If you’re reading this, then you’re probably looking to register your business as an LLC, so – Congratulations! It’s always exciting starting a new business, but there can be a lot of paperwork and legal documents to deal with at this stage, and it’s important to make sure everything is done correctly.
Bottom Line Up Front: There’s not too much that separates these services, but I lean towards cheaper and more established Incfile service here. That said, Filenow sometimes has special promotions up, so check out Filenow’s latest pricing here.
Table of Contents
- 1 Main Differences Between Incfile vs Filenow
- 2 Incfile vs Filenow: In-depth Comparison
- 3 Incfile: Detailed Overview
- 4 Incfile vs Filenow: Filenow Overview
- 4.1 The Main Services Offered by Filenow
- 4.2 How Filenow Works
- 4.3 Step 1: Complete the Company Formation Wizard
- 4.4 Step 2: Expert Review and Document Preparation
- 4.5 Step 3: Your Company is Filed with State
- 4.6 Step 4: Receive your Corporation Package
- 4.7 What other services does Filenow offer?
- 4.8 Filenow Customer Service and Reviews
- 4.9 The Benefits of Using Filenow
- 4.10 The Downsides to Using Filenow
- 4.11 Filenow Pricing
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 The Verdict: Incfile vs Filenow – Which is the better LLC formation Service?
Main Differences Between Incfile vs Filenow
The main differences between Incfile and Filenow are:
- Incfile offers Tax services as an additional service to its customers, whereas Filenow doesn’t have any Tax Services available to its customers
- Incfile is cheaper than Filenow, with packages starting at $0, plus state fees, whereas Filenow’s lowest priced package is $49 plus State Fees
- Filenow includes a Federal Tax ID/EIN Number with all business formation packages, whereas you would need to purchase this separately with Incfile, which would cost $70
There are a few different entity types to choose from when starting a business, depending on your business type and requirements, but by far the most popular business entity type is an LLC or Limited Liability Company. In fact, over 80% of small businesses choose LLC as their business structure!
There are lots of benefits to forming an LLC, including:
- Tax Advantages
- Ownership and profit-sharing flexibility
- Privacy Protection for business owners
- The business owners personal assets are protected, as the business is a separate entity
- Limited personal liability for company owners and managers
- There is less paperwork than a C-Corp or an S-Corp
Which is why an LLC is such a popular choice for small businesses. In this article we are going to be taking an in-depth look at Incfile vs Filenow, to see exactly what features and services they have on offer, as well as their pros and cons, customer reviews, and the pricing, so you can decide which one is the better choice for your business.
Incfile vs Filenow: In-depth Comparison
Incfile: Detailed Overview
Incfile is an online company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs and business owners incorporate their business. Since they were founded in 2004, Incfile have helped over 250,000 businesses get started, and are well known for being reliable, trustworthy and affordable.
Incfile will take care of all the paperwork involved with forming an LLC, C-Corp or S-Corp, so you can rest assured that everything has been done correctly during this important time for your business.
The Main Services Offered by Incfile
- Name verification for your company
- Preparation and filing of business formation documents
- One year of free Registered Agent service
- Next Business Day processing
- Online order status tracking
- Free business tax consultation
- Online access to all of your business documents
- Lifetime customer support and filing dates alerts
As well as offering company formation services, Incfile also offers a range of other ongoing services that can be purchased separately, to help keep your business running smoothly, giving you more free time to focus on growing your business.
How Incfile Works
Incfile’s company formation service is easy to use, and it’s all online so you can access their services from anywhere. The first thing you will need to do is choose the state you want to register in. Each state has slightly different fees for the filing service, so remember to check this before you start so that you can factor it into your costs.
You will also need to select the type of entity you want to register your business as. You can choose from:
Each of these types of entities has its own benefits and pitfalls, so be sure to research exactly what you need for your business before making this decision, although, for most businesses, LLC is the best choice.
Next, you can choose one of Incfile’s company formation packages. There are three main packages to choose from, each with different features and extras. Once you have selected the package that’s right for you, you will receive a form to fill in with all of the details of your business. Once you have filled it out, Incfile can start processing your application.
After you have paid online for your chosen package, Incfile will check that the name you have chosen for your business is available, and then draft the documents required to file your business with the state.
Once the documents have been filed, you can celebrate, because your business is official! Your approved documents will be sent back to Incfile, who will then upload them online so that you can securely view them at any time.
What Other Services Does Incfile Offer?
As well as company formation service, Incfile also has a range of other business and Tax services, including:
- Amendments and name changes
- Foreign qualification
- DBA/Fictitious business name
- Annual reporting
- Certificate of good standing
- Corporate/LLC kit
- Business license research
- Trademark name search
- EIN/Tax ID Number
- File Business Taxes
- File S Corp Tax Election
- Registered agent service
- Change of registered agent
Probably the most useful ongoing service provided by Incfile is the Registered Agent service. Although this is provided free of charge with the formation packages for the first year, it’s well worth purchasing this as an ongoing service after the free period.
It’s a legal requirement in the US for all businesses to appoint a registered agent, and although you can serve as your own registered agent, this is definitely a service that’s worth paying for due to its many benefits.
The Registered Agent service provides you with a dedicated address for your business so that all legal and tax correspondence can be sent there instead of to your personal address. This protects your privacy as a business owner, as well as giving you the peace of mind that someone will always be available to accept your incoming mail. This is particularly useful for anyone who travels a lot, as any documents received by the registered agent will be uploaded online so you can securely view them from anywhere in the world.
The registered agent service includes:
- An always available Registered Agent who will accept any incoming IRS and State mail correspondence.
- A digital dashboard where you can access, store, and retrieve any of your business documents.
- Email and SMS notifications when documents are received for your business.
- Automatic mail forwarding of any Legal correspondence received for your business
- The first year of Registered Agent service free with any of Incfile’s packages.
Another useful service you may want to consider purchasing is an EIN (Employer Tax ID Number) which is a unique 9 digit number assigned by the IRS that enables your business to set up a dedicated business bank account and hire and pay employees for your business.
Other services available include filing and preparation of taxes, as well as business name changes and amendments, trademark name search, foreign qualification, and dissolution.
Incfile Customer Service and Reviews
Incfile is known for their excellent customer support, and if you ever need to get in touch with them, you can reach them by phone during their office hours (Monday to Friday, from 9am-6pm CST) or if you prefer, you can submit a request for support on their website and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. There is also a learning centre available on their website where you can find answers to frequently asked questions as well as useful business information such as business startup guides and checklists.
The Benefits of Using Incfile
- One year of registered agent service is provided free with all business formation packages.
- Lifetime support is included for all businesses formed with Incfile
- Incfile has excellent customer reviews, with an A+ rating on BBB and 4.8 stars out of 5 on Shopper Approved.
- Incfile provides lifetime customer alerts, so you never have to worry about missing filing deadlines.
- If you use the registered agent service, you will have access to an online dashboard where you can view all of your documents securely online at any time.
- Incfile is one of the most affordable company formation services around, with packages starting at $0 + State fees.
The Downsides to Using Incfile
There aren’t many downsides to using Incfile, however, there have been occasional reports of slow customer support during busy periods.
Incfile has three main business formation packages available: Silver, Gold, and Platinum, which start at $0, plus State fees.
The Silver package costs $0 plus State Fees and includes:
- Prepare and file the articles of organization
- Name availability search
- Free Registered Agent services for one year
- Setup of a business banking account with Bank of America ($450 value)
- Statement and resignation of the organizer
- Unlimited phone and email support
- Online order status tracking
- Business tax consultation
- Next business day processing
- Lifetime company alerts
- Online access to Incorporation Documents
- Electronic mail delivery
Next up is the Gold package, which costs $149 plus State Fees, and includes everything from the Silver Package, as well as:
- Employer Identification Number/Tax ID
- Preparation and filing of IRS form 2553
- Operating Agreement
- Corporation Bylaws
- Corporation Organizational Meeting Minutes
- Banking resolution
- Gold Business formation kit
- Express shipping for mail delivery
The Platinum Package costs $299 plus State Fees and includes everything from the Silver and Gold Packages, as well as:
- Business contract templates
- The free domain name and email services
- Platinum business formation kit
- Expedited state filing time
If you like the sound of what Incfile has to offer, you can view their packages in more detail by visiting their website here.
Incfile vs Filenow: Filenow Overview
Filenow is a company formation service provider aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. As well as business formation, they also provide a range of ongoing business and tax services to support your business throughout the year, so that you can spend more time focussing on the things you love.
The Main Services Offered by Filenow
- Preparation and filing of business formation documents
- Error-free Guarantee
- Free Registered Agent service for the first year
- Free EIN/ Tax ID
- 24-hour order processing
- Online order status tracking
- Phone and email support
- Electronic delivery
- FedEx Shipping with tracking
- Company alerts
- Money-Back Guarantee
Filenow also offers a range of other business services that can be purchased separately to help you get up and running, and make sure your business runs smoothly throughout the year.
How Filenow Works
Filenow is very easy to use, and there’s a simple four-step process which takes around 15 minutes to get your business started. It’s all done online so no need to worry about lots of paperwork.
Step 1: Complete the Company Formation Wizard
If you’re not sure which type of entity is right for your business, you can just fill in a few quick questions, and the company formation wizard will choose the best entity type for your business.
Step 2: Expert Review and Document Preparation
All of the details you have provided about your new business will be reviewed and checked for mistakes. They will also check that the Company name you have chosen is available. Once it is confirmed that your chosen name is available, they will start to gather all of the documents required to register your business.
Step 3: Your Company is Filed with State
Your application is prepared and will be sent to be filed with the state.
Step 4: Receive your Corporation Package
Filenow will receive approval from the State, meaning your business is official, and you will receive your corporation package electronically, as well as in the mail.
The turnaround time is just 24 hours, and there is also an option to have your filing expedited to for a small additional fee if required to speed things up even more.
All packages include a money-back guarantee, as well as free Registered Agent service for the first year, a free EIN/Tax ID number, free express shipping and online delivery, phone and email support, online order status tracking, electronic delivery, and Fedex Shipping with tracking. As well as all this, you will also receive free electronic company alerts, so you know when any important filing dates are coming up, ensuring your company always remains compliant and you don’t have to pay any late filing fees or penalties.
What other services does Filenow offer?
As well as its company formation packages, Filenow also offers a range of ongoing services that can help keep your business running smoothly throughout the year, including:
- Federal Tax ID/EIN
- Application for Authority
- Registered Agent Services
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Doing Business As
- Reservation of name
Although the federal Tax ID/EIN is included with the company formation packages, it’s also available to purchase separately, which is a good option to have if you don’t need the other services included in the packages, Filenow will apply for the EIN on behalf of your business electronically, and it will be sent to you by email within one working day, so you can get your business bank account set up as soon as possible, to start hiring and paying employees for your business.
The application for authority will allow your business to operate in other states aside from the state you originally registered in, for example, if you want to open franchises of your business, or open another office for your business in a different state.
Filenow can also provide an ongoing registered agent service for your business. After the free year of registered agent service included in your company formation package, this service will cost $119 per year. The registered agent service provided by Filenow provides you with a dedicated address for your business so that you can protect your privacy, and never miss any incoming legal or state documents. The registered agent will also let you know when any filing deadlines are coming up so you never miss anything and always remain in good standing with the state.
If you ever decide to apply for a business loan or finance, as well as proving your business’s legitimacy for other reasons such as renewing licenses and permits, or filing taxes, then you will need a Certificate of Good Standing. Filenow can obtain this certificate for you quickly and easily, saving you the stress of obtaining it yourself. The price for this may vary depending on what type of business you are running, and the certificate is usually valid for 3 months from the day you receive it.
Incfile can reserve your business name for you. This is a great option to have if you have decided on your business name, but aren’t ready to start trading just yet, for example, if your business has a long launch process. This involves a simple two-step process to reserve your chosen business name, and it will reserve the name for up to 60 days, however, you can get an extension if required.
Incfile can also help you register for a DBA (Doing Business As), which will allow your business to operate under a different name than your business is registered as. This is a good option for businesses who have several different areas, as you can create different ‘brands’ for different parts of your business, but still operate officially under the main business name.
Filenow Customer Service and Reviews
You can easily get in touch with Filenow by email and phone. Their email address and contact number are listed on their website, and their business hours are Monday-Friday from 9 am-7 pm Eastern Time. Filenow customers have access to unlimited phone and email support, and if you prefer, you also have the option to contact the support team through live chat, so you can get quick answers to your questions.
When it comes to reviews, filenow has an A rating with BBB (Better Business Bureau) although it hasn’t received any reviews yet. Filenow also has great customer reviews on Shopper Approved, with an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 out of a total of 60 reviews.
The Benefits of Using Filenow
- Filenow is a very affordable option for small businesses, and you get good value for money with the business formation packages.
- All packages include one year of free registered agent service.
- Registering your business with Filenow is very easy, and the application process only takes around 15 minutes.
- A Federal Tax ID/EIN Number is included with business formation packages.
- You can view all of your business documents securely online, so no need to worry about paperwork getting lost.
- Filenow customers receive an unlimited email, phone and chat support.
- Filenow offers 24-hour order processing at no extra cost so you can get your business up and running as soon as possible.
- There is a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the service provided.
The Downsides to Using Filenow
Filenow doesn’t include as many additional services as some of its competitors. They don’t have any annual reporting or tax services available, so you would need to use another provider if you need help with Taxes.
The Starter Package costs just $49, plus State fees. This package includes 24-hour processing, error-free guarantee, Free EIN/ Federal Tax ID, 1 year of registered agent service, company alerts, unlimited phone and email support, online order status tracking, electronic delivery, and Fedex shipping with tracking.
The Premium Package costs $149, plus State Fees, and includes everything from the Starter Package, as well as a premium quality made-to-order company kit with binder and seal, as well as a banking resolution document which will allow you to open a business bank account in the company name.
If you would like to find out more about what Filenow has to offer, you can visit their website here.
The short answer? Filenow is affordable and offers a money-back guarantee. It's one of the quickest and easiest setups around, with a simple four-step process. If time is of the essence, Filenow is a great choice for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have an EIN as part of your order for the filing of your business then it will be obtained once the filing is completed with the state.
Filenow offers one of the fastest order processing times around, with a turnaround time of just 24 hours. They also offer free express shipping for your documents.
Filenow reviews each order received to identify potential errors. In the unlikely event that an error is made, Filenow absorbs any fees/costs necessary to correct the error and will correct the mistake as quickly as possible.
The Verdict: Incfile vs Filenow – Which is the better LLC formation Service?
Both Incfile and Filenow are fantastic services, with great customer reviews, so either one would be a great choice.
Although Incfile’s packages seem to be the cheapest option at first, starting at $0, plus state fees, their basic package doesn’t include an EIN, which almost all new businesses would need. Still, registering for an EIN is relatively simple and painless online. Typically the IRS spits one out instantly after completing their interactive form.
If you wanted to purchase this as an extra it would set you back $70, whereas with Filenow it is included in their starter package for just $49. Of course, if you are happy to apply for this yourself then Incfile would be the better option for you, as you would only need to pay for the state fees.
Overall, there’s really not much in it between these two companies. Their core services are almost the same, and they both offer one year’s free Registered Agent Service.
However, Incfile does offer a wider range of services overall and includes more in its Gold Package than Filenow does in its Premium package, which is the same price, so it just depends if you actually need these extra services or not.
Our advice: Take a good look at exactly what is included in each package, and assess which extras you really need and what you can do without, and make your decision from there. Either way, your business will be in safe hands with a trusted company who will support your business as you grow.
If you like the sound of what Incfile has to offer, you can view their packages in more detail by visiting their website here, and if you would like to find out more about what Filenow has to offer, you can visit their website here.
Still not convinced? Take a look at our Swyft Filings Review, to see if it might be a better fit for your business. We also reviewed Inc Authority and ZenBusiness, which culd be other options for you!