Forming an LLC on your own can be the best way to save money in the short term, but using a professional formation service may end up saving you on other aspects of running the business.
Forming an LLC Without Breaking the Bank
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to launch an LLC, there are a few options available to you. An LLC formation service can provide the support you need. Working with a service can help you avoid errors, and it shouldn’t cost you much. It’s possible to find services with fees below $50.
If you want to maximize your savings, forming the LLC yourself is your best option. Our easy-to-follow guide will give you the information you need to take care of everything on your own. The only cost you’ll have to cover is the LLC registration fee in your state.
While it was once standard to go through attorneys to create an LLC, that’s no longer the case today. While attorneys can play a valuable role in the formation of a business, registering an LLC only requires you to complete and file a form. There’s no reason to pay a professional hundreds or even thousands of dollars to help you through this process.
Since you’ll pay a state fee when filing the formation document for your LLC, this process will never be completely free. However, if you do things yourself, that’s the only cost you’ll have to cover.
The Benefits of Forming Your Own LLC
One of the most obvious benefits of handling things yourself are the savings you’ll enjoy. If you hire an attorney, it’s likely that you’ll pay hundreds or more. Unless the structure of your business is complex, it’s better to form your own LLC so that you can minimize your expenses.
Even though working with an LLC formation service is more affordable than going through a lawyer, you’ll still be paying fees that are somewhere between $40 and $300. While these services can be useful for businesses with complicated structures, completing the process yourself is your best choice if you want to save.
The Drawbacks of Forming Your Own LLC
Creating an LLC yourself will require you to act as your own LLC registered agent. A registered agent serves at the primary point of contact between your LLC and the state. Serving as the registered agent for your LLC can save you money — a registered agent service typically costs about $120 a year — but it can also lead to privacy issues.
When you act as the registered agent for your LLC, your personal data will appear in the business database for your state. This information can be accessed by the public online. Not all business owners will take issue with this, but some would prefer to keep this information private.
It’s common for formation companies to provide one year of free registered agent services to clients. If you’d prefer to form your LLC yourself, but you’d rather work with a registered agent, our review can help you find the right registered agent services to work with.
Aside from that, one of the largest issues of establishing an LLC on your own is a lack of confidence. If you’ve already completed and submitted state forms in the past, this may not be a concern for you. If you don’t feel ready to do this yourself, working with a professional is always an option.
How to Save While Working With LLC Formation Services
Even if you do decide to work with professionals, there are still affordable options. The cheapest packages typically start at about $40. A basic package can get your business started in just a few weeks.
You’ll also have access to various upgrades and add-ons. Which upsells are worth the cost, and which ones should you avoid? Read on to find out which extras are worth paying for and which ones you can skip.
Upsells That Are Worth the Cost
Most of the revenue that LLC formation companies earn comes from upsells. While not all of these services are worth the cost, some offer plenty of value. There are services that can make your business more efficient or get your business up and running sooner.
Although this list isn’t complete, these are commonly-offered upsells that are usually worth the cost:
Registered Agent Services
When you use a registered agent service, you can maintain your privacy while retaining control over your business operations. This is an extremely valuable upsell that most LLC formation services offer.
With a basic package, you may be waiting two weeks or more for the company to file your documents with the state. If you choose a more expensive package or pay to have your form expedited, you can significantly reduce your wait time and get your business started sooner. If you want to minimize your wait time, this is definitely a service that you’ll want to take advantage of.
Regulatory Compliance Services
In certain states, LLCs may be required to complete paperwork and yearly reports. This can take up valuable time, and if you miss a deadline, it could lead to headaches in the future. To make matters worse, you could potentially be on the hook for costly fees. If you outsource these tasks to the business you’re working with, you can make sure you’re compliant and avoid future stress.
While establishing an LLC is a part of starting a new business, there may be other requirements that you have to meet as well. That’s why it can be helpful to have professionals find the local and state licenses your business needs. You’ll be able to make sure that everything is in order, and you’ll still be able to put your attention towards your new business.
Upsells That Aren’t Necessary
For the most part, the upsells listed below can benefit new businesses. However, you can access many of these services for free. On top of that, there are third-party companies that can provide these services at a better rate.
If you’re working on a tight schedule, or if you’d prefer to streamline this process, you may find it worthwhile to pay an LLC formation company to take on these tasks for you. Still, you shouldn’t feel obligated to opt into any of these services. Only pay for these upsells if you believe it’s the right choice for your business.
LLC formation companies typically offer many web services, including domain registration, web hosting, website creation, and business email administration. For the most part, these services aren’t a great value. It’s smart to register your domain name when you form an LLC — if you haven’t already — but if this service is handled by an LLC formation company, it could create issues for you in the future.
Even though these are valuable services, obtaining these services through another company means that you won’t be the one in control of them. Say that you decide to switch to a different registered agent at some point in the future. If your current registered agent has control of your domain name, this could potentially be an issue. You should make sure that you have the freedom to change providers if you choose to do so.
Beyond that, you’re likely to have a better experience if you obtain web services from a company that specializes in these services. An LLC company may not be equipped to provide you with site support when you need it. You should obtain these services from an experienced company that can provide you with excellent service and support. That way, you’ll have the tools you need to make your site a success.
Employer Identification Number
Although an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a necessity for most businesses, this isn’t something that you need to obtain through a formation service. The IRS will generate an EIN for your business at no charge. All you’ll have to do is set aside the time to obtain a free EIN.
Operating Agreements are also a requirement for the majority of LLCs. However, this isn’t a document that has to be filed with the state. If you choose to have an LLC company take care of this, you won’t be provided with any extra value.
Completing Additional Forms
In some cases, a company may also offer to complete other legal forms, such as meeting minutes and LLC documents. This service could potentially have value to your business, but it isn’t something that is necessary.
It’s likely that your business can use supplies like notary stamps, check registers, record books, and seals. With that said, it’s likely that you can get these products for a lower price on the open market. There’s nothing wrong with buying these kinds of items, but getting essentials at a lower price point will allow you to use your funds more effectively.