Are you looking for the best online incorporation service, but you’re not sure which one is the right choice for you?
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?
Key Comparison Points
In our review and comparison of each online incorporation service, we performed a “stress test” on each based on 5 key factors:
- Compared pricing and features to determine overall value.
- Researched their track record.
- Assessed the quality of customer service.
- Tested their ordering process and service’s ease of use.
- Reviewed the turnaround times for incorporating online.
As you’ll see in this comparison, both Northwest and MyCorporation are great and affordable incorporation services. However, Northwest wins our vote as the better option due to their inclusion of a full year registered agent service and much lower prices.
Overall Pricing and Value
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.
MyCorporation: Their prices look better on the surface than they really are, because they charge an additional $34 for shipping and handling, a fee we’ve added to their package prices to make them easier to compare.
While their $133 Basic package is overpriced for such a minimal featured formation package, their $158 Standard package adds a year of annual report service, which is a valuable feature that very few competitors offer in LLC or corporation formation packages. They only include registered agent with their $258 Deluxe and $358 Premium packages ― other than that, their registered agent service costs $120 per year.
Winner = Northwest
Northwest’s starting price point for formation service is just $49, compared to the minimum of $133 you’ll need to spend for MyCorporation. When you consider that Northwest includes a year of registered agent service in their entry-level package and MyCorporation does not, this category turns into even more of a blowout. Northwest wins by a mile.
Company Track Record & Experience
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.
MyCorporation: MyCorporation opened for business back in 1998, and they’ve helped over one million clients form and manage their businesses since then. This impressive level of experience is supplemented by a couple hundred customer reviews which are available online, and these indicate that most of those clients are quite pleased with the service they receive.
It’s a tie!
While Northwest has served a higher volume of clients, MyCorporation has hundreds of positive customer reviews available online, compared to just a few dozen for Northwest. In our opinion, that makes this category a tie.
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.
MyCorporation: MyCorporation offers customer service via phone and email. We submitted a question by email, and received a response by mid-afternoon the next day. Our question was answered, but not greatly elaborated upon. We also called, and our response was slightly more detailed. We did not wait on hold for long, and it was easy to navigate through to a customer service representative.
Winner = Northwest
Although MyCorporation also has solid customer service, the Corporate Guide system at Northwest pushed them over the top. Northwest offers a personalized support system that’s unlike anything else offered in this industry.
Ease of Use
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.
MyCorporation: The application was easy to fill out, and we made it from the first page of the order form to the last screen within about ten minutes. You select your add-on options from the package select screen before entering the application, but there are a series of upsells right before you pay. The additional services at this stage of the application are offered based on choices you made earlier, and your price adds up on the screen as you go, including state-specific fees.
Winner = Northwest
This category is very close, but Northwest’s lack of upsells gives them a slight advantage. Overall though, both Northwest and MyCorporation are quite easy to use.
Speed of Formation
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.
MyCorporation: MyCorporation isn’t very clear regarding turnaround times for forming a corporation or LLC. Depending on your state it could take a few days or it could take six weeks. Near the end of the application process, they invite you to pay an extra $100 to expedite processing “up to 85%” compared to standard filing, but if we’re spending that much extra money, we would like to know specifics.
Winner = Northwest
Seeing as Northwest provides turnaround time estimates and MyCorporation does not, there’s no question that this category is another big win for Northwest.
MyCorporation has a solid track record, good customer reviews, and strong ease of use. However, those factors aren’t nearly enough to compete with Northwest.
With Northwest, you can form an LLC or corporation for just $49, which includes a full year of registered agent. With MyCorporation, you’ll need to pay at least $133, and then add on registered agent service for an additional expense.
In addition, Northwest’s excellent customer support and quick turnaround times make them an easy choice in our opinion. MyCorporation is a solid company that might be a good fit for some people, but we feel that Northwest is the better option for the vast majority of our readers.
What Is the Biggest Advantage of Each Service?
MyCorporation’s biggest advantage over Northwest Registered Agent is the fact that they provide a year of their managed annual report service in all but their cheapest formation package.
Northwest has a significant advantage of their own, in the form of their highly personalized customer support. Very few companies in this industry can compete with Northwest in this area.
Which Is the Best Package Available From These Services?
The Northwest Basic package for $49 plus state fee isn’t just our preferred option from these two services ― it’s actually our favorite LLC or incorporation service package available anywhere.
Not only does this plan provide the full preparation and filing of your formation documents, but it also includes a year of Northwest’s premium registered agent service, and of course you also get access to their excellent customer support system.
Which Company Offers More Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
We’ve already discussed Northwest’s namesake registered agent service, which costs $125 per year after your free first year. They also have annual report service available for $100 (plus state fee).
As for MyCorporation, their annual report service costs $99, and they offer registered agent for $120 annually. If you want to receive both of these features from MyCorporation, along with your business formation service, you can choose their Deluxe package for $258.
Can I Get a Refund if I Need One?
Northwest Registered Agent has a decent refund policy. They provide refunds as long as you request it within 60 days of your purchase date, although they do charge a $25 processing fee. MyCorporation has a similar policy, with the same 60-day request period.
They also charge the same $25 fee, although this is only assessed to clients who ordered physical products, or those who require changes made to document filings.
Which Is the Better Option if I Need Publication Service?
In some states, you need to publish your company’s formation in a regional newspaper. For example, Arizona and Nebraska require publication for LLCs and corporations, New York requires it for LLCs only, and Pennsylvania and Georgia have this requirement for corporations only.
It’s unfortunate that neither of these companies offer publication service to their customers, although Northwest Registered Agent at least includes a set of instructions for anyone forming a business in these five states, which explain how you can complete your own requirement.
That said, if you’d like to use a service that offers publication services as well as business formation, look into ZenBusiness. To get an idea of how their services stack up to other options, see our comparison to LegalZoom, the most well known service.
Do Either of These Services Go Overboard With Upsells or Third-Party Partnerships?
Northwest Registered Agent hardly has any upsells on their entire website, and they also avoid “special offers” through third-party “partnerships” that are actually attempting to increase their bottom line by selling your user data to other companies.
MyCorporation has a few upsells, although they don’t feel pushy, so we’re not too bothered by them. However, they also have a ton of third-party offers ― including payroll processing, a free domain name, startup financing, logo design, business insurance, credit cards, and more.
Am I Required to Use a Formation Service?
There is no legal requirement to use a professional formation service, although we do prefer to use one ourselves. However, if you want to form your own business entity instead, you can certainly DIY your corporation formation.