With the ever growing technology, finding any information is relatively easy. The internet age has brought about search engines that are loaded with info about everything. As a result, it won’t be hard for entrepreneurs to find details about business incorporation.
As a small business owner, and new to the business world, incorporation service providers will help you in forming your business. You may need legal advice and probably tax consultation services. What you need is a service provider that will take you through your company formation in the best way.
Nonetheless, first hand experience with the business formation service providers is the only sure way to know how good they are. Filing is an important aspect and understanding the different incorporation documents will help you making a decision on the best route to take.
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As a new business owner, I was confused about choosing the best incorporation firm when I needed my limited liability company incorporated. Despite my research efforts, the information I got was so shallow to answer all my questions.
Since I wouldn’t want any entrepreneur to go through what I went through, I decided to do this LLC service review. First, I came across many incorporation companies. They include IncFile, MyCorporation, Swyft Filings, Corpnet, GovDoc Filing, LegalZoom among others.
Since it would be impossible to review all of these LLC formation service providers simultaneously, I decided to do it in bits. To do it more comparably, I choose to compare two at a time. In this review, we will compare LegalZoom and Inc Authority.
Starting a business has its fair challenges. One of the challenges is completing the paperwork. As a legal requirement, there are many legal forms to be completed which may be tricky to a new business owner. However, you need not worry about that. With a good LLC formation company, you will be able to complete your filing within no time.
The hurdles that come with business formation and the freedom of being an independent entrepreneur are pretty unmatched. The struggle is real but when your business is on its feet, it’s hard to remember what you have gone through establishing it. Let’s walk this journey together!
My Incorporation Journey with Inc Authority
Among all the LLC formation companies, Inc Authority was the most interesting. As a new business owner, I was attracted to their ‘free’ pricing model. I bet I wanted to establish my business without spending a single dime! In that case, I began my journey to join over 130,000 entities incorporated by Inc Authority.
Inc Authority offer four plans with different pricing. Also, I noted that products and services vary in each plan. For obvious reasons, I went for their basic plan. Before going deeper into what attracted me to the basic package, let’s have a look at all their plans.
This plan is unique in the industry as Inc Authority offers entities set up free. You only need to pay the state filing fee and once the setup is done, you buy their add-on services.
The additional services offered are as below.
Securing an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is pivotal to any business in the US. Its importance is seen during taxation, for business identification, and when hiring of new employees. While using the basic plan on Inc Authority, securing an EIN will cost you $49.
In various business entities, an operating agreement is a must-have. Inc Authority offers to draft one for your business at the cost of $89. Remember, this is an add-on, and it’s not compulsory.
An ownership certificate is an important document to any business entity. For $99, you will get one for your business with Inc Authority. Additionally, you will get a record book that may help you in the long run.
Having a resolution for your business may help you stay focused. More often, it’s easy to lose focus; but not with a resolution form at hand. Securing a resolution form and minutes at the cost of $79 may help you stay on track.
In case you want your business incorporated faster than usual, you need to pay for express filing and processing. On this package, it will cost you $49.
Website Domain Name
Having a domain name for your business website is paramount. Inc Authority will help you secure a domain name at $19.
Inc Authority offers this service at a fee of $197 per year.
It’s imperative to note that all these products and services aren’t compulsory. In that case, you can use the basic plan and yet opt not to use either of them. That’s relieving.
Starter Business Bundle
This package is Inc Authority’s second plan. It costs $399; state fees are not included. In return, you get below products and services.
- Name verification for your business
- Articles of organization and incorporation for limited liability companies and corporation, respectively
- Operating agreement and by-laws for LLC and corporation, respectively
- Company seal
- Official minutes and resolutions
- Ownership certificates
- Consultation in regards to tax planning
- Federal tax identification number
- Advisory services
This bundle is their third plan. It’s relatively expensive although it has additional products and services. In this package, you get all the services in the starter package. Additionally, you will get a website domain and a business license report.
All these services would cost you $499 state fees not included.
As the name suggests, maybe this package is meant for tycoons! It’s Inc Authority’s highest plan. All the services included in the executive bundle are also included in this package. At the cost of $799, you will get all the benefits and some other additional products. Here are some of them.
- Credit coach for your business
- Credit bureau registration
- A credit launchpad and express filing speed with the state.
What I Like About Inc Authority
I went for their basic package, and I didn’t opt for any upsell service they offered. Here is what I like most about them
- Incorporating business with them is free if you are not interested in their ad-on services.
- Business name availability check with them is free.
- They offer services of a registered agent free of charge for one year.
- They walk you through to the final lap. For instance, an Inc Authority specialist gave me a call ten minutes after incorporation to guide me to the next step.
- Their partnership with the bank of America made the process of account checking easy for me.
What I Don’t Like About Inc Authority
- Their free basic package may be a bait to trap you. There are so many add-on services that may end up draining your pockets.
- Securing an Employer Identification Number with them is relatively expensive. $49 is much cash bearing in mind that getting an EIN with the IRS is free.
- Their customer support is limited from 9 am to 5 pm on working days only.
Apart from the services that we have seen, Inc Authority offers additional benefits. However, there is not enough information online on how they charge for these services. It would be advisable to visit their website and engage them in case you need these services. They include
- The accusation of a federal trademark
- Securing a living Trust (revocable)
- Credit and finance for startups
- Web design and marketing
- Business funding
- Business plan drafting
You can’t mention LLC service providers without mentioning LegalZoom. Although LegalZoom didn’t emerge at the top of my list of preferred LLC services, at least I had time to look at a glance at what they offer.
Here is what you should know about LegalZoom.
LegalZoom has three business formation packages. They are differently priced In all the plans, you have to cater for state fees. Also, processing speed depends on which plan you’re in. Let’s look at what they offer.
This plan is their first business formation package and is the cheapest. At a fee of $79, you get to enjoy the following.
- Name availability check and filing
- Customer support 24/7
- Authorization letter for financial accounts
- Articles of organization
- It’s important to note that the processing time in this package is 30 days.
The package costs $329 with the state fee not included. In return, you will enjoy all the products in the economy package. In addition, you will get a deluxe organizer embossed with the name of your company.
Additionally, you will get 20 membership certificates for your company and an official seal. Also, LegalZoom will prioritize your order internally to ensure you get VIP processing.
Express Gold Package
This offer is LegalZoom’s highest package. With a whopping $349, you will get all the services enjoyed by those on the standard package. Your order will only take between seven to ten working days to be completed. Also, you will get shipping services and fast delivery.
Apart from LLC service, LegalZoom offers additional benefits.
Services of a Registered Agent
Most registered agents act as the company’s contact person. Their role is to receive all the documents from government organizations and deliver them to your company on time. LegalZoom will act as your registered agent at an annual cost of $159.
For your business to operate lawfully, there are legal forms your company ought to fill and submit to required federal government bodies. Though an attorney can help you draft them, LegalZoom has got your back if you don’t have one.
On this one, it’s advisable to pay for non-limited access to all types of forms at a monthly cost of $7.99. However, if you only need a single document, it will cost you $14.95.
Registering a trademark shouldn’t be stressful. With LegalZoom, you only need $114, and you will be good to go. Additionally, you will have to cater for the state fee.
What I Like About LegalZoom
- They are experienced. Having served more than 4 million customers, no doubt that they are good at what they do.
- They offer a money-back guarantee to their customers. If you enroll in their services, you have 60 days to gauge their services, and you can opt-out and get your money back if you are unsatisfied.
- Their business advisory plan offers regular access to an attorney. This service ensures that you get legal services anytime you need them.
What I Don’t Like About LegalZoom
Other LegalZoom alternatives offer competitive prices. For instance, Inc Authority and Swyft Filings provide business formation services at a price that way much better.
What Others Say About Inc Authority and LegalZoom
Among the 618 customers who reviewed LegalZoom on TrustPilot, 64% were delighted with how they served them. They enjoy a 4-star rating on this platform. If the customer review is anything to go by, then we will interpret that 4 out of 5 customers served by LegalZoom are satisfied.
Inc Authority’s customer rating is just on another level. Out of more than 5000 customers who left their reviews, 93% are delighted. With a 4.8 rating on TrustPilot, we won’t be wrong if we say that they are perfect at what they do.
For those seeking business formation services, both Inc Authority and LegalZoom can hold your hand. However, for most business owners, Inc Authority would be the best fit. With their basic plan starting from as low as $0 plus the state fees, saving a dime with them is relatively possible.
The only thing to watch out for is the upsells offered by Inc Authority since they may end up being so expensive. I incorporated my LLC with them, and I absconded all of them, and yet everything was well.
While starting a business, everything may not seem to fall in place. However, as time goes by, you will adjust as per your business needs. Also, avoiding unnecessary spending may save you and your business in the long haul. For instance, instead of using any of these LLC service providers to apply for an EIN, you can apply it directly with the IRS at no cost.
Also, choosing an LLC service offering free registered agent service even for a short period may be economical.
Make use of LLC service providers in case you’re not sure of anything. However, it’s upon you to research all of them. Their services differ and serve various business interests.