. Others find that upgrading to the Premium package to speed the filing process up for just a few days is hardly worth the price. On the other hand, many users praise the company’s devotion to explaining the whole process in terms that even a complete novice could understand. Most Northwest Registered Agent LLC reviews mention that this company’s customer service team is one of the best in the industry. Unlike most of its competitors that outsource their support to large call centers, Northwest strives to provide high-quality support in-house.

Comparisons

Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom

Both Northwest and LegalZoom provide a wealth of information to help you learn how to run your LLC and understand the business world. LegalZoom is a good choice if you’d rather go for a more well-known brand focused on full legal services beyond just business formation. However, Northwest Registered Agent has many advantages when compared to this competitor. From cost value and turnaround times to feature availability, ease of checkout, and top-notch customer service, Northwest beats LegalZoom in almost every category. 

Northwest Registered Agent vs ZenBusiness

There are several things that these two competitors have in common. Both NorthwestRegisteredAgent and ZenBusiness offer the best LLC service for a reasonable price, have excellent client feedback, outstanding customer support, a long list of additional features, and fast turnaround times. So which one should you go for? If you are on the hunt for the lowest prices and appreciate a huge collection of positive user reviews, we suggest you opt for ZenBusiness. However, if working with a company that has a longer track record and offers premium customer support is a priority for you, Northwest Registered Agent is a much better option.

Similar products/software

Conclusion

Northwest Registered Agent’s services are priced quite reasonably, however, it’s important to mention that there are cheaper options out there. While some of its competitors can save you money and offer a few more additional features, it’s almost impossible to match Northwest’s customer support and zero upsells. Overall, if a full year of fee-free high-quality registered agent service with your LLC formation sounds appealing, Northwest Registered Agent is an excellent choice.

FAQ

Is Northwest legit?

Founded in 1998, this Washington-based business has quickly become one of the best LLC registration companies in the United States. Offering high-quality business formation and registered agent services, Northwest Registered Agent claims to serve a few hundred LLCs every day. To top it off, Northwest has very few negative reviews.

Does Northwest help with LLC publication requirements?

As far as state-specific publication requirements go, Northwest Registered Agent plays a sort of middle ground. While the company doesn’t offer to handle this step instead of you, it can assist you along the way. In other words, after forming your LLC, all you have to do is follow Northwest’s instructions on how to publish your business info in the local newspaper.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent (also referred to as a statutory agent or a resident agent) is a business or individual appointed to accept any lawsuits, official mail, or tax notices on a business’s behalf. The best registered agent service such as Northwest Registered Agent reviews and forwards all of your business documents while also protecting your privacy.

In what state should I form my LLC?

If you are a US resident, forming an LLC in your home state turns out to be the best option in most cases. Contrary to popular belief, forming an LLC in a “business-friendly” state such as Delaware, Nevada, or Wyoming can end up costing you a lot more. Non-US residents, however, can opt for any state.