If you’re ready to launch your own business, you might consider using a business formation company like Inc Authority. This company provides several helpful services to startups and new business owners. To better understand what features are available and how they differ from other companies, this review should provide answers to many of your questions.
Overview of Inc Authority
Inc Authority is a business formation company located in Reno, Nevada. There are dozens of such companies, but Inc Authority has helped entrepreneurs form 133,000+ companies and has 30 years of experience to its name.
The company offers a wide range of services that aid new business owners, starting with its free formation services. Yes, you read that correctly, the company will help you set up an LLC for free, with the exception of the state fees, and provide a registered agent service free for a year. (More on this later).
Plus, the company offers a variety of additional services, which include:
- Federal trademark
- Revocable living trust
- Business credit
- Website and marketing package
- Business funding assistance
- Business plans
- Registered agent
Check out our roundup of the Best Online Incorporation Services
How is Inc Authority different?
Inc Authority is one of few business formation companies that offer a free LLC setup service. Plus, Inc Authority will also serve as your company’s registered agent-free for a year. It’s a unique formation package that many entrepreneurs take advantage of.
With Inc Authority, here’s what you get with the free entity formation process:
Business name check
The name you choose for your business must be available. If there’s already a company in your state with the same name, you’ll need to pick something different. Inc Authority provides a search function to check on name availability.
Free registered agent for a year
Inc Authority will serve as your registered agent for a year, which means it will receive important documents on behalf of your company. Documents like tax notices, filing reminders, and service of process documents that are served during a lawsuit will all go to the registered agent. There is a cost for this service after the first year.
File preparation and storage
Inc Authority will prepare state-mandated forms for you and file them with the state on time. Files are stored in your own online portal.
Tax planning consultation
Filing small business taxes, especially for the first time, can be daunting so having a little extra help can’t hurt.
Customer service is available to answer questions. Many customer reviews praise the company’s customer support.
Business funding and credit analysis
A consultant will review your credit and conduct a business funding analysis to provide options that are available to your limited liability company.
Access to a business checking account
Inc Authority partners with Bank of America to offer new LLCs easy access to business bank accounts.
Who is it best for?
Inc Authority is best for entrepreneurs who want the assistance of an LLC formation service but are strapped for cash. In reality, that’s probably every startup. The free services are a great way to try Inc Authority, build trust, and then turn to them for additional services as your company grows.
Pros of Inc Authority
The specific benefits of Inc Authority over other services are:
- Free startup services – You won’t find too many LLC formation companies offering to set up an entity for free (with the expectation of mandatory secretary of state fees) and serve as the company’s registered agent for a year.
- Customer support – The company offers customer support, so if you have a question while you’re filling out forms or just want to make sure you’re doing things correctly, you can call or email.
- Thousands of positive reviews – Trustpilot has thousands of Inc Authority reviews, many of which are five-star ratings accompanied by positive words. Customers praise everything from the ease-of-use and price to the customer service and add-on services.
Cons of Inc Authority
While Inc Authority has a lot going for it, there are some disadvantages, which include:
- Expect a lot of upselling – Inc Authority provides incorporation services for free, but that means they will try to upsell you during the process in an attempt to make money. They’re fairly aggressive about it too. Expect to see emails, receive sales calls, and be targeted with online ads.
- Package pricing is high – It’s a pretty big jump from the free setup costs to any of the company packages. The starter bundle, for example, starts at $399, which is significantly higher than packages offered by competitors. You can’t find the pricing on the website either, you have to call to get the information, which is an attempt to upsell you too.
- No refunds – If you sign up for a package or a service and aren’t happy, there are no refunds. Most competitors offer a 7-day trial or are willing to negotiate a refund of some sort under certain circumstances, but Inc Authority does not. If you plan to use one of their services, be sure it’s what you want.
Features you’ll like
Inc Authority has a few add-on services that you might like, including:
- BizCredit Express – BizCredit Express is a program meant to build your business credit and help you increase your credit score. This credit building system is helpful when you’re trying to start a business or trying to secure additional funding.
- A helpful blog and resources – Inc Authority has a blog full of great articles that are geared toward new business owners and include articles that explain things like what type of business is best for you, how to obtain an EIN, or what LLC bylaws are.
- Legal Services – At some point, you’ll probably need legal services and Inc Authority can help. Whether you need legal advice on a trademark or setting up a revocable living trust to secure your family’s future, you can get the services you need from the site.
How much does Inc Authority cost?
Inc Authority offers startup specialists that provide several different bundles of services. On the company website, you can see all of the services that come with each bundle, but you have to call to get pricing. However, with a little digging online you can find the associated costs. Here’s a look at the options:
Free entity set up
If you want to get an LLC or a corporation set up, Inc Authority will help you set it up for free. You’ll still be responsible for the state fees, which you would have to pay no matter what, but the company doesn’t charge anything beyond that. Why? The company hopes to earn your trust so you’ll return to them for additional business needs like a registered agent, creating a business plan, or obtaining a federal trademark.
The starter package gives business owners the ability to set up an entity too, but it has a few extras. Owners get a fully-drafted operating agreement, an EIN (employer identification number), a record book, a company seal, owner certificates, and one year of advanced customer support for issues like audits and licenses.
The cost for this package is $399 plus any state fees. When you compare this package with the free entity service offered by the company, it’s not much different. In other words, you’re not getting much bang for your buck. An operating agreement is important, but there are free templates online and obtaining an EIN is quick and easy to do through the IRS website, and it’s free. A record book, company seal, and certificates are nice, but not necessary. The additional customer support is helpful, but if you get into trouble you’re probably going to need help beyond the Inc Authority support line.
This package includes all of the services in the starter package plus access to Inc Authority’s business licensing software. Most businesses need a license (or two) and permits to operate, but the requirements vary by county, city, and state. The software is meant to provide quick answers to those questions through a business license report. Plus, this package also covers the cost of registering a company domain.
The cost is $499 plus state fees. Is it worth it? In truth, a few quick searches online or calls to your local government will tell you which business licenses or permits you need to operate. Registering a domain isn’t complicated either. However, if you’d rather have all of these services taken care of by one company, the price could be worth it to you.
The company’s elite package comes in at $799 plus state fees. It includes express processing and access to business growth software and coaching sessions. The cost is fairly steep, so owners must decide if the price is worth it.
Does Inc Authority have customer support?
Yes. Inc Authority does have customer support and makes the service known on its website. Customer support can be reached by phone or email and is available during regular business hours between 8 am-5 pm PST Monday-Friday. The company says their customer service is one of the things that sets them apart from competitors.