IncFile vs. Northwest Registered Agent (Honestly): Who’s the Winner?
If you are ready to start a business or upgrade your sole proprietorship to a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you may have heard about Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent. These companies are two of the foremost competitors in the LLC formation industry.
These two top options are both respected providers of LLC formation services, but how can you figure out which is the better choice? Let us show you which of these providers you should count on to get your LLC started.
- Our 5 Criteria to Evaluate Both Companies
- Quick Northwest & Incfile Comparison
- Pricing: Incfile Versus Northwest
- Customer Support: Incfile Versus Northwest
- Ease of Use: Incfile Versus Northwest
- Customer Reviews: Incfile Versus Northwest
- Turnaround Time: Incfile Versus Northwest
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions About Northwest & Incfile
Our 5 Criteria to Evaluate Both Companies
We have chosen five key areas that we believe an LLC formation service must excel at to do a good job at forming your Limited Liability Company. These are:
Quick Northwest & Incfile Comparison
If you’re in a hurry and don’t need to see the details, we have you covered. Just check out these quick comparisons to see who did better.
Incfile provides a full formation package for nothing more than the state fees. Northwest charges $225 for their only package.
Incfile has a large support department and several ways to get in touch. Due to this, however, experiences with their customer support can vary. Northwest offers the same ways to get in touch but with guaranteed response times and representatives guaranteed to be based in the US and knowledgeable in what the company does.
Ease of Use
Incfile and Northwest both offer streamlined easy to use websites and make it easy to form your LLC. Northwest offers no upsells, which is nice, but Incfile offers better explanations.
Incfile has a very large number of reviews with a considerable mix of good and bad to choose from, but with more favorable than negative. In contrast, Northwest has few reviews available for comparison, but what is there is generally quite positive.
Incfile offers a next-day guarantee for processing and filing as well as options for state expediting where allowed. Northwest offers state expediting and fast response times, but generally, they seem to end up slightly slower than Incfile.
Pricing: Incfile Versus Northwest
Pricing is an essential part of determining the actual value of a product; however, with these two products, it is not entirely straightforward. Incfile, like many LLC formation services, offers several packages, specifically three of them. However, Northwest Registered Agent offers only one formation package.
In order to compare them, we will first provide a snapshot comparison of their basic plans and then look at the two services’ full price comparison.
Side By Side Snapshot of Basic Package
|Time To Process||One Business Day||1-3 Business Days|
|Includes Operating Agreement||$40||Yes|
|Includes Registered Agent Service||Yes: The first year free and then $119 annually||Yes: The first year free and then $125 annually|
|Includes EIN Filing||No: You can add an EIN for $70.||None|
|Annual Compliance Service||Free Lifetime Alerts||No: Included with purchase of registered agent services|
|Financial Services||Yes: A free tax consultation||None|
|Website||Included free web domain + hosting for $20 through third-party||None|
Incfile provides a free formation offer, dubbed their Silver Package, that will take care of the full formation process and provide an entire year of registered agent services at no charge. After the first year, the registered agent service will renew at an annual fee of $119, which is actually a low price for this service as well. Additionally, this package offers lifetime company alerts, filing of your Articles of Organization, as well as a free tax consultation and web domain, though a third party will provide these two services.
The Gold Package will cost $149 plus state filing fees, and it comes with everything in the silver package, as well as EIN registration and an operating agreement.
Incfile’s Platinum Package will cost $299 plus state filing fees, and it will add several more offerings onto all of the previous packages, including expedited shipping for filings, templates for common contracts, and a domain name for a business website. This is Incfile’s top-tier package, and it can clearly add a lot of value to their other packages.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent offers one regular entity formation plan for $225. This plan comes with one full year of Registered Agent Service and then renews for $125 annually, which though slightly costlier than Incfile’s offering, is still a low price compared to most providers.
In addition, Northwest’s plan comes with an operating agreement, a variety of free form and contract templates, and limited mail forwarding.
This was a tough fight when both providers offer pretty good packages at an affordable price. But with Incfile, you can get their lowest package tier for completely free outside of state fees. However, with Northwest, it will cost you a service fee of $225. So, the victor in this category is Incfile.
Customer Support: Incfile Versus Northwest
Customer service is an important part of any service experience. When things go wrong, you need to be able to contact the company and sort things out. So, let’s take a look at how well these companies do at helping their customers.
Incfile has customer service hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST every weekday for phone calls. Generally, Incfile will respond quickly, but sometimes customers complain that they can take up to 24 hours to get back in touch for support.
However, you can also contact them through email, and you can make a client support request on Incfile’s website. Incfile provides lifetime support, meaning that no matter how much time has passed since they helped form your LLC, they will still provide support. From basic technical questions to more complex questions about running your LLC, Incfile offers support.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent will offer customer service by phone during regular business hours with guaranteed support from one of their Corporate Guides experienced in everything Northwest offers based within the US. If you get their voicemail, they guarantee a call back within 2 hours. They also offer support by email with a guaranteed response within 24 hours. They offer an online portal for service as well.
Northwest offers the same methods of support as Incfile; however, they guarantee a response within a limited period of time. They also guarantee assistance from one of their US-based corporate guides experienced in LLC formation so they can give expert support. These benefits are a big advantage over Incfile and definitely wins Northwest this round.
Ease of Use: Incfile Versus Northwest
When your paying for your LLC to be formed, you don’t want to be stuck with all the work, so ease of use is definitely important. You want an easy-to-use website with simple-to-follow steps. Let’s see who provides the easier to use service.
Forming your LLC with Incfile is an easy process designed for the state you live in as well as the type of business you are trying to form. There are both small explanations next to questions as well as numerous hyperlinks to explain questions and entries on the forms. They even have a business name generator to help you. There are some upsells along the way, in addition to some offers for third-party services. However, if you do select them, they are added to the total cost of your order on the screen. Overall this still provides an easy to understand and follow the process without deception.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest registered agent has a fast and easy to follow process. All you have to do is fill in your own personal information and the details of the business you are trying to register, and all that’s left is paying for your order. Northwest offers other services, but they do not try to upsell these services during the process. They also promise that they will never give your information away to third parties, which is a nice guarantee.
Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent both make the process of forming an LLC easy, but Incfile’s detailed explanations of entries and features like their business name generator make the process fast and easy to understand. This wins Incfile in this criterion.
Customer Reviews: Incfile Versus Northwest
Looking at the services and what they offer is important, but what do customers who have used these products actually think about them? This is important as well, so let’s take a look.
Incfile gets a fairly wide mix of favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, customer reviews on BBB give it nearly 5 stars. A few customers complain that Incfile had failed to meet their deadline. But, most customers are more than satisfied with the clear pricing and easy, straightforward formation process. Unfortunately, Trustpilot did not take as favorably to this service with a rating of 2.7 stars. Let’s take a look at a positive and negative review from the customer review aggregate Trustpilot to get an idea of what customers think of this service.
“This was easy and fast. I made sure to READ everything before I run into any surprises later on and made my own research. What I could do on my own I did, what I wanted them to do they did.
I believe all their information is clearly written and I haven’t run into any issues yet.“
“slow slow slow, even with paying additional ‘expedited’ fees“
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent generally receives positive reviews; however, Northwest has far fewer reviews to work from. Regardless, like Incfile, they receive nearly five stars from consumers on BBB. Unfortunately, they do not receive enough reviews from Trustpilot to give a very good idea of what you can expect from them; however, the ones there are positive. Let’s take a look at some positive and negative reviews of this company from the Better Business Bureau’s consumer reviews.
“Outstanding company! I am very impressed with this company – they answer the phone when you call, respond quickly to email requests, provide straight forward responses to your question and have the best website. The website provides clear information on how to register with each state with every link you will need provided in a structured manner.“
“You have to beg like a dog every single day to get anything done with this company. To simply have your package forwarded takes about a week’s worth of emails going back and forth with them. Ridiculous.“
Both companies receive an excellent rating from customers on the BBB. However, Northwest slightly edges Incfile out on this one, and though Northwest does not receive many reviews from Trustpilot, the ones there are positive. So, we have to call this one for Northwest.
Turnaround Time: Incfile Versus Northwest
As we said, you want your business registered quickly, so you want your formation service to get done fast. Let’s look at who delivers.
Incfile provides a one business day guarantee that promises they will process your order and forward your registration documents to your state of formation within one business day. This is an impressive offer because most services charge additional fees or require a higher-priced package in order to receive next-day processing.
However, if you require even more speed, Incfile offers expedited state processing in some states for a fee. But this does depend on what the state allows. The Platinum Package also offers expedited service, which includes expedited processing for free.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent provides an estimated turnaround time based on the state, which is nice. They also offer a second list of estimated dates based on states which offer expedited service. For a fee, you can pay to expedite your order in states that allow it.
This was close as both companies generally provide next-day processing and expedited service in most states, but Incfile slightly edges out the competition because they generally seem to have slightly faster processing times than Northwest.
These companies are both some of the best-rated and most affordable companies in the LLC formation industry, so it is hard to choose one of them as the better company. However, based on our criteria, Incfile is the victor, with three out of five categories won.
In the end, Incfile’s free package is a great deal and combined with their next-day registration, it is hard to beat. Plus, they offer a very easy-to-use platform that explains the process every step of the way. Northwest Registered Agent is a great company with a lot to offer, but at the end of the day, we have to give Incfile the crown.
From $35+State Fees
Review count: 4150+
Form an LLC today with Nortwest. They have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4150+ verified reviews. They will include 1 year of free registered agent service!
Review count: 3900+
Form an LLC today with IncFile starting from $0 + state fees. They Have 97% customer satisfaction rating and over 3900+ verified reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions About Northwest & Incfile
What is the best package out of either one of these services?
Incfile’s starting package costs $0, whereas Northwest’s only formation package costs $225 (can be split into monthly installments of $35). Incfile’s base package is hard to beat for anyone looking for a basic formation package.
What is the best part of each of these services?
Incfile’s best feature is their starting package; it has no cost other than the state fee versus Northwest’s $225.
Northwest offers advantages; foremost among these is their customer service system which is extremely prompt and knowledgeable.
What is the best part of each of these services? Do these companies give refunds? What is the best part of each of these services?
Both of these companies are willing to give refunds. However, Northwest Registered Agent has a much more generous refund policy.
Incfile will only give a refund if they have not yet paid the state filing fees. This usually occurs within 24 hours of your placing the order. After this, you cannot get a refund.
Whereas Northwest Registered Agent is willing to refund your money for up to 60 days for any reason. All you need to do is request a refund. However, they will subtract a $25 processing fee.
Will these companies help me stay in compliance with my state?
Both of these companies will help you to stay in good standing and t a competitive price as well. Both companies offer free registered agent service for the first year. After this, Incfile charges $119 a year; whereas, Northwest charges $125 a year.
These companies will also file your annual report for a fee. Incfile charges $88 per year; whereas, Northwest charges $100 per year.