Need to form a nonprofit, but your budget doesn’t allow for hiring an attorney to handle the delicate legal matters? Do you also currently lack the free time needed to personally ensure the complex process is handled correctly (the first time)?
Thankfully, there are services to streamline the process, while also saving loads of resources.
Below are the best nonprofit formation services available, briefly taking a look at what they offer and how to decide which is the best fit for your mission. Enjoy!
#1 IncFile - Starts at $49
IncFile is the most affordable nonprofit formation service with a solid track record. Since 2004 they have formed over 150,000 businesses, earning an excellent customer feedback average of 4.8 out of 5 on ShopperApproved after 1700+ reviews. Plus they offer:
- Free Registered Agent (Required by State)
- Real-time Online Order Status Tracking
- Next-Day Order Processing
If you want the most affordable nonprofit service that also offers generous features, we recommend IncFile.
#2 LegalZoom - Starts at $99
LegalZoom is one of the biggest players in the industry, with over 3 million customers served since 1999. They offer well-rounded packages with features that cater to a large variety of different nonprofits in all 50 states.
- Streamlined & Quick Step-By-Step Process
- 501(c)(3) Applications Completed for Additional $495
- Free & Helpful Resources like a “How to Form Your Nonprofit” Book
They also have a bunch of optional features that vary by levels of service packages, a 3-month QuickBooks trial and expedited processing are two examples. The Express Gold package is quite literally a one-stop-shop option for $359.
#3 Rocket Lawyer - Starts at $99.95
With over 20 million customers since 2008, Rocket Lawyer is a well-oiled machine. These are just the beginning below, but one thing to pay close attention to is their optional access to nonprofit-specific legal professionals who can answer questions and help avoid pitfalls or delays.
- Phone Support Throughout Filing Process
- Ongoing Services for Nonprofit Bylaws and 501(c)(3) Exemptions
- Access to Business Attorneys
Additionally, Rocket Lawyer’s online legal services customers enjoy discounts on nonprofit formation and other document filing services. We’ve worked with them a bunch over the last couple years and have nothing but good things to say about their speed, professionalism, and overall support.
#4 CorpNet - Starts at $128
CorpNet’s ownership group has been in the document filing industry for 20 years, accruing over 100,000 customers in that time. For nonprofits, they offer a balanced package of services including:
- Business Information Zone Compliance Tool with Deadline Reminders
- 24-Hour Document Prep Options
- Automatic Annual Report Filing
There’s nothing that truly stands out about CorpNet's services to form a nonprofit organization, but they do everything well, have impeccable customer service, and don’t leave out any indispensable features. And let’s not forget, both CorpNet’s Deluxe and Complete packages come with a full year of registered agent service.
Pros & Cons to Using a Nonprofit Filing Service
- In general, their processes are engineered for beginners so they’re user-friendly and easy to navigate. Any of the nonprofit registration services above can likely save you lots of time.
- While these providers aren’t law firms, they do offer tons of instructional and educational material, blank forms and customizable templates, along with customer support staff who you can contact in a variety of ways.
- Because these are the cream of the crop in this industry, they’re typically where the innovation and new services are coming from. They’re still growing and expanding every year to be more useful.
- Most of the providers on our list have optional upgraded services that you can choose to leverage or not, against simply getting stuck with a rigid package of bundled features that may not serve you.
- If you don’t know what you need, and you don’t have traditional legal assistance, there’s a ton of pitfalls that can occur that these providers may or may not be able to help with. Nonprofits can get complex fast. NONE of these services are technically better than a nonprofit law firm or specialist attorney.
Which Nonprofit Filing Service is Best?
At the end of the day, do what's right for your mission. Since forming a nonprofit is the most complicated entity, getting assistance from one of the services above or an attorney is highly recommended.
If you’re still deciding, check out our full reviews to focus in on your favorites. In general though, since IncFile offers the best overall pricing and features, we highly recommend their services.