Incorporate.com? Yes or no?

6 Replies

I was just listening to one of the BP podcasts and the guest mentioned using incorporate.com to just get a quick LLC going. Has anyone used that? Thoughts?

@Wendy C. I have never used incorporate.com or any other online solution for filing an LLC so I can not speak for or against them. I do have to say though that I truly believe that finding a great CPA is invaluable, even for the small things, my families CPA has saved us a lot of money and countless headaches. I also just went to see incorporate.com for pricing for an LLC in Washington and with their fees plus state fees the total came out to be about $360. My account, an any reputable one, should only charge you about $350 for file for an LLC, so the costs are comparable, but I strongly believe that a CPA will provide you with a better service.

Hope this helps,

Joe

@Wendy C. - I had not heard of incorporate.com until reading your post. I had of course heard of similar services, but not this one in particular. Interestingly, it would be more expensive for someone to use this service than to call me and have personal connection with an attorney. Also, they're marking up the state filing fees (at least in Iowa). The filing fees here are $50.00 when forming an LLC, but they're charging $100. Our office certainly doesn't mark up the fees, perhaps I'm missing out!

As an aside, there's definitely a lot of virtual providers out there, but having a relationship with local professionals when starting a business will (assuming you find a solid provider) more than make up for the costs associated, and when (not if) things ever go wrong, you've got a team of professionals already familiar with your operation who will stand by you, by your business, and by their past advice/services to make sure you stay protected.

Best of luck!

@Wendy C.

Washington State is easy to go online and set-up your own LLC. Cost around $275 and takes roughly 20 minutes. Once you get it, be sure to file for you EIN with the Federal Government.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me directly... My email and number are in my profile.

@Wendy C.

In real estate business (any business, really), you constantly have to choose between DIY, cheap help and expert help. Creating an LLC is just one such decision. Other examples are: creating your marketing pieces and website, finding your leads, structuring your contracts, managing rehab, managing tenants, bookkeeping, tax preparation and so on.

Every time, the decision is based on the importance of doing it right, risk of doing it wrong, and potential savings from shortcuts. 

If your LLC is holding a rental property - there is a legal liability risk. The bigger and riskier the property and the more you might lose if things go wrong - the more important it becomes to have the LLC set up tight. Then you need a local attorney to set it up. Local or at least very familiar with your local laws.

If your legal protection is not that big of a deal - then an off-the-shelf LLC might do. Online outfits do not customize LLCs for your business and your specific circumstances, of course.

In short, compare the risk of using an imperfect LLC against the savings from forming it online.

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