Running a business can be a fulfilling and lucrative pursuit, but it can also be quite difficult. Even the initial stages of forming your actual company can be intimidating.
At the same time, ensuring that you get off on the right foot is essential. For long-term success, having the right foundation is very important.
For most businesses, a foundation includes obtaining the proper legal documentation in order to operate legally, pay taxes, etc. This can include obtaining business licenses, special permits, incorporating, forming an LLC, and more.
Fortunately, there are companies out there that help entrepreneurs get started. One of those companies is called Incfile.
In this Incfile review, we will break down everything you need to know about the service, including costs, features, pros & cons, and more.
What is Incfile?
Incfile.com is an online business services provider. They operate solely online, helping entrepreneurs obtain helpful services from the comfort of their own homes.
Incfile specializes in new company formation. Basically, this means that they can help guide you through the process of starting a new business.
With Incfile, you can form a new LLC, corporation, or other business entity in your state. So far, they have helped form more than 500,000 new businesses.
Incfile works directly with each US state to help start new businesses. Essentially, they are a middle-man between you and your state’s business department.
So, why use Incfile?
Because they speed up the process of business formation, while also simplifying the experience.
Many states still have fairly outdated systems, which can make the process of forming a company more of a hassle than it needs to be.
Incfile modernizes the business formation process, helping you focus on what matters most: Actually growing and running your company!
Advantages of Incfile
Incfile is a useful service, but there are many companies offering similar features. What sets Incfile apart?
- A simple way to start a business
- Fully online
- Quick application process
- Very competitive pricing
- Packages start at $0 + state fees
- Fast processing – as quick as next business day
- Options for LLC, S-corp, C-corp, and even nonprofit
- Choice of several packages to suit your needs
- Can serve as your company’s Registered Agent
- Can help with ongoing filing requirements, including Annual Reports
- Offers valuable partner offers to customers
Disadvantages of Incfile
Incfile is not perfect. What are some downsides of Incfile that entrepreneurs should be aware of?
- Incfile focuses on business formation – the selection of ongoing services is limited
- Mediocre ratings with TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Partner offers mean that your data may be shared with partner companies
What Services Does Incfile Offer?
Incfile definitely focuses on the initial stages of starting a business. Their services are designed to help you form a new company. Beyond that, they do offer a limited number of ongoing services, as well as some special offers through their partner companies.
Starting a Business with Incfile
Incfile’s core business offering is business formation. You can get started with forming a new LLC, corporation, or even a nonprofit charity. All of this can be done in every state, since Incfile works directly with state officials throughout the country.
Here are the key business formation features and services that Incfile offers:
- Simple online formation tools
- Start a C-Corp, S-Corp, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or nonprofit
- Business Name Availability Search lets you find a company name
- Get help obtaining tax forms, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and more
- File your Articles of Incorporation, or Articles of Organization
- File your LLC operating agreement, banking resolution, etc.
- Incfile can serve as your Registered Agent, if necessary
- Help obtaining special permits and business licenses
- Much more
Growing a Business with Incfile
Many business formation services and incorporation services go beyond the initial formation process, helping entrepreneurs scale and grow their companies. Incfile offers some of these services, but the selection is more limited than some competitors like ZenBusiness, LegalZoom, etc.
Here are some of the business growth features and ongoing services that Incfile offers:
- Ongoing Registered Agent service to handle correspondence
- Company Alerts to keep you on track with ongoing filing requirements
- Ongoing assistance with filing your Annual Report
- Templates for business contracts
- Partner offers for business bank accounts, business tax consultations with a tax professional, and more
How Much Does Incfile Cost?
When you start a business, you’ll need to pay various fees to your state to obtain formation documents and business licenses.
If you use a business formation service, like Incfile, you’ll usually pay a bit extra for the convenience of using the service.
Incfile has several formation packages to choose from:
Silver Package – $0 + State Fees
Incfile’s Silver Package is the cheapest way to form a new business. It costs nothing more than the normal state fees you must pay directly to the state.
- All basic features to get your business formed
- One full year of free Registered Agent services
- Special offers from partners
- Ongoing access to your incorporation documents online
Gold Package – $149 + State Fees
Incfile’s Gold Package adds valuable features like an EIN, lifetime company alerts, and much more.
- All features of the Silver plan
- Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- LLC Operating Agreement
- Lifetime Company Alerts to keep you on track
- Lifetime phone support and email support
- Free business tax consultation
- Business bank account
Platinum Package – $299 + State Fees
Incfile’s Platinum Package gets you in business faster with expedited filing and adds useful marketing tools.
- All features of the Silver and Gold plans
- Expedited filing and processing speed
- Business domain name and business email address
- Optional tools to create a business website
- Business contract templates
- Much more
Incfile Ongoing Costs
The pricing above is for first-year costs. Some packages may also have ongoing fees.
For instance, most plans include a free year of Registered Agents services. But after the first year, the service will renew at $119/year, unless you cancel it.
Other features may also have ongoing costs. Check your plan details to be sure.
Fortunately, there are no contracts with Incfile. You’re never locked into a package and are free to cancel at any time.
What About State Filing Fees?
You’ll notice when using Incfile that there are two costs: Incfile’s own package fees, and state fees.
What are these state fees all about?
This money goes straight to the state you are filing in. Generally, small business formation is handled by the Secretary of State’s department.
Incfile will charge you the state fees, but the money is redirected to your state. If you were to file directly with the state, you’d still owe these fees (although you’d save on Incfile’s package fees).
State fees can vary dramatically:
- Starting an LLC costs $300 in Texas, $200 in Washington, and only $75 in California
- Starting a corporation costs $50 in Colorado, $155 in Minnesota, and $725 in Nevada
Fortunately, Incfile makes it very clear how much these state fees will cost. You’ll know upfront the total cost of your application, including state fees and Incfile’s own fees.
Some state fees are ongoing – you’ll likely need to renew your business license and other documents each year. Generally speaking, ongoing fees are substantially lower than the initial formation fees.
Does Incfile Have Good Customer Service?
Incfile offers ongoing support via both phone and email. Lifetime support is included in the Gold and Platinum packages.
You will also get ongoing support, even with the free package, if you choose to keep Registered Agent services.
Incfile’s customer support agents are fairly helpful and are available during normal business hours to assist you.
Of course, choosing a company with a good reputation is important.
When looking at Incfile customer reviews, you may notice a bit of mixed messaging. On sites like Shopper Approved, the company scores well. But on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot, Incfile’s reputation is less than ideal.
Incfile is a budget-friendly provider of business services. As such, they are not particularly known for their customer service. Business owners tend to choose Incfile because they are affordable.
In the end, it’s a good idea to do your own research before using any service for your business.
Is Incfile a Good Choice for Your Business?
Incfile offers many benefits for entrepreneurs.
Perhaps the most important is cost savings: Incfile is one of the only free ways to form your new business. Their free Silver plan covers the basics and can help save you both time and money.
There are services that offer a wider range of features, but Incfile’s competitive pricing makes it a very popular choice.
If you want low-cost services and a quick and easy way to form a new business, Incfile is a great option.
If you want lots of ongoing services, help with legal documents, or advanced features, Incfile may not offer you as much as some competing services.