If you want to start an LLC but don’t want all the hassle related to the filing and registration process, you’ll come across many registration services ready to help you with that. Yet, hiring a high-quality LLC service that will deliver to all your individual needs is not so straightforward and easy as it might seem. To choose the best LLC service, many entrepreneurs refer to expert estimates and most of them unanimously prioritise two leading services: Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness. How do they compare to each other? What do they have in common? Where are they different? In our comparison guide, you’ll find the answers to these and many other questions that will help you make up your mind.
Do Northwest and ZenBusiness Provide Good Value?
The question of value is not only about the prices and costs you’ll have to pay. It’s rather about the services and added benefits you’ll get for that money. Being the best LLC services online, Northwest and ZenBusiness provide different LLC formation packages that come at different cost. Both companies offer good value and their filing plans cover such essential aspects as the best customer support, free registered agent service, and more. However, ZenBusiness will solidly outcompete Northwest that stands at a higher price end when it comes to pricing. At this point, let’s delve into a comprehensive comparison of ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent to learn more strengths and weaknesses of these two services.
6 Features They Have in Common
- Affordability: Despite the fact that Northwest is overall pricier, whether you choose ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent, it will cost you much less than hiring a business attorney on a per-hour basis. Any of these services will make setting up an LLC a doddle for you while all your registration documents will be handled and filed professionally.
- Registered Agent Service: To legally operate after the LLC formation, each entity is required to designate a registered agent to receive essential business-related documents from the state. While some similar services fail to provide this feature, both ZenBusiness and Northwest deliver a whole year of registered agent service in all their filing plans and LLC formation packages.
- Positive Client Feedback: When choosing an online legal assistant help you out with your business, we bet you’ll check customer reviews. Though ZenBusiness boasts a bigger volume of reviews as compared to Northwest, the good thing is that most customers of both companies are pleased with the service.
- High Efficiency Level: LLC registration takes time and for beginner businessmen, it’s often important to get the job done as quickly as possible. And you can safely rely on both these services in that. Not only do they get your registration processed quickly but also they provide expedite turnaround times to complete the whole process in mere days.
- Top-of-the-line Client Support: To make the registration process smoother and more understandable for you, each service has a customer service department ready to help you at any stage of the formation process, which is especially valuable for beginner entrepreneurs. Choosing between Northwest Registered Agent vs ZenBusiness, you’ll get access to their extensive customer support networks comprising of knowledgeable professionals.
- Added Services: To start an LLC, you need not only to file formation documents but also to complete many other steps to maintain your business activity in compliance with the state requirements afterward. Both Northwest and ZenBusiness stand strong here as well. Providing comprehensive business services that cover many added functions, they will let you rather focus on building your company than on paperwork fuss.
While both providers have quite a number of features in common, before making a final note, let’s take a closer look at how they compare in basic aspects most customers usually consider when picking an online LLC service.
Fees and Prices
Pricing is the prime selling point for customers. This is where ZenBusiness service really shines with its Starter LLC formation package at $49. Meanwhile, Northwest Registered Agent’s pricing is noticeably higher at a $225 fee. Obviously, ZenBusiness is a winner when it comes to pricing. However, what is more important is not just the cost to start an LLC but rather what you’ll get for that price. And in this concern, these services have a bit different approach. While ZenBusiness comes up with a multi-tier formation package system and positions as an affordable option for startupers, Northwest has a single but comprehensive formation package and is more of premium service with many added perks.
Set of Features
Both companies deliver pretty much the same feature set. Within their LLC formation packages, they provide free business name search and full preparation of your LLC papers that includes filing of your Articles of Organization, drafting an LLC Operating Agreement Template, and full year of registered agent service. Above this, the ZenBusiness base package also bundles free accounting consultations to figure out future bookkeeping and tax needs of your company. In the meantime, Northwest initially will use the fastest filing methods thus cutting down registration time.
At a glance, ZenBusiness delivers more for your money. However, looking deeper into the pricing methods of both legal providers and taking into account the added features required to meet your company’s unique needs, in the end, the final fees you’ll pay might nearly level.
Top-ranked customer support is one of the best fortes of Northwest. In fact, they have one of the strongest customer help centers in the industry. Closely focused on a personalized customer approach, they apply a specific Corporate Guide system. A team of welcoming professionals will always provide prompt support and accurate answers to all your questions including the trickiest and toughest ones. Their support reps are available whenever you need them and even give their direct contact so that you can get in touch with them if you have any further issues.
The ZenBusiness support team is accessible via the phone, email, or online chat. You’ll get your email answered within a day and will hardly have to wait for more than a few minutes for a live answer. However, the ZenBusiness customer service lacks the individual approach and in-depth answers you’ll get in Northwest.
Opened in 1998, Northwest has provided assistance to more than two million customers since then and has truly extensive and reliable expertise in the business formation industry. Operating since 2015, ZenBusiness is a much “younger” company. However, within these years, they’ve already assisted several thousand businesses and multiple positive reviews prove the company is a decent market player. So, despite the difference in experience and professional records, both providers are entirely reputable companies.
Registered Agent Service
Forming an LLC, you are obliged to designate a registered agent for your company, which is usually either an online agent service or an individual. It’s a vital aspect since a registered agent will be a point of contact between your company and government authorities and receive all the crucial state documents on behalf of your legal entity to maintain compliance.
Both Northwest and Zenbusiness include a year of registered agent service in their LLC formation packages. To prolong the service for the next year will cost you 119$ per anum with ZenBusiness and $125 per year with Northwest. While the fees are nearly equal, the biggest difference here is that Northwest is a national registered service provider with its own wide agent network. Prioritizing client privacy and security, they locally scan all the paperwork on your behalf without any third-party assistants and intermediaries.
Both LLC websites will display the registration process duration when you place an online order with them. Turnaround times vary by state and by filing plan. To know how long it will take to form an LLC in your state, simply select “LLC” and “State” when filling in the registration form online. It’s notable that with Northwest, you’ll initially enjoy a shorter registration period while ZenBusiness offers expedite speeds only within their high-tier packages.
With more than 4,700 reviews available online ZenBusiness confidently stands out among the rivals as one of the most satisfying and highly-praised legal service providers out there. If you search for customer feedback on Northwest, you’ll find nearly 200 reviews for Northwest Registered Agent. They are all expressly positive and outline the Northwest’s industry-best customer support and speedy registration process.
Ease of Use
Without a doubt, both companies will make the LLC formation process a lot easier as compared to using a DIY method. Yet, Northwest still has an edge over ZenBusiness when it comes to the website ease of use and navigation.
Both ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Service have many additional helpful features on their list. However, the add-ons they suggest are not all the same. While both provide EIN acquisition, and annual reports, some services are company-specific. Thus, ZenBusiness stands strong in accounting services and Northwest has such exclusive extras as a VoIP business phone number, virtual office and mail forwarding options.
Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?
Well, the answer is “it depends”. It depends on your business needs and your individual business scenario. As far as basic features and services are concerned, these providers have many common characteristics, yet, in some aspects, they are different. While the Northwest biggest advantage is premium customer support and quick turnaround times, ZenBusiness delivers the best prices in the industry, with its starter package covering a registered agent service and a customizable operating agreement template at a fee below $50.
Stay With Zen Business if:
You want an affordable service you can rely on. Multiple positive customer reviews highly contribute to the company’s solid reputation and their flexible formation fees have something to offer to various entrepreneurs. It’s a great option for smaller businesses and beginners on the budget who want to register their business at the lowest prices possible.
Stay With Northwest if:
You seek a legal assistant with a longer history and premium customer support. It’s a good choice for some complex situations and potentially tricky business scenarios where professional and opportune assistance is of utmost importance.