Inc Authority is an online business formation service and Registered Agent service. They have been in business for over 30 years and have consistently high reviews from customers.
Inc Authority helps you prepare the necessary documents to register a limited liability company in your state. Then they will file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
Additionally, Inc Authority can be your LLC’s Registered Agent. This means that Inc Authority will receive legal documents for your LLC and forward them to you.
Hiring a Registered Agent Service is helpful for people who don’t have an office in the LLC’s state, and/or don’t want to use their residential address as their business’ address.
Registered Agent Services are also essential for business owners who don’t have a physical address in the state where they are forming an LLC.
Our Inc Authority review examines their pricing model and the value of the services they offer.
Inc Authority’s pricing is an unusual model. Most other business formation services charge a fee for their basic packages on top of the state filing fees. In Inc Authority’s case, all you have to pay is the state filing fee.
Said another way, Inc Authority only has 1 LLC formation package – and it’s free ($0 plus state fees).
This package includes:
- Business name availability check
- Preparation and filing of your LLC formation documents
- 1 free year of Registered Agent service
- A tax planning consultation, and
- A Business funding analysis and business credit
We found the placement of the Registered Agent service upsell in the walkthrough interesting. Unlike the EIN page, there is no way to say, “No thanks” to this add-on service.
While the $0 price tag is enticing, it’s important to know that this service will auto-renew at the end of your free year. Then Inc Authority’s Registered Agent service is $179 per year.
Additionally, Inc Authority offers upsells with extra features, as well as optional services that aren’t included with the basic service package and can be purchased individually.
Optional Formation Extras
Inc Authority offers additional services, for an extra fee.
EIN filing service is normally listed at $49, as a standalone.
That said, sometimes you can get a discount if you process your LLC formation and EIN filing service in the same transaction.
Inc Authority recommends this service because all LLCs should get an EIN (employer identification number) from the IRS.
- It is important to have one so you can open a business checking account and get a business credit card. However, an EIN is free and you can get one online from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in under 10 minutes.
Operating Agreement drafting is $89.
Inc Authority will generate an Operating Agreement for your LLC based on information you provide. The Operating Agreement drafting service isn’t included with the free LLC formation services.
- Competitors who offer customized Operating Agreements generally charge around the same as Inc Authority does.
And almost all of these are templates that they simply fill in with your LLC’s information.
However, we provide completely free Operating Agreement templates that you can fill out with your LLC’s information at home.
Business Operations Extras
Inc Authority also offers services for after your LLC is approved – like a Personal Banker, a Legal Documents package, and Minutes and Resolutions for meetings.
Personal Banker service is $49.
The Personal Banker will help you start a business bank account.
- If you’re using your local bank, this means the Personal Banker will gather your LLC documents for you to take to the bank, and provide advice if you run into issues setting up your account with your local bank.
- If you use Inc Authority’s national partner bank, this means the Personal Banker will gather your documents and send them to their partner bank for you.
- And if you use Inc Authority’s national partner bank, the bank account includes a business checking account and a business credit card.
Then they’ll get you on the phone so you can finish the authorizations without physically going to the bank. The Personal Banker should also be available to help with any questions.
The Minutes and Resolutions digital forms cost $99. However, you can get free templates online to record your meeting minutes.
The Legal Documents Package with Ownership Certificates costs $99, and you get these extras:
- An embossed storage case for your business records
- Labeled tabs for organizing your business records
- Ownership/membership certificates
That said, LLC University® has a free LLC Membership Certificate template you can download and complete at home.
And if you want to order a business seal or other stationery items, we recommend Moo.com. You can design and fully customize everything you order from Moo.com.
Inc Success Advisor
Inc Authority’s Inc Success Advisor is $197. This service assigns an Inc Authority employee to your business. The advisor can help you with common new business questions and direct you to resources.
While the advisor isn’t an attorney or an accountant, they can tell you who to ask for help with legal or tax questions. The Inc Success Advisor can also help you identify financial products for your business.
If you need to register your LLC in another state, or make an amendment to the documents you filed, your Inc Success Advisor can help you find the right forms.
You may be able to benefit from some of Inc Authority’s partnerships listed on the site. However, you should keep in mind that Inc Authority is promoting their business partners rather than providing you with unbiased information.
Registered Agent Service
The first year is free if you form your LLC with Inc Authority. It costs $179 per year after that. Read more about Inc Authority’s Registered Agent service.
Many reviews about Inc Authority complain about the slow turnaround times. According to customer reviews, it can take up to a week for the company to send your paperwork to the state.
Considering it takes most states between two to three weeks to process the paperwork, this could mean that it could take up to a month to get your business registered.
If you pay for the expedited filing option, Inc Authority will send your paperwork to the state by the next business day.
Their expedited processing add-on is valued at $49, but may be included with free LLC orders.
This expedited processing strictly covers Inc Authority expediting their processing of your LLC formation documents.
Remember that you’ll also have to pay the state’s expedited filing fee.
And while Inc Authority will send your documents for free with the standard delivery option, this option only includes electronic copies.
If you want the original paper copies of your LLC formation documents, you’ll need to pay $29.95 for priority delivery.
Find out more about LLC filing times.
Upsells and Honesty
Inc Authority makes a big deal out of offering LLC filing for free. That’s true – the basic LLC formation package is free.
However, Inc Authority hides the fact that some services that other competitors offer for free (like an Operating Agreement), are pricey optional extras.
Inc Authority also makes it hard to find out what their standard filing time is without going quite far into the filing.
Additionally, we didn’t like some of the language you’re required to click on in order to decline an upsell in the order process.
Inc Authority offers decent customer support.
You can reach their chat or phone-based customer support during normal business hours (6am to 5pm Pacific Time, Monday to Friday).
Customer service reps are knowledgeable and professional, but when we called, we found that they don’t go the extra mile to provide truly exceptional customer service. For example, when we asked customer support about business license search services, they simply said they didn’t offer that service. We prefer reps who focus more on educating customers than sales.
Overall, Inc Authority has pretty positive reviews on TrustPilot and Google.
Some negative customer reviews focused on upsells from pushy representatives, delayed filings, and issues making changes to information the customer submitted to Inc Authority.
Positive Inc Authority reviews talked about helpful customer service reps who provided thorough explanations and personalized attention.
Other reviewers like the easy, clear processes on the Inc Authority website.
Inc Authority’s services are easy to use on their website. They walk you through the process step-by-step. They do try to upsell various optional services throughout the process.
However, the upsells are included in the checkout process. You’re required to decline each of them in order to get to the part where you input your LLC information.
The exception to this is the free year of Registered Agent Service that you’re required to accept in order to get your free LLC.
Inc Authority Review: Registered Agent Service
Inc Authority also offers Registered Agent service. You don’t have to hire a company to be your LLC’s registered agent. (Check out Can I be my own Registered Agent? for more info.)
But you might want to keep your address off public records.
Registered Agents will receive all of the legal documents for your business and forward them to your address.
This means that you will not have to use your residential address for legal purposes if you run your business from home or don’t yet have an office location.
Learn more: What’s an LLC Registered Agent?
Inc Authority’s Registered Agent service is free for the first year.
It costs $179 per year after that. This price is pretty normal for the industry.
If Inc Authority is your Registered Agent, they will forward legal documents your LLC receives.
Inc Authority will forward you the hard copies of these mail items, and they will also scan and email you digital copies of these documents.
This is helpful if you travel frequently, or if there is an urgent notice from the state.
Inc Authority offers other business services
Inc Authority offers other services that aren’t part of the LLC formation process.
Inc Authority offers several different business credit and funding services. Their business credit coach can suggest business credit providers, and help you build your business credit rating.
Inc Authority works with GoDaddy to get your business a domain name, but can also help you design a website, work on SEO, and improve your marketing with essentials like a logo. Inc Authority also has a service that can help you get a trademark for your business’s logo or name.
These marketing, design and trademark services are unusual for LLC formation companies and might be a good value for new entrepreneurs who don’t have experience creating these things.
Is Inc Authority a Good Choice for Registered Agent & LLC Services?
Overall, Inc Authority is a decent choice for Registered Agent and LLC formation services. They offer a truly free LLC formation service that includes a year of free Registered Agent service.
However, Inc Authority also offers several optional services, including drafting your LLC Operating Agreement and connecting you with a Personal Banker, which cost extra.
And the free year of Registered Agent Service auto-renews at $179 per year. In our opinion, the upsells don’t offer much extra value for the money.
All things considered, Inc Authority is a good option if you already have your LLC Operating Agreement drafted and you just want the cheapest possible filing service. If you want a premium package of LLC filing services, there are alternatives that offer more value and more useful extras.