Companies like Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile can streamline the LLC 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 major differences.
Before we dive into this comparison, let’s briefly talk about what good value in an LLC formation service looks like. Incfile and Northwest are two popular options and include important features like free registered agent service, good customer support, and more. Incfile has a couple of advantages over Northwest, starting with its offer of a free (+ state fee) LLC formation package, while Northwest charges $225. In addition, Incfile has a higher volume of positive customer reviews. They’re a solid Northwest alternative.
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’re cutting costs, you’re also not going the full do-it-yourself route. Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile both have 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 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 (for an additional fee, of course).
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.
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
Incfile: Incfile will help you form your business for free (+ state fee) while also providing a year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year. In addition, their $199 Gold package and $299 Platinum package both include valuable features that make them options as well, even at their higher price points.
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.
Incfile: Incfile offers phone and email support, which we tested. Incfile’s phone support is typically responsive and helpful. However, its email support is much less responsive. Some of our emails have gone unanswered, and several of the responses we have received are just form emails that don’t directly address our questions. Their support department is available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday-Friday.
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.
Incfile: Incfile’s experience level is high, as they’ve helped form more than 1 million businesses since they opened in 2004.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998, and since then, they’ve served 2+ million customers.
Incfile: With Incfile, turnaround times vary based on each individual state’s formation speeds. This can be as quick as a few days in some states or could take several weeks in others. You can also add expedited processing to speed it up, although the price will vary by state.
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.
Incfile: Incfile doesn’t just have hundreds of customer reviews available online, they have 75,000+ of them. Furthermore, their feedback is mostly positive, with critical reviews in short supply.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t have a ton of customer feedback, but they do have around 800 reviews, and they’re mostly positive.
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 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.
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.
Both Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent provide their customers with access to a 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.
Depending on the requirements of your specific company, your preference may be for one or the other (or another service entirely) 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.
Does the personal touch of their customer support appeal to you? Perhaps you prefer a company that prioritizes your privacy? If so, Northwest could be worth a look. Overall, they’re a decent Incfile alternative.
Is your priority to use the most affordable LLC formation service? Maybe you prefer to use companies with lots of positive customer feedback? Incfile might be a good fit.
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The most widely recommended LLC formation package offered by Incfile is their Silver plan, which is free if you pay your own state fee. With this option, you’ll receive a year of registered agent service in addition to your formation.
Neither Incfile nor Northwest attempts many upsells. While Incfile has a few inobtrusive upsells sprinkled in throughout the order form, Northwest essentially has none of them.
When reviewing LLC formation services, it’s hard 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. In general, they’re both good LegalZoom alternatives.
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 won’t 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.
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.
Incfile’s main advantage is the fact that it offers a business formation service package that’s free of charge, except for your state fee. When Northwest’s pricing starts at $225, this is a 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 and responsiveness with their customer service that Incfile can’t match.
Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent both offer solutions to help keep your company in good standing. Northwest offers registered agent service for $125 per year. They also offer annual report service, which is available for $100 plus state fee. As for Incfile, they have an annual price point of $119 for registered agent service, and their annual report service is available for $99.
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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