The main difference between Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom is that Northwest Registered offers top-tier registered agent service that includes expert-level customer service with any LLC formation package.
In this Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom comparison, we will break down everything you need to know about these LLC services.
A Comparison Between Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom
Forming an LLC is a complicated legal process that can be frustrating if you are handling this on your own. Fortunately, there are professional services that specialize in helping business owners with forming LLCs. Two well-known companies are LegalZoom and Northwest Registered Agent. Both companies are reputable and have helped thousands of clients form their companies. This guide will help you decide which of these companies would be the best for your business.
Should You Choose Northwest Registered Agent or LegalZoom?
After we compared the features of these two companies side-by-side, we have to say that Northwest Registered Agent is our preferred choice. However, in order to help you make an informed decision, we will describe the features of each company so you can make the comparison yourself. Let’s start with what Northwest Registered Agent has to offer.
One of the things that Northwest includes, which LegalZoom does not include, is an entire year of registered agent service. All LLCs require a registered agent. The other feature that we compared is the quality of their customer service. Northwest provides stellar customer support whereas LegalZoom’s client services are just barely enough. You get better value from Northwest.
What Do These Two Companies Have In Common?
- Cost-effective: Both companies charge much less than if you have to hire a lawyer to draft and file the paperwork for you.
- Client Support: Both companies provide support at every step of your LLC formation process. Help is just a phone call away. Both companies have experienced professionals to answer those difficult questions any time you need help in the process.
- Experts In the Field: Both companies have helped thousands of happy clients form their LLCs. They are trusted and reputable in the industry.
- Lots of Added Services: Both companies offer more than just the LLC formation service. They provide various benefits to help companies stay in compliance with legal requirements.
- Instructional Tools: Both companies provide many tools and materials in teaching you all about business and running your company. Subject matters like licensing, asset protection, operating permits, and so forth, are explained in a way that you can understand. They help improve your business literacy so you can run your LLC with confidence.
- Fast Service: LLC formation can take time, up to several months. However, for a fee, both companies can expedite processing if you choose to. If you are in a rush and want to form your LLC in days instead of months, their expedited service can fill that need.
Northwest Registered Agent: One price at $39, which does not include the registration fee charged by your state.
LegalZoom: Three levels of services: $79, $329, and $349.
One would think that at $39, you would get fewer features than what a $79 package will provide. However, that actually was not the case. When we compared features of both companies and considered various benefits that Northwest provides, Northwest still came out ahead with the best value and quality of benefits for the money.
Both companies have a great reputation and provide similar services in helping you form your LLC. The big difference is that Northwest includes one important element in an LLC, and that is the registered agent service with the first year free of charge. At Northwest, the LLC formation package with registered agent service would be $225. None of LegalZoom’s LLC packages include registered agent service with the first year free. You would have to pay extra off the bat for that.
LegalZoom charges more to add in registered agent service. So for full formation, which requires a registered agent, you will end up paying a lot more at LegalZoom for similar features that you can get at Northwest.
Northwest Registered Agent has been helping businesses form LLCs since 1998. They have thousands of clients. They are considered a mid-sized company.
LegalZoom has been in business since 1999 and has millions of customers. They are much bigger in size, but both companies have a high level of expertise in what they do. They have a high reputation in the industry and are well-respected.
Northwest offers superb customer support. They have what’s called “Corporate Guides” who are highly trained in providing answers to even the most difficult questions about LLC formation. Their customer support is first-rate, and their support staff is all in-house. Each staff is an expert and is able to answer questions effectively without escalating them to a manager.
The quality of LegalZoom’s support is not as stellar. However, their service hours are longer. They will respond to your questions on Monday-Friday, from 8 am to 10 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am to 7 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
The processing time at Northwest is determined by what state you are filing in. So, in some states, the processing time will be shorter than in other states. With LegalZoom, however, the processing time is based on the package you purchased. The Economy level at $79 will take 30 days; the Standard package at $329 will take 15 days; the Express Gold level at ($349) will take 7-10 days. We feel that the processing speed should not depend on the level of service you purchase. In that regard, we prefer how Northwest handles it.
Monitoring Your Order
Both companies provide an easy way for you to track your order through their website. They update the tracking information in real-time, so the information you see on your registration status is always up to date.
Registered Agent Service
All LLCs in this country must choose a registered agent. This is someone or some organization whom you choose to receive legal documents from your state on your behalf. Your state needs an official designated point of contact when they need to reach your company. Your registered agent tells you when he receives a document and delivers it to you.
With Northwest Registered Agent, their package includes one year of registered agent service free of charge. After the first year, their fee is $125. They also scan every document that they receive, whereas other registered agent services in the country only scan the documents that they are obligated to scan.
None of LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages include registered agent service. If you want that service, you will have to add it and pay its annual fee of $299. They do give you a discounted price of $249 for the first year if you are adding it to one of their LLC packages.
In terms of average ratings, Northwest Registered Agent gets a higher average rating. However, there are only about 270 reviews found online. LegalZoom has over four thousand reviews on the web, and the number of positive reviews is greater than negative reviews, but their average rating overall is still lower than Northwest’s. LegalZoom is improving in terms of client satisfaction, but overall, Northwest has a higher proportion of happy clients.
Easy To Navigate
LegalZoom’s user interface is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. One drawback, however, is that you have to endure their push of more products on you when you are trying to order. Northwest’s website is not as easy to use as LegalZoom’s, but the difference is minor.
Both companies provide many extra services on top of the basic ones including registered agent service and foreign registrations, but LegalZoom pulls ahead by offering extra personal services that Northwest does not offer.
For example, LegalZoom can connect you with an attorney if you need a legal consult. They have tools to help you with estate planning. They can even help you create a pet protection agreement. Northwest does not offer these services, but they do offer virtual offices and mail forwarding which LegalZoom does not offer.
What is the Best LLC Formation Service for Your Business?
Although both LLC formation companies are reputable, experienced, and can help you achieve your LLC formation goal, the differences between these two companies can sway you in seeing that Northwest Registered Agent provides better service and value overall for your money.
A major difference is that Northwest will throw in the entire first year of registered agent service for free whereas LegalZoom will charge you $249 on top of their package fee. Also, the quality of client support at Northwest is superior to that offered by LegalZoom.
The bottom line is that the decision is ultimately yours. You can still choose LegalZoom for your own reasons. To assist you further, we have described a couple of sample situations that might prove helpful in your selection.