Business formation services simplify business formation and ensure compliance. As a small business owner, setting up an LLC or corporation can offer strong legal protection and simplified administration. But paying an employee to maintain formation is costly. That’s where business formation services come in.
Business formation services provide expert guidance to set up and maintain legal compliance for your business, from filing with the Secretary of State to maintaining a registered agent. These services can help ensure your business remains in good standing.
Read on to learn about 12 business formation services with key features to choose the right provider for your business.
What Are Business Formation Services?
Business formation services assist in business formation or incorporation. This can include selecting the right legal structure, filing all necessary paperwork, and ensuring the new business remains in good standing and is compliant.
Business formation simply means the business has a legal structure or becomes an entity. A limited liability company (LLC) or corporation is the most common business structure. Which is best for your company will depend on your existing structures, budgets, and goals.
Why Do You Need a Business Formation Service?
The benefits of using a business formation service include simplified filing, greater flexibility, and time to focus on your core business while creating a legal business entity. Business formation services typically cost around $150 to $300 but offer services that could take many hours if done on your own. Benefits of a business formation service include:
- Peace of mind
- No need to worry about paperwork
- Assured compliance
- Legal protection once the business is set up
How to Choose the Right Business Formation Service Provider?
Key features to look for in a business formation service provider include reliability, speed, value for money, long-term compliance, and the option to add a registered agent. Choose a business formation service that has:
- On-going compliance support
- Easy-to-use interface
- Excellent customer service
- Fast and reliable service
- Reasonable costs for the service offered
- Registered agent add-on option
- Employer identification number (EIN) add-on option
To find the best business formation service for your needs, read customer reviews, check ratings, and the company’s track record. Also, review the costs to start an LLC to balance finances with add-on needs.
Top 12 Business Formation Services
While you might wonder about the best state to start an LLC, choosing a business formation service provider should be simple. Below you’ll find a review of some of the services to choose the best option for your company.
Doola offers reliable and quick business formation services with ongoing compliance support. Not only does it help with company formation, but also to get your EIN and open a business bank account. Doola offers formation services to start an LLC in all 50 states, including Wyoming or Delaware, with the option of adding a registered agent. Moreover, doola offers useful add-ons like bookkeeping services.
Best for: LLC formation
- Includes an EIN
- Includes a business bank account
- Integrates with other services like Doola books to automate your business
Pricing: Starts at $297 plus state fees.
2. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is a free LLC formation service, so you’ll only need to pay your state’s filing fees. You’ll also get free registered agent service for the first year.
Best for: Low-budget businesses
- Free business formation
- Free registered agent for the first year
- Free tax ID number
- Business name check
- Tax planning consultant
Pricing: $0 plus state filing fees
BizFilings offers an attractive startup wizard and checklist to ensure founders take care of all legal and compliance requirements. With guided tools to walk you through compliance, licensing, and trademarking, BizFilings offers some nice extras.
Best for: Startups
- Comprehensive business formation
- Online compliance tools
- Trademark tools
- Business plan added services
- Sales tax registration service
Pricing: $359 plus state filing fees.
4. Tailor Brands
Tailor Brands aims to be an all-in-one business solution. In addition to LLC formation, it offers a logo maker, trademarking, EIN, sales tax permits, business licenses, and permits, along with bookkeeping services.
Best for: All-in-one solution
- Comprehensive options including trademarking
- Get all business licenses and permits in one place
- Business insurance, business bank accounts, and all other setup details
- Get a business website, logo, and domain name along with LLC formation
Pricing: Starts at $0 plus state filing fees.
LegalNature offers low-cost LLC formation options, with affordable add-ons to fit your business needs. Its Compliance Guard plan helps ensure your business remains compliant with filings, taxes, meeting minutes, and more.
Best for: Corporation formation
- Compliance protections
- Extra services like meeting minutes
- Tax filing support
- Fast and simple set-up
Pricing: From $39 plus state fees.
ZenBusiness offers guided business setup along with tools for market research, grant searches, startup cost calculators, and more. It is also known for its exceptional registered agent services, making it a top all-around choice for growing businesses. Check out a comparison of ZenBusiness Vs. IncFile here.
Best for: Brand growth
- Simplified LLC formation
- Excellent registered agent service
- Optional brand package with website domain, business email, and more
- Business tools for market research, grant searches, and more
- Compliance support
Pricing: $0 plus state filing fees and $199/year for worry-free compliance.
MyCompanyWorks offers free same-day business filing processing if you submit before 3 pm EST on a business day. In all other cases, it will be processed the next business day. It does both LLC and corporation filings, but not non-profits.
Best for: Fast processing
- Fastest processing times
- The setup wizard helps you through the filing process
- Simple website
- Low costs
Pricing: Starts at $0 plus state filing fees and $259 plus state fee for a complete package.
Northwest’s primary service is that of a registered agent with additional features like document scanning and mail forwarding. It takes data and security seriously, with extra steps for protection and storage.
Best for: Privacy Protection
- Privacy by default is included in every plan
- Excellent registered agent services
- Low-cost filing
- Discounts for filing in multiple states
- Extra data protection and security features
Pricing: $39 plus state fees for business formation service.
Incfile offers a free registered agent for the first year after formation. In addition to business formation services, it offers privacy protection, mail forwarding service, and simplified LLC formation to grow your business.
Best for: Small businesses
- Registered agent services included for the first year
- Thousands of 5-star reviews
- No hidden fees
- Fast filing
- Free compliance reminders
Pricing: $0 plus state fees for the basic service.
10. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings offers exceptional customer service and a dedicated business specialist to support you throughout business formation. The ongoing support makes Swyft Filings stand out, but additional services like annual report filings, company alerts, name change service, and ComplianceGuard add extra value.
Best for: Personalized service
- Fast filing
- Dedicated customer support for your company
- Great add-ons for compliance
- Seamless service
- 24/7 support
Pricing: $49 plus state filing fees for the basic plan and $299 plus state filing fees for the premium plan.
LegalZoom takes business formation service to the next level with its Business Advisory Plans that include 30-minute consultations, annual business evaluations, and business document reviews. LegalZoom is a great choice if you need extra legal support or to meet additional compliance needs. Check out IncFile vs. LegalZoom review for more details.
Best for: Basic legal support
- Access to a legal team
- Legal forms and templates, such as compliant contracts
- 30-minute business consultation calls
- Fast business filing
- Additional compliance support
Pricing: LLC plans start at $0 plus state filing fees.
12. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer offers the most direct competition to LegalZoom with a strong legal foundation. Rocket Lawyer partners with lawyers who can answer questions, review documents, and offer legal business consultations. You have access to attorneys by phone, email, or chat.
Best for: Comprehensive legal support
- Check name
- File paperwork and ensure compliance
- Additional legal support
- Attorneys on call to answer business questions
- Low cost for services offered
Pricing: $0 plus state fees for LLC formation and $239.99 per year for full legal services.
Get Support to Grow Your Business
While all the companies on the list offer exceptional services, doola strives to go above and beyond with business formation compliance services to meet all your needs. It can help with fast and easy business formation, EIN, and a business bank account. Once you’re up and running, doola bookkeeping services can save time and keep operations running smoothly. Let doola help you form your business today! Or, check out some LLC examples for inspiration.
How long does it take to form a business with these services?
The time it takes to form a business with these services varies by state, services offered, and legal entity. Forming an LLC usually takes two to eight weeks, while forming a corporation could be as fast as 10 days.
Do these services provide legal assistance for drafting necessary documents?
Yes, business formation services offer assistance in drafting legal documents relevant to business formation.
Are business formation services suitable for all types of businesses?
Yes, business formation services are suitable for all types of businesses. You can create an LLC, C-corporation, S-corporation, or 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with them.
Are business formation services tax deductible?
You can generally deduct business formation services from your start-up or business expenses. However, speaking with a CPA about individual tax questions is always a good idea.
Do business formation services offer ongoing support and consultation?
Some business formation services offer ongoing compliance support or consultations as needed.