Are you expanding your business into an additional state? Congratulations — this is an important step in your company’s life cycle!
To ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible, we recommend hiring a reputable foreign qualification service to handle the legal paperwork on your behalf.
You can go the DIY route if you want to, but this is such an important document filing that we strongly prefer leaving it up to a professional. On the other hand, you could hire an attorney to draft and file your Certificate of Authority application, but this can be very expensive.
InCorp is one of the most popular foreign qualification services due to its reasonable pricing model for foreign qualifications and strong price point for registered agent service. But is InCorp the best service for your company’s unique needs and circumstances?
The foreign qualification process is quite similar to the business formation process in many states, although the fact that each state creates its own rules and regulations can complicate things a bit. Essentially, foreign qualification is obtained by filing a form usually known as the Certificate of Authority, which grants your business the right to operate in an additional state.
With a foreign qualification service like InCorp, all you have to do is provide them with some basic info and they’ll take care of the rest. You won’t need to worry about filling out any forms or filing them with the Secretary of State. Instead, you can pay InCorp a reasonable fee and spend that time growing your business.
Let’s quickly review its pros and cons before we dig into the details.
InCorp’s foreign qualification service costs $167 ($149 for the service and $18 for shipping) plus your state’s fee. It includes a preliminary name search of your state’s business database, along with the preparation and filing of your Certificate of Authority (or similarly named document).
However, that’s all you get with InCorp, as well as most of its competitors. While domestic business formation services almost always have some additional features and perks, the foreign qualification services offered by the same companies typically do not.
At $167, InCorp’s price point for foreign qualification is not the lowest price point we’ve seen. That distinction goes to MyCompanyWorks, with a $99 rate. However, InCorp’s pricing is the third-best option we’ve found.
InCorp also has a good offer for registered agent service. With a base rate of $129, it’s already reasonable. That said, if you need service in multiple states, InCorp’s volume discounts can drop that price all the way down to $87.
InCorp was founded back in 1998. In the years since then, this company has served more than 250,000 customers. It also currently has 125,000+ active clients. It’s a solid midsize company with enough experience to matter and a small enough client base to offer responsive support.
When it comes to customer feedback, InCorp doesn’t exactly excel. We only found around 200 reviews of its services, and while we did find more positive reviews than negative feedback, these reviews weren’t as overwhelmingly positive as some competitors’ feedback. In general, InCorp’s track record is acceptable but unremarkable.
InCorp’s customer service department is commendable in a couple of different ways. First off, we always appreciate companies with extended hours of availability, and InCorp’s 9 am to 9 pm ET operating hours fit the bill.
Secondly, while many competitors outsource their support departments to faceless call centers (often in foreign countries), InCorp keeps its support in-house. Everyone who answers the phone for InCorp knows their stuff and is located in the U.S.
The entire point of using a foreign qualification service is to make this part of your business run seamlessly with little-to-no effort on your part. InCorp certainly fits the bill, as it’s simple to place orders, renew services, and navigate its website.
The only drawback of any kind for InCorp in this category is the fact that its website is a bit outdated compared to many competitors, but this is not a big deal at the end of the day.
The process of ordering foreign qualification service from InCorp couldn’t be much simpler. Here’s an overview of what you can expect when you click the “FOREIGN QUALIFICATION: CLICK TO ORDER ONLINE NOW!” button on the InCorp foreign qualification service page. Keep in mind that the process for foreign qualification can vary from state to state, but in most states, it will look something like this.
InCorp’s order form is just a single page, so let’s walk through each step individually. It all starts with providing your basic entity information, like your business name, domestic jurisdiction, entity type, business description, formation date, dissolution date (if applicable), and the jurisdiction where you want to foreign qualify your business.
Next, it’s time to set up your InCorp account. Include your personal name, phone number, and email address, and then choose your InCorp username and password.
The third step is entering your credit card information and billing address.
Finally, you can review your fees, choose your shipping option, and submit your order.
InCorp does not compare favorably to some competitors in the realm of customer feedback. While some companies have thousands of positive reviews available online, we found less than 200 reviews for InCorp.
We averaged out the rating scores for the 170 InCorp customer reviews and found that their ratings amount to roughly 3.6 out of 5. To be honest, we were a bit disappointed by both the quality and quantity of feedback, as InCorp’s top competitors also have higher average rating scores.
While InCorp certainly has plenty of satisfied customers who praise the company’s customer support and low price points, there are also some who complain about inconsistent billing issues. We read through their negative feedback and much of it appears to be confusion over the company’s ongoing annual registered agent service fees, so it’s probably not entirely applicable to foreign qualification service customers.
We appreciate this company’s reasonable pricing model and price match guarantee, although it also has a couple of drawbacks that keep it from reaching the next level.
While we realize that each business has its own unique needs and characteristics, we think InCorp is always a good option for foreign qualification service.
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