We analyzed a few critical points in order to truly understand if Incfile is worth it.
Before diving into research, I set up a slim list of guidelines to ensure that we’re focusing on value:
Does Incfile offer quality LLC formation packages?
How are Incfile customer reviews?
What are other LLC formation services offering and how do they compare?
The set of guidelines above directed our Incfile review towards what really matters to a business owner and steered us away from less relevant topics. After conducting our research we rate Incfile at an overall score of 4.8/5.
Incfile’s ace of spades is that they offer their most basic LLC formation package for free, they even include a year of registered agent service! Incfile has an intuitive online dashboard and they make the formation process easy for business owners.
While reading through hundreds of reviews we did find mixed customer reviews. Specifically, customers noted that it was hard to contact Incfile and customer support wasn’t getting back to them.
All things said, rate Incfile 4.8/5 because they provide worry-free LLC service for an unbeatable price. We highly recommend Incfile to small business owners.
Keep reading through to learn about the important decision factors that helped us rated Incfile and more importantly how their pricing and packages work.
Incfile Review Overview
Incfile is best known as a formation services company. They were founded in Austin Texas in 2004 and have helped launch over 500,000 businesses. Along with every formation package, Incfile offers free registered agent service.
Incfile offers an easy-to-use dashboard where clients can keep track of everything related to their LLC filing. They provide LLC service in all 50 states and provide compliance and accounting services if you need help.
Incfile is the “one-stop-shop” if you’re looking to form a business and keep it compliant and in good standing. Incfile can help you form any of the business structures listed below:
If you’re debating between a sole proprietor and an LLC know that Incfile has a ton of available information to help you to make that decision.
Note: If you’re not sure where to form your LLC, the best state to register your LLC in is the state that you do actually business and generate income. This is most probably your home state.
Incfile Packages and Pricing
Incfile offers three packages, Silver, Gold, and Platinum ranging from $0 to $299 + state fees.
Like BetterLegal, Incfile doesn’t discriminate between LLC or corporation, the service costs stay the same throughout.
Incfile’s Silver Plan
Incfile’s silver plan costs $0 + state fees!
This package offers the absolute basics that you need in order to form an LLC. There are a few bells and whistles that Incfile provides but the main services you get are the following:
LLC Filing – Preparation and filing of Article of Organization
Year of Registered Agent Service – Service for a full year
Note: No matter which package you choose, you will be annually subscribed to Incfile’s registered agent service which costs $119 after the first year.
Incfile’s Gold Plan
The gold plan covers just about everything you need to set up your LLC for $149. This is the package that we recommend the majority of business owners because they check off all of the essential services that you need.
The gold package offers everything in the silver plan plus the following services:
EIN Business Tax Number – The employer identification number (EIN) AKA federal employer identification number is a 9 digit ID given by the IRS.
IRS form 2553 – If you are looking to form a corporation, this IRS form 2553 applies to you. In short, most business owners file this form for tax purposes as it ensures that business owners register as an S-Corp instead of the default C-Corp.
Operating Agreement – An operating agreement outlines the goals of the business, the type of LLC management, how money is distributed, and more. Incfile will provide an operating agreement temple.
Banking Resolution – A banking resolution is a legal document that notes the individual/individuals that can deposit and withdraw cash from the business bank account.
Lifetime Company Alerts – When important filing dates creep up, Incfile will alert you to ensure that you are in good standing with your business.
Online Dashboard Access – Incfile has a super organized online dashboard that sorts your legal documents and sends updates and alerts.
Business Banking Account – Incfile has partners in the banking industry and they can set you up with a business bank account.
Business Tax Consultation – Incfile has tax partners and they offer a consultation where you can get a short assessment and ask any tax questions related to your business.
Incfile’s gold plan covers everything a small business needs and more. We highly recommend this package for small business owners.
Incfile’s Platinum Plan
Incfile’s Platinum Packages costs $299 and offers the fasts filing times out of the three packages.
The Premium plan offers everything in the Gold Plan plus the following:
Business Contract Templates – Incfile provides a vast array of commonly used business contract templates written by their business attorney.
Domain Name and Business Email – A domain name and business email will be provided. It’s important to note that this does not include the website setup.
When looking at value for money, this package does not add up. Unless you need one of the specific business contracts and are in a serious rush, we do not recommend purchasing this package. Stand alone, expedited filing costs $50, a domain and email costs anywhere from $10-$30 and many business contract templates can be found for free on the internet.
Which Incfile Package is The Best Value for Money?
We recommend Incfile’s gold package to business owners because this plan takes care of just about everything that you need in order to form your business.
The cost to register an LLC for $149 is a very fair price and if you want to know that your filing needs are going to be taken care of at an affordable price by professionals then the gold plan is best for you. The gold package offers LLC formation, registered agent service, federal tax id, and more (the three main essentials) which are the must-have services when you form an LLC.
Canceling Incfile Services
When it comes to canceling services with Incfile it is doable, but not the easiest task.
There are two types of services that you may potentially want to cancel which are:
One Time LLC formation Services – Articles of Organization
Yearly Auto-Renewal Services – Registered agent service, annual reporting, and more
Cancel LLC Formation Services
Incfile typically refunds all orders that have been made, yet that has not been sent out to the security of state. That means that you really don’t have that much time because Incfile is known to incorporate quickly.
If you reach them at the appropriate time there is a cancellation fee of $30.
Cancel Yearly Auto-Renewal Services
Yearly services are auto-renewed so if you want to cancel that service you really need to be on the ball, especially after the first year (the first year is free).
Bottom line, once you’ve paid for renewal services there are no refunds, even if you don’t use the services.
Although many of the readers here aren’t going to cancel the services, we felt this was an important question to ask. We were a bit disappointed with Incfile’s lack of clarity and difficulty in the process of getting a refund.
Although Incfile is one of the best LLC services to form an LLC, we thought it was essential for our Incfile review to check out the competition and see how Incfile stacks up.
Take a look at the quick summaries to get an understanding of how Incfile compares to her alternatives.
Incfile vs LegalZoom
Incfile is a much better business formation service than LegalZoom across almost every category. They offers much quicker turnaround times, much cheaper prices to form an LLC, and overall better customer satisfaction. LegalZoom on the other hand has a much more recognizable brand than Incfile, but that’s because they’ve been in the LLC formation space for many years.
If you’re comparing Incfile vs LegalZoom, we don’t see justified advantage points in choosing LegalZoom.
We mapped out and compared the packages and the registered agent cost, as those are the main financial decision points.
If you’re looking for the most affordable service Incfile is the LLC formation company to go with. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a company to slowly walk you through the process ZenBusienss would be a good fit.
Incfile vs Northwest Registered Agents
At $0 plus state fees, it’s basically impossible to beat Incfile’s competitive price to form an LLC. If the price point is your main concern as it is with most start-ups, we recommend Incfile. Northwest Registered Agents offers LLC formation for $225 + state fees. Both companies offer a year of registered agent service.
Without noting the state that you form an LLC, Northwest is $225 more expensive than Incfile. Northwest is known to have exceptional customer support and that is a key differentiation when looking at Northwest’s competition.
Incfile vs IncAuthority
Like Incfile, IncAuthority is an LLC formation company that has a starting price point of $0 for the basic package. If your looking to purchase the basic package Incfile has better turnaround times, but IncAuthority has slightly better customer reviews.
When purchasing the starter package, you need to know that there is going to be a good amount of additional work because the starter package only covers the articles of organization which is the filing with the state. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive package that covers the majority of services needed we recommend going with Incfile’s gold plan when comparing Incfile vs IncAuthority as you can save over $150.
Throughout this section, we are going to walk you through Incfile’s main advantages and drawbacks. This section should give you a good understanding if Incfile is the right LLC formation service for you.
Free Business Formation
Free LLC filing is as good as it gets!
For the most basic LLC formation, Incfile offers formation for zero dollars plus state fees (Incfile’s silver package). This includes two of the four recommended services which are articles of organization filing and registered agent services. To ensure that your business is fully set up, you will need to get an EIN for your business and write up an operating agreement.
You can file for your EIN for free here and there are also many free operating agreements online to download.
If this is your first business, we recommend purchasing Incfile’s gold package which covers everything you need to form your LLC.
Free Registered Agent Service for a Year
Incfile provides a registered agent for your business for free. Whether you file an LLC or a corporation this sweet perk is there for you.
After the first year, you will be charged $119 a year for this service. Most LLC services do not offer this service for free which is a significant difference that makes Incfile stand out from the competition.
Note that if you’d like to cancel this service, make sure you do so as soon as possible as it is very challenging to get a refund for yearly renewed services (more information on this in canceling Incfile’s services above).
Quick Turnaround Time
Incfile offers fast LLC formation for all of their packages. Many companies in the industry capitalize on increasing the speed when it really doesn’t take much effort for a formation company to file and send your articles of organization.
No matter which package you purchase, Incfile will forward your files to the secretary of state within one to two days. Once the files are with the state authorities it usually takes 14 to 21 to form an LLC but that has more to do with the state and less to do with Incfile.
Incfile is a business that started off as a group of entrepreneurs and “pay it forward” wherever they can. They offer fast turnaround times for all of their packages without the added expenses.
Incfile is a great LLC formation company, but nothing is perfect. Below are the main drawbacks with Incfile that we feel you should know.
Diversified Customer Reviews
Incfile has many reviews from third-party sites, but ShoppersApproved, Trust Pilot, and BBB are the main resources we audited. We notice that most of the third-party sites have positive reviews on Incfile except for Trust Pilot. Keep reading below to uncover our findings.
With close to 30,000 reviews, Incfile scored an impressive 4.8/8 on ShoppersApproved. The reviews were broken down into three categories, product satisfaction which scored a 4.6, price satisfaction which scored a 4.4, and customer service which scored a 4.4.
the large majority of customers exalted Incfile for providing exceptional services, but when we took a look at negative reviews, we found client nothing that their dashboard is not user friendly or customer support.
51% of the overall reviews on Trust Pilot were negative. Trust Pilot has around 115 reviews and out of them over 55 are poor customer reviews. Many customers complained about the delayed filings and difficulty when reaching customer support.
This raised a red flag because almost all of the other review sites had positive reviews.
The Better Business Bureaus has over 700 reviews and rated Incfile at a 4.45/5. The majority of the reviews were positive noting high-quality customer service and fast LLC filing.
We felt it was important to base our customer review session on a few third-party sites instead of just one. Although Trust Pilot has negative reviews, BBB and ShopersApproved have much more reviews in general. Overall, we highly recommend Incfile in spite of the fact that they have mixed reviews.
Poor Refund Policy
It is not easy to get a refund from Incfile once you have paid them for legal services. As mentioned above, if you are able to cancel the LLC filing that you ordered before it gets to the state authorities, you may be entitled for a refund, but to activate it you must pay a fee of $30. To active this clause, you must cancel the LLC service on the same business day.
There are no refunds with yearly renewal services so if you don’t want those services, it is better not to order them in the first place.
Refund policies are irrelevant for the majority of customers, but we would appreciate a better refund policy and have noted that competitors offer a more friendly policy.
As an LLC service, Incfile helps entrepreneurs with the formation process of a business and offers support and resources in order to keep your business compliant year after year. In the section below, we cover the main services that Incfile provides entrepreneurs when starting a business.
Business Formation Service
Incfile provides LLC formation serves in each one of their three packages. Whether you decide to form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit, the costs range from $0 to $299.
Business formation with Incfile is done online and is a quick and easy process. You start off by filling out a few questions that are related to your business such as:
Legal business name
Purpose of the reason you are starting this business
Number of members
They will then send your articles of organization out to the state. Each state charges a different filing fee which can be anywhere from $40 – $500. This is an expense that goes straight to the state, Incfile doesn’t see a penny.
Then it’s a waiting game. On average it takes states 14-21 days to get back to you with a legalized entity, but more often it’s much quicker.
An operating agreement is included in the gold package and platinum package.
An operating agreement is not a requirement in all states, but if you plan on opening a bank account or raising capital you will need to write one up. The operating agreement is an internal legal document that is usually not required when forming an LLC. This legal document outlines how the business is managed, how profits are distributed, who owns the business, and more.
This is an essential document especially if you are in a muli managed business and wish to protect your assets. We highly recommend having an operating agreement in place.
Registered Agent Services
A registered agent is available in all packages for the first year free, following $119/yr.
Most states required LLCs and corporations to appoint a registered agent in the state that they do business. You can be your own agent if you fit the following criteria:
18 years or older
Must have a physical mailing address in the state
We generally do not recommend being your own registered agent. If you travel often, operate your business in multiple states, or simply want to keep your information private, hiring a registered agent is the way to go.
Incfile will provide a registered agent that will accept the service of process and organize your LLC’s legal paperwork. Incfile’s agents include the following:
Organization of documents
Digital online dashboard for documents
Automatic forwarding of mail
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN AKA federal tax ID number is included in the gold and premium packages, but not in the silver package. If you would like Incfile to obtain an EIN for your business without their formation service you may purchase it separately for $70.
An EIN is a 9 digit identification number given out by the IRS. It is like a social security number for your business that allows the IRS to identify your entity. Essentially all businesses operating in the U.S need to obtain an EIN.
Annual LLC or Corporate Report
An annual report costs $99/yr.
As a business owner, it is your duty to follow certain regulations, and depending on your state, you will have to file an annual report detailing your actives from the prior year. Most annual reports cover the following information:
Address of the company.
Names and addresses of the managers of the business
The purpose of your business
Signatures of register agents
Number of shares of stock issued by the business.
Most states also have a filing fee that ranges from $0-$100 and as you see above, you need to file the form whether you made a profit or not. Failing to file your annual reports can lead to fines or worse. Incfile gets 5 stars when it comes to reporting so if you want the experts to take care of this be sure to sign up upon registering.
Filing a Foreign Qualification
Filing a foreign qualification is essential in forming an LLC in an additional state. Incfile’s price is $149 for this service.
If your business is expanding beyond your state a foreign limited liability company could be your next objective. Many owners assume a foreign LLC is operating a business outside of the US, but that’s not the case. Foreign refers to “outside of your state” and each state has different governing rules. So if your business expands to other states you will need to file a foreign LLC.
When you file you will receive a Certificate of Authority which gives your business state permission to do business there. Incfile will file your foreign LLC in one state for $149. We compared this deal to other competitors and admit that this is a very fair price.
Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of good stating is a state-level legal document that validates your LLC is up to date with all payments and filings. Incfile charges $49 to file a certificate of good standings on your behalf.
This is a legal document that is not necessary for business operation and we do not recommend filing it for the sake of having it. A certificate of good standing is normally required when filing a foreign LLC or requesting a dissolution for your business.
If you need a certificate of good standing, Incfile charges a fair price and will get the papers over to the state in 1 to 2 business days.
File Articles of Amendments (Name Changes)
They will file articles of amendments on your behalf for a one-time cost of $99.
Major changes that have occurred in your business such as a change in legal name, a change in ownership, or any other large event must be reported to your state by filing articles of amendment.
Incfile will file articles of dissolution for $149.
We don’t expect you to get to this crossroad, but dissolution is the closing of a business for good. Incfile will file the necessary paperwork to let your secretary of state know that you will be closing up shop. Once filed, you will need to take it upon yourself to let the IRS know of the dissolution and provide the requested paperwork.
Business License Research
Depending on your business industry you may be subject to obtain specific licenses or permits. Incfile provides a business license package for $99.
As a business owner, you are subjected and responsible for ensuring that your business has proper licenses at the federal, state, and local levels. Incfile provides a business license search that completely takes out the uncertainty when it comes down to licenses and permits for your LLC.
They will provide the documents, but you need to fill them out yourself. It takes 2-5 business days until Incfile delivers the documents. If you’re in an unsure or difficult industry, this is a great service that can streamline the process of figuring out which licenses and permits you need in order to operate.
Business Accounting and Taxes
Incfile has a free tax consultation and offers accountant and tax services.
Incfile takes care of accounting and business tax needs so you don’t have to look for an accountant for your LLC. They offer different plans, but do not explain what is in each plan nor do they disclose the prices.
Incfile’s bread and butter is LLC formation and they are great at what they do, but we believe in letting experts focus on what they are good at. If your looking for a CPA try and find a local firm or a software-based business that can take you on as a client.
File a DBA or Fictitious Business Name
Filing a DBA or a fictitious name costs $99.
A DBA (“doing business as”) AKA a fictitious business name is essentially operating a business under a name that is different from what was filed in the articles of organization/incorporation. Many businesses choose this route when they are looking to expand location or offer different products.
Incfile will file your DBA for a fixed price of $99 which is a solid deal when comparing competitors. Before you pay for this service, be sure to check in with your state as not all states allow DBA’s.
Regiester a Trademark
$199 + federal filing fee
If you are looking to protect a design, business name, slogan, or any other intellectual property you can file for a trademark. Incfile will file a trademark for your business in 3 to 7 days. Once the papers are in the hands of the government it usually takes 3 to 4 months.
Incfile’s price point is pretty competitive when compared to competitors, as the majority charge anywhere from $249 to $399.
Is Incfile Right For You?
Incfile is one of the most affordable LLC formation services that offer quick turnaround times and expert filing. We rate Incfile very highly and recommend their services to founders.
One of Incfile’s largest identification points is that they provide free formation in their silver package plus a free year of registered agent services in every plan. If you’re looking for the most value for money, we recommend the gold plan as it covers everything that you need in order to set up your LLC.
Incfile has formed over 500,000 businesses since 2004 and they have a very large circle of feedback. If you’re starting a business we highly recommend Incfile.
If you’re a small business on a budget looking to form an LLC with professionals that know how to guy you through your startup journey.
Don’t Hire Incfile
If you have a fairly complicated LLC filing or feel you will need a lot of customer support. if that is your case, we recommend going for an alternative like ZenBusiness or Northwest.
Benjamin is the Co-Founder and CEO of FinancePond. He worked at a private accounting firm before he created FinancePond. Benjamin is an entrepreneur at heart and firmly believes in strong personal finance and investing education. He has a passion for finance and his goal is to cut out the fluff and make personal finance simple for everyone.