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Northwest Registered Agent Review: Thoughts After Starting My LLC

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Earlier this year I decided to start an LLC for my e-commerce activities. My sales through Amazon have been good in 2019 and it was time to take things to the next level.

However, there are countless services online that can help you with your LCC formation. And although IncFile seem to be doing very well (they come up a lot when you Google search Best LLC Services etc), it was the positive customer reviews of Northwest Registered Agent that piqued my interest.

So much so, I looked into them further and decided to order an LLC package through their website. This review is an in-depth look at my experience, the pros and cons, what you can expect, and whether, ultimately I can confidently recommend Northwest Registered Agent to you too.

Let’s take a look…

Northwest Registered Agent Review Summary

PRICING: Basic: $79 / Deluxe: $179 / Premium: $199 (State fees also apply)

The Pros
  • Everything you need to start your LLC in a totally hands-off method
  • Intuitive website, easy to use and navigate to what you need
  • Top notch customer service with speedy response times
  • Competitive pricing considering the bespoke nature of the service
The Cons
  • More expensive than other options for essentially the same services
  • Only 1-year free registered agents service
Overall, Northwest Registered Agents are a top quality LLC formation service for those willing to pay a bit extra for a more bespoke experience with great customer service . Sure, there are cheaper options out there but when it comes to something as important as starting a new company, you want to get off on exactly the right foot with minimum fuss. Northwest Registered Agents will help you do just that.

Who are Northwest Registered Agent?

Northwest Registered Agent

Image Credit: Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent began offering LLC services back in 1998. They were very much there at the beginning when such services could be provided using the internet.

(Although one imagines you would need to fax important documents across back then, rather than scan and email 🙂 )

The company is smaller in size than some of the competition, however, in my mind that is a good thing, (and one of the factors that led me to use them) as they do provide a satisfyingly personal service as a result.

Their head office is in Spokane, Washington State however to an extent this is irrelevant. They provide LLC formation solutions no matter what state you live in, and where you wish to incorporate.

This is all done via their intuitive, easy to use website and online login area, but more on that later.

The 3 LLC Formation Packages

llc formation

As with the majority of LLC formation services available online, Northwest provides different packages covering a range of services and of course cost.

Their LLC service packages are Basic, Deluxe, and Platinum. (The website gives a comprehensive account of what each package contains

I’ve given an overview in the boxes below.

1. Basic Package [$79 + relevant state fee]

LLC Name Search

A large, exciting part of starting your own LLC is choosing the name. My wife and I went through so many options, but the process was fun.

Ultimately, settling on a name raises the bar on whatever venture you are starting. It all of a sudden feels very real.

However, you need to know that the name you wish to use is available.

Thankfully, Northwest will help you there. As part of the basic package, they will search your state’s official business database to confirm that your chosen name hasn’t already been taken.

Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization

The most important part of the LLC service is the preparation and filing of the articles of organization.

Once you have provided Northwest Registered Agent the basic company information about your business, (all of which can be done online), they will prepare the necessary documents and then file them with your state of formation.

Registered Agent Services (Free for 1 Year)

When you start an LLC you have to nominate a registered agent that is in charge of receiving legal documents on your behalf.

Northwest Registered Agent will do this for you free of charge for the first year, (and will charge $125 per year afterwards).

You can opt for another registered agent after the year is out, however, in the USA it is a legal requirement for all LLCs to have one.

2. Deluxe Package [$179 + relevant state fee]

The Deluxe package is $100 more expensive than the basic package and is the one that I opted to use. It contains everything from the entry-level package, plus the following additional services… 

Operating Agreement

Although it is not a legal requirement to have an operating agreement for your company, however, it is recommended and it is useful.

It sets out how your LLC will be operated. It also provides a written outline of the ownership structure of your company.

For the sake of professionalism alone, I would say you should have an operating agreement for your LLC.

Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

Dealing with the IRS is never fun. With the Deluxe package, Northwest Registered Agent will take care of obtaining your EIN from the IRS.

Essentially, the EIN is like a Social Security Number for your business.

With this 9-digit numerical code your LLC will be able to hire employees, open business bank accounts and file business taxes. In other words you need this.

3. Premium [$199 + Relevant State Fee]

You can see the Premium package as the fast track option. Here you will receive all the same services described in the Deluxe package, but Northwest Registered Agent will process everything on the same day as you purchase the service.

UPDATE

Since writing this review, Northwest Registered Agent have been in the process of changing their pricing structure to (what I guess they believe to be) a more transparent single package where you can add services such as the EIN if you wish. I still highly recommend their services, however, you should check the website for more details on the changes.

Pros and Cons of Using Northwest Registered Agent

pros and cons

As I mentioned above, I opted for the Deleuxe package so my view on the good and bad points are most relevant to that.

However, as the basic package does include the core services of the Deluxe, should you decide to opt for the cheaper offering, many of the following points apply too.

1. Excellent Customer Service

customer service

The single biggest reason I chose to use Northwest Registered Agent (over arguably cheaper options) is that their customer service is top-notch.

I read reviews stating this was the case, and then I was very impressed with the speed I received a response to enquiring email before I purchased anything.

(I will confess, it was a test to see how helpful the team would be before I paid). My query was comprehensively answered, and I was given actionable, helpful advice.

It is clear that Northwest Registered Agent keeps its premium customer support in-house. This means that professionally trained Corporate Guides are available throughout the entire formation process should you have any questions.

After I paid and they started collecting the information for my LLC submission, whenever I got in touch I had a very quick response. This is a major selling point for Northwest and a big reason as to why I confidently recommend them.

2. Competitive Price Point

money price point

There’s no getting away from the fact that Northwest Registered Agent is more expensive than some of their competitors. IncFile provides a basic package for just $49.

However, starting an LLC is something you are not going to repeat too often. Paying a bit extra for fast, helpful support is, in my opinion, more than worth it.

And even then, at just $79 Northwest’s basic package is still extremely competitive. My attitude of paying for the reliable service means that the $179 for the Deluxe wasn’t an issue at all.

However, your own view may of course differ.

3. The 1-year free Registered Agent Service

And on the subject of value for money (despite being more expensive than some other LLC services), let’s not forget the 1-year free registered agent service.

This is essential, and to know that they are taking care of this aspect of your LLC is one less thing to worry about.

4. The Deluxe package and IRS services

IRS services

Put simply, the IRS sends shivers down my spine. I know it is silly, but I hate dealing with them, on any level.

I paid extra for the Deluxe package just to have my EIN and other relevant administrative needs taken care of. I’d have paid double for that luxury, and it was another major benefit for me.

5. Easy to use website (secure and private)

NW-Registered-Agent-Map

Screenshot of NW Registered Agent Website – Click Map to be sent to the relevant page of the website

I really liked the intuitive nature of their website too, (another reason that made me choose them over the competition).

All the information you need is clearly there, and the site is easy to navigate. I especially liked the map interface, (see screenshot above). You can simply click the state in which you wish to register your LLC and then the website takes you step by step through the process of formation, relevant to that state, (including automatically adding state fees etc).

Once you get your login details and start the process, the manner in which the questions are asked and the information you have to send is dealt with really does take the stress out of things.

It is no surprise that the run their own online presence in-house (like the support team); the servers are also owned by them meaning security and privacy are top-notch too. Your data is safe in other words.

The Disadvantages

legal issues

No company is perfect and there are course a couple of points I can make that cover the disadvantages.

1. The fact there are more affordable options

I am sure many people want to have their LLC formation taken care of as cheaply as possible. Unfortunately, Northwest Registered Agents can’t deliver in that regard.

There are more cost-effective options available

2. Turnaround Time

clock

If you’re in a hurry, you will have to opt for the premium package. There are no guarantees on the turnaround time of the lower-priced packages, and being a smaller company, if they happen to be inundated at a given point, there’s only so fast your application can be dealt with.

I personally experienced no issues with this, (the whole process took about a week), but then I wasn’t in a hurry.

Northwest Registered Agent – What the Customers Say

You will have found my tone throughout this review has been predominantly positive.

I had a great experience using Northwest Registered Agents. However, I am just one example, what is the average customer opinion? Am I in the majority or have people experienced issues using the service.

Looking at trusted sources of reviews such as Google and Yelp, you will find an overwhelmingly positive response to their LLC services.

Much as I found, speed of service and reliable customer support are all recurring themes.

It must be noted that the company does have far fewer reviews than some of its competitors, but this could well be down to the lower volume of customers.

Average Online Customer Review Scores at the time of writing:

  • Google: 4.6 out of 5 stars (79 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4.1 out of 5 stars (26 reviews)

Should you use Northwest Registered Agent when starting your LLC?

handshake

The answer would be yes. I personally see no reason why you shouldn’t use Northwest for your LLC formation needs.

They manage to combine quality service with comprehensive customer support, two of the most important factors you need when dealing with legal issues.

Only if you are on a tight budget would I recommend another online LLC service. Even then, I would consider if it’s worth using someone else for the sake of 20 or 30 dollars.

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