Do you need to form a new limited liability company (LLC), but you’re less than thrilled about pursuing the DIY route?
In this BizFilings vs IncFile LLC service comparison, we’ll walk through their commonalities and major differences. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better idea of which one is the right pick to help form your LLC.
Do BizFilings and IncFile Offer Good Value?
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||★★★★★ (4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|BizFilings||Starts at $99||★★★★☆ (4.1/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
BizFilings and IncFile are two highly reliable and trustworthy LLC formation service providers, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of them. However, IncFile does have some advantages that make them our preferred pick.
Most importantly, IncFile’s base rate of $0 is considerably less expensive than the $99 starting price point at BizFilings. Furthermore, IncFile has thousands of positive customer reviews available online, while BizFilings barely has any reviews at all.
However, in general, they are a good alternative to IncFile.
Would you like to know more before making your decision? Read on to discover all the relevant details that set these service providers apart.
6 Things They Have In Common
1) Affordable: If you’re trying to save money, look no further. These companies can both save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a business attorney to draft and file your formation documents.
2) Customer Support: Even though you’re saving a significant sum by going with BizFilings or IncFile instead of a lawyer, you still won’t be going it alone. These providers both offer convenient customer service solutions that can get your tough questions answered in an efficient manner.
3) Experience: Is experience a priority for you? IncFile and BizFilings have each helped form thousands of businesses over the years, meaning they have the expertise and know-how necessary to efficiently form your compliant LLC.
4) Registered Agent Service: Every LLC will require a registered agent to receive and forward your government documents. IncFile offers a full year of registered agent service with any formation package, and BizFilings supplies six months. Many of their competitors don’t include any registered agent service in their formation packages. (What is a registered agent?)
5) Additional Services: LLC service is just the beginning when it comes to what these companies have to offer. BizFilings and IncFile both have dozens of business solutions that can help your new LLC remain compliant down the road, from federal tax ID numbers (EIN) to foreign qualifications and much more.
6) Efficiency: Do you need to form your LLC in a hurry? Both BizFilings and IncFile offer expedited processing (for a price, of course) that can dramatically speed up your turnaround times from a matter of weeks down to just a few days in many states.
Side by Side Comparisons
If we asked you the question, “Would you rather pay $99 or nothing,” we suspect we wouldn’t hear anyone offer to pay $99. However, this is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to IncFile’s many advantages over BizFilings. In fact, you’re about to encounter another one in the very next category.
As mentioned previously, BizFilings offers six months of registered agent service with its formation packages, but IncFile supplies a full year. In addition, IncFile provides company alerts for upcoming filing deadlines for the life of your business, but BizFilings again only offers this service for six months.
To be perfectly honest, IncFile doesn’t just provide more value in their package than BizFilings does in theirs, but it’s not even close. Even if these two companies had the same price points, we would strongly prefer IncFile thanks to their well-rounded feature set.
BizFilings has formed more than 500,000 businesses since they opened back in 1996, which is identical to the customer volume handled by IncFile. IncFile also has 500,000+ business formations under their belt, and they formed in 2004.
BizFilings and IncFile are quite similar when it comes to customer service. BizFilings has slightly longer hours of operation, as they’re open from 9 am to 8 pm ET on weekdays, compared to IncFile’s availability of 10 am to 7 pm ET Monday through Friday. Both companies employ knowledgeable and friendly support reps that can handle your tough questions with ease.
The one difference we’ve noticed between the two is that BizFilings is typically a bit easier to get in touch with. While they’re quite responsive most of the time, IncFile can sometimes take until the next business day to respond to your phone calls, and they often don’t bother responding to emails at all.
IncFile, like most of its competitors, bases its turnaround times on the ability of each state to process LLC formations. With this in mind, their processing speeds vary from a couple of days in some states to several weeks in others.
BizFilings takes a different approach. Instead of turnaround times based on state processing speeds, BizFilings has estimates tied to which level of LLC formation service package you purchase from them.
Their Basic package takes 4-6 weeks to process, while their Standard and Complete packages have turnaround times of 7-10 business days. In addition, if you want expedited service, you’ll need to pay $60 for BizFilings’ in-house expediting service, in addition to the applicable state fees.
Obviously, IncFile is a big winner in this area. We don’t like how BizFilings intentionally slows down LLC formations for customers who don’t buy their top-tier packages, and their $60 expediting service that has no effect on the state’s actual turnaround times is downright egregious.
Another category, another close similarity. Both IncFile and BizFilings have real-time order status tracking tools on their websites that track your formation from placing your order to the moment your completed documents are shipped to you.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business entity that receives important document deliveries (like service of process) from your state government, informs you of the receipt, then forwards the documents to you.
This is so crucial because the state needs to have a reliable means of contacting your business at any time.
Both of these providers include registered agent service with any LLC formation — six months from BizFilings, and a whole year from IncFile. After those free trial periods, BizFilings charges $199 per year, but IncFile has an annual price point of $119.
This is perhaps the biggest difference between these companies. BizFilings essentially does not have customer feedback, which is quite odd, to say the least. We found just 18 customer reviews anywhere online, which is very unusual for a company with more than half a million clients.
On the other hand, IncFile doesn’t just have hundreds of customer reviews available online, they have nearly 27,000 of them. Furthermore, their feedback is almost entirely positive, with critical reviews in extremely short supply. Customer feedback is a huge pro for IncFile.
Ease of Use
If these providers didn’t make their services easy to use, they wouldn’t have much reason to exist. Both IncFile and BizFilings can really streamline the formation process, and all you have to do in many cases is give them some basic info about your company.
We will give a slight advantage to IncFile because their website is a bit more modern and user-friendly, but it’s not a big deal at all.
With either BizFilings or IncFile, you’ll have access to many other services that can help you launch and maintain your business. As you might expect, they offer quite a few of the same services, including foreign qualifications, doing business as (DBA) names, annual reports, business license research, EIN obtainment, and more.
There are also some services that you can only purchase from one or the other of these companies. For instance, BizFilings offers publication service for LLC formations in states that require it (such as New York), but IncFile does not. On the other hand, IncFile provides its customers with access to business accounting services, which BizFilings doesn’t offer.
Which Is the LLC Formation Service for You?
There are many similarities between BizFilings and IncFile, perhaps more than you usually see between most companies in this industry. They’re both highly experienced and legitimate operations, and each one has some advantages over the other.
If you’re still undecided, let’s close by going over a couple of scenarios that might point you in one direction or the other.
|🥇IncFile||Starts at $0||★★★★★ (4.8/5)||Excellent||Absolutely|
|BizFilings||Starts at $99||★★★★☆ (4.1/5)||Fair||Sometimes|
Choose IncFile if You Are:
If you want the provider with the best prices and stellar customer reviews, IncFile is worthy of handling your LLC formation service.
Choose BizFilings if You Are:
If you need consistently fast responses to your customer service queries, give BizFilings a look. They’re also a great option if you’re starting a business in a state that requires publication service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?
Our favorite option from IncFile’s LLC formation packages is their Silver package, which has a price point of $0 plus state fee.
Considering the fact that this package includes your full LLC formation process and a year of registered agent service, it’s an incredible bargain. In fact, we don’t know of any other company that can beat this price for the combination of formation and registered agent.
If you want some more advanced features, their $149 Gold package is also a solid buy, as it adds an operating agreement and EIN obtainment.
Is IncFile as Good as Other LLC Formation Services?
Is IncFile the best LLC formation service? That’s one of our most asked questions. In short, they certainly are one of the best. For a close up look at how they compare to other top-rated LLC services, check out our comparisons below:
Does IncFile Handle New York Publication?
Unfortunately, they do not. This is one of the few negatives associated with IncFile’s services in our opinion.
We called them to seek some clarification on this issue, and they said that publication requirements “need to be taken care of with the state directly,” and that they don’t provide assistance with these requirements because they technically take place after the LLC itself is formed with the state.
Of course, we already mentioned that BizFilings does offer publication service, and they also have an excellent $100 price point for this feature.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
To be honest, we don’t have a problem with BizFilings or IncFile in this regard.
While some of their competitors (like LegalZoom) attempt an endless series of upsells, BizFilings and IncFile merely suggest additional services one time on their order forms. If you’re not interested, it’s easy enough to just skip over them.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
IncFile has a couple of “special offers” on their package select screen that are actually just attempts to get you to allow them to share your info with third-party partners.
Namely, their “set up a business banking account” offer is tied to an agreement with Bank of America, and their “business website and domain name” offer is with a third-party provider called SnapWeb.
While this category isn’t exactly a strength for IncFile, at least they don’t go as far overboard as BizFilings does. Their crazy amount of third-party partnership offers is actually why we started including this question in our FAQs. Just on their LLC formation service order form itself, you’ll find info-sharing partnership offers with Palo Alto, ADP, Pitney Bowes SendPro, Grasshopper, Hubspot, and an anonymous “business insurance provider.”
Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
BizFilings’ refund policy is a bit convoluted. If you make your refund request before they’ve started doing any work on your order, they will refund the purchase price less a $50 fee.
If you request a refund after they’ve completed your name availability search, there’s a $75 fee. Once they’ve submitted your formation papers to the state, you will not receive any refunds.
IncFile doesn’t have the best refund policy either. They only provide refunds (less a $30 convenience fee) before they’ve sent your payment to the state. Once they’ve sent money to your state, the refund window is closed. In short, don’t expect to receive a refund from either of these companies.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
Like most competitors, IncFile has turnaround times based on each state’s ability to process orders. As such, they have processing speeds as quick as a couple of days in some states, but they can take several weeks in others.
BizFilings uses an entirely different method for coming up with turnaround time estimates. Instead of basing their times on state requirements, BizFilings instead has processing speeds that depend on which level of LLC formation service you buy from them. Their most affordable Basic package takes 4-6 weeks, while their other two packages (Standard and Complete) take 7-10 business days.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
You always have the option to DIY your formation, and plenty of entrepreneurs do just that. However, we also love the peace of mind we receive from professional services like BizFilings and IncFile, because we can trust their expertise to get the job done right. In addition, each state sets its own rules and regulations regarding LLC formations, and these companies eliminate the need to track down your specific state’s requirements.
Ready to Create Your LLC Online?
Create your LLC with BizFilings or form an LLC free with IncFile.