Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings are both popular and reputable LLC formation services. Either one of them can easily form your compliant LLC, and they both have reasonable rates, especially compared to hiring a lawyer. However, each has its advantages.
Northwest Registered Agent has personalized customer support, with a level of customization few competitors can match. Furthermore, Northwest receives strong customer feedback, whereas BizFilings has very few reviews available at all. Overall though, BizFilings is a decent alternative to Northwest Registered Agent, especially if you’re looking to save some money with a company that also offers state-specific compliance assistance.
Would you like to get some more info before making your decision? Read on to find out everything you need to know about these two LLC formation service providers.
1) Affordable: With either Northwest Registered Agent or BizFilings, you’ll save money compared to hiring a lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. Seeing as the LLC isn’t a terribly complex business structure, you may not even need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.
2) Customer Support: While saving money is always great, you don’t want to go it alone, either. These service providers both have customer support networks that can answer your questions, saving you lots of wasted time hunting down answers on your own.
3) Experience: Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings have each formed thousands of LLCs, so you can be confident in their abilities to form your LLC in a compliant, efficient manner. They have the expertise necessary to get the job done right.
4) Efficiency: Are you in a rush to get your LLC formed? That’s no problem for service providers like Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings. They both offer expedited service (for an added cost, of course) that can dramatically speed up the turnaround time for your LLC.
5) Registered Agent Service: These two companies both include registered agent service with their LLC formation packages. BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service with its $99 Basic LLC service package, while Northwest Registered Agent throws in a year with its $225 package.
6) Additional Services: These providers have plenty of other services available to help you maintain your LLC’s compliant status. From foreign qualifications to LLC operating agreements, Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings have you covered.
7 ) Security: Both of these companies care about your online security. BizFilings secures its website using Norton Web Security, while Northwest Registered Agent runs its own servers and has its own in-house coders and developers.
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
Northwest: At $225, their price point is high compared to many competitors. Still, the inclusion of a full year of their registered agent service is a good feature that makes their pricing more attractive. Once the first year is up, the registered agent service will renew at $125 per year.
BizFilings: Starting with their $99 Basic package, which includes six months of registered agent service (which costs $220/year after that), their packages are all a bit on the expensive side compared to some competing formation services. The Standard and Complete packages vary in price by state but generally don’t have enough valuable features to justify their price points.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998, and since then, they’ve served 2+ million customers.
BizFilings: BizFilings is an experienced company with more than 500,000 business formations since it opened in 1996.
Northwest: Northwest offers phone and email support. We first tested their email support, and while it took nearly 24 hours to receive an email back, the response was detailed, and the rep went beyond simply answering our question and checking off an email response. We also called and received similarly impressive service. The representative who answered the phone took the time to ask for details so that he could give us the most accurate answer.
BizFilings: BizFilings provides phone and email support, and there is also a “leave a message” feature on the left side of each page on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree. When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and they answered our questions thoroughly, providing additional details that were applicable based on what we asked.
Northwest: When you select your state from the dropdown menu of the application, an estimated turnaround time will display on the screen. Most states have expedited service available for an additional fee, so you’ll see two turnaround times on the order form.
BizFilings: BizFilings structures their processing speeds to vary depending on how much money you spend on their services. Their cheapest package has a 4-6 week turnaround, which you can cut to 7-10 days with their more expensive plans. They do also offer expedited processing, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders,” plus the state’s expediting fee.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t have a ton of customer feedback, but they do have around 800 reviews, and they’re mostly positive.
BizFilings: BizFilings has very few reviews available online ― in fact, we were only able to find a couple dozen reviews on any third-party review websites.
Northwest: The application process with Northwest is streamlined and easy to follow. You simply enter your personal info and business details and pay for the order. There aren’t any upsells, and Northwest only offers one LLC formation service package.
BizFilings: Their incorporation wizard is a convenient tool that can help you figure out whether you should form an LLC or a corporation. Once you start filling out your order form, there are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re unobtrusive, and don’t feel too pushy. From the moment you start the application process, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance.
With either Northwest Registered Agent or BizFilings, you’ll have access to a selection of additional services that can help you build, maintain, and expand your new LLC. They have quite a few services in common, as you can order registered agent service, annual reports, foreign qualifications, operating agreements, EIN acquisition, and more from either one of these companies.
However, there are also some exclusive services offered by each company that the other one doesn’t provide to their clients. For instance, only Northwest offers mail forwarding and virtual office services, while only BizFilings provides services like dissolutions, amendments, and entity conversions.
With Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings, we’re discussing two popular LLC formation services. They’re both experienced, and they’re capable of forming your new LLC in an efficient and effective manner.
Because they’re both solid options, some of you may remain undecided. With that in mind, we’ll cap off this comparison by briefly touching on some of the main reasons you may prefer one company or another.
Do you want a year of registered agent service bundled in with your formation? Are you interested in positive customer reviews? These are two reasons people sometimes choose Northwest.
Are you looking for a company that handles every state-specific step of the LLC formation process? Interested in forming your LLC for $99 (+ state fee) instead of $225? BizFilings could be worth a look.
If you’d like to form your LLC with ZenBusiness, we’re here to help. We offer LLC formations starting at $0 (+ state fee), and we have 12,000+ positive customer reviews available online. Form your LLC quickly and get more tools to start your dream business.
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They only offer one package for LLC formations, but it includes everything you need to get your business off the ground — a name availability check, the preparation and filing of your formation documents, and a year of registered agent service.
Yes and no. Northwest doesn’t offer to handle state-specific requirements entirely, they do offer some assistance with them. If, for example, you need to complete New York’s publication requirement, Northwest encourages you to use their Albany, NY address as an “address for service of process” or a “principal office.” They then provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you complete this requirement.
However, BizFilings does offer this service, but there are more affordable options out there. If you need help with NY publication requirements, check out our New York publication service for more information.
Neither of these service providers goes too crazy with the upsells, but Northwest Registered Agent has the advantage in this category because they really don’t have any upsells at all. To be clear though, this category is a very minor issue because BizFilings is also quite good in this regard.
BizFilings charges two different processing fees depending on when you request your refund. If you cancel your order before they perform your business name availability check, they’ll refund your purchase price less a $50 fee. If you request a refund after the name check but before they submit your Articles of Organization to the state, there’s a $75 fee. Otherwise, refunds aren’t available.
As for Northwest, they have a flat $25 fee for refunds, which they refer to as a “You changed your mind fee.” It’s unfortunate that these companies struggle in this area, especially when we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with no convenience fees and a 60-day window.
Northwest has turnaround times based on the actual requirements of your formation state, and they vary from just a few days all the way up to several weeks. BizFilings instead bases turnarounds on which LLC formation package you purchase: Basic takes 4-6 weeks, while Standard and Complete have processing times of 7-10 business days.
You can, and many entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs every day. However, we appreciate the peace of mind we receive from using a reputable formation service. In addition, each state has its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so there can often be more legwork than people might expect.
The biggest advantage for BizFilings is that they provide assistance with state-specific compliance requirements like publication. Additionally, they offer LLC formation service for a lower price than Northwest. As for Northwest, the most important advantage is its strong customer reviews, whereas BizFilings has very little feedback at all.
Both of these companies provide solutions for ongoing compliance issues. BizFilings provides six months of registered agent service with every formation package, after which their price is $220 per year. If you want annual report service from BizFilings, you’ll need to contact them, because this feature operates on a variable pricing model.
Northwest offers registered agent service for $125 per year. They also offer annual report service, which is available for $100 plus state fee.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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