There’s no greater time to incorporate a business than the present. To do this, you could approach a lawyer from a reputable firm and have them assist you with setting up a corporation. However, as you may be aware, attorney fees tend to be expensive, considering most charge an hourly rate.
At this point, you are probably thinking to yourself, “why should I retain the services of an attorney when I can do it myself?” And that’s a great question. We live in a digital age, characterized by ease of access to information- in this case incorporating a business.
The internet is awash with tons of helpful DIY articles, videos, and tutorials. And if you are a hands-on kind of guy/girl, you know how satisfying it is to get something done yourself. However, considering the sensitive nature of the task at hand, it might not be wise to go with this road.
Any error in filing, at best, could result in the rejection of the application. At worst, it could open you up to fines and charges down the road. Thus, even if it’s not your first rodeo, it would be prudent to leave it to the experts.
So, where are we? The attorney costs a foot and an arm, and the DIY alternative is kind of risky. What other options are there? As a small business owner, you can register your business entity online, all in the comfort of your home/office.
Whether you seek to register a Limited Liability Company, Corporation (S, C, and Professional), Non-Profit or Doing Business As (DBA), online business filing firms can assist you set-up shop across all 50 states.
Aspiring business owners and start-ups are increasingly making use of these firms to register their businesses. They take care of the paper-work at a fraction of what it would cost you to hire a lawyer. Not only that, most offer necessary tools to operate and grow your business.
Where to Incorporate Online
Nearly all businesses, in one way or another, transact over the internet. So, why not incorporate your business online also. If you are looking to do this, the good news is there are countless online business filing that can aid you with this delicate task.
Some industry leaders include LegalZoom, LegalNature, Rocket Lawyer, Corpnet, MyCorporation, and IncFile. You don’t need to be a tech whizz to use these platforms. They’ve been simplified to the point that all you need to do is simply click on the various add ons you may require.
In this article, we will review two of the most prolific online business filing firms, Corpnet and Legal Nature. This Corpnet Vs LegalNature review aims to answer the question of which is the better filing firm.
To do this, we shall look at aspects that are fundamental to a successful business relationship. I believe that these points are paramount to your business success. They include Experience, Formation Packages, Products and Features, Support Team, Customer Reviews, Pros, and Cons.
At the end of the piece, I hope you will be better positioned to pick the right firm for your business needs. Let’s get started.
Steps to Incorporating A Business
Before we proceed, I won’t be doing you any justice by failing to go through the steps involved in incorporating a business. According to uschamber.com, they include:
- Step 1: Picking a Business Name
The first brick that goes into building your business empire is picking a business name. Most online business formation firms offer free name searches. This is vital as it ensures that your desired name is available; you can reserve it for future use if it is.
- Step 2: State of Incorporation
The next step is to pick your desired state of incorporation. Don’t simply randomly select a State. Take time to learn more about which States offer the best environment for your business model. This means having a look at their legal and taxation systems.
- Step 3: Business Entity
The third step on the list is picking the ideal business entity for filing. This could be an S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Professional Corporation, Doing Business As, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Non-Profit, etc.
Please note that each of these entities has its pros and cons. If you have any questions regarding them, please consult an attorney or, in this case, one of the executives from your choice of online filing company.
- Step 4: Obtaining a Federal Tax Number
Also known as an Employer Identification Number, this nine-digit number is issued by the Internal Revenue Service to business entities operating in the United States. It’s used for tax filing, opening a business account, obtain a business loan, register a business entity, and much more.
- Step 5: Open a Bank Account
Once you have your EIN and official business name, it’s time to open a bank account under the business’s name. This increased the legitimacy of the company and offers a legal separation of the business and the owner. So, avoid using your bank account.
- Step 6: Permits and Licenses
The fact that you have your certificate of incorporation doesn’t mean you are ready for business. In States, you may be required to possess additional necessary permits and licenses. Failure to observe this may open you up to legal proceedings and fines.
- Step 7: Registered Agent Service
As part of the business filing requirements, a company is required to appoint a Registered Agent. This could either be yourself or a third party. A Registered Agent is in charge of receiving any official legal documents from the government regarding the business. In turn, they notify and deliver them to you.
As a consumer, you naturally want to partner with a business that won’t go under in the next couple of years. You want a solid partner you can rely on. A company that’s stood the test of time. This way, you can rest easy and focus more on running your business than worrying.
Ideally, you want the company to have been around the longest. This way, they’ve accumulated years of experience, which you can tap into. So, this is what I could unearth about the two firms.
Formed in 2009, Corpnet is an online business incorporation/document filing service provider specializing in incorporating businesses- whether it’s a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, Fictitious Business Name (DBA), or Non-Profit across the 50 States.
The founders- Philip and Nellie Akalp- come from an entrepreneurial background. They understand and appreciate the efforts that go into building a business. Hence, they are big advocates for small businesses.
At the time of writing this, the firm has managed to empower millions of entrepreneurs. They’ve opened over 100,000 businesses and counting. The company has been featured in Inc. 5000 list for2015, 2016, and 2020.
Besides, they managed to back the prestigious Small Business INFLUENCER Awards for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. With a 100% money-back-guarantee on all their products and heightened community awareness, it’s a no-brainer why the company is so successful.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Ares, West Coast, Western US, Legal Nature’s filing team comes from a business and technology background. These aspects have played a vital role in the firm’s success over the years.
According to G2 Stack, the company uses 29 technological products and services, including HTML5, jQuery, Google Analytics, to provide unparalleled business formation services.
The firm’s mission is to help businesses and entrepreneurs simplify their legal needs by offering high-quality online legal services and legal documents. Like its competitor, the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee on every purchase.
As a result, you can be confident of receiving a refund if you are not satisfied. Having begun its operations in 2009, Corpnet scores the first point on our list.
Among the critical legal documents that go into a business filing include Articles of Organization, Employer Identification Number, Operating Agreement, Registered Agent Services, and so on. Consequently, the winner in my book needs to have most of these services included in their LLC formation package or offer them at a reasonable price.
To attract more customers and remain ahead of their competitors, some companies resort to misleading marketing tactics. They may offer you useless features, which won’t mean much when it comes to registering your company.
So, keep your mind on this and use this information to your advantage. Stick to the basics of incorporation. For comparison, we are only going to have a look at both company’s entry-level packages.
This LLC formation firm offers its customers a total of three business formation packages. These are the Basic package for $79 + State fees, Deluxe Package for $199 + State fees, Complete Package for $249 + State Fee.
The Basic Package comes along with Name Availability Check; Official Filed Articles of Organization, FREE Corporate Compliance Tool: BIZ, Free Registered Agent Service for 60 days.
Legal Nature offers clients the ability to incorporate a business for FREE for the first 7 days on the monthly subscription plan. Unlike its competitors- LegalZoom, Corpnet, Rocket Lawyer, etc., they don’t have the option of picking your formation package.
Instead, they offer a flat rate of $40 + State fees. What happens is that you can select additional add-ons while building your package.
This includes adding services such as Tax ID (EIN), Articles of Organization, Registered Agent, etc.
Most of these features are nearly equally priced on both Corpnet and Legal Nature. For instance, Corpnet charges $149 per year while Legal Nature charges $125 per year for Registered Agent Service.
The fact that you don’t have the option of picking a formation package on Legal Nature is disappointing. However, I guess it boils down to personal preference. Corpnet’s packages are easy to understand from the get-go, unlike Legal Nature, which is somehow complicated.
Despite this, at $40 + State filing fees, compared to $79 + State filing fees, Legal Nature scores a point over its competitor. Most of their products are much affordable, and the 7-day free trial is a nice touch.
Products and Features
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of not only incorporating a business but growing and expanding it to conquer new territory. As an entrepreneur, you should always seek out a company that offers packages that are tailored for each stage of your business.
This way, you don’t have to go around looking for other companies to provide these services. It makes the management of paperwork easier and makes for a smooth operation. Consequently, you need to be extra careful about the company you settle for.
Start A Business
- Business Formation Filings
From Corporations, LLCs, DBAs, Non-Profits, Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, and Professional Corporations, easily register your business entity with the help of our professional business executives.
- Sales Tax and Payroll Tax Registrations
If you are a business with employees, you pay wages; you must register for payroll tax. On the other hand, sales taxes are imposed by the government on the sale of goods and services.
- Business Name Reservation
Do you have a catchy business name in mind? If so, Corpnet can help you secure the name for future use. This way, you know that when you are ready, the name will be waiting for you.
- Initial Report
Think of initial reports as information updates to the Secretary of State after officially registering a business entity. Timely filing helps protect the good standing of your new business with the State.
- Annual Report
As a corporation, you are required by law to provide your shareholders on an annual basis a report describing the financial conditions and operations of the company. The report serves to disclose the corporation’s activities during the previous financial year.
- Registered Agent Representation
Any business operating within the US is mandated to appoint and have a Registered Agent. This individual or entity acts as the go-between for your business and the government. They are in charge of receiving official business documents from the government and sending them to you.
- Annual Meeting Minutes
Corporations and LLCs are expected to structure and document the company activities carefully. This includes when they hold general meetings, the board of directors’ meetings, and so on.
- Foreign Qualification
If you wish or are currently carrying our business in a different State than your original State of incorporation, you must apply for a foreign qualification. Failure to do this may open you to legal consequences, including fines.
Businesses shut down for one reason or another. In case you had to close shop and are now ready to resume operations, Corpnet can handle all the paperwork to get your business back on track.
Most states require a corporation to file articles of amendments each time any change occurs in the business. This lets the office of the Secretary of State know of such changes. This way, your business remains compliant with the law.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A Tax Payer Identification Number, also known as EIN, is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS assigned to businesses operating within the US. The IRS uses the number to identify a company for tax purposes and so on.
- Custom Operating Agreements
An Operating Agreement is a legal document that ensures the corporation or LLC is appropriately conducted. It also protects the owner from any liability from the business. The document highlights how profits, losses, and assets are divided among its members.
- Customized LLC Member Certificates
Limited Liability Companies don’t issue “stocks.” Instead, they use a similar document referred to as Membership Certificates. This document indicates a member’s percentage of ownership.
Run A Business
- Business Compliance
Corpnet’s compliance package comes with everything you need to run your business in one place. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours trying to navigate complicated and often frustrating government bureaucracy. We ensure your business remains compliant.
- File A Fictitious Business Name
A Corporation is said to be “Doing Business As” when the name they operate in differs from its legal registration name. Typically, most Sole Proprietorships and partnerships function under s fictitious business name.
- S Corp Election
An LLC or Corporation must file an S Corp election within the first 75 days after the date of formation for the election to take effect.
- Annual Compliance Checklist
With the annual compliance checklist, you can rest assured that your business won’t have a fall-out with the government. The product ensures you don’t have to worry about being compliant, as you’ll be able to meet all the filing deadlines.
- Close a Company
Corporations and LLCs may outlive their purpose and require closing. Corpnet allows you to close your company in compliance with state regulations. This way, you don’t have to suffer any fall-out from improper closure.
- Change a Registered Agent
If you need help with changing a registered agent, don’t worry, Corpnet has your back. The LCC formation service provider makes it stress-free and easy.
- Articles of Amendment
This legal document is filed each time a corporation wants to initiate a fundamental change, other than the arrangement of the corporation and continuance of the company.
- Corporate Supplies
As the name suggests, Corporate Supplies features a wide variety of products and services you will require to start, manage and grow your small business.
Start a Business
- Employer Identification Number
For $70, Legal Nature will apply for a Tax ID for your business. The IRS uses the number to identify your business and communicate with you.
- Registered Agent Service
As a client, you have the option of appointing Legal Nature to serve as your Registered Agent. They will help you comply with all the State requirements, avoid fines and meet all filing deadlines.
- Articles of Amendment
File an article of amendment with your State of incorporation each time your company implements changes in information that was filed during the initial incorporation.
- Certificate of Good Standing
Having a Certificate of Good Standing is proof that your business has met all State requirements. It indicates that you are authorized to carry out business.
- Foreign Entity Registration
For your company to conduct business outside of its State of incorporation, you must register your company as a foreign entity with that State.
- Articles of Dissolution
If you want to close your business permanently, you are expected to file Articles of Dissolution with the State; this way, you are not liable for any future taxes and fines.
- Articles of Incorporation
Also known as Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation set the basic information about your new company as mandated by your State. This legal document is necessary if you are looking to set-up a for-profit corporation.
- Business Plan
Starting a business can be pretty hectic. Having a custom business plan template to outline your business’s operations, financing strategy, and marketing plan to potential investors makes raising capital much more effortless.
- General Partnership Agreement
A General Partnership Agreement is the primary document outlining how a partnership will function. It also states each partner’s role and how decisions will be made.
- Corporate Resolution
A Corporate Resolution form can be used to formally record crucial binding decisions of a corporation’s owner, directors, manager, and officers.
Run a Business
- Bill of Sale
A bill of sale serves to memorialize the essential details of your transactions. It acts as a receipt for your clients. Numerous states require the use of a Bill of Sale when transferring automobiles, watercraft, aircraft, and other similar products.
An invoice is a commercial document issued by a seller to their buyer. It indicates the quantities and agreement payment terms and conditions for the goods and services provided by the buyer.
- Purchase Agreement
A sale of goods/purchase agreement documents the crucial terms of an agreement. It specifies delivery and shipping instructions that are legally binding between the buyer and seller.
- Sales Contract
If you are dealing with tangible goods, then you require a sales contract. It sets forth the terms of all transactions.
- Sale of Goods Agreement
A sale of Agreement allows you to specify promised goods, purchasing price, payment methods, delivery, shipment instructions, and so on.
- Arbitration Agreement
An Arbitration Agreement helps set-up a dispute resolution process for existing or future disputes between parties. Legal Nature’s arbitration agreement template minimizes the time and expense linked to the formal court system.
- Contract Amendment
A Contract Agreement will help you promptly modify, add and delete the terms of a prior agreement.
- Indemnity Agreement
An Indemnity Agreement presents you with an excellent way of helping parties to accomplish pre-set goals by better dividing responsibilities for legal risk.
- Confidentiality Agreement
Also known as a non-disclosure agreement, this legal document prevents others from making unauthorized disclosures of confidential information and or trade secrets.
- Consulting Services Agreement
This document governs the relationship between a client and a consultant. It provides comprehensive protection for the interests of both the consultant and the company.
- Employee Confidentiality Agreement
An Employee Confidentiality Agreement is a legally binding document that helps prevent an employee from disclosing the employer’s confidential information.
- Employee agreement
This document establishes the expectations, goals, and financial benefits that make up the relationship between the employer and an employee.
- Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement
Having an employee non-disclosure agreement prevents your employees from discussing sensitive information regarding your company with outsiders.
- Independent Contractor Agreement
This Agreement governs the relationship and Agreement between a hiring party and a contractor. This way, you can be upfront about your expectations, therefore, reducing potential problems.
As a small business owner, you need to take advantage of any opportunities that will enable you to compete with other larger, well-established companies. Of importance is having access to a reliable customer service team.
As a customer, you can speak to the support team on 1.888.449.2638 during business hours Mon – Fri, 7 am to 5 pm PST.
Additionally, you can send an email to- Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer Service: email@example.com
Lastly, you have the option of sending snail mail. Address it to
31416 Agoura Rd. Suite 118
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Legal Nature operates a helpful FAQ page and Help Guides pages. Here, you can access answers to some of the most common issues. If you can seem to get the help you require from these resources; you can reach out to customer service by calling them 888.881.1139 Mon – Fri: 9 am – 5 pm PT.
You can send the support team an email- firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, you can also fill up a communication form on their website detailing your problem’s nature. Both firms have similar means of getting a hold of their support team. So, it’s a tie.
Over 90% of consumers go through a product’s customer review before making a purchase. This is crucial as it offers a glimpse into how a company or product really is before deciding to buy into it.
Fortunately, there are several highly trusted third-party websites that aggregate customer feedback regarding various products and services. These include the likes of Google review, TrustPilot, Better Business Bureau, G2, and so on.
Additionally, you could also scour the internet and social media pages for more information regarding a company.
- The company products come with a 100% money-back guarantee. You will receive your funds soon after 30-days, minus the State fee of course.
- The use of the platform is effortless and straightforward.
- Their business formation packages are some of the most affordable.
- The LLC formation firm has been in operation since 2009, accumulating years of experience.
- Corpnet is community-driven and focuses on giving back to society.
- The firm has a nearly 100% customer review feedback.
- The name check availability is a nice touch.
- Corpnet offers a FREE consultation with the business executives at no obligations on your end. You get to ask them any questions.
- Corpnet’s customer support team exceeds most client expectations.
- Securing all purchases by means of a 100% money-back guarantee builds confidence.
- Legal Nature makes it possible for you to set-up a business for free for 7-days with their monthly plan.
- At $40, their business formation fees are some of the lowest in the industry.
- The use of the platform is relatively simple and straightforward.
- The company offers multiple documents you may require at the various stages of your business.
- Since 2011, the company has assisted hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs to realize their dream.
- The firm has a reliable customer support team.
- LegalNature offers so much more than business-related online legal services. They provide real estate products, family and personal planning products, estate planning products, and much more.
- The fact that they only offer 60 days of registered agent service from a whole year is terrible.
- Charging for application for an Employer Identification Number (as much as it’s optional) when it’s free via the IRS simply sucks.
- Unlike its competitors like LegalZoom, Corpnet, Rocket Lawyer, etc., the company isn’t purely an online incorporating firm.
- The fact that you can’t pick your business formation package, unlike its rivals, is personally disappointing.
- They don’t offer free tax consultation.
This is one of the most closely tied races. Both firms began operations with just a year between them. Both firms’ founders have immense experience within the business fields. Both believe in automation of processes, which cuts down the time it takes to set-up a business.
Both firms have meager formation fees, making them attractive to small businesses with small budgets. However, that’s where the similarities end. LegalNature enjoys tons of customer reviews all over the internet, compared to Corpnet.
However, a good portion of these reviews are complaints, a stack opposite to Corpnet. Corpnet scores high on TrustPilot and has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2014, where they’ve maintained an A+ rating.
Being a family-owned business, Corpnet has managed to build up a formidable customer support team. Like most clients, I would recommend Corpnet over Legal Nature to any individual looking to incorporate their business.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.