Professional limited liability companies (PLLCs) and professional corporations (PCs) vary considerably from state to state, and the PLLC isn’t even available in all 50 states. However, depending on your state and profession, you may be required to form a professional entity rather than a standard LLC or corporation.
The list of professions that can form PLLCs varies by state, but in most states, it includes careers like doctors, lawyers, engineers, chiropractors, accountants, and other licensed professions. The following states allow PLLC formations, but keep in mind that the rules and regulations may vary between them:
Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Similarly, the professional corporation or PC (sometimes referred to as a professional service corporation or PSC) is a corporate entity for licensed industries. It looks just like a traditional corporation in many ways, except for the fact that it’s only intended for professionals. Unlike the PLLC, PCs are recognized in all 50 states.
In many ways, this question boils down to what you want out of your company, and it’s a very similar question to the differences between a standard corporation and LLC. A PLLC will provide its owners with some options for taxation, while a PC will be more rigid in this regard. In addition, PCs have extensive requirements for entity incorporation and maintenance, while PLLCs don’t require as much effort in either area.
A PLLC can also choose its managerial structure, but a PC must operate within a set structure. However, only a PC can issue stock to attract investors. If you have questions about which is the right entity for you, consult our handy PC vs. PLLC comparison guide. Of course, if your business operates in a state that doesn’t offer PLLCs, the PC will be your only choice for a professional entity.
PLLC and PC formation services aren’t nearly as common as those for traditional entities, and many of the companies that offer some of the most popular incorporation and LLC formation services (like ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, and Incfile) don’t offer PLLC/PC formations at all. In addition, some of the companies that do offer professional entities have a somewhat convoluted ordering process for these entities compared to regular LLCs and corporations.
That said, there are still a few reputable companies offering PLLC and PC formation services. While some of these companies use the same pricing model they use for traditional entities, some others add PLLC- and PC-specific surcharges that significantly increase their price points.
Therefore, the differences in pricing between these companies can be even more extreme than their pricing models for traditional LLCs and corporations, and the companies with low price points are more appealing than ever. Let’s take a look at the top PLLC and PC formation services and figure out which one is the best option for your business!
Swyft Filings uses an identical pricing model for its professional and standard business entity formations, making them the most affordable PLLC/PC formation company we’re aware of. When we spoke to Swyft Filings about this service, they said that you can simply fill out the same online order form that you would use for a traditional LLC or corporation. The only difference is that when you input information about the nature of your business, you should choose “Professional” as your category, then input your business description. Once you place your order, Swyft Filings will reach out and request your proof of licensure.
That $0 (+ state fee) price point for PLLC or PC formation service includes no additional features, but at this price point, it doesn’t need to. In addition, Swyft Filings receives solid customer feedback, with roughly 36,000 reviews available online and high average rating scores.
Swyft Filings also impresses us with their 100% satisfaction guarantee that ensures any unsatisfied customer receives their money back. Many companies in this industry have extremely restrictive refund policies, so we always like to give credit where it’s due when we find a customer-friendly policy like this one. In fact, the Swyft Filings guarantee is nearly identical to our refund policy. Overall, Swyft Filings is a popular choice for PLLC and PC formation services for good reason.
Rocket Lawyer handles the highest customer volume in the entire online business services industry, with 25+ million customers served. In addition, Rocket Lawyer is one of only a small handful of companies that offers PLLC and PC formation services for less than $100 (+ state fee) — albeit only by a penny.
Like Swyft Filings, Rocket Lawyer also provides its customers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is always a welcome safety net (it’s quite similar to our refund policy at ZenBusiness). In addition, we appreciate their responsive customer support team, which offers extended hours of availability.
While Rocket Lawyer doesn’t include any interesting bonus features with business formations, we appreciate their positive customer feedback, with nearly 10,000 reviews and solid scores across the board. Rocket Lawyer’s offering for PLLC and PC service is a solid option for those of you forming professional business entities.
Along with Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom is one of the industry giants, as they’ve formed millions of businesses over the years. They offer PLLC formation service for $129. This company provides PC formations for $199. (Add your state’s fee to either of those figures to get your total price.)
Their base-rate package only adds a banking resolution form to the preparation and filing of your formation documents, but LegalZoom has some other advantages. For instance, they’re another company with a generous refund policy that’s nearly identical to ours, as their satisfaction guarantee gives you a full 60 days to evaluate whether you’re happy with their service or not. LegalZoom also has some of the longest customer support hours in the industry, along with a mostly positive collection of customer feedback.
Obviously, Nationwide Incorporators is a much more expensive option than any other company in this guide. However, they have an advantage that no competitors we know of can match, and that’s their attorney review process. Every document that you purchase from Nationwide Incorporators is drafted, reviewed, or both by a qualified business attorney.
This attorney review is a valuable feature, especially for a PLLC or PC, which can be more complex entities to form and maintain than a traditional LLC or corporation. Nationwide Incorporators also includes a year of registered agent service and employer identification number (EIN) acquisition in its PLLC/PC formation package.
Nationwide Incorporators is one of just a handful of companies in this industry that will take care of state-specific compliance requirements, such as the publication process required in several states. Overall, Nationwide Incorporators certainly has higher price points than these other companies, but we think the attorney-reviewed documents could make it worthwhile.
When we called IncParadise to ask if they offer PLLC formation services, their support representative openly admitted that she had never heard of a PLLC before. Not a great start, right? Well, once we heard what they offer for PLLC formation service, that inauspicious start got better.
IncParadise offers PLLC formations for $89, making them the second-cheapest PLLC formation service we’ve found. To purchase this service, all you need to do is fill out their standard LLC order form and indicate “PLLC” in your business name. Unfortunately, IncParadise does not offer PC incorporations.
If you’re forming a PLLC in Nevada, IncParadise will throw in free expedited service, which is a noteworthy added value. In addition, they’re one of the cheapest registered agent services in the industry, as they offer your first year for $89, followed by $40/year for each subsequent year. However, IncParadise only offers registered agent services in Nevada.
To be clear, SunDoc Filings doesn’t offer to prepare your PLLC formation documents on your behalf. They’ll only file your pre-prepared documents. However, for some of you, that might be all you need. There’s no great reason to use their services for PLLC formations in states other than California, but we appreciate SunDoc Filings’ positive customer feedback and super-fast California turnaround times.
They do provide services in all 50 states, but it’s worth pointing out that their location in Sacramento makes them a more appealing choice for California-based businesses because they visit the Secretary of State’s office several times per day. Unfortunately, like IncParadise, SunDoc Filings doesn’t offer PC service, and it doesn’t have any noteworthy advantages outside of California.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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