Direct Incorporation and Incfile are both popular choices for LLC formation services. They’re both reputable companies that have the necessary know-how to get the job done right. However, they do have some differences that set them apart.
First and foremost, Incfile’s free (plus state fee) base rate is obviously a much lower price than Direct Incorporation’s $174 price point. In addition, Incfile has tens of thousands of positive customer reviews available online, while Direct Incorporation barely has any feedback at all. However, Direct Incorporation offers premium packages with valuable business and marketing features that Incfile doesn’t have.
Need more information to make your decision? Read on to get the full details on what sets these two popular service providers apart.
1) Affordable: With either of these companies, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over hiring an attorney to draft and file your Articles of Organization. Furthermore, LLCs are fairly simple structures, so you may not need a lawyer’s expertise to begin with.
2) Customer Support: Of course, saving money isn’t the only priority. Direct Incorporation and Incfile both have customer support networks that can save you time and effort. Instead of looking for your own answers when you have questions, simply ask their service reps to get a quick and accurate response.
3) Experience: Both Incfile and Direct Incorporation have plenty of experience forming businesses. They’ve each helped form thousands of LLCs, and they have the expertise necessary to form your new company.
4) Additional Services: Are you in the market for other business services in addition to your formation? Incfile and Direct Incorporation offer many other business solutions like federal employer ID numbers (EIN), business document preparation and filing, etc. Think of them as one-stop business service shops.
5) Efficiency: Do you need to get your new LLC up and running in a hurry? Direct Incorporation and Incfile both have expedited options that can speed up the process (for an additional fee, of course).
Identify the LLC package and services that fit your needs and then get started.
Incfile: Incfile will help you form your business for free while also providing a year of registered agent service. Once the first year is over, the registered agent service will renew for $119 per year. In addition, their $199 Gold package and $299 Platinum package both include valuable features that make them options as well, even at their higher price points.
Direct Incorporation: Their starting price point for business formation is $174 plus the state’s fee. However, this package does include six months of registered agent service, and they’ll also obtain your EIN. Their higher-cost plans are intriguing for the right entrepreneur, as they include advanced features that some competitors don’t offer. So, if you’re in the market for features like custom logos, web design, trademark protections, and more, Direct Incorporation could be worth a look.
Incfile: Incfile’s experience level is high, as they’ve helped form more than 1 million businesses since they opened in 2004.
Direct Incorporation: Direct Incorporation was formed in 2003, and they’ve served more than 80,000 customers since then.
Incfile: Incfile offers phone and email support, which we tested. Incfile’s phone support is typically responsive and helpful. However, its email support is much less responsive. Some of our emails have gone unanswered, and several of the responses we have received are just form emails that don’t directly address our questions.
Direct Incorporation: One of the things we appreciate about Direct Incorporation is the fact that they provide a full list of every employee’s direct contact information on their website. If you need specialized support, it’s easy to look through the list and find the right person to talk to about your questions or concerns. If you would rather contact their general support line, you can also do that via phone or email.
Incfile: With Incfile, turnaround times vary based on each individual state’s formation speeds. This can be as quick as a few days in some states or could take several weeks in others. You can also add expedited processing to speed it up, although the price will vary by state.
Direct Incorporation: Like Incfile, their processing speeds are also based on state turnarounds, so they can be as quick as a few days or as slow as several weeks, depending on the requirements of your specific state. They also usually file your paperwork with the state by the next business day, and you can find all of their state-by-state formation speeds listed conveniently on one page on their website.
Incfile: Incfile doesn’t just have hundreds of customer reviews available online, they have 75,000+ of them. Furthermore, their feedback is mostly positive, with critical reviews in short supply.
Direct Incorporation: Direct Incorporation has a few dozen reviews across the web. While a slight majority of their reviews are positive in nature, they also have more than just a small handful of negative reviews, and they clearly don’t have nearly the volume of feedback that some competitors have.
Incfile: As you walk through the process of signing up for Incfile, your steps are personalized based on the state you live in and the type of business you wish to establish. There are hyperlinks throughout the application to learn more about a specific question or entry on the form. There are a few upsells and third-party offers to navigate through, but if you opt into any of them, your total price is immediately updated on the screen.
Direct Incorporation: In our experience, you can fill out their order form in under 15 minutes, and the entire process is streamlined and easily understood. Recently, they also redesigned their package selection screen, improving it from a somewhat convoluted setup to a much simpler presentation.
Both Direct Incorporation and Incfile provide access to a broad selection of other services that can help you maintain your business. They also offer many of the same services, including registered agent service, doing business as (DBA) names, foreign qualifications, amendments, annual reports, and more.
There are also several products and services that you can only access with Direct Incorporation. For example, they offer tax programs for startups, legal advice, and logo design, which are services that Incfile doesn’t provide. However, Incfile has a couple of unique services as well, as they offer business accounting services, while Direct Incorporation does not.
Direct Incorporation and Incfile are both capable of efficiently forming your new LLC. They’re experienced and trustworthy, and they’ll both save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a traditional law firm to handle your formation for you.
Because they’re both decent options, it wouldn’t surprise us if you’re still undecided. With that in mind, let’s wrap up this comparison with a brief discussion of scenarios in which you might prefer to use one over the other.
Are you looking for one of the most affordable LLC services online? Or maybe you prioritize large volumes of positive customer feedback? These are two common reasons for business owners to consider Incfile.
Do you need features like trademark protection and logo design? Direct Incorporation is an option for entrepreneurs who want to bundle advanced features with their formation package. In general, they are a good Incfile LLC alternative.
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The most widely recommended LLC formation package offered by Incfile is their Silver plan, which is free if you pay your own state fee. With this option, you’ll receive a year of registered agent service in addition to your formation.
Incfile doesn’t provide assistance with publication requirements. We called their customer support department to make sure, and they told us that state publication requirements “need to be taken care of with the state directly.” Unfortunately, Direct Incorporation doesn’t offer this service either. Check out our New York publication service for more information about this service.
In our opinion, Direct Incorporation and Incfile both keep the upsells to a minimum. They do provide opportunities for you to upgrade to a higher level of LLC formation service or to add features on an a la carte basis, but they aren’t pushy about it.
Incfile’s refund policy isn’t generous. They only allow customers to request refunds before they’ve sent your payment to the state, which they say is often within 24 hours. Even if you squeeze your refund request into this tight window, there’s a $30 processing fee. Once they’ve submitted your money to your formation state, the refund window is closed.
For what it’s worth, Direct Incorporation doesn’t have a great refund policy either. In their own words: “If an order for any of our services is canceled after we have received payment then the full amount will be refunded less a $40.00 processing fee.”
If you’re looking for a company with a strong satisfaction guarantee, take a look at us at ZenBusiness, as we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Both Direct Incorporation and Incfile base their turnaround times on the ability of each state to process LLC formations. Therefore, their typical processing times are quite similar in the vast majority of states. One or the other may be a day or two quicker in a few isolated states, but that’s about it.
You can. In fact, quite a few entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs without any assistance. However, the do-it-yourself route doesn’t provide the peace of mind we get from hiring a professional service. In addition, each state sets its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, so it’s not always easy to figure out what your state requires.
Incfile’s biggest advantage over many competitors is its pricing, as it offers a free (+ state fee) LLC formation service package that includes a year of registered agent service.
As for Direct Incorporation, their advantage is the fact that they provide a number of features that many competitors don’t offer, like their custom logo design and trademark protection services. Not everyone needs these features, but for those of you that do, they’re available.
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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