IncFile Review 2020 (The Real Truth)
In this IncFile review, our legal team breaks down the benefits, disadvantages, price, and process of incorporating an LLC with the web’s easiest business formation service. This review will help answer the question: Is it the right service for starting a business?
We will break down the following in simple terms:
- The pros and cons of this service
- Who it’s for and who it’s NOT FOR
- IncFile pricing
- A quick tutorial
- IncFile alternatives
Overall, this is an excellent service for entrepreneurs who want peace of mind knowing professionals handle the paperwork of starting your business. But, there’s one major issue you must know BEFORE signing up.
Let’s start with the basics first.
IncFile Overview (IMPORTANT: READ FIRST)
IncFile is an online incorporation service that streamlines the business creation process for busy entrepreneurs.
Their services include:
- Incorporation: Create an LLC, S Corp, nonprofit, etc.
- Business management: Everything from name changing and tax filing to annual reporting.
- Education: Learn everything you need to grow a successful business from choosing a name to tax reduction strategies.
- Registered Agent Services: Your LLC MUST HAVE a registered agent to act as a representative to the state government. IncFile provides 1 year of FREE services.
And the price for all of this starts at $0. You only pay the state fee.
We’ll go in-depth and answer how this is possible in the pricing section.
First, here’s our overall opinion on IncFile:
This service is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to start a business online.
Just select your location, choose a service package (Covered in detail below), and add your business’ information. That’s it – you’re open for business!
But unlike most companies, IncFile’s services never stop. They constantly remind you of important dates to ensure you’re always compliant, and they even store your documents in an easily retrievable location in case you ever need them. And if you ever face any issues, their customer support is there to help you.
In our professional opinion, they are an excellent option for most entrepreneurs. And especially for entrepreneurs looking for a fast and easy incorporation option.
IncFile Pros and Cons
There is a lot to like and only a few things to dislike. After incorporating a test business, here are our overall thoughts:
- Affordability: This is by far the most affordable service on the market, and no other service comes close to this level value for such a small price. Their fee starts at $0. Compare that to LegalZoom’s price of $79. IncFile saves you $79 instantly.
- 1 Year of Registered Agent Services: Registered agent (RA) services are mandatory. Normally, you pay hundreds of dollars per year for an RA. IncFile provides the first year 100% FREE.
- Convenience: Their 1-2-3 process is intuitive and straightforward. Anyone can incorporate a business anywhere in the US with minimal knowledge/technical ability.
- They Go the Extra Mile: We love how they offer regular compliance reminders and store your documents for you. That’s hard to come by in this industry. Busy business owners routinely miss essential deadlines or misplace files. Not with IncFile.
- Customer Service Issues: IncFile is so popular that they routinely have client support issues. If you’re a new entrepreneur or have a small to mid-sized business, that probably won’t be a problem at all in the beginning. It didn’t severely affect us. You may have trouble down the road, though.
- Upsells Are a Bit Annoying: IncFile’s upsells are a bit pricey and somewhat annoying. However, compared to other services, they keep it to a tasteful minimum.
- A Sneaky Fee: There’s one sneaky fee that you may have to pay, depending on how much work you’re willing to do. We’d prefer it if IncFile were more upfront about this. We’ll cover that fee in pricing.
Who Uses This Service?
IncFile is For
- Busy entrepreneurs looking to incorporate their business quickly and legally
- Entrepreneurs on a budget who need the most affordable incorporation service online
- Entrepreneurs looking for the peace of mind of having all of their paperwork done by professionals
- Entrepreneurs who know they’ll need the extra nudge near important dates
- Entrepreneurs who need additional services like an annual report or registered agent service
IncFile is NOT FOR
- Large businesses that require the best customer support
- Entrepreneurs with more advanced/diverse legal needs (e.g., will and testament or legal services)
- Businesses looking for digital services (Domain name, website, email service)
IncFile LLC Pricing
IncFile.com offers 3 value-packed LLC packages, with prices starting as low as $0 + the state fee.
Yes, you read that correctly.
IncFile will prepare and file your Articles of Organization and give you one year of registered agent services for FREE.
You only have to pay the state fee (mandatory). You cannot escape the state fee to create a business.
100% of the state fee goes directly to the state you incorporate in, NOT to IncFile.
Here’s what you’ll pay if you incorporate in North Carolina:
The Silver Package
You can’t beat this value for $0. Included in this package are:
- Articles of Organization
- 1 year of RA services
- Unlimited name availability searches
- Bank of America Business Account setup
- A FREE 30-minute business tax consultation
- State and Resignation of the Organizer
It’s hard to believe, but this really is a done-for-you incorporation service, all for $0 in fees. It’s by far the best value on the market, and the Silver package is enough for the vast majority of entrepreneurs to start doing business legally (with one issue).
What’s NOT included in the Silver package?
There’s a major component missing that business owners need: an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
You need an EIN to open a business bank account and file business tax returns. You’re free to file for one with the IRS on your own, but most entrepreneurs opt for the easy route – paying a company to do it.
The Gold Package
The Gold package offers a few significant upgrades for $149. If you’re serious about growing a business as quickly and pain-free as possible, it’s worth every penny.
Gold includes everything in Silver PLUS:
- An EIN: Explained before. IncFile will handle the IRS for you for $70.
- IRS Form 2553: If your LLC wishes to be treated as an S Corp for tax reasons, IncFile.com will prepare and file this form for you before the IRS’s deadline.
- Operating Agreement: This crucial document sets your LLC’s rules in stone. Having this document prepared by legal professionals is worth its weight in gold.
- Banking Resolution: We didn’t find this service to be particularly valuable. But extra value always helps!
IncFile’s Platinum package includes a free business name change, business domain and email, as well as expedited filing and business contract templates.
Here’s where IncFile’s pricing finally outweighs its value.
$299 is relatively expensive. The extra business name, business website (domain), and contract templates ARE NOT worth the upgrade. Sure, you get a library of legal contracts to customize and a domain/email service, but chances are, you can find a lot better value elsewhere.
Verdict: Stick to IncFile for incorporation services. Not for contracts, email, or domains.
IncFile User Experience: A Quick Tutorial
IncFile.com transforms what’s usually a painstaking chore into a fast, pleasant, and seamless process.
The user experience is as close to perfect as it gets online. Anyone can form their LLC anywhere in the USA and be open for business quickly, even with zero experience. Other services’ UX looks more like 1920 than 2020. We appreciated that.
Here, we’ll walk you through the process quickly and share some screenshots so you can get a feel for the UX.
Step 1 – Choose Your Company and State
Most entrepreneurs need an LLC or S Corp. Choose your entity type and state, then click LAUNCH.
Step 2 – Choose Your Package
Notice how eye-catching the color schemes are. IncFile makes it super easy to choose a package and clearly lays out what you get in a convenient comparison table:
Step 3 – Provide Business Information
IncFile.com takes you through a series of prompts to learn more about your entity. It’s mostly basic information and the process should only take a few minutes. For example, they’ll ask for a mailing address and if you want expedited filing:
Next, they’ll need to know more about your company (number of owners, designator, etc.).
After that, you’ll be prompted with an upsell page. Just say no, thanks. From there, you’ll need to use IncFile as an RA (highly recommended).
Finally, after another page of upsells (it is a tad annoying), you only need to sign up for your free tax consultation, review your information, and pay.
Overall, it took less than 10 minutes. It’s incredible to think that within 10 minutes of clicking launch, you can have a legal business entity in any state. That process used to take hours. Not anymore. Incfile’s turnaround times vary by state (from 1 business day to 8 weeks). This is definitely worth comparing on each provider’s website.
We loved IncFile. But what do their customers and the rest of the web think?
IncFile holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau with an average rating of nearly 5 stars from over 100 customer reviews. That’s a great sign.
In general, most positive customer reviews rave about how easy the whole process is and how fast IncFile can create a legal business entity.
Positive Reviews: Fast, easy, done-for-you, great UX, unbeatable price.
The only negative customer reviews were about their upgrades like mail service (you know our thoughts on that already). There were also a few customers upset with their customer service.
Negative Reviews: Busy customer support, upgrades not worth the price, tax consultation not available.
Overall, they nearly have a 5-star rating on Shopper Approved. Very few companies ever come close to that. Talking about websites with great reviews, you need a terms and conditions to protect your site. Find the Best Terms and Conditions Generator on our detailed review.
IncFile Alternative: LegalZoom
LegalZoom is the world’s most popular online legal service with millions of customers around the globe.
IncFile focuses mostly on incorporating your business and helping you open your doors.
LegalZoom is more like a total legal package.
That includes business formation services, intellectual property rights, contracts, wills and trusts, family legal services (e.g., divorce), and direct legal advice from an attorney.
LegalZoom is a full-service legal package for established entrepreneurs and business people with complex legal needs.
The only two downsides are price and UX. For one, prices start at $79 (and that’s just the beginning). Second, their UX is nothing compared to IncFile. Not only is forming your LLC more difficult, but the website is also severely outdated.
When to Use LegalZoom
- If you need direct advice from an attorney
- If you need family or estate legal services
- If you need intellectual property legal help
- If you need professional legal document review
When to Use IncFile
- If you need a fast and affordable LLC service
- If you only require incorporation services
- If you need constant reminders of important deadlines
For a more detailed comparison, check our IncFile vs LegalZoom overview.
VERDICT: Is IncFile Legit?
In our opinion, IncFile is an excellent option for end-to-end incorporation services. We trust them to file our documents, set up accounts, file taxes, and handle annual reporting.
The combination of affordability, usability, and speed are unrivaled, and any entrepreneur looking to incorporate an LLC or S Corp fast should 100% use IncFile.
No other service gets you from zero to fully incorporated faster than IncFile.
However, we don’t recommend IncFile if you have complex legal needs. And we cannot recommend their platinum package – it’s not worth the upgrade.
Q: Is IncFile Reputable?
A: Yes, IncFile is exceptionally reputable. It has an A+ rating with the BB and over 100 satisfied customer reviews. IncFile is one of the most popular LLC formation services.
Q: Is IncFile Better Than LegalZoom?
A: IncFile is better than LegalZoom for incorporating an LLC, and it’s cheaper. LegalZoom is better for complete legal services.
Q: Where is IncFile Located?
A: IncFile is located in Houston, Texas.
Q: Is IncFile Really Free?
A: Yes and no. IncFile does not charge anything for its basic package. The customer is only to pay the fee to the state (mandatory by law). However, it does offer upsells, and its Gold and Platinum packages are paid.
Q: Can I Form an LLC on my Own?
A: Yes, and many entrepreneurs do. However, it is painstaking and complex because each state has different rules. IncFile turns this complex process into a straightforward and simple one.
Q: Do I Have to be a US Citizen to Start an LLC?
A: No, you do not have to be a US citizen to form an LLC. Foreign nationals are allowed to operate an LLC in the USA, so you don’t even have to be physically within the US to use IncFile.