If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terriblycomp ...
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Written by: Coralee Bechteler
Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Updated on May 8, 2023
If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terribly complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to a professional formation service.
One of the top options is Northwest Registered Agent. But is it the best service? And is it the right choice for you? This review takes a closer look — putting ourselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur — to help you choose the formation service that will put you on the road to success.
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Northwest Registered Agent handles the business formation process for you, making it nearly seamless while offering additional services that can make life easier for a new business owner. Whether you’re forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, Northwest Registered Agent takes care of all the red tape so you don’t have to.
Northwest Registered Agent offers one package of services and a la carte options. We explored all of the options and have broken down the services and pricing here.
|Northwest Registered Agent||Business Formation Package|
|Registered Agent Service**||One Year|
|Digital Mail Forwarding||√|
|Privacy By Default||√|
*State LLC formation fees are charged in addition to the package fees.
**If you opt out of the one year of registered agent services, you’re still charged the full package price. If you elect to use the registered agent services, they will renew after a year at $125 annually.
Northwest Registered Agent is offering a special price of $39 for the package if you use this link!
Northwest’s plan, at $225 plus state fees includes business formation, free registered agent services for a year, a business address, an operating agreement, and a few extras.
This plan is a fairly good value since registered agent services and an operating agreement, which is very important, is included.
But if you do not choose the registered agent services, you’re still charged the full plan price. Again, however, Northwest Registered Agent is offering a special price of $39 for the package if you use this link!
|Expedited filing||$100 plus state fees|
|S Corp election||$50|
|Trademark registration||$249 plus USPTO application fee|
|Registered agent services||$125 annually|
|Annual report filing||$100 plus state fees|
|EIN - U.S. citizen||$50|
|EIN - non-U.S. citizen||$200|
NOTE: Expedited filing often incurs additional state costs. Initial state filing fees are detailed below.
Your LLC must be formed with your state by filing articles of organization, sometimes called a certificate of organization or a certificate of formation. This can be done online or by mail. Northwest Registered Agent handles the filing for you online, and the LLC approval time varies by state.
Business formation can be time-consuming and difficult for an entrepreneur, and getting customer support from your state government office is often challenging. With Northwest Registered Agent, you have access to customer support Monday through Friday 6:00 AM to 4:30 PM. You can also email or submit a contact form – and they guarantee you’ll receive a reply that same day.
After you’ve received notification that your LLC documents have been submitted, Northwest Registered Agent will provide you with an online account. You’ll be able to access other filing forms in your account and will also find your formation documents once approved.
When you form your LLC, depending on the state where you register, there will likely be an added state fee. Below we have listed the fees for each state so you can calculate the overall expenses for creating your LLC.
Please note that the state fees are costs you’ll need to pay in addition to the Northwest Registered Agent formation service costs, or any other formation service you choose.
Use our dropdown calculator to check how much LLC formation will cost you using Northwest Registered Agent. Simply choose the state where you want to form an LLC and a la carte services to calculate the exact cost based on your needs and preferences.
In most states, when you form an LLC, you need a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.
For $125 per year, Northwest Registered Agent can act as your registered agent and ensure all official correspondence is handled on time and properly filed. They also keep track of deadlines and send reminders of things you need to file, such as tax forms and annual reports.
A registered agent service will help keep you in compliance with the law and save you time by keeping track of key documents and filing deadlines. The agency will also provide support if any issues arise.
Northwest Registered Agent’s registered agent services will enable you to have flexible hours. If you are your own registered agent, you must be personally available from 8 AM to 5 PM at your registered agent address. If you use an agency, they are available during those hours so you can focus on growing your business.
If you use a national agency like Northwest Registered Agent, you can also form an LLC or corporation in another state or multiple states where you do not have residency.
Using Northwest Registered Agent also offers you a level of privacy, as you would never be served with a summons at your business in front of customers or employees.
Northwest Registered Agent offers free operating agreement templates customized for your state and LLC type. An operating agreement for an LLC is not required in most states, but it is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties.
An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between business owners (“members”) and the basics of the working relationships between those owners and the managers who oversee daily operations. Only a handful of states require an operating agreement, but having one is highly recommended.
By using one of Northwest Registered Agent’s templates, you can just fill in the blanks, rather than having an attorney draw up the agreement. A selection of free templates is a stellar value compared to the attorney fees you would otherwise pay.
If you hire Northwest Registered Agent to form your business, they will create an operating agreement for you.
Northwests Registered Agent offers many guides and documents to help you with documents and other business tasks. Free guides include:
Below is a full list of the LLC legal document templates that Northwest Registered Agent offers, free of charge.
We tested the Northwest Registered Agent customer service experience from every angle. Here’s what we found.
When you first go to the Northwest Registered Agent site, you’ll see tabs at the top that you can click on to explore free guides, products and pricing, and more about the company.
Six quick links dominate the main page’s visual hierarchy.
To write this review, we clicked on the Hire Us link and proceeded to form a new LLC using Northwest Registered Agent’s service. Below we detail our customer service experiences.
You’re first prompted to select which service you’d like to purchase, and we appreciated that the option we were looking for is right near the top of the list.
Next, you’ll select your business type (LLC), the state you’re filing in, and your preferred payment method.
You can also choose your filing time if the state offers more than one option.
The following steps ask for your business’s information– such as its name, purpose, and management type. These sections do not influence your total order expense.
After you create an account with Northwest Registered Agent and provide your contact information, you can add more services or tools to your order.
View the prices for these options by selecting and deselecting the items and watching your Order Summary box on the right side of the webpage. Some fees will vary depending on the state in which you’re forming your business, like a certificate of good standing.
The questions are simple and quick without a lot of confusing text.
We found using Northwest Registered Agent to be an extremely smooth and pain-free process, and we especially like that the website’s order form allows you to jump back and forth between the filing sections quickly. For instance, you can compare state prices for both a certified copy and a certificate of good standing in North Carolina to the corresponding fees in Hawaii.
Above, an order for North Carolina. Below, an order for Hawaii.
You can repeat the above method to compare an LLC’s total upfront formation price in one state with Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guide Service monthly fee in the same state.
Be careful that your upfront order has only selected a Tax ID as an additional service option to compare prices accurately.
If you need to take a break, your progress will be saved– even if you don’t return until the next day.
Again, whether you select the Corporate Guide Service plan or pay upfront, Northwest Registered Agent makes forming your LLC quick and easy.
Northwest Registered Agent will process and submit your documents to the correct state department for filing on the same day you purchase their services.
The time allotted for filing and approval of your LLC documents varies from state to state. Remember, some states offer numerous fees if you wish to expedite the filing process. The best way for you to review the turnaround time in different states is right at the beginning of the LLC formation order form.
Overall, the site is straightforward to use no matter what stage of filing preparation you’re in. If you’re ready to go and just want to complete the process, the Hire Us tab is always displayed at the top of the webpage. If you need more information, the How To and Our Services tabs can also always be found at the top of any Northwest Registered Agent webpage.
Even if you don’t purchase any services, you do have the option to sign up for a free account with Northwest Registered Agent. However, this isn’t posted on their website as much as their quick links to begin filing are.
The filing/order page is where you’ll find the opportunity to sign up for a free account. But signing up for an account doesn’t seem to give you access to anything you’ll need unless you actually go ahead and form your LLC.
With Northwest Registered Agent, you can cancel business services at any time by accessing the services tab of your online account. You can also request to cancel services using their online chat feature, by phone, or by email. See the contact information below.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM – 4:30 PM PST
Email: [email protected]
We did note that a few of the reviews of Northwest Registered Agent were about difficulties with cancellation, including this one:
“Nobody at this company responded to my emails requesting cancellation – or any emails I sent – for about 5 years or more. They just kept sending bills, almost as though there was some plan to sue for the money later. The only reply I ever received from this business was when I left a negative review here.”
We tested all three forms of Northwest Registered Agent customer support.
When we tested the customer service response time through the online chat option, we received a personal response within one minute.
However, the online chat option doesn’t seem to be available consistently during Northwest Registered Agent’s posted business hours. We found that sometimes the chat was open, and other times it only displayed their “away” message.
In fact, even as we were writing this section of this article, the online chat feature switched from “away” to “available” and back again multiple times.
The question we asked was about service packages– specifically, we wanted to double-check if there were any other packages besides the Corporate Guide Service.
The customer service agent was very polite and quickly explained that Northwest Registered Agent only offers the Corporate Guide Service; all other services can be purchased a la carte.
Chat Support Rating:
We called Northwest Registered Agent to ask a question about that mysterious discount floating around the internet – the markdown to form your LLC for only $39. We encountered just one automated phone menu with three options to listen through. Our call was then almost immediately answered by a friendly and professional customer service representative.
He knew exactly what discount we were referring to and promptly emailed us access to the deal.
Phone Support Rating:
In an email, we asked Northwest Registered Agent the same question about service packages we asked in the online chat. Within two hours, we received an email back with our question similarly answered. The person who responded was concise and made no sales pitches.
Email Support Rating:
We wanted to know how Northwest Registered Agent customers feel about the service, so we thoroughly explored customer reviews at the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot.
Northwest Registered Agent has an A- rating from the BBB
Northwest Registered Agent has an A- rating from the BBB with 4.39/5 stars in customer reviews, but Northwest Registered Agent is not accredited with BBB. They have received 22 complaints in the last three years, all of which have a resolved status.
Many positive reviews at BBB revolve around exceptional customer service. You’ll find numerous reviews that praise Northwest Registered Agent’s prompt and efficient customer support, no matter which communication method you use. Customer service representatives have been commonly reported as polite, professional, and knowledgeable.
One review boasted fast customer assistance, saying a mistake was “fixed in less than 30 minutes.” Another said they received “the BEST” customer service in “MANY years,” and one passionate customer left a review that read they “can’t even begin to describe how much easier they have made my life.”
Some negative reviews concern billing errors and cancellation issues. One person said they waited five months for a service they ordered, and another said they experienced “bait and switch pricing.”
This latter review received a response from Northwest Registered Agent claiming the company had no record of that username’s account, so it may have been a fake – which is a serious issue in this competitive market.
A 2021 review said that Northwest Registered Agent was still refusing to execute an account cancellation request from 2014.
You can read reviews on the BBB website.
Northwest Registered Agent has an average trust score rating on Trustpilot.
The Trustpilot score for Northwest Registered Agent is 3.5/5 stars.
Northwest Registered Agent reviews at Trustpilot break down as follows:
Many positive Trustpilot reviews, again, revolve around excellent customer service and quick services. One person said, “the process was easy and fast,” and multiple customers highlighted how Northwest Registered Agent service representatives helped them start their businesses “without any problems.”
Another person reflected on the “awesome, friendly, and patient” assistance they received over the phone. Others mentioned the general accessibility of Northwest Registered Agent’s customer service.
Some less favorable reviews involve unexpected account charges or changes and difficulty reaching customer service. One person complained that they only received notice of an address change when they randomly checked their online account and saw a pop-up on their screen. Another complained of being unable to get a hold of anyone on the phone.
Others complained that the company finds a way to blame users who experience difficulties or have complaints. Another review bemoaned how the online chat representatives didn’t seem to know what services Northwest Registered Agent even offered.
You can read reviews on the TrustPilot website.
Overall, Northwest Registered Agent’s services offer advantages and drawbacks, as detailed below.
Northwest Registered Agent, a family-owned company founded in 2006, has over 700 employees and has helped start or maintain more than three million businesses. Based in Spokane, Washington, they are structured as a limited liability company (LLC) – just like your business!
We explored several services similar to Northwest Registered Agent to see how they stack up.
Northwest Registered Agent offers more individual service options than many competitors. At the same time, they also only offer one pricing package while others offer multiple tiers.
For instance, LegalZoom has three packages of services.
None of the LegalZoom plans come with an operating agreement service. It costs $99 extra for the service. Annual compliance services are also not included in LegalZoom plans. Turnaround times with LegalZoom also tend to take longer than Northwest Registered Agent.
Similar to Northwest Registered Agent, Swyft Filings is not a subscription service. They charge a one-time fee for business formation services of $49, and other ongoing services can be added. The differentiating factor for Swyft Filings is their speed. Their signup process is quick, and they claim to have some of the fastest business formation turnaround times.
Incfile has very competitive pricing. Their basic package, called the Silver Package, is free and includes registered agent services for a year. Their Gold Package is only $149 and includes the operating agreement as well as a banking resolution. Their Premium Package is $299 and includes some additional services that Northwest Registered Agent does not.
Overall, Northwest Registered Agent provides valuable services for aspiring business owners. They can ensure that your new business gets off on the right foot. Their service is easy to use and offers a great customer experience, which we learned from testing their support services, reading countless customer reviews, and moving through their online formation process.
Northwest Registered Agent can take the time and hassle out of starting your business and the ongoing process of staying in compliance with your state’s laws. Their streamlined pricing is uncommon amongst competitors, so you’ll have more control over what you pay for. We highly recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
As a leading entrepreneurial advisory site, we take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.
As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In this case, we:
Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewer and team are able to provide the most complete and insightful review of Northwest Registered Agent’s LLC formation services.
A service like Northwest Registered Agent can make the business formation process easy for you and ensure that it’s done correctly. They provide customer support and additional services to support your business.
Northwest Registered Agent offers business formation services to handle the paperwork and cut through the red tape with your state, so you don’t have to. They also include additional services when you hire Northwest Registered Agent to form your LLC, like a year of registered agent services and a bank resolution.
Registered agent services from Northwest Registered Agent cost $125 annually. Alternatively, you can purchase registered agent services plus the benefit of annual compliance services for $225 annually.
Northwest Registered Agent has an A- rating from the BBB with 4.39/5 stars in customer reviews. Remember, Northwest Registered Agent is not accredited by the BBB even though they are featured on the site.
You can contact Northwest Registered Agent and request to cancel your plan or services at any time using one of the methods outlined below.
There are no fees or penalties to cancel a service you’ve purchased from Northwest Registered Agent, so you can easily cancel at any time. However, keep in mind that Northwest Registered Agent does not deliver any state fee refunds once documents have been filed.
Published on September 11, 2022
If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terriblycomp ...
Published on September 8, 2022
If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most significant hurdles. This step can be terriblyco ...
Published on September 8, 2022
Business entity formation is a crucial element of launching a business, and because it’s often complex and tedious many entrepreneurs hire aprofes ...