Is It Right For You? (Pros, Cons & More)
Are you forming a nonprofit, but not interested in going the DIY route?
Nonprofits have complex compliance requirements that can make it exceedingly difficult to go it alone. There are tons of companies that provide nonprofit formation services, but it can be hard to determine which one is the best fit for your budding organization.
To complement your own research, my team and I studied the top nonprofit formation services on the market. In this Incorporate.com nonprofit review, I’ll outline their pros and cons, pricing and features, customer feedback and more so you can decide if they’re the right provider to trust with your nonprofit filing.
Incorporate.com originated from “The Company Corporation”, which opened in 1899 (that’s right — 1899), giving them unbeatable longevity. With 750,000+ customers served in that time, their volume of clients is also quite robust.
Compared to most of their competitors, Incorporate.com offers a wider variety of nonprofit formation services. They have three different package options, each designed for a different set of circumstances.
Most providers have some sort of FAQ section or online learning center, but Incorporate.com goes much farther with their wide variety of ebooks and guides. They cover a ton of topics from formation tips to tax information.
Customer feedback is not their strong suit. Incorporate.com has accumulated about 100 online reviews between BBB.org, Yelp and FitSmallBusiness, and the vast majority of them are negative.
Their package descriptions are somewhat misleading. Several of the features listed are actually only available to their registered agent customers, which you wouldn’t realize if you didn’t read the fine print.
Incorporate.com offers 3 packages for nonprofit formation, ranging from $99 all the way up to $1,799. Take a look at how they position these packages on their website, then we’ll get down to the details.
What It Includes: They will draft, file and give you digital access to your nonprofit formation documents.
While the graphic on their website says they also include the Compliance Watch tool and a $75k Corporate Compliance Guarantee in this package, that doesn’t apply to everyone. If you read the fine print, you’ll discover that these benefits only apply to Incorporate.com’s registered agent customers.
Who It’s Right For: If you’re only seeking help with the basic formation documents for your nonprofit, The Starter package will be a good fit for you.
What It Includes: This package includes everything from The Starter, along with a federal tax ID number (EIN) for your organization. You’ll also receive a corporate kit and seal to help you organize and authenticate important documents.
Just like The Starter package, the way Incorporate.com advertises The Essentials makes it seem like you’re getting more than you really are. While it says this package includes “annual report preparation and filing service,” this feature is only available to their registered agent clients.
Who It’s Right For: I only recommended this package if you want the corporate kit and seal. The EIN is a vital feature as well, but you can obtain it for free on your own.
What It Includes: This package offers everything from The Essentials and adds on some advanced features to set your nonprofit up for ongoing compliance. This includes a business license compliance package, which identifies the licenses and permits your organization needs to be compliant. Most importantly, though, you’ll get 501(c) filing service to obtain federal tax-exempt status.
Who It’s Right For: If you have the budget to get everything taken care of on your behalf, The Works is the right choice for you. The 501(c) filing process is incredibly lengthy and complex, so handing it over to a professional is a good idea if you can afford it.
In my opinion, most folks should either go with The Starter or The Works. The Starter is a good option for basic document filing, and The Works is a great choice if you’re looking for comprehensive 501(c) service.
If customer feedback is quite important to you, Incorporate.com probably won’t earn your business.
For whatever reason, not many of their customers write reviews, and those that do are the ones who feel displeased with their service in some way. Between the names “The Company Corporation” and “Incorporate.com” they’ve acquired a little over 100 reviews, and the majority of them are negative. See their rating breakdown below.
Customer Reviews Section Last Updated 10-23-17
Conclusion: Is it a good thing to have so many critical online reviews? No, of course not. Still, considering they’ve served 750,000+ customers, we can infer that they’ve had plenty of satisfied clients who simply haven’t taken the time to speak up.
Some providers simply offer better value than others, and the goal here is to figure out which one has the features you need at a price that won’t break the bank.
Incorporate.com is a decent choice for nonprofit formation, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on what the competition has to offer. Let’s see how they compare to my favorite provider, Harbor Compliance.
Pricing: Harbor Compliance’s $1,499 base rate is significantly less expensive than the $1,799 price tag Incorporate.com has on “The Works”. However, Harbor Compliance does not offer a simple document filing option comparable to Incorporate.com’s $99 “Starter” package.
Features: Harbor Compliance’s base-level nonprofit package offers a set of features similar to Incorporate.com’s “The Works”, but they also include registered agent service. Their advanced Compliance package also includes fundraising solutions, managed annual report service, and other helpful features for ongoing support.
Customer Support: Harbor Compliance is known for their Compliance Specialist customer support system, where every customer is assigned a knowledgeable employee for ongoing compliance assistance. Incorporate.com also offers customer support, including features like a one-hour initial consultation, but Harbor Compliance is much more thorough in this regard.
Experience: Incorporate.com technically originated in 1899 and has served 750,000+ customers. Harbor Compliance is a much newer company, but they’ve already served over 10,000 clients since 2012.
Pricing Starts at
In Business Since 1899
Anyone wanting a company with optional premium & basic features
Pricing Starts at
In Business Since 2012
Anyone wanting top-to-bottom formation and ongoing compliance
You have this option, sure. The issue is that nonprofits have complex requirements for compliance, and it’s nice to have a provider like Incorporate.com handle that stuff for you. If you do want to try the DIY option, take a look at our extensive how-to guide.
They’ll refund your money less a $50 fee if you request your refund before they submit any paperwork. Beyond that, they say they’ll use their discretion when deciding whether or not to give you a refund, which I’ll go ahead and assume means “nope.”
They have McAfee Secure protecting their site, so you’re as safe with them as with any other provider.
Certainly. In their own words, “our team will work with your business for as long as it takes to receive a positive letter of determination.”
Incorporate.com earns a score of 4.5/5 from me. Their comprehensive service package is impressive, and their longevity as a company is impossible to match.
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