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 two companies we’re aware of that offer truly free business formation services.
There are dozens of companies offering online business formation service, but Inc Authority has a unique offering that makes them well worth a look, even amidst heavy competition.
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 to help form your new business.
Inc Authority has a different perspective on LLC formation service compared to most of the competition. While the vast majority of their competitors charge service fees to form your new LLC, Inc Authority actually offers to do it for free, as long as you pay your own state fee. They even include a full year of registered agent service at no extra charge.
Pricing isn’t the only area where Inc Authority impresses though. They also have great customer feedback, with thousands of reviews available and near-perfect average rating scores.
There aren’t many drawbacks to Inc Authority’s free LLC services, but one aspect we’re not crazy about is how expensive their paid premium formation plans are. Keep reading for a closer look.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of Inc Authority:
✔ They are one of only two companies in this entire industry that is currently offering LLC formation service for free. It’s hard to argue with that!
✔ Even with their 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 more than 3,000 reviews available online, and nearly 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.
Disadvantages of Inc Authority:
✖ Their premium packages are very expensive, starting at $399. While they’re certainly more affordable than hiring an attorney to form an LLC for you, it’s higher than most other online LLC services.
✖ Inc Authority does not offer refunds to anyone under any circumstances. The vast majority of their competitors have some sort of refund policy, but Inc Authority will reject every refund request they receive.
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 three third-party partnership offers with their baseline formation package:
➢ Business Checking Account (offered through Bank of America)
➢ Tax Planning Consultation (offered through an unnamed third-party vendor)
➢ Business Funding Analysis (offered through an unnamed third-party vendor)
Starter = $399 + 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 Protection Advisor: Customer support for advanced issues including audits, business licensing, lawsuits, payroll, banking, and more.
Executive = $499 + State Fee
This package includes all features of the Starter package, then adds the following features:
➢ Business License Report: You will receive access to Inc Authority’s business licensing software, which will help you determine which licenses and permits your business requires, based on your location and the nature of your business.
➢ Website Domain
Tycoon = $799 + State Fee
With this package, you’ll receive everything from the Executive plan, along with these features:
➢ Express Processing: Inc Authority will prioritize your order above all others.
➢ BizCredit Express: This is a suite of software tools that can help you develop your business credit. BizCredit Express includes the following resources:
- Business Credit Coach: 90 days of one-on-one business credit coaching sessions
- Multi-Tiered Credit Building System: Resources to help you build up your business credit score.
- Business Credit LaunchPad: A step-by-step program that walks you through each individual step of the business credit development process.
- Dun and Bradstreet Credit Bureau Registration
Inc Authority Customer Reviews
|Trustpilot (3,460 reviews)||4.8 out of 5 stars|
|Google (508 reviews)||4.7 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.
Popular Inc Authority Alternatives
There are dozens of service providers offering LLC formations online, so if Inc Authority doesn’t seem like the right choice for you, we can probably find another service that suits your needs.
Our favorite alternative to Inc Authority is ZenBusiness. Using our discount, ZenBusiness will form your new LLC for just $39, which includes registered agent service and an operating agreement. ZenBusiness has outstanding customer reviews and solid customer support, and they are our top overall pick for LLC formation service.
Another option is Northwest Registered Agent, which offers LLC formation service starting at $79. Northwest also includes a year of registered agent in any formation package, and their highly personalized customer support is the best in the industry. They’re more of a premium service, but they’re well worth the money in our experience.
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 great 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 only two 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Inc Authority Offer Any Discounts?
As we mentioned earlier, you can sometimes find a 20% off coupon if you leave their order form idle for several 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.
The only gripe we have with their support is their short hours of availability, which only run from 11am to 8pm ET on weekdays.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
Inc Authority actually does not allow refunds under any circumstances. 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 Sell or Share My Information With Third Parties?
One of the ways some LLC formation services make money is by sharing your info with third-party partners under the guise of “free extras” or “special offers.”
Inc Authority is guilty of this to an extent, as they have several third-party offers sprinkled throughout their LLC formation packages.
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.
How Quickly Does Inc Authority Form an LLC?
Like most companies in this industry, Inc Authority’s turnaround times vary depending on which state you’re forming a business in.
In some states, they can get your business formed in just a few days, but other states will take several weeks. For the most part, Inc Authority’s processing speeds are roughly equivalent to their competitors.
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.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Start your LLC with Inc Authority or read our comparison of the 7 top rated LLC services.