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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.
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.
Best Company Incorporation
To help you find the Best Company Incorporation, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Harbor Compliance and Corporate Creations.
Who has the best Company Incorporation Service? 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.
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!
Why Should You Incorporate Your Business?
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.
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