2024 LLC Provider Comparison

NW Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom

Are you ready to create your LLC but want help filing your paperwork to ensure compliance? Multiple businesses can help you prepare and file your documents for a small fee. Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom are two of the most recognized names in the industry. Both companies have benefits and disadvantages. This Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom comparison guide considers five key factors you should look at when choosing a service for your business. Here’s a side-by-side guide comparing pricing, customer service, and features.

Plan Prices

Many online formation companies offer multiple packages with various levels of features. LegalZoom provides three packages, with the most affordable plan starting at $79. On the other hand, Northwest Registered Agent provides just one LLC package that costs $39 plus your state’s filing fee.

You should consider going with Northwest Registered Agent if you have limited funds. It comes with many of the features as more expensive packages and is more than sufficient for most LLCs. LegalZoom may offer more features, but Northwest manages to provide several attractive features that can help your business succeed.


Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom offer similar features in their packages. However, one notable difference is that Northwest Registered Agent plans come with a year of registered agent service. All LLCs must designate a registered agent on their formation paperwork to accept important paperwork on their behalf.

LegalZoom does not offer this service with any of its packages. You can add the feature to your plan, but it will cost you at least $249. It is worth the expense if you need a registered agent, but it is a better value to go with a service that includes the service in the package price.


Formed in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent is a mid-size business that has helped thousands of LLCs file their paperwork. LegalZoom is a bigger operation, and it has helped millions of customers since opening in 1999. Both of these companies have solid reputations and positive customer reviews. Northwest is the best choice if you prefer working with smaller companies, while LegalZoom is a good option if you want a company with more experience.

Both LegalZoom and Northwest are reputable companies that offer exceptional service. Consider the needs of your LLC and choose the company that best works for your desires.

Customer Support

Known for offering exceptional customer support, Northwest has a team of knowledgeable support agents known as Corporate Guides. These guides receive extensive training on a variety of LLC formation issues. You can call Northwest Registered Agent at any point in the process and immediately receive an answer to your question.

Even though LegalZoom has a more extensive operation, its agents are less knowledgeable than Northwest agents. However, LegalZoom does offer extended customer support hours. Agents take calls and emails until 10 p.m. on weekdays, and they are open on Saturdays until 7 p.m.
Northwest is a good option if you are new to the LLC formation process. LegalZoom is a good choice for those who are more familiar with the LLC creation process but want to call customer support after regular business hours.

Turnaround Times

Both Northwest and LegalZoom offer competitive turnaround times. However, these companies process documents in different manners. Northwest’s turnaround times depend on the requirements and capabilities of your state. All papers are processed in the order received and sent to your state for processing. Some states process applications in a few days, while others take a month or more.

LegalZoom prioritizes applications based on the plan you chose. The most affordable plan processes applications in 30 days, while the most expensive plans process paperwork in 15 days or less.

Both Northwest and LegalZoom process documents in a reasonable amount of time. However, many customers prefer Northwest’s system. LegalZoom prioritizes the applications of higher-paying customers, while Northwest treats all clients the same.

Registered Agent Features

Every LLC must designate a registered agent on its formation paperwork. A registered agent is a person or entity that agrees to accept paperwork on your behalf. States require a registered agent because of due process. If someone files a lawsuit against your business, you should promptly. Every registered agent must have a physical address and have availability during business hours to accept documents.

All Northwest Registered Agent plans come with 12 months of free registered agent service. You will pay $125 per year if you decide to keep the service after the first year. Northwest is one of the few companies that locally scans each document it receives on your behalf.

LegalZoom does not offer a year of free registered agent service with any plan. You will pay around $299 annually if you want to add the feature to the plan you select.

Customer Reviews

Northwest Registered Agent does not have nearly as many online reviews as LegalZoom. It has a few hundred reviews scattered on various sites, but most of them are positive. However, LegalZoom has thousands of online reviews, but feedback is more mixed. Its customer satisfaction has improved in recent years, and many clients report being happy with the customer support and features they receive. On average, Northwest Registered Agent has better overall ratings.


Most companies offer a streamlined website, but some customers say LegalZoom’s website is more convenient than Northwest’s website. The only major downside to LegalZoom’s website is the cumbersome registration process that includes numerous upsells on every page.

Additional Services

Both LegalZoom and Inc Authority make it convenient for you to file your LLC formation documents. Both companies offer step-by-step guidance and live agents to answer questions. However, LegalZoom’s website is more convenient to use, offering a more streamlined sign-up process.

LegalZoom vs Northwest Registered AgentFrequently Asked Questions

You likely have additional questions when it comes to a Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom comparison. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about these services:

Northwest Registered Agent is a good choice if you live in a state that has many specific requirements. For example, New York has a publication requirement for all newly formed LLCs. Northwest allows all New York clients to use its Albany location as their “address for service of process” to meet state requirements. Northwest also offers a step-by-step guide to help you understand other state requirements. On the other hand, LegalZoom does not offer any publication services.

Many companies offer upsells during the registration process to prompt you to add additional services to your plan. While some of these services are helpful, many are unnecessary for most business owners. LegalZoom offers upsells during every step of the registration process. These upsells slow down the registration process and make the procedure feel cumbersome.

On the other hand, Northwest does not try to upsell services at any point in the process. This approach is refreshing and makes the process feel simple and easy. If you decide to go with LegalZoom, choose which services you need beforehand so you are not tempted by upsell offers.

Both services allow you to track the status of your order using their online tools. These tools provide real-time updates. The tracking tools provided by both Northwest and LegalZoom are virtually identical.

LegalZoom’s refund process is one of the best in the industry. You have 60 days from your initial purchase to request a full refund. They ask no questions, and you will have your money within a few business days.

Northwest also has a refund policy, but it is not as comprehensive as LegalZoom’s policy. You can request a refund, but you must pay a $25 processing fee. Thus, there is more risk involved with Northwest’s service.

The LLC formation process is mainly dependent on the work capacity of the state in which you reside. Some states process applications in a few business days, while others take several weeks to approve the paperwork. You should check with your state’s business department to inquire about current processing times.

Northwest’s turnaround times align with the capacity of your formation state, but LegalZoom processes applications based on the plan you select. Its cheapest package is processed in about 30 days, while its other plans take about 15 days.

You should choose a top-tier LegalZoom plan if you need your documents processed quickly. While these services are the most expensive, you can start your business operations weeks earlier.

There is no requirement that LLC owners use a professional formation service. Many owners choose to file their own paperwork without the help of an outside entity. However, there is a lot of room for mistakes when completing paperwork, especially if you are a new business owner.

Each state has its own LLC formation requirements, and you should familiarize yourself with the unique rules and regulations of your area. Using a reputable service like Northwest or LegalZoom is a good idea to ensure you file your paperwork correctly. There are many compliance issues when forming a business, and using a professional service is often worth the money.

When comparing Northwest Registered Agent vs LegalZoom, carefully consider each service’s plan pricing, reputation, and customer service.