Inc Authority has been in business since 1989, and they’ve formed more than 130,000 business entities since then. Their big claim to fame is that they will set up your limited liability company (LLC) absolutely free of charge, making them one of only three companies (along with ZenBusiness and IncFile) we’re aware of that offer truly free business formation services.
This Inc Authority LLC service review takes an in-depth look at the details of their offering to help you determine if they’re the right choice for you.
Pros & Cons of Inc Authority
Pros of Inc Authority
✔ They are one of a very small handful of companies in this entire industry that is currently offering LLC formation service for free. It’s hard to argue with that!
✔ Even with its generous pricing model, Inc Authority includes one full year of registered agent service with every business formation purchase.
✔ Customer feedback is a major advantage for Inc Authority. They have nearly 11,000 reviews available online, and almost all of them are positive in nature.
✔ If you’re purchasing some of their services that do cost money, Inc Authority often offers a 20% off coupon. There’s no consistent spot to find it on their website (as far as we’ve found), but in our experience, the coupon will pop up if you leave the order form page idle for a few minutes.
Cons of Inc Authority
Inc Authority LLC Formation Packages
Like most of their competitors, Inc Authority provides several different “packages” of features for LLC formation customers to choose from.
Free = $0 + State Fee
Here’s what you get in their free standard LLC formation package:
➢ Name Availability Search: Inc Authority will run a search through your state government’s website to determine whether the business name you want to use is available in your state or not.
➢ Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization: They will draft your LLC formation documents and file them with the state to officially create your new business entity.
➢ One Year Registered Agent Service: Inc Authority will act as your registered agent for a period of 12 months. After the first year, you can renew this service at a rate of $99 per year.
➢ S Corporation Tax Election Form: If you choose to categorize your LLC as an S corp for taxation purposes, they will prepare and file the necessary documents on your behalf.
In addition, Inc Authority includes two third-party partnership offers with their baseline formation package:
➢ Tax Planning Consultation (offered through an unnamed third-party vendor)
➢ Business Funding Analysis (offered through an unnamed third-party vendor)
Starter = Call For Pricing + State Fee
This package starts with all features from the Inc Authority free business formation package, then adds:
➢ LLC Operating Agreement: Every LLC should have an operating agreement, which is an internal document that outlines several important aspects of how the business will operate. Inc Authority will draft this document on your behalf.
➢ Record Book and Company Seal: This is a largely symbolic feature, providing you with a binder to keep your business documents in, and a customized seal that replicates how documents were authenticated in the old days.
➢ Ownership Certificates: Inc Authority will provide a certificate of membership for each one of your LLC’s owners.
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): Most LLCs need an Employer Identification Number to do things like file taxes, hire employees, and open a business bank account. Inc Authority will acquire this number from the IRS.
➢ One Year Inc Success Advisor: Customer support for advanced issues including audits, business licensing, lawsuits, payroll, banking, and more.
➢ One-Hour Business Tax Consultation
➢ Compliance Notifications System: Inc Authority will send regular reminders for annual reports and other state-specific LLC compliance requirements.
➢ Website Domain and 5 Business Email Addresses
Best LLC Service Alternative
|🥇 ZenBusiness||$0 + state fee||Excellent||Absolutely|
If you’d like to explore other LLC formation services, choose ZenBusiness. We have formed 400,000+ businesses and accumulated thousands of positive customer reviews.
We'll form your LLC for free — just pay your state's required fee!
Inc Authority Reviews From Customers
|Trustpilot (10,087 reviews)||4.8 out of 5 stars|
|Google (844 reviews)||4.5 out of 5 stars|
As a company that’s been around since the 1980s and has served thousands of customers, it’s no surprise that Inc Authority has plenty of online customer feedback.
We always advise taking a look at a few reviews to get a feel for a company’s customer experience, so let’s see what Inc Authority’s clients have to say about them.
The vast majority of Inc Authority’s online reviews are quite positive in nature. In general, their clients seem impressed by their free LLC formation package and also praise Inc Authority’s efficiency.
Should You Form an LLC With Inc Authority?
Inc Authority certainly has plenty of positive aspects, but their services won’t be the perfect fit for every entrepreneur. With that in mind, let’s finish this review with a quick discussion on when Inc Authority is and is not a good choice to form your LLC.
✔ When to Use Inc Authority
Does the idea of having your LLC professionally formed for free appeal to you? Perhaps you place a high value on positive customer feedback? These are two good reasons to use Inc Authority.
✖ When NOT to Use Inc Authority
If you’re looking for advanced features, you can probably find them elsewhere at lower price points. In addition, if using a company with a user-friendly website is a priority to you, Inc Authority probably isn’t your best bet.
Inc Authority is one of the only companies in this entire industry that offers to form businesses for free. Considering the fact that they have plenty of other inviting attributes — including their customer feedback and their free registered agent service — we think they easily rise above their handful of problems. Inc Authority is a solid choice for LLC formation service.
What Other Services Does Inc Authority Offer?
As with most competitors, Inc Authority provides a wide variety of additional services to help entrepreneurs form, maintain, and grow their businesses.
We dug into the list of features Inc Authority offers to see how much they charge for each of these services.
Inc Authority is a bit of an odd company in that many of its services are only available as part of an LLC formation bundle. In addition, they don’t share pricing information for most of their services, so you’ll need to contact them to inquire about prices.
Let’s take a look at everything Inc Authority offers on an a la carte basis.
- Registered Agent Service ($99): Every LLC needs a registered agent to receive important document deliveries from the state. Inc Authority will serve as your registered agent for just $99 per year, which is a competitive rate.
- Trademark Service (pricing not disclosed): Inc Authority will search the federal trademark database and file the necessary paperwork to register your trademark.
- Business Credit (pricing not disclosed): Inc Authority will provide business credit coaching, register your business with Experian Business and Dun and Bradstreet, and help you build your credit to an A+ rating.
- Business Planning (pricing not disclosed): If you need help planning your new business venture, Inc Authority’s business planning advisors will research and analyze a business plan for your LLC.
- Business Funding (pricing not disclosed): Inc Authority will help your business get pre-approved for financing with “an endless network of lending options.”
- Website and Marketing Package (pricing not disclosed): This feature includes a private consultation with a web designer, a business website, SEO-optimized content, website directory listings, a professionally designed logo, business cards, and social media accounts.
Inc Authority is a good option for any entrepreneur seeking a free LLC formation service. We also appreciate this company’s strong customer feedback and inclusion of registered agent service in all LLC formation packages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Inc Authority Legit?
Inc Authority has been in the business services industry since 1989. To date, they’ve formed more than 130,000 business entities. They also have thousands of customer reviews available online, and they maintain high average rating scores even with their large volume of feedback, which is always a great sign.
Does Inc Authority Offer Any Discounts?
If you’re purchasing some of their services that do cost money, Inc Authority often offers a 20% off coupon. There’s no consistent spot to find it on their website (as far as we’ve found), but in our experience, the coupon will pop up if you leave the order form page idle for a few minutes.
Does Inc Authority Have Good Customer Support?
Inc Authority offers customer support via phone, email, or web chat. With all three options, you’ll receive timely support from friendly and knowledgeable representatives.
One area where Inc Authority has a big advantage over most competitors is its hours of availability. Inc Authority actually offers 24/7 U.S.-based support, while most of its competitors only answer the phones for 8-12 hours per day. This is a nice bonus for Inc Authority customers.
How Does Inc Authority Compare to Other LLC Providers?
To be perfectly honest, there are a few LLC providers that we prefer to Inc Authority. Even though they offer LLC formations for free, there are other companies that we feel provide better services.
If you’re looking for one of the best LLC providers in the industry, we recommend ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, or IncFile.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
Inc Authority actually does not seem to allow refunds. In their own words, “All sales are final due to the hard cost incurred with the filing of entities with your selected state.”
If you order services from Inc Authority, you had better make certain you won’t have buyer’s remorse because they won’t grant a refund.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
This is always an option, and quite a few entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs every day.
However, because the process to form an LLC varies from state to state, there can be a considerable amount of work involved to make sure you’re completing the process correctly.
On the other hand, some people hire business lawyers to form their LLCs, but this is a far more expensive option than using an online business formation service.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC?
This step is unnecessary for the vast majority of our readers, but for some of you, it is advisable.
If you’re not yet ready to enter the LLC formation process but you want to ensure that the name you want is still available when the time comes, you should reserve a name.
The other situation where this is a good idea is if you’re forming a business in Alabama, which has a name reservation requirement for all LLC formations. Otherwise, reserving a name in advance is probably a waste of time and money.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
You sure can. In fact, just about anyone can form an LLC in America. You don’t need to be an American citizen or resident, you don’t need to have a physical presence in the U.S., etc.
This is one of the reasons the LLC is so popular ― there are very few restrictions regarding who can form and operate an LLC.
Does Inc Authority Handle State-Specific Requirements?
Inc Authority will reserve your business name in Alabama, but they do not offer publication service in the handful of states that require it.
If you form a business in one of these states (like New York), you will need to take care of your own publication requirement.
Does Inc Authority Have Upsells?
Inc Authority does have some upsells at the end of their LLC formation service order form. However, they honestly don’t bother us that much seeing as this is a free service, so we can’t blame them for trying to make a few bucks.
Furthermore, all of the upsells are on one page at the end of the order form, so it’s not like you’re constantly opting out of upsells throughout the ordering process.
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Inc Authority Do?
Inc Authority provides a selection of other business services, including operating agreements and corporate bylaws, meeting minutes, ownership certificates, EIN acquisition, business credit and funding evaluations, tax consultations, business license research, trademark protections, business credit assistance, and more.
How Quickly Does Inc Authority Form an LLC?
Each state has its own in-house processing times, ranging from a few days all the way up to a couple of months. Inc Authority bases its turnarounds on these state estimates, so you’ll see quite a bit of variety in expected processing speeds between different states. All that said, Inc Authority’s turnaround times are usually competitive with other services.
Is $49 Worth Paying for an EIN?
It’s hard to answer this question in an objective manner, as it’s truly a matter of personal preference.
We have always enjoyed the convenience of having our EIN confirmation in the same place as our LLC formation paperwork, so in our opinion, it is worth the extra money. However, if you’re operating on a tight budget, you can obtain your own EIN for free from the IRS.