Are you looking to form a limited liability company, corporation, or nonprofit but are stuck trying to settle on the best formation service to use?
Choosing the right service can be difficult. That’s why we’ve evaluated over a dozen of the top services, looking at metrics in a number of categories, such as pricing and turnaround time, in order to give you a clear idea of each services’ strengths and weaknesses.
Here are our results:
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Verdict
While neither Rocket Lawyer nor Incfile scored particularly impressively, Rocket Lawyer came out as the winner of this specific side-to-side comparison.
Rocket Lawyer performed similarly to Incfile on our ease of use category but scores significantly better in terms of customer satisfaction, with an average user score of 4.6 out of 5 and more than 3,100 individual reviews on major platforms. Rocket Lawyer also boasts better real-life turnaround times and a more capable and helpful customer service staff.
Pricing is the main category where Incfile is the clear winner – they offer a basic business formation service for the low price of free, whereas Rocket Lawyer’s costs can add up quickly for those who haven’t opted into their monthly subscription service.
Though it’s far from optimal, Rocket Lawyer can be a viable formation option for those who are interested in their other services, such as online legal advice, or who already have a membership. Incfile’s service is marred by too many negative reviews for us to recommend them.
|Ease of Use||4/5||5/5|
|Help & Support||4/5||3/5|
For more general information about forming your business, we recommend reading our How to start an LLC article.
Read on to find out more details about how we arrived at our verdict.
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Pricing
For most entrepreneurs, the cost of forming a business will be the most important factor when choosing a business formation service. We think price is important too – that’s why we give the pricing a 2x weight when ranking services. Of course, we consider not just the raw cost of the service, but also the value it provides to the customer.
Different service providers have different pricing structures and offerings, making it somewhat difficult for customers to evaluate value at a glance. This is why we compare pricing using the same categories across services. We hope that this will make it easy to recognize which services offer good value and which ones do not.
While both Rocket Lawyer and Incfile offer or include a registered agent service, we encourage you to also consider other options, as neither of these two companies requires customers to use their own registered agent service when forming a business.
For our recommendations, be sure to check out our Best Registered Agent services article.
Note that the costs of the services do not include state filing fees, which are usually paid to the formation service (in addition to the bundle cost) and then forwarded to the state.
|Registered Agent (standalone)||$149.99/yr ($111.99 with membership)||$119/yr (first year free)|
We use “Basic Formations” and “Full Formations” as terms in order to compare packages across services. Here’s how we define each:
Basic Formation: Covers the essentials of business entity creation. Includes – at minimum – filing of Articles of Organization and the drafting of an Operating Agreement for an LLC or corporate bylaws for a corporation.
Full Formation: Additionally includes – at minimum – a registered agent service, which most owners will find essential. Price includes one year of registered agent service.
While the majority of business formation services use a system of tiered packages with one-time costs, Rocket Lawyer uses a slightly different approach.
Customers can choose between paying for individual services up-front, or they can purchase Rocket Lawyer’s monthly membership – priced at $39.99 per month – and gain access to their services at a reduced cost, or at no additional cost at all.
If you opt into the monthly membership, you will be able to form one business entity for free, you’ll gain access to their library of legal document templates, and you’ll receive a 25% discount on Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service. Paid subscribers benefit from some additional services, unrelated to business entity formation, such as online legal advice through consultations with attorneys.
If you dislike monthly subscriptions, you can still use Rocket Lawyer’s services. However the costs of the individual services tend to add up quickly – for example, every single document (such as an Operating Agreement) must be purchased as a separate add-on and will cost you $39.99. The formation service itself, including a name availability check, costs $99.99 for non-members.
Incfile uses a more traditional pricing model with three bundle tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The standout feature here is the price of the Silver package – $0 + state fees. This bare-bones package will cover a business name search and the filing of your business’ articles of organization with your state’s Secretary of State. It also includes one free year of Incfile’s registered agent service.
Incfile’s higher packages come with several additional services. Their Gold package, priced at $149, includes Operating Agreement drafting (which we consider essential), the filing for a federal tax ID number with the IRS, compliance alerts for the lifetime of your company, and some other offers provided through partners, such as the setting up a business bank account or business tax consultations. In terms of value, the gold plan is a decent choice.
The Platinum package is the most expensive – it costs $299 – and includes features such as expedited filing, legal form documents for business contracts, domain name (URL) registration, and a business email.
You should keep in mind that Incfile’s “free” registered agent service (included with all packages) is only free for the first year. After that, it will cost $119 annually.
Pricing Winner: Incfile
Incfile is the obvious winner on pricing. After all, it’s hard to beat a free service. But even Incfile’s middle-tier LLC formation package, priced at $149, still offers decent value compared to Rocket Lawyer.
In contrast, Rocket Lawyer’s pricing model isn’t suitable for customers who don’t want to buy into their monthly subscription. If you already have a Rocket Lawyer subscription for their legal help services or document library, then their business formation service can be a cost-effective choice.
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Turnaround time
Turnaround time is another important factor when considering business formation services – after all, the last thing you need is a third party unnecessarily holding up your business plans.
The total time it takes to form your new business depends on a combination of two factors: the internal turnaround time of the service you picked and the processing time of the government office handling your filing.
Formation services can improve their turnaround time by processing filings more quickly internally, opting for expedited filing where possible, using the quickest filing methods available, and ensuring that all the documents they submit are error-free.
|Paid internal rush option||No||No|
|Overall turnaround time||Average||Slow|
Rocket Lawyer has published a list of processing times by state on their website. Unfortunately, they don’t explicitly state whether or not they file documents on the same day. They do, though, provide customers with an estimate on the total turnaround time during the checkout process. In some cases, these times can differ from the ones listed in their article.
Depending on the state, customers are given the option to use expedited state filing during check-out. The cost of this expedited filing depends on the state where you are forming and is displayed before finalizing your order.
Incfile is fairly transparent with regard to their turnaround times. They have an entire article listing the expected processing times for each state – between two and three weeks in most cases. They also explicitly promise to file incoming orders within one business day in one of their blog posts. Notably, they don’t charge a fee to internally prioritize orders, as some other services tend to do.
One of the major downsides of Incfile’s model is that customers aren’t given the option of buying expedited filing with the state agency separately. Instead, expediting is included only with Incifile’s Platinum package – their most expensive one, priced at $299. Expedited filing is one of the most useful services a provider can offer, and it’s unfortunate that Incfile locks it behind their most expensive bundle.
Turnaround time winner: Rocket Lawyer
While both Rocket Lawyer and Incfile offer fairly standard turnaround times, we ultimately decided to give the win to Rocket Lawyer. We made this choice in part due to the large number of user reviews for Incfile that mention unexplained delays and slow responses from Incile’s staff.
In contrast, Rocket Lawyer provides turnaround times in line with what they advertise and also allows customers to add expedited filing separately.
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Customer Satisfaction
We spend a lot of time researching the services we review and gathering information from any available sources. Unfortunately, there are times when the claims and promises of business formation services simply don’t match the reality.
In order to get a better idea of what business formation services are like under real-world conditions, we include customer reviews, published on major review portals, as one of our evaluation criteria.
We sift through all available reviews and consider factors such as overall sentiment, the total number of reviews, the strengths and weaknesses that crop up repeatedly, and any other patterns that might be useful in order to find out what a service is really like.
|Stand-out mentions||“Easy and quick”||“Unreliable customer service”|
Rocket Lawyer has amassed an impressive number of positive customer reviews, boasting more than 3,000 individual pieces of feedback and an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.
One should keep in mind, however, that Rocket Lawyer provides a large number of online legal services, with business entity formations making up only a fraction of their business.
Still, most of the reviews relevant to Rocket Lawyers’ business formation service were positive and established a solid track record. Many customers report being pleasantly surprised at how easy the entire formation process is and how quickly their LLC was formed, with some having their LLCs formed in just a day or two.
We also liked that Rocket Lawyer’s customer service team took the time to reply to many of the submitted reviews and often provided additional information.
Unfortunately, Incfile did not do well in this category. They hold a 2.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, placing them far behind most of the competition. To make matters worse, a full 44% of all of their reviewers rated them with one star, and most of them left fairly scathing written evaluations as well.
Some of the most frequent complaints include the poor quality of Incfile’s customer service and issues with unexplained delays. Many of the reviewers report having trouble getting in touch with a human representative when trying to resolve issues, with emails and phone calls being left unanswered.
Furthermore, Incfile does not reply to any reviews, good or bad. Other competitors do a lot better in this regard.
Customer satisfaction winner: Rocket Lawyer
This category is an easy one to call – Rocket Lawyer scores far better with customers, both in terms of the quantity and content of the available reviews. Incfile performs far worse with customers, due to their apparent lack of quality customer service and consistent issues with the filings themselves.
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Ease of use
The ease and convenience of forming an LLC or corporation online is one of the main reasons small business owners opt to use online business formation services. It can be (or at least should be) much easier to deal with a business formation service than it is to deal directly with the government.
Good business entity formation services will let you finish setting up your business in just a matter of minutes while handling all of the paperwork on your behalf.
However, a good service will not only file your paperwork but also ensure that you have answers to all the questions you didn’t know you had.
Good services will offer a trove of educational articles and other material, explaining in detail the many nuances of setting up a new business.
They will, for example, answer questions such as “What is the difference between an S-Corporation and a C-Corporation?” or “Does my LLC need an EIN?”
Here’s how Rocket Lawyer and Incfile did on ease of use:
Rocket Lawyer offers straightforward online formations and incorporations. Customers are led through a step-by-step web form in which they provide basic information regarding their future business entity. The entire process is easy to follow along and does not include excessive upselling.
The Rocket Lawyer website itself includes a number of solid explanatory articles on law and business-related topics. Their articles are easy to understand and provide a good amount of context, helping you make the right decisions.
One thing we were less happy to see was that some of Rocket Lawyers’ service pages don’t include basic information such as pricing (which is shown on a different page, or during checkout). We prefer it when all relevant information is consolidated on a single page.
Incfile’s website is easy to navigate and provides easy access to many useful educational articles and tools. Since Incfile specializes exclusively in business entity formations, most of the content on their website will probably be relevant to their customers.
Once you’ve decided to form an entity, you can do so easily through their order tool. All important information, such as pricing and the contents of the various service packages, are displayed clearly along the way. Customers are given the choice to appoint a different registered agent if they would like to do so.
Incfile’s website also includes a number of useful tools, such as an annual report due date tool and a sales tax calculator.
Ease-of-use winner: Incfile
Both Rocket Lawyer and Incfile provide their customers with easy-to-use websites and a straightforward signup process. However, being a specialized business formation service gives Incfile a slight advantage, as their website is entirely aimed at those looking to set up a business, whereas Rocket Lawyers’ site includes content that might be less relevant.
In addition, Incfile makes it easier to find basic information regarding things such as pricing when compared to Rocket Lawyer.
Rocket Lawyer vs Incfile: Help & Support
Odds are that at some point you will need to contact your formation service with a question or issue. In that case, having a service with good customer support options can be invaluable, especially if time is of the essence.
This is especially important with formations companies that include ongoing services. For example, if you select your provider to act as your registered agent, you will want them to have a customer service that is able to respond quickly if you encounter difficulties accessing a legal document in order to resolve any legal issues.
When evaluating the help and support options of a given service provider, we look at things such as multiple methods to contact them, extended business hours, or the availability of supporting material on their website.
|Live Chat Support||No||No|
|Extended business hours||No||No|
|Website help section||Yes||Yes|
Rocket Lawyer provides basic contact information on all pages of their website.
You can also leave them a written message, although we did notice that their “Email” link leads to a web form, rather than an actual email address. Their webform is also limited to just 250 characters.
Rocket Lawyer’s customer service is available on business days between 6 am and 6 pm PST – there’s no mention of extended or weekend business hours. Based on the available customer reviews, Rocket Lawyer’s customer service is responsive and helpful.
Rocket Lawyer also provides a handy tool that allows users to search for answers to many common questions and issues.
As with most other companies in the field, Incfile provides two methods to reach them – a phone number and an online form for written messages. We couldn’t find a direct email address on their website.
Incfile phone support is available during business hours only – Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 6 pm CST.
Unfortunately, many customers who wrote about their experience with Incfile complained about difficulties getting in touch with Incfile’s customer service. Many of them mentioned that their phone calls went to voicemail or that messages they left remained unanswered.
Help & Support winner: Rocket Lawyer
Both Rocket Lawyer and Incfile perform fairly similarly on paper with regard to their help and support options. Neither of the two companies offers a live webchat, extended business hours, or a large variety of contact methods.
Ultimately, we give this category to Rocket Lawyer, in large part because customers have complained about Incfiles’ customer service but praised Rocket Lawyers’.
Do we recommend Rocket Lawyer or Incfile?
No, we do not.
Incfile’s service, while decent on paper, is marred by a large number of negative reviews that cast doubt on many of their claims. Their average score is significantly lower than those of competitors, and many of their clients complain about issues with customer service.
Rocket Lawyer scored better, but their pricing still leaves a lot to be desired. Without a membership, their individual service costs add up quickly. At the same time, a monthly membership fee for services unrelated to business formation is hardly ideal either.
To find out more about some of the services that we do recommend, check out our Best LLC Services or Best Incorporation Services articles, as well as our individual reviews of some of our top choices, such as our ZenBusiness review.