Why Compare Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile?
Even for experienced business owners, forming a new limited liability company is a difficult task. This is not a criticism of anyone’s ability; rather, it is a statement of fact because creating an LLC without the assistance of a professional is often time-consuming and paperwork-heavy.
Fortunately, many LLC formation service providers try to simplify the entire process for both newcomers and those who are well-versed in the entity formation process. Notable companies such as IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent are among the top services as picked by both specialists and customers, with both offering a plethora of features that make them an excellent choice for LLC service.
Given the magnitude of their distinct benefits, selecting the best service for your needs may seem difficult. This Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile LLC formation service comparison study is intended to help you make a better informed decision.
Are these services of good value?
You’ve probably seen this phrase used to describe a variety of products, but what precisely does “good value” mean? Simply said, a service is of good value when its pricing corresponds to the level of services provided. So, what should you seek for a good value in an LLC formation service?
Most LLC formation services with steep charges tend to overprice for no apparent reason, giving simply the bare necessities that you could theoretically do on your own. LegalZoom charges far too much to form your LLC, with only a few features included in their starter plan and the rest available through upselling.
This is where Incfile and Northwest differ, since they both include a free registered agent service in their base plans with no hidden fees. Among many other benefits, both services are well-known for their excellent customer support and ease of use.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is an LLC formation service provider that also provides a variety of other company services such as virtual offices, Registered Agent services, Tax services, and more.
Northwest has been in business since 1998 and takes pride in their great customer service and ease of use. Their tagline is “We’re just not annoying,” and they do their best to live up to it by providing complete transparency for all of the services they provide, as well as a guarantee to never raise their prices once you’ve joined up with them.
Let’s have a look at the main services provided by Northwest Registered Agent:
- New Company Formation Service
- Registered Agent Service Providers
Change of Registered Agent
- Annual Report Filing Service
- Mail forwarding and scanning service
- Virtual office and office leasing
If you want to form your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent, the process is fairly simple.
To begin, you must decide what type of business you want to create.
You have the following options:
- LLC Formation (limited liability company)
- Corporation (C-corp or S-corp)
- Nonprofit Corporation
Then, choose the state in which you want to register, and the filing fee for that state will be added to your total. Following that, you can choose your business name, check to see whether it is available, and fill out the information of your company, as well as choosing whether you want to use your own address or a Registered Agent address from Northwest as your business address.
Northwest also offers a Registered Agent service, which allows you to utilize the Registered Agent address for your business rather than your personal address. Northwest also provides an annual filing service, allowing you to quickly remain on top of all of your business’s legal requirements and maintain good standing with your state.
There is also a mail forwarding and scanning service, so you don’t have to give out your personal address for business purposes because all of your mail may be forwarded or scanned and emailed to you.
The Virtual Office service includes an address, a phone number, same-day digital scanning, and even an office lease and a unique suite number for your virtual office.
In addition to Incorporation services, Northwest Registered Agent provides a variety of other useful services to help you manage your business, in addition to LLC formation. Among these services are:
- Federal IRS registration
- S Corp Tax Election
- Corporate Book and Seal
- Customized Operating Agreement
- Customized Corporate Bylaws
- Business Licence Registration
- Multi-State Registration
- BOC-3 Blanket Agent Service
- Non-US Resident Company Formation
All of these services assist you in taking your company to the next level by providing the greatest degree of professionalism and quality.
Incfile is a service that assists entrepreneurs in the formation of their businesses, specifically an LLC or corporation.
Since it was founded in 2004, Incfile has assisted over 250,000 entrepreneurs with the legal and formal aspects of forming an LLC or company.
They take pride in giving good value to their customers, as well as complete transparency, so you will not be startled by any hidden fees (the state charge is visible), and you will be informed of all costs involved from the outset.
Let’s take a look at what’s included with the Incfile LLC service:
- Verify company name
- Preparation and filing of articles
- Next Business Day processing time
- One year of Registered Agent service FREE (First year)
- Lifetime company alerts
- Online order status tracking
- Free business tax consultation for clients
- Lifetime customer support
- Online access to all incorporation documents and paperwork
With Incfile legal services, anyone may easily form an LLC (limited liability corporation) or incorporate a company (online incorporation service), and the online order process makes things quick and simple, so anyone can utilize the service with confidence.
To get started, simply choose the form of business entity that best fits your needs (basically anything other than a sole proprietorship). You have the following options:
- Form an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation)
After you’ve decided what form of business entity you want your company to be, you can choose which state you want to register it in. You must choose your state because each state has its own registration fees, which will be added to your final payment.
Following that, you can choose one of Incfile’s three packages and fill out the online form. The form is simple to use, and once everything is done and your money is paid, you can sit back and relax while Incfile handles the rest.
When Incfile receives your order and completed registration form, they will check the database to see if your chosen company name is accessible.
Once the availability is confirmed, Incfile will draft the necessary documents and submit them to the state for filing. After the articles have been filed with the state, they are returned to you and you may view them online through your Incfile account; it’s that simple!
Incfile, in addition to business formation and LLC services, provides a number of other services to help you manage your company after it is up and running:
- Annual reporting
- Foreign qualification (foreign LLC)
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) / Tax ID number
- Certificate of good standing
- Chance of registered agent
- Trademark name search
- DBA/Fictitious business name
- Registered agent
- Amendment/ Name change
- Corporate / LLC Formation Service Kit
- Business license research
- File Business Taxes
- File S Corp Tax Election
These additional services ensure that after your company is established, you are not left to manage the details on your own.
You can use Incfile for all of your business filing and reporting needs, and you will receive reminders when everything is due, so you can rest confident that nothing will be forgotten and that you will never miss any deadlines or have to incur late filing penalties.
A Registered Agent is free for the first year and then costs $119 per year after that. Every state mandates the use of a Registered Agent.
The registered agent address is where your company receives legal and tax correspondence. If you don’t have your own address that you may use for business, this is the ideal solution. Any correspondence you get will be forwarded to your contact address, so you will not need to provide your real address for business purposes.
If you ever need to update or amend the name or information of your company, Incfile can assist you, and if you ever need to dissolve the company, they also offer a dissolution service to ensure everything is handled legally.
6 Things They Have In Common
Forming an LLC always entails certain costs, therefore it’s vital to plan ahead of time.
While employing a company lawyer to design a business structure can cost up to $1,000 or more, using an online service can cost you far less. Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile will handle the formation documents and support you throughout the registration process for a fair fee.
IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent have a broad customer support network that provides clients with prompt and expert assistance with any issue. You only need to get in touch with a customer service professional in any way that is convenient for you.
Registered Agent Service
If you buy an LLC formation package from IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent, you will receive a free year of registered agent service. Given that every LLC is required by law to choose a registered agent, this is unquestionably a fantastic deal.
If you’ve decided to form an LLC, you’ll generally want to finish the formal registration procedure as soon as possible so you can get down to business. Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent provide an expedited option that cuts processing time from a few weeks to a few days.
Northwest, like IncFile, is a successful formation service with a long track record. Both companies have handled tens of thousands of clients and are well-known professionals.
Excellent Customer Review
IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent have received numerous positive reviews, demonstrating the high quality of their services. Although IncFile has a higher volume of customer feedback, customers are generally pleased with both companies’ services.
Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Side by Side Comparisons
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agents’ fees place them in the middle of the pack. They are also an exception in terms of how they provide their services — the company provides a single standardized formation service rather than multiple diverse packages.
You can pay for that service in two ways: with a one-time cost or in twelve monthly installments (similar to a subscription plan) through Northwest Registered Agents’ “VIP” program.
You will be charged $225 if you choose the one-time price. That includes a business name search, the drafting of your Operating Agreement, the filing of your Articles of Organization, and one year of free registered agent service (which is done in-house, which is a huge advantage).
Northwest Registered Agent “includes” annual compliance filing with this package, but for a cost of $100 each year. You have the option to opt-out; do so if you do not require compliance filing or if you use another service provider for this.
Prices for the “VIP” installment plant vary greatly, but on a state-by-state basis, they are more expensive than the one-time fee. As a result, we advocate choosing the latter over the former.
If you only need a registered agent, Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year. That is slightly higher than the $100 annual price tag we see from many other companies, but Northwest Registered Agent is a specialist company that does all of their work in-house – we believe that more than justifies the minor price increase.
Our calculated prices for both a basic and a full formation with Incfile are essentially the same, as is the case with Northwest Registered Agent. How did we get those figures?
The Silver Package, Incfile’s most basic formation package, is actually free. The Silver Package includes a business name search, the filing of your Articles of Organization, and one year of free registered agent service from Incfile (after the first year, you’ll be charged $119 yearly).
Only a few other companies provide completely free formation services, thus Incfile’s Silver Package wowed us.
However, to buy Operating Agreement drafting through Incfile, you must upgrade to the Gold Package, which costs $149. Because the Gold Package includes a year of registered agent service, it satisfies both our basic and full formation requirements.
Incfile also provides a Platinum Package, however it is far too pricey and lacks sufficient value-added services to justify its price, therefore we do not suggest it.
Incfile leads on price across the board, with cheaper basic formations, full formations, and registered agent service. Through their Silver Package, they also provide complimentary bare-bones formations.
This competition, though, was far closer than it appears.
Because Northwest Registered Agents provides registered agent services in-house, it might be argued that the extra $6 per year they charge (in comparison to Incfile) is well worth it. Incfile’s registered agent service is provided by third parties.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent guarantees that all of their clients’ Articles of Organization or Incorporation will be filed the same day. When it comes to turnaround times, we consider same-day or next-day filings to be the gold standard, thus we were very happy with Northwest Registered Agent’s performance here.
It should be noted that same-day filing does not imply that your company will be formed on the same day. You must still wait for the state to process your paperwork. However, it appears that Northwest Registered Agent goes out of their way to ensure that your formation is completed as soon as possible.
What particularly impressed us, however, was the fact that Northwest Registered Agent does not charge a fee for this service. Many of their competitors provide same-day or next-day filing, but only if you pay an additional cost (which can vary from $50 to $100!).
We also found a number of positive reviews that backed up Northwest Registered Agents’ claims of fast turnaround times.
Unlike Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile does not promise a filing time for their customers, but they do say that nearly all formation and incorporation forms are filed within one business day. While not as good as Northwest Registered Agent, this is still a solid option.
We were also pleased to learn that Incfile did not charge an additional fee for internal expediting. That is, once again, a significant plus in our book.
Incfile also has a very useful online tool for estimating how long your whole application will take (for most states, it’s 2-3 weeks – and the majority of that time is due to each state governments’ processing times).
Winner: Northwest Registered Agent
Both companies’ turnaround time promises impressed us, but Northwest Registered Agent absolutely stunned us with their same-day filing guarantee for all customers.
And, regrettably for Incfile, client feedback (see “Customer Satisfaction”) revealed that the company did not keep their turnaround time promises. We discovered a similar pattern of clients complaining about late or incorrect filings.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent has a solid track record with clients. We were able to identify and review over 300 independent pieces of feedback from various sites, including the BBB, Yelp, and Google. Overall, these reviews averaged roughly 4.4 out of 5 stars – acceptable but not spectacular.
The majority of the feedback we received was good. Northwest Registered Agents’ filing speed, as well as the professionalism and knowledge of their staff, were frequently mentioned.
We did come across a few bad reviews that mentioned unanticipated recurring expenses; while these seemed to be the exception rather than the rule, we believe they are worth addressing.
We were really dismayed to see that Incfile had bad averages on independent review sites such as Trustpilot and Yelp, despite their solid costs and good turnaround time claims.
On Trustpilot, 44% of reviewers gave Incfile a one-star rating.
We found a significant percentage of reviews that mentioned filings that were delayed owing to errors or miscommunications. Because a single inaccuracy in formation papers can set your company back weeks or even months, we consider any mentions of filing issues to be a major red signal.
Customer support at Incfile received mixed reviews as well. While we identified a reasonable number of delighted clients, we also found a considerable number of angry or dissatisfied ones.
Winner: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent easily wins this category. Though we would have preferred somewhat better review averages, they appeared to do very well with consumers and had a good review volume for a relatively small company.
Incfile, on the other hand, appears to have a really terrible track record with former clients.
Ease of Use
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is a true expert in the field of business formations and registered agent services. This is readily evident from their website. It’s chock-full of insightful, well-written articles that address questions and themes that the vast majority of new LLC owners will find pertinent.
In addition, the company provides a state-by-state summary of registered agent service requirements. This displays the specific fees, rules, and requirements for registered agents in each state.
We found Northwest Registered Agent’s website to be quite user-friendly, which was aided by the specialized nature of their services. Prices were clearly indicated on relevant service sites, and when we utilized a fictitious company to join up, the order process was swift and simple.
Like Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile also performed admirably in this category. Their website is easy to use and well-organized.
The service prices are clearly listed on all of Incfile’s formation package and add-on service pages.
Furthermore, like Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile includes a plethora of instructive, well-written articles – on issues like choosing on the correct type of business entity or filing for a Doing Business As (DBA) – that most new business owners should find useful.
Every service page has a thorough series of FAQs, which provide the critical context information that startup owners use to make good decisions.
Finally, we were delighted by Incfile’s user-friendly customer dashboard, which helps users to keep track of filings and important deadlines.
Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile have put a lot of thought and effort into their individual websites, and it shows. Both companies’ user experiences, easy ordering processes, and extremely comprehensive articles and FAQs amazed us.
We were able to immediately determine what services each company provided and how much they charged. As a result, we declared this category a tie.
Northwest Registered Agent
The help and support strengths of Northwest Registered Agents are detailed in their About section.
They claim that all unanswered calls will be returned within two hours, that all emails from staff members include easy-to-find contact information, that all email queries will be answered the same day, and that their “corporate guides” (i.e., their help and support staff) are all based in the United States.
All of these things are unquestionably positive, and we were relieved to have them stated so simply.
Northwest Registered Agents also has extended weekday business hours – Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. However, we would prefer to see some weekend availability as well.
However, Northwest Registered Agent’s website does not include a centralized, one-stop-shop assistance section.
Also, despite the fact that their about page states that “IN ONE CLICK — you can see our email, phone number, mailing address, or start a chat with real human customer service,” we had to do a lot of searching to find anything other than a contact phone number (their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org).
Northwest Registered Agents’ help and support scored highly overall and was buoyed by excellent reviews – but we see a few areas for growth in this category for them.
Incfile provides a phone number and a web chat function that are both easily accessible. Their email address, on the other hand, is far more difficult to locate (they have a web contact form you can use to send them questions, but we prefer seeing a support email listed directly).
Incfile offers support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. Unfortunately, there is no weekend support available.
Incfile did, however, impress us with their assistance section. It included a search option as well as easy access to FAQs, contact information, and some of their most popular articles.
However, we cannot view Incfile’s help and support in isolation. The company’s bad review track record must be considered, and several of the reviews we read particularly noted support workers being difficult to reach.
Winner: Northwest Registered Agent
Both companies received high marks for customer support, but they also had minor downsides. Northwest Registered Agent won because their customer reviews provided more evidence to support their help and support claims.
Despite the fact that Incfile had a well-designed help section and was reasonably accessible, we couldn’t get past the numerous customer support-related complaints we encountered.
Incfile vs Northwest Registered Agent: Pros and Cons
One of the most significant advantages for those who pick it is the low cost of the registration package, as we only have to pay the state fee and everything else is free.
This is something that many people find pretty useful, because having a business entails a lot of duties and responsibilities, as well as spending money on products and services you didn’t expect, which is why these less expensive services come in handy.
After a year of use, the price for the following year is $119, which is not too expensive when we consider all of the benefits and everything that they can do for us.
The fantastic thing is that Incfile has a plethora of web reviews that we can read if we are unsure about their excellent management, as performing research is always better. If we read the reviews, we can see that they have a lot of satisfied customers, despite the fact that they have only been in business for 17 years.
Incfile provides us with a variety of services; they do not assist us in establishing our company, but they can assist us with a variety of other tasks that come with running a business. It can be really beneficial for people who are unsure what to do next because they will realize they are not alone.
Fortunately, there aren’t many drawbacks to Incfile, and the only one worth mentioning is its customer support. We all know how important customer service is, and for many, this is a significant turn away sign, primarily because they have to wait too long for a response.
Specifically, customer service often takes too long to answer, which is inconvenient for users because there are many circumstances in which they require a speedy response. Given that it is one of the few flaws, it is expected that they will resolve the issue swiftly and offer the clients with the customer service they deserve, keeping in mind their overall perfect services.
Northwest Registered Agent
One of the primary advantages of Northwest Registered Agent is its customer support, which will supply us with critical information as quickly as possible and will provide us with answers or advice from professionals.
Aside from that, their services are safe and secure, and they can promise that no third party will ever have access to sensitive data because they employ their code, which is impossible to hack. This guarantee of data protection is something that many people value, and it is the primary reason why they use these services.
Another advantage is that the application procedure is straightforward; once we submit our business and personal information, the only thing left to do is pay for our order; after that, there is nothing else for us to do, so we can focus our time on other things.
Furthermore, they provide us with a variety of extra services, which means that we will not be alone once we have established our company because we can seek assistance anytime we need it.
The price is the first thing that comes to mind as a disadvantage. If we opt to use the Northwest Registered Agent services, we must pay $100 plus the state fee for the registration package, as well as $125 for each subsequent year.
Many people would argue that it is too expensive, but other similar services are far more expensive, thus it is a competitive pricing. This company has been around for more than 20 years, but they don’t have a large amount of reviews to back up their efficiency, so many people avoid using their services as a result.
Which LLC Formation Service is faster?
Incfile and Northwest both have LLC filing and service processing times based on your formation state’s capabilities. It all depends on how quickly your state processes orders. It’s a toss-up because Northwest may be a day or two faster in some states, while IncFile may have a little advantage in others.
Which company provides the most assistance with ongoing compliance requirements?
Both companies provide excellent options to keep your LLC running smoothly in the long run. Their pricing is also pretty comparable. Both businesses provide a complimentary year of registered agent service. If you want to keep using the registered agent service, IncFile charges $119 per year and Northwest charges $125 per year. Both companies, on the other hand, provide yearly report features.
Conclusion: Is Incfile Better Than Northwest Registered Agent?
To be honest, either of these companies will do an excellent job of incorporating your LLC and will do so at a reasonable, affordable price. In either case, you’re saving a lot of money compared to paying a business attorney to organize your company — or even employing just about any other LLC formation service.
I’m convinced that whichever one you choose to help you form your LLC, you’ll be pleased with your choice. Best wishes!
Starting a business correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 15 years of experience consulting new businesses and start ups, Matthew is probably the best person to help you set a strong foundation for your business.