Competition is good for the consumer. It forces competing companies to provide a better service while reducing the cost of those services for the consumer.
The online legal services sector has been ripe for disruption for some time now. Mainly the business formation service dominated over the years by LegalZoom. In recent years there have been several new companies entering this space, including ZenBusiness, Inc Authority, and FileNow.
Some of the more established companies besides LegalZoom include Incfile, Swyft Filings, MyCorporation, CorpNet, Northwest Registered Agent, Rocket Lawyer, and BizFilings. These companies are not law firms; they are document filing services.
In 2017, ZenBusiness raised $4.5 million to launch its “worry-free” formation service in Austin, Texas. In September 2019, they raised another $15 million to expand their growth.
Before founding ZenBusiness, CEO Ross Buhrdorf realized there was a tremendous opportunity to provide a better service at a more affordable price for business-minded consumers.
Ross explained it this way, “It’s different in all 50 states, highly-regulated, which is great for technology, it is overpriced, and they underserve their customers”.
ZenBusiness provides business formations, registered agent services, on-going compliance services known as their “worry-free” guarantee, and they offer these services at a fraction of the cost compared to LegalZoom and others.
Incfile Takes On The Competition With “Free” LLC Formation Plan
In response to this growing number offering affordable filing, formation and registered agent plans, Incfile changed the price for its basic LLC formation plan to $0.00 in October 2019. It also included one year of registered agent services with that excellent price. That price does not include the state’s filing fee. Incfile is not a newcomer in the field, they have helped entrepreneurs form over 250,000 businesses since 2004.
Incfile are industry experts at guiding new business owners through the launch process. According to Dustin Ray, VP of Business Development,
“About 543,000 new businesses are started each month, according to Yahoo.com,” “We are excited to offer free business formation services to remove any monetary blockers and make it easier than ever for more businesses to get started. Our $0 formation fee provides the best value in the industry and solidifies Incfile as the modern approach to an otherwise outdated government process.”
Incfile provides business owners with LLC documentation filing services. I have evaluated their three main formation packages — along with their advantages and disadvantages — to help you form an LLC online. We also mention several other formation services worth considering.
How Free Is the Silver Plan Offered by Incfile?
It’s completely free! The silver package includes Articles of Organization preparation and filing for LLC companies. A year’s worth of registered agent services won’t cost you a cent. Note: you will have to pay a separate state fee.
Incfile is an online LLC service that we are quite fond of. The company has a number of stellar Trustpilot reviews, which is considered “excellent” based on their combined score. In addition, the company has a BBB rating of “A+,” not to mention a positive online reputation overall. Business owners are encouraged to consider using Incfile for their document filing services in 2020.
The company was initially launched as a somewhat small enterprise in 2004. It wasn’t long before they experienced massive growth, becoming a popular formation service for LLC companies. They have since helped 250,000 business owners form companies online.
There are a number of services at your disposal when forming an LLC on the Internet.
With that said, Incfile easily distinguishes itself from the competition — and there is no shortage of competitors in this industry.
Many people compare Incfile to LegalZoom, as far as popularity goes. In our eyes, the former is the superior choice.
The following article is a comprehensive analysis of various factors to consider before selecting a budget-friendly formation service for LLC companies.
By understanding what your options are, you’ll be able to determine if a company will be a suitable service provider for your needs.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Starting fees are $0.00 (in addition to separate state fees), making Incfile the most affordable formation service for LLC companies out there. That is remarkable when you take into consideration that LegalZoom — another popular formation service for LLC companies — charges at least $79.00 (in addition to potential state fees) to form an LLC. There may be extra charges for obtaining an EIN or requesting registered agent services.
Incfile has served business owners for almost two decades, forming over 250,000 companies since 2004.
Their rates are significantly cheaper than most of their competition, and clients will be able to access one year’s worth of registered agent services, which is included in each package Incfile offers.
When an LLC is formed with Incfile, you’ll receive lifetime company alerts. Such reminders help you stay on top of deadlines when you need to file essential documentation like annual reports, business licenses, and information statements. Manually tracking these documents can be laborious, but Incfile simplifies the process for you.
Incfile’s feedback ratings from customers are incredible. In fact, there are more than 10,000 reviews about the company online, all of which are extremely positive.
They offer excellent customer service, too. The company’s support agents are knowledgeable and friendly. They are able to offer you unlimited phone and email support when you need it.
Incfile’s support staff started off a little rocky, but they have since perfected their approach to customer service. You may need to wait 24 hours before you received a response to a question. Although that is standard response time in this industry, we have noticed that Northwest offers a quicker response time. They also went above and beyond to address our queries promptly and comprehensively.
Although no-fee filing services can be quite beneficial, understand that this is a marketing strategy in an effort to upsell you. Keeping that in mind, if you were to capitalize on the upsell, you might end up paying a lot more than you planned for over the long haul.
Does Incfile provide you with value for your dollar? Absolutely. In the past, Incfile charged a $49 fee to form an LLC. Having said that, their latest package allows you to form an LLC at no cost.
The Cost to Form an LLC in Texas
LLC Formation Rates
- Silver package: $0.00 plus state fee ($300).
- Gold package: $149 plus state fee ($300).
- Platinum package: $299 plus state fee ($300).
All plans include registered agent service for the first year.
The free plan also comes with a year’s worth of registered agent service for owners of businesses. This is a great deal, without question.
Incfile provides a few different formation packages, each of which come with their own pricing and features. Browse their pricing rates in order to get more information about their packages.
Incfile’s Silver Package: $0.00 Plus State Fee
The Preparation and Subsequent Filing of Articles of Organization — Articles of Organization will need to be prepared and filed with authorities of the state. If you are forming an LLC, Incfile can make your filing endeavors seamless.
Checking for Availability of Your Name — Incfile will comb through your state’s business database to make sure that the LLC name you planned on using isn’t already taken.
Registered Agent Service — One Year’s Worth — you are legally obligated to have a registered agent when you are forming an LLC. This individual will accept important documentation and files on your company’s behalf before forwarding them to you. Such an arrangement will help retain privacy while ensuring that you are updated on important deliveries. You will receive the service for one year. Afterward, you’ll need to pay an annual cost of $149. Having said that, there aren’t any obligations to renew the service after the first year.
Unlimited Phone and Email Support — if you have any questions or concerns, Incfile’s customer service representatives will be happy to address them. They are available on weekdays between 10 AM and 7 PM Eastern time. It doesn’t matter when the LLC company was formed — they will be happy to help you.
Accessing Important Documentation Online — after the state your LLC was established in forwards your documentation to Incfile and approves them, those documents will be posted to your account’s dashboard. You will be notified when such documents can be downloaded and viewed.
Alerts for Life — you will receive email notifications during the lifetime of your LLC. These alerts will inform you about key filing deadlines pertaining to annual reports, business licenses, and similar documents.
Tax Consultations for Businesses — company owners, can capitalize on a consultation session that lasts about 30 minutes. They will be able to ask certified tax experts questions pertaining to tax regulations and laws relevant to commercial matters.
Tracking Registration Status Online — this handy tool updates and informs you about order statuses in real-time.
Incfile’s Gold Package: $149 Plus State Fee
Banking Resolution — this document can be used to open a commercial bank account, though it will be redundant in the event that you already possess an EIN.
Gold Formation Kit — you will receive a box containing the name of your LLC, in addition to a handy transfer ledger and document organization tabs.
Express Shipping — you’ll receive a tangible copy of your Articles of Association by way of express shipping (delivery time: 1 to 3 business days). You will also receive a tracking number for the shipment.
Personalized Operating Agreement — an operating agreement can be described as a document that establishes the business’ ownership structure. It establishes a number of ground rules about the way your business operates. Incfile can prepare this document for your company.
EIN (Employer Identification Number) — this nine-digit figure acts as your company’s SSN (Social Security Number). With an EIN, you’ll be able to open up a bank account, file business taxes, and employ workers, among other services. Although you can apply to the IRS to get an EIN, Incfile simplifies the process by doing it for you, save you a lot of time in doing so.
Preparation of Tax Forms for S Corporations — this isn’t necessary for every LLC. With that said, if you intend to file S Corporation business taxes, Incfile will put together all forms relevant for this purpose and file them on your behalf.
Incfile’s Platinum Package: $299 Plus State Fee
Includes Gold package features, in addition to the following:
Business Websites and Domain — Incfile has partnered up with a web development service called SnapWeb. It provides you with a series of professional templates you can use for your business’ website. Be mindful that this feature warrants payment of website hosting fees each month, which is about $20. It includes a domain name, but in order to obtain it, you will have to pay for the package annually.
Sample Document Library — browse through a number of templates for legal contracts. There are more than 25 standard forms and documents that were drafted by licensed attorneys, all of which are customizable to accommodate your needs.
Expedited Documentation Filing — if your state offers expedited services, Incfile will capitalize on it. Depending on which state your business is registered in, the turnaround time may take a few days or even weeks.
Customer Reviews About Incfile
For more than 15 years, this company has helped business owners with LLC services. They have accumulated an impressive lineup of positive reviews throughout their history, giving you an idea of what to expect if you choose to work with them.
We have evaluated Incfile’s online reviews and have concluded that their advantages outweigh their disadvantages.
You are encouraged to read reviews about the company in order to get a handle of what their customer support is like.
Having said that, a majority of customers are appreciative of the hassle-free experience and competitive pricing that Incfile offers.
Reviews and Ratings
Trustpilot Reviews: 4.3/5
Shopper Approved: based on more than 14,500 ratings, the company has a 4.8/5 star review.
BBB: based on more than 132 reviews, the company has a 4.3/5 star review.
3 Popular Incfile Alternatives
There are several service providers capable of forming an LLC out there these days. If Incfile’s doesn’t particularly interest you, there are other choices at your disposal, such as the following:
LegalZoom — LegalZoom tends to be used by those dependent on brand recognition, one that has extensive experience forming LLCs. They have served millions of customers over the past several years. Their services are a lot costlier than the competitions’, with rates beginning at $79 (not including fees for things like EIN operating agreements and registered agent service) and although they do offer a number of the services and features that Incfile does, the reviews for LegalZoom aren’t terribly impressive.
Northwest Registered Agent — Northwest Registered Agent’s LLC formation services give you value for your money. This LLC service provider is highly rated online. They specialize in registered agent services, though other types of services are also available (and have been for the last two decades or so). As such, you’ll find just about any type of service you need for business formation purposes.
ZenBusiness — ZenBusiness’ service packages are very budget-friendly. They offer a year’s worth of customizable agreements, registered agent services, and other relevant features for the low price of $49. Further, of the company’s 1400 customer support reviews online, 97% of them are positive.
Which Service Provider Is the Best to Form an LLC With?
Using Incfile comes with a lot more advantages than disadvantages, which should heavily influence your decision. Here is a more comprehensive assessment of using Incfile to form an LLC.
Why You Should Consider Using Incfile
People who are interested in forming an LLC on a tight budget should consider using Incfile. You can choose their free package, or sign up for one of their paid plans. Entrepreneurs looking for hassle-free LLC formation services will appreciate Incfile.
Why You Should Not Use Incfile
Refrain from using Incfile if you think you will need a lot of assistance or are looking for high-end features. If you think you will need extensive help with a complex situation, you would be better suited to use Northwest. If you are looking for the most value for your money, take a look at ZenBusiness’s useful features.
After evaluating a number of LLC service providers and reading their reviews, we have concluded that Incfile stands out from the crowd. Their free formation services — in addition to their stellar customer reviews — are what influence our decision. Incfile’s services are perfect for entrepreneurs who are seeking LLC services and features on a budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Incfile Truly Free?
Yes, it really is.
Although their basic plan used to cost $49, the company has refined their services throughout the last 15 years, to the point where the formation services they offer are now free. The only thing you’ll need to pay for are state filing costs.
Also, you will be able to access a number of features like registered agent services, one-day processing, and lifetime alerts.
Incfile provides premium formation plans that begin at $149. The more you pay, the quicker the processing time, not to mention the added features you will receive. With that said, it is our opinion that the free plan is suitable for a majority of entrepreneurs.
Which Package Would Be Best for My Needs?
We suggest trying out the $0.00 silver plan or the $149 gold plan. If the only thing you need is a simple formation service, you might as well go with the free plan, as it includes a year’s worth of registered agent services.
Does Incfile Offer Any Discounts?
Incfile doesn’t provide any discounts, though the free formation services they offer more than make up for it.
What is Incfile’s Customer Service like?
Based on online user reviews, Incfile offers outstanding customer service courtesy of its helpful and friendly representatives. However, their response times to customer inquiries might be a bit slower in contrast to other formation service providers.
What is Incfile’s Refund Policy Like?
While some LLC formation service providers offer 100% guarantees, no such promises are offered by Incfile. Their cancellation fees are $30. Your payment will only be refunded if it was not submitted for registration, a process that usually transpires within 24 hours of an order being placed.
Is It Prudent to Form an LLC by Myself?
Although a number of entrepreneurs would prefer to form their own LLC, the process can be a handful. You’ll need to take time out of your day to get this done. You’ll also need an understanding of what your state’s requirements are for LLC formation (and you need to comply with them). Further, you’ll need to do these things manually. Unfortunately, you will not receive the free filing reminders offered by Incfile on a consistent basis.