A good Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation service can be the modern entrepreneur’s best friend.
Filing paperwork to get your business off the ground is a hassle, and using an online LLC formation service can take a significant amount of that hassle off your hands.
However, when there are dozens of companies offering to form your LLC, how do you know which one to choose? To help you put your money to good use, we took a deep dive into the details of each service.
Our favorite formation services accomplish two goals. First, they form your new LLC, answering your questions along the way. Then, they help you maintain your business entity by helping you keep track of ongoing compliance matters. It’s also important to note each company’s track record, cost, and ease of use.
In this review, we’ll provide our in-depth analysis of Inc Authority’s LLC formation services.
Rocket Tip: Looking for the best and most affordable LLC formation services? Compare the top 3 options to see how they stack up.
What is Inc Authority?
Inc Authority got its start back in 1989, and they’ve formed more than 145,000 business entities in that time. Their big selling point is the fact that they’re one of only two companies (the other being Incfile) that will form your LLC for free.
That’s right, Inc Authority charges no service fees whatsoever for LLC formation service — all you have to pay is your state’s mandatory fee.
Inc Authority might not be the biggest company in the business services industry, and they’re certainly not the most well-known. However, we think that once you read this review, you’ll understand why we named them one of our three favorite business formation services available.
How does Inc Authority work?
All you need to do to get started with Inc Authority is to select your formation state and follow some simple steps that provide them with the information they need to get started on your LLC formation.
Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to ensure Inc Authority can create your new business accurately and efficiently.
- Choose your entity type and formation state: On the first screen, you can choose between an LLC and a corporation. In addition, you will indicate which state you want to form your business in (most people choose their home states).
- Provide your personal info: The next screen simply asks for your name, email address, and phone number. If you have co-owners, you will also include this information for each of them.
- Enter your business details: What will you name your new LLC? What will your business do? Do you plan on accepting credit card payments? Do you plan on buying insurance for your LLC? The next screen is where you fill in this information.
- Fill in your business address: On this page, you will provide Inc Authority with your business address. Also, if you have a separate shipping address, you should provide that address on this page as well.
- Navigate through their many upsells: At this point, Inc Authority will attempt a series of upsells that you can add to your formation package. First, they will ask if you want them to acquire your federal tax ID (EIN) for an additional $49. Next, they offer to prepare a custom operating agreement for your LLC, with a price point of $89. The following screen pushes a record book and decorative seal, both customized with your business info, for $99.
The next offer is for express processing. It’s important to note that this has no effect on the state’s processing speed. Rather, this option only ensures that Inc Authority will process your order before those they receive from other customers. This feature is priced at $49. The following screen presents an option to add domain name registration through GoDaddy for an additional $19.
Next, Inc Authority asks if you want to subscribe to their unlimited phone and email support for audits, taxes, accounting, licensing, lawsuits, payroll, and business banking. This service costs $197 if paid annually or $27 on a month-by-month basis. After that, the next screen offers a free business bank account from Bank of America.
By the time you reach the next step in the order process, Inc Authority will have offered $502 in upsells. However, we will note that you are under no obligation to purchase any of these services.
6. Place your order: All that’s left at this point is to complete Inc Authority’s checkout. You will need to choose between the electronic delivery of your completed formation documents (for free) or to receive hard copies delivered via priority mail (for an extra $29.95). The final step is to enter your payment information.
Is Inc Authority a good option?
Inc Authority is one of our favorite services when it comes to forming an LLC. It’s impossible to beat their free pricing model and their customer feedback reputation is overwhelmingly positive, with thousands of great reviews all over the web. We also love how they include a full year of registered agent service with every LLC formation order.
The only major downside of their services is the way they push so many upsells throughout the order form. Still, considering that they do offer their core service for free, we can look past them trying to make a buck.
Overall, Inc Authority ranks as one of the three best companies to form your LLC online, in our opinion. They aren’t our absolute top pick, but we are extremely confident that if you choose to use their services, you will be happy with your decision.
What are their customers saying?
We found nearly 5,000 reviews of Inc Authority’s services, mostly split between Trustpilot and Google, with a few other reviews spread out across several other websites. Nearly all of these reviews are positive, as they maintain a score of 4.8/5 on Trustpilot and 4.7/5 on Google.
Here’s what people like about Inc Authority:
- Low prices
- Ease of use
And here’s what they don’t like:
- Pushy sales staff
We’ll get into these issues and more below in our in-depth review of Inc Authority’s LLC services. In terms of affordability, it’s impossible to beat their free LLC service offer, which makes it easier to look past the fact that their salespeople can be a bit aggressive with their upsell strategies.
Who is Inc Authority best for?
Inc Authority is a great option for entrepreneurs on a budget who still want a year of registered agent service included with their LLC formations.
They’re also a solid choice for those of you who like using midsize companies — Inc Authority has plenty of longevity and experience, but they’re not one of the industry giants like LegalZoom.
The fact that the vast majority of their customer feedback is positive is just the icing on the cake for this excellent service provider.
Inc Authority: Our in-Depth review
Money is always a factor when you’re starting a new business. That’s why cost should always be one of your top considerations when evaluating which LLC formation service you want to use. Inc Authority is no exception.
The core offering of Inc Authority’s service is their free LLC formation package, but they also have paid plans if you’re looking for more advanced features. Here’s a breakdown of their options (keep in mind that these prices don’t include your state fee):
- Free Package: This package includes the full preparation and filing of your formation documents, a year of registered agent service (which costs $99/year after that), an S corporation tax election filing (if applicable), a business funding analysis, a tax consultation, and digital storage of your formation documents in an online client portal.
- Starter ($399): With this package, you’ll receive everything from the free package, plus a custom operating agreement, a record book and decorative seal, LLC membership certificates, a federal tax ID (EIN), and one year of their INC Protection Advisor enhanced customer support service.
- Executive ($499): The Executive package starts with everything from the Starter package, then adds a business license report and a domain name.
- Tycoon ($799): The top-shelf package from Inc Authority includes all features of the Executive package, plus express processing, 90 days of business credit coaching, a credit-building service, business development software, and Dun & Bradstreet registration.
Inc Authority’s Order Process
We have mixed feelings about this particular part of Inc Authority’s services. As we outlined earlier, they push quite a few upsells on their order form that muddy up the entire process by adding several pages. However, it’s hard to blame them too much when they’re offering a service that earns them no money unless you add something on.
Even with this complaint, Inc Authority’s order process is pretty straightforward, and it doesn’t take much longer to complete than most competitors’ order forms. Overall, we would say that the order process is neither a pro nor a con for Inc Authority.
Customer Support Friendliness
Since online business formation services are completely virtual, they can feel somewhat impersonal at times. However, top-notch customer support from friendly and knowledgeable representatives can add a human touch to the process.
While Inc Authority doesn’t have the highly personalized support system of some competitors (like Northwest Registered Agent, for example), we have found that their representatives are courteous and they know what they’re talking about.
One issue with Inc Authority’s support is their limited hours of availability. You can reach them on weekdays until 8 pm ET, but they don’t open until 11 am ET, which can be a problem if you need questions answered in the morning.
Still, they have quick response times and helpful reps, so overall, we would say that customer support is a point in Inc Authority’s favor.
LLC Formation Speed
You always have the option to form your own LLC without professional assistance, but entrepreneurship is a busy venture, and a formation service might have more time on their hands to create your business than you do. However, some companies take so long to prepare and file your documents that you could have done it quicker yourself.
You won’t have to worry about this with Inc Authority. They base their processing speeds on how quickly each individual state processes business formations, and as such, their turnaround times are quite similar to most of their competitors.
You might find a company that processes orders a bit faster in your specific state, but in general, Inc Authority has solid turnaround times in all 50 states.
Final score (4.5 Stars)
Overall, we think Inc Authority is a better option than the vast majority of its competitors in this industry. Their offer of a free business formation service is a great benefit, and they supplement their incredible pricing with great features and solid support.
They have a couple of aspects we’re not too crazy about — like the fact that they really pile on the upsells — but at the end of the day, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Inc Authority to our family and friends.
They’re a fantastic option to form your new LLC.