Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Ewen Finser
LLC formation services are booming – and it’s easy to see why. More than 448,000 new business applications were filed in June 2021 alone. With the help of an exemplary service provider, you can quickly set up your new US company online. All the while benefiting from professional support from beginning to end.
If you need help registering your business as an LLC, Corporation, or S Corporation, you might be looking for such a service. Today, we’re comparing two popular options: Swyft Filings and Filenow. More specifically, we’re exploring their key features, pros and cons, pricing plans, customer service, and more.
Hopefully, you’ll leave us with all the information you need to choose the right formation service for your brand.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Main Differences Between Swyft Filings vs Filenow
The main differences between Swyft Filings vs Filenow are:
- Although you’ll get a Registered Agent Service with each provider, Filenow gives you this service free for a year, whereas Swyft Filings doesn’t offer this.
- Swyft Filings offers the possibility to form Nonprofits, whereas Filenow doesn’t.
- Swyft Filings offers a broad range of services, like the Business License Research Pack, Withdrawal and Dissolution, and more, whereas Filenow doesn’t offer all
- Swyft Filings can provide an initial report when you form your business, whereas Filenow can’t.
- Swyft Filings was founded three years earlier and has amassed a much larger number of online reviews – 42,751, whereas Filenow has 527
- Swyft Filings doesn’t offer live support, whereas Filenow promises 24/7 live support on their website.
Swyft Filings vs Filenow- Their Key Similarities:
- Both providers offer LLC, S Corporation, and C Corporation formation services
- Both offer their customers a Registered Agent Service
- You can apply for a DBA with each of these companies
- You can get a Certificate of Good Standing from both Swyft Filings and Filenow
- Both offer phone and live chat support
- Both offer services in similar price ranges
- Both offer money-back guarantees if there are issues with your filing
About Swyft Filings
Founded in 2015, Swyft Filings have built up an excellent name for itself since emerging onto the online legal services scene. According to their website, Swyft Filings promises to “handle the paperwork” while you “do what you love,” priding themselves on their affordable, fast, and straightforward service.
Swyft Filings provides formation services for various business types, including LLCs, C Corporations, S Corporations, Nonprofits, and DBAs. They also offer additional business services to help you manage your business once it’s up and running, including annual reports, amendments, and name changes, and more.
Filenow is another online business formation provider. Founded in 2018, they’re a slightly newer competitor than Swyft Filings. But, this hasn’t prevented them from building a solid reputation and customer base since their establishment.
Filenow provides formation services for LLCs, S Corporations, and C Corporations. Impressively, they promise to deliver affordable and straightforward company formation in under 20 minutes.
Like Swyft Filings, Filenow also offers a range of other services to support your business, including a free first-year registered agent.
Swyft Filings’ Key Features
Now, let’s take a look at the primary services Swyft Filings offers:
Registered Agent Service
This service isn’t included in any of Swyft Filings’ formation packages, so you’ll have to pay an additional fee of $149 a year to add it on. This service grants you a designated registered agent to receive all your official documents on behalf of your registered business.
Doing Business As (DBA)
If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll need a DBA to register your business name. Swyft Filings can prepare and file all of the documents required to start your DBA for you. At $99, their price point for this service is in line with the industry standard.
Most states need you to file annual reports to confirm your business is still in operation. These reports typically consist of corporate information, ownership details, and sometimes sales and revenue info. Swyft Filings can handle these annual reports for you, so you don’t have to worry about the paperwork. They’ll charge $99 + state fees for this service.
Some states require you to file an initial report within the first few months of your business’s formation. These reports sometimes incur a small fee and disclose information about the business’s owners, directors, and registered agents. If you choose Swyft Filings, you can let them handle your initial report for you at $55 + state fees.
To start collecting revenue, you must obtain your own EIN or Federal Tax ID from the IRS. You’ll also need this to open a business bank account or hire new employees. Getting your EIN directly from the IRS is pretty straightforward, but if you don’t want to do it, Swyft Filings can handle it for you for $79.
If you’re performing business in a different state to the one you incorporated in, you may need foreign qualifications. The requirements for this qualification may vary, but, usually, you’ll need to complete a significant amount of paperwork to prove your status. Swyft Filings can do this for you, regardless of what state you need to qualify in for $199 + state fees.
Change of Registered Agent
If you want to change your registered agent, Swyft Filings can help. You’ll need to fill out and file a form to inform the state of the change, and Swyft Filings can do this for you for $149 + state fees.
Business License Research Package
This is a unique feature offered by Swyft Filings. The Business License Research Package is a comprehensive list of all the licenses and permits your business needs to operate in compliance with different laws.
Of course, you’ll still have to apply for these licenses yourself. Still, the research package provides everything you need to hit the ground running.
This feature will cost you $99.
Suppose you want to stop doing business in another state. In that case, you’ll need to file paperwork confirming your termination and reporting your tax obligations to the necessary state. This can get quite complicated, so Swyft Filings can take care of this for you if you need assistance. Withdrawal with Swyft Filings will cost $99 + state fees.
If you want to perform business in another country, you’ll need to obtain an Apostille certificate. For $75 + state fees, Swyft Filings can help you order this certificate from the Secretary of State so you can get started as soon as possible.
If you ever need to close your business, you’ll have a heap of paperwork to contend with. For $149 + state fees, Swyft Filings can help you file the required paperwork to certify your termination and get your affairs in order.
For nonprofits and their donors, tax benefits and exemptions are available; you’re required to file the above application to benefit from this. Swyft Filings can help you prepare this application if you need assistance. Unfortunately, the fee for this service is pretty steep, setting you back around $495 + IRS Fee.
If you’re selling a service or a product, you’ll probably need to collect sales tax in your state. To do this, you’ll need to obtain a seller’s permit with the necessary state. The team at Swyft Filings can help you get your permit or apply for exemptions for $129.
LLC Operating Agreement
It’s good practice to create an operating agreement when you form your LLC. Whether you’re on your own or have more than one member, Swyft Filings can help you formulate a personalized LLC operating agreement for a fixed fee of $35.
S Corporation Election Form
Sometimes, you can apply to the IRS for tax purposes to be treated as a partnership rather than an LLC or Corporation. For example, suppose you’re eligible and want help applying to the IRS. In that case, for a fixed fee of $99, Swyft Filings can handle the administrative duties for you.
Certificate of Good Standing
Certificates of Good Standing are sometimes required by banks and those you’re in business with to prove that you’re genuine and compliant. If you’ve been asked to provide this certificate, Swyft Filings can help you order one from your state. This is an additional service that will cost $45 + state fees.
If you need official copies of your state-filed documents for $65, Swyft Filings can take care of the process for you.
Filenow’s Key Features
Now we’ve had a look at Swyft Filings’ primary services, let’s see how they compare to Filenow’s:
Federal Tax ID/EIN
Like Swyft Filings, you can apply for your Federal Tax ID/EIN with Filenow if you don’t want to do it through the IRS. They can obtain your ID in as little as 24 hours and charge $75 for this service.
Registered Agent Service
The first year of Filenow’s registered agent service is completely free. After that, you’ll pay $199 a year. This provides instant access to a registered address where the team will privately and securely receive your mail. Your documents will be delivered to you online, and you’ll also receive compliance and deadline alerts to always keep you informed of important dates.
Certificate of Good Standing
If you need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for your business, you can do this with Filenow for $49 + state fees.
Doing Business As (DBA)
If you’re in a state that requires you to file a DBA, you can nominate Filenow to do this for you. It’s necessary to file a DBA if you’re trading under a fictitious or trade name – this is applicable whether you’re a sole proprietor, partnership, or incorporated business. Filenow charges $75 + state fees to register your DBA or ‘trade name’ for you.
Reservation of Business Name
Do you need to reserve an LLC name to use at a later time? Filenow can help. This is great for new businesses or those looking to rebrand. This service costs $50 + state fees.
Application for Authority
An Application for Authority is necessary if you want to expand and do business in other states. Filenow can handle this for you for just $149 + state fee.
Swyft Filings vs Filenow: Customer Service
You can contact a member of the Swyft Filings team via their website. In addition, existing customers can contact them via phone, email, fax, and live chat between 9 am to 6 pm Central Standard Time.
Swyft Filings’ reviews speak for themselves. On shopperapproved.com, Swyft Filings has collected a massive 42,751 reviews, with an average 4.5-star rating. That said, they have slightly more negative reviews than their competitor Filenow. But, most customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with minimal complaints about customer service or response times.
You can contact Filenow via their website. Here, you’ll find their office address, email address, and contact number, which is manned between 9 am to 7 pm Eastern Time for non-customers. As a Filenow customer, you’ll have access to unlimited support via email and live chat 24/7.
On shopperapproved.com, Filenow has gathered 527 customer reviews and has an overall average 4.8-star rating. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an unsatisfied customer with Filenow. Their customer service experience is excellent, and their reviews prove this.
Swyft Filings: Pros and Cons
We’ve covered a lot, so let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of these providers:
- There’s a wide range of services on offer
- Swyft Filings provides formation services for nonprofits
- The Business License Research pack is unique and comprehensive – you won’t find this with other competitors.
- You can rely on phone and live chat support
- Swyft Filings has an overwhelming number of reviews, the vast majority of which are very positive
- Some services (like obtaining an EIN) are expensive. In this case, it would be much cheaper to go directly through the IRS.
- Not all of the above services come included in their main pricing plans, so you may end up paying additional fees, which can get costly.
- Some have described Swyft Filings’ up-sell funnel as quite aggressive, so watch out not to sign on to services you don’t need
- Registered agent services aren’t included in any of their business formation packages
- Support isn’t available 24/7
Filenow: Pros and Cons
Now, let’s take a look at Filenow’s pros and cons:
- You get one year of Registered Agent Service for free
- Filenow boasts quick turnaround times and can complete some services in as little as 24 hours!
- Phone and live chat support is available 24/7
- Filenow comes with an error-free guarantee. If anything goes wrong with the filing, you’ll get your money back
- Filenow enjoys excellent customer reviews across the board
- They don’t offer as many services as Swyft Filings and other competitors
- Filenow doesn’t offer annual reporting or tax services
- Filenow can’t form Nonprofits.
- Some of their services are more expensive than other competitors (like their registered agent service – $199 per annum after the free year, compared to $149 per year with Swyft Filings)
- Filenow can’t provide an initial report, which some states require to open a business
Swyft Filings vs Filenow’s Pricing
Now we’ve covered the main features Swyft Filings and Filenow have to offer, let’s take a closer look at their pricing plans:
With Swyft Filings, you can choose from three pricing packages:
Basic ($49 + State Fees)
With the Basic plan, you’ll get the following features:
- Preparation of Articles of Organization
- Lifetime customer support
- One year’s free domain name for your business website
- Compliance guard company alerts: These help you keep track of filing deadlines.
- A 30-minute business tax consultation
- Name availability verification for your LLC
Standard ($149 + State Fees)
With the Standard plan, you’ll get everything in the Basic plan, plus:
- Swyft Filings will obtain your EIN for you.
- You’ll get a personalized LLC operating agreement.
- A banking resolution: This is a document listing which people are authorized to open a bank account for your LLC
- Organizational minutes: This document will help you prepare for your first meeting as an LLC if you decide to take minutes.
Premium ($299 + State Fees)
With the Premium plan, you’ll get everything in the previous plans, plus:
- The digital corporate kit: This feature includes a digital seal representing your company, a ledger to track ownership transfers, and stock certificates.
- A basic business website with three months of hosting. After the three-month trial is up, you’ll be required to pay for the hosting yourself.
Filenow has two pricing plans. These are:
Starter ($0 + $101 State Fee)
With the Starter plan, you’ll get the following services:
- Filing Articles of Organization
- Electronic delivery
- Expert support
Premium ($199 + $101 State Fee)
If you choose the Premium plan, you’ll get all the Starter plan features, plus:
- A free registered agent for one year
- EIN/Tax ID
- A company kit: This is a custom binder with all your formation documents and certificates.
- Corporation bylaws
- Banking resolution
- Business contract templates
- 24-hour order processing
- Online order status tracking
- Company name validation
- Company alerts to keep you informed about upcoming compliance deadlines
- A business tax consultation
- A business bank account
Other services offered by Filenow, like DBA and Application for Authority, can be purchased individually. For a complete list of these prices, please refer to Filenow’s website.
Question: How Much are the State Fees for Filenow and Swyft Filings?
Answer: State fees will vary depending on the service you need and where you’re forming your business. In addition, not all states will require you to pay these fees. For more information, please refer to your local government website or contact your chosen formation service.
Question: What Happens if My Chosen Company Name is Unavailable?
Answer: Filenow recommends you give up to three name choices with your application. If you choose Swyft Filings, you should also provide more than one name choice to avoid disappointment. If your chosen name is unavailable, you will be contacted directly and given ample time to select another company name.
Question: What if I Need to Amend Documents After They’ve Been Filed?
Answer: If this happens, you’ll need to inform your chosen formation service. In most cases, they’ll be able to make these amendments for you.
Question: How Long Does Each Provider Take to Process my Orders?
Answer: According to Filenow’s website, they should be able to process your order in as little as 24 hours. Most Swyft Filings process orders the same day they are received. However, you can choose from the ‘Express Processing’ or ‘Same Day Processing’ options to guarantee a faster service. For more information, please refer to their website.
Our Final Verdict
Now we’ve taken a closer look at our two formation services; we’re ready to compare their key features and see which one comes out on top.
Both Swyft Filings and Filenow are reputable companies that boast excellent customer reviews and satisfaction rates. However, their services differ slightly. If you want to form a nonprofit, Swyft Filings is the one for you. Currently, Filenow doesn’t offer formation services for nonprofit businesses.
If you’re an LLC, an S Corporation, or a C Corporation, you can choose from either of these providers. Ultimately, Swyft Filings has a lot more services to offer. Filenow does not provide services like Withdrawal, Dissolution, and Apostille. If you want a provider that can cover all bases, Swyft Filings is an excellent choice.
However, they don’t offer the best value for money. Although both of these competitors have ‘add-on’ services that will require you to pay more on top of your pricing plan, Filenow’s prices are often much lower. Even their general pricing plans are cheaper than Swyft Files.
Don’t forget, Filenow also offer their customers a year’s free Registered Agent Service, plus their starter plan (which includes all the basics you need to get set up with) is free, except for state fees. So this still works out cheaper than Swyft Files services.
If it’s some bang for your buck that you’re after, Filenow undoubtedly comes out on top here. You’ll pay less for the same services offered by other competitors, plus that one year’s free Registered Agent Service is hard to top. However, if you want a provider who offers more in-depth services, Swyft Filings may be the better choice for you. They may be more expensive, but all your bases will be covered entirely, giving you peace of mind and a breezy formation experience.