Top 5 Corporation Formation Services

Startups and entrepreneurs are often so busy planning their business that they don't have the time to manage incorporation services. Not to mention, corporations are formed with a specific type of business ownership structure, which, if done wrong, has legal consequences.

Avoid expensive startup mistakes and get the right incorporation services at the right price with these top five corporation formation services.

Our Approach:

Selecting the best corporation formation service comes down to three things:

  • Expertise
  • Pricing
  • Responsiveness

An important consideration for choosing the best corporation formation service is the level of expertise it has in the field. Services with a much higher level of expertise are far more likely to offer greater quality and more reliable service. They are also more likely to be able to offer services at a lower price point. A corporation formation service with a high level of expertise is also likely to be more responsive when it comes to solving all problems that would arise during the incorporation process.

The Top-Rated Corporation Services for 2021:

  1. ZenBusiness: Best Overall Corporation Formation
  2. Incfile: Best Low-Cost Corporation Formation
  3. Inc Authority: Best Corporation Formation for Securing Funding
  4. Rocket Lawyer: Best Corporation Formation for Legal Services
  5. LegalZoom: Oldest Corporation Formation Firm
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Recommendation for Best Corporation Service: ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is a company that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. It offers a variety of services, including business formation, accounting, financial planning, and business development. 

ZenBusiness is the best option for entrepreneurs who need low-cost, expert formation services.

Our Review of the Top 5 Corporation Services

1. ZenBusiness: Best Overall Corporation Formation

ZenBusiness is the best business formation service in the market for entrepreneurs because it offers small-business owners everything they need to start a successful business and grow with their new company. ZenBusiness offers low-cost incorporation services and provides a turnkey business plan that includes branding, marketing, and website design.

ZenBusiness provides business formation services for startups and small businesses with limited resources. This includes everything from small business formation to corporate structuring, accounting, legal, and patenting services.

2 .Incfile: Best Low-Cost Corporation Formation

Incfile provides low-cost business formation services for clients throughout the United States. The company has helped its clients start and grow their businesses in every state of the country, helping them comply with local and federal regulations.

3. Inc Authority: Best Corporation Formation for Securing Funding

Inc Authority is a boutique firm that manages all aspects of the formation and operational aspects of a business entity. The company takes care of the foundational aspects of a company, such as creating the entity, preparing and filing all necessary documents, and drafting and executing contracts. Inc Authority will also assist in finding and securing financing options. With this assistance, Inc Authority will ensure that every aspect is completed correctly to avoid any potential future issues.

4. Rocket Lawyer: Best Corporation Formation for Legal Services

Rocket Lawyer is a business formation services company that provides legal services for the startup and small business market. With offices in the United States as well as internationally, Rocket Lawyer provides its clients with a third-party perspective on their needs, as well as access to legal advice from more than 200 experienced attorneys. Rocket Lawyer offers a number of service levels based on the needs of their clients, including a one-day turnaround service that provides legal advice for individuals who are seeking incorporation.

5 .LegalZoom: Oldest Corporation Formation Firm

Clients seeking to start a business can use LegalZoom business formation services. This website offers easy-to-use tools and guidance to help clients through the process. LegalZoom also offers consultations to help clients choose the best business structure for them. However, the pricing for even basic corporation formation services is typically more expensive than other companies.

Best Corporation Services: Breakdown

A corporation formation service company has expertise in the process of structuring a company. This includes all the legal processes in order to form a business entity. Corporations are formed with a specific type of business ownership structure, which has legal consequences.

Nowadays, there are many corporation formation service companies that offer different types of formation services. Some offer incorporation services, while others offer legal and state registration services.

We explored many business formation companies and found the best ones for forming a corporation:

1. ZenBusiness: $39+/year (plus state filing fee)

ZenBusiness is a leading incorporation service that provides entrepreneurs with a complete package including corporation formation, LLC formation, share issuance services, and more!

We like ZenBusiness because it is an expert in forming corporations for low prices, and its customer support is expert and extremely responsive.

ZenBusiness can't be beaten when it comes to forming a C corporation (or any business entity, for that matter).

Top Features

  • Articles of Incorporation preparation and filing
  • Free registered agent service for one year ($119/year thereafter)
  • Name availability search
  • Corporate bylaws
  • Free accounting consultation and tax assessment
  • Chat, phone, and email support
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) assistance (included in Pro and Premium packages)
  • "Worry-Free Compliance" (included in Pro and Premium packages)
  • Business website and domain name (included in Premium packages)

Pros

  • The fastest way to prepare and file formation documents for your corporation. Just enter some basic details when forming a corporation (e.g., board of directors, remaining shareholders, etc.), and you're on your way.
  • Quick and easy search for your business name.
  • One free year of registered agent service
  • Ability to keep things like your EIN and IRS Form 2553 (for S corporations) all in one place to save yourself from unnecessary headaches.
  • ZenBusiness provides unlimited lifetime alerts as well as online access to your dashboard, so you never have to worry about maintaining compliance

Cons

  • Monthly fee

2. Incfile: $0+ (plus state filing fee)

Incfile provides all the services and support you need to incorporate your business in the US. For a one-time fee, it offers incorporation in every state, all the required forms, and more. The company takes care of everything for you!

Top Features

  • Articles of Incorporation preparation and filing
  • Free registered agent service for one year ($119/year thereafter)
  • Unlimited business name searches
  • EIN assistance (included in Gold and Platinum packages)
  • IRS Form 2553 preparation and filing (included in Gold and Platinum packages)
  • Corporation bylaws (included in Gold and Platinum packages)
  • Business banking account and tax consultation (included in Gold and Platinum packages)

Pros

  • Free registered agent service for one year
  • Designed for busy business owners who don't have time to worry about corporate paperwork.
  • Secure online dashboard access to all necessary information
  • The company provides a hassle-free experience, from formation to maintenance.
  • The formation kit comes with everything necessary to start your business.
  • Unlimited name searches
  • Get service alerts on your dashboard for banking resolutions or other important info.

Cons

  • Some helpful add-ons, like assistance with filing IRS Form 2553 for S corps, cost extra

3. Inc Authority: $0 (plus state filing fee)

Inc Authority incorporation services are a way to establish your corporation for free (plus your state's filing fee) in all 50 states. It is a full-service company that also offers consulting and education on how to start and run a company.

Top Features

  • Articles of Incorporation preparation and filing
  • Free registered agent service for one year ($99/year thereafter)
  • Preparation and filing of IRS Form 2553
  • State business name checks
  • IRS Form 2553 preparation and filing
  • Tax Planning Consultation and Business Funding Analysis
  • EIN assistance ($49 extra)
  • Corporation bylaws ($89 extra)
  • Website domain registration and business email ($10 extra)
  • Meeting minutes and corporate resolutions ($99 extra)

Pros

  • Inc Authority's one formation plan is free (plus state fees), with a full year of free registered agent services
  • Businesses receive consultations for their taxes, credit, and financing needs

Cons

  • Many services cost extra, such as EIN assistance, custom bylaws, meeting minutes, and corporation resolutions

4. Rocket Lawyer: $99.99 (plus state filing fee)

Rocket Lawyer provides services such as preparing and filing the Articles of Incorporation and preparing and filing annual reports.

Rocket Lawyer also helps with other legal aspects, such as filing the Articles of Dissolution, creating a non-disclosure agreement, and creating a lease agreement.

Top Features

  • Articles of Incorporation preparation and filing
  • Business name reservation
  • Compliance support
  • Access to business specialists and attorneys
  • IRS Form 2553 preparation and filing ($69 extra)
  • EIN assistance ($59.99 extra)
  • Registered agent services ($149.99/year for nonmembers and $111.99/year for members)
  • Seven-day free membership trial ($39.99/month thereafter)

Pros

  • Rocket Lawyer provides a seven-day free trial
  • Businesses can choose to use Rocket Lawyer's wide network of specialists for their more complicated questions
  • Members receive access to a variety of legal documents on their online dashboard

Cons

  • Services are not as widely available as those offered by traditional law firms
  • Some formation services, like obtaining an EIN and filing Form 2553, cost extra
  • Does not offer a free year of registered agent services

5. LegalZoom: $149+ (plus state filing fees)

LegalZoom is a company that provides legal and incorporation services on the internet. It was founded in 2001 and has expanded to provide services in personal, family, and business law.

LegalZoom also offers incorporation services such as incorporating an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit. It also provides legal services such as wills, living wills, trusts, living trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.

Top Features

  • Articles of Incorporation preparation and filing
  • IRS Form 2553 preparation and filing ($60 extra)
  • Professional corporation filing ($50 extra)
  • Registered agent services ($249/year)
  • Bylaws, resolutions, EIN assistance, and business licenses ($249 extra)
  • Legal setup advice (free 10-day trial, then $39.99/month)
  • Total Compliance package (free 10-day trial, then $280/year)

Pros

  • LegalZoom is an established formation company with many customer reviews and years of experience.
  • Businesses have the ability to get assistance forming a professional corporation

Cons

  • Far more expensive than the above alternatives
  • No free year of registered agent services
  • Paid attorney advertising

What Is the Difference Between an S Corporation and a C Corporation?

The difference between an S corp and a C corp is the difference between pass-through taxation and double taxation. Most people get a little confused about what this means.

A C corp is almost always a large company, while an S corp can be a large or small company.

S Corporation

An S corp is a tax designation that allows business owners to be taxed as employees of their company. S corps have a limited number of shareholders, do not offer their shares to the general public, and do not pay corporate income tax. Shares are limited to a maximum of 100.

C Corporation

A C corp is a publicly-traded corporation that offers its shares to the general public and pays corporate income tax. C corps are typically what people think of when they discuss corporations in general.

Final Thoughts

ZenBusiness and Incfile offer entrepreneurs some of the best incorporation services online and both come with free registered agent services. In addition, both will help you set up a separate legal entity with the state's office to safeguard against personal liability.

With both, you can set up an LLC, S corporation, or a C corporation. Setting up limited liability companies or C corps helps ensure you don't pierce the corporate veil, meaning your personal assets stay protected as you manage your day-to-day operations.

All of the companies mentioned in this review will help you to form a corporation, create a shareholders agreement, set up a board of directors (initial directors/corporation's directors), corporate officers (e.g., chief financial officer), manage all the state forms, annual meetings, bank accounts, manage your corporate status, register a business name, file the Articles of Incorporation with the state's business service division, and everything else you need to become a legal entity.