In this Incfile review we’ll reveal if this popular online LLC service is worthy of its reputation.
Incfile is one of the best online incorporation services, and their business formation service is also at a very high level. The company was founded in 2004 in Houston, TX. Since then, it has developed a strong network of loyal clients across the country.
The Better Business Bureau gives Incfile an A+ rating with 92% positive customer reviews and a score of 4.89 out of 5. I personally think that Incfile currently provides the best LLC service, plus one free year of registered agent. That’s a whole lot more than you’ll ever get from LegalZoom.
- The silver package costs $0 a year
- Registered agent services free for one year
- Premium customer support
- Premium LLC services
- Only the platinum package includes express shipping
- Strong upsells
in this Incfile review, I’d like to take a closer look at the registered agent service of the company. No matter if you sign up for the Silver Package, The Gold Package, or the Platinum Package, you’ll get one full year of registered agent subscription for free.
After that, it’s going to cost you just $119 a year. Express shipping is only available with the Platinum Package. Still, competitor registered agent services like that provided by LegalZoom are much more expensive.
Every LLC or corporation needs to have a designated registered agent for all of its filings with the Secretary of State. Failing to designate a registered agent service may result in your business falling out of good standing with the state.
As soon as you form an LLC, you need to sign up for a registered agent to get a business address and legal representation. As one of the best registered agent service providers, Incfile will also put your business documentation in order and renew your business licenses and certificates. As an Incfile customer, you will receive all important legal and IRC correspondence to your personal address. This is much easier than being your own registered agent.
With Incfile, entrepreneurs can rest assured that all of their corporate documents and tax declarations will be filed on time. This will give them the peace of mind to focus on your small business’s growth. Incfile provides the following compliance services:
- Annual Report $99
- Certificate of good standing $49
- Business formation kit $99
- Business license search package $99
- Trademark registration $199 plus federal filing fee
With the only exception of Trademark registration and Business license search, all other services are accompanied by a state filing fee. The compliance package of Incfile also includes lifetime company alerts.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners can take advantage of the following business formation services provided by Incfile:
LLC Formation and filing Services
While forming an LLC, the formation service of Incfile gives its clients free guidance and tips during the sign-up process. Every step is personalized based on the client’s location and the type of small business they wish to start.
Budding entrepreneurs like the fact that they can form an LLC for free with Incfile. Let’s say a business owner wants to form an LLC in Alabama. They will be charged a state filing fee of $237 on top of the price of their Gold, Platinum, or Silver Package. If a company needs to be set up in a hurry, Incfile offers expedited state processing against an affordable fee determined by the state of formation.
Incfile offers a number of premium LLC filing services and expedited options. Small business owners who’ve purchased the silver package can order the following services a-la-carte and upgrade to Silver Package Plus if an Incfile customer purchases the Gold Package or the Platinum Package, all of these premium LLC formation services are included in the price of their order.
Premimium LLC formation services:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) & Tax ID Number $70
- Operating Agreement $40
- Business bank account and banking Resolution $35
- Business Contract Templates $150
- Free domain name and email service for your business website
While you may not need business contract templates that much, I strongly recommend that you let incfile prepare your LLC operating agreement and apply for an EIN on your behalf with the IRS. The operating agreement of an LLC regulates the business relations between the members of the company and elicits the ownership rights and responsibilities of each owner.
EIN is assigned by the IRS to identify taxpayers and is a must-have if your LLC has employees on the payroll. The EIN is the primary identification number of your company. You can get one for free from the IRS, but this feature removes the hassle of doing so. This is a lot of paperwork, and if you mess up anything, you’ll have to repeat all of the filings again.
Express filing services:
Expedited paperwork procession and filing time. In some states, this means the next business day filing; in others, it can take two business days.
Business owners usually form an LLC to get a mid-sized company up and running. If you have bigger plans, you can register a c-corp with the help of Incfile. A C-Corporation is much more attractive to potential investors and shareholders because it allows for wider ownership of the business.
No matter if you register an LLC or corporation, with the Corporation Premium Package of Incfile, you’ll get the following services:
- Employer Identification Number EIN and Tax ID $70
- Corporation bylaws $30
- Corporate bank account and banking resolution $35
- Corporation Organizational Meeting Minutes $25
- Business Contract Templates $150
- Free Domain Name & Email Service for your business website
The corporate bylaws are one of the most important assets of this package. This document outlines the rules and regulations by which your company is going to operate. The bylaws provide information on how shareholder votes are held or how often board meetings will be held. More importantly, the bylaws stipulate the procedures by which intra-company disputes will be resolved.
You can also add expedited filing time to your gold package or silver package for $50. The platinum plan includes all of the premium services and the express state filing service.
If you decide to register your company as an S-corp, you can enjoy several business tax advantages and significant ownership flexibility. Small and family business who’d like to have certain asset protection usually file for S-corporation with Incfile.
The premium incorporation services listed above also apply when you file for an S-corporation registration with Incfile. The platinum and the silver packages include most of the services for free, plus express filing.
DBA or Doing Business As is a fictitious business name that allows your company to operate in different states under different brand names. You can request a DBA within the LLC formation service of Incfile. Corporations and sole proprietorships also file for a DBA. There are two factors that determine the price of the fictitious business name: the state of formation fee and the processing fee.
As your company grows, you may need to carry out business operations across the United States. To do this, you should ask Incfile to file a Foreign Qualification application on your behalf. The price of the service is determined by three key factors: the type of business you run, the state of formation, and the state where you need foreign qualification.
For example, if you have requested an LLC formation service in California and request foreign qualification to be filed in Delaware, Incfile will charge $389. This price breaks down as follows:
- DE state fee: $200
- CA Certificate of Good Standing: $40
- Processing Fee: $149
Incfile Website and Domain
As you progress through the registration process, you’ll see promotional offers from Incfile’s partners and affiliates. The Bank of America will offer you a cheaper business account and tax consultation, while SnapWeb will offer to build your company’s site at a bargain price.
With every add-on, your membership fee will go up because of the added affiliate commissions. Let us now have a look at Incfile’s membership plans.
Besides the Silver Package that costs $0, Incfile offers two paid pricing options: Gold and Platinum. All of the packages include the following services:
- One full year of registered agent service
- Business bank account
- Next business day processing
- Online Access to Incorporation Documents
- Articles of Organization
- Lifetime Company Alerts
- Online Order Status Tracking
- Electronic Delivery
- Statement and Resignation of the Organizer
To determine how much each of these packages will cost you, you have to specify what type of business you’d like to open and where. Let’s say you’d like to open an LLC in Alabama; then you’ll get the following quotes:
- Silver – $237 ($0 + $237 state fee)
- Gold – $386 ($149 package fee + $237 state fee)
- Platinum – $536 ($299 package fee + $237 state fee)
Incfile Gold Package
The mid-tier pricing plan includes all of the above LLC services, plus the following special features:
- EIN and Tax Number
- IRS Form 2553 (If you want your LLC to be taxed as an s-corp)
- Operating Agreement
- Banking Resolution
- Lifetime Company Alerts
- Online Access Dashboard
- Unlimited Phone & Email Customer Support
- Business Banking Account
- Business Tax Consultation
The Banking Resolution authorizes a member of the LLC to open a business checking account. The express shipping service means that a paper copy of your business formation documents is sent to you via mail in 1-3 business days.
Incfile Platinum Package
The most expensive pricing plan of Incfile provides the shortest order processing and shipment times. Order the platinum plan to get the following premium services:
Expedited state filing – Incfile will require expedited processing from your company’s formation state to reduce turnaround times.
Business contract templates – As a new business, your company is going to need a lot of templates for the different types of contracts it signs with suppliers, partners, and affiliates. The bundle includes over 25 contracts written by an attorney.
Deluxe company formation kit with a customized embossing seal. This gives your new business tangible weight during negotiations and partners.
Business website and domain name – Incfile partners with Snapweb to create a website with valuable business information for your company. The site will load quickly on all devices. Snapweb’s hosting fee is just $20 per month. Keep in mind that state fees may apply to all of the services listed above.
Incfile Ease of Use
Incfile customers are more than happy with the dashboard’s ease of use. You can form multiple businesses under one legal name and easily place an order for a service that you may need. Many reviews unanimously list Incfile as one of the user-friendliest LLC service providers.
Incfile pricing is very transparent compared to other online incorporation services, and this adds bonus points to the company’s excellent customer reviews. At every step, you know what business information you need to provide and what next step you should make.
It all begins with choosing the type of legal entity you want to form and the state where you want to form it. Next, you see the pricing options with each of Incfile’s three plans. The unprecedented ease of use is just one of the reasons why Incfile has earned a 5-star rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Incfile Customer Service
Incfile.com offers customer support via phone and email. The phone number is clearly visible on the site. Incfile’s customer service agents boast some of the shortest phone pickup times that I’ve experienced. It took me less than a minute to get in touch with an agent and have my question answered.
Frankly speaking, you should not expect to get very detailed explanations during this first call. Only Platinum and Gold subscribers are entitled to premium customer service. If you are not in a hurry, you can email Incfile after business hours. You can expect a more detailed reply to your question within 12 to 24 hours.
On the plus side, I thoroughly appreciate the way Incfile handles order requests, no matter if they are received via phone, email, or the user dashboard.
I find the email customer support to be one notch better than their phone support because of the in-depth answer to my question that I received. It was like a small free business consultation. If you are planning to form an LLC, just send Incfile an email with your concerns and wait to get their expert opinion.
At this stage of my Incfile review, let’s see what others think about this online incorporation service. from the hundreds of Incfile reviews that I browsed, I can say that this service has an overall rating of 9/10, based on the following scores:
Processing formation documents: 10/10
Incfile is one of the most efficient online processors of business documentation that you can sign up for. All processing times are clearly listed on their website, along with the respective fees.
Value for money: 9/10
Incfile’s mission statement is to provide a superior user experience at an unparalleled value. On the whole, I think Incfile has more or less succeeded in this. Its Silver plan costs $0, and it is thus the obvious choice of every new business. The first year of registered agent service is free, and after that, it costs just 119 for 12 months.
I think that the Gold plan is the best deal that businesses can buy from Incfile. For just $149, your company will get an EIN, a free operating agreement, and a banking resolution. This is the Holy Trinity of LLC services. And with their priciest package, you can request a business tax consultation over the phone from a third-party attorney.
Company reputation: 9/10
Since starting out in 2004, Incfile has helped entrepreneurs set up more than 250,000 businesses. Customer reviews describe Incfile as a reliable and flexible incorporation partner. Incfile uses every bit of negative feedback to further improve its services. Here’s what some of their customers share online:
“…after purchasing a corp thru Incfile.com, and seeing how fast I received everything, this is my new go-to for legal business filings!”
Peter J., Iowa
“ I was nervous to begin the LLC formation process. However, I was soon able to find my way around. Incfile.com made my first entrepreneurial experience a peaceful one.”
“Quick and efficient interaction with zero sales pressure. I appreciated that.”
Customer Support – 7/10
This is an area where Incfile can definitely put some more effort. Customer support is not all about fast answering times. The Silver customers deserve some more attention, I think. Also, Incfile customers would appreciate it if there was live chat support along with the phone and email service.
Ease of Placing an Order – 8/10
As I said, you can easily order a service from Incfile a-la-carte or in a package. You can also easily upgrade your subscription plan from Silver to Gold or platinum.
Refund Policy 7/10
I didn’t like how hard it is to unsubscribe from a service you’ve bought accidentally. Incfile will only grant your refund if your request has been filed before they’ve sent any fees to your formation state, which usually happens within 24 hours.
Even if you do get your request to them on time, they still charge a $30 cancellation fee. When you subscribe to a particular service, make sure that you are going to need it for a certain period of time.
Incfile vs. Competitors
Let us now see how Incfile performs against rival incorporation services. Quick research reveals that LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, Corporate Creations, and ZenBusiness are Incfile’s most viable alternatives.
Incfile vs. LegalZoom
Choose this online incorporation service if your business involves frequent filing for a patent, copyright renewal, or trademark protection. LegalZoom is a bigger incorporation agent with in-house attorneys that are available for on-the-phone consultations.
However big and diversified LegalZoom’s portfolio is, it still does not include tax return preparation and filing. LegalZoom lets their customers draft custom legal forms, whilst Incfile provides pre-set templates only.
LegalZoom’s LLC formation service costs $149-$369 plus state fee, which is no match for the $0 that Incfile charges. LegalZoom’s registered agent costs $159 per year, and there isn’t a free year, while Incfile charges under $120 for the same service and grants 12 months for free with their LLC formation package.
Read our full review of Incfile vs Legalzoom.
Incfile vs. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Layer’s basic plan costs $99.99 a year and does not include a free registered agent. More importantly, Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation package is pretty barebones. Still, if you purchase it, you will get a registered agent for $112.49. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a cent under $150 for it.
Even if Rocket Lawyer is much more expensive, it has got more than 20 million customers, compared to the quarter of a million clients that Incfile serves. As one of the industry’s giants, Rocket Lawyer offers a plethora of online legal services, including homeownership, estate planning, and divorce.
Incfile vs. Corporate Creations
Both Incfile and Corporate Creations provide a free registered agent for the first year if you subscribe to one of their plans. However, after the grace period, Corporate Creations charge $299 a year. Most other incorporation companies provide this service for between $120 and $150 a year.
The pricing policy of Corporate Creations is less transparent than that of Incfile. This is so because the company automatically adds any required state fees to the prices of its services. In Nevada, for example, state fees can reach up to $600.
Compared to Incfile’s, the guidance that Corporate Creations provides during the LLC formation process is scarce. Let us just hope that they are going to add more guides to their Resource Lab soon.
IncFile vs ZenBusiness
Against Incfile’s best free LLC formation service, Zenbusiness provides the best overall value LLC service. ZenBusiness charges just $39 to set up an LLC, which is much less than any of the Incfile’s competitors reviewed above.
Also, an operating agreement template is also included in ZenBusiness’s basic plan. ZenBusiness offers phone, email, and chat support, while Incfile is yet to add the chat functionality to their customer service.
ZenBusiness provides registered agent service with all of its LLC formation plans for just $99 per year. IncFile provides one free year of registered agent service and charges $119 a year after that. If you are after a cheap registered agent, Incfile’s offer is still unbeaten.
Customer Reviews & Ease of Use
Besides, some of the site’s sections are still sparsely populated with useful business information. By contrast, Incfile’s website is easy to navigate and its sections are loaded with tons of useful info.
By comparison, IncFile has more than 20,000 stellar reviews just on Shopper Approved, and they maintain a 4.8 out of 5-star rating certified by the Better Business Bureau.
This is quite understandable, having in mind that ZenBusiness was only launched in 2015, while Incfile has been around since 2004. On the whole, ZenBusiness appears to be the closest rival of Incfile, for now at least.
On the whole, Incfile is a well-rounded business incorporation service. Its biggest advantage is the unrivaled affordability of the filing and formation services that the company provides. Their turnaround times and expedited shipping options are among the best in the industry. Businesses all over the United States trust Incfile to help them expand to new markets and win more customers.
If I have to think about Incfile’s disadvantages, the company doesn’t really have any glaring drawbacks. I personally think that instead of relying so much on external partners like Bank of America or Snapweb, Incfile had better focus on widening their portfolio of in-house services. Customers frown at companies that push third-party offers at every step of the registration process.