IncFile opened their doors in 2004 and they’ve become one of the most popular LLC formation services since, forming over 250,000 businesses.
There are a lot of services that can help you form an LLC online, but IncFile has managed to carve out a prominent space for themselves in this highly competitive industry – recently becoming as popular as LegalZoom.
This IncFile LLC service review outlines all of the key factors to keep in mind when considering using their LLC formation services.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of IncFile:
✔ Starting at just $0 + state fee, they’re the most affordable LLC formation service currently available. This is extremely impressive considering LegalZoom, the most well-known service charges $99 + state fee to form an LLC.
✔ IncFile has 15 years of experience, with over 250,000 businesses formed since they opened in 2004.
✔ Even though their prices are lower than all competitors, there’s a full year of registered agent service (which is a requirement for all LLCs) included in every LLC formation package offered by IncFile.
✔ If you start an LLC with IncFile, they include lifetime company alerts that send you emails whenever there’s a deadline coming up for annual reports, business licenses, statements of information, and more. Without this feature, you’ll have to keep track of all this stuff yourself, which can be a real hassle.
✔ IncFile receives fantastic customer feedback. Not only do they maintain high average rating scores, but they have several thousand reviews (currently over 10,000) available online.
✔ They usually have good customer service. IncFile’s support reps are knowledgeable and friendly, and all of their clients receive unlimited phone and email support.
Disadvantages of IncFile:
✖ In the past, IncFile’s customer support has been difficult to reach at times. While it’s certainly not the norm and they’ve gotten much faster in 2019, on occasion we’ve had to wait 24+ hours to get responses to some of our questions. While this is common in the industry, for the most part Northwest is the one LLC service that has slightly faster response times and goes above and beyond with every answer to our question.
✖ Even though their free formation LLC service is a great deal, you’re going to deal with more upsells and potentially higher overall prices as a result.
IncFile LLC Formation Packages
Is IncFile Good Value? Absolutely. Up until a few months ago, IncFile charged $49+ to form an LLC. Now, their new and discounted rate will form an LLC for free.
Plus, IncFile includes a year of registered agent and a lot of other good features – at no charge. Compared to other LLC services, this is one of the best deals available online.
IncFile has three LLC formation packages, each with its own combination of pricing and features. If you’d like to check out the full details of each option for yourself, check out their pricing page.
Silver = $0 + State Fee
➢ Preparation and Filing of Your Articles of Organization: The articles of organization are the documents required to form your new LLC. IncFile will draft these documents and file them with your state to officially create your business.
➢ Name Availability Searches: They search your formation state’s business database to make sure that your desired business name isn’t already taken by another entity.
➢ One Year of Free Registered Agent Service: A registered agent (legally required to form an LLC) accepts important documents on behalf of your business, then forwards them to you. This person or entity provides privacy protection for you personally, while also ensuring you never miss a delivery. IncFile provides this service free for one full year, after which there’s a $119 annual fee, but there’s absolutely no obligation to renew this service.
➢ Unlimited Phone and Email Support: If you have a question or concern, it doesn’t matter if you formed your LLC last week or last year ― their support reps are available to help you via phone from 10am to 7pm ET weekdays.
➢ Order Status Tracking: IncFile’s slick real-time tool lets you know what step your order is in at all times.
➢ Business Tax Consultation: A 30-minute (no-obligation) consult session with a certified tax professional. You can ask them any questions you may have about the tax rules and regulations that apply to your business.
➢ Lifetime Company Alerts: IncFile will send you email notifications throughout the life cycle of your LLC to inform you of upcoming filing deadlines for documents like annual reports and business licenses.
➢ Online Document Access: As soon as your state of formation returns your filed documents to IncFile, they’ll post them to your online client dashboard and notify you that they’re ready to view and download.
Gold = $149 + State Fee
Includes everything from the Silver package, plus…
➢ Employer Identification Number (EIN): This is a 9-digit number that essentially works as a Social Security Number for your business. With an EIN, you can open a business bank account, file business taxes, hire employees, and more. You can acquire your own EIN relatively easily from the IRS, but IncFile can save you some time and effort by doing it for you.
➢ Custom Operating Agreement: An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure of your business, along with laying some ground rules for the way your company will operate. IncFile will prepare this custom document for you.
➢ Express Shipping: IncFile will ship a hard copy of your filed articles of organization to you using express shipping (1-3 business day delivery), with a tracking number.
➢ Banking Resolution: This document can help you open a business bank account, but if you have an EIN it’s a bit redundant.
➢ Gold Business Formation Kit: A box with your company’s name on it, with a transfer ledger and document organizing tabs inside.
➢ S Corporation Tax Form Preparation: This feature applies to very few LLCs at this stage, but if you decide to have your business taxed like an S Corporation, IncFile will prepare and file the relevant forms with the IRS.
Platinum = $299 + State Fee
Includes everything from the Gold package, plus…
➢ Expedited Document Filing: If your state of formation offers expedited service, IncFile will choose that option. Depending on which state you form your business in, this can cut your turnaround time from a matter of weeks down to a matter of days.
➢ Sample Document Library: You’ll get access to IncFile’s legal contract templates. This is a library of 25+ commonly used business forms and documents written by an attorney that you can customize for your needs.
➢ Business Website and Domain Name: Through IncFile’s partnership with a web development service called SnapWeb, you’ll receive a professionally designed basic website from a pre-made template. If you leverage this feature, you’ll still be liable for SnapWeb’s $20/month hosting fee, and the free domain only applies if you sign up for their annual subscription.
IncFile Customer Reviews
IncFile has so much experience in the industry (15 years) that it’s easy to find customer feedback, which can give you a glimpse of what to expect as one of their clients.
We dove into IncFile reviews all across the web, and determined that their customers experience some pretty clear-cut pros and very few cons. If you want a more complete picture of their feedback, feel free to check out their many individual reviews, but in general their customers enjoy the simplicity of IncFile’s services, as well as their affordable prices.
In short, very few competitors can hold a candle to IncFile’s superb customer reviews.
- Shopper Approved: 4.8 out of 5 stars (11,664 reviews)
- Better Business Bureau: 4.6 out of 5 stars (112 reviews)
Should You Form an LLC with IncFile?
When it comes down to making a choice, IncFile has far more advantages than disadvantages. Here are some scenarios where you should or shouldn’t use IncFile for LLC formation service.
✔ When To Use IncFile:
If you’re on a budget but still want help creating an LLC, IncFile is one of the top LLC formation services out there. You can choose from their entirely free LLC service or from their premium paid packages. We don’t hesitate to recommend them to most entrepreneurs.
✖ When NOT To Use IncFile:
The only time we wouldn’t advise using IncFile is if you foresee requiring lots of customer service assistance. If you either need extensive help or have a fairly complicated situation, we recommend Northwest, which has much better customer support.
After reviewing and ranking all LLC formation services, IncFile came out as one of the best LLC services due to their excellent prices/features and highly rated customer reviews. They offer far more features than popular services like LegalZoom while charging $99 less.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got IncFile questions? We’ve got answers.
Is IncFile Really A Free LLC Formation Service?
Impressively, yes, IncFile will form an LLC for free.
They used to charge $49 for their base package but have refined their systems over the last 15+ years to offer a service that will form an LLC online for free. All you pay for is the state filing fee.
This package includes all the same great features like registered agent service, lifetime company alerts, and next day business processing.
IncFile also offers paid business formation packages for $149 and $299 that include more features and faster processing times. We’re just most impressed by their free offer. (Visit IncFile.com)
If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?
We personally prefer either their $0 Silver package or their $149 Gold package. If all you need are the basics of LLC formation along with a year of registered agent service, we think the Silver package is a tremendous bargain.
If you would rather add an EIN, an operating agreement, and several other features, we like the Gold package as well. Want a closer look? Check out IncFile’s pricing page.
How Does IncFile Compare to Other LLC Services?
As you probably know, there are a lot of online LLC formation services. If you’d like a better idea of how IncFile stacks up to the most popular and top rated services, check out our comparison reviews:
Does IncFile Offer Any Discounts?
While they don’t provide any discounts (most LLC creation services don’t), IncFile does have a package that will form an LLC for free.
Does IncFile Have Good Customer Support?
For the most part, IncFile has great customer service, with helpful and friendly representatives. The only knock on their support is that sometimes it can take a while to get a response during peak times.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
While some competitors offer 100% satisfaction guarantees, IncFile does not. They charge a $30 cancellation fee, and they also will only provide a refund if you request it before they submit your payment to the state, which is typically within 24 hours of placing your order.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
Some entrepreneurs do choose the DIY route when it comes to LLC formation, but it’s a hassle. It requires a rather decent time investment, and you’ll have to research your state of formation’s specific requirements as well. In addition, you won’t receive the helpful ongoing compliance reminders offered by IncFile, or any of their other convenient features.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC With IncFile?
Each state (except Florida) has a way to reserve a business name before forming your entity itself. In general, this is only necessary if you aren’t yet ready to enter the formation process. If you’re ready to start your business, there’s no reason to reserve your name before forming your LLC with IncFile.
Note: Certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business. In that case, IncFile will take care of it because it’s part of the LLC registration process.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
Yes, there is no requirement that you be present in the U.S. to form an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be an American citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like American citizens are.
Does IncFile Handle New York Publication Requirements?
We contacted IncFile’s customer support via phone, and they told us that they do not handle publication requirements, because “those need to be taken care of with the state directly.” However, they do take care of name reservation requirements where applicable, because “reserving the name is part of the same process as forming the LLC itself.”
If you’re forming an LLC in New York and would like help taking care of publication requirements, look into ZenBusiness. They’re another affordable LLC service that has comparable value to IncFile.
What Is the IncFile Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You can contact IncFile via phone by calling 844-830-8267. Instead of publishing a specific email address, they have an email contact form on their website. Once you submit your message, an IncFile representative will reach out to you via email as soon as possible.
Does IncFile Share My Information With Third Parties?
IncFile does have a few “special offers” listed on their website that involve sharing your information with third parties. For example, their offer to set up a business bank account requires sharing your info with Bank of America, and their “business website and domain name” offer requires sharing your info with a website building company called Snapweb.
If this is a concern for you but you’d like to use IncFile, you can let them know that you want to opt-out of their special offers.
I’ve Heard LLC Services Like LegalZoom Have a Lot of Upsells. Does IncFile?
Compared to LegalZoom, IncFile keeps the upsells to a minimum. Quite a few other business incorporation services place a considerable amount of pressure on you to buy expensive add-on features that drive your total cost way up, but IncFile doesn’t bother us in this regard. It’s all very tasteful.
How Quickly Does IncFile Process LLC Formations?
IncFile’s processing times vary depending on your state of formation, but in general they’re pretty fast because they send your formation documents to the state within one business day. If you need to speed up your formation turnaround time, you can upgrade to their expedited service which can reduce your processing time from weeks down to just a few days in some states.
My LLC Needs an EIN. Is It Worth the $70?
This is a tough question to answer without knowing the specific needs of your unique business. We personally enjoy getting an EIN included with our LLC formation, even if it means spending extra to add it on, or to upgrade to a higher level of LLC service like IncFile’s Gold package.
The convenience of not having to get one through the IRS is worth it to a lot of entrepreneurs, and they like having their articles of organization and EIN confirmation in the same place. However, we would completely understand if you’d rather save some money and acquire your own EIN from the IRS directly.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Get started with IncFile (a free LLC service) or read our list of the top 7 LLC services.
IncFile Alternatives: What Are Other Options?
There’s quite a few service providers offering LLC formation these days, so if you don’t like what IncFile has to offer, there are plenty of other options.
ZenBusiness – $39: The primary IncFile alternative is ZenBusiness, which is one of the most affordable LLC formation services available. At $39 they include a year of registered agent service and a handful of other very useful features like customizable operating agreement. Plus, out of over 900 customer reviews online, 97% of those people were happy with ZenBusiness.
Northwest Registered Agent – $79: If you’re looking for a great overall experience that offers extremely close value to IncFile, check out our other top rated LLC service, Northwest Registered Agent. While they have primarily focused on offering registered agent services, over the last 20 years they have refined their system to build a team of extremely knowledgable customer support time and LLC filers.
LegalZoom – $99: Finally, LegalZoom is the most popular company for LLC formations, as they’ve served millions of customers over the years. Their prices aren’t great starting at $99, especially considering that they don’t include registered agent service, but their experience is second to none.