In this Incorporate.Com review, I shall take a closer look at a company that was formed back in 1999 with the sole idea of helping individuals who need help starting their own businesses. Since then, more than 750,000 happy customers use Icorporate.com. In other words, Incorporate. com has formed more than 750,000 corporations and other business entities.
Incorporate.com offers services in two main directions: helping customers start a business, and helping them maintain it. Some of the more important business startup services of the company are:
- Incorporation services (S corporation, or C corporation)
- Registered Agent Service
- Employer ID Number (EIN)
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation
- Nonprofit Incorporation
- Compliance Services (Business Licenses & Permits)
- Name Reservation
- Business Name Registration
Incorporate.com also offers the following business maintenance services:
- Bylaws and operating agreements
- Business Licenses Renewal
- Annual Report
- Certificate of Good Standing
- S Corp Election (Form 2553)
- LLC Tax Status Election (Form 8832)
- Foreign Qualification
- Delaware E-filing
- Business Entity Conversion
- Business Dissolution
- Mail Forwarding Service
Incorporate.com offers bare-bones LLC formation and registered agent services. They also perform different filings that companies need like applying for tax formation and EIN and help businesses meet state compliance requirements.
To form a business entity through Incorporate.Com, you will have to first choose the state of formation. Next, you should select LLC formation, S corporation, C corporation, or nonprofit corporation. Incorporate.com currently offers formation packages starting at $74 plus state fees. However, the regular fee is $99 plus state fees, regardless of the type of business.
LLC Formation Service
Incorporate.com provides an LLC formation service that will help you get every form you need to start an LLC or a corporation in 99 state jurisdictions. The company will also prepare and submit any necessary IRS filings on your behalf, including EIN. INcorporate.com has long-standing experience in the industry, they have developed different formation packages.
Unfortunately, the LLC formation package of Incorporate.com does not include a registered agent service. The company’s customers should purchase the registered agent service separately.
By comparison, one of Incorporate.com’s biggest competitors, LegalZoom, offers registered agent services when you sign up to form an LLC with them.
In some states like Arizona and Nebraska, you have to publish an official announcement that you have started an LLC or a corporation.
The state of New York requires it for LLCs only, while Pennsylvania and Georgia have publication requirements in place for corporations only.
Unfortunately, If you are planning to form a business in the abovementioned states, you can’t rely on Incorporate.com to provide publication service, nor do they refer you to an affiliate providing such services.
Business name search and availability check
When you set about to form a business or a corporation, you must check with your state before you can file an entity name claim and form your company. You can use Incorporate.com to search through the Secretary of State to check a business name’s availability.
Registered Agent Service
The prices of the registered agent service that Incorporate.com offers depend on whether you are going to file the necessary documents or leave the filing details on them.
If you are going to take care of the filing work, then the registered agent service is going to cost you $235 per year.
However, if you leave the filing work on Incorporate. com, how much you are going to pay depends on the state where you are going to form an LLC or a corporation. No state fees apply in Arkansas, for example, so you will be charged just$235 per year.
However, if you need to form companies in Arizona, you will have to pay the following fees on top of the standard registered agent cost:
- State Fee for Change of Registered Agent $5
- State Expedited Fee for Change of Registered Agent $35
- Correspondent Fee for Change of Registered Agent $30
Thus, the total price of Incorporate.com’s registered agent service in Arizona amounts to $305. Having in mind that LegalZoom charges an annual fee of $299 to serve as your registered agent, Incorporate.com’s price is still competitive. However, LegalZoom provides one year of registered agent service for $159.
You get online access to the CSCNavigator as soon as you sign up for the registered agent service of Incorporate.com. This online compliance tool reminds you of oncoming filing dates, provides document storage space on the company’s site, and has a to-do list for your day-to-day business tasks.
The operating agreement that Incorporate.com provides as part of its formation services typically contains information about members’ rights and responsibilities and percentages of ownership. The operating agreement of an LLC also specifies the allocation of profits and losses.
To purchase an operating agreement from Incorporate.com, you should send them the ownership details of your LLC along with information about its members and the organization of power. Their agents will input the information into a standard operating agreement form and email it to you.
Unfortunately, incorporate.com does not provide legal advice to facilitate the preparation of your operating agreement. If you need legal help, you should consult an external attorney.
Annual Report Service
The annual report provides the Secretary of State with updated information about your LLC or corporation. If you fail to submit your company’s end-of-year report on time, your license could be revoked.
The contents of your annual report may vary depending on the state. Incorporate.com offers services that help business owners keep track of the annual reports of their company.
Every year, the company’s agents do the necessary preparatory work and execute all filings on behalf of their customers The company can also complete the filing every year. The annual report service of Incorporate.com includes the following steps:
- Conducting an initial audit to ensure you are in good standing with the state
- Track any filing deadlines for your company’s annual reports
- Prepare annual reports on your behalf and file the filled-in documents
- Update your company information in the CSCNavigator® platform
The Annual Report specialists of Incorporate.com prepare and submit all of your annual report paperwork to the offices of the Secretary of State. They always contact you at least 30 days before your Annual Report due date to complete the filing work.
This way, you’ll never miss important deadlines. Every state would require businesses to share a compliant annual report and most could revoke their license if the businesses fails to do so on time.
Business License Research
the Business License Research Package that Incorporate.com offers helps small business owners manage their permits, tax registrations, and licenses. Incorporate.com also provides assistance in filling all ensuing forms and applications. The license research service quality is above the one provided by most of Incorporate’s competitors.
Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
No business setup is completed without an EIN. The Employer Identification Number or EIN is the social security number for your company. Incorporate.com can help you obtain an EIN number from the IRS by doing all of the ensuing application work for you. In some states, you should also file for a federal tax ID along with an EIN. Incorporate.com only offers EIN with its Essentials and Works packages, but not with the Starter Package
LLC Kit And Seal
When you sign up for the Essentials or the Works package of Incorporate.com, you’ll get one binder with dedicated sections for banks, accountants, and lawyers. The Corporate Compliance Kit comes with several seals embossed with your company’s name and date of incorporation, stock certificates, and various document templates.
Unlike some competitors like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness, Incorporate.com does not offer same-day or expedited delivery. They just show an estimated turnaround time after you have placed your order as soon as all the information they need has been received.
Towards the middle of this Incorporate.com review, let us take a closer look at how the company forms its prices. As soon as you select the type of business formation package and the state of formation, Incorporate.com gives you three pricing options: Starter, Essentials, and Works.
The Starter Package
The basic plan of Incorporate.com currently costs $74 for 12 months, but its regular price is $99 per year. The Starter Package includes the following services:
- Completion and filing of business incorporation documents
- Access to their online CSCNavigator tool
- $75,000 Corporate Compliance Guarantee (Not available in North Carolina)
- Online access to company documents
The Essentials Package
The mid-tier plan of Incorporate.com includes everything in the starter package, plus the following essential services:
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Corporate Kit
The regular price of the plan is $249 per year, but you can buy it now for $204 for 12 months.
The Works Package
At the highest price point of $349 per year, Incorporate.com provides everything in the Essentials Package, plus the following premium services:
- Operating Agreement
- Business License Research Package
You can currently buy the Essentials Package for $289. You have to be careful about underlying state fees, though. A state fee of $101 applies to all pricing plans. At the same time, Incorporate.com explicitly says that state fees vary by state.
Also, the Annual Report Preparation and Filing Service and the Registered Agent Service are mandatory the Essentials and the Works Packages. In other words, you cannot purchase the Essentials or Works packages without also buying both of these additional services.
Thus, you get the following total:
- The Essentials: $249 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $634
- The Works: $349 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $734
The customer service of Incorporate.com is accessible via the phone, email, or chat. The company’s phone number is available at every step you make on their website. For example, as soon as you finish reading about the annual report service, they encourage you to make a call and get more info.
The live chat agent is available at the bottom righthand corner of your screen. I tried kicking on it at different times, but I every time I got forwarded to their contact form, instead. In that form, the customer is given only 1,000 characters to explain their issue, which is rather insufficient.
I feel that the customer service provided by Incorporate.com lags behind the best in the industry. For example, LegalZoom customer support is available Monday – Friday 10 am – 8 pm EST and your call is toll-free.
LegalZoom does not apply limitations to the number of characters you can use in the contact form, and the company also lists its legal address. On the whole, I wouldn’t give Incorporate.com customer support excellent customer feedback.
Incorporate.com Affiliate Program
incorporate.com has helped hundreds of thousands of businesses incorporate or form Limited Liability Companies across the United States. The company relies on affiliates to sell its services and complement its portfolio of services. The affiliate commissions start at $100 per completed sale.
Incorporate.com Online Reviews
Incorporate.com is one of the oldest business formation companies in the world. For a company that has been providing LLC formation services for so long and that has helped form thousands of businesses across the USA, Incorporate.com has earned controversial customer feedback.
Overall Pricing and Value – 2/10
As you can read above, Incorporate.com provides quite expensive LLC formation services. With LegalZoom, you can form an LLC for much less money. Also, Incorporate.com does not offer a free year of registered agent service. That’s why the Incorporate.com sits at the bottom of my value-for-money list.
Customer Support – 7/10
Although I could not catch the chat support on their site during business hours, I could reach Incorporate.com’s customer support service over the phone. My question was answered professionally, although the explanation was rather concise. If you need more detailed guidance, search for an email address on incorporate.com’s site.
Overall Processing Time – 7/10
I appreciate that Incorporate.com provides detailed processing time estimates for both standard and expedited preparation and filing. Many reviews that compare the best preparation and filing services in the industry mention that Incorporate.com does not provide same-day or overnight turnaround. Incorporate.com says they file as soon as they process your order.
Ease of Placing an Order – 4/10
If you don’t know how to start forming your LLC the business formation wizard of Incorporate.com can help you out. The process of placing an order begins with the selection of one of the company’s three pricing packages.
Once you select a package, Incorporate.com will offer you seven additional upsells to review before you can enter your contact info and check out. Since their website is easy to navigate, you will have no problem finding your way to the payment page. Their constant upsells slow down the formation service, but the affiliate commissions need to be deserved.
Incorporate.com customer reviews
Through my research, I found out that Incporate.com received steadily positive reviews in the early 2010s. However, they have barely received a positive review in the past ten years despite providing a decent formation service.
Several Incorporate.com customer reviews mention that the provider lacks in the features and formation service for the price they ask. Many customer reviews complain of disappointing formation service experiences and unclear billing methods.
Not surprisingly, Incorporate.com does little to encourage its customers to leave reviews, and when customers that do leave a review, they mostly express their frustration after a negative experience.
There are many cheaper alternatives to Incorporate.com’s LLC service. Let’s look at some of them.
LegalZoom is one of the expensive LLC services out there, but even they offer a cheaper registered agent service than Incorporate.com. The first year of a registered agent comes with a discount. LegalZoom’s customer reviews are far from perfect, but even they are better than Incorporate.com’s.
LegalZoom doesn’t overwhelm its website’s visitors with confusing advertising and aggressive upsells at every step. For this, I give them thumbs up. Besides, LegalZoom has longer customer support hours and their customer support agents are even available at weekends.
With an overall user rating of 9/10, Zenbusiness is one of the cheapest alternatives to Incorporate.com. Its Starter Package costs just $39 a year and includes a free registered agent service, and their process times are also faster. Migrating from Incorporate.com to ZenBusienss can be the turning point that your small business has always needed!
Northwest Registered Agent
This corporation service company is famous for its efficient LLC service. Their fees may not be among the most affordable in the industry, but all of their packages come with one free year of registered agent service. It also has some of the best online customer reviews.
Final Thoughts on Incorporate.com
In summary of my review, Incorporate.com is not the lowest-priced LLC service provider. You can find many alternatives that offer wides portfolios of features for a much more reasonable price. However, Incorporate.com LLC services are good enough for entrepreneurs who need a reliable partner with a long track record. On the whole, the services of Incorporate.com compare well to that of their competitors.