Do you need to form a new limited liability company (LLC), but you want to avoid the time-consuming hassles of the DIY route?

Thankfully, there are quite a few service providers offering formation assistance online, but it can be tricky to figure out which one to use.

In this Direct Incorporation vs IncFile LLC service comparison, you’ll find side-by-side rundowns of each company’s top attributes. By the time you’re done reading, you should have a much clearer idea of which service you’d like to use to form your new LLC.

Do Direct Incorporation and IncFile Offer Good Value?

LLC ServicePriceLegit Service?ValueCommonly Recommended?
IncFileStarts at $0YesExcellentYes
Direct IncorporationStarts at $174YesGoodSometimes

Direct Incorporation and IncFile are both popular choices for LLC formation services, and for good reason. They’re both reputable companies that have the necessary know-how to get the job done right. However, they do have some differences that set them apart.

First and foremost, IncFile’s $0 (plus state fee) base rate is a much lower price than Direct Incorporation’s $174 price point. In addition, IncFile has tens of thousands of positive customer reviews available online, while Direct Incorporation barely has any feedback at all.

Need more information to make your decision? Read on to get the full details on what sets these two popular service providers apart. Which one is the better fit for your business?

5 Things They Have In Common

1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring an attorney to draft and file your articles of organization. Furthermore, LLCs are fairly simple structures, so you may not need a lawyer’s expertise to begin with.

2) Customer Support: Of course, saving money isn’t the only priority. Direct Incorporation and IncFile both have customer support networks that can save you time and effort. Instead of looking for your own answers when you have questions, simply ask their service reps to get a quick and accurate response.

3) Experience: Both IncFile and Direct Incorporation have loads of experience forming businesses. They’ve each helped form thousands of LLCs, and they have the expertise necessary to form your new company.

4) Additional Services: Are you in the market for other business services in addition to your formation? IncFile and Direct Incorporation offer many other business solutions like federal tax ID numbers (EIN), business document preparation and filing, etc. Think of them as one-stop business service shops!

5) Efficiency: Do you need to get your new LLC up and running in a hurry? Direct Incorporation and IncFile both have expedited options that can really speed up the process, for an additional fee of course.

Side-by-Side Comparisons


With a base rate of $0 for LLC formation service, IncFile is significantly cheaper than Direct Incorporation, which has a standard price point of $174.

You certainly don’t need us to tell you that paying nothing (except for your state fee) is preferable to paying $174. However, pricing isn’t everything! Let’s take a look at what you actually receive in these LLC packages.


Direct Incorporation includes six months of registered agent service, along with an EIN and an S corporation tax filing (which most LLCs won’t actually need) with any package. However, IncFile provides a full year of registered agent service, plus access to its lifetime company alerts system.

Direct Incorporation’s premium LLC formation packages include some unique advanced features like web design service, custom logo design, trademark protection, and more. If those sound like features you could use, you may prefer Direct Incorporation in this category.


Direct Incorporation was formed in 2003, and they’ve served more than 80,000 customers since then. IncFile is on another level for experience, as they’ve been around since 2004, with 500,000+ clients served.

Customer Support

The customer service offered by these companies is pretty comparable in terms of availability hours and support format (phone, email, etc.). The one item we’ll point out in this section is responsiveness. Direct Incorporation is good about returning phone calls and emails in a timely fashion, but IncFile can take a while. We’ve experienced wait times of over 24 hours with IncFile’s phone support, while Direct Incorporation usually gets back to you much more quickly. Additionally, IncFile often doesn’t reply to emails, as we’ve sent them multiple messages that simply went unanswered.

Turnaround Times

Both Direct Incorporation and IncFile have filing times that vary based on your state of formation. In some states, IncFile has a small edge, and in others, Direct Incorporation is a bit quicker. Check their websites for an estimate for your state, but if there is a difference in turnaround times it will likely not be significant.

Order Tracking

IncFile has an order status tracking tool on their website that has live updates to keep you informed of where you stand in the formation process. Direct Incorporation includes access to their Client Resource Center with any LLC service, where you’ll have real-time order progress updates and access to your formation documents.

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.

Direct Incorporation provides six months of registered agent service with any LLC formation package, and they charge $159 per year after that. IncFile bundles a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages, and they sell additional years for $119 annually.

Customer Reviews

Customer feedback is a strength for IncFile. They have almost 34,000 customer reviews available online, and nearly all of them are quite positive. Direct Incorporation has a few dozen reviews across the web. While a slight majority of their reviews are positive in nature, they also have more than just a small handful of negative reviews, and they clearly don’t have nearly the volume of feedback that IncFile has.

Ease of Use

IncFile’s website is a bit slicker and more streamlined, but Direct Incorporation’s site is quite good as well. This is a toss-up for functionality and a slight edge to IncFile for aesthetics.

Additional Services

Both Direct Incorporation and IncFile provide access to a broad selection of other services that can help you maintain your business. They also offer many of the same services, including registered agent service, doing business as (DBA) names, foreign qualifications, amendments, annual reports, and more.

There are also several products and services that you can only access with Direct Incorporation. For example, they offer tax programs for startups, legal advice, and logo design, which are services that IncFile doesn’t provide. However, IncFile has a couple of unique services as well, as they offer business accounting services, while Direct Incorporation does not.

Which Is the Best LLC Company for You?

Direct Incorporation and IncFile are both capable of efficiently forming your new LLC. They’re experienced and trustworthy, and they’ll both save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a traditional law firm to handle your formation for you.

Because they’re both strong options, it wouldn’t surprise us if you are still undecided. With that in mind, let’s wrap up this comparison with a brief discussion of scenarios in which you might prefer to use one over the other.

LLC ServicePriceLegit Service?ValueCommonly Recommended?
IncFileStarts at $0YesExcellentYes
Direct IncorporationStarts at $174YesGoodSometimes

➦ Choose IncFile if You Are:

Are you looking for the most affordable LLC service online? Or maybe you prioritize large volumes of positive customer feedback? These are two common reasons for business owners to choose IncFile.

Choose Direct Incorporation if You Are:

Do you need features like trademark protections and logo design? Direct Incorporation is a popular choice for entrepreneurs who want to bundle advanced features in with their formation package. In general, they are a decent IncFile LLC alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?

Our preferred option out of IncFile’s LLC formation packages is their Silver package, which has a price point of $0 (plus state fee).

Even though it’s a completely free LLC setup, this package includes a year of registered agent service along with your formation, making this the most affordable way to combine these features that we’re aware of.

If you’re looking for some advanced features with your formation, we wouldn’t blame you for selecting their $149 Gold package either, as it includes an EIN and an operating agreement.

How Does IncFile Compare to Other LLC Formation Services?

IncFile is a very popular and well-known LLC service — as you may know. To get a glimpse of how they compare to other top LLC formation websites, see the reviews below:

Does IncFile Handle Requirements Like New York Publication?

Unfortunately, IncFile does not offer to handle state-specific compliance requirements like publication service. We called them to get some clarification on this issue, and they said that publication requirements “need to be taken care of with the state directly.” For what it’s worth, Direct Incorporation also offers no assistance with the publication process.

Several competitors do offer assistance with these requirements, like ZenBusiness, so it’s a shame that IncFile and Direct Incorporation do not. For more information, check out our guide to the best New York LLC publication services.

Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?

In our opinion, Direct Incorporation and IncFile both keep the upsells to a minimum. They do provide opportunities for you to upgrade to a higher level of LLC formation service, or to add features on an a la carte basis, but they aren’t pushy about it at all.

Does Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

If you make a purchase through IncFile, you should make certain that you really want it before you buy, because their refund policy is quite strict.

They only provide refunds less a $30 cancellation fee if you request one before they send any money to your formation state’s government, which usually takes place within 24 hours of placing your order. After that, you’re out of luck.

Direct Incorporation’s refund policy is rather similar. At best, you’ll get a refund less a $40 processing fee, but “any order that has been partially processed and has had formation documents sent to the state’s office for filing, and/or trademark documents sent to the USPTO is nonrefundable.”

Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?

Both Direct Incorporation and IncFile base their turnaround times on the ability of each state to process LLC formations. Therefore, their typical processing times are quite similar in the vast majority of states.

One or the other may be a day or two quicker in a few isolated states, but that’s about it.

Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?

Of course you can. In fact, quite a few entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs without any assistance. However, the DIY route doesn’t provide the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service like Direct Incorporation or IncFile. In addition, each state sets its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so it’s not always easy to figure out what your state requires.

In Conclusion

IncFile and Direct Incorporation are two of the most popular LLC formation services available, and they both have plenty of strong attributes. Overall, we do prefer IncFile due to its free LLC formation offer and full year of included registered agent service with all formation packages.

That said, Direct Incorporation has some advantages of its own, as it offers some robust branding and website features in its LLC formation packages. We wouldn’t blame you for preferring one over the other — either way, you’re using one of the best companies in the industry.

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