Are you looking for LLC formation services to assist you with incorporating your business online?
Incorporate.com may just be the answer!
In this blog post, I will give a review of Incorporate.com to provide you insight before deciding which out there is the best LLC service provider.
If you want to form an LLC, this review will compare the best providers and help you get started with your journey.
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Table of Contents
In Depth: Incorporate.com Review
Overall Pricing and Value
Overall, their rates are much more costly than the offerings of their rivals, without adequate added value to balance the additional expense.
The registered agent service is not indicated in their packages, which I think is very important.
In addition, the price point of $235 for a registered agent seems too much, especially given that this service is priced under $150 by most rivals and some at $100.
Other incorporation services have much lower prices than Incorporate.com’s packages. Their package setup too was a bit deceiving.
Incorporate.com claims that two of their major features are part of the packages namely the compliance dashboard and their annual report service.
But the truth is you only get access to these two if you purchase their registered agent service.
Additionally, on top of the $235/year registered agent charge, the annual report service costs an extra $150/year.
How is that an included feature even if you buy the registered agent service, right?
It might appear that these package features are justifying the registered agent service’s higher cost. However, the fact that they are not transparent about it makes each package a bit shady to me.
It would be a huge let down to believe that you are paying for the package features that are listed in their website, only to discover that you have to shell out an extra $235 to use them, and then another $150 yearly to access the annual report service.
Incorporate.com has been around since 1899.
When it comes to experience, Incorporate.com has a lot of them. Since then, they have helped more than 750,000 businesses.
However, despite being in operation since the 19th century and having almost a million customers, you will find very little customer feedback or reviews in the web about Incorporate.com that is positive.
On third-party web pages, I’ve found only a few dozen ratings, and nearly all of them were not at all favorable.
Their clients were complaining about their high costs and hidden charges, and even pointing out how they aggressively and annoyingly nudge you to take their registered agent service right after you’ve become an Incorporate.com customer.
Compared to most businesses in this field, Incorporate.com delivers standard customer service.
They have customer support for phone, chat, and email, and their service level is decent, but it seems to differ a little from representative to representative.
Ease of Placing an Order
If you are undecided what business structure to go for, whether to form an LLC or a corporation, Incorporate.com’s business formation wizard can assist you.
Upon selecting your preferred package, you will have to review seven other upsells before you can actually key in your personal details.
It was rather easy to navigate through their page and see where to put an order and click through the payment tab. However, they can be extremely irritating with their confusing ads and endless upsells.
Overall Turnaround Time
Incorporate.com provides you with accurate lead times on both normal and expedited processing before reaching the bottom of the order form.
When it comes to turnaround times, it’s good that they are transparent about it.
As several other providers do, Incorporate.com doesn’t stick to a same-day or overnight turnaround.
They said, though, that if all of the information they need from the business owner is given, they would file ASAP, which is a reasonable answer.
Incorporate.com Review: Pricing & Features of the Formation Packages
Incorporate.com delivers three LLC and corporate formation packages.
It is important to remember that each formation package does not come with the registered agent service. It is an add-on that you need to avail for $235.
The address of Incorporate.com will be listed as your business address if you wish Incorporate.com to be your registered agent.
This restricts the spam mail you get, which therefore restricts the public availability of your personal information.
Access to CSC company Navigator which is their online compliance tool is part of the registered agent service. The tool will give you reminders on important filing dates, to-do list for your business, and document storage.
Though the Annual report service is listed as an included feature that go with their registered agent service, the fact is you would need to pay an upcharge of $150 annually. This is apart from the $235 fee you have to pay for availing the registered agent.
When I reached out to their customer support, they informed me that the registered agent service is a prerequisite to buy the Essentials at $249 and the Works at $349.
What it means is, if you don’t want to pay $235/year on their registered agent service, the only choice is to “select the Starter package, then separately add each additional feature.”
The way these features are set up is deceptive, just outright misleading!
Although the customer service agent volunteered to call and clarify, I think the website should be more straightforward and easy to comprehend. There should be no need for further explanations from their rep just to understand the fee structure.
After all, who wouldn’t be unhappy with $385 in unadvertised yearly fees? Hence, you can find a lot of negative customer feedback all over the net.
The Starter ($99)
This Package Is For: Business owners who need to incorporate without the added features
Cost: $99 plus the state filing fee
Document Preparation and Filing. They will do the preparation and filing of all documents to create your LLC or corporation. A digital copy of your training documents will be provided to you.
Online Access. You will have online access to your completed documents.
The Essentials ($249 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $634)
This Package Is Best For: (Totally not recommended!)
Costs: $249 plus the state fees, plus another $235 per year for registered agent service, plus $150/year for annual report service
Federal Tax ID number (EIN). In case you would want to hire your own staff, Incorporate.com will get your number EIN from the IRS. An EIN is basically a Social Security Number for your business.
Your EIN lets you open bank accounts, pay taxes, and so forth.
You can have your own EIN free of charge from the IRS, but this package feature prevents the hassle of obtaining your EIN on your own.
Business Kit and Seal. You will get a binder embossed with the name of your business with a personalized decorative seal with your business details. Some sample documents are also included in this feature.
If you avail the registered agent services, you will also get the following features:
Company CSC Navigator. An online compliance dashboard that monitors important dates and deadlines for filing documents, and gives you storage for your documents, and a to-do list for your company.
Annual Report Service: Incorporate.com will monitor the annual reports due date for an additional $150 a year, and plan and file them to keep your company’s good standing.
The Works ($349 + $235 for registered agent service + $150 for annual report service = $734)
This Package Is Best For: (Totally not recommended too!)
Costs: $349 plus state filing fees, plus $235 per year for registered agent service, plus $150/year for annual report service.
The Essentials Package
Business License Research Package. In the Business License Research Package, Incorporate.com will check what approvals, permits, and certificates you need to legally comply with the federal, state, and municipal governments and obtain your business license.
The applications for these licenses via the Business License Research Package will be obtained and given to you, so what you need to do is fill them out and apply them.
Custom Operating Agreement. The operating agreement explains how the business will operate from administrative and financial perspectives.
Incorporate.com will draft the operating agreement for you.
Custom Bylaws. These are the daily operations’ rules and regulations for the company, covering details such as number of board directors, shareholder meetings’ dates and venues, and others.
Depth of experience. Since its establishment in 1899, Incorporate.com has collaborated with more than 700,000 firms.
Their expertise to form an LLC over time has provided them with ample information to answer all business-related questions related to your Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Customer Support Accessibility. You can access their customer service via phone, email, and webchat any time. You can be sure they will respond to your requests promptly.
Online Portal. This online portal monitors your business services’ status. This is an advanced feature of Incorporate.com that many of their rivals do not have.
Corporate Compliance Guarantee. As a part of its LLC formation facilities, Incorporate.com has a corporate compliance guarantee.
When the LLC is sued and you are legally involved, you will be reimbursed up to $75,000 by Incorporate.com.
Comprehensive Guides. They will give your company comprehensive guides on forming a business or an LLC, including tax filing, industry-specific text, state regulations, etc.
To give a clearer view of business incorporation, Incorporate.com has a dedicated segment on its website named ‘learning center’ where you can access information on how to form an LLC or a corporation.
Registered Agent Service Not Included With LLC Formation.
This service is not included in their LLC formation packages although Incoporate.com is a registered agent service.
They instead sell it as an optional value. This could be far more costly than those of their rivals who have them for free.
Upselling. Incorporate.com does not have any features in its proposals, contributing to greater upselling in the process.
When you pick a feature, you will be prompted to buy additional features such as a seal, compliance kit, tax number, reporting, business research, etc.
Pricing. The basic package is affordable. However, Incorporate.com did not include a lot of other features that come at high prices, which their competitors have included in theirs.
The yearly cost of the registered agent service valued at $235 plus state fees are way more than the what their rivals offer.
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Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Incorporate.com Do?
When retaining your compliant business entity, Incorporate.com has numerous services. Some of them are:
- Company permits and licenses
- Annual reports
- Operating arrangements and bylaws
- Good standing certificates
- Registered agent service
- Stock and membership certificates
- Certified copies
- Written consent forms
Furthermore, they provide help with IRS filings, together with the acquisition of EIN, the election of LLC tax status, and non-profit status.
Lastly, they provide mail forwarding with some auxiliary filings such as the following:
- Foreign qualifications
- DBA registrations
- Entity conversions
How Does Incorporate.com Compare To Other Registered Agent Services?
There are several companies that have business formation service packages similar to what Incorporate.com offers.
The majority of service providers also offer companies one year of registered agent service free of charge.
Legalzoom, ZenBusiness, and Northwest are the three most common firms in the industry that have the same market share.
Among the three, Legalzoom is the most recognized LLC service provider and they have successfully formed numerous businesses.
Also, Legalzoom has a much better customer support than most of its rivals.
ZenBusiness, a service company that charges the lowest price for formation services but also boasts top-quality offerings, comes second to Legalzoom.
With positive customer reviews from companies across multiple channels, ZenBusiness delivers an open and inexpensive LLC service.
Meanwhile, Northwest Registered Agent does not charge cheap but compared to Incorporate.com, their rates are still way lower.
It also has some of the best ratings from customers.
Incorporate.com, unlike its other rivals, does not offer the convenience of providing a same-day or expedited delivery.
What they give you is an approximate processing period as soon as all the information they need has been collected.
Overall in my review, Incorporate.com is an expensive option for incorporating a business. For a lower price, you can can get the same LLC services.
Despite this, Incorporate.com still prides in its quality service they have provided for decades. Though they are not cheap, there are positive reviews to back up this claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Incorporate.com’s Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
Longevity is one of Incorporate.com strong suits.
Any company that has remained in business for 120+ years must have done something good. Its major drawback is that they give little value to their customers by overcharging their products.
If I Use Incorporate.com, Which Features Should I Buy?
Usually, a formation package with the registered agent service is the best option to choose. However, the packages of Incorporate.com do not include this.
You can get their Starter Package at $99 and their registered agent service for $235. If you find this expensive, you can check out other providers such as Incfile and ZenBusiness. Both include one year of free registered agent if you avail their formation packages.
Do They Offer Publication Service?
Publication requirements vary from state to state.
Some states would require your business formation to published in a regional newspaper.
Nebraska and Arizona, for instance, would require it for both LLCs and corporations, while other states like New York would require publication for LLCs only.
Incorporate.com does not provide publishing services nor do they provide any support to help direct you through the process.
Does Incorporate.com Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They offer services to assist you with compliance requirements. You can avail these via their registered agent service at $235 yearly and annual report service valued at $ 150 yearly.
Take note, however, that you cannot avail either the Essentials or Works formation packages without purchasing these two.
What Is Their Refund Policy?
Their refund policy is not at all clear. According to their website Incorporate.com will refund what you paid minus the service fee if and only if you cancelled BEFORE your documents are submitted.
Full statement below as posted in their website:
“If you cancel your order before we have submitted it to a federal, state, or local office, Incorporate.com will refund the total amount paid for such order less a service fee. If you cancel your order after we have already submitted it, we will use our discretion to determine what portion, if any, we will refund.”
Does Incorporate.com Offer Any Discounts?
They sometimes offer discounts or give money-saving vouchers.
This usually happens on holidays. Otherwise, they do not have any general promo codes or promotions available.
How Quickly Does Incorporate.com Process LLC Formations?
Processing times are dependent on the state of formation. Generally, Incorporate.com’s processing time is quite fast.
If you want a quicker turnaround, you can avail their expedited service which reduces it to just a few days.
What Is the Incorporate.com Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You may reach them at 855-236-4043.
Alternatively, you can drop your concerns in their email contact form found in their website. As soon as you have submitted, a representative will reply to you in email usually within a day.
Should I Reserve My LLC Business Name Before Forming an LLC?
Before forming the business itself, each state (other than Florida) has a way of reserving a business name.
Generally, the reservation is only needed if you are not yet ready to work on your formation process.
However, if you are ready to work on it, you don’t need to reserve. But as mentioned earlier, every state’s requirements differ as in the case of Alabama which requires a reservation of your name before forming your LLC company.
Is Incorporate.com the LLC Website You Recommend to Family and Friends?
This is a bit tricky question to answer.
Just for the longevity factor, I would say it is an okay service. But clearly, there are better service providers to choose from – longevity aside.
If I am to compare the best providers, I would recommend ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent.
If you check customer reviews of these two companies, you would find a lot of positive feedback. Their ultimate advantage over Incorporate.com is lower cost. You get the same excellent LLC formation services for less.
When you try to look for a positive incorporate.com review, you will hardly find one. Many customers are just complaining over the overcharged products they offer.
Is Incorporate.com Legit?
Incorporate.com is legit as they have been in the LLC services for over a century now.
They used to be called the Corporation Service Company and changed it to The Company Corporation and then finally changed it again to Incorporate.com. Their objective has always been to help people form their business entities.
However, being a legit business formation service does not mean they cannot be shady.
Incorporate.com offers overcharged products. They are not straightforward and transparent with their fee structure.
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Final Thoughts on Incorporate.com
Incorporate.com, even with over a century of experience, falls short of my (or their customers’) expectations .
Their packages are a bit outdated, and rather overpriced, without the additional services that most businesses have.
In reality, just to get everything they advertise for their Essentials and Works formation packages, you would need to pay a shocking $385 extra per year.
But wait, there’s more: plus an additional $235 yearly fee to use Starter Package’s listed features.
This overpricing topped with confusing and misleading ads made Incorporate.com a bad choice for anyone looking for an LLC service provider.
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