Is Inc Authority Right for You? An Inc Authority Review
If you own a small business, you may be interested in forming a limited liability company, or LLC. Forming an LLC offers many advantages over owning a sole proprietorship or partnership. For example, suppose you are the sole proprietor of a small business. In that case, you are personally responsible for any business debts, but if you run an LLC, which is a separate legal entity, you are not.
While you may recognize the many perks of an LLC, you might not be sure how to form one. You could try to figure out LLC formation yourself, but that could be time-consuming and risky if you don’t know what you are doing. Hiring a lawyer is another option, but it is not a budget-friendly choice for a cash-strapped entrepreneur.
Somewhere in between the DIY route and hiring an attorney is the option to use an online LLC formation service. A quick search will provide you with many LLC formation services, but how do you know which formation service to choose?
Since 1989, Inc Authority has helped entrepreneurs with the business formation. They have glowing reviews and are trusted by hundreds of thousands of businesses.
In this piece, we review Inc Authority LLC’s formation services and determine who will benefit most from this company. We will also evaluate each service and compare customer Inc Authority reviews.
How to Form Your Limited Liability Company with Inc Authority
There is a step-by-step process for forming an LLC. You can take care of the steps on your own, work with a lawyer, or use the website of an online LLC formation service. Here is an overview of the process to form a new business:
- Choose a state. Most business owners will file in the state where they live and operate the entity. If you plan to operate in more than one state, you may have a choice of where to file. In that case, you can pick a state with lower taxes and fees or one that is simply more convenient for you.
- Pick a name. Most states require that no other entity has already registered the business name. Many LLC formation services will search business names for you, or you can search your state’s registry yourself.
- Designate a registered agent. All states require LLCs to appoint an agent who serves as the point of contact. The agent must have an address in the state where they can receive legal documents during normal business hours. Owners can appoint an employee or a member of the LLC to act as an agent or hire a registered agent service.
- Generate an operating agreement. Some, but not all, states require LLCs to have an operating agreement. An operating agreement and bylaws lay out the business name, how it will be managed, who the members are, how profits will be distributed, and other details. Many people find this document useful even when it is not required because it prevents confusion between members of the LLC.
- Prepare and file the Articles of Organization: The Articles of Organization is the document you will file with the state. It includes information such as the name, duration, and purpose of the LLC, how it will be managed, and the name of the registered agent.
- Publish a Notice: Some states require you to publish a notice of intent to form an LLC and submit an affidavit to the state business filing agency.
- Banking and Licensing: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and open a business bank account. Next, register your LLC with the appropriate state and local authorities for licenses, permits, and taxes.
Inc Authority Limited Liability Company Formation Packages
Free LLC Registration: Free Plus State Fees
Inc Authority provides a rare deal with its free LLC package. Of all the online LLC formations services out there, only one other service, IncFile, offers free LLC formation.
Because Inc Authority waives its labor costs, service charges, and overhead with this package, the only fees you have to pay are the applicable secretary of state fees. All states require businesses to pay state filing fees, and many also require an annual LLC fee.
The free package from Inc Authority includes the following services:
- Business Name Search: Inc Authority will check your state’s database of business names to make sure that your idea is available.
- One Year of Registered Agent Service: Inc Authority includes twelve months of registered agent service with its free package. After the first year, this service costs $99 per year.
- Digital Storage and Delivery: Inc Authority will digitally deliver and store a copy of your start-up documents. Inc Authority will also store the documents, and you can access them through an online portal on its website.
- Tax Planning Consultation: Inc Authority offers its customers a tax planning consultation designed to help save business income.
- Preparation and Filing: The service will take care of the preparation and state filing of your LLC formation documents. It includes preparing and filing the S-Election document Form 2553 with the IRS for business owners who choose to categorize their LLC as an S-corp.
- Customer Support: Inc Authority offers support through its website, by phone, or through email.
- Business Funding Analysis: The LLC company provides a financial expert to review your business’s financial needs and propose funding solutions for your venture.
- Free Business Checking Account: Inc Authority customers can open a free account with Bank of America. A Bank of America small business specialist can help you get started, including discussing how you can earn up to $450 in bonuses.
Who is this package for?
The free package from Inc Authority is a great choice for new entities needing only to register as LLC. You can’t find a better price for a business formation service than any other provider. The state fee for LLC registration will be the same no matter which formation service you choose.
You can also choose to add optional services, such as Inc Protection Advisor, website registration, or a record book, a la carte. Adding these services to the free package from Inc Authority will still save you money over the price of the other bundles. Inc Authority often offers a 20% coupon for these services at the end of the free registration process.
Starter Business Bundle: $399 plus State Fees
The starter business bundle from Inc Authority includes everything found in the free package plus these additional services:
- Complete Operating Agreement and Bylaws: Inc Authority will draft an operating agreement for your business. To purchase an operating agreement outside of a bundle costs $89.
- Record Book and Company Seal: Inc Authority provides you with a record book embossed with a customized seal on it. You can use this record book to store documents related to your LLC.
- Initial Meeting Minutes and Resolutions: The company will give you a template to record business notes, including what was discussed and who attended the first meeting of your new LLC.
- Ownership Certificates: Inc Authority will provide each member of the LLC with an ownership certificate.
- IRS Federal Tax ID Number: Most businesses need an Employer Identification Number to hire employees, open a business bank account, and file taxes. The IRS issues EINs, which function as federal tax ID numbers for businesses. Business owners can apply for an Employer Identification Number for free by mail, fax, or through its website but may prefer the convenience of this service from Inc Authority.
- Business Credit and Funding Evaluation: If you are starting a new business, you may need access to funds. Inc Authority offers a quick, ten-minute evaluation that can provide your business with between $50,000 and $150,000 in credit lines and unsecured loans.
- Tax Consultation: Inc Authority will provide you with up to one hour of tax consulting services with a tax professional. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about tax deductions, deadlines, and other tax-related questions.
- One Year Inc Protection Advisor: Inc Protection Advisor is a service that Inc Authority offers online and over the phone. This service includes unlimited customer support for state and local business licenses, credit cards, accounting, IRS notifications and audits, taxes, lawsuit defense, payroll and business funding, and business banking. After the first year, this service costs $197 per year.
Who is this bundle for?
If you are an entrepreneur or run a small business and want some extra help getting off the ground, then this package is a good choice for you. The unlimited support from the one-year Inc Protection Advisor and potential access to funding can be valuable to people who are just getting started in the business. If you operate a business in a state that requires an operating agreement, then this Inc Authority package fulfills that critical business formation service.
Executive Business Bundle: $499 Plus State Fees
The Executive Bundle includes everything from the Starter Bundle plus these additional services:
- Business License Report: Inc Authority has business reporting software that will generate a Business License Report to tell you which licenses your business needs based on your location and the type of business you have.
- Website Domain: If you do not yet have a website for your business, Inc Authority can register the domain for you. In this era, most businesses need a website to reach new customers and effectively provide services or products successfully.
Who is this bundle for?
The Executive Business Bundle does not add a whole lot of value compared to the Starter Business Bundle. If the business license report and a website domain are important features to you, $100 is a worthwhile investment.
Tycoon Business Bundle: $799 Plus State Fees
The Tycoon Bundle includes everything from the Business bundle, plus these additional features:
- Express Processing: Inc Authority will process your order on the same day when you choose the Tycoon package. Otherwise, the express processing service is $49.
- BizCredit Express: Inc Authority provides a four-part BizCredit Express package to its Tycoon customers. Here are the components:
- Business Credit Coach: Inc Authority will pair you with a Business Credit Coach for 90 days. This coach will give you one-on-one guidance for your business.
- Multi-Tiered Credit Building System: Building a good credit score is critical for any business and is especially important for a new business. One service Inc Authority has developed is a multi-tiered credit building system. By taking your business through this process, you will quickly and efficiently build your credit score.
- Business Credit Launchpad: The Business Credit Launchpad is a software program that Inc Authority developed to lead businesses through the process of developing credit.
- Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Registration: Inc Authority will register your business with Dun & Bradstreet, a leading provider of credit ratings for businesses. A Dun & Bradstreet report is similar to a credit report for consumers.
Who is this bundle for?
The Tycoon Business Bundle is for customers who are looking to build a valuable business and quickly expand. This Inc Authority package is comprehensive, comes with express processing, and can help you establish your credit so you can borrow funds to grow.
Inc Authority Customer Reviews
Most people turn to online reviews before making any purchase these days. If you are looking for the best LLC service for your business, reading about the experiences of other people who have used an Inc Authority LLC formation service is a great place to gather information.
Inc Authority reviews are solidly positive, which is a testament to the quality of its customer service. A quick survey of online Inc Authority reviews shows that most of its customers are satisfied with the LLC service they received.
Trustpilot is one source of online reviews. As of this writing, there are more than 4,000 Inc Authority reviews on Trustpilot, and 93% give Inc Authority 5 out of 5 stars for excellent customer service. Many of the reviews mention the customer support provider by name, which shows the personal attention that Inc Authority provides.
While there are just over 500 Google reviews available, the results are similar. The average Inc Authority review on Google has 4.7 out of 5 stars. These positive reviews again indicate that Inc Authority provides great LLC formation services supported by excellent customer service.
The Pros and Cons of Using Inc Authority
There are many perks to using this business formation company, but it also has several drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons to the services Inc Authority offers:
Inc Authority Pros
- Free services: The free LLC business formation service is a fantastic deal. You only pay the state filing fees, which you would pay if you did everything on your own.
- Registered agent services: The Free LLC package comes with a free year of registered agent services, which is a bonus to an already good deal.
- Potential discounts: At checkout, Inc Authority often provides a 20% off coupon for its add-on services. If you want to purchase some of its extra services, the coupon is a nice perk.
- Excellent customer care: While there are a few scattered poor reviews, most customer feedback indicates that Inc Authority has great customer service with a personal touch. You can feel confident that if you encounter any difficulties with the services Inc Authority provides, you will get the support you need. Inc Authority provides support through email, over the phone, and online.
Inc Authority Cons
- Expensive premium packages: While the free package is a great deal, all the other bundles from Inc Authority are pricey. Some business formation services provide similar services at a better price.
- EIN service charge: Inc Authority only provides an EIN application service with its premium packages, but it is free to get an EIN from the IRS. If you are willing to take the time to do this yourself, it does not make sense to pay Inc Authority for this service, especially if you are on a budget.
- Not user-friendly: Many people find the Inc Authority site challenging to use.
- No refunds: Inc Authority does not give refunds under any circumstances. Check your purchase one last time before checkout.
Is Inc Authority the Right LLC Service for You?
If you are getting ready to start the process of LLC formation, outsourcing the work can be a great investment. Professional LLC formation services are much less expensive than hiring a lawyer and save you time, effort, and prevent potentially expensive mistakes.
If you are on a budget, the free service Inc Authority provides is a great choice. For just the price of the state fee you have to pay anyway, you get business filing services plus a year of registered agent services, consulting services, and access to start a Bank of America business checking account.
If you need any of the business formation services included in the other packages, Inc Authority LLC services are probably not the best choice. There are several alternative ways of forming an LLC that we will discuss below that provide similar services for less money.
LLC Foundation Alternatives to Inc Authority
If you are looking for another provider for the services Inc Authority provides, here are some other providers we recommend:
Zen Business: This site provides similar LLC formation services at a lower cost than any of the premium packages from Inc Authority. Its Starter package costs only $49 and includes LLC formation, an operating agreement, a year of free registered agent service, and a Worry-Free CPA assessment. The Zen Business website also shows its positive customer feedback.
Rocket Lawyer: If you anticipate the need for legal services beyond forming an LLC, Rocket Lawyer is a great choice. You can buy a membership for ongoing support or pay by document or service. Rocket Lawyer’s website provides legal documents and interactive support from professional lawyers. It supports its services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
LegalZoom: Legal Zoom is one of the best-known companies in the LLC formation business, as well as other legal services. One attractive feature is that its customer service hours are extensive compared to other services. Customer support is available until 10 PM on the weekdays and until 7 PM on the weekends. These hours are great if you are starting your business as a side hustle outside of your regular working hours.
BizFilings: Another solid choice is BizFilings, a website that offers reasonably priced LLC formation packages ranging from $99 to $359 plus the state fee. These prices are below any of the prices for packages from Inc Authority. BizFilings has a reputation for providing solid support services beyond LLC formation as well as many packages for small businesses.
CorpNet: CorpNet has a starter package that costs $79 plus the state fee for LLC formation. Its Complete Package only costs $249 plus the state fee, considerably cheaper than any of the packages from Inc Authority.
If you are considering forming an LLC with Inc Authority, consider your needs, your budget, and the other providers available. Compared to the existing options in 2020, Inc Authority may be the best service for you.