Each year, global economies are ranked according to their Ease of Doing Business, usually from 1-190. Ideally, the higher a nation ranks, the easier it is to do business within its territory.
It means the regulatory environment is more conducive to start-ups and local firms. Naturally, the US has consistently ranked among the top countries on the list, coming in 6th in 2019 and 2020.
This, in turn, has driven innovation and economic growth in the country as entrepreneurs rush to set-up their business. There are immense benefits to incorporating a business in the country, making it a worthy endeavor.
As a corporation, you get to enjoy tax benefits, which see partially deductible expenses, with a sole proprietorship being fully deductible under a corporation. You also get much-needed protection of your personal assets, and so on.
However, forming an LLC involves a fair share of complexities- particularly if it’s your first time. Despite this, there’s a way around this, in the form of online incorporation service providers.
You can opt to outsource the incorporation process to these experts. They will do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on other essential matters such as marketing and growing your business.
There are quite a few business registration firms out there, from Swyft Filings, IncFile, LegalZoom, MyCorporation, etc. Considering you are reading this piece, chances are you are looking to forming a corporation.
In this article, we shall be taking a look at two of the industry’s titans: Swyft Filings and IncFile. The purpose of this Swyft Filings vs. IncFile review is to help shed light on both LLC filing companies.
Ultimately, when it’s all said and done, you will be in a better position of picking the best option to suit your needs. But first…[toc]
TIP: Factors to Consider While Comparing Online Incorporation Service Providers
Before we delve deeper, here are a few pointers on how you can go about picking the BEST LLC service providers. These are:
1. Properly Budgeting
As a business owner, your main goal is to turn a profit. You do this by ensuring operational expenses are low. One way of doing this is through budgeting. As you look forward to incorporating your business, note the state fee in addition to any additional fees.
Understand the full scope of your business needs and then price those requirements among the services. This ensures you get what you need and avoid straying from your budget, failure to budget will lead to overspending.
2. Assess Customer Support
As an entrepreneur, effective communication is paramount to your businesses’ success. Maybe you prefer e-mail. Others adore phone calls and social media. Ensure the incorporation service provider offers a model that suits you.
Before making any significant purchases like incorporation services, I usually take my time to assess customer support. They don’t have to be 100% all the time, but they need to be responsive and professional.
Some LLC forming companies offer legal service in determining the structure and other details of your incorporation. However, please note that this doesn’t replace your full-time attorney.
3. Know Your Needs
There are several options when incorporating your business. The common structures include:
- Regular C-Corporation
- Non-Profit Corporation
- Professional Limited Liability Company
- Professional Corporation
- Limited Liability Company
Determine whether you have any unique Articles of Incorporation needs to incorporate into your Articles of Incorporation. Most online LLC service providers offer this in their packages.
4. Reviewing Your Information
Online incorporation services are fairly simple. Most firms have simplified the process, something that’s made them popular among small business owners. When you use these services, you provide answers to a series of questions.
Pick a service provider that lets you review your answers and allows you to make necessary corrections- including a further explanation on matters that lack clarity. In short, pick a company that’s actively involved in your incorporation process.
5. Future Company Needs
Business incorporation requires ongoing paperwork such as annual filings, banking resolution, and possible alteration of documents. Thus, ensure the LLC formation company you pick offers all the follow-up services you may require in the future. This may include:
- Trademark registration
- Copyright registration
- Filing a foreign qualification
- Obtaining a business license
- Obtaining an Employer Identification Number- EIN registration
- Closing a business
6. Testimonials, Accolades, and Media Coverage
An easy way of finding out whether an incorporation service delivers on its promises is to read what others have to say. A great resource is services websites. However, please note that positive reviews don’t necessarily mean a flawless procedure. Although it’s an indicator of what to expect.
7. Are You in A Rush?
Due to one reason or another, you may end up requiring urgent incorporation services. Then you need a provider that can expedite your services. Once more, please note that different states have varying filing times; this, in turn, will affect the turn-around time.
8. Innovation and Automation
The best LLC formation firm needs to use cutting edge technology in service provision, including auto-annual filing and reminders. This allows you to file your reports on time, therefore, remain in good standing with the government.
So, if you are switching service providers, be sure you cancel any auto-billing with your previous incorporation service, least you pay double.
Swyft Filings vs. IncFile Review
In my search for the best incorporation service, I decided on 5 key points namely; experience, packages, services, support team, and customer review. I feel that these are fundamental to any successful business relationship. I stress tested each one of them to draw a clear winner at the end of the article.
As a small business, your business’ safety is paramount. One way of increasing the odds of this happening is by partnering with a seasoned filing company. The longer they’ve been in business, the better. This is indicative of their prowess in company formation and professionalism.
Does this mean newer firms won’t deliver? Absolutely not! Relatively young businesses are eager to please and make a name for themselves. Hence, your final decision shouldn’t solely rely on experience. And that’s why I decided to add other parameters in my decision-making process.
This Houston based LLC forming company helps entrepreneurs navigate the murky business filing waters. The company traces its roots to 2012, when its founder- Travis Crabtree (an experienced attorney), saw the need of automating the business registration process, thus making it easier for anyone to launch their own business.
Swyft filing’s mission is to help businessmen and women get their companies up and running as efficiently, affordably, and as easily as possible. To accomplish this, the firm has partnered with individuals that are knowledgeable in the business.
At the time of writing this, the company has aided tens of thousands of small businesses to find their footing.
Like its immediate competitor, Incfile’s rise to stardom comes from its goal of making company registration as easy as ABC. This way, you can focus on the important things. They promise to hold your hand along the way, offer you a suite of business tools to enable you to chase your dreams.
The firm traces its origins to 2004, in Houston, Texas. Back then, if you were looking to incorporate, you had to contend with hefty attorney fees and tons of paperwork. Since then, a lot has changed. IncFile uses technology to streamline the entire LLC formation service.
During their journey, the filing company has assisted more than 500,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners along the way. Using our guide, IncFile manages to score a point over Swyft Filings. They’ve been around longer and have managed to set-up more businesses.
As a savvy entrepreneur, you are always on the look-out for great bargains. Great deals that offer a blend of cost and value. The same applies to your choice of a filing service provider. This is what both titans offer:
Like most filing companies, Swyft Filing offers 3 business formation service packages. As a business owner, you have the entry-level Basic plan, Standard, and Premium plans. They retail at $49, $149, and $299, respectively.
Please note that these prices are minus the state fee. In most cases, this fee is non-refundable, so if you want a refund, it will be minus the state filing fee. Additionally, the fees vary from state to state.
With Swyft Filings, you get access to lifetime customer support, real-time online order status tracking, a 100% money-back guarantee, free shipping on all orders, and dedicated accounting to access all your documents. These features apply to all three packages.
Similarly, IncFile features three business formation packages. All three are availed to you once you choose your business entity, i.e., LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, and Non-profit, and state for the corporation.
The three plans include their basic plan- Silver, intermediate plan- Gold, and Best pick- Platinum.
They are priced at $110, $259, and $409, respectively. Whether you are a small upcoming business, or a larger, well-established enterprise, you are certain of getting a product that best suits you.
In addition to their individual benefits, all three plans come with free registered agent service for one-year, online order status tracking, electronic delivery, statement and resignation of the organizer, certified copy of Articles of Organization, online access to incorporation documents, lifetime company alerts, setup business banking account.
With respect to our guideline, SwyftFilings manages to score a point over IncFile. Their packages are competitively priced, thus making them more accessible by the masses.
However, IncFile offers a slew of additional FREE features compared to Swyft Filings (but most are rudimentary at best).
Online incorporation service providers tend to offer freebies as a means of attracting business. Some of these additional free offerings are not worth the salt. As an astute entrepreneur, it’s vital that you know how to distinguish between what’s valuable and what’s not.
Avoid making any rash conclusions. Take your time to make thorough comparisons before settling on any option.
As we previously stated, at $49 + state fee, it’s the most affordable entry-level package. You get Name search, Document filing with Secretary of State, Preparation of Articles of Organization, Free statement of the Organizer, Online access to your incorporation documents, Compliance guard/company alerts, Free domain name, standard filing time, Lifetime customer support (phone and email), Free 30-minute business tax consultation, and 1st class shipping and handling.
This is the most popular plan on the platform. The Standard package comes with all the Basic package features along with other craftily designed features. These include Obtain Federal Tax ID (EIN), Custom Banking Resolution, Custom LLC Operating Agreement, Custom Organization Minutes.
This is the most expensive plan on offer. It’s meant for those that want the BEST services money can buy. As such, you get access to all the Standard package features along with Electronic Delivery of State Documents, Customized Digital Corporate Kit, Free Business Website and Web Hosting, FedEx Tracking Number.
IncFile offers the most expensive packages of the two filing firms. Their Silver package comes with Preparing and Filing the Articles of Organization; FREE Registered Agent Service for a year, Unlimited Name Searches.
The Gold package comes with all the Silver package benefits and EIN Business Tax Number, IRS Form 2553, Business Tax Consultation, Business Banking Account, Unlimited Phone/Email Support, Online Access Dashboard, Banking Resolution, and Operating Agreement.
This is the most expensive package on offer. Its costs $409, but you save up to $908 when you choose this package at the time of writing this. That means you get the best possible value.
Consequently, you enjoy all the Gold package benefits as well as Business Contract Templates, Expedited Filing, and Domain Name + Business Email.
As always, going by our guide, Swyft Filings scores an additional point for their affordable plans. Not only that, they have a flexible payment method that can be broken into two installments.
What this means is you can comfortably access and pay for your business incorporation service.
A business is as good as its support team. They are crucial to not only their success but yours too. More often than not, things go haywire when you least expect it. And in these instances, you need a partner you can rely on. A partner you can get a hold of with ease.
The company offers each and every client an assigned personal business specialist. This means you have direct access to these executives, and in case you have any queries, you can call or email them directly. There’s no need to wait in a pool of phone calls.
The support team is available Monday – Friday, from 9 am – 6 pm. Additionally, you can call them up on (877)-770-040. Of the two, Swyft Filings is the only one offering live chat!
Equally, you can get in touch with IncFile’s support staff via phone at 1(888)-462-3453 Monday – Friday from 9 am – 6 pm CST. You can also submit a question, and the team will respond promptly. For a physical visit, find them on 17350 State Highway 249, Suite 220, Houston, TX 77064.
As we wrap things up on the Support end, Swyft Filings comes on top. Not only do you get an assigned personalized Business Specialist for the entire duration you are with the firm, but you have access to instant chat. Hats off to the team at Swyft Filings for making communication easier and a point to them.
We live in a digital age, and one of the best moments in history to be a consumer. There are numerous laws and regulations to ensure your satisfaction. In addition, companies are competing among themselves for your business, hence great deals and products.
Today’s shopper has a plethora of tools at his or her disposal to aid them in making an informed decision before making a purchase. One of these tools is customer reviews. Third-party platforms such as BBB make this easier and reliable.
Additionally, social media makes it possible to go online and see other people’s perceptions and experiences with a certain product or company. This is incredibly powerful. You can reduce the chances of getting into stressful contracts with unreliable companies.
Unfortunately, SwyftFilings isn’t rated by the Better Business Bureau. I couldn’t find any information regarding them on the platform.
A good majority (93%) of the reviews are positive. They highly speak about Swyft Filings.
3. Shopper Approved
Shopper Approved regularly and actively gathers reviews from actual verified customers. This helps more reflect customer’s satisfaction with respective companies. From a total of 36,241 ratings, Swyft Filings manages to garner 88.6% positive ratings. Here’s what they have to say.
Unlike its counterpart, which has never been rated by the Better Business Bureau, IncFile, unfortunately, had its business accreditation revoked by the BBB’s Board of Directors. This is due to the companies’ failure to adhere to the BBB’s requirements for accreditation.
From a total of 85 ratings, the business formation firm manages to score a 3.0/5 rating. Only 60% of the ratings are positive, while 40% are negative (1-star rating).
In terms of customer review, IncFile scores a point over its competitor, though narrowly.
3. Shopper Approved
The incorporation service provider scores an incredible 4.8/5 rating, from a total of 20,252 ratings. A staggering 95.4% of customers positively rated the firm (5 and 4 stars). This is what they have to say regarding the company and experience on the platform.
As always, I need to decide which LLC formation service provider wins this category. And the winner is IncFile. Despite having fewer reviews compared to SwyftFilings, a good majority of clients are happy with the firm’s services, thus giving them a majority 4- and a 5-star rating.
In order to save time, money and have a seamless operation, it’s essential to partner with a business formation service provider that offers a multitude of products and services. This way, as you grow your business, you don’t have to change platforms.
To make it easier for you to manage and run your business, Swyft Filings offers the following services:
- Annual report
- Initial report
- Federal Tax ID Number/EIN
- Amendments and Name changes
- Foreign qualification
- Change of Registered Agent
- 501(c)(3) Application
- Dissolution (Close a Business)
Apart from offering incorporation service, IncFile offers a wide range of other business services to help you seamlessly run your business. These are:
- Free LLC Filing
- Amendment (Name Change)
- Foreign Qualification
- Doing Business As- DBA (Fictitious Name)
- Annual Reports
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Business License Search
- Trade Mark Name Search
- File S-Corp Election
- Change of Registered Agent
- Registered Agent Service
- Business Accounting
When it’s all said and done, IncFile comes ahead of Swyft Filings. Their basic entry-level formation package offers some of the necessary services like the free application of the Employer Identification Number, Free Registered Agent Service for a year, and so on.
However, this will cost you, as their formation packages are quite expensive when compared to Swyft Filings. Hence, when you really look at it, it’s not for FREE as they would like you to believe. But, if you want a hands-off experience, then they are the best formation packages.
Thus, there are no clear-cut winners under this category. Why? Swyft Filings offers amazing products but doesn’t offer most of the LLC formation services for free on their entry-level package. They are only accessible on the mid and top tier packages.
Comparatively, IncFile offers some of these services for free on their entry-level package. The only issue I have is that their pricing is relatively higher.
- They offer the most affordable packages.
- You have their 100% money-back guarantee.
- Free shipping across all packages.
- Lifetime access to customer care.
- Live chat capabilities
- They’ve been in business longer, since 2004.
- They have a team of happy, loyal clients.
- Unlike their competitor, they offer free Registered Agent Services for a whole year.
- You receive lifetime company alerts this way, you remain in good standing with the government.
- Offer some of the most valuable packages for business entity formation.
- EIN registration and operating agreement are not included in the Basic package.
- You need to pay 70% for the EIN, yet you can apply for it for free.
- Third-party upsells.
- Turnaround time varies from state to state.
- Limited intellectual property services.
- You can’t retain a lawyer.
- Limited legal advice.
- Due to their popularity, you can expect to wait for long before speaking to the support team.
Congratulations on making it this far. Both Swyft Filings and IncFile are great business formation service providers. But, there can only be one winner! In this case- IncFile. Despite being the two’s costlier, the LLC formation company undoubtedly knows how to please its clients.
They offer many crucial services at every stage of your business, from opening a business, running and expanding your enterprise. This way, you don’t have to seek alternatives to compliment them.
IncFile is a true one-stop-shop for all your business formation needs, from EIN registration, Business structure, Registered Agent Service, Operating Agreement, and so on.
With thousands of happy clients, they paint a picture of a professional, competent, honest, and customer-oriented company. Whether you are a start-up or an already established small to large business, you are certain to find all the help you need to take your business to the next level.
What are the strongest selling points for both companies?
IncFile has been around for a longer period of time. Hence, it has managed to build a name for itself by providing unparalleled services. Swyft Filings, on the other hand, is new and eager.
Within a short period of time, it has managed to achieve some impressive accolades.
Its LLC service packages are competitively priced which attracts plenty of business compared to their rivals, thus plenty of reviews.
Why should I incorporate my business?
That’s an excellent question. Did you know most businesses in the US operate as corporations?
This is because it comes with lots of perks, including tax benefits, ease of raising capital, legitimizes you but above all else, it protects your personal assets from the business’s debts and liabilities.
How do I choose the right package?
That entirely depends on several factors, including a budget, experience registering a business, and time. If you are new and lack time to learn what incorporation is all about, you are better off going for either the Platinum or Premium packages.
They will take care of all the intricate details of an LLC formation. All you have to do is sit back and relax. But, if you have the experience, you could go for either the entry-level or mid-range plans.
Can I form an LLC on my own without the help of either Swyft Filings or IncFile?
Absolutely! And you can save money while doing so. Some of the services that are being charged, such as applying for an Employer Identification Number can be done for free via the IRS website.
The DIY alternative is suitable for seasoned entrepreneurs.
If it’s your first time registering your business, you are better off seeking professional assistance, lest you end up making a costly mistake.
Can I substitute my attorney with Swyft Filings or IncFile?
No, you can’t, and you shouldn’t. Online business formation service providers can’t substitute your attorney.
They only offer advice and assist you with filing for your incorporation. If you need further assistance on legal matters, it’s best to consult a practicing attorney.
I’m not an American citizen, can I still incorporate in the US?
Generally speaking, there are no US laws that prohibit foreign ownership of a company formed in the United States. You don’t have to necessarily be a citizen or possess a green card to own an LLC or Corporation.