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Are you a small business owner looking to protect yourself by separating your business from your personal assets? Or maybe you're a freelancer who wants to grow from a sole proprietorship to an agency, and you'd like to have the legal and brand benefits that come from adding "Inc." to your business' name?
Company Incorporation is a common strategy used in these situations - and many others - as business owners seek to take the next steps in growing their brand and protecting their assets. Setting up your business as a corporation can provide many benefits through creating a legal entity that is separate from its members: in other words, you can't be held legally responsible as an individual for the debts of your business.
Saturday, January 23rd
Since 2004, Incfile has completed more than 150,000 company formations. They have an excellent reputation, both as an "A+" rated business with the BBB and a nearly perfect five-star average over more than 3,000 independently-verified customer reviews. Their company incorporation services are the most affordable on the market, while still including an amazing number of perks even at the lowest price point.
Consider all that you get through this provider. First, all of Incfile's incorporation services include the following, called the Silver Package (available for $49):
If you upgrade to their Gold Package, priced at $149, you'll also get:
Finally, at the $299 Platinum Package, you receive all of the benefits of the Silver and Gold tiers, with these add-ons:
We love how clearly Incfile shows you what you'll pay: no hidden costs and no surprises. This applies to their own fees as well as what you'll pay to your state of incorporation. Some sites keep that information in small print, but Incfile wants to make sure you know exactly what your company incorporation will cost.
Incfile also makes it crystal clear what to expect for your state's ongoing compliance requirements, listed directly below the three package descriptions. You'll see at a glance how often you need to submit a report (annually, in most cases), your anticipated due date, your filing fees, and any other important information.
If you have any questions during or after your company incorporation, you'll have an easy time getting the help you need. Because incorporation is the only service Incfile offers, and most of their staff has worked there since the company's start in 2003, their representatives are extremely knowledgeable about every step of the process. You can reach them from 9A-7P CST at their toll-free number, Monday through Friday, as well as via email. Customers have reported that their responses have been very helpful and specific to the situation (as opposed to the form/template-type emails often sent out by other companies). Incfile does say that the very fastest way to get a prompt response to any question is through the messaging tool at the bottom right of each page on their website.
When it's time to incorporate your company, Incfile should be your first choice. Their fees are extremely affordable, while still providing full-featured service. And, with thousands of satisfied customers, Incfile has proven that they deliver what they promise. They earn our highest rateing for the best company incorporation service.
Rocket Lawyer wants to make legal services simple, affordable, and available to the average person. So far, more than 20 million people have taken advantage of accessing a wide variety of legal documents and advice through this provider, on topics related to Property & Finance, Business Agreements, and much more.
Although you can pay for your business documents a la carte, the most economical way to use Rocket Lawyer's company incorporation services is by becoming a subscribing member. A full subscription costs $49.95/month and comes with a free 7-day trial. We hope you were paying attention just now - did you catch that you can get their $99.95 incorporation processing service for absolutely nothing if you do it in less than a week?
Of course, Rocket Lawyer is hoping that you'll decide the value of their other services convinces you to pay the subscription, but the choice is yours. Given that you're running a business, you may appreciate having access to departments like Contracts & Service Agreements, or even Estate Planning; use the service for as many months as you need to get your documents in order, then decide if you still need the monthly subscription. Your membership also includes the ability to ask a lawyer your legal questions, along with a 30-minute phone consultation on every new legal matter you may have.
You'll also need to compare with other company incorporation services, to make sure that what you'd be paying is genuinely your best deal. Bear in mind that you'll probably wind up needing Registered Agent services; most companies charge anywhere from $99 to $299 per year for that service, but it's included as part of a subscriber package. In other words, you could get 2-6 months of membership at Rocket Lawyer for the same amount you'd pay another provider just for the Registered Agent fees.
Rocket Lawyer makes their customer service team readily available: via online chat or toll-free number, Monday through Friday from 6A-6P PT. That means that, for most people, they'll have time to call before or after their workday, instead of trying to find a time to fit it in during lunch or on a break.
Another great perk of Rocket Lawyer's service is that they offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: get a full refund if, for any reason, you're not satisfied with your incorporation.
While we did find some negative customer reviews, almost every single one of them came from someone who didn't realize they needed to cancel their 7-day free trial and wound up getting billed for the first month of service. Other than those individuals, the great majority of Rocket Lawyer customers love the ability to access a broad range of legal documents and get advice from a lawyer, all for one very low monthly fee.
With a unique alternative pricing structure for legal help, a good track record for customer service, and a no-risk free trial, Rocket Lawyer is definitely a service to consider - not just for your company incorporation, but also for any other legal documents and attorney advice you may need.
While in most cases it's true that "you get what you pay for", be prepared to be amazed by everything you'll get for free from Inc Authority when it comes to incorporating your company. Yes, you read that right: free. No, there's no need to sign up for a free trial or temporary subscription (that you might forget to cancel), or pay for anything that your business doesn't absolutely need. With Inc Authority, every step you need for incorporation comes at no cost. v
Does it sound too good to be true? More than 100,000 satisfied clients would reassure you that this service is reliable, accurate, and beyond helpful, and an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau is just further proof that you can count on Inc Authority to take care of your company incorporation too.
We were very impressed with the long list of features you'll get when you sign up for their basic services:
The process was really fast, even more so than many of the other incorporation services we evaluated: from start to finish, it took less than 10 minutes. We appreciated the helpful pop-out clarifications on any questions we weren't initially sure how to answer.
Do you find yourself asking, "What's the catch?" There really isn't one. However, Inc Authority has to make money somehow, in order to offer 100% free company formation services. They do this through bundled extra features, like providing you with an EIN or verifying your business name availability. It's up to you to decide if you need any of those additional services, which can be purchased as a package or a la carte during the process of filling out your initial online form. This is the only area you'll need to pay close attention - because some of Inc Authority's rivals may offer you a better overall package that includes these extras, even if they don't give you any part of the process for free.
Here's what you can expect from Inc Authority's bundled services:
Watch out for those a la carte options too. All of them, from getting an EIN to express processing of your documents (each available for $49), will be set to "yes" as the default for the form. If there are any you don't want, you'll need to click on the green slider to set it to "no" instead. You may also get a pop-up discount offer on any of Inc Authority's paid services (not applicable to state fees): we spotted one for 20% off during our most recent visit.
Fortunately, we were able to complete the whole company incorporation process without paying for a single extra feature we didn't want, and just entering our credit card information (though you could also use PayPal) to pay for our state fees. We were glad to see that Inc Authority doesn't stick you with any charges in addition to the mandatory fees charged by the state.
Incorporating your company might seem scary or complicated, maybe even expensive - but with Inc Authority, it doesn't have to be any of those things. This service goes a long way to help you take each necessary step with a minimum amount of hassle - and don't forget, the required parts of the process are completely free! It's true that you might find a better deal out there on the bundled features, depending on what your business needs, but Inc Authority still provides comprehensive service with a phenomenal track record for keeping clients happy. That makes them one of our top picks among providers of company incorporation services.
Corpnet may be the perfect match for small business owners who want to incorporate with a service that personally understands what it's like to start from the ground up. Created by a husband/wife entrepreneurial team in 1997, Corpnet maintains the family-owned business feel to their customer service while still providing top-notch company incorporation services that are thorough and affordable.
You probably won't be blown away by Corpnet's website; it doesn't come across as slick or modern as some of the providers we reviewed. Stick with it, however, and start with the Business Structure Wizard under the Start a Business tab at the top of the page. You'll find out which corporation structures are recommended for your situation, broken down by the percentage that each option matches your answers. At any time, you can click on the Free Incorporation Guide or Comparison Chart links that are below your results list. You can also reach Corpnet's representatives from 7A-5:30P PST through their toll-free number.
You'll also appreciate Corpnet's 100% satisfaction guarantee: if you aren't completely satisfied with their document filing services, they will refund your fees, no questions asked, within 60 days of the service purchase date. And, like all reputable services, they will take full financial and legal responsibility should there ever be an error in filing your documents and will fix the problem at no cost to you.
This company incorporation service prides itself on being fully transparent with all of their fees (including an unfortunate shipping/handling fee of $29 on every package that most of their competitors don't charge). Here are your options when using Corpnet to create your business:
Everywhere we looked, Corpnet got extremely high marks for their customer service. Rave reviews talk about how fast the company incorporation process is completed, and how personable and helpful the customer service agents are when working with their clients. In fact, across multiple third-party sites, Corpnet had an almost perfect average across hundreds of reviews.
For this reason, Corpnet gets a 4-star rating from us as well: although their services are priced slightly higher than some providers of company incorporation, their ironclad commitment to customer satisfaction and transparent pricing gives them an edge in the industry.
Formerly known as MyNewCompany, Nevada-based MyCompanyWorks has helped over 50,000 companies with incorporation since their start in 2001. Although they don't work with the same volume of clients as some of the bigger names in the industry, this provider has established itself as a trustworthy, skilled service for those who need help in creating their businesses.
In fact, MyCompanyWorks is so confident that they can meet your needs, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with their business filing services within the first 90 days, they will either work to fix the problem or give you a full refund: the choice is yours. Chances are good, however, that you won't need to take them up on it. MyCompanyWorks has thousands of positive reviews, including hundreds of glowing compliments from very satisfied clients.
One unique resource offered by this provider is the Startup Wizard. Once you've formed your corporation, this step-by-step online tool will cover all of the procedures you need to follow to properly organize your business (such as getting a business license or resale permit). You'll get a weekly automatic email reminder of your remaining steps, or you can download them as a PDF. And, the Wizard tracks your progress as you complete your assignments, ensuring that you don't make any costly problems as you set up your new company. Very few company incorporation services go to those lengths to help you keep your legal obligations unless you pay for hands-on help, so this is a nice perk.
While they don't have a similar tool to walk you through the initial stages of incorporation - like which type of business entity should you choose - they do have many helpful articles that will explain your options and help you decide. You'll find these resources and more at the bottom of the page, under the headings of Start a Company and Manage a Company.
MyCompanyWorks offers three packages for company incorporation:
We were very pleased to see that MyCompanyWorks has a good reputation. First, their A+ rating with the BBB, while not unusual among the companies in our review, is always a positive sign. Better yet, their actual customer reviews are almost universally perfect scores. One of the most-referenced reasons for client compliments of this business is their lightning-fast customer support team: most inquiries via email or voicemail get a response within 20 minutes during regular business hours (7:30A-4:30P PST, Monday through Friday).
Because of their great customer feedback, attention to quality customer service, and helpful tools for customers after incorporation, MyCompanyWorks gets our recommendation as a solid choice for company formation services.
Filenow is one of the newest online resources for company formation services, whether that's via incorporation or an LLC. Backed by a knowledgeable team of business professionals, lawyers, tax experts and entrepreneurs, this provider wants to make your company incorporation as simple and seamless as possible - with minimal stress and expense.
You'll find two packages to choose from when it comes to company incorporation through Filenow:
Not sure what the fees are in your state? Just select the state where you'll be incorporating before starting the process and you'll see the applicable fees automatically populate on the page. (We like that we didn't have to dig around for that information, or wait until the very end of the process to find out: transparency is always a plus.)
To save a little extra, you should keep an eye out for any discount offers. During our visit to the Filenow site, we got a pop-up promotional discount of 15% if we gave them our name and email address. The code we received was valid for a week into the future; we appreciate that there was no pressure to use it right away, giving us time to thoroughly consider everything Filenow has to offer before choosing to use them for our company incorporation needs.
There aren't too many surprises when going through the steps to incorporate through Filenow. Answer a series of simple questions about yourself and your business, and within a few minutes you'll have everything ready for Filenow to submit on your behalf. One nice feature of this service is that you can save your answers at any time and return to them later - so if you need to gather more information, your progress isn't lost.
Another helpful resource with this service is access to round-the-clock customer service. Phone and email help is available 24/7, and live chat is accessible through the Filenow website during regular business hours.
Filenow also backs all of the documents they prepare with an error-free guarantee. Should any of your company incorporation paperwork be rejected by the state due to a mistake on their part, they will give you a 100% refund of any service fees you paid.
The only reason Filenow doesn't rank even higher in our evaluation is because of how new they are to the industry. Where many of their competitors have thousands of customer reviews, Filenow only had a few dozen at the time of our review. The good news is that, even with such a limited history, this provider has already earned accreditation and an "A" rating from the BBB, as well as glowing praise from clients. Users of Filenow's company formation services say that it was easy to get friendly, knowledgeable help from representatives when needed, and that the whole process was smooth and incredibly fast.
Even though Filenow doesn't have the lengthy track record you'll find with other company incorporation services, they've definitely established themselves as an affordable, easy-to-use option. You won't have to spend too much time or money getting your business incorporated when you use Filenow.
First created in 1999, LegalZoom has served nearly four million customers across a broad spectrum of industries, through their self-guided legal services. Documents are available for topics like Intellectual Property, Wills & Trusts, and, of course, Business Formation.
We like LegalZoom's Satisfaction Guarantee: within 60 days of your purchase, you can contact this provider to request a full refund of any fees paid directly to them (in other words, you can't get a refund of any fees paid for filing with local governments or to any other third parties).
But, with respect to incorporating your company, you're probably going to find costs are substantially higher with LegalZoom. Let's take a look at their three packages:
For all three packages, you can choose among a number of optional services. One of the most common - and important - is the Registered Agent Service. Many of the company incorporation services we reviewed include it for free during the first year, while others may charge $99 per year. LegalZoom's fees are $159 per year, and they are not included even with the highest package level.
On the one hand, clients report fairly fast turnaround times with LegalZoom's filing process and receiving your company incorporation documents at the end of the process. They also like how easy it is to complete the process from start to finish; even the least computer-savvy individuals report being able to get their business created easily with help from LegalZoom.
On the other hand, LegalZoom's company incorporation is significantly higher than many of the services we reviewed. And, because they're a company that serves thousands of customers, some people have commented that getting someone to help them has taken longer than they anticipated.
In general, LegalZoom is trustworthy, accurate, and quick when it comes to processing your company incorporation - just be prepared that you'll pay more for the packages they offer and for the add-ons that are often included at no extra cost with other services.
MyCorporation loves to help small businesses get started; what else would you expect from a service whose tagline is "Entrepreneurs welcome"? Based in California, this company incorporation service has been around for more than 20 years.
Although they are not accredited by the BBB, MyCorporation did have an A+ rating there at the time of our review. In the customer comments we found on other third-party sites, most clients report receiving excellent customer service, both during the initial order placement steps as well as throughout the process of incorporation and needed support afterwards. We didn't find nearly as many customer reviews as we would expect from a company that has helped "over one million businesses form and grow" since 1995.
One of the first things that we liked about working with MyCorporation was the free consultation. If you need help identifying your goals and want some guidance with the appropriate next steps to move your business forward, you'll definitely want to take advantage of this complimentary service; click on the "Free Startup Consultation" button and enter your information, and you'll be connected with a representative.
On the other hand, if you'd rather take a DIY approach before connecting with MyCorporation, scroll down and take a look at the Free Entity Wizard or Comparison Chart. These will help you figure out what type of corporation best fits your business needs.
MyCorporation's packages start at $89 with the Basic level of service. For this low fee, you'll get your Articles of Incorporation, Business Documents, and Business Name Check. All packages also include free online accounting, free domain name, and a custom business logo.
The Standard package costs $99 and adds your Annual Report.
At a price of $199, the Deluxe plan also includes a year of Registered Agent Service.
Finally, the highest service level is MyCorporation's Premium package. This includes their MaintainMyBiz service, which includes any four business filings per year and is considered a corporate maintenance package, not just what's required to get your company incorporated.
Beyond those features listed, everything else that MyCorporation offers can be added a la carte. Some of these additional services include Rush Filing, Customized Corporate Minutes and Bylaws, and MyCorp Vault Document Storage. Although we like the idea that business owners only have to pay for the services they really need - does anyone actually use a seal and embosser set? - it seemed that MyCorporation charges extra for services that many of their competitors include with their packages, particularly on the higher end of the price spectrum.
But, overall, MyCorporation offers a good spectrum of services and has a very positive reputation, and we feel confident recommending them particularly to small business owners who like knowing that they'll only pay for the company incorporation services they genuinely need.
When it comes to incorporating a company, there's a lot more to it than just filing paperwork: making sure to do that legally, while continuing to fulfill all of the requirements to stay legal, can be a part of the process that gets the best of a well-meaning business owner. Harbor Compliance aims to change that. Beginning in 2012, they've helped more than 10,000 customers to create and maintain their business incorporation and licensing across a wide variety of industries.
The first thing you may notice is their pricing: Harbor Compliance is the most expensive company incorporation service on the market, with their two packages priced at $499 and $899. And no, those costs do not include any mandatory state filing fees. Unfortunately, these high prices may put their services out of reach for business owners who are looking for help with incorporation that is more affordable than working with an attorney.
So, for what type of business owner would Harbor Compliance be ideal? We suggest that if you have more to spend, and if you want a concierge-type experience with not only your company's incorporation but also its maintenance after that process is complete, you may find Harbor Compliance to be your best fit.
Here's what you'll get with incorporation services through Harbor. Both their Incorporation Package and their Compliance Package include the following:
If you prefer the full Compliance Package, that also includes these features:
Is it worth the investment? Only you can determine the answer to that question for your business, but you can rest assured that if you do choose Harbor Compliance, they have an excellent reputation for meticulous attention to detail and warm, knowledgeable customer service. You'll find evidence of this not only through their A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but also in their client testimonials that express gratitude for the step-by-step guidance received through Harbor's dedicated service representatives.
Harbor Compliance does what it promises and does it extremely well. But, for our purposes, we give them a middle-of-the-pack rating because their fees and limited two-package options won't give many small business owners the company incorporation services they can afford.
BizFilings is an accredited business with the BBB and, at the time of our review, maintained a perfect "A+" rating there. But, we weren't able to find many reviews - positive or negative - from actual customers, particularly from the last 12 months. This suggests that BizFilings might not be doing the volume of company incorporations that some of their competitors have.
We like that BizFilings tries to give their prospective clients all of the information they need to decide what approach is right for their incorporation. You'll find the Incorporation Wizard right on their main page, which will walk you through important questions - and helpful explanations - regarding the size and owners of your business, how it'll be funded, what industry it pertains to, income and taxes, and future plans. You'll then get a list of company structures that might be right for you, along with details about each type, from C-Corps to LLPs. You'll find similar tools for gathering information with respect to Business Licenses and searching for your desired business name to see if it's available.
For your company incorporation through BizFilings, you'll have three main packages to choose from: Basic, Standard, and Complete. All of them come with Name Check and Document Filing, along with access to their proprietary BizComply online dashboard. This feature gives you an easy way to keep track of your business' deadlines for compliance and filing dates. There's also a document library you can use if you need more in-depth information on any topics within the company incorporation process.
The fees you pay for each package depends heavily on the state of incorporation. In general, you should expect costs from $99 to $175 for the Basic plan, $200-$300 for the Standard plan, and $250-$379 for the Complete plan. Here's what you can expect with each tier of service:
BizFilings then gives you a lengthy list of "extras" that you can select from their partner businesses, such as getting an 800 number for your company or a $50 credit towards posting a job on a listing site. We felt that this made BizFilings look a little less professional, since it seemed more designed to promote the third-party businesses and less to give you what might actually be useful for your newly-incorporated company.
Overall, BizFilings gives you some perks not typically included with other providers, like 6 months of free registered agent services, but their lower-tier packages tend to offer less than their competitors' while charging slightly more. You'll want to do your homework and make sure that the package you get through BizFilings is the best fit for your needs and your budget before choosing them for your company incorporation.
Although they've existed under several names in their company history which spans more than a century, Incorporate has helped more than 750,000 corporations and LLCs to file all of the necessary paperwork to successfully form their businesses and stay in compliance with all legal requirements. You may be familiar with their previous names of The Company Corporation and Corporation Service Company (CSC).
Although they don't feature it very prominently on their site, Incorporate does offer a Startup/Business Formation Wizard that may help you determine what corporation structure is best for your current business needs. We found that tool at the bottom of the main page and in their Learning Center, and the questions were very easy to answer. Otherwise, you can get help by contacting their customer service department, either via toll-free number or live chat, from 8A-8P ET every weekday.
Incorporate tends to be priced higher than many of the company incorporation services in our review. Here's what you'll get from their three packages:
Just looking at their Registered Agent Service alone, you'll see where Incorporate starts to fall short when compared with their competitors: many offer this free for the first year of incorporation, and even those that charge for it typically have fees of less than $100 per year. Given that you're expected to pay those agent fees from year to year, that cost difference could really add up over time - especially if you're like some of the business owners we've found (across company incorporation services, not just Incorporate) who forget that they are expected to pay this fee and then write nasty complaints blaming the provider for charging them.
Their package prices described above are also higher and less robust than what we found with other company incorporation services.
We like the idea of working with a provider that has not just decades but centuries of experience with helping businesses of all types to easily and legally incorporate. And, as you'd expect with longstanding company, their reputation with the BBB is solid: an A+ rating at the time of our review. But, "established" isn't always the best choice when there are other companies providing the same level of quality service for more affordable prices. We give Incorporate a 3-star rating and hope to see them become more competitive in the packages and prices they offer.
Corporate Creations is based in Florida and has been a part of the company incorporation industry for more than 20 years. As an A+ rated entity with the Better Business Bureau, you can be assured that they have a trustworthy reputation.
Corporate Creations does not offer an easy-to-use website that shows prospective clients their options in a clear way - through a chart, a list of different packages, and so on. Instead, when someone clicks on the Incorporation tab at the top of the page, they're taken to a series of dropdown boxes and options to click through, to determine what features will be needed. This made it challenging to compare "apples to apples" with other company incorporation providers, especially because Corporate Creations automatically include any required state fees in their pricing. State fees can vary widely, from under $300 in many states to more than $600 in places like Nevada - so not being able to quickly see what their own services cost was frustrating.
But, they also offer a Price Match Guarantee: if you see a lower price for the same service with another provider, they'll match it. Or, if you've already ordered services through Corporate Creations and then find a lower price within 30 days, they'll refund 100% of the difference. This is one of the only services in our review to offer that kind of guarantee.
We're not completely sure which services this applies to, so it might be worth it to ask. For example, they provide registered agent service free in the first year, but every year thereafter you'll pay a fee of $299. Given that many of the top-rated incorporation services we reviewed only charge $99-$129 per year, that would be a price match worth requesting.
Compared with other online incorporation services, Corporate Creations offers very little guidance regarding the process: on the Incorporation page, there are no convenient "Which one is right for my company?" tools or much information to help a small business owner to understand what they need. We did take a look through the Resources tab, but even there we found just a handful of articles regarding many aspects of owning a business, not just incorporation. (There was also a link there to someone's eulogy from 2005, which struck us as odd.)
We really liked the few customer reviews we were able to find, and the company as a whole seems to have an excellent approach to serving their clients. But, when it comes to keeping up with the competition in the online world of company incorporation, Corporate Creations isn't quite there. We hope to see more developments from them in the future, because it looks like they do help many people to incorporate their companies smoothly and affordably - just not through an intuitive online experience.
FindLegalForms was founded in 2001 by two lawyers from California who saw a need for affordable access to the most commonly-used legal forms. Their service gives customers the ability to prepare a will, give an eviction notice to a tenant, incorporate a business, along with many other business and personal situations. All forms are immediately available by download and have been kept up-to-date by attorneys familiar with each state's applicable laws.
The forms provided by FindLegalForms are guaranteed to be valid in your state, and FindLegalForms offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. Also, FindLegalForms is an accredited company through the Better Business Bureau, with an impressive A+ rating and an even more noteworthy status of having no registered complaints.
In the Corporate Startup Forms Combo Package, you'll get 89 pages of editable documents (.doc, .wpd, and .rtf), including the following:
We have no reservations about what FindLegalForms offers: with more than 1,300,000 customers across all of their available forms and such a solid reputation, this provider clearly delivers what it promises.
However, when it comes to incorporating a business, we think that most people will need much more guidance during the process - the kind of guidance that is offered by the higher-ranked services we reviewed. There are many possible pitfalls, filing deadlines, and other parts of incorporation that can lead to questions or even confusion, and that just won't be taken care of by an 89-page download.
FindLegalForms is a great fit for less complicated legal needs, but we recommend that you choose a service that gives you different levels of assistance so that you can have as much - or as little - hand-holding as you want as you handle your company incorporation.
There are several different types of corporate entities that business owners use for these purposes - Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), S-Corporations, C-Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations, and so on. The best way to choose the right corporation type for your business and also get it put into place in the most affordable way possible is to work with a Company Incorporation service. These providers offer the same guidance, document preparation assistance, and filing help as you would receive by meeting with a local attorney, but for fees that can often be thousands of dollars less.
As you consider the various Company Incorporation services currently available, you will want to keep several criteria in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Company Incorporation services currently available. We hope this information helps you incorporate your business right away!
Perhaps you've been in business for a while and feel you want to formalize your status, legally and otherwise. Perhaps your business has been local to date, but you are looking toward operating in more than one state. Maybe you are competing with larger companies in the same niche and feel a change in legal status will bump up your credibility. Or maybe you just like the sound of the syllable "Inc." after your business name.
There are myriad answers to the question, "Why should you incorporate your business." Following are just a few:
Protect Your Assets
If you've owned a sole proprietorship, you know all too well that not only does the buck stop with you relative to operations, you're also on the hot seat when it comes to financial and legal complications that may arise. If a sole proprietorship stumbles under the weight of excessive debt or is taken to court, it's the proprietor's personal as well as business assets that are at risk. A corporation is a legal entity all its own. If your company faces legal issues or cannot meets its obligations, your personal assets do not come into play.
Gain Tax Advantages
When you incorporate your business, the IRS allows you to get a tax ID number for your business, establishing its status as a separate entity relative to tax liability. In fact, a corporation files its own tax return -- paying taxes on its profits -- at a complete remove from your individual return.
Separate tax identity alone can be enough justification for some to incorporate their businesses. Keep in mind, though, that when you incorporate, you and any other owners also become shareholders. If your company distributes dividends, you must pay taxes on that dividend income when you file your personal return.
When you incorporate, you must make your business known to state, and sometimes local, authorities. Regulation specifics vary by state, but nearly universally, you must file articles of incorporation with your state's Secretary of State's office. In addition, you will have to create and record by-laws. Moreover, you'll have to set up a calendar of regular shareholder meetings; the minutes from those meetings must be recorded and kept on file at your company. The shareholders are required to elect a board of directors who must also meet regularly to make important decisions about the firm. Not surprisingly, establishing a corporate structure typically requires engaging the services of a lawyer or law firm.
Make a Name (or Two) for Yourself: State and Local Recognition
One key step toward incorporation is filing a business name with state and/or local authorities. If you want to do business under more than one name, you'll also need to file one or more fictitious business name statements. For example, if your company is called Snow Corporation, and you want to sell skis under the name "Speed Plus Company," you have to submit the appropriate paperwork to the relevant authorities.
Finally, incorporating your business makes it possible to raise capital by selling shares to stockholders. Relying solely on bank or personal loans or company profits for financing will be a thing of the past.
The decision to incorporate should be a deliberate one. The administrative costs alone should be enough to deter you from entering into this new status lightly. Should you decide to take the plunge, incorporating could be a crucial step in your company's journey.
Select any 2 Company Incorporation Services to compare them head to head
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RICHMOND, Va., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CarLotz, Inc. ("CarLotz" or the "Company"), a leading consignment-to-retail used vehicle marketplace, today announced that it has completed its business combination ...
Thu, 21 Jan 2021