Read the Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom LLC review below or get Mark Cuban's recommendation (ZenBusiness) for $0 + state fee.
With this Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom comparison, you’ll find the information you need conveniently laid out in a way that should help you make your decision.
Which LLC company is the right choice to form your business?
Before we dive into our comprehensive comparison of Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom, let’s briefly outline a couple of their differences.
First and foremost, Northwest includes a full year of registered agent service with any LLC service purchase, while LegalZoom does not include this service in any of its LLC formation packages. However, LegalZoom can save you quite a bit of money compared to Northwest.
1) Affordable: Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom both fill the role of companies that can help with your LLC formation without costing you an arm and a leg like hiring a business attorney to draft and file your formation documents.
2) Customer Support: This is one of the biggest reasons these services can be a major benefit to you. Instead of going it alone when you have questions, you can contact their customer service department and get answers from knowledgeable professionals.
3) Experience: With thousands upon thousands of satisfied customers, LegalZoom and Northwest Registered Agent have the experience necessary to earn your trust.
4) Additional Services: After your LLC formation, these companies still have a lot to offer. Their comprehensive business services can provide solutions to all sorts of ongoing compliance requirements, including registered agent service and much more.
5) Educational: Their websites have a number of free tools to help you learn about the business world and run your LLC. Both companies provide a wealth of information on issues that confront many business owners, like asset protection, licensing, permits, etc.
6) Efficiency: Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom both offer expedited services that can dramatically speed up your formation process ― often from weeks or even months down to mere days. This costs extra, of course, but it can be worth it if you’re in a hurry.
LegalZoom: While LegalZoom does offer a $0 package for LLCs, the number of upsells can get overwhelming — and expensive. Furthermore, they do not include registered agent service with any of their formation packages, and it costs $249 to add a year to your LLC formation order or $299 if ordered separately.
Northwest: At $225, their price point is higher than many of their competitors. Still, the inclusion of a full year of their premium 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.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom is a massive operation, with millions of businesses served since 1999. They handle a larger customer volume than nearly all competitors.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent is a mid-sized company with plenty of experience and expertise. They’ve been around since 1998, and they’ve formed thousands of businesses over the years.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom’s support agents are not always as knowledgeable as Northwest’s, but they have their own advantage in the form of extended support hours. They take calls and emails from 8 am to 10 pm ET every weekday, and they’re even open on Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm ET.
Northwest: Northwest’s 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 answer our questions immediately.
LegalZoom: Unlike most competitors, their turnarounds are based on which package you order, rather than which state you’re forming in. With their most expensive package, you could receive your finalized business formation documents in 7-10 business days, but their cheaper packages take as long as 30 business days (six weeks).
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.
LegalZoom: LegalZoom has more than 6,000 reviews to read through, but their feedback has slightly lower average scores than Northwest. That said, they do still have many more positive reviews than negative ones, and their customer satisfaction reputation has improved in recent years.
Northwest: Northwest Registered Agent gets good review scores, but they can’t quite match LegalZoom’s volume of reviews, with around 400 of them scattered across the web.
LegalZoom: Unlike most competitors, LegalZoom doesn’t give you your package options to begin the application. Instead, you enter your personal info first, then navigate through a series of rather costly upsells before you select your formation package. It’s a bit convoluted, and it can result in some surprisingly high price points by the time you work your way through the order form to the package selection screen.
Northwest: The application process with Northwest is streamlined and easy to follow. They only offer one incorporation package, so all you need to do is enter your personal info and business details and pay for the order. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this.
These companies provide many similar services, and you can count on either of them to provide registered agent service, annual reports, foreign registrations, and more.
However, LegalZoom has a wide variety of personal services that Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t offer.
For instance, you can count on LegalZoom to create your estate plan or draft a pet protection agreement. They also offer their clients consultations with attorneys, which Northwest does not. However, Northwest also has a couple of services LegalZoom doesn’t have, like mail forwarding and virtual offices.
Even though they are both good LLC formation websites, there are plenty of differences between Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom.
Northwest includes a full year of their premium registered agent service at no extra charge, which will cost you $249 to add to a LegalZoom package. In addition, Northwest provides more consistent customer support. That said, LegalZoom can form an LLC at a much lower price point than Northwest.
However, you may prefer one over the other for different reasons than we do. With that in mind, here are a couple of scenarios that can help you make your choice.
Are you looking for personalized customer support? Perhaps you place a high value on registered agent service? Northwest Registered Agent is the right choice for you.
Do you prefer using the service that is more well-known, with a high volume of customers and lots of brand recognition? Do you want to save some money on your LLC formation? If so, choose LegalZoom.
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Got questions? We’ve got answers.
When reviewing LLC formation services, it’s impossible not to talk about one of the most well-known options, IncFile.
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 Registered Agent vs IncFile comparison.
Northwest provides a considerable amount of help with state-specific requirements like publication, but they stop short of offering to take care of it for you entirely.
For example, in New York, they allow their clients to use their Albany address as their principal office or “address for service of process.” They then provide you with a step-by-step guide to completing the rest of your publication requirement.
For what it’s worth, LegalZoom doesn’t offer publication service either, but ZenBusiness does.
This category is a big difference between Northwest and LegalZoom because LegalZoom pushes upsells like no other company in this industry, whereas Northwest doesn’t try them at all. With LegalZoom, you’ll need to navigate your way through $1,080 worth of upsells before you even choose your LLC formation package.
How do you know which features you need before you select your package? The answer: you don’t.
LegalZoom’s comprehensive satisfaction guarantee really speaks to how confident they are in the quality of their products and services. In short, their guarantee says that as long as you request your refund within 60 days of your initial purchase, they will grant your refund within five business days. It’s nearly identical to the ZenBusiness policy!
Northwest also has a solid refund policy, but it’s not up to the LegalZoom level. Northwest provides refunds as well, but they charge a $25 processing fee ― or in their own words, a “You changed your mind fee.”
The answer to this question depends entirely on which state you’re forming your business in because Northwest and LegalZoom have processing speeds that differ quite a bit.
Northwest’s turnaround times are based on the actual capabilities of your formation state, but LegalZoom’s are instead based on which level of service you purchase from them. Their cheapest package is the slowest (Economy, 30 business days), while their mid-tier Standard package speeds things up to 15 business days, and their most expensive Express Gold package takes 7-10 days.
This is always an option, and plenty of entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs. Plus, affordable LLC services like us at ZenBusiness can form your LLC for free, as long as you cover the state fee.
LegalZoom has a few advantages, starting with its brand power and name recognition. If you place a high value on using the most well-known service provider, LegalZoom is an easy choice thanks to its robust advertising budget.
Northwest has a handful of significant advantages, but overall we think their personalized customer support is the most important. There are very few competing services that offer this level of customization when it comes to support.
Both LegalZoom and Northwest Registered Agent have plenty of features to keep your company in good standing with your state, although of course there are differences in their pricing models.
Northwest has a huge advantage when it comes to registered agent service, as they not only include a full year of service with every package, but they also charge just $125/year after that, compared to LegalZoom’s $299 annual fee (or $249 for your first year if purchased in tandem with your incorporation package). On the other hand, LegalZoom only charges $55 for annual report service, whereas Northwest’s price point is nearly double that, at $100.
Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom are two of the most popular LLC formation services available, and they both have plenty of strong attributes.
We wouldn’t blame you for preferring one over the other — either way, you’re using one of the top LLC filing websites in the industry.
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