Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom: Which is better?

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Trying to decide the right business formation service for your needs?

Dive into our Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom review to see key differences, pros and cons.

$39 + state filing fees
$149 - $349
Best For:
Entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their businesses.
Best For:
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective legal and tax assistance.
$39 + state filing fees
Best For:
Entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their businesses.
$149 - $349
Best For:
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective legal and tax assistance.

Choosing the right service to assist with your business formation is a crucial decision that can impact the success and ease of your venture.

In this comparison, we’ll be diving deep into two leading services in the industry: Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom.

Northwest Registered Agent is known for its exceptional customer service and privacy protection, while LegalZoom boasts a wide array of services and has a well-established reputation. 

But which one is the best fit for your specific needs? Are you looking for personalized attention or a more comprehensive suite of services?

Our detailed comparison will shed light on these questions and more, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. 

So, let’s delve into the specifics and find out which of these services come out on top.

Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom at a glance

FeatureNorthwest Registered AgentLegalZoomWinner
SMB Guide’s Rating8.8/108.6/10Northwest Registered Agent
Business Formation ServicesMultiple entity typesMultiple entity typesLegalZoom
Processing TimeVaries by State5 to 14 daysTie
Registered Agent Services and Costs$125/year$249/yearNorthwest Registered Agent
Name Availability SearchTie
Online Document AccessNorthwest Registered Agent
Money-Back Guarantees90 days after subscription60 daysLegalZoom
Platform User-FriendlinessTie
Customization OptionsTie
Compliance AssistanceTie
Industry-Specific ExpertiseTie
Customer Education and ResourcesBlog, legal document templatesBlog, legal forms and document templatesTie
Customer SupportPhone, live chat, emailPhone, live chat, emailTie
Pricing$39 + state filing fees$149 – $349Northwest Registered Agent
ScalabilityLLC OnlyConvert as you growLegalZoom

How we evaluate and test softwares

When testing softwares/apps, SMB Guide employs a dual approach based on free trial availability and demos. For platforms offering free trials, we test their functionalities, usability, navigation, and ease of use. In the case of tools lacking a free version or trial, we rely on in-depth research and user testimonials through software review platforms like G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, Software Advice, and GetApp to gauge their performance and capabilities. Learn more about our ratings criteria for business formation services here.

Northwest Registered Agent: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

northwest registered agent homepage

Northwest Registered Agent is known for its comprehensive suite of business formation services, making it an excellent choice for startups and established businesses alike.

Here are some of their key features:

  • They offer registered agent services to handle all legal paperwork on behalf of businesses.
  • Known for excellent customer support, including lifetime assistance from expert Corporate Guides.
  • A unique commitment to privacy and confidentiality, including address privacy.
  • Provides essential business document templates such as articles of organization, operating agreements, and LLC member resolutions.
  • Guarantees same-day filings for LLCs for swift and efficient service.
  • Additional features include free mail forwarding, pre-filled state forms, and annual report reminders.

Pros & Cons


Flat rate pricing

DIY options

Free legal document templates

Additional services to support your business


Mailboxes are not available in all states

Virtual offices are not available in all states


Northwest Registered Agent offers flat rate pricing for their services, but pricing varies depending on service.

You’ll pay $225 + state fees to form a new business, but $100 + state filing fees for an annual report filing.

The registered agent service is $125/year.

Northwest Registered Agent

With Northwest Registered Agent, you can start an LLC, hire a registered agent, and maintain state-to-state business compliance.

Get Started
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LegalZoom: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

LegalZoom homepage

LegalZoom is a renowned online legal services provider known for its broad range of services catering to businesses and individuals.

Key features include:

  • Downloadable Legal Forms: LegalZoom provides a variety of downloadable legal forms for different needs, making it easier for businesses to access necessary documentation.
  • Trademark and Copyright Registration: They offer trademark and copyright registration services, ensuring your intellectual property’s protection.
  • Patent Searches and Applications: LegalZoom assists with patent searches and applications, supporting inventors and businesses in protecting their innovations.
  • Registered Agent Service: They provide a registered agent service that can receive and manage legal paperwork on your behalf.
  • Operating Agreement Template and EIN Application: LegalZoom offers an operating agreement template and aids in the EIN application process, helping businesses establish their legal and tax structures.
  • License Help and Expert Advice: They offer assistance with business licenses and expert advice to guide businesses through various legal processes.
  • Access to Independent Attorneys and Self-Service Tools: LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and a range of self-service tools but does not provide legal advice itself.
  • Compliance Packages and Calendar: LegalZoom offers add-on services such as a compliance package and a compliance calendar to help businesses stay in line with legal requirements.
  • Business Attorney Plan: Premium packages include access to a Business Attorney Plan, providing legal support for businesses.

LegalZoom is particularly known for its versatility in legal services, great customer support, and ongoing legal advice offered through flat monthly fees.

Pros & Cons


100% satisfaction guarantee

User-friendly and easy processes

Incredible customer support

Wide range of legal services


Expensive add-ons

Registered Agent service is expensive


The pricing structure of LegalZoom depends on the services you choose.

Whether forming an LLC, corporation, non-profit, Doing Business As (DBA), sole proprietorship, Limited Partnership, or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), you can choose from multiple packages.

The entity type you’re forming impacts the cost. If you’re able to handle most of the tasks yourself, the basic or pro packages might be suitable, costing as little as the state filing fee.

For premium packages, you could end up paying up to $400 on top of your state’s filing fee.

Business Formation Services

You can use either service to form an LLC or corporation. The reason I’m calling LegalZoom the winner here is because they also offer non-profit organizations, partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.

With Northwest Registered Agent, you can only form LLCs or corporations.

Winner: LegalZoom

Processing Time

While Northwest will likely process your order faster than LegalZoom, and both companies give you the option to pay for expedited services, you’re still left at the mercy of the state.

Each state has different processing timelines, which ebb and flow based on the volume of filings they have to process.

Winner: Tie

Registered Agent Services and Costs

Northwest Registered Agent charges $125/year for their services.

LegalZoom charges $249/year – almost double for the same thing!

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent

Name Availability Search

Neither Northwest Registered Agent nor LegalZoom has a public facing name availability search tool.

You’ll provide the name you want to use when you place your order. During processing, they will check for you, and let you know if the name is already in use in your state. 

If you want to check this yourself, visit your state’s Secretary of State website and conduct a quick search before placing your order.

Winner: Tie

Online Document Access

When you place an order with Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll be given access to an online portal, where you’ll be able to download digital copies of all your business documents.

You do not have this option with LegalZoom. You will receive paper copies of everything in the mail.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent

Money-Back Guarantees

Northwest Registered Agent terms and conditions state that all purchases are final and nonrefundable after 90 days unless otherwise agreed to in writing or if it is required by law specific to the service they’re providing.

Legal Zoom offers a 60-day money back guarantee. 

Bear in mind that state filing fees won’t be refundable once the business filing is processed, because those are paid directly to the state you’re forming the business in.

Winner: LegalZoom

Platform User-Friendliness

Both platforms are incredibly user friendly and easy to use. Simply choose the type of entity you want to create, answer a few questions, and pay for your order.

You can place your order in 10-15 minutes, tops.

Winner: Tie

Customization Options

It’s possible to customize your package to your needs with either platform, with plenty of options to choose from.

Winner: Tie

Compliance Assistance

Both platforms offer compliance packages for an additional fee. This includes things like filing deadline reminders and annual report filings.

Winner: Tie

Industry-Specific Expertise

Both platforms cater to a variety of businesses across multiple industries.

Because of this, it’s hard to say whether they have any true industry-specific expertise.

Winner: Tie

Customer Education and Resources

Both Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom offer an extensive blog with information about starting and running a business.

They also offer a library of legal templates you can use to create your own documents.

Winner: Tie

Customer Support

Both Northwest Registered Agent and LegalZoom offer outstanding customer support.

They are available via phone, email, and live chat. While phone assistance isn’t available 24/7, the customer service teams are responsive and courteous.

Winner: Tie


When it comes to pricing, Northwest Registered Agent wins because they offer a flat rate option for each product/service.

You’ll have to pay state filing fees regardless of which service you use, so Northwest Registered Agent is the more affordable option.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent


I declare LegalZoom the winner here because it is difficult to scale your business with Northwest Registered Agent since you can only start an LLC or corporation.

Using LegalZoom, you can start with something as simple as a Doing Business As, then convert your business to an LLC.

And if you grow to a certain point, you can convert it to a corporation.

Winner: LegalZoom

Standout Features of Northwest Registered Agent

In addition to business formation services, Northwest Registered Agent also makes it possible to expand your LLC or corporation into other states with foreign entity registration and blanket registered agent services.

Not only this, but you can also use them to handle virtual offices and mailboxes.

Standout Features of LegalZoom

LegalZoom takes care of many other legal issues outside of business formation.

Because of this, it makes it easy to address personal and business legal issues in one place.

With the library of legal forms and templates, you can also take care of many things yourself.

Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom: SMB Guide’s Verdict

In all honesty, you can’t really go wrong with either choice. But, if having online access to your business documents is important to you, then you’ll need to go with Northwest Registered Agent.

If you need to create anything other than an LLC or corporation, you’ll have to go with LegalZoom. 

As far as our ratings are concerned, the two are very close – with Northwest Registered Agent winning just barely because of the flat rate pricing and online document access.

Ready to form your new business entity? Get started with Northwest Registered Agent or LegalZoom.

Northwest Registered Agent

With Northwest Registered Agent, you can start an LLC, hire a registered agent, and maintain state-to-state business compliance.

Get Started
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Lucinda has spent the last 15 years working from home as a freelance writer and WordPress designer, and throughout her career, she has worked directly with several digital marketing agencies with clients in the SaaS space, ranging from e-commerce platforms to procurement software.