If you operate a corporation, you are likely required by law to create corporate bylaws for your business.
This document outlines some key operational aspects of your corporation, including how many board members the company will have, when shareholder and board meetings will take place, the names of the company’s directors and officers, and more.
Even if your corporation isn’t required to have bylaws, it’s still vitally important to create this document to prevent ownership disputes in the future.
Creating your corporate bylaws can be a hassle, and there’s a considerable amount of pressure to get everything right when you do. That’s why we always enjoy the option of hiring a corporate bylaws service to provide professional assistance with this crucial document.
Many of the same companies that offer reputable online business incorporation services will also help you create your corporate bylaws. But how do you decide which of the many options to use?
Here at Incorporation Guru, we have experience with all of the most popular corporate bylaws services available today. We’ve used these services ourselves to create this crucial document, so we know all of the ins and outs of each one. Let’s walk through the pros and cons of each one and find the best fit for your business.
What Are Corporate Bylaws?
As we said in our full article about corporate bylaws, this document is the most important one your business will have in its records. This is the document that governs your corporation’s daily and big-picture operations.
Most states require corporations to have bylaws, and even if they weren’t required, we would recommend creating them ten times out of ten.
Why are bylaws so important? It all comes down to the information included in this document, as it dictates many different functional aspects of your corporation.
That’s why potential investors will often request to see a copy of your corporate bylaws — if you were about to make a significant investment in a company, wouldn’t you want to take a look under the hood first?
The other major function of corporate bylaws is how they can resolve conflicts or prevent them from ever happening in the first place. For example, if there’s a dispute between directors regarding an operational aspect of the company — say, a question about income distributions or shareholder rights — a quick look at the corporate bylaws will determine who is right and who is wrong.
If your corporation didn’t have bylaws, these elements would be open to interpretation, which would mean messy conflicts that every business wants to avoid.
What Information Goes Into the Corporate Bylaws?
Depending on the specifics of your corporation, like its size and purpose, you may include more information than we’ll discuss here. But, for the most part, all corporations should include these items in their bylaws.
- Basic Info: Your corporation’s name, purpose, address, industry, etc.
- Membership Provisions: What kind of stock will your corporation sell? Who will it sell stock to? What happens when an owner dies? How many shares can one person hold? How are officers appointed? You’ll need to answer these questions and more.
- Directors’ Responsibilities and Rights: You’ll need to determine how many directors will sit on your board, how often they’ll meet, how emergency meetings can be called, how the directors will vote, whether they can use proxies, etc. In addition, outline how a director can resign or be dismissed from the corporation.
- Shareholder Meetings: One of the unique features of the corporation is how it is held accountable to its shareholders. You’ll need to have an annual meeting with your shareholders to discuss the company’s goals, priorities, and strategies for the upcoming year, vote on bylaw amendments, fill any vacancies on the board, and more. The bylaws will outline how and when this meeting will happen.
- Conflict of Interest Statement: This statement prevents directors, officers, and employees of the company from using information gained through their affiliation with your corporation against it.
An Overview of Corporate Bylaws Services
As you’ll learn in this analysis, there is quite a wide range of corporate bylaws services available online. Some companies offer corporate bylaws templates that you can fill out yourself. Meanwhile, some competitors provide full-service bylaws services, presenting each customer with a complete, fully customized document.
If you still need to incorporate your business as well, the options only get more intriguing, as there are several highly reputable companies that bundle incorporation and corporate bylaws services together into money-saving bundles.
Let’s dig into the details and figure out which companies excel in each of the following three categories: corporate bylaws templates, full-service customized corporate bylaws, and incorporation and corporate bylaws service bundles.
Best Corporate Bylaws Template
- Northwest Registered Agent (FREE)
- Harvard Business Services (FREE)
The most affordable option if you’re seeking assistance with your LLC operating agreement is, of course, a free service! We were going to do a Top 3 for this section but when these two high-quality services offer operating agreement templates for free, what’s the point of including any options that charge $35+ for the same thing?
Northwest Registered Agent (FREE)
Northwest is one of the most popular companies in this industry for a wide variety of services, thanks to its personalized customer support network. While many of their competitors outsource their support services to call centers, Northwest’s representatives are true professionals who know what they’re talking about.
When it comes to corporate bylaws, Northwest Registered Agent provides a solid template that stands toe-to-toe with any paid template.
In addition, Northwest takes online privacy seriously. They write their own code and run their own servers to ensure no third party ever gains access to your private information. For a free corporate bylaws template from a company you can trust, look no further than Northwest Registered Agent.
Harvard Business Services (FREE)
Harvard Business Services is a consistently top-notch company in many ways, but we don’t get many opportunities to widely recommend it because it only offers its services in Delaware.
While Harvard Business Services’ corporate bylaws templates are tailored toward Delaware corporations, corporate bylaws aren’t a document that varies much from state to state.
One of the biggest advantages Harvard Business Services has over most competitors is customer feedback quality. They have more than 3,500 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. In fact, they maintain an average rating score of 4.9 out of 5 stars!
If Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t feel like the perfect choice for you, Harvard Business Services provides a strong alternative.
Best Full-Service Corporate Bylaws
- Incfile ($30)
- Swyft Filings ($35)
If you want to find a company to create corporate bylaws for you, instead of providing you with a template that you can fill out yourself, there are plenty of services that can do just that.
Quite a few companies charge around $100 for this service, but we found two that offer significantly lower price points. Much like the previous section, we decided to cut the “Top 3” to a “Top 2” and feature these two good companies.
Incfile is another company that receives positive reviews from its customers. With more than 32,000 reviews available online and high ratings, it’s clear that Incfile’s customers appreciate what they offer.
When it comes to corporate bylaws, Incfile has a strong pricing model, with a $30 offering for a full-service document. This is more affordable than some competitors’ price points for templates!
Incfile’s big claim to fame is its entirely free incorporation package, making them one of just a few companies we know of that offer free incorporations (the others being ZenBusiness and Inc Authority). However, their customer support is a bit hit-and-miss — sometimes they reply right away, other times they might not respond at all. Overall, Incfile is a great choice for full-service corporate bylaws.
Swyft Filings ($35)
We have always appreciated what Swyft Filings has to offer, as they live up to their name with some of the fastest business filing turnaround times in the industry. In addition, Swyft Filings has an affordable pricing model for corporate bylaws that comes close to Incfile’s offering.
Swyft Filings offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee that enables customers to get a full refund of their service fees if they’re unhappy with their purchase for any reason.
When you factor in Swyft Filings’ customer satisfaction reputation — they have roughly 50,000 reviews online with positive rating scores — it’s easy to see why they’re one of the top choices for full-service corporate bylaws.
Best Incorporation Service With Corporate Bylaws
- ZenBusiness ($199)
- MyCompanyWorks ($59)
- Incfile ($149)
- Swyft Filings ($149)
Do you still need to incorporate your business? If so, there are a handful of reputable companies offering bundles that include both incorporation and corporate bylaws.
Not only does this save you some money, but it also provides a high level of convenience as you can kill two birds with one stone.
ZenBusiness includes full-service custom corporate bylaws with its $199 and $299 incorporation packages.
One of the biggest advantages ZenBusiness has is the inclusion of ongoing compliance assistance and upgraded processing with either package, valuable additions that make these price points more appealing.
ZenBusiness also boasts an amazing customer satisfaction reputation, with more than 10,000 reviews online and nearly all of them being positive. ZenBusiness is also dedicated to giving back, as this company donates money and partners with Kiva.org to help lift disadvantaged entrepreneurs out of poverty through financial lending.
At just $59, MyCompanyWorks offers the combination of incorporation and corporate bylaws services for less than half as much as most competitors charge. If you don’t need annual report assistance or the other valuable features offered by ZenBusiness, MyCompanyWorks is a good choice.
MyCompanyWorks’ offering is corporate bylaws service along with access to its company alerts system that keeps your business informed of important due dates and filing deadlines.
With 3,700+ reviews and consistent praise from their customers, MyCompanyWorks has a good reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction. In addition, they have a highly responsive customer support team, as they respond to most calls and emails within just 20 minutes.
Although MyCompanyWorks does not sell corporate bylaws as a standalone feature, they’re a strong choice for the combination of incorporation and corporate bylaws services.
Incfile’s base-rate incorporation service package is free (as long as you pay your state fee), and they also offer two paid packages, including the $149 Gold package.
With this bundle, you’ll receive your business incorporation, one year of registered agent service, access to Incfile’s lifetime company alerts system, a federal tax ID number (EIN), custom corporate bylaws, custom organizational meeting minutes, and a business tax consultation session.
Overall, it’s a well-rounded package that includes everything you need to get your compliant business off the ground.
Swyft Filings ($149)
Just like Incfile found a way to occupy two spots in this guide, here comes Swyft Filings for another round!
Swyft Filings’ $149 Premium package is quite similar to Incfile’s Gold package, as it includes the full preparation and filing of your incorporation documents, a business tax consultation, access to their company alerts system, a free domain name for a year, an EIN, custom corporate bylaws, and a banking resolution.
How does Swyft Filings compare with ZenBusiness and Incfile in this area? Incfile includes a full year of registered agent service and ZenBusiness provides a year of ongoing compliance assistance, whereas Swyft Filings does not. With Swyft Filings, you’d need to add an additional $149 to get a year of registered agent service, doubling your total price point compared to Incfile. (And neither of these companies bundles in annual report service like ZenBusiness does.)
Corporations in Highly Regulated Industries: Nationwide Incorporators (call for pricing)
If you operate a corporation in an industry with lots of regulations, you might want some additional expertise behind the creation of your bylaws.
If this sounds like you, look no further than Nationwide Incorporators. While their services are typically more expensive than the other companies in this guide, Nationwide Incorporators ensures that every document they sell is either drafted or reviewed (or both!) by an experienced business attorney.
Nationwide Incorporators is a good choice for standalone corporate bylaws service or bundled service with incorporation. You’ll need to contact them for pricing if you want your corporate bylaws on an a la carte basis.
For corporate bylaws bundled with incorporation service, Nationwide Incorporators offers a template with its $200 Basic package, or you can get full-service corporate bylaws with its $425 Priority Deluxe or $475 Priority Premium packages.
Nationwide Incorporators is owned by a business attorney with more than 25 years of experience, and he often answers the phone himself when customers call.
In addition, Nationwide Incorporators provides assistance with all state-level compliance requirements, like publication processes. Overall, they’re a good choice for companies that need a bit more specialized help.