Last updated May 15, 2021

My Thoughts on hiring Northwest Registered Agent to form your LLC

Matt Horwitz LLC University Founder

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 LLC courses for every state.

Throughout this time, I’ve gotten to know the LLC formation and Registered Agent industry very well.

I hope you find my review of Northwest Registered Agent helpful.

Services that Northwest Registered Agent offers

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.

If you hire Northwest for their Registered Agent service, they will:

  • Give you Registered Agent service
  • Give you a business address to use (keeping your address private)
  • Provide excellent customer service

Who should choose Registered Agent service?
Choose this service if you want to form an LLC yourself, but you won’t be your own Registered Agent. You might not be able to be your own Registered Agent because you don’t have an address in the state. Or you might want to hire a Registered Agent to keep your address off public records.

LLC formation service

If you hire Northwest for their LLC formation service they will:

  • Form your LLC
  • Pay your state fees (if you choose to pay monthly)
  • Give you free Registered Agent service
  • Give you a business address to use (keeping your address private)
  • Give you an Operating Agreement
  • Get your EIN
  • File your Annual Report
  • Provide excellent customer service

Who should choose this service?
This done-for-you service is best if you want to hire a company to form your LLC and take care of everything.

How does pricing work?

Registered Agent pricing ($125 per year)

If you hire Northwest for Registered Agent service only, it’s pretty simple. It’s $125 per year. The service will auto-renew on the anniversary date. You can cancel anytime from your online account (they don’t make it difficult like some other companies).

LLC formation pricing (2 ways to pay)

Northwest gives you two ways to pay:

  • Pay-in-full ($225 + state fees)
  • Pay monthly (varies by state)

Pay-in-full ($225 + state fees)

This is pretty straight-forward. You’ll pay Northwest $225 for their service. And you’ll also pay the state fee.

With pay-in-full service, Northwest will:

  • Form your LLC
  • Give you free Registered Agent service the 1st year ($125 per year starting 2nd year)
  • Give you a business address to use (keeping your address private)
  • Give you an Operating Agreement
  • Provide excellent customer service

With pay-in-full service, Northwest doesn’t automatically include the following, but they still offer them for an additional fee:

  • File your Annual Report ($100 + state fee)
  • Get your EIN ($50 if you have an SSN or ITIN; $200 for non-US residents)

Pay monthly (varies by state)

Northwest’s pay monthly service is also called “Monthly VIP Service“.

The purpose of Monthly VIP Service is to bundle all their services together and give you a low monthly payment (instead of paying the expensive fees up front).

They do this because many states have high fees which create a financial obstacle for small business owners.

Northwest is removing the barrier-to-entry and making LLCs affordable.

With Monthly VIP Service, Northwest will do all the following for a low monthly payment:

  • Form your LLC (and pay your state fees)
  • Give you free Registered Agent service
  • Give you a business address to use (keeping your address private)
  • Give you an Operating Agreement
  • Get your EIN
  • File your Annual Report (and pay your state fees)
  • Provide excellent customer service

Another way to think of it: You get all the above services and you don’t pay the state fees. Instead, Northwest pays those fees for you upfront. And you just pay Northwest a low monthly payment.

For example: If you wanted to pay-in-full for an LLC in Georgia, you’d pay Northwest $225 for their service (LLC formation, Registered Agent for 1st year, and Operating Agreement), $50 to get your EIN, and the Georgia state fee of $100. In the 2nd year, you’d pay Northwest $125 for their Registered Agent service and you’d pay Georgia $50 for the Annual Report fee. Instead, you can just pay Northwest $37 per month.

And in some states, the state fees can be much higher. For example, in Tennessee, the state fee is $300 to form the LLC and $300 for the Annual Report. So you’d pay $600 to the state, $225 for Northwest’s service, and $50 for the EIN ($875 total). Instead, you can just pay Northwest $54 per month.

What about other Registered Agent companies?

While there are other Registered Agent companies in the industry, 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 flexible pricing options
  • will pay your state fees
  • provide a business address
  • keep your address off public records

Unfortunately, most companies in the industry:

  • have hidden fees
  • have multiple upsells
  • charge extra to scan your mail (that’s free at Northwest)
  • and have bad customer service

How does Northwest Registered Agent compare to LegalZoom?

LegalZoom is a recognized brand name, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best service for small business owners.

Northwest vs. LegalZoom:

Service Details LegalZoom Northwest
Customer service Customer service reps at LegalZoom are rarely LLC experts. Customer service at Northwest is excellent. They have industry experts on their team.
Reviews LegalZoom has a 3.7 rating on Google and a 4.1 rating on BBB. Northwest has a 4.5 rating on Google and a 4.4 on BBB.
Your data LegalZoom may sell your data and information to affiliates. Northwest never sells your data or information.
Approval time LegalZoom's basic package takes 30 business days (unless you pay more). Northwest takes 2-5 business days in most states.
Flexible payments LegalZoom doesn't have flexible payment options. Northwest will let you pay up front. Or they'll pay your state fees and let you pay them monthly.
Registered Agent service LegalZoom charges $249 per year. Northwest includes this for free for the 1st year. Then it's $125 per year.
Operating Agreement LegalZoom charges $99 for an Operating Agreement. Northwest includes an Operating Agreement for free.
EIN LegalZoom charges $60 for an EIN. Northwest charges $50 for an EIN (or it's free with Monthly VIP Service)
Annual Report service LegalZoom charges $280 per year + state fees. Northwest charges $100 per year + state fees (or Northwest pays your state fees with Monthly VIP Service).
Upsells LegalZoom's checkout flow has 7 upsells. Northwest's checkout flow has 1 upsell (for Annual Report service).
Cancellation Online reviews mention that it is difficult to cancel services with LegalZoom. You can cancel services at any time inside your Northwest online account.
Terms of service LegalZoom has many pages and they aren't easy to read because of the small font size: Terms of use, Terms of service, Registered agent terms of service, Supplemental terms of service, and Legal plan contract. The Terms of service at Northwest are simple and easy to read.

Winner?

I recommend hiring Northwest.

Here are my favorite things about 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 their best features:

They Don’t Sell Your Data and Information

Unlike other companies that sell your personal information in order to make more money, Northwest does the opposite.

(This is how cheap filing companies stay alive. They charge you less, but they sell your data on the back-end.)

Northwest Registered Agent protects their customers at all costs. The data that you provide to 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.

You can use their address for privacy (keeping your address off public records)

The address you put on your LLC filing (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation) gets listed on public records with the Secretary of State.

From there, it may appear in 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 personal information was so readily available via a quick online search.

So instead of using your home address, 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.

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 service. It just gives me more confidence that my LLC Annual Report will be filed on time.

You can also hire Northwest to file your LLC Annual Report each year (or every other year, depending on the state).

Free online account & mail scanning

If I use Northwest’s address on my LLC filing, how will I get my mail?
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.

Note: While Northwest will let you use their address on your LLC filing, they don’t want to be receiving all your business mail. For things like IRS documents, business bank account, and your business debit card, you can just use your home address (or office address if you have one). Luckily, all IRS, tax, and banking records are private and are not on public records.

Northwest has industry experts on their team

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. 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 state.

This is why I think Northwest is the best company in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is a Registered Agent?

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, the Secretary of State will also use your Registered Agent’s address as your LLC “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?

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:

  • 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?

You’ll want to form your LLC in the state where you’re legally “transacting business”. For most people, 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 (includes tips for non-US residents).

Northwest Registered Agent Reviews

Although you can read Northwest Registered Agent reviews online, I’ve copied 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 rapidly 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 company in the U.S.

With any company of that size, it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy.

However, one thing 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:

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 Northwest Registered Agent review. I hope you found it helpful.

References

Reviews:
• Google reviews
Yelp reviews
BBB reviews

Social media:
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Contact Information:
• Phone: 509-435-9053
• Hours: Monday to Friday, 6am to 5pm Pacific (9am to 8pm Eastern)
• Address: 906 West 2nd Avenue, Suite 100, Spokane, WA 99201
• Website: www.northwestregisteredagent.com
• Founded: 1998

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
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