Choosing the wrong online incorporation service for your LLC formation can be costly in terms of compliance costs and penalties. If you are looking for an LLC formation service, Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile are the top two providers to consider. This comparison will give you an in-depth look at both LLC companies so you can decide the better option for your business.
Features of Incfile and Northwest
Company Track Record
Incfile started business in 2004 and has garnered over a decade of experience as a business formation service. The company has formed over 250 000 businesses since its inception. In 2018, Entrepreneur magazine included the company as one of the best 360 entrepreneurial companies in America. Incfile has thousands of positive online customer reviews but only a few negative reviews.
Northwest Registered Agent was launched in 1998 and is far older than Incfile. In fact, this company is one of the oldest online LLC services around. The company has formed over two million businesses to date and boasts of working with over 200 new corporations and LLCs daily.
This shows that Northwest LLC is well-established and well-experienced. However, for such an experienced and established company as Northwest, it’s very surprising that the company has only about 200 online customer reviews which are mostly positive.
Based only on the depth of experience and track record, Northwest takes the first point in this Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile review.
Incfile and Northwest: Pricing
Incfile has three packages, which are Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It is the same with other LLC services like Swyft Filings and LegalZoom. The Silver package is the most basic package option and you can get it for free (plus state fee). This package features the basic needs for business formation, which include the preparation and filing of your articles of organization. It also features one year of free registered agent service, unlimited name availability searches, unlimited phone and email support, lifetime access to their company alerts system and business banking account set up with Bank of America.
Once the first year is over, you can renew the registered agent service for $119 per year, which is affordable to get. The Gold plan costs $149 (plus state fees) while the Platinum plan costs $299 (plus state fees). Both are loaded with valuable and useful features that make them strong options as well for those who can afford them.
The Gold plan has an LLC binder kit, operating agreements, Employee Identification Number, banking resolutions, preparation of IRS 2553 and express shipping.
The Platinum plan comes with a custom website and domain, FedEx 2-3 day shipping and platinum LLC binder kit which comes with a corporate embossing seal.
Northwest recently merged its three different LLC packages into an all-inclusive incorporation service package, which costs $225 ($100 for LLC filing and $125 for registered agent service) excluding state fees. The amount you would pay for business formation depends on the state where you form the LLC.
The all-inclusive incorporation service package includes everything necessary for business formation such as same business day filing, a full year of registered agent service, stock certificates and resolutions, annual report compliance and an online account to monitor your business.
While Northwest charges $225, you can get Incfile services for free though you would have to pay your state fee. Incfile takes the second point in this Incfile and Northwest comparison.
Registered Agent Service
Both companies offer a full year of registered agent service. While Northwest already included the charges for the registered agent services in its package, Incfile offers this service for free for one year. However, once the first year is over, you can renew the registered agent service for $125 per year on Northwest or $119 per year on Incfile.
Incfile takes the lead here in this Northwest and Incfile comparison by offering more affordable registered agent services.
Incfile and Northwest Ease of Use
Both LLC formation services are easy to use to form your business the same with other LLCs including LegalZoom and LegalDepot. Their modes of operation are smooth, ensuring that the whole LLC formation service goes as seamlessly as possible. On both platforms, the order processes are personalized based on your business type and the state you wish to establish it.
One benefit of these services is that you only need to fill out a quick questionnaire. Both services offer a few upsells, which you can either choose or decline.
While both LLC formation services are easy to use and similar in how quickly they process orders, Incfile is a bit more user-friendly and convenient, having a slight advantage in this area in this Incfile vs Northwest comparison. However, its inclusion of third-party partnership offers doesn’t go well with most people.
Both LLC formation services offer simple, quick, and guided online order processing, which is convenient for anybody. The order process for Incfile takes about 10 to 15 minutes to be completed but the company offers a next-day business processing guarantee on all its packages. Northwest, on the other hand, offers the same business-day filing which is one of its key advantages.
Incfile and Northwest Turnaround Times
The turnaround times for both services vary by state and also depend on whether or not you opt-in for the expedited service. However, Northwest has the upper hand when it comes to faster turnaround times. Northwest offers a 24-hour expedited filing time in its premium package.
Although you can also decide to use Incfile’s Premium package for faster turnaround time, its peak time is capped at 48 hours and not 24 hours. Hence, Northwest is better in this Northwest vs Incfile debate if you want to form an LLC faster.
Both companies offer similar extra services beyond just forming an LLC. For instance, both of them offer annual reports, employer identification number (EIN) acquisition, operating agreement, registered agent service, virtual address services and foreign qualification.
Some of these extra services can be purchased independently online for an additional fee while some are already included in the LLC package. However, only Northwest offers mail forwarding while only Incfile offers free one-hour business tax consultation and trademark name search services  to clients which is more useful to businesses
Incfile and Northwest: Customer Support
Both companies have good customer support reps, but Northwest takes the lead as it takes its support to the next level. Incfile offers prompt and quality customer support via phone calls and emails only. Clients can contact Incfile only on weekdays from 10 am to 7 pm ET. Northwest, on the other hand, also offers customer support via phone calls and emails.
However, the company didn’t post the exact available hours for their customer support on their website unlike other incorporation services including LegalZoom and Swyft Filings. Some clients claimed that they didn’t wait for long before their phone call was answered, while others claimed that support responded to their emails within 24 hours.
What makes Northwest Registered Agent outstanding is that it assigns each client to a dedicated representative who will be the client’s permanent contact whenever he/she has questions or needs advice and not a random person.
Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent provide one of the best customer services in the industry with highly knowledgeable and well-trained staff. They can match reputable LLC services such as ZenBusiness and LegalZoom. Both companies have a handful of customers who mentioned that great customer service is one of the reasons they stick with these companies. To prove its excellent customer service, Incfile has thousands of positive reviews online and only a few negative ones while Northwest has only about 200 positive reviews online.
Overall Winner: Incfile
Northwest and Incfile are very similar in operations and features. However, Incfile has the upper hand due to its highly affordable price that makes it our preferred LLC service to form an LLC.
Incfile can help you save more money as it forms LLC for free compared to Northwest’s $225 charge (plus state fees). In addition, Incfile has more positive reviews than Northwest Registered Agent. While Northwest has more features and a dedicated customer service guide, not every business owner would like to pay higher expenses to form an LLC.