Have you wanted to form a business for a while but don't know where to start? Whether you want to form an LLC or a corporation, you should consider some of the best online incorporation services.
However, the variety of services can be overwhelming. Luckily, some options stand out online, so you can compare them. Then, you can decide which service is best for you.
Keep reading to learn about some companies that can help you form your business.
|ZenBusiness||Most Businesses||$49 + state fees|
|IncFile||Most Affordable||$0 + state fees|
|Northwest Registered Agent||Customer Service||$225 + state fees|
|Inc Authority||Credit Services||$99 + state fees|
|LegalZoom||Add-On Services||$79 + state fees|
|Harbor Compliance||Premium Option||$399 + state fees|
|Rocket Lawyer||Additional Legal Services||$0 + state fees|
ZenBusiness: Best for most businesses
ZenBusiness got its start in 2015 and is now an LLC formation business. The company helps new and aspiring business owners start their LLC. They can also help you run your LLC and grow your business.
Working with ZenBusiness is an excellent option for many new business owners. The company can help you get an employer identification number (EIN), develop a website, and CPA assessments. Other services include compliance guarantee and Registered Agent services.
ZenBusiness offers multiple packages so that business owners can choose one that fits their budget. The Starter Package includes the basics necessary to start and grow a business. This plan covers an operating agreement, customer support, filing articles, and basic paperwork.
You can also select the Pro Package or Premium Package for more features and help. The Pro Package includes domain name registration, getting an EIN, and quick document filing speed. Upgrading to the Premium Package will also get you a business website, email address, and an accuracy guarantee.
The company ZenBusiness is a good fit for business owners wishing to form an LLC or a corporation. Sole proprietorships and partnerships can also use ZenBusiness, and there are also services for nonprofits. Any business owner who needs guidance regarding legal structures should use ZenBusiness.
However, ZenBusiness is not a good fit for business owners who already have a structure in place. If you have a Registered Agent or a lawyer that helps you with the legal side of your business, you may not find ZenBusiness that helpful.
For more, read our full ZenBusiness review.
- Very affordable
- Easy to use and manage your documents
- Good track record
- Not the absolute cheapest option
- DIY annual report filing
IncFile: Most affordable
IncFile is another excellent incorporation service to consider. With IncFile, you can form your business and file any necessary legal documents to make it official. The company got its start in 2004 to help other business owners navigate the complexity of starting a business.
You can use IncFile's website to research available business names. Along with business formation services, IncFile can help with accounting and compliance services. The company can also help if you decide to change your company name.
With IncFile, the only charge to form an LLC or other business entity is the state filing fees. These fees vary between states, but IncFile doesn't charge for their services for the most basic tier. If you need more services, IncFile will charge extra, but they aren't always necessary.
Fortunately, IncFile makes it easy to use their online portal to view documents, get accounting services, or name a Registered Agent. The dashboard includes everything that IncFile offers, depending on the services you select.
IncFile is excellent for LLCs, corporations, nonprofits, and sole proprietorships. Except for sole proprietorships, IncFile can help with business formation documents. The company can help sole proprietors choose to go through an LLC or not. It's also a great option for any business that needs help filing for an LLC or corporation on a budget.
While IncFile doesn't help form partnerships, they can help that business structure later. If you need help with accounting or compliance, you and your business partners can use IncFile services. However, IncFile can help if you and your partners want to form an LLC or corporation.
Head over to our IncFile review for more details on their service.
- Cheapest option on the market
- Great value for additional services
- Their customer service isn't the most reliable
Northwest Registered Agent: Best customer service
Northwest Registered Agent has been in business since the 1990s, and they're an excellent choice for business formation. They can offer customers more privacy than some LLC filing companies, and they can act as your Registered Agent.
This can be useful for home-based business owners because you can use Northwest Registered Agent's address as your legal business address. The company can then scan and email copies of your mail to you. Northwest Registered Agent also uses a secure chat system to help protect customer information.
There's only one main package, but the company also offers add-ons to help business owners customize their experience. The package includes business formation and one year of service as a Registered Agent. Business owners can then renew the Registered Agent service.
Additionally, Northwest Registered Agent provides documents such as initial resolutions, stock certificates, and corporate bylaws. While the company is more expensive than the competition, they're very thorough, and they offer excellent customer service.
Business owners can use Northwest Registered Agent to form an LLC, corporation, partnership, or nonprofit. The company can help business owners file any necessary forms for LLCs corporations and nonprofits. They can also help partners set the terms of the partnership, even though the structure is easier to set up than some.
Unfortunately, Northwest Registered Agent can't do much to help sole proprietors. While you may need a license or some other documentation, other companies will be a better option for those services.
For more information, read our entire Northwest Registered Agent review.
- Exceptional customer service
- Multiple additional services provided
- Great security
- Not the cheapest option, but you get what you pay for
- Good for basic formation and filing needs
- Unique business credit services
- Good compliance and track record
- Additional services are quite a bit more expensive
LegalZoom: Best add-on services
The main goal of LegalZoom is to help business owners who can't afford to work with an attorney, so they offer many formation services. They can offer custom services based on where you set up your business. Then, you can make sure you meet any local or state requirements.
LegalZoom can help you get the documents you need to form your business. They can also provide instructions so that you can complete the forms yourself. However, they can also help you prepare those forms.
While LegalZoom doesn't provide legal services, they can help you find a local attorney that can help with other things. You can do most of the work to form a company without the help of an attorney, but it's nice to have that option.
Additionally, LegalZoom offers a few packages with different services based on the price. The Economy package allows you to create your formation documents, but you get some guides to help you. Standard and Express Gold packages also offer faster processing and other benefits.
LegalZoom is a good fit for almost any business. The company can help you form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit. If you want to form a partnership, LegalZoom can help you create a partnership agreement to make everything official.
Unfortunately, LegalZoom can't help sole proprietors form a business because there aren't any necessary documents. LegalZoom also isn't a good fit if you want someone to fill out the forms for you. While the company can match you with an attorney, that can be complicated.
You can read more in our full LegalZoom review.
- Great customer support
- Extensive knowledge base
- Lots of additional services provided
- More expensive for basic filings
- Some pushy upsells
Harbor Compliance: Best premium option
Harbor Compliance can help with business formation, and they can make sure businesses comply with legal requirements. Instead of filling out a form and providing your information online, Harbor Compliance will connect you with a licensing specialist.
Then, you can work with the specialist over the phone, and you can get more customized assistance than using the internet alone. Once you set everything up, Harbor Compliance can help you track deadlines, fees, and renewal schedules.
They offer multiple packages, so you can choose one that suits your needs and budget. Their Formation package includes everything you need to form your business, such as filing your articles of organization and creating a sample operating agreement.
The Compliance package offers more services, such as an annual report for your business regarding deadlines. This package also offers an LLC kit, publishing assistance, and ongoing customer support.
Harbor Compliance can help almost any business owner in some way. The company can help LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits form. While you may not need to officially file for a partnership, the company can help you create an agreement and set up an EIN.
However, Harbor Compliance is not a good fit for business owners with a small budget. You will need to pay quite a bit for the basic package, and it doesn't include state filing fees. Head over to our Harbor Compliance review for more on those drawbacks and the aspects we really like about their service.
- Great service and white glove treatment
- Easy document access and record management
- Lots of service options for different types of business entities
- More expensive
Rocket Lawyer: Best for additional legal services
Rocket Lawyer offers many excellent services to help new business owners navigate the legal side of creating a company. The company can assist you as you set up your business, and they can answer any legal questions. They can also help you set up a business bank account.
Their services are more affordable than some other services, but they also offer more comprehensive legal help. You can use their one-time incorporation service to form an LLC, but other business structures will require an a la carte service purchase.
Rocket Lawyer also offers a monthly subscription, which includes access to a video call with a lawyer for each new legal project. You can also ask an in-house attorney as many questions as you like. The subscription also lets you create any legal document you need, and their attorneys will review your documents.
Also, Rocket Lawyer can act as a Registered Agent, and this is a separate service from the subscription. If you want to test out the basic services that come with a subscription, you can take advantage of Rocket Lawyer's seven-day free trial.
Business owners wanting to set up an LLC will find that Rocket Lawyer is a good option. You can form your business, and you can get ongoing legal assistance. Then, you can make sure your business stays in compliance.
While Rocket Lawyer can help you decide on other business structures, they aren't the best for forming those other structures. You may need to pay extra aside from the main subscription fee if you want to form anything other than an LLC. For more, read our entire Rocket Lawyer review.
- Additional legal services
- Great bundle discounts with incorporation services
- Not the cheapest option for just incorporation services
- Basic LLC package is pretty bare bones
How We Assess Online Incorporation Services
When considering the best online incorporation services, it's important to look at a few different factors. Since some aspects may be more important to you, but don't be afraid to compare incorporation services that meet different needs.
Here are the things to look at when assessing various online incorporation services.
One of the most important factors is the services that a company offers. For example, many of the best online incorporation services offer more than business formation. Some companies also offer more legal assistance or even accounting help.
Consider if you will need or want more services in addition to business formation. You may want help with taxes, compliance, or simply need ongoing legal advice. If you know someone who has used an incorporation service, that can be helpful.
But think about if you have the same needs as that other business owner. Then, you can select an incorporation service that meets your needs.
Document Management and Online Experience
Another crucial aspect of choosing an incorporation service is accessing and managing your documents after the company creates them. Many of the best online incorporation services have portals where you can access and download your formation documents.
When choosing a service, you should consider how easy their portal is to use. That way, you won't have to struggle if you need a copy of your articles of incorporation.
As more businesses rely on the internet, ease-of-use becomes more important. While a company may offer everything else you need, it's not the right fit if you can't use and access your documents.
If you want to get your business going sooner rather than later, you should look for an incorporation service that can process your documents quickly. Many services offer higher tiers that include express file processing.
The basic package may take a while to process, so you can upgrade if you don't want to wait. If you have some extra money in your budget, this can be a good option.
However, you can also consider the baseline processing time. That way, you can make sure the company will process everything when you need them to.
Complying with the law is another essential part of starting and running a business. Some incorporation services offer more compliance services than others.
If you don't have a lawyer, you can find an incorporation service with compliance options. Then, you can make sure that you don't miss any filing or renewal deadlines. And you can avoid any late fees that you may incur.
Be sure to look at incorporation services that can help with compliance. That way, you don't have to worry about finding a lawyer to help.
With any service or product, customer service is vital. If you experience issues with your documents, you need to know that someone will help you.
Try to find companies that offer excellent customer service. Some companies only offer customer service when you're actively filing for a business. However, others offer help long after you form your business.
Consider if you want the option to access that support. Then, you can choose the incorporation service that's best for you.
Price and Value
Finally, you should also look at the pricing for each of the best online incorporation services. While there are a few free services, don't ignore the more expensive options.
The more expensive services tend to offer more value than what you can get for free. Don't be afraid to spend a little more to get the services and value you need.