LLC formation services are the modern entrepreneur’s best friend. After all, filing paperwork is annoying (if you don’t mind paperwork, then this guide 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, you’ll want to choose the perfect one.
Generally speaking, a good formation service does two things. First, they help you form your business, offering advice 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 Swyft’s LLC formation service.
Rocket Tip: Looking for the best and most affordable LLC formation services? Compare the 3 top incorporation services to see how they stack up.
Our philosophy: What makes a formation service “good?”
Ultimately, the “best” formation service boils down to a matter of opinion. Which one is best for you depends on what you want from a service. But that said, there are certain qualities that make one formation service better than another.
Whenever we evaluate an LLC formation service, here are some questions we like to ask:
- Does this service give me a good value for what I’m paying?
- Does this company have a proven record of supplying high-quality service?
- What is the quality of this company’s customer service?
- How easy is it to use this service?
- How quickly will my business be formed?
A good LLC formation service will receive high marks in these categories. We’ll consider the answers to these questions in our in-depth review below.
What is Swyft Filings?
Swyft Filings joined the online business formation scene in 2012. Their founder—a lawyer himself—wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurs to form their own business without the hassle and expense of hiring a lawyer. Their staff members are all business incorporation specialists, and they specialize in forming small and medium-sized businesses.
Since its formation, Swyft Filings has created more than 10,000 businesses. And they live up to their name; they’re one of the fastest formation services out there. But what customers appreciate more is their excellent customer service (more on that in a moment).
How does Swyft Filings work?
With Swyft Filings, you’ll need to complete five primary steps; after that, they’ll form your business for you. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect if you use Swyft:
- Customize your package: After you select your state and the business you want to form, you’ll need to select the package you want (we break these packages down in our review below). You can also add on several features, such as registered agent service or getting an Employer Identification Number.
- Establish a Primary Contact for your business: This section is brief, but Swyft needs to know who to call if there is a question about your paperwork. You’ll need to provide a name, email address, and phone number for this person.
- Business Information: Here, you provide Swyft with everything it needs to know about your business, including your desired business name, the management of your business, and more.
- Compliance: Here, Swyft helps you get set-up for maintaining your business each year and getting ready for taxes. Some of these include add-ons, such as getting an EIN from the IRS or getting Swyft’s license assistance package.
- Place order: In this final step, you can confirm your purchase and, with your credit card on hand, pay any necessary fees. It’s important to note that your total purchase price includes your state’s fee and Swyft’s.
Is Swyft Filings a good option?
Swyft Filings isn’t our favorite business formation service, but they do get the job done. They have a good track record, too—especially for a relatively young company.
In our opinion, Swyft’s best features are their customer service and formation speeds. But they fall a little short in their pricing; the price-to-features ratio of their packages (especially the premium ones) is a bit lackluster. They charge for some services that their competitors include for free.
What are customers saying?
The best feature of Swyft is their customer reviews; most of them are positive. Many customers mention their service representative by name, too, so their staff members clearly make a good impression.
Here are the things customers love about Swyft:
- Excellent, professional customer service representatives
- Easy and simple to use
- Fast service
And here are some features customers didn’t love so much:
- Unsubscribing from their service is tricky
- Business address service is confusing
- Cheaper to complete the process yourself
We often see the complaint that it’s cheaper to form the business yourself; honestly, that’s the case with any business formation service. What you pay for is the convenience of having someone else do it. And we agree with the confusion surrounding their business address service (we’ll explain more later). But all told, Swyft Filings really shines in their customer service.
LegalZoom vs. Swyft Filings: What’s the difference?
On the surface, LegalZoom and Swyft Filings seem to accomplish the same purpose: helping you form your LLC. And while that’s true, the difference between them goes much deeper than that. We’ll give you our full analysis in just a moment, but here are a few key differences:
- LegalZoom has an impressive customer volume of more than 3.6 million customers. Over a million of those customers are businesses, giving them one of the most impressive client lists in the industry.
- Swyft Filings lives up to their name; they have one of the fastest processing times in the entire industry. If you need your business started pronto, they’re a great choice. Their customer support is pretty quick, too.
Who is Swyft Filings best for?
Swyft filings is best for entrepreneurs who need their business formed quickly and for a low price. Their turnaround times are some of the fastest in the industry.
Unfortunately, they’re not the most cost-effective option out there. That honor goes to Incfile and Zen. Many of their packages are pricey compared to their competitors when compared side-by-side. That said, if you want a basic, simple business formation service without any extras, their Basic package is a good option.
Our in-depth review
Cost to form an LLC
For a business, money is always a factor. That goes for new and established businesses alike. That’s why you should always factor in cost when considering an LLC formation service. Swyft is no exception.
Swyft’s packages look competitive on the surface—the basic package costs $49, similar to competitors’ fees—but the features fall short. For example, Swyft does not include any registered agent services with their packages; they will complete this service for you, but it requires an additional fee. In contrast, many competitors give you the first year free as part of a package.
As another drawback, many of those package features are “fluffy.” They’re nice to have, but they don’t add a whole lot of value for the price. We should also note that Swyft includes a $20 upcharge for “Electronic Delivery” of your documents. Now, each package includes “online access” to your formation documents, so this charge gets them to you faster (we think; it’s a little confusing, to be honest).
With those thoughts in mind, let’s consider talk about their packages:
Basic: For $49 (plus your state’s fee), Swyft will help you form your business. This includes a name availability check, filing your Articles of Organization, a statement of organizer (which essentially grants you the authority you need to get a business bank account), online access to your documents, and access to their compliance alerts system.
Standard: The standard package makes a $100 price jump for a total cost of $149. This gives you all the features of the basic package, plus a banking resolution (which also helps you get a business bank account), and an outline for customized meeting minutes. Technically, only corporations have to maintain minutes, but Swyft includes them in case you choose to use them. They also give you a custom operating agreement to set up the terms for how your business will operate.
Premium: We honestly don’t recommend the Premium package, because it doesn’t really add much to the Standard package. Essentially, you get immediate digital delivery of your documents, an upgrade to FedEx shipping, and a digital business kit. This kit includes a digital “seal” (personalized with your company information) and twenty custom stock certificates and an ownership ledger.
Add-ons: The most important add-on we should mention is Swyft’s registered agent service; you can subscribe to it for $149 per year. Most competitors throw in the first year for free, but Swyft does not. You can also have them help you with your business licenses and permits.
Swyft’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.
Swyft’s order process seems simple enough at first, but there are a couple confusing spots along the way. You start out by choosing your package and add-ons, and then inputting your business information. If you already have all the information you need, this process takes about ten to fifteen minutes.
Here’s where the confusion comes: Swyft offers to designate a business address for you for a fee of $29 per month (the first month is free). But they also offer registered agent service. Swyft doesn’t make it clear what the difference is between the two, though. (We suspect that the former is just a mail forwarding service and the registered agent service is a more in-depth service, but it’s tough to say for sure).
Just before the payment section, you can also opt-in to their permit and license program. If you select this package, Swyft will send you the applications you need to complete. It’s a step you can complete yourself, but sometimes it’s nice to have help.
Customer Support Friendliness
Since online 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.
Swyft offers support via email, phone, and chat. Their availability is good, too. On weekdays, you can reach them 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET). One thing we really appreciate is that they don’t try to push sales on people. When you’re seeking a specific answer, you don’t really want to listen to a sales pitch. And with Swyft, you don’t get that.
Swyft lives up to their name in terms of their customer service: they’re fast. Thankfully, that speed doesn’t mean they compromise and give you poor answers. We found their representatives to be knowledgeable, but they also didn’t elaborate on our questions, either. So you shouldn’t expect an in-depth response from Swyft, but you won’t be left hanging without answers, either.
We also found that Swyft has some of the fastest response times. Via chat, we got an answer within a minute. Similarly, when we called, we only waited on hold for a minute. Email surprised us just as much; normally, these companies respond to emails within 24 hours. But with Swyft, we got a response in just four hours.
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. Hiring a formation service like Swyft can save you time—provided they’re fast enough. Poor processing times could leave you wishing you’d formed on your own instead.
Again, Swyft lives up to their name in how fast they form your business. After all, they promise same-day or next-day processing of your documents. Then, it’s up to the state’s processing times.
If your state offers expediting options, Swyft will also give you rush service, too. Whether you choose expedited or standard processing, Swyft gives you a clear estimate of when your state will have your business formed.
If you ever change your mind about a product you’ve purchased, you want to be able to return it, right? Unfortunately, with any business formation service, a full refund is impossible. That’s because part of the money goes to the state as their incorporation fee, and states do not refund those fees.
But occasionally, a customer changes their mind about a package they purchased. Perhaps they no longer want to subscribe to the registered agent service, or the company completes the process incorrectly. Each company has their own policy for refunds, and LegalZoom and Swyft Filings are no exception. We’ll summarize those policies here.
Swyft Filings has the best refund policy in the industry. If you ever decide that you don’t want one of their services anymore, then you can return it for a full refund. They don’t even charge a cancellation fee.
Assistance with ongoing compliance
Starting your business takes a lot of time and effort, but so does maintaining it! Each state is a little different; some require annual reports, some require you to renew your license each year, and more. Keeping track of these requirements can be confusing.
That’s why a lot of services help you with ongoing compliance. But just how much help you’ll get depends on what service you choose.
There are two primary services for online business compliance: registered agent service and annual report service. Swyft Filings charges a bit more for these services than some competitors, but their registered agent fee is more affordable than LegalZoom’s. You’ll pay $99 for their annual report service and $149 for registered agent service. Both will help keep your business up-to-date.
Swyft Filings earns a decent score of 4.1/5. Their name is quite apt; they are quite speedy in both their customer support and their formation processing times. They also boast excellent customer reviews due to their great customer service.
The main drawback of Swyft is the cost to forming an LLC with them. Aside from their most basic package, Swyft charges more than their competitors for the same features.
They also don’t include registered agent services in their packages, so you’ll spend more if you want a complete service.