Inc Authority Review of Business Formation Services – 2020
Inc Authority is one of the most reliable and trusted names in the business formation industry. For 30+ years, they’ve helped form 148,000+ LLCs and corporations.
The company is best known for its low cost and simplicity. In fact, Inc Authority even offers free business formation services (more on this shortly).
Entrepreneurs across all 50 states have used Inc Authority as a one-stop shop for starting a business. In addition to the business formation plans, Inc Authority offers other services related to tax planning, retirement planning, bookkeeping, funding, business credit, and more.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to start an LLC or corporation without the hassle associated with filing paperwork on your own, Inc Authority has you covered.
Is Inc Authority right for you? This in-depth review will tell you everything you need to know about their services. From plans and pricing to real customer reviews, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as it pertains to your needs after reading this guide.
Ready to get started? Sign up for Inc Authority today!
Inc Authority Business Formation Services
As previously mentioned, Inc Authority has an extensive list of service offerings. But the company is best known for its business formation services, which will be the primary focus of this review.
Those services can be segmented into three main categories—LLC services, incorporation services, and registered agent services. We’ll cover each of these in greater detail below.
Inc Authority LLC Services
The LLC services by Inc Authority are the most popular offerings from this provider. They make it easy for anyone to start a new LLC online—for free.
Yes, you read that correctly. Inc Authority is one of the only business formation companies on the market offering truly free LLC services.
It’s really easy. Just select your state, enter some details about your business, and Inc Authority will handle the rest.
The first thing they’ll do is check the availability of your business name with the state. From there, they’ll prepare and file your LLC documents and submit those to the state as well. Inc Authority also provides tax planning consultation, business funding analysis, and exceptional customer support via phone or email.
Another top benefit of using Inc Authority for your LLC registration is the digital access to your LLC documents. Everything will be delivered to you electronically and is stored for easy access through an online client portal.
The free services don’t stop there. When you use Inc Authority to form your LLC, you’ll also get free registered agent services for one year.
One of the upsells you’ll see during the registration process for your free LLC is for an employer identification number (EIN).
Inc Authority charges $49 for this service. You could avoid the cost and get a free EIN directly from the IRS on your own. But it’s certainly more convenient to get one from Inc Authority and avoid the hassle. Other LLC services charge $75 or more for an EIN, so $49 isn’t too bad compared to alternatives.
Aside from the EIN, the only payments you have to make will be for the state filing fees. This amount varies from state to state.
An LLC operating agreement does not come with the free plan either. All banks require an operating agreement. This document will provide proof that you own the LLC, and it’s required to open a new account. Operating agreements also ensure that courts enforce your liability protections. It establishes the rules that govern how your profits are divided and how decisions are made at your LLC. Adding an operating agreement to your LLC plan is an additional $89.
Inc Authority also offers a legal document package. This contains ownership certificates and LLC seals. The package is crucial if you’re ever audited by the IRS or sued by a third party. The legal documents services add-on is offered for $99.
You’ll also have the option to add express processing to your order. This $49 fee moves your order to the front of the line. Inc Authority will immediately process the information and get it to your state on the same business day.
They continue to pile on the upsells for things like domain registration and success advisor services. Most of you can ignore these.
So, what do real customers have to say about the LLC Services from Inc Authority? Generally speaking, the company has an outstanding reputation. They have a 4.8/5-star rating on Trustpilot with over 4,300 reviews.
93% of customers gave Inc Authority an “excellent” rating on this platform.
Most of the reviews highlight a smooth process, great customer service, and general professionalism. Some of the unfavorable remarks point to the upsells. A few customers complained that Inc Authority charges high fees for things they could do on their own. But then again, that’s why you’re paying for a service.
Overall, Inc Authority legitimately offers free LLC registration. You’ll be hit with a handful of upsells along the way, but you could turn most of those down and handle them on your own.
Inc Authority Incorporation Services
You can also use Inc Authority to form a corporation. This includes both C Corporations and S Corporations. Just like the LLC Services, Inc Authority’s incorporation services are also free—you just pay the state fee.
Getting started is really easy. Just head to the Inc Authority website, choose your entity type, and select your state to proceed.
If you need some guidance choosing the right entity type for your corporation, Inc Authority has useful resources to help you decide which option is right for you.
Similar to the LLC services, here’s a quick overview of what you’ll get for free with Inc Authority’s incorporation services:
- Business name check for your corporation
- Preparation and filing of incorporation documents
- S-Election document IRS form 2553
- Free registered agent for one year
- Digital copies and online access to incorporation documents
- Expert support (phone and email)
- Tax planning consultancy
- Business funding analysis
Again, all of these services are 100% free. There’s no catch, and you’ll only have to pay the state filing fees.
With that said, Inc Authority does hit you with some upsells throughout the ordering process. The first one you’ll see is for an employer identification number (EIN). Inc Authority charges $49 for this. It’s something that you’ll need, so getting it now as you’re finalizing the order makes sense.
Inc Authority can also customize your corporate bylaws. This service costs $89. They offer a legal documents package as well. The package contains things like customized organizational meeting minutes, custom stock certificates, and an official incorporation seal. All of this costs an additional $99. You’ll also have the option to expedite the processing of your documents for $49.
The upsells continue with domain registration and success advisory services. These start at $19 and $27 respectively. You can skip these.
If you start combing through customer reviews, it becomes obvious that the LLC services are more popular than the incorporation services. But that definitely shouldn’t stop you from using Inc Authority to incorporate your company, as there are plenty of great reviews pertaining to these services.
I even found some reviews from business owners that originally used Inc Authority to start an LLC but plan to use them again to set up an S-Corp. These reviews say a lot about the company. The fact that people were so happy with their experience that they’re planning to use Inc Authority again truly speaks volumes about the services.
Again, you can use Inc Authority’s incorporation services to set up a C-Corp or S-Corp for free.
Will you be presented with some upsells along the way? Yes, but it’s not a big deal. Skip the ones you don’t need and just keep moving forward.
Inc Authority Registered Agent Services
The registered agent services from Inc Authority are popular as well.
As previously mentioned, if you form an LLC or incorporation through this service provider, you’ll get a free registered agent for one year.
As a registered agent for your business, Inc Authority will act as a responsible third party with a physical address in the same state as your company. They can receive official government documentation like tax forms or lawsuit notices on your behalf.
You could technically be your own registered agent, but we advise against that.
The registered agent will always be available during business hours to accept statutory notice on behalf of your company.
After searching through dozens of reviews from real customers, I really couldn’t find many that specifically mentioned the registered agent services. Though many customers do mention the great service and support, so we can assume that some of those are also referring to the registered agents.
It’s also worth noting that there weren’t any bad reviews about the registered agents, either. If someone had a poor experience with these services, I’m sure they’d be easy to find online.
Based on the lack of reviews, I think it’s safe to say customers have a positive or at least neutral sentiment here.
As for the registered agent pricing, there’s no exact information on those rates beyond the first free year. I reached out to a customer service representative via live chat on the Inc Authority website for a quote. While the agent responded within 30 seconds, they were unable to give me an exact number. I was told that the “registered agent pricing varies depending on the state and business type.”
The only way to get an exact quote is by speaking with an agent over the phone regarding your unique situation. This is a little bit of a hassle, considering other sites are more transparent with the registered agent costs. But when you’re using a free service, you can’t expect everything to be perfect.
Overall Pricing and Value
Inc Authority’s business formation services are 100% free. Whether you’re starting an LLC, C-Corp, or S-Corp, those free services include:
- Business name check
- Entity formation document preparation and filing
- IRS form 2553
- Registered agent services for one year
- Digital document delivery and storage
- Phone and email support
- Tax planning consultancy
- Business funding analysis
As you go through the order process, you’ll be presented with several different upsells:
- Employer identification number (EIN) — $49
- Operating agreement — $89
- Corporate bylaws — $89
- Legal documents package — $99
- Express processing — $49
- Domain registration — $19
- INC success advisor — $197 per year or $27 per month
Depending on the add-ons you need, you’ll likely end up paying more than $0.
However, these add-ons are not a requirement. You can handle these on your own if you truly want to start your business for free. The only fee you’re actually required to pay is the state filing fee. This number varies from state to state.
If you’re interested in lots of add-ons, you might want to consider one of the Inc Authority premium startup bundles. In some cases, it’s cheaper to get a bundle instead of adding on each service individually.
Starter — $399 + state filing fees
- Verify name availability
- Custom state filing
- Operating agreement
- Record book and company seal
- Meeting minutes and resolution
- Ownership certificates
- Tax ID (EIN)
- Business credit and funding analysis
- Tax consultation
- One year of INC success advisory services
Executive — $499 + state filing fees
- All Starter services
- Business license report
- Website domain
Tycoon — $799 + state filing fee
- All Executive services
- Express processing
- BizCredit express
- Business credit coach
- Multi-tiered credit building system
- Business credit LaunchPad
- D&B credit bureau registration
The Starter package is really all you need if you’re just looking to start a business. The other two options go above and beyond what you likely need, though it does depend on your specific situation, business, and needs.
In terms of value, Inc Authority’s free plan is more than enough for most businesses. You’ll likely add on at least a couple of the upsells (because it’s easier than doing it yourself). But you probably won’t find a better deal on the web from a business formation service that will actually let you check out for free (except for state fees).
The user experience with Inc Authority is seamless. I went through the process a few times with different entity types to get a feel for it, and it really only takes 2-3 minutes from start to finish.
Everything is very straightforward, and you can figure it out even if you don’t have any experience using a business formation service.
The only potential gripe that users might have is that they’re presented with so many upsells throughout the order process. But those few extra clicks are a small inconvenience to avoid paying anything at all.
Compared to other business formation services we’ve reviewed, Inc Authority might have the simplest user experience of them all. The layout and dashboard are really clean, and it almost feels too easy.
Inc Authority has rave reviews about its customer support staff. Some of the recent reviews even highlight the names of specific support agents.
It’s always great to see favorable reviews like this. It shows that real customers had genuinely good experiences using Inc Authority.
When you sign up for Inc Authority, you’ll get unlimited phone and email support.
Personally, I reached out to a customer support rep via live chat with a question about pricing. I was pleased that the agent responded almost immediately. It was also refreshing to know that I was chatting with a real human and not a chatbot.
While I didn’t quite get the answer I was looking for from the agent I chatted with, they quickly put me in contact with someone who could answer my questions in greater detail over the phone.
Do we recommend Inc Authority? Absolutely.
It’s one of the only truly free business formation services on the web—with no strings attached. You can use them to form an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp for $0 (just paying your state filing fees).
With that said, I’d recommend adding a few extras to your plan. At the very least, get an EIN from Inc Authority. It’s easier than dealing with the IRS directly to save a few bucks.
Between the LLC services, incorporation services, and registered agent services, Inc Authority has everything to accommodate the needs of your startup.