Do you need to form a limited liability company (LLC) for licensed professionals? In some states, you’ll need to register a professional limited liability company or PLLC.
This is a specialized form of LLC for licensed professionals to conduct business in certain states — for the most part, the PLLC and LLC have similar structures and formation processes, but there can be some differences setting these entities apart as well.
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. Finally, 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 business 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 quite a few reputable companies offering PLLC and PC formation services. While some of these companies use the exact 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 by a wide margin!
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 follow the prompt for starting a PLLC or PC.
That $49 price point for PLLC or PC formation service includes Swyft Filings’ corporate compliance monitoring tool that helps you keep track of important filing deadlines, like annual report due dates. In addition, Swyft Filings receives outstanding customer feedback, with roughly 47,000 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.
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 — 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. 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 7,000 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 helped millions of customers and formed millions of businesses over the years.
They offer PLLC formation service for $129, which is a $50 price increase from LegalZoom’s standard LLC formation price point. Similarly, this company provides PC formations for $199, a $50 upcharge compared to typical incorporations.
Due to its higher price points, LegalZoom can’t quite compete with the cream of the crop, but their services are still well worth a look. Their base-rate package only adds a banking resolution form to the preparation and filing of your formation documents, but LegalZoom has plenty of other advantages.
For instance, they’re another company with a generous refund policy, 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 an invaluable 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 sample operating agreement or corporate bylaws with its base-rate package, which adds some value as well.
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 personal touch and attorney-reviewed documents 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 a whole lot better.
IncParadise offers PLLC formations for the low price point of $89, making them the second-cheapest PLLC formation service we’ve found anywhere. To purchase this service, all you need to do is fill out their standard LLC order form and indicate “PLLC” in your business name.
If you’re forming a PLLC in Nevada, IncParadise will throw in free expedited service, which is a significant 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. Unfortunately, IncParadise does not offer PC incorporations.
To be clear, SunDoc Filings does not offer to prepare your PLLC formation documents on your behalf. They will only file your pre-prepared documents. However, for some of you, that might be all you need! We also just generally 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 an even more appealing choice for California-based businesses. Unfortunately, like IncParadise, SunDoc Filings does not offer PC service.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational 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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