LLC formation services are the modern entrepreneur’s best friend.
After all, filing LLC paperwork is annoying (if you don’t mind paperwork, then this review probably isn’t for you), so an LLC formation service can remove some of that headache for you.
But which formation service should you use? There are dozens of options available to choose from. To put your money to good use and feel comfortable with what you’re choosing, you’ll want to choose the right one for you.
Generally speaking, a good business formation service does two things. First, they form your business, offering advice and tools along the way. Second, they’ll help you maintain your new company by reminding you of due dates, state requirements, and more. Other important factors to consider are the service’s track record, their cost, and how easy it is to use their service.
In this review, we’ll give you our in-depth opinion of Incfile’s LLC formation service.
Rocket Tip: Looking for the best and most affordable LLC formation services? Compare the top 3 options (ZenBusiness vs Incfile vs Northwest) to see how they stack up.
What is Incfile?
Incfile is a web-based business incorporation service. In the past, entrepreneurs who wanted to start an LLC had to work directly with the Secretary of State, wading through paperwork (with some states more complicated than others) to do so. But now, Incfile makes it easy to form your business by handling all the pesky paperwork for you.
Based out of Houston, Texas, Incfile celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. In those 15 years, they’ve helped form more than 250,000 businesses nationwide. But they don’t stop with business formation; Incfile rounds out their services with ongoing support, including registered agent services, reminders about due dates, advice on keeping compliant, and more.
Incfile’s claim to fame is that it’s the most well-known alternative to LegalZoom. Their services are quite similar, but Incfile charges a lot less, making them budget-friendly (a high priority for many new businesses). And with transparent pricing, Incfile does a good job keeping you informed about what you’re purchasing with each package.
How Does Incfile’s LLC Service Work?
Incfile’s service is fairly easy to use; you simply answer some questions about your business. Incfile uses that information to file your documents on your behalf. While each business’s needs are different, here are the steps you can expect:
- Select your business type (LLC) and the state where you want to form your business.
- Select the package that’s best for you. (Incfile has three, which we’ll outline below).
- Choose any add-ons you’d like: expedited service, operating agreements, banking resolutions, etc.
- Give Incfile information about your company for your Articles of Organization (see below).
With every package, Incfile files your Articles of Organization for you—once you give them the information they need. Here’s some of the information you’ll need to provide:
- Business name for your LLC
- Your business address
- Names and contact information for each member (owner)
- Name and address of your registered agent (if you don’t want to use Incfile)
- Date you want your business to start
- When your business will end (if a temporary business)
Of course, if you add other features into your package, Incfile will also request that information, too. Throughout the process, Incfile provides helpful hyperlinks and question bubbles to explain any terms or features you might not know.
Once Incfile has all the information they need, you’ll be directed to a payment page to finish processing your order. Afterward, you can expect them to help you maintain compliance in your state, especially if you continue with their registered agent service (more on that later).
Is Incfile a Good Option?
At the end of the day, Incfile is a top choice (but not the top choice) for LLC formation services. They offer prompt, reliable service; it’s far easier to use Incfile than to file on your own.
We’ll dig deeper into the service below, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s our top pro and con for Incfile:
- Pro: Incfile has some of the fastest processing times and best put together packages in the industry.
- Con: Incfile’s phone customer support is okay. But, their email support is much better.
What are Incfile’s Customers Saying?
Entrepreneur included Incfile on the 2018 list of the 360 Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America, so it’s no surprise that Incfile has lots of happy customers.
Here are a few of the many things customers liked about Incfile:
- Excellent support after your purchase
- Streamlined and easy to use
- Multiple package options
- Friendly customer support
Since Incfile is easy to use and they support their customers over the long haul, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back for more. Of course, there are a few negative reviews out there, too.
Here are some of the negative comments about Incfile:
- Double invoices for same service
- Packages are confusing to new users
If you’ve never formed a business before, then terms like registered agent, Articles of Organization, and bank resolution can be overwhelming. And understandably, no one likes to be charged twice for the same thing. Thankfully, these issues can be corrected with a little help from Incfile’s customer support. And since the negative reviews are far outshone by the positive ones, you can be confident that you’re getting a good service.
Who is Incfile Best for?
Incfile’s LLC formation service actually meets a wide variety of needs depending on which package you choose. We’ll go into more detail on these packages below (see Cost to Form), but you can choose either a very basic plan or one with all the bells and whistles.
So, Incfile is best for those who want a no-strings-attached, formation-only service or those who want additional business documents and even a website.
Incfile: Our in-depth review
Cost to Form an LLC
For an entrepreneur just getting started, money is always a factor. That’s why you should always factor in cost when considering an LLC formation service. Incfile is no exception. To help you handle the expense of using a formation service, Incfile actually offers 3 distinct packages at different price points.
Silver: For $0, Incfile will help you form your LLC. It’s a basic package with no add-ons unless you want them (they just file the formation documents). That said, their add-ons are diverse, from an operating agreement, banking resolutions, tax registrations, and more. You can order these add-ons separately, so you only get the services you want. The Silver package boasts one of the lowest price points we’ve seen for this service, and Incfile makes it even better by throwing in one year of free registered agent service (a $119 value).
Gold: The Gold package costs $149, but it includes the entire Silver package plus additional services. The main thing this includes a Federal Tax ID number, an operating agreement, banking resolutions, and more.
Platinum: The sticker price for this package is $299, but it includes all the Gold features and more. This package also adds on expedited processing, so if time is a factor, this may be the package for you.
3rd party add-ons: Incfile does present a few interesting partner add-ons as part of your order, but you can opt out of any of them. A few options include setting up a business bank account with Bank of America. If you want a business website, then SnapWeb has your back.
Incfile’s Order Process
Have you ever tried to order something online, only to get lost in a never-ending series of cluttered web pages? The harder it is to order a service, the less likely you are to use it. Streamlined ordering is an important component of any good formation service and we think it should be as easy as buying something on Amazon.
Thankfully, there are no surprises or gimmicks with Incfile. As you fill out the information they need, Incfile offers helpful hyperlinks and question bubbles to explain any blanks you find confusing. They also personalize the process to match your state, so you won’t provide any unnecessary information, either.
Along the way, Incfile will present a few add-ons for your package. But they’re very transparent about the price; if you add or remove a feature, your price updates instantly. You’re always aware of how much you’re about to spend.
Customer Support Friendliness
Since online business formation services are entirely virtual, they can sometimes feel a bit impersonal. But good customer support—complete with friendly, prompt customer service representatives—brings a personal touch to your experience.
When we tested Incfile, we found their customer support to be good. We asked them the same question by both email and phone. Each method got us a prompt answer, but there was a big difference in how much advice we got. With the phone call, we got a quick, 45-second answer. The email response was far more detailed.
Thankfully, Incfile’s customer support is very prompt, and they receive high marks for friendliness, especially according to their online reviews.
LLC Formation Speed
Technically speaking, you can file your own LLC paperwork yourself. But you’re a busy, budding entrepreneur, so you may not have the time to spare or energy. Hiring a formation service like Incfile can save you time—provided they’re fast enough. Poor processing times could leave you wishing you’d just formed on your own instead.
Incfile, however, boasts some of the fastest processing time we’ve encountered. They even guarantee that they’ll process your LLC formation and forward it to your state within one business day.
Take that guarantee with a grain of salt, though: once Incfile submits the documents, it’s up to the state to determine how long it is before your company goes live. Some states will have your business processed within a few days, but others will take several weeks, regardless of what formation service you use. Thankfully, Incfile takes out some of the guesswork; their order form lists the average processing time for your state.
Incfile’s Final Score
Incfile is one of the best and most affordable LLC services online, so we give them a solid 4.7/5 stars for their overall score.
We’d love to see them improve their customer support somewhat, but they get the job done for an affordable price. And since they process their customers’ orders quickly, they’re a convenient option for busy entrepreneurs.