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The most impressive things about Northwest Registered Agent are its same-day filing process and its “local” offices in each state. Another is that your order is customizable, as the company only offers one plan with basic services – you choose the add-ons. The only things keeping it from being truly great are pricey upsells and hard-to-reach support, but otherwise, it’s a competitive option.
Email, phone, online chat, with Spanish language support available via email
Professional With a Focus on the Personal
Certain aspects of Northwest Registered Agent’s services and policies impressed me. Others less so. I researched and reviewed its LLC formation services by creating a fictitious art and jewelry biz. I found that Northwest Registered Agent does some things that other LLC formation companies don’t, in both good and not-so-good ways.
Northwest Registered Agent offers a lot for business owners that many other formation services can’t and don’t, like local experts to handle your account and give you lifetime support. It also has customizable service plans, so you get just what you want – all for flat fees (in addition to your state fees).
Every account with Northwest Registered Agent receives an Operating Agreement, annual report reminders for maintaining compliance, and an online document dashboard that keeps all your paperwork in one place. You also receive limited mail forwarding and a virtual business address. For additional fees, Northwest can provide you with your Employer Identification Number (EIN), annual reports, incorporation or non-profit formation, and VoIP phone service.
And then there are the things that Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t do with your info. It has a set of policies and practices that keep your personal info as safe and secure as it can get. And the best thing? They never sell customer data. That’s a rare thing in the business formation world. Read on for the rest of the details my research uncovered.
Everything Is Fast and Flexible, But Not Free
Two of Northwest Registered Agent’s best features are its same-day filing and the fact that it has an office located in every state and the District of Columbia. Another is its team of Corporate Guides to provide you with a personal touch and local expertise. Its policy on personal data security also sets it apart and makes it an impressive company.
Once you place your order, Northwest Registered Agent passes it along to one of the “local” Corporate Guides in your state. Your Guide begins working on filing your paperwork that day. They can contact you if there are any questions or concerns, but even then, it’s full-steam ahead from the start.
Processing times can vary from state to state, as well as at certain times of the year within each state. So there’s no guarantee that the promised filing time can or will be fulfilled, even when you pay for expedited services. Northwest Registered Agent’s same-day filing shortens the process as much as possible, resulting in less time before you start doing business.
I mentioned Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides a bit ago. They’re a team of 900+ paralegals, accountants, attorneys, and other business professionals working from offices in every state in the country. The Guides are experienced in the laws and requirements of their state, providing you with a personal expert to help you form and maintain your business. Every Corporate Guide is a Registered Agent, as well.
Those local offices are a feature, too, because Northwest Registered Agent uses those local addresses in place of your own on as much paperwork as possible. It’s part of its Privacy by Default program to keep your personal information as private as possible.
You can use that local office as your virtual business address, too, receiving a limited amount of mail which is then forwarded to you digitally. For extra monthly fees, you can choose to have a suite number and unlimited mail forwarding, or a complete virtual office that includes call forwarding from a local number.
Privacy by Default
The most important thing about Privacy by Default is that it covers every client, every service. So no matter if you are forming an LLC or simply need a trademark, you’re covered. The second-most important thing is that there’s no charge. Northwest Registered Agent just considers client privacy a priority, as they say, by default.
Privacy by Default includes:
Background checks on all Northwest Registered Agent employees
In-house IT, coding, filing, and customer support teams to minimize third party involvement
Owning and maintaining their own servers and backup servers in secure facilities
Limiting private data shared with state agencies by using their local address in place of yours
Using its IP address and bank information when filing your paperwork and paying state fees to limit the private data stored on the state’s servers
Restricting in-house access to your data to a “need to know” basis
Never selling customer data
Customize Your Upsells
Some states, such as California and Hawaii, require yearly paperwork to remain in compliance. Northwest Registered Agent will take care of that for you, adding on the state’s filing fee. You can keep your phone number private by adding on a VoIP phone line, complete with your company name as outgoing caller ID. Or you can choose to use one of the virtual office or mail forwarding services.
Northwest Registered Agent’s plan and pricing structure allows you to choose just the add-on services you want. Set up just the package you need. You can always add most of the optional services later, if your startup funds are lean, as the costs can quickly add up.
If you know what you want Northwest Registered Agent to do for you, setting up an account should take mere minutes. It offers three pathways to LLC formation: a complete DIY, a guided DIY, and the For-Hire service. They’re all very clearly marked, leaving little room for doubt as to what you’ll find on the other side of the link.
Hiring Northwest Registered Agent is as easy as filling out a series of questionnaire-type forms as you go through the ordering process. As you select your options, the Order Summary window on the right updates with your new fees and total cost. One thing to note: Northwest Registered Agent pre-selects obtaining an EIN for you, and adds a fee to your order automatically. You’ll need to de-select that option if you already have a US tax ID you plan to use.
Once you complete the Order page, you simply hit the big blue CONTINUE button to go to the next page. Repeat that simple process until you reach the Payment page. There, you can choose from Visa, MasterCard, Amex, or Discover to complete your order.
One thing to note that’s very nice and handy is the processing option at the bottom of the ordering page. Each state is different (I played around with the form to check) but each time, the standard time choice is on the left with the expedited ones to the right.
Your state fees are also customized, as are other state options and requirements. With Delaware as my business location, I had the choice to choose 3 different filing time options. If you choose a state that requires yearly compliance filing that option will be included in the pricing window, too. Delaware doesn’t require it, so $0 was listed in my summary window. It makes getting just the services you want easier.
The Cart Remembers When
The cart stores your choices as you go through the ordering process. That way, if you need to step away to do more research, check in with investors, or just take some time to consider some of your available options, you don’t have to start from scratch each time you come back.
In reviewing several of the LLC formation services we’ve included here at Website Planet, I found this feature extremely helpful. It’s just another little thing that Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t have to do, but is very helpful and convenient.
One Plan, Many Options
Northwest Registered Agent offers one plan only. You pay a flat fee for their services, and then you choose which, if any, upsell features to add on.
Your one-time fee provides you with the filing of your LLC formation paperwork at the standard processing time, a year of Registered Agent service, and your online document dashboard. You’ll also receive a virtual business address, limited mail forwarding, and annual report filing reminders. Those are the core services. Everything after that comes at a price.
Depending on your state, Northwest Registered Agent’s one-time fee plus your state’s fees could add up to a very budget-friendly total if those core services are all you need. Start adding on other options, and things can get a little pricey.
Is Northwest Registered Agent the cheapest LLC formation service we recommend? No. Not by a long shot. You can sometimes save on the cost by taking advantage of promotions that include just your Articles of Organization and a year of Registered Agent service for a discounted price (in addition to state fees). But the quality of the services, especially the emphasis on client privacy, makes it worth a look at any price.
I didn’t have the greatest experience with Northwest Registered Agent’s customer support. Even though it offers support via phone, online chat, and email, I was only able to contact support successfully via email.
Northwest Registered Agent advertises that their online chat is available from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST but I was never able to find the service online. The message I received every time I tried to contact them was that I should contact email or phone support instead.
The same goes for the phone support. I called several times throughout an entire week with no answer. I was asked to leave a message, contact support online, or via email. I eventually chose to make an attempt using email.
Success at last! I was finally able to receive an answer. It took about 2.5 hours to receive a reply, which isn’t too long for email support. I was also happy to learn from the reply that Northwest Registered Agent offers something a lot of other business formation services don’t: Spanish-speaking support.
As for online support and reference materials, Northwest Registered Agent’s aren’t stellar, but they’re more than adequate. It has an impressive library of free forms and form templates. There are lots of links to other pages both within and off the website, but no video or other media. Compared to some of the other companies we’ve reviewed, there’s definite room for improvement.
How does Northwest Registered Agent match up to the competition
I think Northwest Registered Agent is a decent LLC service provider. The upsells can jack up the price, and the support team is a bit difficult to contact. The personal attention, filing speed, and privacy it offers, however, make up for a lot of its shortcomings. So, a good, but not a great, option.
Take a look at the table below to see how I’ve summed it all up.
Flat-fee pricing model
Privacy by Default’s personal data protection
Local offices and personnel
Easy ordering process
Some add-ons pricey
Support can be difficult to reach
Is Northwest Registered Agent good for beginners?
Maybe. It depends on how educated the beginning business owner is on what they need from their LLC formation service. Northwest Registered Agent’s resources aren’t as in-depth as what other services provide beginners, but their Corporate Guides provide excellent expert help.
Why do I need a Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent provides both the public and the state with a reliable contact point to reach you concerning business and legal matters. Every state requires LLCs and other businesses to have one, which is one reason Registered Agents are at the core of Northwest Registered Agents services.
Is Northwest Registered Agent a good service for small businesses?
With their emphasis on local expertise and personal information security, Northwest Registered Agent is an excellent choice for small business owners, especially solo operators. Their Privacy by Default program assures your personal data stays as separate from your business info as possible.
Is Northwest Registered Agent worth the money?
I think so. However, if you’re on a stricter budget, you may want to check out some of the other LLC formation service providers on our list. They offer a wide range of prices and plans.
Writer and reviewer Suzanne Stewart joined Website Planet in late 2022. She has been a freelance writer and editor for 31 years. She worked in radio and newspaper journalism before there was the internet and has written online content since 2008. She holds professional certifications in editing and SEO strategy. When she’s not testing and reviewing vendors, Suz is a professional artist as well as a volunteer therapy musician, playing the Celtic lap harp. She is a nature-lover who is often found walking the hiking trails near her home. She also enjoys time with her family, her grandchildren, and two cats.