Are you looking for the best online incorporation service, but you’re not sure which one is the right choice for you? Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent are both services that can form an LLC or corporation on your behalf.
In this comparison, we’ll walk through the five main factors you need to consider when choosing between these services. Which one is the better overall option?
Comparison Based on the Five Key Points
In our review of each online incorporation service, we performed a “stress test” on each based on five key factors:
- Compared pricing and features to determine the overall value of each service.
- Researched their track record based on how many businesses they’ve formed.
- Assessed the quality of customer service based on customer reviews, as well as our own personal experience.
- Walked through the ordering process to determine each service’s ease of use.
- Reviewed the turnaround times for LLC and corporation formations.
Overall Pricing and Value
Incfile: For only $49, the lowest price we’ve seen, Incfile will help you form your business, while also providing a full year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year, which is a strong price point. In addition, their $149 Gold package and $299 Platinum package are both packed with valuable features that make them strong options as well, even at their higher price points.
Northwest: In comparing many of the best incorporation services available, Northwest ended up topping our list as one of the elite options. At $49, they’re dead even with Incfile as the most affordable service that provides a full year of registered agent service. Once the first year is up, the registered agent service will renew at $125 per year.
Winner = Tie
This category couldn’t be much closer, because these two companies are the best in the business, and their price points are very similar. The only real difference is that Northwest’s top-tier Premium package is cheaper than Incfile’s comparable Platinum package, but Incfile includes a couple extra features that help to justify that higher price tag. All told, this category is a tie.
Company Track Record & Experience
Incfile: Incfile was founded in 2004, and they’ve formed over 150,000 businesses since then. Customer reviews are a major strength for them, as they have thousands of positive reviews across the web, and just a small handful of negative feedback.
Northwest: Northwest was founded in 1998 and has helped form around two million businesses. They share on their site that they are currently working with over 200 new LLCs and corporations each day. While there aren’t too many reviews online for the company, most of the ones we found were very positive, and aligned with the mission and values promised by Northwest.
Winner = Tie
Northwest definitely wins when it comes to experience, as they’ve handled a far larger volume of customers than Incfile has. However, Incfile has thousands of positive reviews, compared to just a few dozen for Northwest. We’ll call this category a tie, but if you have a preference between experience and reputation, you may prefer one over the other.
Customer Service Comparison
Incfile: Incfile offers phone and email support, which we tested. When we used their phone support, our call was answered quickly and our question was answered, but not elaborated upon. We also emailed them with the same question after-hours and our email was answered by 10 a.m. the next day, with more details than we received over the phone.
Northwest: Northwest offers phone and email support. We first tested their email support, and while it took nearly 24 hours to receive an email back, the response was detailed, and the rep went beyond simply answering our question and checking off an email response. We also called and received similarly impressive service. The representative who answered the phone took the time to ask for details so that he could give us the most accurate answer.
Northwest’s big claim to fame regarding customer service is their Corporate Guide system that connects each of their clients with one of their highly trained representatives. This means that whenever you have questions, you can direct them to the same person every time, rather than explaining your situation to a different rep each time you call or email.
Winner = Northwest
While Incfile certainly also has a rock-solid customer support department staffed by knowledgeable professionals, they can’t quite compete with Northwest’s Corporate Guide system. Northwest’s customer service is highly customized and convenient.
Ease of Use
Incfile: As you walk through the process of signing up for Incfile, your steps are personalized based on the state you live in and the type of business you wish to establish. There are even little question marks and hyperlinks throughout the application to learn more about a specific question or entry on the form. There are a few upsells to navigate through, but if you opt into any of them, your total price is immediately updated on the screen. There are never any surprises with Incfile.
Northwest: The application process with Northwest is streamlined and easy to follow. You simply select your package, enter your personal info and business details, and pay for the order. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this.
Winner = Tie
Both Incfile and Northwest make the process of forming an LLC or corporation about as easy as possible. They both also keep the upsells to a minimum, while maintaining a streamlined and simple application process. They are equals in this regard.
Speed of Formation
Incfile: Incfile guarantees that every LLC or corporation formation will be processed and forwarded to your state of formation within one business day. Many competitors make you pay an additional fee to get next-day processing. If you need your business formed in a hurry, Incfile offers the ability to order expedited state processing for an additional fee (determined by your state), or you can purchase their Platinum package which includes expedited service.
Northwest: When you select your state from the dropdown menu of the application, an estimated turnaround time will display on the screen. Most states have expedited service available for an additional fee, so you’ll see two turnaround times on the order form. It’s worth noting that they only include their same-day processing feature in their most expensive package.
Winner = Incfile
We nearly called this category a tie, but Incfile’s expedited filing estimates are just a bit faster than Northwest’s in some states. For example, in Georgia, Northwest has a standard filing time of 16 days and an expedited speed of six days, whereas Incfile has a standard turnaround of 15 days and an expedited turnaround of just two days.
How do we pick a winner when we’re comparing the two best services in the entire online incorporation industry? Furthermore, this comparison had three ties, along with one category each for Incfile and Northwest.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, but if we’re forced to choose one or the other, we’ll take Northwest because their customer support is on such an elite level. Still though, you absolutely cannot go wrong with either of these companies, and we’re 100% confident that you’ll be a satisfied customer with either one.