8 Best Online Incorporation Services for Startups in 2024

Businessman posing in the office.

Ready to incorporate your startup? Hiring a business formation provider makes the process quick, simple, and hassle-free. But remember, not all platforms are created equal. It's important to choose one known for exceptional customer support, ongoing compliance services, and other vital features.

We've done the research for you and thoroughly reviewed the best online incorporation services based on criteria like cost, features, ease of use, and more. Whether you’re launching a simple online business or a more complex startup, we'll help you choose the right formation service for your needs.

Recommended: Incorporate with Firstbase and unlock exclusive partner rewards and deals worth over $350K. Get started today.

Top Incorporation Services

     

Firstbase

4.8/5 star rating.

4.8/5

Best for Startups

  • One-stop shop for incorporation, banking, legal docs, etc.
  • Seamless setup tailored to your business needs
  • $350,000+ in rewards via exclusive software partnerships
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Northwest

4.8/5 star rating.

4.8/5

Best for Small Businesses

  • Helpful and knowledgeable customer support
  • Quick and simple ordering process
  • One year of free registered agent services
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LegalZoom

4.3/5 star rating.

4.3/5

Best for Expert Legal Services

  • Well-known, trusted brand
  • Money-back guarantee (first 60 days)
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ZenBusiness

4.2/5 star rating.

4.2/5

  • Online dashboard to track business documents
  • Positive user reviews
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Gust

4.2/5 star rating.

4.2/5

  • Variety of finance tools
  • Post-incorporation support
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Clerky

4/5 star rating.

4.1/5

  • Created for startups specifically
  • Pay-per-service features
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Stripe Atlas

4/5 star rating.

4/5

  • Access to a supportive community
  • Help with opening a business bank account
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Bizee

4.1/5 star rating.

4/5

  • Convenient digital dashboard
  • Free online guides and resources
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Incorporating your startup means establishing your business as a formal legal entity, separate from its founders or owners. Startup incorporation has a number of advantages; your company will gain limited liability, establish credibility and trust, be more attractive to investors, and more.

Note that forming a C corporation is recommended for startups, especially those seeking outside investors, while forming an LLC is recommended for small businesses that do not plan to raise outside investment. You can learn more about which legal structure is right for you by reading our LLC vs. Corporation guide.

Top Incorporation Services of February 2024:

  1. Firstbase
  2. Northwest Registered Agent
  3. LegalZoom
  4. ZenBusiness
  5. Gust
  6. Clerky
  7. Stripe Atlas
  8. Bizee

When deciphering the best incorporation service for your startup, it is important to identify the services offered (e.g., Employer Identification Number (EIN) assistance, registered agent services, etc.) compared to the price. 

Each business formation service offers its own unique value; however, our overall recommendation is Firstbase.io. They offer a comprehensive suite of services, from incorporation to banking, ensuring that startups have everything they need to launch and operate effectively.

Whether you choose to start a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) — Firstbase offers a great deal for the tools and services it provides.

Best Online Incorporation Service: Firstbase

Over 10,000 entrepreneurs worldwide have launched their ventures with Firstbase. Sign up today to incorporate, manage, and grow your startup – all in one place.

Visit Firstbase

1. Firstbase

Pricing: $399 (one-time fee) + potential add-ons

Firstbase is our number one pick for the best online incorporation service. Whether you're seeking outside funding now or in the future, their comprehensive platform will get your startup investor-ready and equipped for growth.

Firstbase's START™ product streamlines business formation across a variety of states, providing essentials such as an EIN, bylaws, and shareholder agreements. The platform also boasts features tailored specifically for startups; for instance, their Discovery program allows venture capitalists (VCs) to view and contact your business as a potential investment opportunity.

Moreover, Firstbase's exclusive partner network offers perks worth over $350,000—you get one-click access to essential growth tools for banking, payments, payroll, and more. These integrations and rewards are carefully curated to support business growth, offering cash incentives, credits, and saving precious time through automated processes.

In addition to online incorporation services, Firstbase provides several other valuable products for first time business owners:

  • Firstbase Agent™ acts as your registered agent for legal notices and compliance filings, starting at $99/year.
  • Firstbase Mailroom™ provides a business address and mail management, with prices from $35/month.
  • Firstbase AccountingTM (starting at $99/month) handles bookkeeping with human-managed AI.

Lastly, Firstbase rounds out its services with several add-on features, including payroll tax registration, general liability insurance, accounting support, and pre-EIN bank account access.

Pros 

  • Transparent pricing with a seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Complimentary legal consultation
  • Access to over $350,000 in startup rewards
  • Around-the-clock customer support

Cons

  • Not available in every state, potentially excluding certain desired locations
  • Pricier than some other incorporation services out there

Firstbase.io offers the tools you need to launch, manage, and grow your company — all in one platform. Incorporate your startup with Firstbase ($399 one-time fee)

Learn more by reading our full Firstbase review.

2. Northwest Registered Agent

Pricing: Starts at $29 + state filing fees

Northwest is our next pick for the best online incorporation services on the market. Northwest Registered Agent is known for its knowledgeable and dedicated customer service, which means you are likely to find the support you need during the critical stages of the incorporation process. They even provide their customers with Corporate Guides, who are highly trained U.S.-based support agents. 

Overall, Northwest Registered Agent is designed for small business owners on a budget who still want the personalized support and legal protection of forming an official LLC. With Northwest, entrepreneurs can expect a hassle-free experience that simplifies the complexities of initial business formation, making it an ideal choice for those who value both quality service and affordability.

Pros

  • Excellent and knowledgeable customer support
  • Quick and simple ordering process
  • Free registered agent service for a year 
  • Free phone service for 60 days

Cons 

  • Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t include as many features as other incorporation services. For instance, they charge extra for some essential features such as an employer identification number (EIN). However, you can simply get one for free using our guide.

Northwest Registered Agent is an excellent and affordable choice for LLC formation services. Incorporate your startup with Northwest ($29 + state fees) 

3. LegalZoom

Pricing: Starts at $0 + state fees 

LegalZoom is a well-established name in the world of online legal services and startup formation. The platform provides a comprehensive suite of services for startups, ranging from incorporation to patents and copyright registration.

LegalZoom provides access to a network of experienced attorneys that can guide you through complex legal processes. This can be invaluable during the formative stages of your startup when you may need to navigate tricky legal waters.

Pros 

  • Money-back guarantee 
  • A well-known, experienced company 
  • Legal advice past business formation

Cons 

  • Higher price than some competitors 
  • High cost for additional services such as an operating agreement

LegalZoom is ideal if you want to incorporate a startup with the most well-known brand and gain access to personalized attorney services. Form your startup with LegalZoom ($0 + state fees)

4. ZenBusiness

Pricing: Starts at $0 + state fees

ZenBusiness is another good option for online incorporation services. With services ranging from corporation to LLC formation, ZenBusiness can help you easily structure your company.

Additionally, ZenBusiness customers who choose to incorporate using its services gain worry-free compliance included in the price. For startups that want extra support, ZenBusiness also offers packages that include EIN and expedited filing services as well as domain names and a business website built into the annual cost.

Pros 

  • Competitive price 
  • Positive customer feedback
  • Worry-free compliance free first year (Auto-renewal price: $199/yr)
  • Free incorporation service (note that you will still need to pay state filing fees)

Cons 

  • Some helpful features (e.g., registered agent service) not included in any LLC formation or C corporation packages
  • Annual subscription model, no pay-per-service option

ZenBusiness is another great choice for online incorporation service, providing many features at an affordable price. Form your startup with ZenBusiness ($0 + state fees)

5. Gust

Pricing: Starts at $300/year + state fees. 

One of the main drawbacks of Gust's incorporation services is its subscription-based model. Despite the C corp process being a one-time event, startups that choose to use Gust’s services are required to sign up for a subscription for additional services such as a private founder community and software after they have formed their corporation. 

Pros 

  • Created for startups specifically
  • Business banking included in cost 
  • Post-incorporation support 

Cons

  • No unique features 
  • Subscription-based model
  • Only offers Delaware corporation formation

6. Clerky

Pricing: $799 for Company Lifetime Package or $407 for incorporation

Clerky offers business formation services created for startups specifically, making it an ideal choice for startup founders. One of the best things about choosing Clerky for business formation is its pay-per-service model that allows customers to choose the exact services they need without having to pay for services they don’t. 

Clerky breaks down the startup formation process into two chapters, the first being actually forming your corporation and the second being the required steps afterward such as drafting corporate bylaws and assigning founder vestment.

Pros

  • Created for startups specifically
  • Pay-per-service features
  • Excellent customer service 

Cons

  • Higher cost than many competitors 
  • Formation services only available for Delaware C corps 
  • Required expedited filing

Learn more by reading our full Clerky review.

7. Stripe Atlas

Pricing: Starts at $500 + state fees

Stripe Atlas is a business formation service through Stripe that offers a litany of additional services, including a guaranteed bank account with formation. For international startup founders who may find it difficult to acquire a bank account for their startup, this can be highly beneficial.

Pros

  • Guaranteed bank account
  • Created for startups specifically
  • Great for international founders

Cons

  • Higher cost than some competitors 
  • For corporations, no choice of bank
  • Only offers Delaware company formation

Learn more by reading our full Stripe Atlas review.

8. Bizee

Pricing: Starts at $0 + state fees 

Bizee is known for having inexpensive incorporation and LLC formation services that don’t sacrifice features or reliability despite its competitive pricing. In fact, every formation service comes with a free year of registered agent services. With Bizee, you can form a corporation and obtain free registered agent services for a year by paying only the necessary state fees. But, if you would like additional perks such as a bank account, EIN, or help drafting corporate bylaws, you will need to pay extra. 

The main drawback is that Bizee’s services are geared primarily towards LLC formation service. Therefore, if you are planning to form a C corp, other corporation formation services, such as Firstbase or Northwest Registered Agent, might be better choices.

Pros 

  • Competitive price
  • Free registered agent service for a year
  • They offer free incorporation services (with the exception of state filing fees)

Cons

  • Focused primarily on LLC formation service
  • Additional services (such as an operating agreement template) cost extra 

Interested in simply forming an LLC? Check out our review of the best LLC services!

Honorable Mentions

While not included in the main list above, the following platforms are still worth a brief mention.

Tailor Brands

Tailor Brands provides services to help entrepreneurs form limited liability companies and build a business website, with a special emphasis on branding. The company is renowned for having one of the top logo creation tools on the internet. Tailor Brands' premium offerings utilize advanced AI technology for graphic design and marketing.

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer provides a complete incorporation package if you need legal help beyond just forming your corporation or LLC. We even worked out an exclusive offer that bundles Rocket Lawyer's premium membership with their online incorporation services for our customers.

The New Business Bundle costs $349.99 (plus state fees) for incorporation, one year of registered agent service, and access to Rocket Lawyer's legal services (including legal documents) for one year.

BizFilings

BizFilings has been open for over 20 years forming various business structures, and remains a respected online incorporation service. They also have lots of valuable, free educational content on their website, including some informative FAQs and state-by-state guides.

Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings has built a strong reputation for its fast and straightforward business formation service. Their online platform makes it simple to access a variety of services related to starting a new venture. This includes LLC formation, registered agent service, business name availability check, and compliance services.

LegalShield

With LegalShield's Launch product, a lawyer will guide you through every step of the complex business formation process. And LegalShield doesn't disappear after your venture is formed - you'll receive 3 months of continued legal services on both business and personal matters.

MyCompanyWorks

While MyCompanyWorks may not offer the most affordable incorporation packages, their pricing is still competitive. More significantly, business owners who use MyCompanyWorks highlight the excellent customer service and satisfaction guarantee as key benefits.

Review Methodology

The TRUiC team evaluates the top online incorporation services based on the following criteria:

  • Pricing: The company offers essential startup services at an affordable price for entrepreneurs.
  • Features: The platform offers vital features such as incorporation filing, registered agent services, annual report service, etc.
  • User Reviews: Previous customers rated and reviewed the startup incorporation service positively, and the company is receptive to negative reviews.
  • Customer Support: The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive to customers. They provide startup founders with peace of mind throughout the business incorporation process.
  • Accessibility and Transparency: The information on the provider's website is easy for the customer to navigate and understand. The ordering process is straightforward, user-friendly, and void of hidden fees.

Overall, our main goal is to recommend online incorporation services that provide the best value for our users so they can more easily launch and grow successful startups.

FAQs

What is the concept of incorporation?

When you incorporate a startup, you register your new business with your state, and it becomes its own legal entity, or “person.”

You can learn more about startup incorporation by reading our comprehensive guide on how to incorporate a startup, along with its supporting articles.

What is the purpose of incorporation?

One of the main purposes of incorporation is to gain personal liability protection; however, there are many other reasons to incorporate; your startup will establish credibility and trust, be more attractive to investors, and more.

What are business incorporation services?

Online incorporation services take care of the confusing business formation paperwork by completing and submitting documents to the appropriate government agencies. A lot of these services can also provide features such as annual report filing, business license searches, registered agent services, operating agreement templates, etc.

Many professional services will often save you both time and money, provide you with peace of mind, reduce the chance of errors, and offer helpful customer support and tools throughout the complex business formation process.

What is the best incorporation service provider?

Our pick for best incorporation service for startup founders is Firstbase because it offers startup-specific benefits like access to an exclusive network, growth tools, and more to support entrepreneurs during launch and scaling.

Our pick for best incorporation services for small business owners is Northwest Registered Agent because of its affordable LLC features, quality registered agent service, and hassle-free business formation process.

Should I form an LLC or corporation for my startup?

LLC formation vs corporation formation depends on the nature of your startup.

Limited liability companies (LLCs) are simpler structures that are often better for small, owner-managed businesses.

Corporations are more complex business structures that are better suited for startups that want to raise outside funding, grow significantly, etc.

Where is the best place to incorporate a startup?

The best place to incorporate depends on the specific entrepreneurial needs and goals. Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming are common startup incorporation locations due to benefits like liability protections, no state corporate income taxes, flexible corporate laws, and more.

Do I need a lawyer to incorporate my startup?

You do not necessarily need a lawyer to incorporate a startup. Many entrepreneurs choose to use a business incorporation service instead.

These platforms can handle all the required paperwork and filings to register your new business structure with the state. They are generally more affordable and faster than hiring a lawyer.

However, a lawyer can provide legal guidance customized to your specific needs. Significant funding rounds, or special regulatory issues may make consulting a lawyer worthwhile.


About the Author

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