Many legal filing requirements must be met when starting a business. This can cause confusion and bewilderment. It is possible to save money on filing documents by creating them yourself or hiring legal help, which can quickly become expensive. Inc Authority, an online service that offers both the DIY and professional route, has stepped in to help entrepreneurs save money.
Inc Authority has the best free options for all LLC services we have reviewed. Continue reading to find out more about Inc Authority. Compare it with its competitors, and decide if its services are right for you.
Inc. Authority at a Glance
Inc Authority is an online service that offers LLC formation, business ownership assistance, and help with foundational paperwork. The company is based in Nevada and boasts over 30 years of experience helping small businesses. It claims to have helped form more than 25,000 corporations and LLCs annually. The company wants to make business formation easier, more straightforward, and less expensive for entrepreneurs.
Inc Authority Pricing
Inc Authority is different from its competitors because it offers a wide range of basic services for free. The services include preparing, filing, and storing all necessary documents for an LLC to start its business and providing a registered agent for its first year. These basic services are provided by Inc Authority for no charge, but you must still pay the appropriate fees to the Secretary of State.
Inc Authority invites its users to sign up for its paid services. These services focus on business aspects such as funding, credit, and website presence. Inc Authority used to offer LLC registration service bundles online at three price points.
Still, the website only offers one “Starter Business Bundle,” a one-size-fits-all selection of premium and free services.
It costs $369.95. The higher-tier bundles may still be available, but you need to contact customer service.
The updated pricing model mirrors subscription services with premium and free tiers. Premium services are generally more extensive, but they don’t differ from the free ones. However, paying customers don’t have to sign up for a large package deal. They can choose individual services or more specific packages by speaking with an Inc Authority advisor.
You can only get quotes and pricing information on any of these options and the Starter Business Bundle by calling during weekday hours (6 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time), and speaking with a live representative.
Basic Services Free
Inc Authority will provide the following services free, but some may require payment to continue for a certain time.
- Check your business name. The search function of Inc Authority allows you to see which business names are available for your state. Business founders need to check whether any web domain names available could be suitable or supportive of their potential business names.
- Entity creation documents. In Authority will prepare documents such as an LLC’s articles and operating agreement, based on the information provided by customers. These documents will be filed with the appropriate state offices by the company on behalf of the customer.
- One-year registration as a registered agent. All types of businesses, including LLCs, must designate “registered agents” in the state where the business is being filed. This person, or often a service, is the official recipient of paperwork and legal documents for the business. Although LLC members can act as their own registered agents, there are many advantages to using a registered agent service. Inc Authority automatically registers for this role free of charge for a year. After that, it charges $200 per annum to continue. The service can be canceled before the end of the second year.
- INC CARE. In Authority offers free customer support to business owners via phone or email.
- Delivery and digital storage for LLC startup documents. The client portal stores digital copies of all important documents, including articles of organization and operating agreements.
- Consultation on tax planning. Inc Authority provides advice on how LLCs can possibly preserve more of their income.
- Funding and Credit Analysis for Businesses An Inc Authority expert can look at an LLC’s credit and financing needs and suggest possible solutions.
- Selection. In Authority provides free preparation of the SElection form ( Form 2553) and will file it with IRS if the LLC prefers S-corporation status. This optional tax classification comes with certain benefits and requirements.
Inc Authority provides services in the following areas for a nominal fee. Inc Authority does not advertise pricing; prices will vary depending on the details of each business.
Starter Business Bundle
This $369.95 service package is known as the “Intro Business Bundle”, Inc Authority’s most popular paid LLC formation product. The value breakdown of the package is as follows: a state filing costs $50, an operating agreement, an ownership certificate, and “separation papers” cost $300 and $19.95 shipping and handling fees.
Inc Authority offers various services between $10 and $200 as “free” perks. These include a year of registered agent support, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and a tax consultation.
- Federal trademark. In Authority will assist you in searching trademark and other name databases. They will also connect you with a trademark specialist who will assemble your trademark and submit your application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Inc Authority can also monitor your trademark for possible infringements and alert you.
- Business credit. Customers have access to Inc Authority’s “multitiered credit building system”, its proprietary credit development software, and 90 days of assistance from a business credit coach. They also get a report from Dun & Bradstreet’s business credit reporting bureau.
- Business funding. Inc Authority offers assistance, connections to underwriters, and application filing to assist business owners looking for working capital. The eligibility requirements for funding include unsecured personal loans, credit cards, and credit lines.
- Business plans. In Authority will research, create, and edit a customized business plan for any company, including analysis and projections. The company offers a one-on-1 advisor to assist in the creation of a plan. This advisor is available for reviews, edits, and any other questions.
- Website and Marketing. This package includes a website and a marketing package. It also includes a private consultation with the web developer, full SEO (search engine optimization), access and support from a marketing specialist, 500 customized business cards, and a professionally designed logo.
- Revocable trust. Inc Authority can create a trust to assist customers in financial planning and legal forms. This allows the assets of a deceased person to be protected from probate.
Executive and Tycoon Business Bundles
These are no longer available on Inc Authority’s website. However, a call to the customer service number will reveal that other bundles include additional services. The Executive bundle contains everything in the Starter package plus website registration and access to a report on business licenses for your state.
The Tycoon bundle contains everything from the other packages but includes some additional bonuses. Express processing will be available to speed up your paperwork. BizCredit Express will also be available to you, which provides tools and resources to assist with your business credit building. You will receive 90 days of one-on-one business credit coaching. You can also register with Dun & Bradstreet for business credit reporting. However, a DUNS number costs nothing, and you mostly only pay for convenience.
The online client portal of Inc Authority makes it easy for customers returning to the company to access their services and resources. Inc Authority clients have access to free and paid customer support. The company’s blog offers useful information about business formation and legal issues relevant to small businesses.
Customers also benefit from Inc Authority’s Partner Offers, which offer discounts on services from partnering companies like ADP, Bank of America, and PayPal.
Like any other business that relies upon free products to attract customers, Inc Authority has strong incentives to encourage its users to purchase paid services options. It has information on its website to help users make informed decisions and have open dialogue with advisers and company representatives. Depending on your situation, some upgrades may be worth it. However, LLC formation is relatively affordable and requires no paid services. To become an official, one must submit only the required filing fees to the state.
Inc Authority may charge for some services or include as a no extra-charge perk with bundled services. However, in some cases, customers simply pay for the convenience that the company completes a task. This may not be obvious in Inc Authority materials. Customers might benefit from conducting research on LLC formation issues on their own to determine what actions are necessary and what steps are recommended by experts. Then, decide which actions should be delegated to professionals.
Inc Authority cannot offer any guarantees. All sales are final. This means that except for canceling a subscription to avoid future fees there is no refund on products or services. Inc Authority reserves all rights to modify monthly rates as long as customers are notified.
Inc Authority’s free services are virtually unrivaled in the marketplace. This makes it an excellent choice for companies looking to start up with the lowest possible start-up cost and not need support. Inc Authority’s competitors offer cheaper paid services packages than the “Starter Bundle”, which is roughly $369.95.
ZenBusiness offers paid plans that include varying levels of services for $48, $199, and $299, respectively, while LegalZoom offers similar packages for $79-329 and $349, respectively. Customers looking for a simpler package offer will find these plans more flexible.
In general, Inc Authority scores similarly to its competitors in terms of the quality of its services and features. It ranks about average in overall value, taking both paid and free services into consideration. This is comparable to ZenBusiness’s value but slightly lower than LegalZoom. Although it’s less popular than the larger names in the industry, LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have more customers than it.
What do I need to do to get an LLC service?
An LLC service is not required for business owners to use. However, the fees must still be paid to the state and other entities for filing. Other costs will be incurred but the fees will be less than paying someone else. Business owners who are unable to file their own paperwork can use LLC services. They can also access other legal services that could be of benefit to them. An experienced local lawyer can help you form an LLC. Although this service may be more expensive than an online one, it can still provide you with the opportunity to have a close relationship with someone who can assist you with many legal issues.
How can I get an EIN?
The IRS issues employee identification numbers and uses them for tax administration purposes. The EIN Assistant page of the IRS allows business founders to apply for one free. Inc Authority offers business formation services that include an EIN application service. However, customers need to remember that it is still free and simple to complete on their own.
Is Inc Authority reliable?
Although Inc Authority did not make our 2022 list best LLC service, overall we consider it to be trustworthy. Depending on which review source, the company received different customer reviews about its trustworthiness and approval. The Better Business Bureau gives the company an F because it failed to respond to two complaints, but the company does not have enough customer feedback to give a useful aggregate score. Trustpilot has over 10,000 Inc Authority reviews and awards the company a very high score, 4.8 out 5.
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