Incfile.com is an online legal services provider that offers an excellent service to get your business formed quickly and with less hassle. With the service, you can form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit entity, all online.
They also provide a range of useful tools and features, paid and unpaid, that can be useful throughout the life-cycle of your small business. Our Incfile review below will go over everything that you need to know about this popular business formation service.
Incfile’s tagline is “Where Business Begins”, and this perfectly describes the focus of their services. Unlike other online legal services, incfile.com has decided to focus heavily on a single area of legal assistance: business formation. While they also offer help in other areas (such as filing annual reports or tax returns) their focus is definitely on the initial stages of starting a new business.
By specializing in a specific area, Incfile is able to offer premium services at industry-leading rates. They are the only major provider to offer free business registration services, with their most basic package costing the consumer $0 (plus state fees). They include other significant perks, like 1-year of free Registered Agent services, even on their free plan.
Incfile has been in business since 2004, and so far they have helped more than 250,000 businesses get registered and accurately formed. They support businesses in every US state, working directly with state agencies (Department of Revenue, Secretary of State, etc.) to get your business entity registered in a timely manner.
If you already have a business up and running and are looking for legal support that goes beyond setting up your business, other online legal service providers (such as LegalZoom or RocketLawyer) may offer a stronger range of specialized features. But if you haven’t yet incorporated, incfile.com is a serious contender.
Check out our roundup of the Best Online Legal Services
Incfile pros & cons
Like any other service that you might consider, there are both advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind when it comes to Incfile.
- Very competitive pricing
- Plans as low as $0 + state fees
- 100% of state fees go to your state; Incfile does not charge extra
- Makes it easy to start a new business
- Choice of LLC, S-corp, C-corp, or nonprofit
- Choice of three incorporation packages, from $0 to $299
- Ongoing services like Registered Agent, Annual Report filing, etc.
- Valuable special offers from partners, covering banking products, websites, and more
- Extensive free online learning center for entrepreneurs
- Limited selection of services beyond the initial business formation
- Poor ratings with Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Incfile features and services
Incfile offers a variety of useful features and services to help form and grow new businesses. They focus on the initial business formation process, but also offer tools and resources to help businesses grow over time.
Business formation features
Incfile can help you form a new business entity in any state in the United States, with full compliance with all state rules. Here are some key features for new businesses:
- Form a new corporation (C-corporation, S-corporation)
- Form a new limited liability company (LLC)
- Form a nonprofit corporation
- Compatible with state rules in all US states
- The registration process is simple and processed online
- A fast and efficient registration process
- Find the right company name with a Business Name Availability Search
- Get copies of all key formation documents
- Get help obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for IRS correspondence + tax forms
- Articles of organization/incorporation, operating agreement, bank resolution, etc.
- Registered Agent service
- Help with business licenses and permits
- Initial Report service
- Next business day processing
Business growth features
Once your business is formed, Incfile continues to be useful, offering services and features such as:
- Lifetime company alerts to keep your business compliant
- Options to build a business website, obtain a business domain/email, etc.
- Ongoing Registered Agent services
- Ongoing Annual Report assistance
- Business contract templates
- Free business tax consultation with a tax professional
- Much more
Incfile offers three distinct business formation packages, ranging in price from $0 to $299. In addition to these plans, there are various add-ons available, as well as a few standalone services.
|Silver Package||Gold Package||Platinum Package|
|Price||$0 + state fees||$149 + state fees||$299 + state fees|
|Best for||The Silver plan is best for those looking to start a business on a budget. In fact, it’s free: just pay state registration fees! This is certainly a huge value and sets Incfile apart from the competition.||The Gold plan is best for those who want digital access to all relevant incorporation documents, such as an operating agreement – as well as help applying for an Employer Identification Number.||The Platinum plan is best for those who want the most features and perks, and the fastest possible processing and shipping speeds. It can also save you money in the long run, as it includes a free business website.|
It’s important to note that state filing fees are charged on top of Incfile’s pricing. State fees go directly to state agencies. Incfile passes 100% of these funds to the relevant agency – they do not charge any extra or include any hidden fees. Most business filing services will charge these fees in the same way.
State fees can vary significantly, depending on the state, as well as the business structure (corporation or LLC). For instance, forming a corporation costs $100 in California, $130 in New York, and $200 in Washington. Fortunately, Incfile shows a preview of the exact cost, so you’ll know the total expense upfront (with Incfile’s package costs + state fees). Keep in mind that turnaround times also vary depending on the state. Some are processed in as little as a few business days, while others may take up to a month or more.
There may be some ongoing expenses, as well. All plans come with 12 months of Registered Agent services, and this plan renews at $119/year if not canceled. You are free to cancel at any time, but many states require that you have a Registered Agent on file. Other ongoing, optional services include business websites and ongoing annual report filing.
Because of the free plan, Incfile LLC costs are the lowest in the industry. No other provider offers free registration services to business owners, so this is a substantial benefit of Incfile.
How Incfile makes money
You may be wondering – how does Incfile make any money on their $0 package? They are the only provider to offer free business formation services, so you’re wise to consider how this business model works.
Incfile makes money off this package in a few ways. For one, they charge $119 per year for their Registered Agent service. This is included for free for one full year, but after the first year, you will be charged $119 annually, unless you cancel.
Secondly, Incfile likely benefits from partnerships and special offers that they pass on to customers. For example, they recommend business bank account products from Bank of America, and business website services from Xoopah. Incfile likely earns a small commission when you sign up for one of these partner services.
Incfile customer support is generally well-rated in customer reviews, and representatives are knowledgeable and professional. They provide unlimited support on all plans, via phone or email. All plans (even the free plan) come with free lifetime support, so you’ll be covered long after you initially form your business. With that said, some reviews have mentioned complaints with difficulty reaching phone support representatives (email support appears to be more reliable).
Incfile also has some advisory services, such as a free business tax consultation, included with all plans. For services that they don’t offer directly, they can help point you in the right direction. Plus, Incfile also offers a free Lifetime Company Alerts service, which automatically alerts you to upcoming filing deadlines.
Incfile review: Our verdict
Incfile offers a useful suite of services, very competitive pricing, and is the only free incorporation service available online. They specialize in business formation, empowering entrepreneurs to form new businesses efficiently and accurately. The platform offers good ease of use, helping to simplify an often complex system. And their free plan is a tremendous value and the only offering of its type in the industry.
With that said, it’s worth noting that the company has received mediocre ratings on Trustpilot, and recently had its Better Business Bureau accreditation revoked. If you are concerned with these ratings, it may be worthwhile to look into another LLC formation service.