Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile

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Companies like Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile can streamline the formation process for you, but how are you supposed to figure out which one has your best interests in mind?

In this Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile LLC service comparison, you’ll find concise breakdowns of their common points and their major differences. By the end, you should have a better idea of which one you’d like to use for LLC service.

Do IncFile and Northwest Offer Good Value?

Before we dive into this comparison, let’s briefly talk about what good value in an LLC service looks like. Most LLC services, like LegalZoom, charge $79 or more to form an LLC — but don’t include the features to justify the high price.

Alternatively, IncFile and Northwest are two of the top options online and include important features like free registered agent service, good customer support, and more.

6 Things They Have In Common

1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring a business lawyer to draft and file your formation documents. The LLC isn’t a terribly complex business structure, so you may not need an attorney’s expertise to begin with.

2) Customer Support: While you are cutting costs significantly, you’re also not going the full DIY route. Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile both have extensive customer service networks that ensure help is just a phone call or email away.

3) Registered Agent Service: Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent include a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation purchase. Considering the fact that every LLC needs to designate a registered agent anyway, this is a valuable feature.

4) Efficiency: If you need your LLC formed in a hurry, these companies have your back. Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent have expedited service available that can cut your processing times down from weeks to mere days.

5) Experience: Both of these companies have extensive track records of successful formation services. IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent each serve thousands of clients, meaning they have the experience necessary to earn your business.

6) Positive Customer Reviews: While IncFile certainly has a larger volume of customer feedback, both of these companies receive favorable reviews from their clients. It’s clear that most customers are pleased with the service they receive from IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent.

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Side-by-Side Comparisons

Pricing (The Main Difference)

IncFile: IncFile will help you form your business for free while also providing a full year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year, which is a strong price point. In addition, their $149 Gold package and $299 Platinum package are both packed with valuable features that make them strong options as well, even at their higher price points.

Northwest: At $225, their price point is quite high compared to many of their competitors. Still, the inclusion of a full year of their registered agent service is a valuable feature that makes their pricing more attractive. Once the first year is up, the registered agent service will renew at $125 per year.

Customer Support

IncFile: IncFile has good support, but they’re not quite as responsive as some competitors, as we’ve experienced wait times in excess of 24 hours. And when it comes to email support, IncFile sometimes does not respond at all. Their employees also generally aren’t as knowledgeable as the Corporate Guides at Northwest.

Northwest: Northwest’s customer support is personalized. They keep their customer support in-house, with a team of professionally trained Corporate Guides.

Every time we have called with questions about complicated state rules or forming an LLC, the very first person we talk to is able to immediately answer our questions. In our opinion, Northwest has a personalized customer support network that is quite helpful.


IncFile: IncFile has a solid track record, as they’ve helped form 800,000+ businesses since 2004.

Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent has served more than a million customers since it opened in 1998, making it a strong mid-sized LLC service provider.

Turnaround Times

IncFile: IncFile guarantees that every formation will be processed and forwarded to your state of formation within one business day. If you need your business formed in a hurry, IncFile offers the ability to order expedited state processing for an additional fee (determined by your state), or you can purchase their Platinum package which includes expedited service.

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.

Customer Reviews

IncFile: IncFile has nearly 34,000 reviews available online, and most of them are positive. IncFile has one of the best customer feedback reputations in the industry.

Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent has around 400 reviews with high average rating scores. Northwest has a good reputation in this area, but without the volume of reviews that IncFile boasts.

Ease of Use

IncFile: As you walk through the process of signing up for IncFile, your steps are personalized based on the state you live in and the type of business you wish to establish. There are even little question marks and hyperlinks throughout the application to learn more about a specific question or entry on the form. There are a few upsells and third-party offers to navigate through, but if you opt into any of them, your total price is immediately updated on the screen. There are never any surprises with Incfile.

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. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this.

Additional Services

Both IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent provide their customers with access to a broad selection of additional business services. As you might expect, there’s a considerable amount of overlap in the services these two companies provide, as either of them can help you with foreign qualifications, registered agent service, EIN acquisition, annual reports, and more.

However, only Northwest offers mail forwarding and virtual office services, while only IncFile provides its customers with trademark name search services.

Better Service to Form an LLC?

While IncFile can save you some money, Northwest has a personalized customer support team, while IncFile’s support can be a bit hit or miss. Furthermore, we always appreciate how Northwest maintains a laser focus on client privacy.

However, depending on the requirements of your specific company, your preference may be for one or the other for a variety of reasons.

If you haven’t yet decided which LLC service to use, we’ll close this comparison by describing some scenarios that may swing your decision.

➥ When to Choose Northwest:

Does the personal touch of their customer support appeal to you? Or perhaps you prefer a company that prioritizes your privacy above all else? These are a couple of the top reasons entrepreneurs choose Northwest Registered Agent.

➦ When to Choose IncFile:

Is your priority to use the most affordable LLC formation service? Maybe you prefer to use companies with lots of customer feedback? Give IncFile a look.

In Conclusion

Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile are two of the most popular LLC formation services, and it’s always difficult to pick a winner between them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Got LLC service questions? We’ve got answers.

  • The best IncFile LLC formation service package is the entry-level Silver package, which is available for free (plus the state’s fee).

    Even with the low price point, this package includes a year of their registered agent service.

    If you want some additional features, you could step up to their $149 Gold package, which includes an EIN and an operating agreement.

    As for Northwest Registered Agent, their $225 package includes a year of registered agent service.

  • This is a hard question to answer, simply because neither of these companies ever bothers us with upsell attempts like LegalZoom does.

    Both IncFile and Northwest keep the upsells to a minimum, and we never feel pressured to add more features or upgrade to a higher tier of LLC formation service.

  • When reviewing LLC formation services, it’s impossible to not talk about the most well-known option, LegalZoom. If you’d like to see how the two services in this comparison stack up to it, see our IncFile vs LegalZoom comparison or Northwest vs LegalZoom comparison.

  • Northwest and IncFile both have processing times based on the capabilities of your formation state ― the quicker your state processes orders, the shorter your turnaround time will be.

    While Northwest might be a day or two faster in some states, and IncFile may have a slight advantage in others, they are mostly quite similar.

  • IncFile says that your order is refundable (less a $30 cancellation fee) until payment is sent to your state, which is usually within 24 hours of placing your order. After that, you will not receive any refunds.

    Northwest has a refund processing fee of $25, which they call their “You changed your mind fee.” They don’t place any further limitations on their refund policy regarding timing.

  • No, they do not. Neither LLC service handles NY publication requirements, although Northwest does at least offer a set of step-by-step instructions. If this is something you need, ZenBusiness may be your best bet.

  • You do always have this option, and quite a few people choose to form their own LLCs every day in America. However, the DIY route doesn’t provide the same peace of mind that comes with hiring a reputable LLC formation service like IncFile or Northwest. Also, each state sets its own rules and regulations regarding LLC formations, so there can be quite a bit of legwork just to determine what your state requires. Plus, at ZenBusiness we can form your LLC for free, as long as you cover the state fee.

  • Incfile’s main advantage is the fact that it offers a business formation service package that’s absolutely free of charge, except for your state fee. When Northwest’s pricing starts at $225, this is a big point in Incfile’s favor.

    Northwest has some advantages of their own though, the most significant of which is their customer support system. Northwest has a level of personalization with their customer service that is rarely seen in this industry.

  • Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent both offer plenty of solutions to help keep your company in good standing down the road, and their prices are quite comparable as well.

    As we’ve mentioned, they both provide one full year of registered agent service with any package, and they both have reasonable price points after that as well ― Incfile charges $119 per year, while Northwest has a price point of $125. These companies both offer annual report service as well, which costs $88 per year with Incfile, or $100 per year with Northwest.

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