Last updated November 3, 2020
My thoughts on
Northwest Registered Agent
Hi, my name is Matt Horwitz and I’m the founder of LLC University®. For the past 10 years, my team and I have been creating free courses on LLC formation in every state.
Throughout this time, I’ve gotten to know the LLC formation and Registered Agent industry very well.
I hope you find my Northwest Registered Agent LLC review helpful.
Northwest Registered Agent services
Northwest Registered Agent offers two primary services:
Registered Agent service
Their Registered Agent service ($125 per year) is for Registered Agent service only. It doesn’t include LLC formation.
Who should choose this service?
This service is best if you want to form your LLC yourself, but need to hire a Registered Agent, or prefer to use one to keep your address off public records. You can follow our LLC filing instructions if you want to form your LLC yourself.
LLC formation service
Their LLC formation service ($39 + state fee) includes forming your LLC as well as 1 year of free Registered Agent service. After that, it’s $125 per year.
Who should choose this service?
This service is best if you want to hire a company to form your LLC and take care of everything.
Northwest will form your LLC, be your Registered Agent, and use their address throughout the LLC filing (keeping yours off public records).
What about other Registered Agent companies?
While there are other options on the market, I haven’t found any that:
- have been in business as long as Northwest (20+ years)
- have great customer support (call and ask any question; you’ll be impressed!)
- have the best pricing
- keep your address off public records (and off google searches)
Unfortunately, most companies we’ve found:
- have hidden fees
- have multiple upsells
- charge extra to scan your mail (free at Northwest)
- and have really bad customer service
Here are my top 5 reasons you should hire Northwest Registered Agent
Whether you want to hire Northwest to be your Registered Agent or you want them to form your LLC and be your Registered Agent, I’ve summarized what I think their best features are:
1) No Hidden Fees. No Upsells. No Confusing Packages.
With Northwest Registered Agent, what you see is what you get.
Their tagline is “we’re just not annoying”. What they mean by that is they offer a great service at a great price. They don’t have confusing LLC packages, they don’t upsell you, and there are no hidden fees.
They offer premium LLC and Registered Agent services at the best price.
Unfortunately, most other companies take advantage of you. They make their packages confusing and trick you into paying more (often for things you don’t even need).
2) They Don’t Sell Your Information to 3rd Parties
Unlike other companies that sell your personal information in order to make more money, Northwest does the opposite.
Northwest Registered Agent protects their customers at all costs. The data that you provide them, stays with them. They don’t sell it to other companies and disguise it as an “Accounting Consultation” (which is really your information being sold to a company with aggressive sales tactics).
This is one of the biggest reasons I personally use Northwest for my own LLCs.
I trust that my information is safe and I’m not going to get unwanted spam or marketing solicitations.
3) You can use their address for privacy (keeping yours off public records)
The address you put on your LLC filing (that’ll be your Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation) gets listed on public records with the Secretary of State.
From there, it may begin appearing on google searches (since the state databases are publicly available).
This used to drive me crazy. I’d get so much junk mail and I didn’t like it when my information was so readily available via a quick search.
So instead of using your home address (which is what most filers do), if you hire Northwest Registered Agent, you can use their address throughout your LLC filing and keep yours off public records.
This also will eliminate junk mail, which I think is a great bonus!
Note: You can use their address in your LLC filing regardless if you hire them as just your Registered Agent or you hire them to form your LLC and be your Registered Agent. You get this feature with both services.
4) Free Registered Agent Service for 365 Days
If you don’t have the time or patience to DIY and form your LLC yourself, if you hire Northwest ($39 + state fee) to form your LLC, they include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
That’s a $125 discount.
After that, service in year 2 (and onwards) is $125 per year.
I also like that they don’t have a contract and you can cancel any time.
5) They know what they’re talking about
If you call most other companies in this industry, you’re likely going to speak to some sales rep who barely understands what a Registered Agent is or how to form an LLC.
On the other hand, I really like that Northwest doesn’t have any sales reps. Pretty much everyone in their company does customer support. There’s no dedicated “sales team”. So when you call, you speak with a friendly person who knows what they’re talking about. I find this super helpful.
Go ahead and give them a call: 509-435-9053. Their hours are Monday to Friday, from 6am to 5pm Pacific/9am to 8pm Eastern.
Ask any question you want. I think you’ll be impressed when the phone is answered right away (no phone prompts or extensions), the person you speak with is very friendly, and most importantly, they are experts at what they do. They know the ins and outs of LLC formation in every single state.
This is why I think Northwest Registered Agent is the best company in the space.
Free with all their services
Annual report reminders
If your LLC has an annual filing, they’ll send you an email reminder before it’s due. This will avoid the state shutting down your LLC for failure to file.
While I’m a pretty organized person (I have calendar reminders for nearly everything), I like this free added service. It just gives me more confidence that my LLC annual report will be filed on time.
Free online account & mail scanning
If you were thinking earlier, “If I use their address on my LLC filing, how do I get mail sent to the LLC?“, that’s a good question.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by Northwest and then uploaded into your online account.
Whenever a document is uploaded to your account, you’ll receive an email notification.
Why I recommend Northwest Registered Agent
In summary, Northwest Registered Agent is my personal recommendation (and the service I use myself).
I like the fact that they’ve been in business for more than 20 years, have awesome customer support, and I really like that they let you use their address in your LLC filing in order to keep your address off public records.
Keep your address off public records with Northwest
Many filers start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that the addresses on your LLC’s filing get listed on public records and may appear in google searches.
If you were thinking of using your home address, but would rather keep it off public records, you can hire Northwest and use their address instead. They offer this at no additional cost.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.
Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to LegalZoom?
Hands down, I give my vote to Northwest.
While LegalZoom is the most heard of brand name, that doesn’t mean they offer the best service.
Here’s a summary of my thoughts on Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom:
- LegalZoom’s LLC formation starts at $149; Northwest starts at $39 ($110 cheaper with Northwest)
- LegalZoom charges $249 per year for Registered Agent service; Northwest includes that free for the 1st year (then it’s $125 per year)
- reviews mention how hard it is to cancel unwanted services with LegalZoom (some say their sales team uses aggressive tactics)
- last I checked, LegalZoom pitches you 7 upsells
- those upsells totaled $1,688 (yes, you read that correctly)
- LegalZoom’s base package takes 30 business days for LLC approval; Northwest takes 2-5 business days (in the majority of states)
- support at Northwest is quicker to respond and they’re much more knowledgeable
Conclusion: I recommend Northwest over LegalZoom.
How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to IncFile?
Here’s a summary of my thoughts on Northwest Registered Agent vs. IncFile:
- IncFile’s LLC formation starts at $49; Northwest starts at $39 ($10 cheaper with Northwest)
- last I checked, IncFile pitches you 9 upsells
- IncFile charges $29 per month to use their address; this is included free with Northwest
- reviews on IncFile repeatedly mention that support is really hard to get a hold of
- when I contacted both companies, the support at Northwest was much more knowledgeable and they were much easier to get a hold of for questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is a Registered Agent?
Answer: If you’ve read this far and you’re thinking, “What the heck is a Registered Agent?!“, apologies for leaving you hanging.
Let me explain:
A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to receive legal mail (called “service of process”) on behalf of your LLC in case your business is sued.
Often times, the Secretary of State will also use your Registered Agent’s address as your LLC’s point of contact for official notices sent to your business.
In nearly all states (except Ohio) your LLC’s Registered Agent must have a physical street address (no PO boxes allowed) in the state where you’re forming your LLC. The Registered Agent should also generally be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case “service of process” arrives.
Service of Process includes the delivery of legal documents such as a complaint, summons, or subpoena.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component to how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all LLCs to have — and continuously maintain — a Registered Agent, the delivery of legal mail and court documents can be tracked and accounted for within the state. This is similar to how ‘certified mail return receipt’ works, but in the legal world, this is how process servers — (people delivering legal documents) — create a record that something was delivered.
Question: What’s the difference between a Registered Agent, a Resident Agent, and a Statutory Agent?
Answer: All those terms mean the same thing. It just depends on the state.
The term Registered Agent is most commonly used in 39 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The other terms used are as follows:
- Registered Office
- Resident Agent
- Statutory Agent
- Agent for Service of Process
To see which terms are used in which state, please see here: what is a Registered Agent called in each state?
Depending on your state, you may see Northwest Registered Agent refer to themselves as a:
- Commercial Registered Agent
- Commercial Resident Agent
- Commercial Statutory Agent
- Commercial Agent for Service of Process
- Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP)
Again, they all mean the same thing: a company that agrees to receive Service of Process on behalf of your LLC.
Question: In what state should I form my LLC?
Answer: You’ll want to form your LLC in the state where you’re legally “transacting business”. For most filers, that’ll be your home state.
Even if you have an online business, because you are operating that business from your home, you are still transacting business in that state.
What about Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming? Should you form your LLC there?
Check out the pros and cons here: best state to form an LLC
Northwest Registered Agent Reviews
Although you can read the Northwest Registered Agent reviews online, I’ve extracted a few of my favorite here:
“These guys are real. They do LLCs. They do just as good a job as LegalZoom. They do it for much cheaper. And they do it with 1 or 2 day turnaround, for FREE, whereas Legal Zoom charges HUNDREDS of dollars for that. They also have great people available on the phone. I paid. I received service. It was not a scam. Legit business. I’m very, very happy I found these guys. LegalZoom would’ve taken a month and cost much more.”
– Carlos Augusto, California
(source: Google reviews)
“As to what I hear from most reviews, Northwest Registered Agent is one of the more seamless companies to work with in regards to company formation and registered agents. Paul (the rep who helped me) is a beast. I rapid fired so many questions at him, all of which were answered patiently with specificity and experience. Within 30 minutes, I went from being someone who knew little to nothing about company formation, to being someone who was able to move things forward with certainty.”
– Dylan P., New York
(source: Yelp reviews)
“Down-to-earth pricing with no hidden gotchas, fast turnaround, responsive customer service and all round pleasurable company/service to deal with.”
– Ozan B.
(source: Better Business Bureau reviews)
Northwest Registered Agent Complaints
Northwest Registered Agent is the 3rd largest Registered Agent provider in the U.S.
With any company of that scale, it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy.
However, one that stands out to me is that even though there are a few negative reviews, Northwest Registered Agent takes the time to apologize and then do whatever they can to fix the situation.
Additionally, Northwest has a 100% Error-Free Guarantee. This is what’s on their website:
We form hundreds of LLCs every day, and each filing is backed by our 100% error-free guarantee. Although extremely rare, in the 20 years we’ve been in business, we’ve learned that mistakes do happen. Should an error occur, we’ll file every amendment required to make sure your company information is accurate (at no cost to you).
I think that speaks for itself.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. I hope you found it helpful!
Hours: Monday to Friday, 6am to 5pm Pacific/9am to 8pm Eastern
Address: 906 West 2nd Avenue, Suite 100, Spokane, WA 99201