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If you're self-employed, the next step in growing your business while covering your assets is probably forming an LLC. Creating an LLC is often seen as a good move for people who want to limit their liability without the cumbersome paperwork and regulations of a corporation.
No matter where your business is located, you'll typically need to register your company name and file documentation with the state, along with having accurate, complete Articles of Organization. Other requirements depend on the specific legal statutes governing businesses in your state. An online LLC Creation company can greatly help faciliate this process.
Wednesday, December 7th
Incfile has helped with more than 150,000 company formations since 2004. They have thousands of independently-verified 5-star reviews, and their LLC formation services are the lowest priced in the industry - but you won't find any compromises when it comes to quality or range of services.
We were stunned
When comparing with other LLC service providers, we were stunned at how much is included with Incfile's LLC Creation packages, even at the most basic levels of service.
All of their LLC formation plans, including their entry-level Silver package, include these features:
That's right: you get all of these with Incfile's lowest priced Silver package at $49.
For $149, you can get their Gold package, which includes these additional services:
Last, the $299 Platinum package gives you all of the benefits of the first two service levels, with these add-ons:
We appreciate the transparency of Incfile's pricing: you won't have any surprises or hidden costs as you go through the process of creating your LLC. They offer that clarity with their fees and those that you'll pay to the state where you're filing your LLC. Some services keep those details in very small print, but Incfile prides itself on making sure you are fully aware of what it will cost to form your LLC.
State compliance requirements
You'll see more of this openness when it comes to your state's ongoing compliance requirements, which are clearly listed below your three package options. At a glance, you can see how often you'll need to turn in your report (typically every year), when it's due, what your filing fees will be, and any other important details that apply to your state.
Still have questions? Whether you're at the beginning of the LLC formation process or already finished with having your paperwork filed, Incfile is available from 9A-7P CST through their toll-free number or via email. Customers have said that the answers they've gotten were very helpful and specific to their situation, not just the typical form/template responses that are frequently sent by other services.
For the fastest possible response, Incfile recommends that you use the messaging tool in the bottom right corner of every page on the site. Because business formation is the only service provided by Incfile, and most of their representatives have worked there since the company's beginnings in 2003, you'll get extremely knowledgeable help when you need it - no matter whether you choose to call, email, or use live chat.
When you're ready to create your LLC, Incfile should be at the top of your list. They offer full-featured services at the most affordable prices on the market. Thousands of happy customers are proof that Incfile keeps its promises to deliver helpful, knowledgeable assistance with every LLC formation package they offer. For LLC Formation services, Incfile earns our highest rating.
Rocket Lawyer's goal is to make it affordable and easy for the average person to access legal services and documents. Since they opened, they've helped over 20 million individuals to create a wide range of legal documents ranging from Business Agreements to Property and Finance.
Although customers can get individual documents with a la carte pricing, the least expensive way to use Rocket Lawyer's services is through a monthly membership priced at $39.99. Whether you're just looking to create an LLC or you have a number of legal documents on your to-do list, a complimentary 7-day trial gives you a no-risk method of trying Rocket Lawyer's services on for size. Yes, this does mean that you could potentially get all of your LLC formation documents completed at no cost, if you can get them filled in within the first week. Just be aware that the free trial does not include access to attorney advice on any of your paperwork.
Affordable monthly plan
Naturally, Rocket Lawyer's goal is to get you hooked on their convenient, affordable services during that 7-day trial, but the decision is yours - no obligation. Of course, if you're already running a business or even getting one started, you might find it very helpful to have access to documents in categories like Contracts & Service Agreements or maybe even Estate Planning. Fortunately, you can use Rocket Lawyer's service only for the months you need and then cancel at any time. That monthly plan also gives you access to lawyers for any legal questions that arise, including a 30-minute phone consultation for each new legal matter you'd like to discuss.
Registered agent services
Is Rocket Lawyer the best LLC formation service for your business needs? You'll need to compare them with other providers to make sure that the bottom line is the right choice for your situation. One aspect to consider is that you'll likely need to use Registered Agent Services: where many of the providers in our review charge up to $299/year for that service, you get it included at a discount of 25% when you're a subscriber at Rocket Lawyer.
Extended customer service hours
Another advantage of using Rocket Lawyer to create your LLC is their customer service availability: you can get in touch with their representatives from 6A to 6P Pacific five days a week through their toll-free number or online chat. These extended hours make it possible for many business owners to call before or after their working day, rather than trying to squeeze it in during their prime hours of operation.
100% satisfaction guarantee
You'll also get a 100% satisfaction guarantee with your monthly membership: if you're not completely happy with the service you've received, you can request a full refund.
Most of Rocket Lawyer's customers are extremely satisfied with the documents and legal help they've gotten. We did find some negative comments, but almost all of them were from free trial customers who didn't cancel before their free trial ended and were billed for the first month of service. For those who intentionally choose the service, however, Rocket Lawyer gets compliments for the wide range of available documents and the helpful advice from their attorneys on staff.
Because of their unique membership approach to legal help, a solid reputation for quality customer service, and a one-week free trial, Rocket Lawyer is worth considering - not only to form your LLC, but also for any other legal forms and lawyer advice you might want for your business or your personal life.
Can you really get something for nothing? When it comes to Inc Authority's LLC Formation services, you can! For both LLC's and corporations, this provider waives all service charges, labor costs and overhead - and at the time of our most recent visit to their site, Inc Authority had helped more than 130,000 clients to officially and legally create their businesses.
What you'll get
So, what do you get with Inc Authority's free LLC Formation offer? Quite a lot, actually:
Less than 5 minutes
Filling out the online application took us less than five minutes, and most questions had helpful pop-out information if we weren't sure how to answer.
Apples to apples comparison
It's natural to wonder if "free" is really free, and it's true that Inc Authority offers paid packages to give you additional bells and whistles. (They have to make money somehow, right?) Here's where you'll need to do some careful apples-to-apples comparisons, because while the steps of forming an LLC won't cost you anything, many of the extras that only come with Inc Authority's packages might be had for less with one of the other services in our review. Plus, many of the bundled options don't apply to an LLC because they're specific to the steps needed to incorporate.
Take a look at what's in those packages and decide for yourself:
Additional cost for additional features
Some of those extras will be offered to you during the registration process, available for purchase a la carte. For example, express processing could be added for $49, an EIN for $49, and so on. Take note that all of those extras are set to "yes" as default; click the slider (in a green box) to "no" for any features you don't want to add on.
Just as advertised
The good news is that we had no problems completing the entire LLC Formation process through Inc Authority, with no add-ons and completely free, just as advertised. Note - State fees still applied, but they didn't tack anything extra on there. While we were in the checkout process, we got a pop-up offer of 20% off Inc Authority's additional services - which didn't apply in our case, but could save you money on any of those a la carte options or bundles you might decide to use.
Easy and fast
Even more encouraging are the 3000+ 5-star reviews that satisfied clients have given Inc Authority. Over and over again, customers say that creating an LLC or corporation using this service is easy and fast. High praise is especially given to Inc Authority's customer representatives, who have a fantastic track record for being helpful, knowledgeable and professional at every step of the process. Plus, the BBB gives this provider an "A" rating: extra proof that you won't have any nasty surprises if you use this provider to form an LLC.
Great for the basics
In short, Inc Authority is trustworthy, accurate - and did we mention free? While you might be able to find a better deal with rival services if you need specific add-on features for a more robust LLC Formation package, you won't find a more affordable option if you just need the basic steps to help create your business. Inc Authority is one of our favorite choices among providers of LLC Formation services.
Corp Net is a great fit for small business owners who want to form their LLC with a provider that knows first-hand what it's like to start a business from scratch. Created in 1997 by an entrepreneurial husband/wife team, Corp Net still has that family-owned business approach to customer service while offering first-rate LLC formation services that are affordable and accurate.
Business structure wizard
You probably won't be overly impressed by the look and feel of the Corp Net website; it's definitely not as polished and glitzy as some of the services in our review. Push past that, though, to work your way through the Business Structure Wizard. You'll find it under the Start a Business section at the top of the site. This can help you determine if forming an LLC is the recommended next step for your business right now.
Available by phone
You can also get in touch with Corp Net's representatives from 7A-5:30P PST at their toll-free number, if you have any further questions.
This LLC formation service makes it a priority to be completely transparent in their pricing (including a less-than-awesome shipping and handling fee of $29 on every plan).
What you can expect
Take a look at what you can expect from Corp Net when creating your LLC:
100% satisfaction guarantee
Corp Net gives you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their services: if you're not satisfied with the process of creating your LLC, they'll fix the problem or refund your fees in full, no questions asked. This applies to the first 60 days after purchasing the service. Also, like every trustworthy LLC formation service, Corp Net takes full legal and financial responsibility if there's ever an error in filing your LLC documents; they'll fix any problem at no extra cost.
High customer praise
Across a wide range of customer reviews, Corp Net receives high praise from their clients: almost a perfect five-star average over hundreds of reviews. Business owners say that their LLC formation was completed very quickly, and that Corp Net representatives are helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable in all aspects of the process.
Because of their positive reputation with their customers, Corp Net is one of the top LLC formation services in our review. While their packages tend to be a little more expensive than some providers, Corp Net's proven commitment to their customers and clarity in pricing gives them a strong advantage over many of their competitors.
Since opening their doors in 2001, My Company Works - formerly known as My New Company - has worked with more than 50,000 businesses to help them grow their business through LLC formation and incorporation. Although this provider doesn't have the long client list as some of our higher-ranked services, they've proven themselves as a reputable, knowledgeable partner for small business owners who want to create an LLC.
3 LLC packages
My Company Works has three packages for LLC formation:
My Company Works has a terrific reputation. Like many of the companies in our review, they maintain an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau. More noteworthy is their track record for almost 100% positive reviews from their customers. The most common compliment given is for their extremely fast customer service team: most questions submitted by mail or phone get a response in 20 minutes or less during My Company Works' regular weekday business hours of 7:30A to 4:30P PST.
One of our favorite resources offered by My Company Works is their proprietary Startup Wizard. Once you've formed your LLC, this helpful online tool will take you step-by-step through everything you need to do to keep your business up and running - and in compliance with all of the legal requirements in your state. You'll get automatic reminders in your email each week that remind you of any remaining steps you need to take; these reminders can even be downloaded as a PDF. Also, the Startup Wizard keeps track of your progress while you complete your required tasks, making sure that you don't create any problems for yourself as you operate your newly-formed LLC. Most of the LLC formation services we reviewed don't go that extra mile (at no extra cost) to make sure you are meeting your legal obligations, so this is a perk worth noting.
Business next steps
You'll also find lots of helpful information as you consider the next steps for your business. These can be found under the headings of Start a Company and Manage a Company at the bottom of the website.
This provider is so sure that they'll make a happy customer out of you that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Should you be unsatisfied with their LLC formation services for any reason within the first 90 days of being their client, they'll either fix the problem or offer you a full refund - whichever you prefer. Given the thousands of positive reviews they've already received, however, it's not very likely that you'll need to take them up on their satisfaction guarantee.
Because of their reasonable prices, strong focus on customer service, and useful tools even after creating an LLC, My Company Works is ranked among the top providers for LLC formation services in our review.
Filenow was created by a team of tax experts, lawyers, entrepreneurs and business professionals with ample background in everything needed to create a new company. This service aims to make it seamless and simple to form an LLC, minimizing both hassle and expense in the process.
2 LLC formation packages
Filenow offers two primary packages for LLC Formation:
If you enter the state where you'll be creating the LLC, you'll automatically see the state fees to expect with your purchase.
At the time of our most recent visit to the Filenow site, we spotted a pop-up offer with a 15% discount on their company formation services - in exchange for entering our name and email address. The code was valid for one week from the time we visited the website.
Easy online form
The process of LLC formation is extremely straightforward, with Filenow's easy online form walking you through everything necessary to get your LLC in place. We particularly appreciate the ability to skip any section, save our progress, and return later. During the question-and-answer process, you'll also get the opportunity to purchase an Operating Agreement for an additional $25.
If you're even slightly hesitant about the steps needed for creating your LLC, rest assured that Filenow offers 24/7 live, personalized help via phone and email, along with live chat on the site during selected business hours.
Money back guarantee
Filenow offers a 100% money-back guarantee. If your LLC application is denied due to negligence or errors on any document prepared with their service, you'll get a full refund of any service fees you paid.
The only drawbacks we could find with Filenow, compared with similar providers available today, is that the service has only been in business for a short time - and because of that, there's much less client feedback available. We're reassured by Filenow's "A" rating and accreditation by the Better Business Bureau, however, as well as the 50+ five-star reviews from people who have used the service for their business formation needs. Compliments described Filenow's LLC process as being easy, fast and intuitive, with polite and knowledgeable help from company reps when needed.
Despite being the proverbial new kid on the block, we think Filenow is a solid option for LLC formation services. Affordable and fast, and backed by a great satisfaction guarantee, this service can create your LLC with just a few minutes of your time.
For over two decades, My Corporation has been helping small businesses get their start. Given that their tagline is "Entrepreneurs welcome", it's easy to see that this California-based LLC formation service is focused on the needs of growing companies.
Free startup consultation
One perk offered by My Corporation is a Free Startup Consultation. If you want some guidance in identifying your business goals and the best steps to take to reach them, this is a great way to get a feel for how My Corporation can help you - at no cost to you. You'll find the "Free Startup Consultation" button featured throughout the site; enter your information there and you'll soon be connected with a representative.
Free entity wizard
Alternately, if you like to get information on your own before you speak with a rep, look further down on the site to find the Free Entity Wizard and Comparison Chart tools. This will help you determine if forming an LLC is the right next step for your business.
4 LLC packages
My Corporation offers four packages of service: Basic, Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. All packages also include free online accounting, free domain name, and a custom business logo.
All of My Corporation's other features can be included at an extra cost. For example, you may want to have them apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN), or to use their MyCorp Vault Document Storage to keep all of your business documents in one location. We like that small businesses can decide exactly which additional services they need and not have to pay for ones that aren't relevant (such as a seal and embosser set). But, when looking at their packages, My Corporation's "extras" are often included with competitor plans, especially with the higher-priced tiers of service.
Not many reviews
Reputation-wise, My Corporation had an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. We expected to find lots of customer reviews, since this service has been helping "over one million businesses form and grow" in the last two decades. While most of the client comments we found were positive - praising My Corporation's outstanding customer service during LLC formation and the support phase afterwards - there weren't very many reviews to be found.
Overall, though, My Corporation provides a solid range of services for creating an LLC and a positive reputation. We think they're a trustworthy option for small businesses who only want to pay for the LLC formation services they actually need.
Forming an LLC can be simple, but making sure that everything is done accurately and legally is essential to protecting your business. Harbor Compliance takes that process seriously, having helped over 10,000 businesses since 2012 to create their LLC's and corporations and to stay in compliance in the years that follow.
You will probably notice right away that Harbor Compliance costs much more than other LLC formation services on the market, with packages priced at $399 and $799 - not including any required state filing fees. Those prices might be too high for the average small business owner, especially if they're looking for LLC creation services that are more economical than hiring a local attorney.
But, if you want the kind of one-on-one service that Harbor Compliance offers, both during the LLC formation process and afterwards, and you've got the resources to pay for it, they may be an excellent fit. Take a look at what you'll get for your investment and decide for yourself.
If you choose the Formation package, you can expect these services:
Formation + Compliance package
Choosing the Formation + Compliance package gives you everything in the Formation package, plus these additional services:
Is it worth it?
Are these services worth the fees? That depends on you and your business needs. But, you can trust that Harbor Compliance has a proven track record for accuracy in document preparation and for having pleasant, knowledgeable compliance specialists. This is demonstrated by their A+ rating at the BBB and numerous compliments from clients that say how much they appreciated the one-on-one guidance they received from their dedicated Harbor Compliance representatives.
Delivers on their promise
In other words, Harbor Compliance delivers everything they promise, much to the satisfaction of their customers. But, given that their high fees and relatively limited package options may not fit a large percentage of small business owners, we give their LLC formation services a 3-star rating.
Since 1999, LegalZoom has helped over 4 million customers to affordably access legal documents through their self-guided services. You can find documents across a wide variety of topics, ranging from business needs like LLC formation and incorporation to personal issues such as wills and trusts.
A strong positive of using LegalZoom to create your LLC is their Satisfaction Guarantee. Within the first 60 days after your purchase, you can request a 100% refund of all fees paid directly to LegalZoom if you're unhappy with any part of your experience. Of course, that refund policy doesn't apply to any fees you paid for government filing or to a third-party service.
3 levels of service
However, as you select a service to form your LLC, you're likely going to find that you'll spend more by choosing LegalZoom. Here's what you can expect with their three levels of service:
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.
As you set up your LLC, you'll also be offered free trials of other services, such as a 30-day trial of Affordable Tax, Legal Protect, and Total Compliance. These services are billed at $320/year thereafter.
We found the process of selecting an LLC formation package through LegalZoom to be very frustrating, mostly when it came to pricing. On one screen, we were given package prices ranging from $99 to $159. But, as we went through the actual process of creating our LLC, the package prices changed to $49-$349.
Included or not?
Also, on one screen it said that an EIN would be included with the two higher levels of service. But, again, once we went through the steps to form the LLC, we were quoted an additional $199 to get the Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses.
In the past, we've seen good things from LegalZoom, with customers saying that their turnaround times were much faster than expected and that their LLC's were formed very quickly. But, with so many issues with pricing, it left us wondering what we were actually paying for and frequently asking "Is this included or isn't it?"
Room to improve
You can expect quality deliverables with LegalZoom. However, we hope LegalZoom will make their pricing clearer and more consistent in the future.
Biz Filings was created by a team of entrepreneurs who wanted to make it easy and affordable for small business owners to fully establish their companies through LLC formation and/or incorporation. So far, they're doing a good job of it - as evidenced by an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. On the other hand, Biz Filings doesn't seem to be completing the same volume of LLC formations as some of their competitors; there were very few reviews - positive or negative - from clients, especially over the last year.
However, we think that prospective clients will appreciate Biz Filings' efforts to give them everything they need to know, to make decisions about how to form their business. Using their Incorporation Wizard on the main page, you'll be asked several questions that can help you determine if forming an LLC is the right step for your business. You'll also have access to other tools, like determining if the name you want for your LLC is available.
When creating an LLC through Biz Filings, customers have three packages to consider. All of their packages include Business Name Verification, preparation and filing of all documents, and 6 months of Registered Agent Service. That last benefit alone could easily be worth $600 or more, when looking at what other LLC formation services charge. You also have access to the BizComply online dashboard, which helps you track any required deadlines for document filing and compliance, plus a document library with resources for more in-depth topics regarding LLC creation.
Unlike some services, Biz Filing's fees are very dependent on the state in which you form your LLC. You can expect costs ranging from $99 to $174 for their Basic plan, $200 to $300 for the Standard package, and $250 to $425 for the Complete package.
3 levels of LLC service
Here's what you get with each level of service:
Long list of options
After you've selected your package, you'll also have to sort through a long list of extra service options, like website builders and coupons for office phone systems. This makes Biz Filings seem less professional, because it gives the impression that they are focused on promoting their third-party partners and not necessarily on what you need when forming your LLC.
Give you less
In general, you'll get some perks from Biz Filings that you won't find when forming an LLC with other providers, like the complimentary 6 months of Registered Agent Service. But, their two lowest-priced packages give you less for your money when compared with some of the higher-ranked services we reviewed. We encourage you to do the research to determine if Biz Filings works for your particular needs, especially with respect to your state of LLC formation.
Incorporate - formerly known as The Company Corporation and Corporation Service Company (CSC) - has worked to form more than 750,000 LLC's and corporations over the last 100+ years. They have a well-established history of helping businesses complete all of the required paperwork to take the next step in their growth, while staying fully compliant with all legal statutes and regulations.
Startup business formation wizard
You might have to look around for one of Incorporate's most useful tools: the Startup/Business Formation Wizard. It's at the bottom of their main page, as well as in their Learning Center; it can help you figure out if an LLC is the right fit for your business through a series of easy-to-answer questions. If you need more personalized guidance, their customer service department is available through online chat or at Incorporate's toll-free number, 8A-8P ET Monday-Friday.
You'll probably pay more
While you'll probably like what Incorporate has to offer, you'll pay more for it. Compared with most of the LLC formation services we surveyed, their prices are usually higher.
3 LLC formation packages
Take a look at the three packages Incorporate offers for creating an LLC:
Costs add up
You may already have noticed that Incorporate will cost more money while giving you fewer services, compared with other LLC formation providers. For example, you won't get an LLC Operating Agreement included unless you spend $349 for the most expensive package, but many of their competitors include that with the most basic service plans. Also, in choosing Incorporate as your registered agent, you're looking at spending $150 per year after the first filing - but many LLC formation services charge $100 or less per year for the same service. Those costs add up, as evidenced by the complaints we find from many small business owners who've used LLC formation services (not just through Incorporate, but across the spectrum) and forget that they'll be charged for this on an annual basis.
Working with a service that has more than a century of experience has its benefits: an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a long history of helping companies from all industries to create their LLC's quickly, easily, and legally. However, given that small businesses have to make careful decisions with their money, choosing Incorporate for their reputation alone might not be the best option. There are quite a few LLC formation providers offering the same services for lower fees, and who also have a good reputation with their clients. For this reason, Incorporate comes in at the middle of the pack; in the future, we hope to see more competitive rates and packages that can better meet the budgets of small business owners.
Corporate Creations has been a part of the LLC Formation industry for more than 20 years. You can be confident that they have a trustworthy reputation, as evidenced by their A+ rated entity with the Better Business Bureau.
Click through the options
While some companies offer an easy-to-use website that shows prospective clients their options in a clear way - through a chart or a list of different packages, for example - Corporate Creations does not. 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. The LLC option is listed in the dropdown for Entity Type.
Challenging to compare
This makes it challenging to compare "apples to apples" with other LLC Formation providers. Further complicating things is the fact that Corporate Creations automatically includes 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 it's frustrating not being able to quickly see what their own services cost.
Price match guarantee
One feature we really liked, however, is their 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.
Annual recurring fee
One thing to be aware of - Corporate Creations provides 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, you should try to obtain a price match for this annual, recurring fee.
Compared with other online incorporation services, Corporate Creations offers very little guidance regarding the LLC process. On the Incorporation page, for example, there are no convenient "Which one is right for my company?" tools. Neither is there very much information to help a small business owner understand what they need and why they need it. The Resources tab lists just a few articles about owning a business, not just LLC's.
Comes up lacking
The few customer reviews we found were very positive, and the company as a whole has an excellent approach to servicing their clients. When it comes to keeping up with the competition in the online world of LLC Formation, however, Corporate Creations comes up lacking. We hope to see more improvements from them in the future, because they can help you create an LLC smoothly and affordably - just not in a customer-friendly environment.
Nolo used to be an LLC formation service limited to books and forms. You might say that "Nolo" now stands for "No Longer" limited, as they've vastly expanded their options
2 LLC creation packages
Nolo offers 2 packages to create your LLC:
All packages include company name verification, articles of organization, automated error checking, and unlimited customer service support.
3 step process
Nolo creates your LLC in three steps. First, you fill out a basic questionnaire that asks you to select which service you want, basic details about your business like desired LLC name and member names, and so forth. Then, they generate your LLC documents and make sure they are filed correctly with the Secretary of State. Finally, your completed LLC package arrives in the mail.
Mixed customer reviews
Reviews of Nolo are mixed. We found several positive remarks from small business owners who complimented the service for getting everything right during the process of creating their LLC's. We also found several complaints, but they seemed to be more focused on Nolo's offerings in other categories, not related to filing business documentation. An "A+" rating with the BBB shows that, despite any negative reviews, Nolo does an appropriate job of delivering what they promise and responding to any issues that arise.
Continue to improve
Ultimately, Nolo has made strides by offering a much more useful LLC formation service than before - including the actual filling out and submitting of paperwork, not just giving customers blank forms to complete and books to walk them through the process. On the other hand, their basic package is more than double the cost you can find through our higher rated providers, bringing Nolo down in the rankings. We hope that as Nolo continues to improve their LLC options, they'll be able to better compete through lower pricing and more robust package choices.
If you want to create an LLC Operating Agreement for no charge, Law Depot is your service. All you have to do is click the "Get Started" button and select your state, and you'll be shown a preview the form you're filling out.
Done in 10 minutes
From there, the "Create My Document" button will walk you through all of the typical questions needed to fill it out accurately. You'll be able to download or print your customized LLC document in 10 minutes or less.
You get what you pay for
What's the catch? There isn't one. But, you get what you pay for - which, in this case, means that you get no further direction in forming your LLC. Yes, you can wade through the FAQ for LLC Operating Agreements - where you'll find out that you also need to create Articles of Incorporation (which is also available at no charge) - but you won't get any step-by-step instructions for what to do, when, and how.
Law Depot does have a great reputation as an "A+" rated, accredited company with the Better Business Bureau, so we definitely have no issues with their track record. And, who doesn't love getting things for free?
Figure it out yourself
But, when it comes to an important process like creating an LLC, it's critical to get every single component completed accurately and submitted to the right places. With Law Depot, you'll have to figure most of that out on your own. Most small business owners will probably find it worth the investment - probably less than $100 - to get some personalized guidance from one of the higher-ranked LLC formation services we reviewed.
In 2001, two California attorneys realized that the average consumer did not have affordable, convenient access to common legal forms, like wills and non-disclosure agreements. They created Find Legal Forms to give customers the ability to quickly find the forms they need and print them out at home - at a fraction of the cost of using an attorney.
Hundreds of legal forms
Find Legal Forms offers hundreds of legal forms that can be downloaded immediately. These forms are all reviewed and kept current by lawyers who know the corresponding laws in each state. This provider backs everything they sell with a 60-day money-back guarantee. And, as further proof of their reputation, FindLegalForms is an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau: not only did they have an "A+" rating at the time of our review, but they also had zero complaints filed against them. As you might imagine, that's pretty rare in the business world.
8 LLC forms
In the Limited Liability Company Forms Combo Package, you'll get 8 forms (.doc, .wpd, and .rtf), including the following:
Purchase individually or in a bundle
All of those documents are also available for individual purchase; but, 6 of them are priced at $19.95 each, you'll definitely get a better deal buying the package for $39.95 if you need more than one of the forms.
Great paperwork resource
We don't hesitate to recommend Find Legal Forms if you simply need the right paperwork for creating an LLC. They have more than a million customers who've used them for a wide variety of reasons - Family Law, Real Estate, and many other categories beyond business needs - and a terrific track record for doing what they promise.
Lack of answers
On the other hand, LLC formation can come with a lot of questions - ones that won't be answered by Find Legal Forms. We suspect that most small business owners prefer to have at least some amount of hand-holding when taking such an important step as forming their LLC, even if that's just having an expert on hand to confirm that a particular form has been filled out correctly.
Good option for less complex legal needs
This service is ideal for less complex legal situations, like giving someone power of attorney or creating a bill of sale. But, when it comes to forming an LLC, we suggest that you select a provider that offers different service packages - so that you can get a little (or a lot!) of personalized help to ensure that your business is on the right track.
In the past, navigating those state-specific obligations to form an LLC was both expensive and time-consuming: finding a local lawyer with expertise in the field and paying hefty fees to get everything done correctly. Fortunately, today's small business owners have access to much more affordable options online. These services offer all of the same benefits, accuracy, and legal standing that you'd expect from working in person with an attorney. You can get as much or as little direction as you need to complete each step required for LLC formation, depending on which service you choose.
Which provider should you choose to help in forming your LLC? Not all services are the same, so when comparing what each one has to offer, keep in mind these important factors:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best LLC Formation Companies available today. We hope this information helps you create your LLC quickly and affordably!
Are you thinking about setting up a limited liability company for your new business? This is one of several common types of business structures available to you, and it comes with an extensive range of benefits that may be appealing to you. At the same time, it has several drawbacks that must be considered. By learning more about LLCs in general, you can make an intelligent decision about your business's structure. You can also have all of the facts in place to walk through the formation process without a hassle.
Membership in the LLC
An LLC is structured with a membership base. Each member holds a percentage of the ownership of the entity. There is no limit to the number of members that an LLC can have. In addition to the standard membership, there will be at least one managing member. The managing member or members are responsible for the business's primary operations on a daily basis.
It is important to know that an LLC is formed through your state. Usually, this is through the Secretary of State department. Some states require you to specifically state who the managing members will be at the time of formation. Others may assume that all members are managing members if this is not assigned at the time of formation.
With a corporation and other select entities, the owners or participants in the entity can change by amending documents. With an LLC, however, the entity must dissolve when a member leaves the organization for any reason. If you intend for your business to continue operating after a dissolution occurs, you will need to go through the process of forming a new LLC. With this in mind, it is important to finalize the ownership structure of your new business before you start the LLC formation process.
LLC Personal Liability Protection
Many business owners choose to set up an LLC because of the personal liability protection that it provides. If you choose to run a business as a sole proprietor, you are personally liable for all debts, losses and other credit impacts that occur from your business's operations. This means that your house, vehicles, cash and other assets are at risk. In an LLC, all members enjoy a high level of personal liability protection. This means that your personal assets are not at risk from the business's activities.
However, before you form your LLC, you should be aware that this is not ironclad protection. A legal ruling known as "piercing the corporate veil" may be issued by a judge if you are convicted of fraudulent activities. This may also occur if you did not take reasonable steps to keep your personal and business transactions separate. In the case of this ruling, creditors and others may pursue your personal assets for business debt collections.
The Impact on Taxation
The Internal Revenue Service views a limited liability company as a pass-through entity. Some business structures are taxed directly. For example, a corporation is taxed directly. With a pass-through entity like an LLC, however, the entity's profits or losses directly fall on the shoulders of its members. Each member is directly responsible for paying taxes on profits based on his or her specific ownership percentage. Likewise, an LLC's losses are allocated as a financial loss to the members, and this can directly offset each member's personal tax liability. In addition to this potential benefit to members, you may find that filing taxes is generally easier to do with an LLC than with a corporation.
You should be aware, however, that LLC members may have an additional taxation requirement. An LLC's members are direct owners, and they are viewed as being self-employed by the IRS. Because of this, they are subject to self-employment taxes. This means that they must pay Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes each year based on their allocation of the LLC's profits. This is taxation that is directly based on the LLC's net earnings.
Your LLC Formation Options
You may think that forming a business entity would be a stressful experience, and this may prove to be true when you form some types of entities. Forming an LLC, however, is a straightforward experience with a few easy steps. You can even prepare the few required documents online as soon as you are ready to do so. The first step in forming an LLC is selecting a business name. You can always change the name of your LLC by filing amended paperwork with your state's Secretary of State department. However, it makes sense to focus on building your brand and conducting operations from day one with a name that you will stick with.
After you have a name in mind, you need to decide who the members are and what their ownership percentages are. You also need to determine who your entity's registered agent will be. This is a designated individual or agent who receives service of process for your entity. While it can be a business owner, you may avoid unnecessary compliance concerns down the road by choosing a third-party registered agent.
You will then prepare and file your operating agreement with your state's designated filing agency. Typically, you will be required to pay a formation and filing fee at this time. A few final steps will follow this one. For example, you will need to request an EIN from the IRS. This enables you to file your LLC's tax returns, to apply for a loan and to take other important steps. You will also need to establish a business bank account. This bank account is crucial to keep business and personal financial transactions separate from each other. By maintaining distance in this way, you can protect the personal liability benefits that the LLC provides.
After your LLC has been filed and your business is up and running, you cannot neglect your entity. Different types of LLC maintenance may be required over the years. Through maintenance efforts, you can maintain compliance and ensure that you have personal liability protection going forward. Keep in mind that the LLC maintenance requirements vary by state. Some states, for example, may require the filing of an annual report. This may also be called a statement of information in some states. If this is the case, you must file the annual documentation by a specific date each year to remain compliant. Ensure that you add this important date to your professional calendar so that you do not overlook it.
Some specific LLC activities or events may trigger a maintenance need as well. For example, if you decide to change your entity's name, you will be required to submit an amendment to your state's business filings office. The specific need for a formal, filed amendment may vary by state. Before you firmly decide to form an LLC for your business and complete the easy process online, it is important to research your specific state's LLC requirements. Likewise, you should familiarize yourself with the IRS's LLC taxation rules while you are conducting crucial due diligence.
Set Up Your LLC Today
Have you firmly decided that you want to structure your new business entity as an LLC? The process of establishing a limited liability company is so straightforward that you can do so completely online. An alternative is to hire a business lawyer to facilitate the process. However, many people find that this alternative is unnecessarily time-consuming and costly. You can get started forming your LLC today by researching your state's filing requirements. Then, you can conveniently walk through the final steps online to complete the process. Depending on your state's processing timeline, you may expect to receive a confirmation that your entity is established within roughly a few weeks.
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