I’ve incorporated 2 businesses for myself. The first one I did on my own. I found the forms, filled them out and filed them (along with government fees). The second incorporation I did I used an online incorporation service.
Which was easier?
Using an online incorporation service. And that’s after I had already done an incorporation.
4 Reasons to Use an Online Incorporation Service
1. Get the right forms fast
When I did my own incorporation, I spent a lot of time trying to locate the right forms. Yes, it’s easy to find the government site, but it’s not easy figuring out which forms I needed for my incorporation. After spending a couple of hours finding forms, reading forms and trying to figure out which ones I needed, I knew there had to be a better way.
2. Get the forms filled out fast
Online incorporation services auto-fill the right forms for you based on a series of simple questions you answer directly on the website. Your answers are transferred in the correct format to the right forms.
In fact, it took me only minutes to complete the forms for my second incorporation (when I used a service) compared to messing about trying to fill in the forms myself for my first incorporation.
3. The forms get filed for you
Most web-based incorporation services will file your completed forms for you. You don’t have to deal with printing them, putting them in an envelope and mailing them. Or, you avoid faxing and/or emailing them hoping they go to the right place.
Once you answer the series of questions, your done.
Many online corporation services provide support with respect to your incorporation. The support may be live support, access to a lawyer and/or informative articles explaining the different incorporation options. Having access to this support, often being much easier to find than on government websites, can prove invaluable.
5. Takes care of annual filings
This is the best reason to use an online incorporation service. Did you know that in most jurisdictions you must file reports annually or every other year? Are you really going to remember to do this? Besides, do you know what you need to do and file?
With an online service, they’ll take care of the annual filings for you (for a fee of course). This is a great service because you don’t have to worry about it not being done. If you fail to file annual reports / updates, you risk losing your incorporation.
One last reason is that an online service costs much less than hiring an attorney to incorporate your business.
Can most people figure out how to do an incorporation? Yes. I’ve done it and I managed to get it done. However, the point of using an online incorporation service is not about doing something for you that you can’t do. Instead it’s about convenience saving you time … which given the low costs of using these services … will be a good investment.
Steve Vanderhoek contributes to the Paperless Lawyer blog that features incorporation service coupons for a web-based incorporation service.