Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile

Are you looking to form a limited liability company, corporation, or nonprofit but are stuck trying to settle on the best formation service to use?

Choosing the right service can be difficult. That’s why we’ve evaluated over a dozen of the top services, looking at metrics in a number of categories, such as pricing and turnaround time, in order to give you a clear idea of each services’ strengths and weaknesses.

We took an in-depth look at Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile in their respective individual reviews. In this article, we will compare them head-to-head!

Here are our results:

Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Verdict 

Though Incfile edged out Northwest Registered Agent on pricing, Northwest Registered Agent swept the rest of the field. 

We were very impressed by the fact that they offered same-day filing for all formations and incorporations (and without charging any sort of expediting fee). Their customer feedback was positive, their website was chock full of useful, well-written articles, and their ordering process was quick and intuitive.

Incfile also impressed us with a lot of their service claims, but it seems as though, in many instances, they could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk. The company has a very poor customer satisfaction track record, so much so that it prompted us to bump down scores in a couple other categories as well.

While Northwest Registered Agent certainly isn’t perfect – we’d prefer to see even more competitive formation prices, and weekend support hours would be a great addition too – we were generally quite happy with what we saw.

Northwest Registered Agent is, in fact, one of only a few companies that receives our “recommended” rating.

Tip:

Curious about how other formation companies stacked up in our comparisons? Check out these articles:

Northwest Registered AgentIncfile
Pricing3/54/5
Turnaround Time5/52/5
Customer Satisfaction5/51/5
Ease of Use5/55/5
Help & Support4/53/5
Overall4.3/52.7/5

If you’re interested in learning more about the other companies we recommend for forming your LLC, head over to our reviews of ZenBusiness and Active Filings – they’re our #1 and #3 scoring companies, respectively.

Still deciding whether forming an LLC is the right choice for your new business? Or, maybe you just need some clarification on the whole process? You may want to check out our How to Start an LLC article. 

If you want to learn more about how we came to our conclusion in this specific service provider match-up, though, read on!

Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Pricing

We know that price is one of the most important – if not the most important – factor that new business owners consider when shopping for an online formation service. 

Every dollar counts when you’re just starting out. And there are some pretty wild variations in the prices of formation bundles. After reviewing dozens of companies, we’ve seen everything from free bare-bones packages to $800+ “premium” bundles!

Why the huge range? Well, part of it is simply due to the fact that some formation companies are more reasonable than others. But another big factor is the fact that not all formation bundles are alike.

Some bundles provide only the essentials (business name searches and the filing of your Articles of Organization), while others include many add-ons, ranging from useful bonuses (annual compliance filing, registered agent service) to unnecessary “fluff” (EIN filing with the IRS, customized business organizers). 

To help simplify things, we’ve drawn up a price comparison for three of the services we think are the most relevant to new business owners: “basic” formations, “full” formations, and annual registered agent service.

Here’s how Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile did:

Note: 

These listed prices don’t include state filing fees, which can vary considerably. For most states, though, filing fees fall in the $50 to $150 range.

Northwest Registered AgentIncfile
Basic Formation$225$148
Registered Agent$125 per year$119 per year
Full Formation$225$148

Not sure what the difference between a basic and a full formation is? Here’s how we define each:

Basic Formation: Covers the essential business entity creation. Includes – at minimum – filing of Articles of Organization and the drafting of an Operating Agreement for an LLC or corporate bylaws for a corporation.

Full Formation: Additionally includes – at minimum – a registered agent service, which most LLC owners will find essential.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agents’ prices put them towards the middle of the pack. How they offer their services also makes them into a sort of outlier – the company offers a single standardized formation service, rather than offering several different bundles.

You can pay for that service in one of two ways: with an upfront fee, or in twelve monthly installments (like a subscription plan), through Northwest Registered Agents’ “VIP” program.

If you go with the one-time fee, you’ll be charged $225. That will cover a business name search, the drafting of your Operating Agreement, the filing of your Articles of Organization, and one year’s worth of free registered agent service (which is done in-house – a big plus. 

Northwest Registered Agent “includes” annual compliance filing with this package, but it comes with a $100 per year fee. You have the option to opt-out – be sure to do so if you don’t need compliance filing or are using another service provider for this.

Prices of the “VIP” installment plant range considerably but, on a state-by-state basis, they work out to being more expensive than the one-time cost. Thus, we recommend going with the latter rather than the former.

If you’re just looking for registered agent service, Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year. That’s a bit above the $100 annual price tag we see a lot of other companies offering, but Northwest Registered Agent is a specialist company and does all their work in-house – we think that more than justifies the minor extra price bump.

As for add-on services (Certificate of Good Standing filing, Foreign Qualifications, etc.), Northwest Registered Agents’ prices tend to fall around the market average.

Incfile

As is the case with Northwest Registered Agent, our calculated prices for both a basic and a full formation with Incfile are actually the same. How did we get those numbers?

Incfile’s most basic formation package – their Silver Package – is actually free. The Silver Package includes a business name search, the filing of your Articles of Organization, and one free year of Incfile’s registered agent service (after your first year, you’ll be charged $119 annually).

Just a few other companies offer truly free formation services, so we were definitely impressed by Incfile’s Silver Package.

To order Operating Agreement drafting through Incfile, though, you’ll have to upgrade to the Gold Package, which is $149. As a year’s worth of registered agent service is also included with the Gold Package, it meets both our basic and our full formation requirements. 

Incfile also offers a Platinum Package – but it’s way too expensive and doesn’t include enough value-added services to justify its cost, so we don’t recommend it.

Pricing Winner: Incfile

With cheaper basic formations, full formations, and registered agent service, Incfile wins on price across the board. They also offer free bare-bones formations through their Silver Package.

 This contest was closer than it might first appear, though.

Since Northwest Registered Agents’ registered agent service is done in-house, it could certainly be argued that the extra $6 per year they charge for that service (compared to Incfile) is well worth it. Incfile uses third parties for its registered agent service. 

Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Turnaround time

Turnaround time is another essential metric we look at. Most new business owners want to get operations up and going as soon as possible – and that means being officially recognized by the state as soon as possible.

The approval of your Articles of Organization is necessary before you can begin other important tasks such as opening a business bank account or hiring employees.

When it comes to turnaround times, a decent chunk of your wait will be dependent on your state’s Secretary of State office. Besides giving you the option to file expedited with your state (an option only some states give), there’s not much your formation company can do about this wait time.

But, your formation company can do their part by promptly reviewing and submitting your files and making sure they’re error-free. That last bit is really important – misfiled documentation can set your business formation back weeks or even months.

Here’s how Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile did when it came to some of our key turnaround time stats:

Northwest Registered AgentIncfile
Same-day filingYesNo
Paid internal rush optionNoNo
Overall turnaround timeFastFast

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent promises same-day filing of Articles of Organization or Incorporation for all their clients. We consider same or next-day filings to be a gold standard when it comes to turnaround times, so we were really pleased with Northwest Registered Agent’s performance here. 

Now, it should be noted that same-day filing doesn’t mean your business will be formed same-day. You still have to wait for the state to process your documents. But, it seems as though Northwest Registered Agent does everything they can to make sure your formation moves along as quickly as possible.

What really impressed us, though, is that Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t charge extra for this service.

Plenty of other competitors offer same or next-day filing, but only if you fork over an extra fee (these can range from $50 to $100!). 

We also saw quite a few positive reviews that backed up Northwest Registered Agents’ top-notch turnaround time claims.

Incfile

Incfile doesn’t guarantee a filing time to their customers, but they do claim that almost all formation and incorporation documents are filed within one business day. While not as good as Northwest Registered Agent, that’s still pretty solid.

We were also happy to see that Incfile also refrained from charging extra for internal expediting. Again, that’s a big plus in our book.

Incfile also provides a very handy online tool for determining how long your overall application can be expected to take (for most states, it’s 2-3 weeks – and the bulk of that time is due to individual states’ governments’ processing times). 

Turnaround Time Winner: Northwest Registered Agent

We were impressed with both companies’ turnaround time claims, but Northwest Registered Agent really wowed us with their same-day filing promise for all customers. 

And, unfortunately for Incfile, customer reviews (see “Customer Satisfaction”) indicated that the company did not make good on their turnaround time promises. We found a consistent pattern of customers complaining about delayed or error-ridden filings.

Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Customer satisfaction

It’d be great if we could take formation companies’ websites purely at their word. It’d make our jobs a whole lot easier!

Unfortunately, you can’t believe everything that you read on the internet, and that’s especially true when it comes to companies’ advertising copy. 

So how do we get a good idea of people’s real experiences dealing with the companies we review? Obviously, we can’t form a new LLC, c corporation, or non-profit for every formation company we look at.

This is where independent customer reviews come in – they can help us verify service claims, promises, and guarantees.

When looking at reviews, we consider overall averages and feedback volume. The higher the average the better, of course. And, the greater the volume, the more likely we are to trust in reviews’ accuracy. Five hundred reviews give us a lot more faith than five.

We also look for phrases or words that pop up consistently in reviews. They give us a better idea of trends, whether positive or negative, that customers have when dealing with a specific company.

Here’s how Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile performed on customer satisfaction:

Northwest Registered AgentIncfile
Average rating4.3/52.4/5
Total reviews300+ 150+
Stand-out mentions“Exceptional customer service”“Unexpected charges”“Bad customer service”“Filing errors”

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent has a pretty good track record with customers. We were able to find and review over 300 independent pieces of feedback across several sites, including the BBB, Yelp, and Google. All in all, these reviews averaged out to around 4.4 out of 5 stars – solid but not wildly impressive.

The majority of feedback we saw was positive. There were many mentions for Northwest Registered Agents’ filing speed as well as the professionalism and expertise of their staff. 

We did also find several negative reviews mentioning unexpected recurring costs – though these seemed to be more the exception than the rule, we still think they’re worth mentioning.

Incfile

Given their solid prices and impressive turnaround time claims, we were very disappointed to find that Incfile had poor averages on independent review sites such as Trustpilot and Yelp

On Trustpilot, a full 44% of reviewers gave Incfile only one star. 

We sawa considerable number of reviews mentioning filings that were delayed due to errors or miscommunications. Since a single mistake in formation paperwork has the potential to set your company back by weeks or even months, we see any mentions of filing errors as a big red flag.

Comments on Incfile’s customer service were also quite mixed. While we found a fair amount of happy customers, we found quite a few angry or dissatisfied ones as well.

Customer Satisfaction Winner: Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent wins this category handily. Though we’d prefer to see slightly higher review averages, they seemed to perform fairly well with customers and had a solid review volume for being a relatively small company. 

Incfile, on the other hand, seems to have established quite a poor track record for itself among previous clients.

Northwest Registered Agent vs Incfile: Ease of use

Ordering an online formation shouldn’t be a stressful process. Though plenty of legalese and red tape can be involved, you shouldn’t have to directly deal with any of it. 

When reviewing formation services, we expect to see intuitive, easy-to-use websites that clearly outline what services are provided, and at what prices.

We also like to see plenty of context information given. Every formation and incorporation is unique. Some are simple, while others can be complex. We believe that you should have all the info you need to make informed decisions about your purchases and, by extension, your business. That info can take the form of FAQs, articles, charts, or all of the above. 

So, all in all, there are quite a few factors we look at when considering and ranking companies’ ease of use. Here the main questions we ask ourselves:

  • Is the order process smooth and user-friendly? 
  • Is there plenty of information available on the various services provided, so customers understand both what they need and what they’re buying? 
  • Are prices clearly displayed, or is a lot of digging needed to find them? 

And here’s how Northwest Registered Agent and Incfile did based on those metrics:

Northwest Registered AgentIncfile
Website informationGreatGreat
Order processGreatGreat
Clarity of instructions and pricesGreatGreat

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is a true specialist in business formations and registered agent services. Their website makes this abundantly clear. It’s filled with thoughtful, well-written articles that address questions and topics that the majority of new LLC owners will find relevant. 

The company also has a super handy, state-by-state breakdown of registered agent services requirements. This shows the specific fees, rules, and requirements associated with registered agents in each and every state.

We found Northwest Registered Agent’s website to be very easy to navigate – a fact that’s helped by their services being so specialized. Prices were clearly listed on relevant service pages, and the order process was quick and easy when we used a mock company to sign up.

Incfile

Incfile also did quite well in the ease of use category. Their website is highly user-friendly and well-organized.

All of Incfile’s formation package and add-on service pages clearly list service prices. 

Plus, as is the case with Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile has loads of informative, well-written articles – on topics such as deciding on the right type of business entity, or filing for a Doing Business As (DBA) – that most new business owners should find helpful.

Every service page has a comprehensive list of FAQs, providing the key context information that startup owners need to make good decisions.

Finally, we were also impressed by Incfile’s intuitive customer dashboard, which allows customers to keep track of filings and key due dates.

Ease of Use Winner: Tie

Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent have put a lot of thought and effort into their respective websites, and it shows. We were impressed by both companies’ user experience, intuitive ordering process, and highly informative articles and FAQs.

We were quickly able to find what services each company offered, and for how much. Thus, we deemed this category to be a tie.

Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom:  Help & Support

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. That’s how we view formation companies’ help and support staff.

Most formations go off without a hitch. You’ll be done online in minutes, and you’ll never have to give anyone a call or email. But, if questions or issues do arise, it’s crucial to have professional, well-versed support staff at the ready. 

Talking to a real human – an expert, ideally – on the phone can help you clarify issues that even a dozen well-written articles may not be able to address.

When considering companies’ help and support options, we like to see lots of contact options (phone, email, webchat, snail mail, etc.) available. We also prefer to see extended business hours and weekend hours when possible. Finally, we like to see companies have some type of consolidated help page where customers can go for general FAQs and easily accessible contact info.

Here’s how Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom performed in this category:

Northwest Registered AgentLegalZoom
Live Chat SupportNoNo
Extended business hoursYesYes
Website help sectionNoYes

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agents’ help and support strengths are outlined in their About section.

They claim that all unanswered calls will be returned in two hours, that every email from staff members contains east to find contact info, that all email queries will be answered same-day, and that their “corporate guides” (i.e., their help and support staff) are all are U.S. based. 

These are all certainly pluses, and we were happy to see them spelled out so clearly. 

Northwest Registered Agents also has extended weekday business hours – you can contact them from 9 am to 8 pm, EST, Monday through Friday. Ideally, though, we’d prefer to see some weekend availability too.

One thing that Northwest Registered Agent lacks is a consolidated, one-stop-shop help section on their website.

Also, although their about page states that “IN ONE CLICK — you can see our email, phone number, mailing address, or start a chat with real human customer service,” we actually had to do a lot of searching to find anything but a contact phone number (for your reference, their email address is [email protected]). 

Northwest Registered Agents’ help and support scored well overall and was buoyed by positive reviews – but, we see a few areas for improvement for them in this category.

Incfile

Incfile has an easily accessible web chat feature and phone number. Their email address, however, is much harder to find (they have a web contact form you can use to send them questions, but we prefer seeing a support email listed directly).

Support at Incfile is available from 9 am – 6 pm, CST, from Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, no weekend support is available.

Incfile did impress us with their help section, though. It had a search function and quick links to FAQs, contact info, and some of their most-read articles. 

We cannot, however, consider Incfile’s help and support in a vacuum.  The company’s poor review track record needs to be taken into account, and many reviews we saw specifically mentioned support staff being hard to reach.

Help and Support Winner: Northwest Registered Agent

Both companies’ help and support scores were solid, yet both also had mild drawbacks. Northwest Registered Agent won out because their customer reviews did a better job of backing up their help and support claims.

Though Incfile had a well-designed help section and was reasonably accessible, we just couldn’t look past the many customer support-related complaints we saw.

Do We Recommend Northwest Registered Agent or Incfile?

Yes, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent’s services are a tad on the pricey side, so they may not be a perfect choice for the very budget-conscious shopper. 

However, the company really impressed us with their stellar turnaround times, their well-built and intuitive website, their solid review record, and their good help and support options.

We also loved that Northwest Registered Agent is a highly specialized company that does everything in-house. That equates to better privacy and a smoother process in the event of cancellations or policy changes. It also means you’ll be dealing with people who work on formations and registered agent service exclusively. 

While there’s certainly room for improvement here and there, we are confident in recommending Northwest Registered Agent’s services to new business owners.

To learn about some of the other formation serviceswe recommend, check out our Best LLC Services or our Best Incorporation Services articles. 

Andrey Doichev

Andrey Doichev

I launched my first small business in 2015. I loved airsoft, so I created a small website where I would go on to educate parents about the sport and help them buy the safest gear for their kids. Since then, I have started many similar ventures, educating millions of people on topics including entrepreneurship, marketing, website development and online privacy.

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