Starting your own business off the ground is an ambitious yet daunting process. The process of forming an LLC or corporation with all its steps and procedures can easily become overwhelming and take time away from the more critical aspects of running a business. Hiring an expensive attorney can also pose overwhelming costs and issues that you might want to avoid.
With the rise of entrepreneurship over recent years, business entity formation companies like Filenow have arrived to help simplify the company formation process. In this review, we will discuss the benefits of using Filenow, and break down everything they offer.
Interested in Filenow?
As a team of entrepreneurs, business professionals, lawyers, and tax experts, Filenow offers their clients knowledgeable advice and assistance in navigating the process of starting a new company.
With Filenow, you can register your business as a Limited Liability Company, C corporation, or S corporation seamlessly. They will gladly assist you with all the necessary documentation and legalities that come with registering your new company.
Filenow provides a simple online application to guide you through the registration process. All the forms are uploaded and inspected for accuracy, then filed by their team and sent over to the state for approval.
Another unique offering that Filenow provides is a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) with all packages, as well as 24-hour order processing.
They help entrepreneurs with paperwork, avoiding common errors such as inconsistent information, incomplete filings, missing deadlines, missing provision and bylaws, and failing to obtain insurance or business licenses. By avoiding these common mistakes, there leaves little room for delays with the Department of State when sent for approval.
Structure Breakdown: Who is Filenow Good For?
Filenow offers its services for various business entities and provides guidance on their formation based on the state's laws in which you plan to run the business.
Filenow offers valuable insights and guidance for Limited Liability Companies. An LLC allows the business owner's assets to be generally protected.
They will take you through what correctly defines an LLC, the various types of LLCs, as well as the risks and rewards that come with registering your business as one.
Filenow will also walk you through the basics of LLCs and provide guidance on choosing an available business name, filing Articles of Organization, designating a registered agent, creating an operating agreement, and publishing a notice of intent.
Filenow will help you decide which type of corporation is the best for you, S or C. They will give you a helpful rundown of each entity's structures and how they differ from other business types.
They will also go in-depth on navigating each type of business entity's shortcomings in areas such as double taxation, various restrictions, and all the red tape that might be involved.
Partnership business entities require a voluntary written or implied agreement of co-ownership by two or more parties. Partnership agreements don’t have to be limited to individuals but can be drawn among corporations as well.
Partnerships can also be classified as either general or limited. Limited partnerships are those made with one party who enjoys limited liability as they play the role of a silent partner who contributes money to the venture without taking part in its operation.
Filenow will take you through the licenses, permits, and insurance needed for a partnership business entity's formation process.
Sole proprietorships are considered the most straightforward and inexpensive form of business organization. They allow the owner to retain full control and avoid formalities that most corporations and partnerships require.
However, sole proprietorships do pose the risk of debts and liabilities, which is why they are considered the most undesirable of business entities.
Filenow walks you through the process of obtaining a DBA (doing business as), which allows you to function under the company name rather than your name.
Non-profit corporations are usually charitable organizations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes as tax-exempt. Non-profits do not pay income tax on earnings or donations.
The formation of non-profit corporations requires the business owner to not only submit their application to the state but also to the IRS. Once the state has approved the organization as a corporation, the owner will then have to file it with the IRS and await their decision to grant the non-profit corporation a tax-exempt status.
Filenow has resources on their website with information about non-profits, but at this time, they do not support them.
Filenow Packages & Pricing
Starter Package - $49 + state fees
The Starter package will run you $49 in addition to the state fee, which varies from state to state. This package comes complete with:
- 24-hour order processing
- Error-free guarantee
- Registered agent for the 1st year
- Company alerts
- Online status tracking
- Electronic delivery
- FedEx express shipping
Premium Package - $149 + state fees
The Premium package is for entrepreneurs who wish to pay more for some extra support. This option costs $149 plus the state fee and comes with everything the Starter package has.
On top of that, the Premium package also offers a company kit that includes:
- Banking resolutions
- IRS S election forms
- Custom bylaws or an operating agreement
- Stock ledger
- Meeting and waiver of notice template
- Custom vinyl binder and slipcase
For an extra $100, the company kit is not a necessary addition. However, the bylaws and operating agreements can be helpful as multi-member LLC entities usually require them.
As a pro tip, Filenow often offers these agreements as an upsell for an additional $25, in which case, opting for the Starter package may suit you just fine.
Overall Value vs. The Competition
Filenow claims to be the most affordable business formation service on the market, and they also offer great value in relation to their competitors. This is particularly true with the free EIN and registered agent for one year, which will save you over $200 in total.
Their main competitor with significantly lower costs is Incfile, which offers some of their packages at no cost except for the state fees. However, one deterrent with Incfile is that they do charge $70 for merely obtaining an Employer Identification Number.
Filenow Document Management & Online Experience
One useful feature that Filenow offers is saving and accessing all your documents securely in a cloud system software. You won't have to worry about losing your documents if you transition devices, and you'll have peace of mind knowing that sensitive information is stored securely. The cloud portal functions the same as virtually any typical cloud storage system and is relatively easy to use.
Access to Filenow’s registered agent services for one year is also a valuable feature. A designated registered agent is the point of contact for business entities and is usually mandatory for LLCs or corporations. As this feature would generally cost you upwards of $119 per year, Filenow offers this at a tremendous value, especially when paired with a free EIN.
However, the most favored online experience that Filenow facilitates is in the Entity Formation Wizard. This online user interface is what makes Filenow stand out from its competitors in delivering a user-friendly and quick entity formation process.
For those unsure about which entity type you should structure your business as the Entity Formation Wizard will determine that for you based on a series of simple questions. Even if you are a first-time small business owner, questions like "How will you finance your company?" or "How many owners/shareholders will your business have" will make it easy to start the business formation process.
Filenow Processing Time
The process to get started with Filenow is quite efficient. It shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to complete the initial application.
Filenow’s processing time is also substantially lower than its competitors. They guarantee 24 hour processing, but in reality, it takes merely hours.
First, you submit your information into the Filenow Wizard, which allows you to determine which type of business entity might be right for you. From there, the team will verify the company name's availability, check your application for errors, and prepare all the required forms. After preparing the application, it is sent to the Department of State to be approved. Once your application is accepted, Filenow will send you your corporation package.
You also have the option of expediting the process to best suit your needs or state regulations. This is also a feature you won’t find with Filenow’s competitors.
Filenow Compliance & Track Record
Filenow is known to be a company formation service that takes their customers’ legal compliance seriously. Offering the feature of a free designated registered agent is one way they ensure compliance with state regulations.
In addition, you will also receive free electronic company alerts, which will keep you updated when important filing dates are coming up. This ensures your business remains compliant with your state, and you can avoid having to pay any late filing fees or penalties.
Filenow Customer Service
Filenow has been in operation since 2018, and in this short period, they've managed to create quite a positive reputation for themselves.
Not only is the process quick and easy, but their team of professionals is great at helping you every step of the way. With 24/7 customer support, any questions or queries you might have will almost always get resolved in a timely manner.
They also offer 24-hour order processing, as well as a 100% money-back guarantee if the state denies your application as a result of any errors or negligence or if you're simply unhappy with the way they filed your application.
They currently have an excellent standing with the Better Business Bureau, with a grade of A- and only two complaints in the last four years. They also have a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Shopperapproved.com, with over 300 reviewers saying they'd recommend the company.
The Last Word: Is Filenow Worth It?
Filenow appears to be one of the most affordable and efficient entity formation services on the market today.
Not only is the process relatively quick and easy, but it also ensures that all your bases are covered when setting up your business. Their packages are affordable and provide the most value among their competitors. They provide excellent customer service and have maintained a positive reputation among past clients.
However, the main downside to Filenow is their inability to generate annual reports, a service most entity formation companies provide. They are also relatively young, in operation for only three years, which can be a deterrent to some individuals who are more likely to put their trust in a well-established company. They are also only suitable for LLCs and corporations, only offering limited services for sole proprietorships and partnerships, and not supporting not-for-profit business entities.
All in all, Filenow is an affordable and convenient option if you prefer to manage your documents online. Their 24-hour customer support makes sure that you have all the answers right away to avoid any delays in the process. If you choose Filenow, look into all the package details so you know what services they don't cover that you may need to find an alternative for.