Is It a Good Deal for Incorporating?
If you want to form and incorporate a business online, it is recommendable to hire business formation services to help with the tedious legwork. However, with so many LLC formation services, finding one that will help you form and operate your business can be distressing.
One of the LLC service companies in the industry is Incorporating.com. Formerly referred to as The Company Corporation, this LLC formation has helped form over 750,000 businesses since its establishment in 1899.
It is a small business division of CSC and they provide all aspects of business incorporation services to business owners. However, as an entrepreneur looking to form your business, it is only normal to wonder whether Incorporate.com is worth the investment.
In this Incorporate.com LLC service review, we will look at the company’s pricing, features, and other important aspects to help you decide whether it is worth your time and money.
In-Depth: Incorporate.com Review
Track Record- 6/10
Since Incorporate.com opened their doors in 1899, they have developed over 750,000 LLCs and corporations. They have extensive experience and are among the top leading companies when it comes to longevity and customer volume.
However, despite being in the industry for so long, it is unfortunate that Incorporate.com doesn’t have a lot of customer reviews. What’s more, the few customer reviews are unfavorable.
Based on the reviews, they offer bad customer experiences with most citing difficulty in canceling services, incomplete annual reports, and trademark applications on the BBB website.
Most customers also complain that the company bills for registered agent services without their knowledge. Some complaint about their expensive prices and hidden fees.
Overall Pricing and Value- 2/10
The cost of forming an LLC with Incorporate.com begins at $99 plus the state fees. This pricing can go up to $349, based on the package, making it one of the most expensive formation services in the industry.
Still, they do not offer adequate value to give worth to your money. While the cost is less compared to that of hiring an attorney, it still does not provide as much value s if offered by other LLC formation services. You can get two times more features and save $60 plus with other LLC services.
What’s more, the company does not let its customers know that their fees are exclusive of the state fees. The state fees are linked with filing articles of incorporation and can cost up to $400 or more.
Incorporate.com also provides a registered agent service that goes for a whopping $235. This is an issue for most customers considering that some formation services offer the same service at a price below $150. For example, IncFile basic formation package starts at $49 and includes 12 months of registered agent service for free.
The other issue with their pricing is misleading package setup. For instance, the company advertises that the annual report service and compliance dashboard are included in their package. However, you will not be able to access them unless you buy their registered agent service.
This means that you will need to pay an extra $235 for the registered agent service and $150 annually for the annual report service. This is quite misleading and takes away transparency from the company.
Ease of Use- 4/10
Incorporation.com has an easy-to-use interface that makes the process of placing an order effortlessly. Their website has a simple and clean design. They have a business formation wizard that can help you decide whether to form an LLC or corporation.
Their pricing page is also easy to navigate and it will not be a hassle for you to decide which package is right for you. It is easy for you to navigate their website, place an order, and go through the payment page. Plus, the company has an innovative online portal feature that lets you track your services, something that other formation services lack.
However, a downside is that you will need to review seven additional upsells before you can place your contact information and check out. Unfortunately, Incorporate.com leads you to believe that you will get features like Annual Report Prep & File, only to let you know later that you first need to buy a registered agent service to access them.
Most people don’t appreciate their sneaky form of upselling. There is also the issue of confusing advertising, which makes the whole process infuriating.
Turnaround Time- 7/10
Incorporate.com has a decent turnaround time once you complete your order form. In most cases, their processing times depend on your state of formation. However, they are pretty fast overall.
Unlike their competitors, they do not guarantee a same-day or overnight turnaround time, but they provide a detailed estimate for both the expedited and standard processing. Furthermore, they commit to file ASAP when the business owner provides all the information needed.
You can choose to upgrade to their expedited service if you want to speed up the process of your LLC formation. This service will reduce your processing time from weeks to days in some states.
Customer Service- 7/10
Incorporate has standard customer support, with knowledgeable and attentive customer representatives. You can get in touch with their customer support via phone call, live chat, or email, from 8am-8pm ET M-F and 8 am to 6pm ET on Fridays.
When we tested their customer support, we were impressed that the support agent responded quickly and was able to answer all our questions. There was also a prompt response of their chat function and the chat representative answered our questions with no additional hold time.
Overall, Incorporate.com’s customer support is good compared to other services in this industry. However, it is important to note that the quality of service may vary from one support representative to another.
Pricing & Features of Each Package
Incorporate.com offers three LLC formation services including Starter, Essentials, and Works.
The Starter ($99 + State Fee)
The Starter package is best suited for business owners who are looking to form their LLC in a simple and straightforward way with no additional features. It is also a popular package for those who are just getting started. This package starts at $99, plus state fees. The package includes:
Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization
– Incorporate.com will create these documents that form your LLC in the state. They will then file these forms with your state to official form your new company.
Name Availability Check-
Incorporate.com will search the official business database of your state to determine if your LLC name of choice is available.
Online Access to Company Documents-
You will gain access to your LLC formation documents available on their online portal. Here, you can safely access and store your company documents.
The company also says that this package includes their Online Compliance Watch tool and $75,000 Corporate Compliance Guarantee. The Corporate Compliance Guarantee means that Incorporate.com will compensate you up to $75,000 for legal fees when you are personally liable if your LLC is sued. However, you will only get access to these features if you add them to their registered agent service, which costs $235 annually.
The Essentials ($249 + State Fee)
Basically, the Essentials package costs $249 along with state filing fee, $235 for registered agent service every year and $150 for annual report service each year. With this package, you get access to the features in The Starter plus more. The extra features include:
Business Kit and Seal-
With this package, you will get a binder that has your company name embossed on it. You will also get a customized decorative seal and some sample documents as well. You should take note that this feature is not a requirement for LLC formation.
Federal tax ID number (EIN)-
A federal tax ID number is a Social Security Number that allows you conduct various activities for your business such as paying business taxes, opening a business bank account, hiring employees, and much more. While you can get your own EIN from IRS, the process involves a lot of legwork. Incorporate.com makes it easy for you by obtaining your EIN from IRS.
Other than that, there are other features included in this package, but they come with a registered agent service add-on. They include:
Annual Report Service-
Incorporate.com will keep track of your annual report due date. They will then prepare and file it to help your business have a good standing. This will cost $150 each year.
This is an online compliance dashboard that Incorporate.com uses to keep track of due dates for vital document filings. The dashboard also offers document storage and comes with a to-do-list for your business.
The Works ($349 + State Fee)
This package goes for $349, plus the state filing fee, plus yearly $235 for registered agent service, and $150 each year for annual report service. It is inclusive of everything from The Essentials Package, plus:
Business License Research Package
– Incorporate.com uses this feature to determine which tax registrations, permits and licenses your LLC will need to operate compliantly with the state, federal and local governments. Unlike most companies, they provide top-notch business license research services as part of their package, and not a separate package.
They will then give you the applications necessary to get these documents. Additionally, they will furnish you with information on how to fill and file them.
– This is an internal document for LLCs, that outlines the company’s ownership structure. It is in this document that you will describe how your company will be governed, both on the financial and managerial standpoints.
Incorporate.com will help you draft this important document. Nonetheless, you can edit the document and update it based on your LLC operations.
Custom bylaws are internal rules and regulations for the everyday operations of corporations. It includes information such as the number of directors on a board, frequency of shareholder meetings, where they will be held, and much more.
Is Incorporate.com a Good Service to Start an LLC with?
Well, Incorporate.com may be a solid option if you place a high value on experience and don’t mind paying more for premium packages. They boast of longevity in the industry and have helped file over 750,000 businesses since its formation.
How Does Incorporate.com Compare to other LLC Formation Services?
True, there are many other Incorporate.com alternatives that are much cheaper and a better deal to form your LLC. Unlike Incorporate.com that requires you to pay an early fee of $235 to get registered agent service, most of their competitors offer this service for free.
Compared to some of its competitors like Northwest Registered Agent, Incorporate.com has a lot of upsells and add-ons that are aimed at pushing you to sign up for their registered agent service. They also have several features listed in their packages and their prices are on the high side.
ZenBusiness has affordable LLC service and has many positive feedbacks on all platforms, unlike Incorporate.com. Northwest Registered Agent is another alternative for Incorporate.com. Although this service does not charge the lowest, their prices are still cheaper, they have good customer reviews and a year registered agent service.
Does incorporate.com Share my Personal Information with Third Parties?
No, unlike some of its competitors, incorporate does not have any third-party partnerships. They only share their customers’ information with CSC, which is their parent company. You can therefore trust that your information is always secure.
Is Incorporate.com Trustworthy?
Incorporate.com was formed over a century ago in 1899. It is one of the companies that has been around for many years and has served volumes of customers. However, despite its long-standing in the industry, Incorporate.com may not be the most trustworthy service out there.
They only have several reviews and most of them are negative. Their customers also seem to have an issue with their high pricing, upselling and expensive registered agent service that is not included in their LLC formation.
If you are after trustworthy LLC formation services, there are better options like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness, and IncFile.
How Does Incorporate Compare to LegalZoom?
While Incorporate.com and LegalZoom are both used by business owners who need help forming their businesses, they have their differences. Although both companies are some of the most expensive in the industry, the registered agent service offered by Incorporate.com is expensive.
LegalZoom is one of the most popular LLC formation companies, that has a similar market share as Incorporate.com. One of LegalZoom’s strong points is its excellent customer service. They offer extended customer support hours and weekend support, which is not the case with Incorporate.com.
Another difference is that LegalZoom does not include EIN and operating agreement at any price point. However, if you want them added to your order, you will have to pay $159 more. On the other hand, Incorporate.com adds these features to their premium packages and charges $179 to include them in their Starter Package.
Do I Need to Make Use of a Business Formation Service?
It is possible to form an LLC on your own without the help of a business formation service. However, if you want to do it in a fast, simple and hassle-free manner, then using a business formation service is worth considering. By enlisting a service, the process will also be safer and more convenient, and you can focus on other important issues of starting your company.
Does Incorporate.com Offer Publication Service?
No, they do not. Some states like Nebraska and Arizona require publication of LLCs and Corporations while Georgia and Pennsylvania require this for corporations only. Also, New York requires publication for LLCs alone.
However, Incorporate.com does not offer publication service nor offer any assistance to help you through the process. Hence, you should keep this in mind especially if you are forming your business in states that require publication.
What is the Refund Policy for Incorporate.com?
To be honest, there is not much clarity in terms of Incorporate.com refunds and cancellations.
According to Incorporate.com, you will only get a refund of the total amount paid for the order less the service fee if you cancel the order before they submit it to the state, federal and local office.
However, if you cancel your order after they have already submitted it to the federal, state, or local office, they will use discretion to evaluate the portion of the refund that you will get.
According to customer reviews, Incorporate.com will refund the whole amount if you cancel the order before they get to submit your LLC forms to the state. If you prefer a clearer cancellation policy, we recommend checking out Incorp’s services.
Other than LLC, Does Incorporate.com Offer any Other Services?
Yes, in addition to helping you form your LLC, Incorporate.com provides many other services to help you uphold your compliant business entity. These services include business licenses and permits, annual reports, written consent forms, registered agent service, certificate of good standing, certified copies, bylaws and operating agreements, and stock and membership certificates.
They also do mail forwarding, DBA registrations, amendments, foreign qualifications, dissolutions, reinstatements, entity conversions, EIN acquisition, nonprofit status and LLC tax status election.
Does Incorporate.com Offer Help with Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
Yes, Incorporate.com offers several services to help you maintain compliance as you run your business. For instance, they offer an annual report service at a yearly rate of $150. They also provide registered agent service at an annual rate of $235. Buying these additional services is a must if you opt for the Essentials and Works packages.
Despite having a solid experience, we were disappointed by the fact that Incorporate.com has a huge number of negative customer reviews and a low ranking overall. Their prices are on the higher side compared to their competitors, and they do not offer great value for money.
If you are after the extra features in all their packages, you will need to pay an additional $235 each year for their registered agent services. This means that there are features that you can’t access if Incorporate.com is not your registered agent, which can be quite frustrating.
Before you create a limited liability company with Incorporate.com, expect to experience many upsells and add-ons.