The name of the game is limiting your liability. As an entrepreneur, this can’t be emphasized enough. The best means of accomplishing this is forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, DBA, etc. Failure to do this opens you up to potentially crippling lawsuits.
Sole proprietorships have been in existence in the US since the days of the founding fathers. The IRS defines a sole proprietorship as an unincorporated business that’s owned and run by the owner. Consequently, as the owner, you are liable for all the business’s debts and liabilities.
Anyone can start a Corporation or LLC for whichever reason. Whether you operate a simple blog, grocery store, Shopify store, online tutor, etc., you need to consider running the business through a corporation or LLC. It might seem trivial, but this simple act may save you lots of sleepless nights.
In the past, the entire LLC formation services were complex and cost a leg and an arm. Most of the cost went toward retaining the services of an attorney. However, all this has significantly changed. The process is currently as easy as pie. You can go through it with your eyes closed.
You may ask how, well it’s through the use of incorporation service firms like Swyft filings, Inc Authority, MyCorporation, etc. Apart from simplifying and straightening the entire process, new business owners can take advantage of the LLC formation firms’ low fees.
However, here’s the problem. A quick search for “LLC formation” yields hundreds of results. As a newbie, this can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which firm is legitimate? Which business offers the best services?
If this paints your current predicament, then read on. We’ll be going through one of the best business registration firms in the market- Inc Authority. In this Inc Authority review, we shall cover the entire process of setting up an LLC/Corporation with the firm.
Having used several online business formation service providers in the past, I’ll also let you know what I love about them and what I don’t like about Inc Authority. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Inc Authority is without a doubt one of the oldest LLC formation firms in the industry. The Nevada-based company has been in business since 1989, way before the internet became the juggernaut it is today.
To date, the firm has enabled hundreds of thousands to get into business by forming more than 130,000 businesses.
The firm offers a slew of a comprehensive range of services, all under one roof. The business registration niche is highly competitive. Very few companies enjoy the success the firm relishes.
The road hasn’t been easy. Thanks to a dedicated support team, years of experience, stellar products and services, Inc Authority has become the envy in the LLC formation service industry. The company came in third place in the 2018’s Best Place To Work Northern Nevada award.
Other than that, the firm sets itself apart from most of its competitors by offering a 100% FREE business entity set-up service. Inc Authority will waive their labor costs, overhead, commission, and service charges.
This way, you have the option of adding upgrades later on. You are liable to pay for the State filing fee, which varies across all 50 States.
Unlike most other business formation service providers that offer LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, DBA, Non-Profit, Inc Authority allows business owners only to form LLCs and Corporations. This makes lots of sense. Rather than spread themselves thin, the firm prefers to specialize in the two business entities.
Moreover, the two entities are prevalent in the US. According to figures by Statista, in March 2020, there were 804398 businesses under a year in the US. With more than 90% of them operating as an LLC.
Benefits of an LLC
- Fewer Formalities: Corporations are obligated to hold regular annual meetings of the shareholders and board of directors. On the other hand, LLCs are not plagued with the same burden.
- Tax Advantages: By default, LLCs are taxed by the IRS on a “Pass-through” rate. This is advantageous as the business avoids double taxation. Additionally, the LLC owner isn’t required to pay unemployment insurance taxes on their salary.
- Limited liability: Considering how easy it is to get sued in the US, an LLC comes in handy. It limits the liability of the members and owners. It separates them from the company’s liabilities and debts.
- Deduct Losses: LLC members can deduct the business’s operating losses against the member’s income.
Benefits of a Corporation
- Limited Liability: Like an LLC, Corporations provide limited liability protection to the owner and members. They are not personally responsible for any debts and liabilities of the business.
- Taxes: opening a Corporation allows you to take advantage of tax benefits such as deductibles of health insurance premiums paid on behalf of an owner-employee, etc.
- Credibility: Setting up a Corporation makes it easy for the business to build trust and credibility within the community, vendors, and business partners. This way, it’s easier to grow the business.
- Transfer of Ownership: Selling a business and transfer of ownership is typically straightforward. However, there are slight complications when it comes to S-Corporations.
Inc Authority offers a total of 3 business formation packages Starter, Executive, and Tycoon. Unlike most LLC formation service providers, Inc Authority isn’t apparent with their three packages’ cost. However, upon further investigation, other blogs claim that the packages retail for $399, $499, and $799, respectively.
This is the business’s basic plan. With this, small business owners receive a multitude of features, including:
- Verify Business Name Availability
- Complete Operating Agreement/Bylaws
- Custom State Filed Articles
- Ownership Certificates
- Record & Company Seal
- Initial Meeting Minutes & Resolutions
- IRS Tax ID Number (EIN)
- 1 Year Inc Success Advisor
- Tax Consultation
- Business Credit & Funding Evaluation
With the Executive Package, you get all the benefits linked with the Starter Package along with:
- Website Domain
- Business License Report
Like with the Executive Package, the Tycoon offers business owners all the Executive and then some benefits. Including:
- D&B Credit Bureau Registration
- Business Credit Launchpad
- Multi-Tiered Credit Building System
- Business License Report
- Website Domain
- Express Processing
- BizCredit Express
- Business Credit Score Coach
Inc Authority understands that your business matters to you. Thus, they’ve taken the time to craft all the vital legal documents, operating agreement, Employer Identification Number, opening a business bank account, etc. They take care of all the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to.
Registering an LLC/Corporation involves three simple steps. Once you are on Inc Authority’s website, click on the “Start Now For Free” button.
This step of the application process involves selecting your ideal business entity, i.e., LLC or Corporation. Additionally, you need to choose your desired State of incorporation. To make this easier on your end, Inc Authority’s support team is ready to advise and answer any of your queries.
Step 3 involves providing information regarding the business owner. This includes name, email address, and mobile number. This is how Inc Authority will contact you to inform you of the filing progress. So, ensure everything is correct.
Here, you are required to provide the LLC’s business name. You are also expected to give a brief description of the business’s activities. Additionally, pick a category under which the business fits in. Once that’s done, click on “Save and Continue.”
Just like before, please fill in the official business’s address. You have the option of receiving regular message updates regarding the filing process, which is highly recommended.
The Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is essential for business formation. It’s used in filing taxes, carrying out payroll, hiring employees, opening a business bank account, and much more. Unbeknown to some, you can apply for the number for FREE via the IRS website.
However, if you don’t want to lift a finger, you can have Inc Authority do it for you. It will cost you $49. I felt like you should know.
An Operating Agreement is essential for a Corporation or LLC formation. This legal document outlines the company’s ownership, management, and each member’s rights and responsibilities. Think of it as an ownership certificate.
Please note that of all the 50 states, only California, Maine, Delaware, New York, and Missouri require the document for an LLC formation. Like before, you can download this document for FREE. Otherwise, you can pay Inc Authority $89 for the document.
Steps 6,7, and now 8 are all upsells by Inc Authority. You have the option of either adding the features to the package or not. That being said, if it’s your first time forming an LLC/Corporation, you are better off leaving most of the complicated stuff to the firm’s business executives.
Inc Authority offers you unlimited access to legal documents with ownership certificates and seals, all for $99.
Most LLC formation processes have a turnaround period of between 1 to 2 weeks. Understandably, to some, this might be unacceptable. If you are in a rush and wish to expedite the Business formation service, you can add the feature to your formation package. This will cost you $49.
The entrepreneurial world is characterized by cut-throat competition. If it were easy, everyone would be in it, making millions of dollars. You need to create a product/service that matches market demands and effectively market yourself.
Online marketing, be it via a blog or a website, offers an efficient means of accomplishing this. For $19, Inc Authority will proceed to register a business URL on your behalf.
Not only does Inc Authority guide you during the opening of your business, but they also partner with you once that’s done. They offer tools that will make running and expanding your business possible. A good example is their Inc Success Adviser.
For $16.42 billed each month annually, or $27 each month, you get unlimited phone and email support for questions regarding Tax preparation, Business funding analysis, and basically any other queries you may have.
Inc Authority has partnered up with the Bank of America and made opening a business checking account easy. If you opt to bank with the entity, you stand to get up to $450 worth of bonuses. Alternatively, you can always decide to go with another bank. This service is FREE.
The last and final step is to make payment and officially kick-off the filling process-double-check to ensure that all the information is correct. Inc Authority only supports payments via debit/credit cards and PayPal.
I wish they offered alternatives such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and so on. However, the two payment alternatives are popular and should suffice.
Inc Authority offers so much more than Corporation and LLC formation services. True to their goal of making business registration simple, they go the extra mile to increase the chances of your business succeed.
Consequently, the company extends the following services to both current and new business owners:
Trademarks offer an invaluable means of marketing and creating brand awareness. Think about it: how easy it is to recognize a business by only looking at its trademark name, color scheme, or symbol.
Whether it’s on social media or bill-boards, trademarks separate your business from your competitors.
Revocable Living Trust
Have you ever worried about how your beneficiaries will manage portions of their inheritance once you pass on? Then forming a Revocable Living Trust is the answer to your concerns. It allows you to still exert some degree of control over your money beyond the grave.
Many entrepreneurs with great ideas fail to actualize their dreams due to a lack of capital, especially if they have a low credit score. Inc Authority has a potential solution to this problem in the form of the BizCredit Express program.
Website and Marketing Package
Take advantage of Inc Authorities marketing package to attract new business and gain new clients fast. Build credibility in your niche and gain your customers’ unwavering confidence by having a 24/7 online presence.
Tapping into the BizFunding Express program helps current and aspiring business owners access much-needed capital. This is achievable by using some of the best low-interest business and personal loans and credit limit credit cards.
As you look into getting into business, you need to draw up a well-researched business plan. You can request a custom-written business plan that fits your needs via the Inc Authority website. The plan features a business license report, income statement, balance sheet, and so on.
The internet has managed to limit the instances of scams. Customers are now able to conduct in-depth research on a firm before getting into any contract. Thanks to social media platforms and third-party consumer satisfaction sites such as TrustPilot, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Google my business, and G2, you can verify the State of Inc Authority’s legitimacy.
Inc Authority manages to score an impressive 4.8/5 rating from a total of 4 754 reviews. That’s simply remarkable. Over 96% of the reviews are super flattering, with clients showering the seasoned LLC formation firm with praise.
Going by its initial name- Inc for Free, the business has been rated an F. The BBB has never accredited it. It scores a rating of 5/5 from an average of 1 customer review.
According to recent reports, 9 out of 10 consumers globally make an effort to go through reviews before purchasing a product. Reviews are an integral part of the consumer purchase process; it’s indicative of buyer confidence and trust in a product/service.
This is what a few past clients had to say regarding Inc Authority:
Quickly scrolling through the complaints, they range from issues with getting a refund, slow turnaround speed (though this is dependent on the States speed), challenges with customer care. All these are typical and can be found with any LLC formation firm.
- Experience: For over 30 years now, Inc Authority has been in the business of helping entrepreneurs establish themselves. This is by far the firm’s most significant selling point.
- Ease of Use: Inc Authority makes the process of registering a business more manageable than before. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use the firm’s legal services in forming an LLC/Corporation.
- Free Package: Most start-ups will be drawn to the platform thanks to its free package that comes with Tax Planning, Business Name Check, Registered Agent for up to a year, and much more.
- Guarantee: The company guarantees its 30-year experience will offer you the necessary resources to form and run an LLC successfully.
- Registered Agent: Having a registered agent is part of creating an LLC. Inc Authority provides the service free of charge for up to a year.
- Customer Support: Having a reliable and responsive customer support team has played a critical role in the company’s success. Something most clients appreciate.
- Products and Services: The online business registration service provider offers a great range of products and services, including Tax planning consultation, company seal, and business license report. This makes opening and running a business a breeze.
- Price Tags: Unlike most LLC service providers, Inc Authority doesn’t indicate the price tag on its business formation packages. Similarly, you don’t have the option of picking the ideal package from the get-go.
- Upselling: The platform is rather aggressive when it comes to upselling additional products and features.
- Price: Inc Authorities packages are some of the most expensive in the market.
- Guarantee: It’s industry standard to offer a 100% money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction. However, Inc Authority doesn’t provide this.
- Business Entity: Most LLC/Corporation firms allow clients to register multiple business entities, including Doing Business As, Non-Profits, etc. Sadly, Inc Authority facilitates the formation of LLCs and Corporations only.
In the end, there isn’t a one size fits all company. Inc Authority isn’t perfect; it’s far from it. However, if you are in the market for an alternative LLC service provider, you can’t go wrong with Inc Authority.
With over 30 years of experience forming LLCs and Corporations, it suffices to say that they are more than qualified to help you with any business issues, including Tax Planning.
Please note that online business registration firms such as Inc Authority, Swyft Filing, LegalZoom, etc., can’t be used to substitute your attorney. So, in case of any legal issues, please consult an attorney.
I would recommend the firm to any individual in the market for a hands-free business formation experience. However, their expertise comes at a premium. To cut down on cost, you could consider applying for services like an Employer Identification Number yourself.
As we wrap things up, unlike other Inc Authority reviews that tend to be a bit shallow, I hope you have found value in the content. Please have a look for yourself and let me know what you think. Happy incorporation!
What do I do if my business is sued?
As previously stated, Inc Authority doesn’t offer legal counsel. When facing a lawsuit, approach your attorney or a reputable law firm. It’s essential to take any threats of litigation seriously.
Can I design the website myself?
With tons and tons of DIY videos on YouTube, you certainly can. The great thing about building your site is that you can troubleshoot it in case of issues. However, if you are not so comfortable with the whole DIY approach, consider seeking professional assistance.
Can I use my bank account for the business?
No, you can’t, and you shouldn’t. You should instead open a business bank account. This separates the business’s expenses from your personal expenses, therefore, provides better protection in case of a lawsuit.
How do I come up with the best business name?
The best and most reliable means of accomplishing this is by conducting a survey. This could either be online or physical. You can run the names across your family, friends, and workmates. Its essential that the people that participate in the survey are part of your targeted audience.
How long does it take to form a business?
There isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question. The turnaround period depends on several factors, including your choice of State, how complex your business is, type of business, and so on.
If you wish to expedite the entire process, you can do so by adding the add-on to your package.
What’s the one thing entrepreneurs are not doing but are supposed to be doing?
Most small business owners fail to put enough time into developing a robust marketing plan for their business. Ask any business owner what their décor will look like, and you’ll get an immediate answer. Ask them about their marketing strategy, and you’ll get a convoluted answer.
Why should I pay for the Registered Agent service?
You don’t have to. You can be your Registered Agent. However, this means that you need to be available throughout business hours each day. And considering something might come up requiring you to step out, it may be better to pay for the service.
Why does Inc Authority offer FREE business formation services?
Inc Authority realizes that starting a business requires lots of upfront cash. Making it free ensures you have more money in your pocket and also makes the services accessible to nearly anyone.
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.