Setting up a new business can be a confusing venture into a new world of jargon, legal documents, regulations, and paperwork that you've never considered. One reliable way to make your life easier is to turn to a business formation service. Entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to incorporation services to assist them with the formation process. But there are dozens of service providers offering LLC formation services alongside additional services. Today we'll be looking at Rocket Lawyer and Incorporate.com, two excellent service providers with a lot to offer.
Rocket Lawyer vs. Incorporate.com: The Verdict
Rocket Lawyer offers excellent online legal services, legal advice, and LLC formation packages, with or without a monthly subscription basis. It opened its doors in 2008 and has helped millions of business entities launch.
Rocket Lawyer is registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an excellent track record. Incorporate.com has fewer online reviews, but they do have BBB accreditation like Rocket Lawyer. Incorporate.com opened its doors more than a century ago. Incorporate.com is reliable but has high service costs. Incorporate.com offers core incorporation services but doesn't offer the add-ons that Rocket Lawyer does.
Choose Incorporate.com if:
- You want a no-frills service
- You want one of the oldest formation companies
Choose Rocket Lawyer if:
- You want attorney services
- You want a company with a bigger online presence
Services Offered & Pricing
You can save some money by choosing a one-off filing service. Incorporate.com has a basic package that is the same price as Rocket Lawyer, but the registered agent service is $235 - almost twice the cost of what Rocket Lawyer charges. Incorporate.com has multiple packages, compared to Rocket Lawyer's just two options which include their monthly subscription. While the services offered have significant overlap, Rocket Lawyer offers more with excellent legal help for those that require it.
- You can incorporate any business entity
- The basic packages are the same price
- Rocket Lawyer offers cheaper registered agent services
- Rocket Lawyer offers a monthly subscription
Rocket Lawyer Packages & Pricing
Rather than offering several packages, Rocket Lawyer just provides a monthly subscription or one-time formation service. Other services may be available on an a la carte basis.
Monthly Subscription - $39.99/month
While the monthly subscription offers similar formation services to the one-off service, you won't get other perks (such as the 30-minute consultations) without the monthly subscription.
In the monthly package, you'll receive:
- Unlimited document templates
- Ask a lawyer any questions
- Free 30 minute consultation on your new projects
- Attorney reviewal of documents
- Free incorporation filing
One-Time Incorporation Service - $99.99 + state fees
This one-time service only covers LLC formation:
- Business name availability check
- Preparation and filing of your articles of organization
- 24/7 access to your cloud-stored formation paperwork
- Hard copies upon request
Registered Agent Service - $149.99
Rocket Lawyer also offers a registered agent service for $149.99 for non-members. If you're a member using their monthly subscription, you get 25% off this service.
Incorporate.com Packages & Pricing
Incorporate.com offers several packages, but none include a registered agent. You'll need to pay $235 for that service. Here's a quick price breakdown:
Starter package - $99 (plus state filing fees)
This price, while low, doesn't include too much. It's a no-frills package:
- Preparation and filing of the articles of organization
- Business name availability search
- Online access to your documents
Essentials package - $249 (plus state fee)
In addition to the above, you'll receive this with the essentials package:
- Employer identification number
- Corporate seal
- LLC kit
The Works - $349 (plus state fee)
For $349, you'll get "The Works," which includes everything in the above plus:
- Business licensing research package
- Operation agreement
Document Management & Online Experience
Incorporate.com offers a fairly basic online experience - their site is secure, but it can take several days or weeks for any documents to be scanned onto the site for you to access, and it's not the most user-friendly site out there. Rocket Lawyer's dashboard is clean and easy to use with fast navigation, and documents are usually uploaded within a couple of business days. You can even use the electronic signature service to create documents online in minutes with Rocket Lawyer. This shows the difference between a company created in the digital age and a century-old company.
- Both service providers can be used in a paperless way
- Incorporate.com has a more basic user experience than Rocket Lawyer
Turnaround times aren't exactly clear for Incorporate.com or Rocket Lawyer, but both offer expedited filing. Incorporate.com isn't upfront about the expedited fees unless you choose a more expensive package. Rocket Lawyer doesn't have this option, but you can upgrade to expedited filing for $60+.
- Neither has transparent processing times, but expedited processing is available
- Rocket Lawyer's expedited fees start at $60
Compliance & Track Record
Incorporate.com is unique in the industry, with over 100 years in the business. However, despite having such an extensive reputation, they have very few customer reviews on Trustpilot and similar third-party review sites. With that said, they are BBB accredited. Rocket Lawyer is, too, but they have many more online reviews for you to see.
- Better Business Bureau accreditation
- No compliance issues
- Incorporate.com is much older
- Rocket Lawyer has more online reviews
Rocket Lawyer offers an excellent customer support team alongside on-call attorney services. You can contact them between 9 am and 9 pm or leave an email, and they'll get back to you, which is a definite bonus, especially for small business owners who may feel lost in the fray with a bigger company. Incorporate.com offers average customer service, with some representatives seeming unbothered with customer queries or complaints, which is a shame for such an old service provider.
- Email and phone support are available
- Incorporate.com has fairly average customer service
- Rocket Lawyer goes the extra mile for customers
The precise experience you have with a service provider is dictated by many things, including the business entity you're setting up. A small business owner starting an LLC will have a different experience from accountants setting up a partnership. Let's take a look at the detailed structure breakdown:
When you set up an LLC, one of the legal requirements is a registered agent. Rocket Lawyer provides a no-hassle registered agent service at $149.99 (which may be discounted for monthly subscribers). They are an excellent provider with good customer service and a great track record. On the other hand, Incorporate.com will charge you $235, with nothing to justify the extra service cost.
In addition to offering the best LLC service, Rocket Lawyer is great for corporations. Starting an S-corp or C-corp can be legally complex; you'll want your on-call attorney service on the side. Rocket Lawyer pricing may be higher than you'd like to pay, especially if you choose to subscribe, but it's worth it as you can save yourself a fortune instead of hiring a law firm.
A partnership agreement or DBA (Doing Business As) is a simple way to do business; Rocket Lawyer's one-off service is perfect for this, meaning you can set up a DBA for just $99. But you can also purchase their monthly service to access legal services. Incorporate.com can assist with this, but the extra expense is difficult to justify for mediocre customer service and a very basic document management experience.
Rocket Lawyer can assist you with applying for non-profit tax status with the IRS, and their vast legal knowledge can help you run your non-profit organization after that. Incorporate.com supports non-profits, but the additional expense would be hard to justify for a non-profit.
The Last Word
There is rarely a clear winner in a comparison between two providers, but Incorporate.com is a reasonably basic service that upsells based on longevity. If you're looking for an excellent provider with a good website, excellent customer service, and additional services, then you should consider Rocket Lawyer instead.