Are you starting a limited liability company soon? Aside from thinking of business investments, marketing your products, and getting customers, one of the things that you should handle first is to register your business. To do this, you will be needing an appointed registered agent.
When you are starting an LLC business, you need to have a registered agent. This person will serve as the point of contact with the state for your business. You can appoint yourself to be that resident agent but most business owners prefer to hire a registered agent instead to free themselves from all the paperwork – especially when the business branches out to multiple states.
When it comes to hiring registered agents for your LLC, Northwest Registered Agent is one of the top choices in the field. They are famous for their exemplary in-house customer support and most of their customer reviews are positive.
The Northwest Registered Agent is your best-registered agent service if you’d like to set up an LLC and contract a registered agent to represent it before the taxation authorities at the same time. You can be sure that your office address will remain off public records.
But is it really worth it to hire a third party as your registered agent? Here, we review why Northwest is considered to be one of the best in the industry and what they can do to help you thrive as a business owner.
What is Northwest Registered Agent?
Northwest Registered Agent has been around since 1998. The company was founded in Washington. Northwest has earned a reputation as a no-nonsense LLC formation company that also provides other legal services and LLC services for businesses. Their LLC business slowly grew into a national registered agent service as they started opening offices in every state and they have helped over 2 million businesses.
Northwest Registered Agent’s tagline is “We’re Just Not Annoying” – they even trademarked it to show how serious they are. It basically means that what you see is what you get – there are no hidden fees, no upsells, and they offer straightforward packages. You do not have to worry about being tricked into paying for something more because of confusion.
Unlike other LLC services companies that offer multiple LLC setup packages, Northwest only has one LLC setup package available. It may not seem as exciting or abundant as other LLC service providers but the package gives you everything you need.
So when it comes to availing of their services, there is no need to waste time mulling about what features should you get. Northwest has only one LLC setup package and it is filled with a lot of valuable features and contains all the essential elements you need to start your LLC.
Their website is packed with details and if you have any additional questions or concerns, all you need to do is contact customer support to talk to one of the Northwest pros or corporate guides.
Northwest Registered Agent reviews: features and services
Here is a list of some of the LLC services Northwest can give you to help you start your LLC
Name availability search
When you form an LLC, it is important to choose a good LLC name. Northwest Registered Agent will search the state’s official database to check if the business name you want is available. All you have to do is think up a few names and they will search the state database and inform you which ones have already been claimed and which ones are still free to use.
The operating agreement is an important document that will cover the ownership and membership structure of your business and describe the operations behind your LLC. The operating agreement is often required in some states when you set up your own business. Northwest can offer written files that outline your business and file this state requirement for you.
Employer identification number (EIN)
Northwest Registered Agent can obtain your EIN from the IRS for you. This is very important since your EIN will serve as the federal tax ID number for your business.
The nine-digit EIN code is required for an LLC to open a business bank account, file business tax, hire employees, and other incorporation transactions.
If you want your LLC to be designated as an S-Corp or small business corporation, Northwest Registered Agent can file the necessary form to the IRS for you as long as you meet the eligibility requirements of the IRS. Being recognized as an S-Corp will boost your credibility with the IRS and will come with tax benefits.
Northwest Registered Agent has gained a reputation of being one of the most trustworthy LLC set up companies in the industry. All your information is encrypted in their database so you do not have to worry about hacking and having your information out in the open.
No selling of information to third parties
Some companies are known to sell your information to marketers. The next thing you know, you will be bombarded with spam mail and solicitations and that could be very annoying.
With Northwest Registered Agent, they support your need for privacy. Your personal information will not be sold to third parties. Northwest will protect you and the data that you share with them. Because of this, you will not be getting any unwanted marketing solicitations or spam mail.
No matter what type of incorporation service you are getting from Northwest Registered Agent, you will be guaranteed a same-day processing service. This is one of the reasons why they are a preferred choice over other LLC formation services despite having just one LLC setup package.
Keep your business address off public records
The best thing about setting up your first limited liability company through Northwest Registered Agent is that you will be using their physical address on public forms so you get to protect your privacy.
A lot of LLC owners often do not have their own physical office just yet so they end up using their home address when they start filing their LLC.
As you should know, the office address that you put on your LLC filing forms will be listed on public records with the Secretary of State. This means your address can be found through Google searches through the state database – imagine if you use your home address on those forms!
You can use Northwest’s address whether you are hiring them just for registered agent service or to form your LLC. When you work with them, you no longer have to worry about registering your address in the state database.
Take note though that you cannot use their address for all your mail. For instance, mails involving your IRS documents or business bank accounts should be sent to your home address or your actual office dress if you have one. These are very important documents that you should not miss out on and thankfully, all IRS and banking records are private.
Online account and mail scanning
Now you might be thinking, “If I use their address, how do I get my mail?” Northwest Registered Agent will create an account for you on their website for you where you will be receiving letters that were sent to your LLC.
These letters will be scanned by Northwest Registered Agent and the pdf file will be uploaded to your account. Whenever a document is uploaded, you will be notified by e-mail so that you do not miss it.
Northwest Registered Agent is actually the first national registered agent service that scans 100% of documents received and provide digital copies that their clients can access online. So, it is safe to say that they know what they are doing when it comes to mail forwarding service.
With your online account, you can easily monitor your LLC right through their website. You can also create your own LLC filing reports on that account or amend any of them online.
Get annual report reminders
Some states require all LLCs to submit a yearly report to them to ensure that you are abiding by the state laws. Failure to send this report in can lead to penalties or in the worst-case scenario – your LLC being closed down.
A business owner has a lot in mind. You will be surprised how common it is to miss the annual filing deadline. With Northwest Registered Agent, you will be sent an email reminder before it’s due.
Take note that this is just a reminder. If you want to free yourself from having to do the actual work, Northwest Register Agent can take care of your annual report filing too for an extra fee.
VOIP business phone number
Northwest Registered Agent can provide a voice over IP (VOIP) number for your business in whatever US jurisdiction for a small monthly fee. This is a telephone number assigned to your business where calls can be made using the Internet instead of a local telephone company. This can help your business save money and offers a more effective means of communication.
Corporate book and seal
For an additional fee, you can get a high-quality corporate book and embossing seal from Northwest Registered Agent.
The corporate books are made out of synthetic black leather, which looks very elegant and official. The corporate seal will have your company name laser-engraved on it that you can use for embossing and stamping.
With these items, you will definitely feel like a big shot and legit LLC business owner.
If you do not have a physical office just yet, Northwest Registered Agent LLC can set up a virtual office for you. Here, you will get an office lease and suite number for the address of your virtual office. You even get a phone number for professional use. This is a feature that not all LLC-forming companies offer.
Certificate of good standing
A certification of good standing is very useful for business owners. This proves that they are in compliance with all the state requirements and can help them draw in more investors for the business. A certificate of good standing from the home state is also required if you want to expand your business to another state. Northwest Registered Agent does not only help you comply with state laws but they can also help you get this certificate.
Obtaining certified copies of documents that you have filed in various agencies can be a long and tedious process. Northwest Registered Agent can help obtain these certified copies for you.
An apostille is needed to verify that a signature or seal on a document is authentic. You will be needing this if you are a foreigner that wants to expand an American corporation to another country. Northwest can process an apostille for you.
Northwest registered agent review: customer service
Northwest is known for its responsive customer service. In fact, they do not use an external customer care agency – everyone handling their phone lines is trained by the company itself and is well-informed and knowledgeable.
There are no phone trees in the company – the people answering the phones can help you with anything without having to transfer you to another department. They are ready to answer all questions that you may have patiently.
To say that Northwest’s customer support is the best in the field certainly isn’t an overstatement.
While writing this post, I called them several times to inquire about different aspects of their service and test their customer service response time. I was pleasantly surprised because not once was my call put on hold. The standard for good customer service is between three and five minutes wait time.
Northwest offers also e-mail customer support. To send them an e-mail, all you have to do is to fill out a form on their site and you will receive a reply on your e-mail within 24 hours.
How much does Northwest Registered Agent charge?
Northwest offers two options for their clients:
- Registered Agent service ($125 per year)
- LLC formation service ($225 plus state fee)
The state fee will vary depending on what state you are on. For instance, the state filing fee in Michigan is different from the state filing fee in New York.
Take note that the $125 annual fee is for registered service only. It does not include any LLC formation services.
If you hire Northwest to form an LLC, you’ll get one year of free registered agent services. The fee of $125 applies for every year after that. Aside from registered agent services, Northwest will provide you with operating agreement, corporate bylaws, articles of organization, corporate stock certificates, and initial resolutions to help you run your business.
If you check out their website, you will see how much they emphasize that there are no hidden fees in their package. What you see is what you get when it comes to their price point. Overall, you can say that Northwest Registered Agent offers one LLC setup package that has a great selection of features and services. Additional incorporation services can be added to the package for a reasonable fee.
What is included in the LLC formation service package?
This package costs $225 plus state fees. The $125 will be set for the 1-year registered agent services and the $100 will be set for the costs of state filing. The state fees will vary depending on what state you are in.
When you use Northwest Registered Agent’s LLC formation services, you will get the following benefits:
- Full address use
- LLC operating agreement
- Articles of organization
- Same-day business filing
- State resources
- Custom-drafted articles
- Initial resolutions
- Membership or stock certificates
- Mail scans and mail forwarding
- Online access to formation documents
- Annual reporting compliance
- Corporate guides for customer support
What is included in the registered agent service package?
This package is sold separately for $125 per year to cater to business owners who only need registered agent service because they can handle processing the LLC forms on their own.
Some states require LLC owners to have a registered agent – especially if your LLC does not have a physical location. You can hire Northwest to do that for you.
In this registered agent service package, Northwest will act as your registered agent and receive all LLC business notices, notifications from the government, tax notices, lawsuits, and other correspondence from the Secretary of State.
These documents will be scanned and the digital copy will be uploaded to your account with Northwest Registered Agent LLC. An e-mail notification will be sent to you every time a document is uploaded.
All you have to do is be online to read the documents. You also have the option to download and print them from your account.
You will also be getting annual report reminders with this package. You have the option to let them do the filing for you for an additional fee.
Is there a refund policy?
If you want to cancel Northwest Registered Agent’s services for your business, their cancellation policy is very easy and straightforward.
You just have to go to your online account. Go to services, and then look for a big red cancel service button. It is in the top right corner in case you still miss it. All you have to do is click the button!
If you cancel the services within 90 days after making the purchase, the system will refund your money within a few days.
The best thing about it? There are no cancellation fees to worry about!
Northwest Registered Agent reviews: pros and cons
- Northwest Registered Agent offers excellent customer support
- Starting an LLC with Northwest gives you a full-year registered agent service and the necessary basics to form an LLC
- Timely reminders about oncoming payments and submission deadlines
- Northwest Registered Agent has its own servers and codes, which means all your data stays private and secured.
- There is no contract when you use Northwest Registered Agent’s services which means you can cancel the service any time you want.
- They have higher prices compared to other LLC forming companies.
- Northwest has been in the industry for over 20 years but you can only find a few customer reviews online.
Having all things considered, Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC formation company to work with if you plan to start an LLC on your own but prefer to keep your address and other information hidden from the public. In other words, Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC formation partner if all you need is registered agent service.
Although Northwest also offers an LLC setup package, their registered agent service is more popular since the LLC setup package is considered to be more expensive compared to that being offered by other LLC formation companies.
With only one package available, Northwest Registered Agent does not offer a lot of additional services but it does offer all the core services that you will be needing to start an LLC. Northwest may not be the best LLC forming service in terms of packages but its registered agent service is top of the line and worth it.
But do not let the high price discourage you. Keep in mind that Northwest has been in the business for more than 20 years so they definitely know what they are doing when it comes to business formation and registration.
The fact that they have a very competent customer service means you will definitely not be left in the dark with them. You can simply contact Northwest for any concerns – big or small – and they will definitely go the extra mile to make sure that all your questions are answered in full detail and that all your concerns are acknowledged.
So, if you need a registered agent to do all the paperwork and receive all the papers for you, starting your LLC with Northwest is a good option to look into.