Northwest Registered Agent vs. ZenBusiness

Setting up a business requires attention to detail and a keen understanding of legal frameworks.

To simplify the process, many entrepreneurs turn to online business formation and registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness.

But which one suits your needs better? This article dives deep into the offerings, pros, and cons of both companies.


  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Founded: 1998
    • Specialty: Registered agent services, business formation, and free legal forms.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Founded: 2015
    • Specialty: Business formation with affordable packages and ongoing compliance services.

1. Services Offered

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Business formation (LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, etc.)
    • Registered agent services
    • Annual report filing assistance
    • Virtual office services
    • Free legal forms and templates
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Business formation packages (Starter, Pro, and Premium)
    • Registered agent services (included for 1 year in all packages)
    • Operating agreement and banking resolution
    • Worry-Free Compliance (annual report and amendment services)
    • Business website and domain name services (Premium package)

2. Pricing

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Business formation starts at $100 plus state fees.
    • Registered agent service is $125 per year.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Pricing varies based on the package chosen:
      • Starter: $49 + state fees
      • Pro: $199 + state fees
      • Premium: $299 + state fees

3. User Experience

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Website is user-friendly and offers a wealth of free educational content.
    • Provides a dedicated “Corporate Guide” for each client.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Clean, intuitive platform with clear step-by-step guidance.
    • Dashboard provides an overview of your business’s compliance status.

4. Customer Support

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Offers phone and email support.
    • Known for personalized service through its “Corporate Guide” system.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Offers phone, email, and chat support.
    • Generally positive reviews on customer service responsiveness and clarity.

5. Added Benefits

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Offers a range of free legal forms, a boon for businesses looking to save on minor legal tasks.
    • Their premium service involves a virtual office, including a unique suite number, mail forwarding, and phone services.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Worry-Free Compliance guarantees the filing of your annual report and offers 2 free changes to your business registration per year.
    • The Premium package includes a business website and domain, offering a holistic solution for startups.

6. Limitations

  • Northwest Registered Agent:
    • Might be more expensive for some services compared to competitors.
  • ZenBusiness:
    • Some additional services, like the business website, may not be necessary for all users, making the Premium package seem excessive for some.

ALSO SEE: Northwest Registered Agent vs. LegalZoom


Both Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness offer robust services for business formation and compliance. The choice between them boils down to specific needs and budgets:

  • Entrepreneurs looking for personalized guidance might appreciate Northwest’s dedicated “Corporate Guide” service.
  • Those seeking a comprehensive, budget-friendly package with added benefits like a business website might lean towards ZenBusiness.

Always consider your long-term business plans and service requirements when making a decision. Remember that, regardless of your choice, both companies have proven to be reliable in assisting businesses across the U.S.

ZenBusiness vs Northwest Registered Agent: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness?
    • Both are online services that assist with business formation, registered agent services, and other related offerings.
  2. How long has Northwest Registered Agent been in business?
    • Since 1998.
  3. When was ZenBusiness founded?
    • In 2015.
  4. Does Northwest Registered Agent offer a free registered agent service?
    • No, their registered agent service is priced at $125 per year.
  5. Is registered agent service free with ZenBusiness?
    • Yes, for the first year with any of their business formation packages.
  6. Do both companies offer annual report filing?
    • Yes, both provide assistance with annual report filings.
  7. Does ZenBusiness provide any guarantees?
    • Yes, their Worry-Free Compliance service guarantees the timely filing of your annual report.
  8. Can I get a business website with Northwest Registered Agent?
    • No, they don’t offer this service. ZenBusiness, however, does provide it in their Premium package.
  9. How do the two companies differ in pricing?
    • Northwest Registered Agent’s business formation starts at $100 plus state fees, while ZenBusiness offers packages starting at $49 plus state fees.
  10. Are there any hidden fees with ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent?
  • Always review the terms, but as of the last update, both companies are transparent about their pricing.
  1. Do both companies operate in all 50 states?
  • Yes, both offer services in all 50 states.
  1. Which company offers better customer support?
  • Both offer robust customer support, but the experience can vary based on individual needs and interactions.
  1. Can I get an operating agreement with ZenBusiness?
  • Yes, they provide an operating agreement in their packages.
  1. Does Northwest Registered Agent offer a dashboard for tracking compliance?
  • They offer a user-friendly website, but ZenBusiness has a specific dashboard for compliance tracking.
  1. How do users rate these services?
  • Both companies have received generally positive reviews, but it’s essential to check recent feedback for the most current insights.
  1. What are the primary services offered by Northwest Registered Agent?
  • They specialize in business formation, registered agent services, annual report filing assistance, and more.
  1. What additional services does ZenBusiness provide?
  • Beyond formation and registered agent services, they offer a business website, domain name, and Worry-Free Compliance.
  1. Is ZenBusiness better for startups?
  • With their comprehensive packages, especially the inclusion of a business website and domain, they might appeal more to startups.
  1. What’s unique about Northwest Registered Agent’s service?
  • They provide a dedicated “Corporate Guide” for each client, offering personalized guidance.
  1. How quickly can I form my business with ZenBusiness?
  • The speed varies based on the chosen package and state processing times.
  1. Can I switch my registered agent service to Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness?
  • Yes, both companies facilitate the process of changing your registered agent.
  1. What happens if I miss an annual report deadline?
  • Both companies provide assistance, but ZenBusiness’s Worry-Free Compliance service specifically helps ensure timely filings.
  1. Which company offers mail forwarding services?
  • Northwest Registered Agent offers mail forwarding as part of their premium service.
  1. Do I get any legal forms with Northwest Registered Agent?
  • Yes, they offer free legal forms and templates.
  1. Is there a refund policy with either company?
  • Policies might differ, so it’s essential to check with the individual company before purchase.
  1. Which service offers a better deal for registered agent services?
  • ZenBusiness provides a free year with their packages, while Northwest Registered Agent charges annually.
  1. How do both companies handle privacy?
  • Both prioritize client privacy, but always review their privacy policies for detailed information.
  1. Can I get assistance with federal EIN registration?
  • Yes, both companies offer EIN registration services, often as an add-on.
  1. Are there any ongoing fees with either company?
  • Beyond initial formation fees, there might be charges for annual services or renewals.
  1. How easy is it to cancel services with Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness?
  • Cancellation processes are typically straightforward, but it’s best to contact customer service for specifics.
  1. Can I form a nonprofit with either service?
  • Yes, both companies assist with nonprofit formations.
  1. Which company has a better reputation in the industry?
  • Both are respected, but they have different strengths, so research and decide based on individual needs.
  1. Do they handle state-specific compliance requirements?
  • Yes, both companies are well-versed in state-specific guidelines and requirements.
  1. Can I get a virtual office with Northwest Registered Agent?
  • Yes, they offer virtual office services, including a unique suite number.
  1. Does ZenBusiness offer any discounts or promotions?
  • They occasionally offer promotions, so it’s a good idea to check their website or contact their customer service.
  1. How do I know which service is right for me?
  • Assess your business needs, budget, and preferred level of support, then compare the two services accordingly.
  1. Do both companies offer guarantees?
  • While both companies aim to provide top-notch service, ZenBusiness has a specific guarantee with its Worry-Free Compliance.
  1. Can I handle business amendments with these services?
  • Yes, both companies can assist with amendments to your business documents.
  1. Do they offer any educational resources?
  • Both companies offer resources, but Northwest Registered Agent is particularly known for its wealth of free educational content.
  1. Which service offers a more user-friendly experience?
  • While both platforms are designed for ease of use, users have found ZenBusiness to be especially intuitive.

When considering either Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness, it’s essential to evaluate both based on your specific requirements and conduct additional research to ensure the best fit for your business needs.

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