Incorporating your business is crucial if you want to protect your personal assets from your risks with your business liabilities. You have to do it right, and that means having professionals to help you out. It’s always possible that you can do it yourself, but why should you when you can have others do it quickly and correctly, while you work on growing your business?
In the old days, professional incorporators were invariably licensed attorneys. These pros generally tend to charge high rates per hour. The more experienced lawyers in large metropolitan areas may charge you maybe $200 to $400 per hour. Even small-town attorneys may charge you $100 to $200.
Since the work may require at least 5 hours of the attorney’s time, that means you’re paying at least $500. That’s if you’re very, very lucky. You’re more likely to pay about a thousand bucks.
The high cost is what makes online incorporation services much more attractive. But the catch is that you may not have actual lawyers doing the work for you, even though that’s perfectly legal. Is there an option where you get lawyers to do the work while you pay the rates for online incorporation services?
That’s where Nationwide Incorporators come in. They will do the work for you, like other online incorporation services. Except for this time, you have actual lawyers doing the documents for you, and they even answer your questions as well.
Incorporation Packages: Prices and Features
Nationwide Incorporators offer 3 distinct packages, but keep in mind that these prices do not yet include the fees charged by the state. Also, these prices will for professional corporations and PLLCs.
Basic: $200 ($325 for Professional corporation or PLLC)
- Check the availability of the company name in the state
- Prepare and file the articles of incorporation
- Customized action of incorporator form, enabling the election of the first Board of Directors
- Sample minutes and bylaws forms
This comes with all the features you will need, though it doesn’t contain free registered agent services. But the grunt work is out of the way, and the various forms are helpful.
Deluxe: $425 ($525 for Professional corporation or PLLC)
This comes with all the features on the Basic, plus the following:
- Faster completion time
- Minute book embossed with your corporation name
- Customized bylaws
- Customized organizational minutes electing officers, authorizing bank accounts, sale of initial stock, and more
- Customized initial stock certificates completed for initial shareholders
- Customized stock ledger listing capital contributions of initial shareholders and their ownership of shares
With this package, you get things done faster since you cut into the line ahead of those who ordered the Basic package. In addition, you also get even more customized documents that will help you get started with your corporation.
Premium: $475 ($575 for professional corporation or PLLC)
Now you get all the Deluxe services, plus:
- Preparation of the federal application form to obtain your corporation’s tax ID number (EIN)
- Obtaining your EIN from the Internal Revenue Service to enable you to immediately open your new corporation bank account
- FREE 2 years MinutesMinder service to prepare customized corporate minutes documenting all your important activities (a $250 value)
With this package, you’re helping to ensure that your business is always compliant with state regulations regarding your crucial business affairs.
Value for Money
So, how do the Nationwide Incorporators’ plans, prices, and features stack up against the rest of the industry?
The good news here is that all the filing documents go through an attorney review process, so you know that everything’s on the up and up. There won’t be a snafu on their end.
Basically, the prices are also right smack in the middle, between what traditional attorneys charge for this service and what the other online incorporation services charge. The prices are lower than the lawyers’ fees, which means you get a bargain with lawyers doing the work.
On the other hand, there’s also no denying that these prices are simply higher than what you will normally find with other options. You probably won’t find any competitor that charges even higher fees. You do get actual lawyers to do the work—and these lawyers aren’t exactly cheap. They’re still lawyers, even if they charge lower rates than the more traditional business lawyers.
It’s also important to understand that you will require registered agent services, especially if you’re not actually living in the state where you’re filing. Even if you’re filing in the same state where you live, it’s still important that you get a separate registered agent. Their address can then shield your own home from being involved in the business.
Here with Nationwide Incorporators, not even the most expensive package comes with free registered agent services. They offer these services as an add-on for an extra $145, which seems like a fair price. Even the most popular online incorporation service offers that as an add-on for a whopping $299. Compared to that, $145 seems like a bargain.
On the other hand, you also have plenty of other online incorporation services that include free registered agent services as part of the package features. Some of these packages may even cost just $40, and that’s with the registered agent services included!
Company Track Record and History
Mike Ross (no relation to the “Mike Ross” character in the TV show Suits) founded the firm in 1997, and he was already a business attorney with decades of experience at the time. They’ve managed to stay in business for this long, which speaks well of their services. That means they’re doing well enough.
It does help with their reputation that the brand wasn’t just founded by an attorney. Actual lawyers also oversee the incorporation process for you, which means a lot for quite a few people.
They do have only a few online customer reviews, but that only means their customers see the transaction as a private matter. However, most of these online customer reviews are positive, which says a lot about the customer satisfaction that Nationwide Incorporators provides.
These clients know that the prices are higher than usual compared to the prices charged by other online incorporation services. But these clients also realize that they’re getting the legal expertise of actual lawyers, without paying the sky-high hourly rates.
How Easy Is It to Place an Order?
This is a crucial factor since most people who use these online incorporation services are newbies at starting their own corporations. That means the steps should be simple, with clear instructions on what to do, with the options laid out properly, and with detailed explanations.
There are some websites out there that aren’t all that easy to use, so you end up with a convoluted mess. Other websites may be easy to use but they’re obnoxious with their add-on offers. Some even require you to spend time and effort furnishing your business information first, before you see the package features and available add-ons.
With Nationwide Incorporators, thankfully you get a rather simple process to deal with. You’re offered a form, on which you pick the state you’re filing in. Then you pick the package you want, and you also check whatever extra add-on you want.
These add-ons come with the prices as well. The whole thing is transparent, so you’re not surprised about the final cost when you place an order. You know how much things are costing you as you pick and choose among the services you want to get. The form also adds the state filing fee, with all the costs of the packages and add-ons.
You may want to check the registered agent services box, so you avoid the hassle of dealing with another outfit to provide these services. You simply need these services.
It’s all simple and easy, without obnoxious offers for add-ons delaying the process. Then you create your account to save your questionnaire form, and then you can log in to your account to activate the order. It doesn’t take long to finish everything.
Once you’re done, you submit and wait. It’s not really a long wait, though for some busy states the wait may last for an entire month.
Of course, it’s natural that you may have questions regarding the process, features, and available add-ons. There’s a contact form you can fill out on the website, but you can also just call them instead.
Just keep in mind that customer support is only available on weekdays, from 9 AM to 5 PM ET. That’s a rather small window for customer support, as other outfits offer help even for weekends. These other outfits may also offer help for longer hours during the day.
In any case, if you call then you’ll get an actual attorney to help you out. In fact, you may even get to talk to Mike Ross himself (though he’s probably tired of all the Suits jokes by now). That’s always great and actually rather flattering and reassuring, and it’s great PR for their brand as well.
This is actually quicker than many of the other brands in the industry. That’s mainly because Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t have as many customers as many of the more popular brands do. You’re placed at the end of the line, but it’s a very short line.
You do have the Priority Order Processing add-on that costs $150. If you opt for the Basic package and you want this add-on, you’re better off just getting the Deluxe package instead. That will just cost you an extra $225, and you get a bunch of other extra services. Still, you may want to just get the regular formation speed.
You also won’t have a special place on the website telling you when the whole formation process will end. You may have to call them up directly to find out. Keep in mind that much of the delays here will be because of the state. Their state employees have to contend with all the filings, so you will have to wait.
So, is Nationwide Incorporators a good choice? For those who insist on having real lawyers do the job or at least oversee the process, the answer is yes. You get these lawyers at a fraction of the price that traditional lawyers will charge you. These prices are very low, compared to the thousand bucks you’re likely to pay for a traditional lawyer’s time.
They do fast work since there aren’t really all that many customers. Their customer support through calls is excellent, with an actual lawyer talking to you to explain stuff and answer questions. The website is super easy to use, with the packages and the add-ons laid out neatly.
The fact that they’ve been around for a long while now attests to their good reputation. Also, while there aren’t many online customer reviews on the brand, all the reviews you do find invariably give Nationwide Incorporators good marks. None are disappointed.
At the same time, Nationwide Incorporators isn’t all that popular because of one glaring fact—they charge much higher rates than just about any of their competitors. These prices are ridiculously high, compared to other options.
One of these other options offers a Basic package for just $40! And that includes free registered agent services for a year. Faced with such an option, it doesn’t make much sense to go with Nationwide Incorporators. Their Basic Package plus the cost of the registered agent services will total up to $345. You probably have more important things to spend on with your saved $305.
So, you need to ask yourself: do you really want lawyers to oversee and do the work? If your answer is no, then you have more cost-effective options out there.
But if the answer is yes, then Nationwide Incorporators is your natural choice. It’s more cost-effective than any other law firm.