Business formation services are a great way to reduce the paperwork and hassle required to start your business. You can purchase a formation package, sit back and let them do the work. But there are thousands of formation packages out there, belonging to hundreds of service providers. It can be challenging to know which is best for you; let's look at Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings to see which is best for your business.

Northwest Registered Agent vs. BizFilings: The Verdict

Northwest Registered Agent and BizFilings were both founded in the 90s and had good reputations, though Northwest has more substantial customer reviews. Both are accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and offer partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, and non-profits.

Between them, they have offered business formation services to thousands of clients. Northwest offers more modernized services (Northwest has a user-friendly mail-forwarding service that they are highly praised for) with better online service and document management, but BizFilings is much more affordable.

Choose Northwest Registered Agent if:

  • You want a more online-focused service
  • You want a more proven reputation

Choose BizFilings if:

  • You're trying to save money
  • You want more transparent pricing

Services Offered & Pricing

There is a significant overlap in this area with many of the same services being offered; both offer LLC formation, corporate services, and support for non-profits in addition to free registered agent services for business owners. Rush filing is also possible with both. Pricing is quite different, with BizFilings being more affordable and offering transparent packages, whereas Northwest's pricing is confusing and more a la carte.

Key Similarities

  • Registered agent services
  • Support for all business types

Key Differences

  • BizFiling offers pricing packages versus individual plans

BizFilings Packages & Pricing

Basic Package - $99 + state fees

This is the most affordable BizFiling package, offering you full compliance with the minimum state guidelines.

The Basic package includes a registered agent and basic business filing in your state, including LLC operating agreement, business name availability checks, and anything else you need for the basic formation process. To access any of the other services, you will have to pay extra.

Standard Package - $229 + state fees

The Standard package will provide you with every tool required to start your business correctly, in addition to maintaining long-term compliance.

The Standard package includes everything. The Basic package provides expedited processing, samples of legal forms such as an operating agreement, and a company kit and seal.

Complete Package - $359-389 + state fees

The Complete package has the highest price but offers the most. You'll be able to meet federal and state guidelines and use additional tools. This is particularly useful if you want to expand beyond your state.

The Complete package includes everything from the Standard package and an EIN, a certified copy of your state filed documents and overnight shipping. There are also plenty of other a la carte items you can add to your package; BizFilings is very upfront about the pricing of these items.

Northwest Registered Agent Packages & Pricing

Northwest doesn't really offer separate dedicated packages, instead, they stick with one core package and offer a la carte services on an add-on basis.

Individual pricing - $225 upfront, variable per year

Northwest registered agent pricing is challenging to pin down. For $225, it will incorporate your business and act as your registered agent for the first year. After that, you'll pay an annual fee of $125. The order process is easy and painless without upsells or worries about misusing your information. In addition, they offer top-notch customer services. You can purchase other services on an a la carte basis, such as $100 for annual reporting (plus your state's filing fee).

Northwest's packaging pricing is simple, as they only offer one service at $225. Their customer service representatives can help you understand what annual services you need. After you've worked with them for one year, you can choose other services to continue working with them.

Document Management & Online Experience

Northwest scans all of the mail you receive - not just the government mail like some providers. You'll be able to quickly and automatically manage everything online. They also have their own unique, dedicated security system to keep you and your business safe. BizFilings is comparatively more basic, but you can manage most of your essential documents online. While the document process may be more basic, they offer great corporate resources for you in the form of their corporate guides.

Key Similarities

  • You can manage your essential documents online

Key Differences

  • BizFilings offers additional online learning resources
  • Northwest scans all mail you receive and goes the extra mile in providing modernized services

Processing Time

Northwest and BizFilings have efficient processing times, with BizFiling offering expedited (overnight) shipping for individual documents from $20, and Northwest also offers expedited filing, albeit for a $100+ fee. You can be sure you'll get your documents as quickly as possible, as both provide 24-hour filing services for a comparable price.

Key Similarities

  • 24-hour rush filing

Key Differences

  • BizFiling offers more extensive expedited shipping, starting from $20 for individual documents

Compliance & Track Record

You can consider both incorporation services to be transparent, legitimate, and honest overall. There are no significant compliance issues with either company. Both have long-running (20+ year) reputations. If you search for reviews online, most are positive and praise customer support, turnaround time, and other critical business areas. Northwest has been processing documents in their revolutionary way since 1998, and this is another area in which they have led compliance in the formation industry.

Key Similarities

  • No compliance issues

Key Differences

  • Northwest has a more efficient, compliant way of processing your documents and information

Customer Service

Northwest is a premium provider with excellent customer service - it's difficult to find anything better than them. You can access assistance 24/7, which is quite rare. BizFilings has good offerings, including an FAQ and 8-7 pm phone lines, but they can't compete with Northwest in this area.

Key Similarities

  • Positive customer reviews

Key Differences

  • While BizFilings provides decent enough service, Northwest goes the extra mile

Structure Breakdown

There are many things to consider when looking at what each formation company offers; one crucial area is the business structure you intend to set up. The experience you have of a company will vary considerably depending on whether you're representing a large corporation or a solo entrepreneur.

LLCs: Choose BizFilings

When it comes to LLC formation services, you can't get any better than BizFilings. Via BizFilings, you can access top-notch customer support, no-hassle assistance, and transparent pricing. While Northwest does provide additional services, better management of formation documents, and better customer service, the price point makes it a hard bargain.

Corporations: Toss Up

Whether you're starting a C-corp or an S-corp, you'll have more to consider than if you were starting a new LLC. This puts Northwest's additional benefits at the forefront, in a place where the different pricing is likely to make a difference.

Partnerships: Toss Up

Partnerships are common for legal service providers and accountancy firms; they are simple to start up and manage. However, both BizFilings and Northwest can help you start up a DBA (doing business as) agreement or a partnership agreement.

Non-Profits: Choose BizFilings

For a non-profit, the cost of Northwest's services will be challenging to meet. A non-profit is a special tax-exempt business entity with a charitable aim and doesn't intend to profit. BizFilings no-frills service would be better suited here.

The Last Word

BizFilings and Northwest Registered Agent represent excellent quality formation services, though they're at different ends of the spectrum. You should consider BizFilings for an affordable, no-frills service and Northwest Registered Agent if you're looking for a bespoke, modern experience with some of the best customer service in the industry.

Filed under: Head-to-Head

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