Best Online Incorporation Service Reviews
You are thinking about starting a company, aren’t you? We know. (We have ESP.)
NO, we don’t! You’re reading this page, aren’t you? Of course, you are wondering about the best online incorporation reviews!
We’re here to help you protect yourself by incorporating your business.
Business owners across the globe are now incorporating their businesses online. An online incorporation service offers a broad range of business benefits, from protecting stakeholders against liability to tax savings.
But before incorporating, you might first consider the various companies providing incorporation services online.
Each company offers unique value during the incorporation process. And the features included within their services can help your organization build a successful foundation for the long term.
To help guide you as you navigate the various online options, we’re exploring the best five online incorporation service providers for 2022.
This chart summarizes our top picks from 1st to 5th.
|1st||Our #1 choice! As a pioneer in online business formation services, BizFilings offers a competitive package for setting up your business online. BizFilings is a great alternative to the other companies for online formation services.||Six months free registered agent. Guaranteed filing accuracy. Live Chat available. Great customer support. Easy to use.||Some Operating Agreements and other forms are not customized to your business.|| Visit Website
|2nd||They have been in this business for a long time, they are the original creators of Mycorporation.com.||Satisfaction Guarantee, Live Chat available, and they have a helpful Business Structure Wizard.||Annoying about their Registered Agent service, Make you jump through hoops, and interface not the easiest to follow.|| Visit Website
|3rd||In business since 2015, you can file as non-profit, as well as an LLC, S-Corp or a C-Corp. (Not all companies offer the non-profit option)||They offer a variety of services. Lowest prices of any providers we reviewed. Company alert system available.||As a relatively new company, ZenBusiness doesn’t have a strong background.||
|4th||With LegalZoom, business formation is quick and affordable, saving you up to 85% from what an attorney would charge you. Their 3-step online process and affordable pricing makes the online task a pleasurable experience.||Unlimited Customer Support. Payment plan available. Access to lawyers available for a fee. 100% satisfaction guaranteed.||Complicated website. Lots of negative reviews. No live chat and customer support wasn't the best we have reviewed.|| Visit Website
|5th||Around since 2001, they have filed over 40,000 businesses.||100% satisfaction guarantee, good social proof, inexpensive.||No live chat, relying on BBB for some reviews, no weekend support. No access to lawyers.|| Visit Website
The Best Online Incorporation Service Reviews Top Picks
Before exploring the value of incorporation and explaining more about the services available, let’s showcase the five leading companies in the online incorporation marketplace.
BizFilings is known for offering a straightforward interface to help business owners simplify the incorporation process. They are also one of the more affordable online incorporation service options within the marketplace. Their basic package costs $99+ applicable state fees.
Another reason so many now use BizFilings is that the company has been offering online incorporation services for over 20 years. So they are well recognized within the industry and have a strong background with years of service.
- Affordable services
- Easy-to-use interface
- Decades-long background in the online incorporation service marketplace
- Limited customization options when creating incorporation agreements
One of the leading benefits offered by CorpNet is its guarantee. The company guarantees that if you’re not satisfied with the quality of their online incorporation service after 60 days, they will refund your fees. And like BizFilings, their owners have a comprehensive background in the industry. Their first business, MyCorporation.com, which they sold to Intuit, was formed in 1997.
- Live-chat ensures immediate assistance
- A satisfaction guarantee within their operating agreement provides some reassurance
- Strong background in the industry
- They charge you a fee to use your registered agent
- The user interface can be challenging for some users
The ZenBusiness offer is a rather unique online incorporation service that offers three pricing tiers based on your unique filing requirements as a business: Starter Plan, Pro Plan, and Premium Plan. Their add-ons are among the most varied in the marketplace. And their base price for the Starter Plan of $49 + state fees certainly makes them an affordable option for growing business across the globe. ZenBusiness is arelatively new online incorporation serivce to the market compared with its competitors (formed in 2015). But the company has grown swiftly.
- A broad suite of add-ons including business credit cards and business website and domain name services
- Straight-forward and affordable pricing structure
- An alert system that lets you know when specific filings are due
- As a relatively new company, ZenBusiness doesn’t have a strong background
- There are recurring fees within the Starter package that can limit service value
- A la carte services are more affordable through other companies
Read our ZenBusiness Review.
LegalZoom certainly offers the most convenient method for starting and incorporating your business online.
You complete their questionnaire, wait for Legal Zoom to review your answers, and then for the government to respond with your business formation documents. Their customized forms and documents are standout features that set LegalZoom apart from the competition. They also offer access to qualified lawyers for an additional fee.
- A simple documentation process
- Affordable pricing for their base online incorporation service
- A 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Their complex site navigation may cause you to waste time trying to find relevant information
- Their customer support system is limited
- Their premium package is more expensive than their competitors
MyCompanyWorks boasts a record of incorporating over 40,000 businesses and has operated in the marketplace since 2001. Unlike other online incorporation service providers, they also offer a priority support system, through which they boast an average response time of under two business hours. Their startup wizard helps guide you through the document checklist and ensures you don’t miss out on any required filing documents.
- The startup wizard simplifies the filing process
- They have a highly effective customer support system
- They offer decades of industry experience
- They only include registered agent service in the more expensive packages
- They only offer limited weekend support
- A lack of live chat support might cause delays that impact the business
Why Should You Incorporate as a Business Entity
Businesses owners across the country are increasingly deciding to incorporate and gain from the many advantages incorporation provides. Consider, for example, the data from the State of Delaware, where many companies now choose incorporation to capitalize on preferential tax treatment.
State data shows that there are now 1.6 million businesses registered in Delaware, and Delaware saw an 8.72% growth in registered LLCs and a 13.97% growth in the number of registered corporations in 2020. corp.delaware.gov
It’s clear that business owners see the benefits of incorporation and are now capitalizing on the opportunity through online incorporation services.
Let’s explore a few reasons to incorporate:
One of the foremost benefits of incorporating your business is the level of liability protection you gain. As a sole proprietor, you are responsible for the debts and liabilities of your business. And so, if you face a lawsuit or a creditor requires payment for a loan, they can access your assets.
When you choose to incorporate, your assets are protected and separated from your business assets. The incorporation process limits your losses to the amount of money you invest within your business. It’s a great way of protecting your family and family finances from the potential risk of business failure.
Separate Your Corporate and Personal Taxes
Many business owners also choose to incorporate and benefit from the preferential tax treatment.
Corporations pay different tax rates to individuals. The IRS and their associated taxation agencies across the globe often levy smaller tax rates on corporate revenues than they do on personal income. And so, by incorporating, you can significantly consolidate your tax payments and keep more of your income.
Benefit from Income Splitting
When you incorporate, you can also split your income with family members. A family member can become a shareholder within the company, allowing you to distribute dividends to them based on the business’s earnings. Distributing business profits in this way helps place you or your family members into lower tax brackets, providing considerable savings when filing your tax documents each year.
Reduce Capital Gains Tax
When it comes time to sell the shares within your business, you may benefit from the capital gains deduction. The authorities tax long-term capital gains at a lower rate than income. And your tax rate may be anywhere between 0 and 20%, depending on your current tax bracket and your business structure. Speak with a tax expert to determine your capital gains and the long-term value of the incorporation process.
Use the Small Business Deduction
When you incorporate, you’ll also benefit from being able to deduct capital expenditures from your overall tax liability. For example, you can deduct employee benefits, as well as business startup costs and equipment expenditure. There are many deductions available when you incorporate which are not available as a sole proprietor.
When you incorporate, you add an air of legitimacy to your business. The business is assigned an incorporation number, and investors can look up the organization in their state’s regulatory system. This recognition will make it easier for your company to raise capital over time, as you no longer need to prove that you have a legitimate company.
What did we mean by ‘protecting your ass’? Well, your ‘ass’ is your stuff. The things that are not associated with your business. (If you lost it all, then you would likely lose your wife too!) Well, husband, if you’re a chick. Or if you’re gay, you could… oh nevermind.
In a nutshell…
Incorporating could make it so you can’t lose your personal bank account and your personal possessions in a business lawsuit.
A lawsuit against your unincorporated business could result in a complete financial loss. Like, we mean EVERYTHING YOU OWN!
(Do we hear a country song? “…lose your truck, lose your dog, lose your house, lose your spouse!”)
Letting that happen to you is just dumb. Or, as we like to put it, ‘dumbassery’.
(Incorporate online, silly.)
Also, which business structure you choose is crucial. It can make or break your business. When you use an online incorporation service, you can become a Limited Liability Company, an S-corporation or a C-corporation.
Each has its own unique benefits and/or disadvantages.
Why should you care?
Because it means the difference between success and failure for your biz. You’d better know your business goals so you can choose!
S Corp, C Corp, or LLC Service: What are the Differences?
When you incorporate, you have three specific choices of incorporation style. You can select an S Corp, a C Corp, or an LLC. Let’s explore the differences between these three options.
Incorporating a company as an S Corp is a popular option for small and medium-sized businesses. An S Corp is also known as an S subchapter.
Registering an S Corp allows the business owner to pass on income, credits, deductions, and losses, to shareholders, without paying federal income taxes.
In this way, businesses filing for S Corp status enjoy all the benefits of incorporation while gaining the tax-exempt status of a partnership. You should note:
- S Corp is only an option for companies with 100 shareholders or fewer
- S Corp status allows companies to pass credits, deductions, and losses to shareholders
- Shareholders report the associated income and losses on their tax returns
When the number of shareholders exceeds 100, businesses are then required to incorporate as a C Corp.
The majority of the top U.S corporations are C Corp structures. One of the key benefits of a C Corp versus an S Corp is that a C Corp can have foreign investors and shareholders. It’s the reason so many quickly-growing tech companies choose to register as a C Corp to attract foreign investors.
While only 5% of U.S. companies are currently C Corp organizations, these companies represent 50% of the business profits made in the U.S. annually.
An LLC is a pass-through entity, which means that its income is only subject to one level of tax at the member level.
This pass-through style compares with a C Corp, in which companies pay corporate income tax at the corporate level and the personal income tax at the shareholder level.
In addition, when selling an LLC, the buyer may benefit from a basis step-up, allowing them to reduce their tax exposure significantly. Thus, LLCs are generally more attractive to those looking for growing businesses to purchase.
Be sure to find the best LLC services in any company you choose for incorporating your business.
How Do I Go About Choosing My Business Structure?
Now that you have clear information about the three major business incorporation options, we can examine the process of choosing a business structure a little more closely.
When you select your business structure, consider the following elements:
Carefully Consider Your Tax
Review each of the tax implications involved in choosing your business structure. How much will you pay on your personal taxes each year, and how much will you pay in business taxes? Make sure you carefully consider all of the laws within your region before finalizing your business structure.
Review Liability with an Attorney
You and your shareholders can be held liable for the legal impact of your operations. The government can punish shareholders of a business if that company acts unlawfully.
You may limit your personal financial liability if a business fails after incorporation. But there can be other legal consequences associated with operating the organization. Make sure you’ve considered all the angles of liability for yourself and your shareholders before you select your business structure.
Analyze Expansion Options
There are specific limitations in place for those operating an S Corp. And so, if you believe your company is about to expand quickly, you may wish to register a C Corp to benefit from foreign investment in the short term. Carefully analyze the potential for expansion against the benefits offered by an S Corp structure.
Another vital consideration is share issuing. If you plan to go public, your business cannot issue shares as an S Corp. Only a C Corp and an LLC can provide shares to founders, employees, and their investors.
And so, make sure you’ve considered the potential for an IPO filing before you select the right structure for your organization.
This Business Structure Wizard should help you at this point. Answer the questions and they will show you which structure works best for your situation. If that’s not good enough, we recommend asking your lawyer for guidance.
What Are Online Business Incorporation Services?
Ok, here’s the deal: incorporating is a legal ‘structure’ or entity that protects your business in various ways. It requires having documents called “Articles of Incorporation”.
These are legal papers that tell what your business does, the name of your business, it’s location and number of shares and class of stock that are issued (If any). Using an online incorporation service is the easiest way to get this accomplished.
The articles get filed with your state. There will be certain fees and different rules you will have to follow depending on which state you incorporate in. Sometimes it involves jurisdiction-specific registration information and fees.
You are required to register an ‘agent’ for your business. Your registered agent must be available during all business hours. In the event that someone wants to sue you, your agent is there to accept the paperwork/be served. It’s also for other legal documents to be sent to you.
You can be your own agent if you are available at the registered address during business hours, or you can hire a service. It’s all for the purpose that you don’t try to do business and RUN, or try to escape litigation.
How Much Do Online Incorporation Services Cost?
The cost to incorporate can vary depending on the services provided by the online expert. The fee for the basic level service offered by each company we reviewed is as follows:
- BizFilings: $99 annually
- CorpNet: $79 annually
- ZenBusiness: $39 annually
- MyCompanyWorks: $79 annually
- LegalZoom: $79 annually
These fees do not include a state filing fee. And, while ZenBusiness has the lowest initial cost, you can expect to pay a much higher price from your second year.
How Can a Small Business Owner Benefit from an Online Incorporation Service?
When you incorporate a business using an online incorporation service, you’ll immediately benefit from accurate filing. Their team will be experts in all areas of the filing process.
So you can avoid some of the confusion and the delays associated with mistakes you might make on the filing forms if you don’t have access to specialists.
Because companies have experience in the filing process, they can ensure you complete the incorporation process expediently.
There’s no need for you to file the forms by mail or visit your local post office to complete the documentation process. You can finalize all of the steps online through intuitive forms.
There will likely be additional service requirements beyond the initial filing process as you grow your organization. An online incorporation service can now provide you with add-on services on a scalable business, so their options grow with your company.
For example, BizFilings offers an additional business license research service, which includes a list of all the licenses and permits your business requires to operate in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
Online service providers also offer options such as payroll registration to set your firm up for its withholding and unemployment responsibilities.
Guidance and Advice
In running your company, you’re likely to encounter specific challenges that arise quickly and without warning. The authorities might require a document from you on short notice. Or a shareholder might have a particular question about their filing responsibilities.
Having access to qualified guidance and advice from a solid online incorporation service can save you time and reduce your stress levels so you can focus on running your company.
Business Name Search
An online incorporation service can help you complete a business name search. This process can help you to avoid legal issues in the future and confusion arising from a company with a similar name operating in your industry.
They can find out if another company uses your brand name and advise you about registering your business name with the IRS.
The rules regarding complex areas such as taxation and annual reporting continue to evolve. Working with an online incorporations service can help ensure that your business continues to comply with the newest regulations.
Registering with an online incorporation service means you have access to experts. The experts can answer your questions and keep your business running according to the requirements of both the industry authorities and the federal regulators.
Business Contract Templates and Documents
When incorporating your company, you will need to file numerous documents with various regulatory bodies.
An online incorporation service will have pre-formed templates that allow you to fill in the information for your industry and your company to simplify the filing process. This simple process will help you save many hours compared with trying to file incorporation paperwork by yourself.
In Which State Should I Incorporate?
Another consideration when incorporating your business is to decide the U.S. state for incorporation.
The leading options are:
Delaware is one of the most commonly selected states for companies incorporating their business. 93% of all U.S. initial public offerings are entities registered with the Delaware authorities.
And more than 66% of Fortune 500 companies incorporate in Delaware due to the business-friendly legislation in place. svb.com
For example, companies registered in Delaware, but not operating there, do not pay any corporate income tax.
While California has higher state income taxes than many other states, many business owners now register here.
Registration in California is a popular option for business owners already based there. That’s because it can be more expensive for a California business to register in Delaware, for example, than it would be to incorporate in California because of the Delaware Franchise fee, which is an annual fee paid by all Delaware-registered businesses.
The law in Nevada extends the liability protection for owners of S and C Corporations. Under Nevada law, owners of such corporations are not liable for breaches in the duty of care.
This limited liability level can help to lower the legal costs of operating a Nevada-based corporation. In addition, as with Delaware, Nevada imposes no state income tax on corporations, and there is no personal income tax for shareholders and business owners.
How to Choose an Online Incorporation Service
Consider each of these elements when evaluating each online incorporation service:
What are the main features offered within their basic package? Do they have a free registered agent service included within their initial annual fee? Do they offer web hosting services? What about documentation? Do they provide you with custom documents that allow you to streamline the filing process?
Make sure you analyze the basic online incorporation service package carefully.
Overall Value & Pricing
Review the basic level pricing for each service. Then analyze the service included at each pricing level. What are the must-haves for your business? For example, do you already have legal support? Or do you require legal assistance through the incorporation process?
Analyze the services and review the value offered.
You’re likely to have numerous questions as you complete the incorporation process. Ensure the service provider offers 24/7 support.
Check the customer reviews on each online incorporation service to learn both the good and bad about the company. Analyzing customer feedback will let you in on the day-to-day interaction the company has with its product users.
How quickly can the online incorporation service file the articles of incorporation for you? Do they respond promptly to your requests? Check to see if the company can guarantee filing times as part of their initial service.
How long has the company been in business? Do they have a strong reputation online? Check their reviews carefully and look for red flags such as limited time in the industry alongside numerous negative reviews.
Registered Agent Services
Do you have to pay extra for the registered agent service? Most companies now offer a free or affordable service for the first year. Discuss the price and the features of the service with the company.
Additional Legal Services
If you don’t already have access to a corporate lawyer, you may require additional legal services from your online incorporation service. It will benefit you in the long term to check the cost of the company’s legal services and determine whether their legal team has the requisite experience.
Business Incorporation Services FAQs
Here are some of the other common questions business owners ask before they incorporate their company with an online incorporation service:
How Quickly Can These Services Form My New Company?
Depending on the style of incorporation, incorporating can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Those setting up a complex limited liability company structure may require more documentation, and therefore the incorporation process may take a little longer to complete.
Can These Companies Help Me Keep My Corporation in Good Standing?
Yes, a good online incorporation service has all the expertise to keep your corporation in good standing. They file your annual return, filing your registered office address, file directorial changes, and can help you amend your articles of incorporation.
Why Shouldn’t I Just Form My Own Corporation or LLC?
Attempting to form a corporation or LLC without expert LLC formation services from an online incorporation service can help expose you to numerous legal and business issues. In addition to running your company, you would have to learn all about tax law. You’d have to know the requirements of incorporation. One mistake can lead to the failure of your company. And so, that’s why many owners are now turning to online incorporation service providers.
What Are The Cheapest Ways To Incorporate?
There are many affordable methods to incorporate your business online. But cost should not be the sole consideration when choosing an online incorporation service. Make sure you review the company’s history in the industry and the value of the services provided.
Our Online Incorporation Service Reviews
We reviewed, researched and went through the same experience that you will go through in the process of incorporating online.
We wanted to find the best online incorporation service in terms of ease of use, customer support, fairness, price and customer reviews.
If you are only looking for ultra-cheap online incorporation service, simply do it yourself.
You can get your EIN number or Employer Identification Number, file your own documents, pay the state fees, et cetera, without using an outside company. Just don’t screw it up.
We aren’t going to lie, doing it yourself is a pain-us in the anus. Mistakes can be very difficult to correct down the road. They also take time and may stall your business opening.
Also, you likely have better things to do with your time than the work involved in incorporating your own business. You still have to pay state filing fees even if you do this work yourself.
Narrowed Down to the Two Best Online Incorporation Services :
They both have the best customer service and customer satisfaction rankings. Their sign up system is easy. They are well liked and are competitive in price, with BizFilings being a little more affordable.
However, CorpNet was a little more difficult to navigate on their website and they (basically) will not let you ‘un-check’ the option of using them as your Registered Agent. They also push the EIN service, AFTER you have already made your picks for extras. (You can get your EIN number for free on your own if you wish)
You can choose not to use CorpNet as your RA if you choose their basic plan but you have to pay them an additional $79 to register your own agent with them, which we think is a total rip-off.
Additionally, CorpNet’s chat service availability seems to be inconsistent.
Best Online Incorporation Service Reviews for Incorporating Your Business
So now we conclude after highlighting the many benefits of incorporating a business and evaluating the process for choosing an online incorporation service. We’ve carefully reviewed the companies offering incorporation services online, and there’s one clear winner: BizFilings.
One of the first elements of note when reviewing BizFilings is their history in the industry. The company was founded in 1996 and in that time has retained a superb customer service rating.
They have a 98% customer satisfaction rating. And they take their users into full consideration, as shown by the service being one of the most intuitive online incorporation service solutions in the marketplace.
For the first six months working with the company, their registered agent service is free. So you can review the service and determine its value before you invest your hard-earned money.
Another benefit of the BizFilings service is their BizComply tool, which helps users stay compliant with all state and federal incorporation regulations. The company also offers phone and email support, allowing you to speak with a real expert in just minutes.
So any questions you have can be answered by those with proven experience.
For those that are new to the process of incorporation and wish to incorporate with a company that has decades of experience and a proven track record of success, BizFilings is the obvious choice among our online incorporation service reviews.
Your Winner: BIZFILINGS!
Again, BizFilings won us over in our online incorporation service reviews out of 5 services.
They have a good reputation, they have been in business for over 20 years filing over 150,00 companies. They have cool free extras such as a card reader that you can get with your chosen package as well as an incorporation wizard to lead you to choose the right business structure for your unique needs.
BizFilings were not the cheapest online incorporation service site but they were cheaper than most of the similar packages that we selected. They have good user reviews and they offer live chat.
We believe live chat is a TREMENDOUS help when you have quick questions that need answering. They are right there to help. Not all online incorporation service companies offer live chat.
In conclusion, the easiest and cheapest way to incorporate your business, in our opinion, is BizFilings. Cheap incorporation is not the goal, but it is an added benefit of BizFilings.
We found it to be the best online incorporation service out there!