The 4 Best Nonprofit Formation Services AvailableFind the Top Service to Start a Nonprofit

Smiling woman next to a graphic that says "Top 4 Nonprofit Formation Services".

Need to form a nonprofit, but your budget doesn’t allow for hiring an attorney to handle the delicate legal matters and file important paperwork? Do you also currently lack the free time needed to personally ensure the complex nonprofit formation process is handled correctly (the first time)?

Thankfully, there are services to streamline the process of starting a nonprofit organization and obtaining 501(c)(3) status, while also saving money and resources.

Below are the best nonprofit formation services available, briefly taking a look at what they offer and how to decide which service is the best fit for your mission.

1. Incfile - Starts at $0 (+ State Fees)

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 11,000+ reviews. Plus Incfile offers:

  • Free Registered Agent service for one year (Required by State)
  • Real-time Online Order Status Tracking
  • Next-Day Order Processing
  • Articles of Organization filing
  • Unlimited name searches

If you want the most affordable nonprofit filing service that also offers generous features, we recommend Incfile to help form your nonprofit.

Incfile logo

2. LegalZoom - Starts at $99 (+ State Fees)

LegalZoom is one of the biggest players in the business and nonprofit formation 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
  • Articles of Incorporation filing
  • Nonprofit Corporation name availability check

LegalZoom also has a bunch of optional features that vary by levels of nonprofit formation service packages; a 3-month QuickBooks trial and expedited processing are two examples. The LegalZoom Express Gold package is quite literally a one-stop-shop option for $359 plus state filing fee.

LegalZoom logo

3. Rocket Lawyer - Starts at $99.95 (+ State Fees)

With over 20 million customers since 2008, Rocket Lawyer is a well-oiled machine when it comes to helping you form a nonprofit. 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 for customers and help avoid pitfalls or delays.

  • Phone Support Throughout Nonprofit Filing Process
  • Ongoing Services for Nonprofit Bylaws and 501(c)(3) Exemptions
  • Access to Business Attorneys and Nonprofit Attorneys
  • Business name reservation
  • Nonprofit paperwork filing

Additionally, Rocket Lawyer’s online legal services allow customers to 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.

Rocket Lawyer logo

4. CorpNet - Starts at $128 (+ State Fees)

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 formation services including:

  • Business Information Zone Compliance Tool with Deadline Reminders
  • 24-Hour Document Prep Options
  • Automatic Annual Report Filing
  • Articles of Incorporation Filing
  • Free registered agent service for 60 days in basic package

There’s nothing that truly stands out about CorpNet's services to start a nonprofit organization, but they do everything well, have impeccable customer service, and don’t leave out any indispensable features for nonprofit formation. And let’s not forget, both CorpNet’s Deluxe and Complete packages come with a full year of registered agent service.

CorpNet logo

Pros & Cons to Using a Nonprofit Filing Service

PROS

  1. In general, their nonprofit formation 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.
  2. While these business and nonprofit service 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.
  3. Because these nonprofit filing services 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 to customers forming a nonprofit.
  4. Most of the nonprofit formation 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.

CONS

  1. 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 nonprofit formation 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 to help you start a nonprofit.

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 nonprofit formation services above or an attorney is highly recommended.

If you’re still deciding, check out our full nonprofit reviews to focus in on your favorites. In general though, since Incfile offers the best overall pricing and features, we highly recommend their services when starting a nonprofit.