If you're starting a new business, you already have enough on your plate without worrying about the ins and outs of business formation. One of the easiest ways to cut down on paperwork is to rely on a professional formation service. IncFile and Incorporate.com are both services you may have come across on your search for a company formation service. They'll be compared side-by-side so you can decide which is best for you.
Incorporate.com Vs. IncFile: The Verdict
IncFile is quite a bit cheaper than Incorporate.com, offering more affordable incorporation services and a registered agent service inclusive in their prices. Conversely, Incorporate.com has been around for much longer, with a history that spans more than a century, but despite that, IncFile has more customer feedback. However, they have notable customer support issues. IncFile is a great choice for your formation package. However, Incorporate.com does offer some services that IncFile doesn't.
Choose Incorporate.com if:
- You want a company with a long history
- You're starting a partnership
Choose IncFile if:
- Customer feedback is a selling point for you
- You're starting an LLC, nonprofit, or corporation
- You want to have accounting/financial services
Services Offered & Pricing
There are a lot of similarities in what they offer, but also some key differences to consider. You can start a corporation, LLC, or nonprofit with either company, though IncFile doesn't cater to partnerships. However, IncFile is quite a bit cheaper with free LLC formation (you pay only state fees) and registered agent services for free (for the first year), whereas Incorporate.com will charge you quite a bit more for this vital service. Incorporate.com does have an excellent business compliance service, though, that could justify the higher price-point.
- You can form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit with either company
- They can arrange your EIN, meaning you won't need to approach the IRS for this yourself
- IncFile offers a free package
- IncFile offers a registered agent service (free for the first year); however, you'd need to pay for this with Incorporate.com
- Incorporate.com offers a business compliance guide with its more advanced packages
Incorporate.com Packages & Pricing
Incorporate.com offers customers three different pricing options, which helps you pay for only the features you'll use. Here's a quick breakdown of what each package covers. These packages do not include the cost of using a registered agent. You'll have to pay $235 a year for an agent. IncFile offers this service for free for the first year, then $119 after that.
Starter Package - $99 ( Plus State Fee)
The cheapest option you can find with Incorporate.com is $99 a year. This price may seem like a bargain, but you may change your mind once you see what you get. Again, you have to pay extra for a registered agent.
- Prep and file articles of organization: The articles of organization are the documents that officially register an LLC in your state. With this package, Incorporate creates and files your completed forms for you
- Name Availability Search: Incorporate will also complete a name search in the official state databases to ensure your chosen LLC name is available
- Documents Available Online: With this package, you'll also get access to an online portal, where all of your LLC documents are safely stored for easy viewing
Essentials Package - $249 ( Plus State Fee)
With the Essentials package, you get the features of the Starter package, plus these additions:
- EIN (Federal Tax ID Number): An EIN works like a social security number. You can use this number to pay your business taxes, open bank accounts, hire employees, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS, but Incorporate does the work for you with the Essentials package
- Seal and LLC Kit: This feature is more of a novelty than an actual business necessity. You'll receive a binder with a customized decorative seal and your company name printed on the front
The Works - $349 (Plus State Fee)
For the price of $349, you can get the Works, which includes all of the options above of the two previous packages, plus:
- Research Package for Business License: Incorporate identifies the required tax registrations, permits, and licenses you will need for your LLC. They supply you with the necessary applications and provide instructions for filling these out and filing them
- Operation Agreement: Your operating agreement outlines the company's infrastructure and operational procedures. With this package, Incorporate will create a draft for your business
IncFile Packages & Pricing
Registered agent service is being provided for free, which increases the value for money you receive from them compared to Incorporate.com. IncFile offers three easy-to-understand packages, starting from $0. Let's take a detailed look at what each package costs.
Silver package - $0 + state fee
- Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization: These are the required documents for your LLC formation; Inc File will handle everything for you
- Company Name Availability Searches: Inc File searches in your formation state to ensure your business name isn't already used
- One Year of Free Registered Agent Services: You get access to free registered agent services for one full year with a Silver Package. Following years will be charged $119 annually if you choose to continue this service
- Order Status Tracking: IncFile offers an order status tracking tool that monitors the status of your order
- Business Tax Consultation: One of the services included in this package is a no-obligation tax consultation for 30 minutes with a certified tax professional
- Lifetime Company Alerts: You'll receive email notifications to remind you of important dates, such as filing annual reports or other compliance requirements
- Online Document Access: Once your state of formation returns your filed documents to IncFile, they will be ready for viewing and downloading on your online dashboard
Gold package - $149 + state fee
The Gold package includes everything from the Silver package, plus the following:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN): The EIN is a 9-digit number that acts as an SSS number for your company. If you have an EIN, you can do some things such as filing business taxes or opening a business bank account. You can obtain your EIN on your own from the IRS or let Incfile do the work for you
- Custom Operating Agreement: If you are a Gold Package IncFile customer, IncFile LLC will draft and finalize your operating agreement
- Banking Resolution: You can officially open a business bank account if you have a banking resolution. However, the banking resolution document would be redundant and unnecessary if you already have an EIN
- Gold Business Formation Kit: You will receive a kit that bears the name of your company together with a transfer ledger
- S Corporation Tax Form Preparation: Only a few LLCs use this feature. But in case you wish to be taxed the way an S Corporation is taxed, the document preparation and filing will be done by IncFile for you
Platinum package - $299 + state fee
The Platinum package includes everything in the Gold package, including extras such as:
- Expedited Document Filing: IncFile LLC will choose to expedite the filing of your documents in case your state of formation offers an expedited service. Customers who upgrade this Platinum Package will enjoy the ease of use
- Sample Document Library: IncFile LLC will give you access to their document library that provides their customers various and commonly used legal contract templates
- Business Website and Domain Name: You will be provided with your business website and domain name
Document Management & Online Experience
Incorporate.com and IncFile offer simple user interfaces that are secure against hackers and other third-party threats. You can use the dashboard to access your business formation kit, business contracts, and other important documents. You can get compliance alerts, too. However, you should be aware that with Incorporate.com, you'll have to pay extra to use the CSC navigator to manage the alerts.
- Your security is guaranteed
- Both rate well for ease of use
- The CSC navigator is a premium service that you'll need to upgrade or pay extra for
The turnaround times between these two companies are quite similar; you can pay extra for expedited filing. You can consider them somewhat neck and neck, as the exact processing time will vary based on the state you choose to incorporate in. In Indiana, you could finish the process in under a week. In Florida, it could be over a month.
- These service providers have identical processing times
- Expedited filing is an optional add-on
- IncFile's expedited processing starts at $50 depending on your state; Incorporate.com's pricing isn't as transparent though expedited services seem to start at $95
Compliance & Track Record
Despite a century in the business, Incorporate.com has precious few reviews online. What does exist is quite mediocre, with three stars seeming to be an average. This directly contrasts IncFile, with thousands of online reviews and testimonials. Quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality, though. IncFile's reviews are tepid at best, and they've lost BBB accreditation due to unanswered customer complaints.
- Mixed/average reviews
- IncFile lost BBB accreditation
- IncFile has more reviews
Customer Service seems to be variable with Incorporate.com, with your service level depending on the customer service representative that you speak to that day. IncFile has recently doubled their customer support team to provide better customer support, but it'll possibly take some time until they've dealt with their compliance issues. Overall, you can contact IncFile via email and phone line, and you can contact Incorporate.com via phone, email, or live chat.
- Variable customer service experience
- Incorporate.com has a LiveChat feature
When considering your business needs, one crucial thing is how each formation service performs for each structure.
While these companies can provide decent service when starting an LLC, IncFile also offers tax return processing and filings. In addition to that, IncFile offers a free LLC service in their silver package, meaning you pay only state fees.
IncFile can provide excellent support for corporations at a low price. IncFile's low prices recently expanded support team, and comprehensive accounting services make them a brilliant choice whether you're setting up an S-corp or a C-corp.
Partnerships are a business arrangement between two or more partners who own equal or near equal parts of the organization. IncFile doesn't support partnerships, so Incorporation.com is your best choice. Incorporate.com can assist you with all that you need in the formation process.
Managing a nonprofit requires different tax statuses and filings than traditional businesses. Incorporate.com can assist you with setting up your nonprofit and filling for specialized tax status, which helps you become liable for extra protections and grants. IncFile can help you convert an LLC or corporation to a nonprofit but doesn't strictly cater to them specifically.
The Last Word
Business owners looking for business formation services have a lot to consider; you should do thorough research before choosing. IncFile is, without a doubt, best for LLC formation services, with better prices (sometimes free except for state filing fees) and better customer reviews. But in some areas, Incorporate.com does better, as they cater to startups that IncFile doesn't support.