California online incorporation services can prepare your filing documents with the California Secretary of State. To get started, the incorporation service will just ask a few questions about your business and then take care of the rest.
These services have automated and streamlined the filing process into an orderly and affordable way to get incorporated in California easily.
Top 8 Best California Incorporation Services
- Northwest Registered Agent
- Swyft Filings
I have gathered 8 of the leading online incorporation services in California. I ranked them based on various factors, including turnaround time, pricing, features, ease of use, experience, educational resources, customer support, and customer reviews.
Northwest Registered Agent – $39 California Incorporations, ‘Privacy by Default’ & Great Customer Service
Northwest Registered Agent is my #1 recommended incorporation service for California. They have a reputation for providing the best registered agent services in the country, but Northwest also offers business formation plans, including incorporation services.
Northwest Registered Agent goes above and beyond in providing the best support for business formation.
All packages include corporate guides. These guides are provided by local business professionals who will assist you through the process of creating and maintaining your company. This service will be available to you for life.
All orders come with:
- Same day filing
- Bylaws for corporations
- Service of a registered agent
- Certificates of corporate membership
- Stock certificates
- Corporate resolutions
You can also add on extras such as an EIN (tax ID), S-corp election, premium mail forwarding, and certificate of good standing.
Plans for incorporation start at $
225 $39 plus state fees. Contact Northwest Registered Agent today to get started.
Incfile – Cheapest Online Incorporation Service in California
Incfile is the best way to create your corporation.
You only need to pay the state filing fees for incorporation services.
Incfile has been used by more than 700,000 companies to get started. The following services are included in all incorporation packages, including the free one:
- Verification of company name
- Preparation and filing of incorporation articles
- One year of free registration
- Next business day processing
- Support for life
- Online access to incorporation documents
- Consultation on taxes is free
- Track your online orders
- Lifetime company alerts
Incfile also offers paid services such as EIN filings and corporate bylaws. These packages start at $149 plus state fees.
However, it is the best value package for incorporation.
Zenbusiness – “Worry-Free Guarantee” California Online Incorporations
ZenBusiness began offering online incorporation services more than five years ago. They are rapidly growing in popularity due to their low cost, excellent service, and simple formation process.
ZenBusiness will file your California incorporation documents after you have completed an online application. All of your documents can be accessed from your personal online dashboard once they have been approved.
ZenBusiness’ unique value is what makes it stand out. All plans include a one-year free registered agent service. Let’s take a closer look at these packages and their price points.
- Starter — $49 + state fees
- Pro – $199 + state fees
- Premium — $299 + State Fees
The Starter package includes a free registered agent as well as incorporation filing services. Your corporate bylaws are also included. The Pro level includes an EIN, a banking resolution template, and expedited filing.
You may not require the Premium package, but it does include many features that you might not want (at least not with an online incorporation service), such as a domain name, website and email address for your business. This plan has the fastest filing speeds.
ZenBusiness remains a great choice for any business looking to incorporate.
MyCorporation – 20 Years of Experience
MyCorporation is a company that has existed for more than 20 years. They have helped to form and grow over one million businesses in all 50 states.
They provide online California incorporation services for S-corps, Nonprofits, and Professional Corporations (such as doctors and lawyers).
Select your state and entity type to get started. Just answer a few questions and then leave the rest to MyCorporation.
Let’s have a closer look at corporate formation packages.
- Basics – $99 + State Fees
- Standard – $124 + State Fees
- Deluxe – $224 + state fees
- Premium – $324 + state fees
The Basic plan provides a name availability search as well as your articles of incorporation. You get more with the Standard package, which includes corporate bylaws and corporate meeting minutes.
Deluxe is the most popular package, because it includes MyCorporation registered agent services (something that you will need).
MyCorporation offers additional services such as DBAs and business licenses, trademark filings, copyright applications, and so on.
Incorporate.com – 100 Years of Experience
It’s not surprising that Incorporate.com ranks so high on my list.
Over the years, the company has had a few names changed. Before finally landing on Incorporate.com, they went through several name changes. They have helped to form 750,000 businesses, including LLCs.
Incorporate.com can help you launch an S corporation, a C corporation or a nonprofit in California.
It is easy to apply online. Incorporate.com will handle all the details. Their support staff is available to assist you with any questions or concerns throughout the process.
Here is a quick overview of pricing and plans:
- The Starter – $99 + state fees
- The Essentials – $249 + state fees
- The Works – $349 + state fees
The basic plan includes the filing and completion of corporate documents for California. If you need an EIN (tax ID), annual filing preparation and filing, or a corporate kit, then The Essentials plan is for you. The Essentials package includes all Essentials services as well as a corporate research package and corporate bylaws.
Incorporate.com offers registered agent services, to ensure you remain compliant after launch.
Swyft Filings offers a variety of services for business formations in California.
Swyft Filings, in addition to offering C-corps or S-corps, Swyft Filings helps meet the needs of non-profit corporations.
Swyft Filings doesn’t offer the best way to incorporate a nonprofit. It’s not the only place that you can do so. There are many resources available for nonprofits. You can find out more about nonprofits, raising capital and tax exemptions on their website if this is your first time.
The incorporation package rates are the same regardless of whether you’re creating a nonprofit, Scorp or C-corp.
- Basic — $49 + State Fees
- Standard — $149 + State Fees
- Premium — $299 + State Fees
All plans include lifetime support, free shipping and status tracking, verification of company name availability, articles of incorporation, as well as online access to all documents.
Standard packages include an EIN, custom corporate meeting agendas, and a corporate bank resolution. The Premium package includes FedEx shipping, electronic document delivery, and a custom corporate kit.
A 100% money-back guarantee covers all Swyft Filing incorporation packages in California.
More than 400,000 companies have used LegalZoom for incorporation. It is a fast, reliable, and reputable way to get your business started.
When you choose to incorporate in California with LegalZoom, either as a S corporation or a C corporation, there are two options.
Many customers prefer to be an S-corp but you don’t have to choose one. You can always convert to C-corps at a later date.
It’s easy to get started. LegalZoom will take care of the rest. They will complete all paperwork and file it with your Secretary Of State.
Three packages are available for an California incorporation: One year of registered agent service is $299 extra.
- Economy – $149 + $299 + state fees
- Standard – $329 + $299 + state fees
- Express Gold – $349 + $299 + state fees
All plans include a business name check and incorporation filing for California. Standard packages include a deluxe organizer binder and official stock certificates.
Express Gold is a package that offers express shipping and rush processing for those in urgent need of incorporation.
LegalZoom’s California incorporation service is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Wolters Kluwer is backing BizFilings, a global compliance firm. Their value-to-cost ratio overall is good, although it’s slightly higher than other services on my list.
BizFilings is a simple process that even novice entrepreneurs can follow. Instead of trying to figure out how to navigate a long list of features and prices, you can just follow their easy incorporation wizard to receive a personalized recommendation.
Although it is better than having no registered agent service, the formation packages for California only include six months of registered agent service.
It will cost $220 per year if you wish BizFilings as your registered agent to continue after six months. This price is slightly higher than the average for all of the incorporation services that I reviewed.
- Included 6 months as a registered agent
- The incorporation wizard is easy
- Some competitors offer lower prices
- There are very few online customer reviews
How to find the best online incorporation services in California
There are so many online incorporation companies in California to choose from that it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices. There are a few factors that you can consider to help you choose the right service for your company.
This is how I picked the winners. The same evaluation process can be used if you are shopping around or weighing various options.
Value and price are not the same things. It is easy to find the lowest package and make your choice. Low cost does not necessarily mean low return.
Many online incorporation services in California offer low entry-level prices. What do you get for that low price? It’s usually not much.
Your order total will rise quickly in many cases when you add must-have services such as expedited filing or an EIN to your plan. While plans from other providers may be more costly, they usually include all you need.
The best online incorporation service in California will provide value for new businesses by taking care of all the steps, regardless of cost. Others may find value in providing the basic services at a low cost, allowing the business to get up and running quickly.
For others, value is the amount of time you spend. Consider how much time it takes to incorporate the company, particularly if you’re also trying to start and run the business. It may be that allowing the service to do all the work for you and concentrate on your business is the best option.
Support for Customers
What should you do if you have questions during the application process? Who do you contact if you need help accessing crucial paperwork? Is your incorporation service available when you most need it?
It is impossible to understate the importance of customer support.
California online incorporation services that offer the best customer service are friendly and responsive via email, phone, and live chat. Although they may not be available 24/7, you should be able at least to reach them during normal business hours.
The ease of use
Most online incorporation services in California provide the same basic service. Navigate to the website and fill out the forms. Then, let them handle state filings.
However, the experience of using a site can be quite different from one another.
Some forms can be completed in as little as five to ten minutes. Everything is clear, and the questions are simple. After the order has been submitted, you will be able to track the status of your file and access your California incorporation documents via a user-friendly dashboard.
There are many factors that influence the time required to incorporate your company. Each state has its own process. The standard filing time can vary depending on where you live.
After your paperwork is filed by an incorporation service, the state cannot process your application. Online incorporation services can process orders on the same day or the next day. Others are not in the same hurry.
However, you can often pay more to expedite your corporation filings. The rates you pay will depend on where you live and what service you use. Sometimes, it’s not worth the extra cost.
California Register Agent Services
A registered agent is required for every corporation. A registered agent accepts the service of process on your behalf and will receive tax documents and other legal documents on behalf of your corporation.
These documents can be accessed online by the best registered agents. They will also send physical copies to you. If you have any immediate concerns, they will communicate directly with you.
It makes sense to use an online service to incorporate if you also need a registered agent. This may be included in your package automatically, but it is usually an additional charge.
Some online incorporation services provide additional resources for businesses, in addition to business formation plans. This includes things such as legal consulting, tax planning, and legal document templates.
You should also consider features such as business name availability search, DBA names (doing business under), trademark search, EIN filings, and trademark search.
Online incorporation services can be a one-stop shop for many corporate needs.
Summary of the Top Incorporation Services in California
Incorporating a business was a difficult and costly process in the past. Businesses had to wait for months before they could hire lawyers and fill out complex paperwork.
This is no longer true. California incorporation services allow anyone to create a C-corp or S-corp, nonprofit, and other corporate entities from their computer.