When you're starting a company, there is a wealth of paperwork to consider. It can be a legal minefield to navigate, especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners; one way to alleviate this is to use one of the many market business formation services. Inc Authority and IncFile are two such providers that can streamline the process. Today, they'll be compared side by side so you can see which provider best caters to your business needs.
Inc Authority vs. IncFile: The Verdict
Both Inc Authority and IncFile can offer you everything you need, especially if you're looking to form an LLC. Inc Authority has a better reputation than IncFile, provides more transparent pricing than IncFile, and is rated better for compliance. Neither can help you if you want to set up a DBA or partnership.
Choose IncFile if:
- You want financial services
- You want additional services such as trademark assistance
Choose Inc Authority if:
- You want a service provider with an excellent reputation
- You value a free option
- You want transparent pricing
Services Offered & Pricing
IncFile and Inc Authority offer very similar services, and you can pay for additional services on an a la carte basis. There is significant overlap in each service provider's offerings, for example, registered agent services.
- Free registered agent service for the first year
- Additional accounting/tax services
- A la carte pricing for add ons
- Inc Authority's pricing is much more transparent
- Inc Authority offers a free plan (state filing fee only)
IncFile Packages & Pricing
Business Formation - price varies
If you need to form an LLC or corporation, the cost will vary between states. The cheapest state to form an LLC in is Kentucky, at $40. Massachusetts is the most expensive, with $520 as the cost.
To form a C-Corp or S-Corp, the cheapest states (Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa) charge $50. The cost is the same in most states, though Rhode Island and West Virginia charge more for an S-Corp. Nevada is the most expensive state for both structures, where it costs $725.
Forming a nonprofit can cost as little as $8 in Kentucky or $237 in Alabama. No matter which structure you choose, IncFile charges $0 to $299 more, depending on the services you need.
Accounting - price varies
You can also use IncFile to obtain an employer identification number (EIN), which costs $70. The company also offers accounting services, including:
- Consultation call
- Quarterly bookkeeping
- Mobile account access
- Tax return preparation
IncFile doesn't list prices on their website, but you can schedule a free consultation call.
Compliance - price varies
You need to file a yearly report with the Secretary Of State to show your company's activities. If you want to, you can have IncFile do it. They'll help ensure your report is accurate and that you can submit it on time.
IncFile can also help you get a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. Both the certificate and the annual report are free.
In terms of other areas of compliance, you can purchase a business license research package for $99. And if you need a trademark, IncFile can help you get one for $199 plus the cost of the federal filing fee.
Registered Agent Service - price varies
If you want help with your legal documents, you should hire a Registered Agent. Fortunately, IncFile offers the services to all new businesses.
When you file for an LLC or corporation, you can get the first year of a Registered Agent for free. After that, the service costs $119 per year. IncFile will also help you change your Registered Agent if you've had one already.
Inc Authority Packages & Pricing
Free Package - $0 + state fees
Here are the benefits that come with Inc Authority's free tier.
- Business name availability search: Inc Authority searches to ensure your chosen business name is available for use in your state
- Articles of organization preparation and filing: This step has the Inc Authority prepare your entity documents and paperwork and submit them to your state
- A registered agent for one year: Inc Authority will act as your company's registered agent for one year, notifying you of upcoming filings
- S corporation form: If you file as an S corporation, Inc Authority will file the appropriate paperwork
The free tier also offers third-party access to the following benefits:
- Business funding analysis: You can get preapproved for between $50,000 and $150,000 in minutes through a third party
- Tax planning: One hour of live meeting time with a tax expert about deadlines, deductions, inventory, and other questions
- Business checking account: Inc Authority partners with Bank of America to offer a free business checking account
Starter Package - $399 + state fees
Here's what you'll get with the company's Starter package. It includes everything from the free tier, plus:
- Operating agreement and bylaws: Each member receives fully drawn-up operating agreements and bylaws or their company
- Record book and company seal: This is a collection of the company's most important documents, along with a corporate seal
- Initial meeting minutes: Meeting minute forms for conducting business meetings
- Ownership certificates: All owners are given a copy of the official paperwork for their business
- Tax ID Number (EIN): Inc Authority charges $49 for an EIN, but you can get one free through the IRS
- Evaluation for business credit and funding: Inc Authority will help you find the best sources for startup capital
- Success advisor: Inc Authority will give you access to one of its success advisors for one year
Executive Package - $499 + state fees
Inc Authority's Executive tier continues to build on the previous tiers, including:
- Business license report: This benefit gives you access to Inc Authority's license search software, which tells you exactly which documentation you'll need for your business
- Website domain: Inc Authority will help you secure a domain for your company website
Tycoon Package - $799 + state fees
Finally, Inc Authority's highest tier is the Tycoon package, which is primarily focused on helping to build business credit. It includes:
- Express processing: You and your company jump to the front of the paperwork processing line
- Credit coach for businesses: This feature gives you access to a credit coach for 90 days
- Business Credit LaunchPad: Inc Authority's credit-building software guides new businesses
- Registration with D&B Credit Bureau: Dun & Bradstreet, a top credit bureau, will give you an initial credit report
Document Management & Online Experience
These two service providers have ease of use in common; you can easily and automatically manage your documents and services in a sleek dashboard. You can also use other add ons, such as accounting and the registered agent service, from within the same dashboard.
- An easy-to-understand, smooth system
- Add ons are easy to access
- Documents are available to download with surprising speed
- Inc Authority's site is mobile-friendly
- Inc Authority doesn't have as much access to knowledge or assistance on offer as IncFile
You can purchase express processing and expedite the process for $49 with Inc Authority. IncFile offers the same service for $50-$152, state dependant. As ever, processing time varies significantly from state to state; however, both IncFile and Inc Authority are committed to getting your filing done as quickly as possible.
- Fast, accurate filing is offered by each provider
- Expedited filing is available
- Expedited filing is much cheaper with Inc Authority
Compliance & Track Record
Inc Authority has 4.8 out of 5 stars on trust pilot, from over 5,000 reviews. This is very impressive, and it was difficult to find any negative reviews online. The reviews indicated that people were unhappy with Inc Authority for charging for services available elsewhere for free.
IncFile has decent online reviews and previously enjoyed a good track record; however, in September 2020, the Better Business Bureau had revoked IncFiles accreditation because IncFile had failed to maintain a positive track record. Their page on the BBB shows hundreds of customer complaints.
- They are both longstanding companies, not fly-by-night new startups
- Both enjoy an overall good reputation
- IncFile lost its BBB accreditation for doing business in bad faith, whereas Inc Authority has yet to be accredited
Both have good online reviews (4+ stars and above for most online reviews). Each offers excellent service, with email, phone, and live chat options. The customer support teams are friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive.
- Live chat option
- Decent online reviews
- Its loss of BBB accreditation damages IncFile's reputation
Business owners should consider going to Inc Authority for their LLC formation services. They offer free LLC formation (you only pay the state fee) and have a wealth of experience in setting up LLC's. 96% of their customers are LLC-based. If you need an LLC, this is Inc Authorities' area of true expertise. You can also make use of their additional tax and accounting services.
Whether you want to start an S-Corp or a C-Corp, IncFile can help you manage the paperwork. You can use their service to find an available business name and file with your state. Technically, Inc Authority could assist you in starting your business entity, however, it's worth remembering that their area of expertise is with limited liability companies.
Neither Inc Authority nor IncFile offers support for partnerships.
While neither IncFile nor Inc Authority is ideal for starting a nonprofit, IncFile has more on offer for nonprofits and can help you if you initially start up an LLC or corporation.
The Last Word
In terms of filing services, they both make stellar choices. Inc Authority and IncFile have a lot in common, such as assistance with formation documents, a full year of registered agent service for free, quick turnaround time (with rush processing), overall good customer reviews, and attractive LLC formation packages. Tax planning consultations and other accountancy services can also be arranged for a fee.
Inc Authority no doubt offers the best LLC service, with free filing (state fee only) being offered, as well as additional services like a business credit coach. IncFile has a more risky reputation but offers additions like a business name check, business tax resources, and other extras.
Overall, both are excellent incorporation services, but Inc Authority offers a more comprehensive and trusted service. The Inc Authority customer support team is also competent and helpful.