Direct Incorporation vs Northwest Registered Agent (LLC Services)

Last updated on: June 29, 2021
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While forming a limited liability company, not all entrepreneurs are eager to do all the job on their own. Many businessmen, especially the newbies and beginners, choose to start an LLC with the aid of an online LLC service to avoid the paperwork fuss, unclear situations with any legalities, and the pitfalls of the filing process. If you also prefer this option, in our Northwest Registered Agent vs Direct Incorporation comparison, we’ll review two reputable service providers. We’ll give you detailed info on their fortes and drawbacks, pricing, and features so that you could easily make your choice. 

Are These LLC Services a Worthy Choice?

Setting up a new business and getting involved in a formal registration process, in the end, you want to have a compliant business entity that will lawfully operate on the market. And this is exactly what you’ll achieve by hiring professional services like Northwest Registered Agent or Direct Incorporation. Both companies are reliable and recognizable industry players delivering professional assistance in every aspect of LLC formation. Note though that these are not the cheapest online services out there. At the same time, they offer quite a good value for their prices and suggest many advanced features their rivals don’t have. 

However, even though these providers share many common characteristics, in our opinion, Northwest still outcompetes Direct Incorporation in a way, mainly due to their unrivaled customer support and stronger customer feedback ensuring excellent company reputation. 

7 Similarities Shared by These Services

  • Expertise: Speaking of the companies’ track record, Northwest and Direct Incorporation are nearly at the same level. Operating in the LLC formation business for many years, they‘ve opened a whole lot of LLC and have plenty of expertise in the industry. Both of them serve thousands of businesses over the year and know all ins and outs of creating a new LLC.
  • Business Reputation: In the world of online services, there are a lot of scams and day-fly companies cheating on customers. With Northwest and Direct Incorporation, you can rest assured you’ll cooperate with well-respected entities running legitimate operations and supported by extensive track records. 
  • Affordability: Though their LLC prices are not the most affordable out there, Direct Incorporation and Northwest Registered Agent will still cost you much less than hiring a business attorney to complete your LLC formation process. And all the work will be done at the highest level for sure.  
  • Formation Speed: No matter if you choose Direct Incorporation or Northwest, each company will complete LLC formation quickly. Your documents will be diligently processed and filed meeting all the valid state norms and terms. At the same time, you want to speed up your LLC registration, both providers have a rush filing option for your maximum convenience too. 
  • Registered Agent Service: It’s common knowledge that setting up an LLC, you need to designate a registered agent for mailing purposes and consistent contacts with state authorities. These companies have a free registered agent service, which is a big plus. You’ll get 6 months with Direct Incorporation and a whole year with Northwest. 
  • Client Service: Launching an LLC with professional service, you can also count on getting professional help from the company reps, whenever you need any added assistance. These providers are not an exception, yet, in a Direct Incorporation vs Northwest Registered Agent battle, the latter is an obvious leader in this aspect. Despite the fact that both companies have well-organized customer support networks, it’s really hard to compete with the level of service and personalization delivered by Northwest. 
  • Added Service: Both Northwest and Direct Incorporation are premium service providers having quite a number of add-ons down their sleeves. In fact, turnkey solutions are their major concept. Thus, along with the registered agent service, they offer EIN acquisition, foreign qualifications, and many other business services available to meet complex business needs. 

In-Depth Comparison

When choosing an LLC service, you normally consider a whole number of aspects before making a final decision. Let’s do the same for our comparison guide and take a closer look at how these two services stand against each other. 

Professional Expertise

Formed in 1998, Northwest is not that much “older” than Direct Incorporation that launched in 2003. However, since they’ve started, Northwest has served more than two million customers and still handle hundreds of new LLCs daily while Direct Incorporation has about 80,000 clients in their business portfolio. With that, Northwest looks like having more practice in LLC formation. 

Fees and Rates

Overall, both Northwest and Direct Incorporation are at the higher end when it comes to pricing for LLC formation. To be more specific, these companies rather belong to a premium category of legal services that targets providing complex services at higher prices. Besides, at a glance, a base-rate package of Northwest at $225 is much more expensive than that of Direct Incorporation at $147, not to mention that both options start at much higher points than basic rates of many other similar services. However, it should be noted that providers under this review have quite a different approach to price formation. Thus, in Northwest, you’ll choose between only two pricing plans and will be able to complete them with optional add-ons if necessary. Direct Incorporation, on the other hand, provides a whole bunch of service bundles, with a higher-priced package costing $873. And don’t forget to add state fees to the companies’ rates. 

Feature Sets

Comparing basic rates for opening an LLC, both providers cover pretty much the same standard filing services, with slight differences on each side. Thus, Northwest includes a whole year of premium registered agent service in their starter plan while with Direct Incorporation, you’ll get only six months. Meanwhile, Direct Incorporation has EIN acquisition included in their base rate while it comes at an added cost in Northwest. More than that, within their top-tier packages, Direct Incorporation provide S Corporation tax application, custom logo design, comprehensive website design, and even trademark assistance to meet the needs of more demanding and corporate customers. 

Registered Agent Service

This option is a highly valuable feature and staying with either Direct Incorporation or Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll have it, which is alone good news. Initially specialized in providing this service only, Northwest incorporates 12 months of registered agent service in their pricing plan while their competitor delivers only six months for free. To further prolong this service, it will cost you $129 per year with Northwest and $159 per year with Direct Incorporation accordingly. Well, no need to say who’s the winner here. 

Add-on Services

Added business services are what allows companies to enter the premium sector and both of these providers have quite a lot of them. On top of the registered agent service, they offer to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), foreign qualifications, business licensing research to enhance compliance, expedite filing, and more. In the meantime, there are some add-ons peculiar for each of these services and Direct Incorporation has an edge over Northwest here. Among their valuable perks, they offer to build full-fledged business websites, provide domain names, deliver copyright and trademark protection, or create a unique logo for your company. For the sake of truth, we should say, though, that Northwest has a lot of educational and informative content on its website that comes for free and will be of great use if you want to open an LLC on your own. 

Client Support

This is an aspect where Northwest is a true leader delivering by far the best customer support in the industry. Their advantage is a close personalized approach targeting the individual needs of each client. Unlike other similar services often outsourcing support to huge call centres, Northwest employs their own team of the highly trained support representative ready to provide assistance in every issue your face and give detailed answers to all your questions. 

Though not the same as professional customer support in Northwest, the client service in Direct Incorporation covers phone and email support provided by helpful and welcoming reps that you can reach out to pretty quickly. 

Customer Feedback

Both Direct Incorporation and Northwest receive predominantly positive customer reviews. yet, the volume of feedback these companies gain is lower than expected. With millions of customers behind their back, Northwest has only about 200 reviews online. Their opponent’s customer feedback is limited by less than a hundred comments and some of them appear to be critical. That’s why the company Facebook rating is 3.9 stars out of 5. 

Filing Time

LLC processing times in both companies are nearly the same. Based on state-by-state processing fees, these providers show how long it will take them to file all formation documents for both standard and expedite processing in all 50 states. Those estimated turnaround times vary from several days to several weeks depending on the state requirements. 

Order Checking

At this point of Northwest vs Direct Incorporation comparison, both providers stand really strong. Whichever you choose for forming your LLC, you’ll get access to a helpful order tracking tool via your personal profile to check your LLC order status at any moment. 

Ease of Use

Northwest or Direct Incorporation, you’ll enjoy a straightforward LLC ordering process, with no distracting upsells and annoying third-party offers. Intuitive websites with user-friendly interfaces and instructions will easily take you through the application. You just need to provide relevant business info. While both companies have many add-ons, they don’t throw them at you every minute, instead, giving you an opportunity to choose the ones you really need. 

Bottom Line: Which One Is a Better Choice?

In a broad sense, in a Northwest Registered Agent vs Direct Incorporation comparison, there is no obvious winner since these are two top LLC formation services operating in a premium segment and having their own fortes and weaknesses. And if you seek reputed and reliable LLC companies, you can’t go wrong with either of them. Anyway, there are some specific considerations going for each of these providers.  

Opto for Northwest if:

You want a whole year of reliable registered agent service at no extra cost charged and if you value a personalized customer approach that you’ll be able to experience via the Northwest industry-best customer support.

Opt for Direct Incorporation if:

You need some sophisticated or advanced features to match your individual business scenario. Along with the entire LLC formation process, Direct Incorporation provides professional graphic design, web hosting, and trademark services to help realize high-end business solutions.

Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray
(323) 789-5289
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray

Entrepreneur, investor, financial commentator


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