Creating a limited liability company (LLC) for your business enables you to establish a legal presence and gain valuable protections. An LLC is a legal formation that helps separate your personal assets and liabilities from your business.
There are numerous benefits to forming an LLC, including creating a separate legal identity, reducing liability, and allowing your business to go on in perpetuity, with some limitations. LLCs, compared to corporations, are easier to manage with more flexible management structures and with far fewer required compliance steps.
There are some limitations to an LLC formation, though, including the fact that it costs more than to maintain a sole proprietorship. Transferring ownership may require a dissolving of the LLC and the reformation of one, as well.
For many businesses, an LLC is ideal because it is more affordable and complex than forming a corporation and provides significantly higher protection than operating as a sole proprietorship. The key to getting the most out of it is to ensure you’re working with the right formation tools.
#1: Tailor Brands
Cost: $199 for Elite Service
A noted, easy-to-use service for LLC formation, Tailor Brands is one of the best tools companies have for effective, fast business formation. Without a doubt, it is the best all-inclusive tool for building your business’s LLC.
Tailor Brands also helps with branding, website development, and annual report filings. It only takes a matter of minutes to get started, too. Use their tools to develop your full online presence, including creating a logo, building a beautiful website, securing your domain name, and creating a digital business card.
Tailor Brands really allows you to keep costs down and managed well. As an automated platform (with help when you need it), it allows you to get the process completed in virtually no time without having to wait around for others. You will be able to choose the level of service you need and want, which allows you to remain more in control over the costs. The key value here is that you do not have to pay for services that you don’t need, but you can get just about everything you need to launch your business in no time.
- All-inclusive to go from no place to a fully-fledged, ready-to-go business
- Easy-to-use templates and tools that allow you to get started in under 10 minutes
- Customization for all of your needs, no matter which state
- Can offer Registered Agent services
- Handles ongoing annual reports
- The best plans cost more but may be well worth the investment
LegalShield is a reliable solution for those who want to establish an LLC. It can help you to establish your LLC by filing all necessary documents. The service provides name-check support and can offer some insight into selecting a permit for your business as well.
It offers hands-on support for you when you need it, including providing a way for you to get the help you need through chat or over the phone. Depending on the plan you select, you may still wish to consult with an attorney locally to you to help with the establishment of your business. Customers using LegalShield find it to be a reliable option that is easy to use. They also note that customer service professionals are helpful and can complete the process for you quickly.
- Fast and easy to use
- Provides 3 months of legal support for personal and business needs
- Chat service available for questions
- May still be beneficial to work with a local attorney
- Does not offer as many services for branding, website design, and support
#3: Northwest Registered Agent
Cost: $225 and up
Another option is Northwest Registered Agents. As a component of creating an LLC, you will need to have a Registered Agent, who is a person or company capable of receiving legal business correspondence and other legal documents on your behalf. You can serve as your own Registered Agent – you do not need to buy this service separately if you do not want to do so. This is one of the services this organization offers.
It’s possible to create a free account using Northwest Registered Agent, but doing so means you only have access to a limited amount of tools. More commonly, you’ll need to upgrade to the LLC Formation Service, which will provide you with access to a registered agent service for a year. This also provides you with a free limited mail forwarding service.
Northwest Registered Agent can handle a variety of steps in the LLC formation process for you. That includes completing the Articles of Organization. They can also file an annual report on your behalf. Additional services that may be available include tax ID support, premium mail forwarding, virtual office services, trademark services, and corporate supply access.
- Registered Agent service is available
- Provides customization options for each state
- Easy-to-use service that is fully online
- Free account can help you get started
- Can be costly in some situations, depending on the services that you need
- Does not provide branding, logo design, or other website focused business building services like other providers
#4: Inc Authority
Cost: Free initial services but up to $799
The use of Inc Authority can be a good option for those who want a low-cost solution that provides limited services. The company provides you with free online LLC registration support, though you do have to pay the required state fees. They also offer tools to help you to expedite the process with the ability to process most orders within 24 hours. That does not mean your business will have the Articles of Organization completed by then, though.
This service offers help with business name checks, digital storage and delivery of your startup documents, and tax planning consultations (these services may have a higher cost). In addition to this, it can help you with S-election form support and preparing and filing your documents for you for any state.
Rather simple to use and seemingly the ideal choice for those who do not want to pay, there are some limitations here. You will need to pay fees based on the needs you have. With a lot of upsells, you could easily end up spending up to $800 using this tool. There are also no refunds, and you have to pay a fee for EIN filing (which is a free service from the IRS). Ultimately, they offer good quality services but end up costing more when you get what you have to have.
- Good LLC services
- Fast processing time to get the initial setup started
- Some support is provided
- LLC filing itself is free
- The upsells add up and make some packages very expensive
- It is not a BBB-accredited company
- You have to pay for EIN filing, which you could do yourself for free
#5: Rocket Lawyer
Cost: $99 up to $40 monthly service
Rocket Lawyer is another of the top-tier option for LLC formation and should be on your list for those who want ongoing help. The tool provides a range of services that most businesses need to get started, including LLC formation as well as legal advice from attorneys, and legal document access.
The company offers some free services, and the 30-day money-back guarantee is a nice tool for various reasons. However, you will need to pay fees associated with a range of services the company offers. They can help you with business formation, Registered Agent services, legal documents, as well as a Lawyer service and a 30-minute consultation, but the cost you pay is dependent on the services you select to use, and those can add up over time.
Key to the promised free LLC service is signing up for a paid monthly membership to its service, which may end up costing you more money than you should have to pay. There is a free 7-day trial which can prove to be valuable to you if you want to see how well the service actually works.
- Free LLC formation if you need and pay for the continued services
- Discounts and lower costing access to attorneys for questions
- 7-day free trial to see if it is right for you
- Good quality customer service with a 30-minute consultation
- Costs add up with the monthly service
- You still have to pay for additional services, even with a monthly fee
- Does not do branding support or website building
What to Consider in an LLC Formation Service
With so many options to select from, it can be hard to know which tool is the best suited for your needs. One of the best things to look for is a single service that does it all for you. If your business needs a website, branding, logo help, and name selection support, work with a company that can help you create that, as it will help keep your costs down while also ensuring you get the support you need in creating a cohesive experience.
LLC formation services should always be customized to meet the state’s requirements, too. If you are using an automated service, be sure there’s a way to get help when you need it. Also important when choosing a service is to see the cost upfront. If a service is offering free LLC formation services, find out what they are charging for – you don’t want to end up paying for too many upsells that you could have received for less from another provider.