Do you need to form an LLC or corporation, and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? Incorporate.com is one of several companies that can get the job done.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison guide of the top online incorporation services.
Why We Scored Incorporate.com 3/10
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 for 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, we scored Incorporate.com 3/10. While we were impressed with their customer service and their longevity, their formation packages are overpriced compared to other services, and they have some significant additional fees required to purchase their top two packages.
Plus, their registered agent service isn’t included in any package, and costs $235 per year extra, which is the highest price point we’ve seen in this industry. By comparison, most competitors price registered agent service at less than $150 per year.
Considering the lack of registered agent in their formation packages, you can beat Incorporate.com’s prices quite easily, and they just don’t have the features to make their higher prices justifiable. And that’s before we’ve even discussed their rather steep hidden fees…
They Scored 3/10
- *Fair Overall Value
- *Decent Customer Reviews
- *Very Long Company Track Record
Northwest Scored 9/10
- *Better Overall Prices & Features
- *Great Customer Reviews
- *No Up-Sells Whatsoever
Incorporate.com Overall Pricing and Value
This particular business formation service ranks at the bottom of our list following a review of many similar companies. Overall, their prices are much more expensive than their competitors’ offerings, without enough added value to balance out the increased cost.
We also put a lot of weight on registered agent service, which is not included in any of their formation packages. Furthermore, their $235 price point for registered agent as an add-on is a total non-starter, especially considering most competitors price this service under $150, and some even break the $100 mark.
Besides the fact that the packages are all more expensive than those with other incorporation services, we also felt their package setup was misleading. Two of their prize features ― their compliance dashboard and their annual report service ― are listed on the package select screen as included features, but are not actually included unless you also purchase their registered agent service as an add-on. Furthermore, the annual report service costs an extra $150/year on top of the $235/year registered agent fee, so it’s not really an “included” feature even if you do buy registered agent service.
Even if these features justified the higher price for their registered agent service (which they don’t), we would have liked for their package options to be more transparent. It would be very disappointing to think you’re spending a certain amount for the listed features, only to find out you have to pay an additional $235 to access them, plus another $150 every year for the annual report service.
Incorporate.com certainly has plenty of experience, as they’ve been around since way back in 1899. Since then, they’ve helped form over 750,000 corporations and LLCs, which makes them one of the industry leaders when it comes to both longevity and customer volume.
However, despite being in business since the 19th century and boasting nearly a million customers, there is very little customer feedback available online for Incorporate.com. We found just a couple dozen reviews on third-party review sites, and almost all of them were negative.
In their reviews, their customers complain about their high prices and hidden fees, and also point out how forcefully they push their registered agent service once you become a customer.
Incorporate.com offers phone, email, and chat support. We tested their chat function first, and received a response almost instantly. The experience was just as we expected ― the support agent was knowledgeable and friendly, and managed to answer our question without a problem.
We also sent an email and received a detailed response in just over 24 hours. While we hoped for a quicker response, the level of detail they included was much more than expected, which was a pleasant surprise.
When we called, we received a similar response to that via chat and text. Our question via phone was answered professionally, but without as much detail as we received in the email. Once our question was answered, they did ask if there was anything else we needed help with.
Overall, customer support is a pro for Incorporate.com.
Ease of Placing an Order
If you don’t know what kind of business structure you want to form (LLC or corporation), their business formation wizard can help you figure it out.
Not sure about which package is the right choice for you? Check out their pricing page. It’s not difficult to decide which one is right for you, as long as you remember that neither the CSCNavigator compliance tool or the annual report service are actually included in the listed price.
Once you select a package, there is a series of seven additional upsells to review before putting in your contact information and checking out. Since their website has a very clean design, it was easy to find where to place an order and navigate through to the payment page.
Overall Turnaround Time
When you reach the bottom of your order form, Incorporate.com gives you detailed turnaround time estimates for both standard and expedited processing. It’s nice to see this level of transparency when it comes to the expected length of time for your formation.
Incorporate.com doesn’t commit to a same-day or overnight turnaround like some other services do. However, they said that they file ASAP once all of the information they need from the business owner is provided, which is a fair response.
Pricing & Features of Each Package
Incorporate.com offers three packages for LLC and corporation formations. Each is quite simple to understand, and the features are kept to a minimum (for better or worse). Below we’ve highlighted the features and price of each package.
Very Important Note:
Before we talk about their packages, it is important to note that none of the packages come with registered agent service, and that this add-on is $235. If you choose to have Incorporate.com act as your registered agent, Incorporate.com’s address will be listed as your business address. This limits the junk mail you receive, and also eliminates your personal information becoming publicly available.
Part of the registered agent service includes access to their online compliance tool called CSCNavigator, which reminds you of important filing dates, provides document storage, and has a to-do list for your business. Annual report service is also listed as an included feature with their registered agent service, but it’s actually an additional $150 annual upcharge even after you pay the extra $235 for registered agent.
While CSCNavigator is listed under all three LLC and corporation formation packages ― and annual report service is listed under the top two as well ― you don’t actually get these features unless you pay $235 more for their registered agent service (plus another $150 for your annual report), a price tag that is much more expensive than nearly all competing incorporation services.
When we reached out to their customer service, we were also told that registered agent service is actually a requirement to purchase their $249 Essentials and $349 Works packages. In other words, as the support rep in their chat function told us, if you don’t want to spend $235/year on their registered agent service, your only option is to “select the Starter package, then add each additional feature on separately.”
We feel that the way these package features are set up is extremely misleading. Their customer service rep did offer to call and explain the packages in detail, but we believe the website should be more transparent and easy to understand. This issue makes their negative customer feedback easy to understand ― after all, who wouldn’t be upset about an unadvertised $235 annual fee?
The Starter ($99)
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs looking to form an LLC or corporation without any additional features.
The Starter package costs $99, plus the state filing fee. This package includes:
- Preparation and filing of all documents – They will create your articles of organization or incorporation, then file them with the state to officially form your new company. They also provide you with a digital copy of your formation docs.
- Online access to completed documents
The Essentials ($249 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $634)
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC or corporation while also receiving an EIN and a symbolic kit/seal.
The Essentials package costs $249 plus the state filing fee, plus another $235/year for registered agent service, plus $150/year for annual report service. This package includes everything from the Starter package, plus:
- Federal tax ID number (EIN) – Incorporate.com will acquire your EIN, which you’ll need if you want to hire employees, and it also helps you pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, etc. You can acquire your own EIN from the IRS for free, but this feature removes that hassle.
- Business kit and seal – You will receive a binder embossed with your company name, along with a decorative seal customized with your business info. This feature also includes some sample documents.
In addition, the following features are included with Incorporate.com’s registered agent service:
- CSCNavigator – An online compliance dashboard that tracks due dates for important document filings, provides document storage, and includes a to-do list for your business.
- Annual report service – For an extra $150 per year, Incorporate.com will track your annual report due date, then prepare and file that report in order to keep your business in good standing.
The Works ($349 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $734)
This Package Is Best for: Entrepreneurs looking to form an LLC or corporation, while adding licenses and permits, as well as a vital business document.
The Works package costs $349 plus state filing fees, plus another $235/year for registered agent service, plus $150/year for annual report service. This package includes everything from The Essentials package, plus:
- Business license research package – Incorporate.com will find out which licenses, permits, and registrations you require to operate in a compliant fashion with the federal, state, and local governments. They will acquire the applications for these licenses and give them to you, so all you need to do is fill them out and submit them.
- Custom operating agreement – This internal document outlines how the business will be governed from both managerial and financial standpoints.
- Custom bylaws – The bylaws are the internal rules and regulations for the daily operations of the corporation, including items like how many directors are on the board, when/where shareholder meetings are held, etc.
Final Thoughts on Incorporate.com
Even with a century of experience, Incorporate.com fell well short of our expectations. Their packages are rather threadbare, lacking the add-ons that other companies offer, and they’re wildly overpriced.
You will actually need to spend a whopping $385 extra per year just to get everything they advertise for their Essentials and Works formation packages, and an extra $235 per year to access all the listed features for the Starter package. The combination of misleading advertising and steep additional fees is quite the turn-off.
When you add in their largely negative customer reviews, we’re honestly left wondering why anyone chooses Incorporate.com for LLC or corporation formation service. There are no other companies in this industry that we’ve given a lower rating to than Incorporate.com.