Do you need to register a company and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? Incfile is one of several companies that can get the job done.
If fact, they’re one of the best incorporation services.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service.
We Rated Incfile 9/10
When it comes to online incorporation services, here’s what matters most:
- Does the company offer good value for what you pay?
- Do they have a track record of providing high-quality service?
- Do they offer good customer support if you need help?
- How easy is it to place and create an order?
- How quickly is your business formed?
Based on these criteria, Incfile gets an 9/10. Compared to other services, Incfile has some of the best pricing for the features you receive online.
It’s also one of the most popular services available, with tremendous customer reviews, and we love to see happy customers! For the most part, they offer everything that makes a great online incorporation service.
Quick Note: If you’re on the hunt for the best incorporation service, consider ZenBusiness. They offer the lowest prices in the industry ($39) with great features.
In Depth: Incfile Review
Incfile Overall Pricing and Value – 9/10
Incfile is one of the companies that topped our list as we reviewed online services that help you form a company online.
For only $0, one of the lowest prices we’ve seen, Incfile will help you form your business, while also providing a full year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year, which is a strong price point.
Their mid-tier Gold package costs $149, and despite being far more expensive than the entry-level Silver package, there are some additional features that make this package worth buying. If you want more documents like an operating agreement and a banking resolution, if you want Incfile to acquire your federal tax ID number, or even if you just want a decorative binder with your company name on it, the Gold package is worth a look.
Incfile’s Platinum package is much more expensive at $299, but depending on your business needs, the value may be there for you. You’ll receive expedited service from your state, along with a handful of additional features.
Overall, Incfile provides a strong list of features to their customers for the prices they charge. We’re impressed.
Track Record – 9/10
Incfile was founded in 2004 out of Houston, Texas, “with a mission to provide a superior user experience at an unparalleled value.” Since starting out, they have helped entrepreneurs form more than 250,000 businesses. With growth of more than 200% in the last year alone, Incfile has really made a name for themselves lately.
Customer reviews are a major strength for Incfile, as they have thousands of positive reviews across the web, and just a small handful of negative feedback. Here’s what some of their customers had to say:
“I normally get my corp filings from another company, but after purchasing a corp thru Incfile.com, and seeing how fast I received everything, this is my new go-to for legal business filings. Highly recommend!”
“I must admit that I was nervous to begin this process, however, I was able to easily maneuver my way throughout the website. Incfile.com made my first-time entrepreneurial experience a peaceful one. I am beyond grateful and excited to start my journey. Thank you!”
“Quickly done and, just as importantly, no sales pressure implying that the additional services (and fees) were required. I appreciated that.”
Customer Support – 7/10
Incfile.com offers phone and email support, which we tested. When we used their phone support, our entire call lasted only 45 seconds. The call was answered quickly and our question was answered, but not elaborated upon.
We also emailed them with the same question after-hours and our email was answered by 10 a.m. the next day, with more details than we received over the phone.
On the plus side, we thoroughly appreciated the way Incfile responded so quickly, whether we used the phone or email option. In general, it seems that their email support is a bit better than their phone support, because we received a much more in-depth answer via email.
Ease of Placing an Order – 8/10
You want to start a business, but you have no idea where to begin. Maybe you don’t know how much goes into forming and running a business behind the scenes ― we believe you shouldn’t lose sleep over figuring it out.
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process as simple as possible. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own. But with Incfile, the process is fast and simple.
As you walk through the process of signing up for Incfile, your steps are personalized based on the state you live in and the type of business you wish to establish. There are even little question marks and hyperlinks throughout the application to learn more about a specific question or entry on the form.
There are a few promotional offers from third-party partners along the way, including an offer to set up a Bank of America business bank account and to build a business website with SnapWeb, but there really isn’t anything that we would refer to as an upsell.
Incfile gives you the option to opt into additional services that aren’t part of your formation package, and if you choose to do so, your price is immediately updated on the screen. There are never any surprises with Incfile.
Overall Turnaround Time – 9/10
Incfile offers turnaround times that are equal to (or better than) their competitors, and it’s also unlikely that you could form your own business much quicker than they do.
This is because Incfile guarantees that every LLC or corporation formation will be processed and forwarded to your state of formation within one business day. Many competitors make you pay an additional fee to get next-day processing.
Once everything is filed, it’s important to keep in mind that some states take longer than others to process business formation paperwork. In some states, the entire process could be completed in just a few days, but in others you could wait several weeks.
If you need your business formed in a hurry, Incfile offers the ability to order expedited state processing for an additional fee (determined by your state), or you can purchase their Platinum package which includes expedited service.
Overall, Incfile’s turnaround times are an advantage over most of their competitors.
Pricing & Features of Each Package
Incfile offers three different packages for online incorporation service. For the most part, these packages are the same for either corporations and LLCs, although there are some differences that we’ll explain shortly.
As you move up in tiers, each package offers all features from the previous level packages, along with some additional benefits. Which one you should choose all comes down to what your company will need to be successful.
$0 for Silver Package
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are simply looking to form an LLC or corporation, without all the bells and whistles that other packages include.
The Silver package is their basic offering, and it is the same whether you form an LLC or a corporation. Many features included in the Gold and Platinum packages are also available for an additional fee as individual add-ons to the Silver package.
- Verifying company name availability – Incfile will search your state’s business name database to determine whether your desired company name is available for use, or if it’s already been claimed by another business entity.
- Preparing & filing of articles – The centerpiece of any formation package is filing your formation documents with the state. For corporations, these documents are usually called the articles of incorporation, whereas for LLCs, they’re the articles of organization.
- Next business day processing – Incfile guarantees each order is processed and sent to the state within one business day of receiving your order.
- Registered agent (1st year FREE) – Incfile will use their address as your mailing address to cut down on junk mail and the sharing of personal information. You can renew this service after your first year for $119 per year.
- Lifetime company alerts – Receive email and text reminders for important filing dates like annual reports, business license renewals, statements of information, etc.
- Statement and resignation of the organizer/incorporator – This is a document that identifies the initial members of your LLC, or the initial directors of your corporation. This statement can be helpful in obtaining a business bank account.
- Online access to formation documents – View, print, or download your articles anytime.
- Third-party partner offers – A free tax consultation, a website and domain name, and offers from Bank of America.
$149 for Gold Package
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC or corporation, while also getting a federal tax ID and additional custom documents for their business.
The Gold package includes everything from the Silver package, plus the following features:
- Federal tax ID number (EIN) – This is assigned by the IRS to identify taxpayers, and is especially important if you plan to have employees on payroll. Think of an EIN as a social security number for your business. You can get one for free from the IRS, but this feature removes the hassle of doing so.
- Banking resolution – This document provides authorization to open a business checking account, but it is largely unnecessary because this package already includes an EIN, which can do the same thing.
- Business formation kit – A binder embossed with your company name, in which to store all of your business documents.
- Express shipping – A hard copy of your completed formation documents is expedited via mail to you in 1-3 business days.
- Corporation bylaws – This document explains the rules and regulations which the company will abide by when operating. The bylaws include information like how shareholder votes are held, how often the board of directors will meet, procedures for resolving intra-company disputes, and more.
- Organizational meeting minutes – For compliance, meeting minutes must be taken at all board meetings. An initial board meeting must be held to appoint officers, define bylaws, and establish the issuance of shares.
- Operating agreement – This is a private agreement between the members or owners of the LLC, and it details the ownership, rights, and responsibilities of each person.
- Preparation and filing of IRS Form 2553 – Some LLCs request to be classified as S corporations for tax purposes, and this is the form that applies for that status. Most LLCs do not need this feature.
$299 for Platinum Package
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are looking for the fastest turnaround time, some more documents, and a business website.
The Platinum package includes everything from the Gold package, plus the following features:
- Expedited state filing – Incfile will acquire expedited processing from your formation state, which can dramatically speed up your turnaround time, often from a matter of weeks down to mere days.
- Business contract templates – Instead of recreating the wheel, use the proven templates provided by Incfile to kick-start your company. This feature includes over 25 contracts written by an attorney.
- Deluxe business formation kit – This feature adds a symbolic customized embossing seal to the binder included in the Gold package.
- Business website and domain name – This third-party offer partners with Snapweb to provide a website for your business. Your professional business website will be intuitive across all devices, and will be easy to set up and use. If you choose to leverage this offer, you will be subject to a $20 monthly hosting fee from Snapweb.
Final Thoughts on Incfile
When it’s all said and done, Incfile is hands down one of the best online incorporation services available. Their prices are almost impossible to beat, and the inclusion of a full year of registered agent service with any of their formation packages is a fantastic feature.
One of Incfile’s biggest advantages in this industry is their excellent customer feedback. They receive strong rating scores on every customer review website, which is a bit of a rarity for online incorporation service companies. In an industry where customers are often frustrated, Incfile’s clients seem very pleased.
When compared to ZenBusiness, they’re not our absolute top pick, but Incfile is right there near the top of the list. We’re very confident that you’ll be happy with the service you receive from them.
How Does Incfile Compare to LegalZoom?
In our opinion, LegalZoom does not compete with what Incfile has to offer.
Most importantly, Incfile’s starting price point of $0 for business formation service is much more affordable than LegalZoom’s $149 incorporation package ― especially when you consider that Incfile includes a year of registered agent with every package, which LegalZoom only offers as an add-on.
In addition, Incfile receives spectacular reviews from their clients, whereas LegalZoom has more of a mixed reputation in this regard. Check out our comparison for the details.
What Are Incfile’s Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
While their pricing and features are certainly quite advantageous, we actually think that Incfile’s biggest pro is their exceptional customer feedback. They have over 10,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them were written by highly satisfied clients.
Incfile doesn’t really have any glaring negatives, although we would say that their inclusion of third-party partnerships is probably their biggest disadvantage. We don’t like it when companies push third-party offers, because they’re usually not needed.
If I Use Incfile, Which Features Should I Buy?
With Incfile, we typically recommend their $0 Silver package, as it includes both the entire formation process for your LLC or corporation, along with a year of registered agent service. For many businesses, this package includes everything you actually need to get your company up and running.
If you want to add some business documents and an EIN, we also like their $149 Gold package, but the Silver plan should have most of what you truly require.
Do They Offer Publication Service?
In some states, you need to publish your company’s formation in a regional newspaper. For example, Arizona and Nebraska require publication for LLCs and corporations, New York requires it for LLCs only, and Pennsylvania and Georgia have this requirement for corporations only.
Unfortunately, Incfile does not provide any assistance with this step, so if you’re forming an LLC or corporation in a state that requires publication, you’re on your own.
Does Incfile Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They sure do! Incfile’s inclusion of 12 months of registered agent service is a great start for any new business looking to stay compliant down the road. All of their LLC and incorporation packages also include their lifetime company alerts system to remind you of important filing dates.
Additionally, they offer annual report service for a rate of $88 (plus state fee).
What Is Their Refund Policy?
Incfile’s refund policy is pretty strict, and if you order products or services from them, we encourage you to make sure it’s what you really want before placing your order.
Incfile will only grant your refund if you request one before they send any money to your formation state, which they say is usually within 24 hours. Even if you do get your request to them quickly enough, they still charge a $30 “cancellation fee.”
Do I Need to Use a Formation Service?
If you would rather form your own corporation or nonprofit corporation, you are allowed to do so, as there is no legal requirement to use a formation service. We don’t usually recommend this option though due to the incorporation procedure itself is not a simple one.