Although the LLC formation service industry is a crowded one, they have managed to carve out a relevant role in this line of business.
In this Direct Incorporation LLC service review, we’ll discuss some advantages and disadvantages of using their services.
Then, we’ll break down their pricing and package options, and take a look at their customer feedback to help you decide whether or not they’re the right provider for your business.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Direct Incorporation:
✔ They offer some advanced features that few competitors provide. From trademark protections to full-service web design to logos and graphic design, Direct Incorporation can handle a wider variety of business needs than most of their competitors can.
✔ With their Executive Club service, which can be added to your formation for $13.99 per month, you have access to a number of features. You can create custom corporate documents, manage your company dashboard, and track tax filings and other government compliance requirements. It even includes asking legal questions to qualified business attorneys. In short, it’s a ton of value for so little money, and it’s no surprise that over 25,000 businesses subscribe to the Executive Club.
✔ Every one of their LLC formation packages includes a federal tax ID number or EIN. This allows you to open business checking and/or savings accounts, hire employees, file business taxes, and much more. Most businesses need an EIN, but not many companies include one with all their LLC service packages like Direct Incorporation does.
Disadvantages of Direct Incorporation:
✖ You can purchase LLC formation services from other providers for less money. Direct Incorporation’s base rate of $147 plus state fee is considerably higher than other LLC formation services that charge as low as $39 or entirely free. (See Top 7 Services)
✖ Some of their competitors include up to a full year of registered agent service with LLC formation packages. Direct Incorporation does not provide registered agent at all, so obviously it is not bundled into any of their service packages, which is unfortunate because every LLC in America needs a registered agent.
Direct Incorporation LLC Packages
Is Direct Incorporation Good Value? Before we look at their pricing/packages, let’s outline what good value in an LLC formation service looks like. In our opinion, this includes:
1) Forming your LLC with the state, 2) includes one-year free registered agent service, and 3) includes a customizable operating agreement. That said, the only LLC service that offers these three important features in every package is ZenBusiness – for just $39.
Direct Incorporation offers four different options for LLC formation packages: Standard, Premier, Elite, and Venture. If you’re interested in reviewing all of the details, check out the breakdown below.
Standard = $147 + State Fee
➢ Business Name Availability Check: They will search through your state’s business database to ensure that your desired company name is indeed available, and isn’t already taken by another company.
➢ Preparation and Filing of Articles of Organization: These are the forms that you need to submit to your state to officially create your company. Direct Incorporation will draft these documents for you, then file them with the appropriate state agency.
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): An EIN is a numerical code much like a Social Security Number that allows you to open business bank accounts, hire employees, file business taxes, and more. They will acquire this number for you from the IRS.
➢ Client Resource Center: With this feature, you have access to an online portal where you can check your order status, download copies of your formation documents, and more.
➢ S Corp Tax Designation: This only applies to a select few LLCs, but if you want your LLC to be taxed like an S corp instead of like a partnership, Direct Incorporation will file the relevant tax forms with the IRS.
➢ 3 Week Executive Club Trial: The Executive Club is Direct Incorporation’s legal services subscription service. You’ll be able to create business documents, track IRS filings, keep an eye on state compliance deadlines, ask attorneys legal questions, and more. After your three-week trial, Executive Club costs $13.99/month, although you are under no obligation to continue the service.
➢ Unlimited Customer Support: You can reach Direct Incorporation representatives via phone or email, from 9am to 6pm ET Monday through Friday.
Premier = $297 + State Fee
Everything from the Standard package, plus…
➢ Operating Agreement: This document is highly recommended for all LLCs, as it lays out the ground rules for how your company will be run, as well as defines your ownership structure. Direct Incorporation will provide an operating agreement for your business.
➢ Corporate Suite CD: A disc full of sample documents and helpful guides.
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A records binder with 20 stock certificates, and an embossed LLC seal with your company name on it.
Elite = $329 + State Fee
Everything from the Premier package, plus…
➢ Website Builder Package
➢ DIY Website Builder Software: Easily create your own basic business website with Direct Incorporation’s website builder tool.
➢ 1 Year Domain Name Registration
➢ 3 Months Website Hosting
➢ 5 Free Email Accounts
➢ Stock Logo: They’ll provide you with a shared license for a professionally designed stock logo that you can use to represent your company.
Venture = $873 + State Fee
Everything from the Elite package, plus…
➢ Web Design Service: Instead of designing your own website using their DIY website builder tool, they’ll build a basic business website for you.
➢ Custom Logo Design: A professionally designed logo created specifically for your business, with three drafts and three interactive revisions with your feedback.
➢ Trademark Protection: Direct Incorporation will run an extensive conflict search for your intellectual property and prepare a thorough report. They will also provide three months of their Trademark Protection Monitoring service.
➢ 1 Year Executive Club Subscription
➢ 1 Year Website Hosting
Direct Incorporation Customer Reviews
There aren’t a ton of Direct Incorporation reviews online, but you can find a collection of them on Facebook, along with a few more on BBB.org and Yelp.
While there aren’t hundreds or even thousands of reviews like some other top LLC formation services have, the majority of feedback we did find is positive.
If you want a more complete picture of what the Direct Incorporation customer experience is like, take a few minutes to scan the reviews. Most of their reviewers compliment their ongoing customer service, as well as praising their efficiency. Customer feedback isn’t a huge factor for Direct Incorporation, but it is a slight positive in general.
- Facebook: 4.0 out of 5 stars (43 reviews)
- Better Business Bureau: 2.3 out of 5 stars (5 reviews)
- Yelp: 2.5 out of 5 stars (3 reviews)
Alternatives to Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation does a good job with LLC service, but if they don’t sound like the right fit for your business, we can definitely find another option. After all, there are many competitors in the online business services industry these days.
ZenBusiness – $39: First up, you might want to take a look at ZenBusiness. They’re one of the best and most affordable LLC service available with pricing that starts at just $39. They’re also a socially conscious organization with feature-packed packages.
IncFile – $0: A great Direct Incorporation alternative is IncFile. They are the only free LLC service online. Plus, that includes a full year of registered agent service, which Direct Incorporation does not include in any formation package. In addition, IncFile has thousands of positive reviews all over the web.
Northwest – $79: Another top LLC formation service is Northwest Registered Agent, with a starting price point of $79. They also provide a year of registered agent, along with their industry-best personalized customer support.
Is Direct Incorporation Right For You?
Direct Incorporation is a strong contender to form your new LLC. Obviously, no one service is going to be ideal for every entrepreneur, so to finish this review we’ll go through some scenarios where you might want to use their services, and also some that might make you want to look elsewhere.
✔ When to Use Direct Incorporation:
If your company wants to take advantage of the advanced features in the Venture package, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal for features like web development and graphic design. It’s a lot of services to kickstart your business bundled into one package.
✖ When NOT to Use Direct Incorporation:
If you just want the standard ingredients of LLC formation, you’ll probably want to use another service, especially because Direct Incorporation does not offer registered agent service.
Direct Incorporation approaches limited liability company formations a bit differently than most competitors in this industry. In addition to forming your company, they offer advanced features in the areas of logo design, web hosting, trademark protections, and more ― none of which are commonly found with other LLC formation services.
However, there are other services that can save you money while also providing registered agent service, so whether Direct Incorporation is a good choice for you depends on what your company’s unique needs are.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
Does Direct Incorporation Offer Any Discounts?
We couldn’t find any active discounts for Direct Incorporation, but their prices are quite reasonable to begin with so that’s not a major issue at all.
Does Direct Incorporation Have Good Customer Support?
Direct Incorporation keeps their support in-house, which is a big advantage compared to some competitors who outsource their customer service to anonymous call centers. You can reach Direct Incorporation’s helpful service reps from 9am to 6pm ET on weekdays.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
In their own words: “If an order for any of our services is canceled after we have received payment then the full amount will be refunded less a $40.00 processing fee.”
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
Sure, you always have this option. In fact, quite a few entrepreneurs choose to form their own LLCs. The issue with this is that it can be quite time-consuming, especially once you figure out your formation state’s unique rules and regulations.
On the other end of the spectrum, some entrepreneurs hire a lawyer to form a new LLC, but this is usually much more expensive than online LLC services.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC?
There are only a couple of scenarios where this is a necessary step. First, if you’re not yet ready to enter the formation process itself, you can reserve a name to use at a later date when you form your business.
The other scenario is if you’re forming a business in Alabama, where reserving a name in advance is a requirement to form an LLC. Other than that, you most likely do not need to reserve a name in advance.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
Yes, you can. Not only do you not need to be physically present in the United States to form an LLC, but you also don’t need to be an American citizen or resident. Part of the reason the LLC is such a popular business entity is the fact that the requirements regarding who can form one are so loose.
Does Direct Incorporation Do New York Publication or Alabama Name Reservation?
We called Direct Incorporation to find out whether they tackle state-specific compliance requirements or not, and unfortunately, the answer was no.
If you’re forming a business in a state that requires publication or other unique steps, you’ll need to handle those yourself.
They do, however, take care of name reservations in Alabama if that’s a service you require.
What's the Direct Incorporation Support Phone Number & Email?
You can contact Direct Incorporation’s support reps by calling 1-877-281-6496. If you want to email them, they don’t have a general support email address listed on their website, but they do have each employee’s email address posted on the “Our Team” page.
You can select the employee whose job description best fits your needs and email them directly.
Does Direct Incorporation Share My Information With Third Parties?
Even though Direct Incorporation offers a wide variety of services and features, they provide nearly everything in-house and therefore don’t have many areas where they would share your info with other entities.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does Direct Incorporation?
On one hand, Direct Incorporation does have plenty of opportunities for you to upgrade to their more expensive LLC formation packages.
On the other hand, they’re never pushy about it, and once you’ve made your choice they don’t try to force anything extra on you.
Overall, we don’t have a problem with Direct Incorporation when it comes to upsells. Especially when compared to LegalZoom’s LLC service.
Ready to Form an LLC?
Form your LLC with Direct Incorporation or read our comparison of the top 7 LLC services.