Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom (2024 Comparison)
If you're looking for professional help launching your limited liability company but are confused between Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom services, you've come to the right place.
As a seasoned business consultant working with several formation services, I’ve spent the past three months testing these two renowned LLC service providers to see which offers the greatest value for money.
In this review, we'll compare each company's services, features, pricing structures, and performance.
At a Glance: Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom
Northwest Registered Agent is a reputable LLC company that has been in business for more than 20 years.
The company have a committed group of specialists on staff that strive to help their clients with all kinds of legal filing, from business formation to ongoing compliance.
LegalZoom was created in 2001 with the purpose of providing affordable legal advice to the public. The company has since helped over 2 million businesses and individuals.
1. Northwest Registered Agent LLC Highlights
- Top LLC formation services
- Registered Agent service
- Compliance filing
- Annual report
- Operating agreement
2. LegalZoom LLC Highlights
- Business formation services
- Name Searches and verification
- Customizable website
- Ongoing compliance
- Legal Service
3. How Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom Stack Together
Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom are both reputable companies in the LLC formation industry. Apart from business formation, LegalZoom offers legal service, while Northwest does not.
LegaZoom offers a variety of plans suitable to specific businesses, while Northwest Registered Agent has a standard package.
Side-by-Side LLC Plan Comparisons
LegalZoom and Northwest offer the following plans to help you launch your business successfully and efficiently.
1. Basic Plan Comparison: Northwest Special Business Formation Plan vs LegalZoom Basic Package
- Northwest’s Special Business Formation Package ($39 + state fees): If you sign up with Venture Smarter’s special package, Northwest will offer you comprehensive LLC formation, Corporate Guide, mail forwarding, privacy by default, plus a free registered agent service.
- LegalZoom’s Basic ($0 + state filing fees): Includes the essentials of an LLC formation process, such as preparation and filing of the Articles of Organization, name searches and verification, digital welcome packet, and a customizable website for online businesses .
2. Mid-Level Plan Comparison: Northwest Business Formation Plan vs LegalZoom Pro
- Northwest's Business Formation Plan ($225 + state fees): The plan includes filing of formation documents, a year's worth of free registered agent service, a business email and address, Privacy by Default®, website, and domain registration. I was pleased to be offered mail forwarding and EIN as an add-on .
- LegalZoom’s Pro ($249 + state filing fees): This business formation package includes the basic plan plus an EIN, an operating agreement, customizable documents, as well as business insurance and tax consultations. In my experience, only a select few LLC formation service companies include insurance coverage.
3. Top-Level Plan: LegalZoom Premium
LegalZoom’s premium plan costs $299 + state filing fees.
It includes the Pro plan, plus access to business advice from a local attorney, unrestricted 30-minute legal consultations, and free document amendment service within the first 30 days.
Registered Agent Service
Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year for their top registered agent services. I was pleased to learn that the plan features instant mail alerts, same-day scans, Privacy by Default, business address and mail forwarding, website, email, and phone .
LegalZoom charges a $249 fee for their registered agent services.
The package includes limitless legal alerts, unlimited cloud storage for business documents, and a compliance calendar to keep you ahead of filing deadlines.
Apart from the services included in the plans, here are additional features you can avail of:
1. Business Licenses and Permits
When I was looking for an LLC formation service, I learned that LegalZoom offers a comprehensive business licenses and permits report for $99.
This proved very helpful to one of my clients since it allowed them to apply for the specific license necessary for the business.
Northwest does not offer a business license report service.
2. Compliance filing
For $100 plus state fees, Northwest Registered Agent will handle your business filings with the state to keep your entity compliant.
With LegalZoom, a client availed of the annual report filing service for $99 excluding state fees. The company drafted and filed the document on her behalf.
3. Trademark Registration
A trademark will establish the reputation and identity of a business. For a fee of $249, Northwest lawyers will review your application and the company will prepare and file your trademark registration.
LegalZoom offers a similar package but with a higher cost of $599 plus state fees. The process will be handled by legal personnel using state guidelines to ensure the application is approved.
4. Virtual Office
We availed a virtual office from Northwest for $29 a month. The plan features a virtual phone, same-day digital mail scanning, and an actual office and business address. However, the plan is currently available only in 12 states.
LegalZoom offers a similar service but with a focus on virtual mail. The plan includes a business address, mail scanning, and certain number of recepients.
You have the option to choose from three package plans:
- Starter Mailbox: $29/month
- Essentials Mailbox: $39/month
- Premium Mailbox: $79/month
Northwest Registered Agent provides exceptional customer service via phone and email, Monday to Friday.
In our experience, our corporate guide was professional and client driven in answering our legal questions and providing business guidance.
LegalZoom provides phone and online chat client service available daily from Monday to Friday, 5 am to 7 pm PST, and on the weekends from 7 am to 4 pm PST.
However, if you're a new client or simply looking for information, LegalZoom's online legal service provider requests a lot of information about your company before they even attempt to respond to your inquiries.
Which is More Affordable, Northwest Registered Agent or LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is more affordable because they offer a basic plan that costs $0.
Do Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom Offer Refunds?
Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom offer refunds. With LegalZoom, you can ask for a complete refund 60 days after making your first purchase, while Northwest Registered Agent provides a 90-day return policy.
Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom: Our Recommendation
As a business owner, hiring a professional LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom effectively delegated the complicated legal filing process for my company.
If you are looking for an alternative, we recommend ZenBusiness as your company's best and most affordable LLC service provider.
ZenBusiness offers a free basic formation package.
They also offer additional business services, including rush filing, personalized support, worry-free compliance, functional business domain names, email addresses, and customizable websites to expand your online presence.