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Privacy by Default®

Privacy by Default® is the practice of providing you a service that automatically minimizes the exposure of and access to your personal data. You don’t have to opt into it. You don’t have to pay extra for it. Privacy by Default® is at the core of how we do business the right way.

If we can put our address on a document instead of yours, we do. If we can submit a form on your behalf with minimal personal information, we do. We design our services to limit exposure of your personal data, limit who can access your information, and limit what data we collect, so we can protect your personal information to the greatest possible extent. Automatically. And, of course, we never sell your data.

Why is Privacy by Default® Important?

Data is one of the most valuable commodities in the world. And companies across the globe quietly take your data and sell it at huge margins, sometimes making more money from your personal details than from whatever they allege is their primary product or service.

But downloading an app or signing up for a service shouldn’t have to cost you your privacy. You shouldn’t have to “opt out” of data sales or data sharing “with trusted partners.” You shouldn’t have to fight to keep your data private. You should have control over your own information.

Why? Because you are not a commodity. So you shouldn’t be up for sale.

At Northwest Registered Agent, we’ve translated these beliefs into a value we proudly stand behind: Privacy by Default®. We incorporate this value throughout our practices, from the services we offer to our core standards of privacy.

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Core Standards of Privacy

Northwest Registered Agent is leading the way, setting the standard for privacy in registered agent and business formation services. If other businesses in our industry can’t commit to the following standards that we uphold, frankly, they don’t deserve your business.

1
Limit personal information on public documents

In our business, we deal with a lot of public documents and public information. Typically, anything listed on articles or annual reports becomes part of the permanent public record. That’s why we default to using our address when we file these documents, so your home address remains private. And if a category requiring a name or address is optional? We leave it blank. You shouldn’t have to put any more of your information out into the world than you’re legally obligated to.

2
Limit private data stored by state agencies

If you file documents with state agencies yourself, the state sees and potentially stores your private information. Your IP address. Your credit card number. Your bank info. When we submit filings on your behalf, the state sees our bank information and our IP address—not yours. In this way, we help minimize connections to your most sensitive personal data, making it more difficult for statewide data breaches to affect you and for spammers, advertisers, and others to follow you.

3
Never sell data

You’ll never have to “opt out” of data sales at Northwest because we don’t sell data. We strongly believe your data should be safe by default—not just after you jump through a bunch of hoops. You don’t have to call us or email us to take your name off a data sales list. There are no lists. We make our money providing quality, valuable services, not selling what doesn’t belong to us.

4
Protect data from loss or theft

Not only do we never sell your data, but we work to ensure your data is safe with us. We have an in-house IT team providing layers of data protection security, from incorporating passwords and encryption to monitoring applications for anomalous use and cyber attacks. We have our own servers and backup servers. Even our individual computers have backup power supplies.

5
Limit access to data

We also carefully control who can access your data. In house, only employees who need access to data have access. We do background checks before we hire. Our data management buildings are physically secure—people can’t just walk in off the street. And out of house? YOU can access your data. If you want your attorney notified when you receive service of process, you have to opt in and give us permission first. And if the police or a government agency wants your information? They better come with a warrant.

6
Limit use of third-parties

At Northwest, if we can build it, we do. We use relatively few plugins and outside programs or services. We don’t outsource filings, coding, customer service or IT. At the moment, we perform nearly every service in house, with a few exceptions, such as credit card processing (but hey, we’re looking into it!)

7
Test for and track vulnerabilities

Our in-house IT team tests all new website applications for security vulnerabilities. In addition, applications are tested on regular basis to ensure no vulnerabilities develop. Our team is responsible for maintaining detailed records of any security issues detected and responding immediately to any that may develop.

8
Limit data requests

Some of our services require sensitive info. If you want us to get an EIN for you, for example, we need your social security number. But we don’t ask for this number unless you tick the box for that service. For most services, all we need is contact information, payment information, and any relevant info about your business.

Our Privacy Policy

We don’t just pay lip service to these core standards. They’re an integral part of the services we provide. And they’re the foundation of our Privacy Policy.

We don’t have the standard cut-and-paste policy you’ll find on half the web that buries sketchy details in slippery legal language. We’ve given the same time, care and attention to our privacy policy as we do all our pages, ensuring it adheres to our core standards and uses the same clear, straightforward language we’re known for at Northwest.

We’re proud of our policy and make it easy to access—we link to our privacy policy at the bottom of every page on our site.

Privacy by Default® in Our Services

Privacy is at the core of our business services. One of the biggest advantages to hiring Northwest for registered agent, business formation, mail forwarding, virtual office or call forwarding services is that these services can help you better keep your personal information off public records. Here’s how:

  • Registered agent service: Your registered agent address is your company’s most visible address of public record. By design, it’s meant to be easily available to anyone looking to contact your company. When you hire us as your registered agent, our address is listed on your public documents instead of yours, so you can better avoid data scrapers, nosy competitors and weirdos. We’re able to provide registered agent service across the nation, as we have offices in every state (as well as DC and Puerto Rico) and own many of our own buildings.
  • Business formation service: Because we’re a registered agent service—not simply a filing service—we can add a layer of privacy, listing our physical and mailing addresses on your public formation documents instead of yours. 
  • Mail forwarding address: Yet another way to protect your personal address is to sign up for a mail forwarding address and have your business mail forwarded. For our mail forwarding and virtual office services, your mail comes to secure buildings that we own. No PO boxes, massive mail box stores, or random, unsophisticated mom and pop places. We scan and upload your mail ourselves, in house, to ensure your information stays safe.
  • 2nd phone number: We offer a phone number with an area code from any state in the US. Calls are automatically forwarded to your personal phone number, allowing you to better keep your personal phone number private.

For many other businesses, privacy isn’t much of a consideration at all—other than meeting the bare legal requirements that keep them from getting sued. Slapping up a privacy policy they hope no one reads that explains how they plan to sell and share as much of your information as they can.

We’re committed to doing far better. That’s why Northwest Registered Agent is committed to Privacy by Default®. It is the driving force behind the services we offer, the privacy practices we engage in, the precautions we take, and the high level of security we provide. Your business deserves privacy and support—and that’s why we do business the right way.

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