Incorporate.com (formerly The Company Corporation) has helped form 750,000+ companies since they opened for business way back in 1899.
There are a lot of companies providing LLC formation services, but this company has found a way to remain relevant for well over a century.
This Incorporate.com LLC service review is structured in a way that will hopefully give you a complete picture of their LLC formation process, and help you decide whether you’d like to use their services.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Incorporate.com:
✔ Seeing as they originally opened in the 19th century (as The Company Corporation), it goes without saying that no competitor can match their longevity. They’ve also formed over 750,000 businesses, so they certainly know what they’re doing.
✔ Incorporate.com’s Corporate Compliance Guarantee covers their formation services against any filing defects for the life of your business. If your filing is found to be invalid due to errors made by Incorporate.com, they’ll immediately resolve the issue or pay you up to $75,000.
✔ They have an extensive collection of comprehensive guides in their online Learning Center. Covering topics ranging from state-specific formation requirements to tax filings and deductions, there’s a wealth of information available to Incorporate.com customers.
Disadvantages of Incorporate.com:
✖ You can get cheaper LLC services with some of their competitors. Incorporate.com’s basic formation package costs $99 and has fewer features than other top LLC services that charge 1/2 the price.
✖ Some of the features listed on their package selection page are *NOT* actually included with those packages. Namely, the “Access to online tool: CSCNavigator” and “Annual Report Prep & File” features are only available to customers who add registered agent service for $235.
✖ Upsells, upsells, upsells! Incorporate.com goes crazy with the upsells, as they try to get you to add a compliance kit and seal (plus an additional shipping fee), a federal tax ID number (EIN) with expedited shipping, a business license research package, an operating agreement, annual report service, registered agent service, and FedEx shipping ― all between the package selection screen and the checkout page. If you added all of these features, you’d increase your total price tag by $847 just in your first year.
✖ Incorporate.com’s LLC formation service does not include registered agent service in any of their packages. Additionally, their registered agent service as an add-on is much more expensive than most competitors, at $235 per year. This is available from some other companies for free when you start an LLC through them.
Incorporate.com LLC Packages
Does Incorporate.com Offer Good Value? Before we look at the pricing and packages for Incorporate.com, let’s outline what good value in an LLC service looks like.
While $99 to form an LLC is certainly fair and less than the cost of hiring an attorney, Incorporate.com doesn’t offer nearly as much value compared to other LLC services. With Incorporate.com alternatives, you get 2x more features while saving $60 or more.
Incorporate.com has three different packages for LLC formation: Starter, Essentials, and Works. Here’s a breakdown of what you get in each package.
NOTE: Not all of the features they list on their package selection screen actually come with the advertised formation plans. In fact, you are not even allowed to purchase “The Essentials” or “The Works” packages without adding registered agent service (for $235/year), and even though annual report service is listed in these plans, that too will actually cost you an additional $150/year.
With this in mind, the prices on this page are the total amounts you’ll need to pay in order to receive all advertised features.
The Starter = $99 + State Fee
➢ Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization: These documents officially form your LLC with the state. Incorporate.com will create these forms for you, then file them with your state of formation.
➢ Name Availability Check: They will search your state’s official business database to determine if your desired LLC name is available, or if it’s already been claimed by someone else.
➢ Online Access to Company Documents: You’ll receive access to their online portal, where you can safely store and access your LLC formation documents.
The Essentials = $634 + State Fee
Everything from The Starter package, plus…
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): An EIN is basically a Social Security Number for your business and it allows you to pay business taxes, hire employees, open business bank accounts, and more. Incorporate.com will obtain your EIN from the IRS.
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A binder with your company name printed on it, along with a customized decorative seal, and some sample documents. Keep in mind that this isn’t required to have a compliant LLC and is an entirely optional feature.
➢ Registered Agent Service: Incorporate.com will serve as your registered agent, receiving important document deliveries on your behalf and forwarding them on to your business. This service costs $235 per year and is mandatory if you want to purchase The Essentials or The Works packages.
➢ Annual Report Service: They will prepare and file your annual reports, making sure you remain compliant with your state government. This service costs $150 per year, and this cost is not actually included with their advertised prices.
The Works = $734 + State Fee
Everything from The Essentials package, plus…
➢ Business License Research Package: With this service, Incorporate.com will identify which licenses, permits, and tax registrations your LLC requires to operate in a compliant fashion. They will provide you with the applications necessary to obtain these items, and also give you instructions for how to fill them out and file them.
➢ Operating Agreement: This is the document that describes your company’s ownership structure, and it’s also where you can lay out how you want your LLC to be operated. Incorporate.com will draft this important document for you.
2 Top Incorporate.com LLC Alternatives
Incorporate.com is one of the oldest LLC formation services available, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice for everyone. If you’re not a fan of what they have to offer, here are the two alternatives worth considering.
ZenBusiness – Our favorite Incorporate.com alternative is ZenBusiness. Their pricing starts at just $39, and that includes a full year of registered agent service, which Incorporate.com doesn’t include in any of their packages. Plus, ZenBusiness has hundreds of positive customer reviews across the web. Northwest Registered Agent – Our other preferred alternative to Incorporate.com is Northwest Registered Agent with a $39 price tag. In addition to a year of registered agent service, Northwest includes their outstanding personalized customer support and promise of zero upsells.
ZenBusiness – Our favorite Incorporate.com alternative is ZenBusiness. Their pricing starts at just $39, and that includes a full year of registered agent service, which Incorporate.com doesn’t include in any of their packages. Plus, ZenBusiness has hundreds of positive customer reviews across the web.
Northwest Registered Agent – Our other preferred alternative to Incorporate.com is Northwest Registered Agent with a $39 price tag. In addition to a year of registered agent service, Northwest includes their outstanding personalized customer support and promise of zero upsells.
Incorporate.com Customer Reviews
|Google (6 reviews)||3.0 out of 5 stars|
|Better Business Bureau (2 reviews)||1.0 out of 5 stars|
Despite the fact that they’ve been in operation for over a century, there aren’t many customer reviews online for Incorporate.com.
It truly is odd that this company has served 750,000+ customers and has been in business longer than any competitor, yet only has eight reviews available on third-party review websites — most competitors have thousands of reviews. It’s impossible to analyze feedback that doesn’t exist, so we’ll simply move onto the next section of our review.
Is Incorporate.com Right For You?
Incorporate.com is an experienced company that’s capable of forming your LLC. However, we find it difficult to recommend Incorporate.com due to their handful of disadvantages (like constant upsells and high prices) we outlined above.
Of course, using their service is totally up to you, so we’ll wrap this review up by going over some scenarios where you may or may not want to use Incorporate.com for your LLC formation.
✔ When to Start an LLC with Incorporate.com:
If you place a high value on experience, a company that’s been around since 1899 likely appeals to you, and their Corporate Compliance Guarantee is a nice safety net.
✖ When NOT to Start an LLC with Incorporate.com:
If you want to save money, there are a lot of better options. For example, ZenBusiness’ pricing starts at $39 and also includes a full year of registered agent service and other useful extras. Another factor is that some competitors have a better history when it comes to customer feedback.
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What Other Services Does Incorporate.com Offer?
As with most competitors, Incorporate.com provides a wide variety of additional services to help entrepreneurs form, maintain, and grow their businesses.
We dug into the list of features Incorporate.com offers to see how much they charge for each of these services, which can be especially interesting when examining a la carte pricing for features included in their formation packages.
Let’s take a look at everything Incorporate.com offers and discuss which services are good deals and which ones you can ignore.
In addition, one of Incorporate.com’s annoying aspects is the fact that they don’t list price points for all of their services, and they also require you to call them to order many of these — only a few can be easily and conveniently ordered online, so we will also note where you will run into this extra hassle.
In short, we do not recommend many of Incorporate.com’s services because most of them are available at lower price points from more transparent and honest companies.
- Registered Agent Service ($235 per year): Every LLC needs a registered agent to receive important document deliveries from the state. Unlike many competitors, Incorporate.com does not include a free year of this vital service in its LLC formation packages. Moreover, the $235 annual price point is significantly higher than most other companies (IncFile charges $119, ZenBusiness charges $99, etc.).
- DBA Name ($150 – no online ordering): A DBA (doing business as) name is an alternative to forming a business entity, as it gives you the legal right to use an assumed business name. The $99 price point is roughly the industry standard, so this is a very high fee.
- EIN ($80 – no online ordering): It’s very easy to obtain your own Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, so it’s probably unnecessary to spend $80 having Incorporate.com acquire one on your behalf. That said, this is only slightly higher than the $80 standard price point around the industry.
- Operating Agreement ($99 – no online ordering): $99 for a customized operating agreement isn’t a great price point when you consider that Swyft Filings provides this exact same service for just $35. Every LLC needs an operating agreement, but Incorporate.com charges too much.
- Business License Research Package (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): This feature includes a list of all the licenses and permits your business needs to operate in compliance with federal, state, and local law. You still have to apply for the licenses yourself, but it’s quite helpful to get a list of everything you need.
- Annual Report (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): Most states require some sort of annual or biennial report from entrepreneurs. This report keeps the state updated regarding some basic attributes of your business, like your address or your registered agent’s name.
- Certificate of Good Standing (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): This is a form that proves your LLC is current and compliant with all regulations in your state.
- S Corporation Tax Election (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): If you want your LLC taxed like an S corporation, this is the form you’ll need to file.
- Foreign Qualification (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): If your LLC already exists in another state, you need to file a foreign qualification rather than a formation.
- Amendments (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): If you need to amend your LLC’s formation documents to reflect important changes made to your business, Incorporate.com can help you.
- Conversion (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): Do you want to convert your corporation to an LLC (or vice versa)? Incorporate.com will file the necessary paperwork.
- Dissolution (pricing not disclosed – no online ordering): Are you ready to shut your LLC’s doors for good? Incorporate.com will complete and file your dissolution paperwork.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Incorporate.com questions? We’ve got answers.
How Does Incorporate.com Compare to Other LLC Providers?
To be perfectly honest, there are many LLC providers that we prefer to Incorporate.com. You can get much more for your money with quite a few of their competitors, who will often throw in a free year of registered agent service to sweeten the deal, while Incorporate.com expects you to pay them an extra $235 to add on that same service.
In fact, Incorporate.com failed to earn a spot on our “7 Best LLC Services” list, thanks in roughly equal parts to their poor overall value and near-complete lack of customer reviews. If you’re looking for one of the best LLC websites in the industry, we strongly recommend ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, or IncFile.
Is Incorporate.com Legit?
Incorporate.com was originally formed as the Corporation Service Company in 1899. Over the years, they’ve changed their name twice — first to The Company Corporation and then to Incorporate.com — but their core service remains the same: to make it easier for companies to form business entities.
Despite the fact that they’ve been around for over a century, there are only a few reviews available for Incorporate.com, so it’s impossible to analyze their customer reputation.
Is Incorporate.com the LLC Website You Recommend to Family and Friends?
This is a somewhat difficult question to answer. If our mom asked whether Incorporate.com is worth using, we would say that we appreciate their longevity and experience, but also that there are clearly some better options out there.
We would ultimately recommend ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent because these companies receive spectacular customer feedback and can save you hundreds of dollars compared to Incorporate.com. Overall, we think they’re the best LLC formation services online.
Does Incorporate.com Offer Any Discounts?
On occasion, Incorporate.com will issue a money-saving coupon or discount for their services. This typically occurs on holidays, and they do not have any general promo codes or discounts available otherwise.
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can Incorporate.com Do?
Incorporate.com offers many services to help you maintain your compliant business entity, including annual reports, business licenses and permits, bylaws and operating agreements, registered agent service, certificates of good standing, certified copies, stock and membership certificates, written consent forms, and more.
In addition, they provide assistance with IRS filings, including EIN acquisition, LLC tax status election, and nonprofit status. Finally, they offer mail forwarding, along with a handful of miscellaneous filings, like DBA registrations, foreign qualifications, amendments, entity conversions, dissolutions, and reinstatements.
Does Incorporate.com Have Good Customer Support?
Incorporate.com provides pretty standard customer support compared to other companies in this industry. They have phone and email support, and the quality of their service is good but seems to vary a bit from representative to representative. They also indicate on their website that they offer web-based chat support. However, this feature has been broken for as long as we can remember, and we’re not convinced that it ever actually worked.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
In their own words, “If you cancel your order before we have submitted it to a federal, state, or local office, Incorporate.com will refund the total amount paid for such order less a service fee. If you cancel your order after we have already submitted it, we will use our discretion to determine what portion, if any, we will refund.”
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You certainly do always have this option, and some entrepreneurs do form their own LLCs. If you want to try the DIY route, we would caution you that it can be more work than you might expect because every state has different compliance requirements.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people hire lawyers to form their LLCs, but this option is much more expensive than using a business incorporation service.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC?
Each state (other than Florida) has a way to reserve a business name before forming your entity itself. In general, this is only necessary if you aren’t yet ready to enter the formation process.
If you’re ready to start your business, there’s no reason to reserve your name before forming your LLC with Incorporate.com. We will note that certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
Yes, there is no requirement that you be present in the U.S. to form an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be an American citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like American citizens are.
Do They Handle Requirements Like New York Publication and Alabama Name Reservation?
We called Incorporate.com’s customer support and found out that they do not offer assistance with publication requirements, because “publication isn’t part of the business formation,” but rather is a step that comes after the LLC’s successful formation.
However, they do take care of name reservations in Alabama, because that’s a required step to form your business entity.
What Is the Incorporate.com Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You can contact Incorporate.com via phone by calling 855-236-4043. Instead of publishing a specific email address, they have an email contact form on their website. Once you submit your message, an Incorporate.com representative will reach out to you via email as soon as possible, typically within one business day.
Does Incorporate.com Sell or Share My Information With Third Parties?
Unlike many of their competitors, Incorporate.com does not include any third-party partnerships that they try to pass off as “special offers.” The only other business entity they’ll share your information with is their parent company, CSC. When it comes to the privacy of your info, you can trust Incorporate.com.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does Incorporate.com?
Unfortunately, similar to LegalZoom, this is one area where Incorporate.com falters a bit. Simply put, they just about do everything they can to get you to sign up for their registered agent service, which costs $235 per year. On their LLC formation package select screen, they have a couple of features listed that are not actually included with each package.
The “Access to online tool: CSCNavigator” and “Annual Report Prep & File” features do not come with your formation package ― instead, Incorporate.com leads you to believe you’ll receive these features, only to pull the rug out and tell you that you can’t access them without buying registered agent service. It’s a rather sneaky form of upsell that we don’t appreciate.
That said, if you’re looking for the LLC service with the fewest upsells, add-ons and frustrations before and after creating a limited liability company, look into Northwest Registered Agent.
How Quickly Does Incorporate.com Process LLC Formations?
Incorporate.com’s processing times vary depending on your state of formation, but in general, they’re pretty fast.
If you need to speed up your formation turnaround time, you can upgrade to their expedited service which can reduce your processing time from weeks down to just a few days in some states.
Is it Worth the Extra $80 to Get an EIN?
This is a tough question to answer without knowing the specific needs of your unique business. We enjoy getting an EIN included with our LLC formation, even if it means spending extra to add it on, or to upgrade to a higher level of LLC service.
The convenience of not having to get one ourselves through the IRS is worth it for us, and we like to have our articles of organization and EIN confirmation in the same place. However, we would completely understand if you’d rather save the money and acquire your own EIN from the IRS directly.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Start your LLC with Incorporate.com or read our comparison of the 7 top-rated LLC services.