If you are an entrepreneur in the planning process of legalizing your company, you will understand the complexity of the process. Getting some help from an entity-forming company can be super beneficial and save you tons of time in the long run.
In this article, we will explore Direct Incorporation, one of the business incorporation services on the market. We will also go over the services they offer, customer feedback, and their pricing.
Interested in Direct Incorporation?
About Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation is a father and son venture started in 2003 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Initially, this company began by only processing legal documents. Over the years, they have become a full-service company, offering business formations, domain registrations, and websites.
For those looking to avoid priced legal fees, Direct Incorporation provides very economical and efficient services. Law firms can be very pricey, but Direct Incorporation provides what you need to save you hundreds.
Direct Incorporation seeks to help you with all of the legal/entrepreneurial hoops you will need to jump through to form your LLC or corporation. Navigating the red tape associated with creating a company on your own can be quite intimidating. Instead, Direct Incorporation can take care of this for you.
They can help you with many issues that might arise and provide you with support with legal documents and procedures. They are also equipped to help you with domain registration, "ready to go" websites, and logo design services, to name just a few areas in which they are qualified.
Structure Breakdown: Who is Direct Incorporation Good For?
Direct Incorporation meets the two most essential requirements for a formation service: 1) it helps you form your business while offering advice, and 2) it helps you maintain your business by reminding you of due dates, state requirements, and more.
Direct Incorporation is an excellent choice if you have a decently sized start-up budget. They offer quite a few services, mainly on their higher-tiered packages.
A registered agent service is critical. Direct Incorporation offers this service for free for six months. After that time frame has lapsed, the fee is $159.00 per year, lower than its competitors.
A registered agent is important because every LLC is required to have a registered agent. The registered agent is a business entity or person that receives important document delivery from your state government.
Here are some of the entity types that Direct Incorporation is prepared to assist with.
If you want to be an individual owner of your company, Direct Incorporation can offer you any one of their leveled packages. Typically, this is a popular choice over a partnership because of the tax benefits and limited liability.
Direct Incorporation can help LLC owners start up their company, create articles of organization, obtain an EIN, and create a domain name for their website. For higher-tiered packages, they offer even more.
Choosing this option for your business will allow for easier sell or transfer of stock. And depending upon the classification, you will be taxed accordingly. Direct Incorporation can also help with an S-Corp election form. You can also choose a package that includes corporate bylaws prep, stock/membership certificates, and more.
A partnership is a company owned by two or more equal or partial partners. One of the most important documents needed in setting up a partnership is a partnership agreement. Unfortunately, Direct Incorporation does not offer assistance with this. However, Direct Corporation can help you file your taxes as this designated entity.
A sole proprietorship is the easiest entity to form because it essentially does not require much filing to get started. Direct Incorporation provides the option for a DBA (doing business as) filing option, which you will need to do if choosing this option.
A non-profit organization is an entity that has been given tax-exempt status by the government because the main goal of the company is not to make a profit but to benefit humanity in some way. Direct Incorporation can help you to attain the 501(c)3 status for your non-profit organization, which is the important documentation that allows you to remain tax-free.
Direct Incorporation Packages & Pricing
There are five packages available, including Standard, Premier, Elite, Venture, and Venture Plus. The Standard Package starts at $147.00. Expect the higher-priced packages to have more features and branding services such as web design and trademark protections, among other selling points.
Here are the packages offered by Direct Incorporation. Keep in mind that the prices do not include state fees.
Standard Package - $147
- Name availability
- Online storage
- Six-month free registered agent service
- Preparation and filing of articles of incorporation or organization
- Domain name securing
- S-Corp tax designation
- Client Resource Center
- Three week Executive Club trial
Premier Package - $297
- Everything from the Standard Package
- Operating agreement
- Corporate suite CD
- LLC kit and seal
Elite Package - $429
- Everything from both the Standard and Premier package
- Website builder tool
- DIY website builder software
- One year domain name registration
- Three months of free website hosting
- Five free email accounts
- Stock logo
Venture Package - $873
- Everything from the Standard, Premier, and Elite packages
- Web design service (they will build the website for you instead of providing the DIY website builder software)
- Custom logo design
- One year Executive Club subscription
- One year website hosting
Venture Plus Package - $1,495
- Everything from the Standard, Premier, Elite, and Venture packages
- Second trademark or copyright
- Subsidiary entity filing or DBA name
- U.S. business address
- Organizational meeting live support
- Annual meeting live support
The Executive Club is an extra service offered by Direct Incorporation that can be accessed by paying a monthly subscription. The Executive Club includes the business compliance program, tracking tax filings, and government compliance requirements.
The Executive Club will help you with documents like meeting resolutions and minutes, and other custom corporate documents. You can also obtain discounts on incorporation and trademark services. Another huge plus of the Executive Club is access to a lawyer and accountant for only $13.99 per month.
Overall Value vs. The Competition
If you need some extra services beyond entity formation, Direct Incorporation could be a good option. However, they are not our first choice for most businesses given their steep price point.
Here is how Direct Incorporation measures up to competitors.
Direct Incorporation Document Management & Online Experience
With a client base of more than 80,000, Direct Incorporation has made a good name for themselves. Their website is convenient and efficient. Filling out an order form takes less than 15 minutes from the first to last page.
After you fill out the online application, you are then assigned an account manager. The account manager will prepare and file all of the documents necessary for incorporation.
The website displays prices and features, and each screen is also clearly explained. The learning center should give you all of the information you need to know about corporations, LLCs, and trademarks. The extensive drop-down menus focus on specific questions you may have and they answer them quite clearly.
They also have a blog on their website that further addresses some business ownership areas and provides additional information to clients. Lastly, their website is protected by Authorize.net, which verifies merchant identity and Norton Web Security. This service encrypts data and scans for malware.
Direct Incorporation Processing Time
The turnaround time for processing is based on your state of formation, Direct Incorporation estimates each state's timeline on their website. If you are short on time, you can expedite the process for a fee. This will ensure they prepare the business formation documents and submit them to the appropriate state within one business day. Keep in mind that this does not mean your business will be processed in one business day.
Their website also includes both the turnaround times for standard processing and expedited orders per state.
Unlike their competitors, Direct Incorporation does not prioritize orders based on how much money you spend. This means that those who purchase the Standard Package can expect to wait just as long as those who purchase the Venture Plus Package.
Direct Incorporation Compliance & Track Record
As stated above, Direct Incorporation has a client base of 80,000 plus and hosts over 5,000 websites. In 2010, they were ranked 209 on the Inc 5000 Business Service category as one of America's fastest-growing companies.
Currently, Direct Incorporation has an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2005. They also score a four out of five in their 42 Facebook reviews.
Direct Incorporation does not have as many reviews as its competitors, but overall, the reviews are positive. The critical reviews seem to be isolated incidences tied to misguided expectations.
It is quite important as a consumer that you read the fine print of your agreement. Then you will know exactly which services you have signed up for. When looking at Direct Incorporation's packages, note the free services offered only within a specific time frame. Often, when that time frame has elapsed, you will be charged for that service.
Be aware that you will never receive a full refund from any LLC formation service provider. Part of the money you pay a company goes directly to the state as their incorporation fee. However, Direct Incorporation has a better refund system than many of their competitors.
Direct Incorporation Customer Service
Customer service is a priority with Direct Incorporation. Phone support is available from 9 to 6 Eastern Time. With 18 years of experience, the team at Direct Incorporation is highly qualified. The strong service team is knowledgeable and they actually answer the phone directly, as their direct lines are posted on their website. Employees are friendly and helpful, and waiting time is minimal if you choose to call the mainline.
The reps can help you by answering questions right away. Since you can directly contact employees, you can choose to speak to the person who is best suited to address a particular problem or need. This access to a live person can save you a lot of time trying to find the answers yourself if you choose to DIY. A lack of third-party partnerships and no upsell attempts are also a bonus to potential clients.
The Last Word: Is Direct Incorporation Worth It?
Direct Incorporation is an excellent choice for those with a decent startup budget. They can provide many services unavailable from other companies. Unfortunately, those services are available with the higher-tiered, more expensive packages.
Direct Incorporation ranks well in their customer service, and although they do not have as many reviews as their counterparts, the reviews they do have are positive for the most part.
They are a decent choice for those with deep pockets and looking to designate their business as an LLC. When making your decision, make sure to evaluate the packages carefully. If you are choosing one on the lower end, you may want to shop around for a better price.