This extensive review explores Northwest Registered Agent, an established provider of registered agent and LLC formation services. With over 20 years of experience and thousands of customers served, Northwest stands out as a top choice for starting your small business LLC smoothly and affordably online. I recently used Northwest myself to form an LLC and serve as its registered agent, so I will provide firsthand details of the full customer experience in this helpful analysis.
I recently went through this process myself in forming an LLC for my small business. I explored some of the most popular registered agent services to assist with the LLC formation process.
Northwest Registered Agent stood out to me as a top contender and I ultimately decided to use them. After my great experience, I wanted to provide a comprehensive review of their services to help other entrepreneurs evaluate if Northwest is the right fit.
What Exactly is Northwest Registered Agent?
NW Registered Agent LLC is a company that provides registered agent services, helps with LLC formation, obtaining your EIN number, and can assist with ongoing compliance.
They have provided these services since 1998 and specialize in guaranteed privacy and best-in-class customer support. The company is family owned and operated with over 200 customer service team members across the United States.
Some key facts about Northwest Registered Agent:
- Over 20 years of experience
- Services available in all 50 states
- Family owned and operated
- Over 200 customer service representatives
- Headquarters in Spokane, WA
When you form an LLC, corporation or nonprofit, Northwest can handle it quickly and easily online.
I will dive into the various services they offer momentarily. First, let’s look at why it’s so important to have a registered agent on file when starting a business.
Why You Need a Registered Agent & LLC Service
A registered agent is a person or business entity that is designated to receive service of process and formal notices on behalf of your company.
They need to have a physical street address in the state where your business is registered. This address is listed on your formation documents that get filed with the state.
Your registered agent’s responsibilities include:
- Accepting lawsuit summons and other legal notices for your business
- Sending you copies of everything they receive
- Reminding you to stay compliant with state requirements
Appointing a registered agent protects your privacy. Instead of your home address being on public records, your registered agent’s address is listed.
This also ensures you don’t miss important legal communications. All notifications will be properly handled by your knowledgeable registered agent.
Nearly all states require LLCs and corporations to have an in-state registered agent. An experienced provider like Northwest Registered Agent can ensure you remain compliant.
Northwest Registered Agent Review – Overview
Northwest Registered Agent offers a full suite of services to form and maintain your business. Here is an overview:
Registered Agent Services
This is Northwest’s specialty. Their registered agent service promises privacy and proper handling of your legal communications.
Northwest can form your LLC quickly online and guarantees acceptance by your state. Different package options are available.
In addition to LLCs, Northwest provides incorporation services. They can help you form a corporation or nonprofit company.
Annual Report Filing
They offer an annual report service to stay on top of this yearly compliance requirement in most states.
Company Supplies & More
Northwest provides company kits, certificates of good standing, and other helpful products for your new business.
I will explore the key services in more detail throughout this review. First, let’s look at the background and reputation of Northwest Registered Agent.
Background & Reputation of NW LLC Registered Agent
With over 20 years of experience, Northwest Registered Agent has a long track record and thousands of satisfied customers.
As a family owned and operated company based in Spokane, Washington, they pride themselves on providing personalized customer service and protecting privacy.
Here is a snapshot of their current online reputation:
- A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
- 4.6 out of 5 star average rating on Google based on 330+ reviews
- 4.5 out of 5 star average rating on Trustpilot based on 470+ reviews
Positive feedback routinely praises their fast turnaround times, transparency, and helpful customer support agents. This gives me confidence in their services.
However, as with any company, there are also some negative reviews mixed in criticizing things like document errors or lost paperwork.
No company is perfect, but the overwhelmingly positive feedback was enough for me to give Northwest Registered Agent a try to form my own LLC.
My personal experience lined up very favorably with the positive praise. Keep reading for details!
LLC Formation Services From Northwest Registered Agent
One of the most popular services from Northwest is their LLC creation service starting at just $39 + state fees.
This is an affordable starting point for the necessary service of preparing and filing your Articles of Organization paperwork to legally form your LLC.
Northwest Registered Agent handles everything seamlessly online in 3 key steps:
Step 1) Verify the availability of your chosen LLC name
Step 2) Prepare and file the Articles of Organization
Step 3) Provide confirmation when your LLC has been officially approved
I was able to complete these steps quickly on their site and had my official company registration confirmation email in just a few days. It was really fast and smooth!
Forming an LLC online through Northwest Registered Agent includes the following:
✔ Preparing Articles of Organization customized for your state
✔ Filing the Articles of Organization
✔ Lifetime company alerts
✔ Free registered agent services for 1 year (more details later)
✔ Ongoing customer support
The $39 LLC formation fee is very reasonable in my opinion. Especially when you factor in the additional services included.
I also liked that Northwest clearly lists its fees instead of using “bait and switch” tactics with deceptivebase pricing like some competitors.
Registered Agent Services From Northwest
The next key service provided by Northwest Registered Agent is their registered agent offering.
This makes sense given their name and deep expertise in this area!
When I formed my LLC through Northwest, they automatically included one year of free registered agent service in my formation package.
After the first year, their ongoing registered agent service is $125 per year.
Here’s an overview of what’s included:
- Use Northwest’s address instead of your own for total privacy
- Handle any lawsuits or legal documents on your behalf
- Scan all your mail so nothing gets lost
- Send you email reminders for deadlines and reports
- Lifetime customer support from Registered Agent experts
I was thrilled that the first year of registered agent service was free with my LLC formation.
This saved me at least $100 compared to going with a cheaper formation company without this perk or appointing myself as a registered agent.
Handling registered agent duties takes time, so the convenience of having Northwest’s expertise is invaluable. I felt it was well worth paying to extend the service after my free first year.
One unique advantage is that Northwest allows you to use its business address rather than your home address on all public records for total privacy. I really appreciated this extra protection.
Obtaining Your EIN From NW Registered Agent
Another helpful service offered by Northwest Registered Agent is obtaining your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
This unique tax ID number is used to identify your business for tax purposes instead of your Social Security Number.
While you can get an EIN yourself directly through the IRS, Northwest Registered Agent can take care of the process for you accurately and efficiently.
This can provide convenience and peace of mind. The cost is $50 to have Northwest obtain your EIN if you have an SSN or ITIN.
If you are a non-US resident without an SSN or ITIN, the cost rises to $200 for Northwest to procure your EIN since more paperwork is involved.
I opted to get my EIN myself directly through the IRS website since this is free. The online process was quick and smooth.
However, if you prefer the convenience of having Northwest handle this important task, know that they have a lot of experience with the process of getting new businesses their EIN numbers.
Annual Report Filing From Northwest Registered Agent
Most states require LLCs, corporations and nonprofits to file annual reports to remain in good standing.
Unfortunately, I learned this requirement the hard way when I received a notice that my new business had been AUTOMATICALLY DISSOLVED by the state since I missed the annual report deadline since I didn’t know about it!
Luckily I was able to retroactively file the report and pay fees to reinstate my company’s active legal status. But it was stressful and I could have faced serious consequences.
This experience made it clear to me that I needed help staying compliant with annual report filings moving forward.
Northwest Registered Agent offers an Annual Report Service for $100 per year.
This additional service includes:
✔ Reminders when your report is coming due ✔ Preparation and filing of your annual report ✔ Confirmation when processed ✔ Ongoing maintenance of active company status
The $100 annual fee is on top of whatever amount your individual state charges for the report each year. But it seems very reasonable to me for the significant convenience and peace of mind.
Especially after living through dissolving my new business for missing a report! I will happily be adding on this service from Northwest Registered Agent to avoid any future issues.
The compliance experts at Northwest can save me from costly business disruptions and take this burden completely off my plate.
Additional Northwest Registered Agent Services
Beyond the key services I have covered already like LLC formation, registered agent, and annual report filing, Northwest Registered Agent offers a few additional options that may be useful.
Northwest provides a free customizable Operating Agreement template when you form your LLC. They offer versions tailored to single-member vs multi-member LLCs.
While an Operating Agreement isn’t legally required, it’s very important to have this document in place for any multi-member LLC to outline ownership stakes, voting rights, distributions of profits and losses, adding/removing members and more.
Getting this foundation handled upfront prevents a lot of problems down the road.
Through third-party partners, Northwest offers useful supplies like company seal embossers, personalized certificate binders and other helpful products to make your business official.
Certificate of Good Standing
If you plan to do business across state lines, you’ll likely need a Certificate of Good Standing to confirm your company’s active legal status for registering as a “foreign LLC” in the other state.
Change of Registered Agent
If down the road you decide you no longer want to use Northwest as your registered agent, they can file the necessary paperwork with your state to update your business’s registration when you appoint a new registered agent.
Overall Experience With Northwest Registered Agent
Forming my LLC through Northwest Registered Agent and using them as my registered agent was straightforward, fast and affordable.
I had heard good things about their customer service and transparency. My firsthand experience delivered on those promises.
The website was modern and intuitive. Ordering services was simple with clear pricing.
Communication by email kept me updated on the progress. Phone support was knowledgeable and friendly when I did call in with a question.
I’d definitely give Northwest Registered Agent 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend them from my positive experience. They exceeded my expectations.
That said, a perfect score is reserved only for flawless companies. As highlighted earlier, they do have a very small handful of negative reviews about things like filing errors. Perfection is hard.
But the overwhelmingly positive feedback is much more telling in my opinion. The proof is ultimately in the pudding of thousands and thousands of satisfied clients.
For a reasonably priced service catering to small business owners like myself, I believe Northwest Registered Agent hits the sweet spot I was looking for in spades.
Pros of Using Northwest Registered Agent
Here’s a quick recap of the key advantages that stood out to me in using Northwest Registered Agent for my LLC:
✔ Affordable Pricing
Their $39 LLC formation fee + state fee felt fair and transparent without surprise add-ons later. Ongoing services are reasonably priced as well.
✔ Included Privacy Protections
The ability to use their address instead of my home address on public records was invaluable.
✔ Amazing Customer Service
Quick to respond, knowledgeable, and friendly!
✔ Free Year of Registered Agent Service
Huge bonus that saved me at least $100 compared to alternatives.Made the decision very easy.
✔ Guaranteed Error Free
Mistakes can happen but they stand behind getting it right for your business.
✔ 20+ Years of Experience
Long track record of success and expertise to rely on.
✔ Easy to Cancel Anytime
No pressure or tricks to keep you trapped as a lifelong customer. The choice is always yours. I appreciate that flexibility.
✔ They Never Sell Your Data
Unlike some competitors, your info stays safe and private with Northwest.
Potential Cons of Northwest Registered Agent
No company is right for everyone or perfect across the board. Here are a few potential downsides to consider with Northwest Registered Agent:
⚠ No Ultra-Cheap Options
While Northwest offers an affordable starting price for LLC formation and registered agent service, they don’t have free promotions or super cheap teaser rates you may find elsewhere. Those lower prices often have big hidden costs though when automatic renewals kick in and jack up your bill exponentially the next year!
⚠ Slightly Mixed Reviews
As touched on earlier, they do have a couple negative reviews mixed in among the sea of positive feedback. For some, the cons may outweigh the pros if a mistake does happen with their specific filing.
⚠ Can’t Be Own Registered Agent
If you want to save money and be your LLC’s registered agent yourself, that isn’t possible if you form through Northwest. You’d need to use their registered agent service. But this could be seen as a “pro” too for those wanting the privacy and proper handling.
⚠ Additional Services Cost Extra
While Northwest offers a wide range of helpful additional services like getting your EIN number and annual report filing, these almost all come at an added fee. Ala carte pricing isn’t necessarily bad but it limits inclusion in the base formation package.
Northwest Registered Agent Pricing
One of my favorite aspects of Northwest Registered Agent is their clear, straightforward pricing. Everything is ala carte.
Here is a breakdown of Northwest’s current rates:
|$39 + State Fee
|Registered Agent Service
|Free 1st Year, $125 After That Per Year
|Operating Agreement Template
|Annual Report Filing
|$100 Per Year
|$15 to $125
I love that they reveal their pricing upfront instead of hiding the ball or using sneaky gimmicks. The old saying holds true: you get what you pay for.
While you can certainly find cheaper registered agent and LLC formation options elsewhere online, with Northwest I felt the quality and security was well worth the very fair and reasonable rates.
Especially when you factor in extras like the included first year of registered agent service ($100+ value) and customizable operating agreement template.
How Does Northwest Registered Agent Compare?
Northwest Registered Agent stacks up very nicely when compared among the best LLC formation and registered agent services.
While newer on the scene than some competitors, their 20+ years of expertise shines through in ease of use and customer service.
Here is a snapshot comparing Northwest key attributes to leading alternatives:
|Northwest Registered Agent
|LLC Formation Cost
|$39 + State Fee
|$0 + State Fee
|$0 + State Fee
|$0 + State Fee
|Registered Agent Cost
|$125 Per Year
|$299 Per Year
|$119 Per Year
|$299 Per Year
|Excellent 24/7 Team
|Great Support Team
|Decent Support Channels
|Solid Support Experience
|Until State Submission
|Only 60 Days
As you can see, Northwest Registered Agent is extremely competitive:
- They are affordable upfront to form an LLC
- Offer free registered agent service for the first year
- Have fantastic 24/7 customer support
- Tons of experience
- And a great 90 day refund policy
The only category where I give a slight edge to competitors is the screaming deal of $0 + state fee to form an LLC from IncFile. But remember, Northwest still registers for just $39 + state fee including extras like the registered agent perk. Well worth it in my opinion
Verdict: Mark the Right Choice
After thorough research on multiple online LLC services, we have concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is a superb choice among many in the market. Their fantastic customer support is, by far, a good advantage for people having little know-how of technology.
If you fall in those entrepreneurs demanding premium client support with a free one-year registered agent service and affordable packages, Northwest LLC service is ideal for you. Quickly get your hands on their services before it’s too late!
Alfie Wilson, Esq., is a legal content writer with expertise in business formation, criminal law, veterans disability, family law, DUI law, personal injury, animal welfare, and legal writing. He holds a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and has experience in appellate advocacy and regulatory matters. Alfie’s passion lies in breaking down complex legal topics for a non-lawyer audience. He currently writes for law firms and non-profits on various issues and resides in Arlington, Virginia.