WARNING: All Registered Agents Are Not Alike!
Would you start a long-term relationship with the first person you met on the internet or would you check them out first? A business relationship with a Registered Agent is long-term, typically lasting years. Many legal services firms significantly underestimate costs and overestimate the quality of their customer service. Do your due diligence: get the 411 on Registered Agents right here at Registered Agent Reviews.
How do I choose a reliable registered agent?
|Be sure your registered agent is a member of NPRRA (The National Public Records and Research Association). NPRRA is the professional association for registered agents and document retrieval companies in the United States. http://www.nprra.org/|
|Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau - this association verifies that a business has not been involved in unethical conduct or business activity. http://welcome.bbb.org/|
|Check to see if the Registered Agent uses Google Checkout for payment. Google Checkout has stringent rules for online merchants (https://checkout.google.com/seller/policies.html).|
|Verify that your registered agent’s company is in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office. Most state SOS offices allow you to search for the company’s name online (for example, https://app.mt.gov/bes/).|
|Be certain that your registered agent has a secure on-line website for submitting your corporate documents.|
|Ask your registered agent how many years they have been in business.|
|Search wisely. Look beyond suspiciously similar or generic testimonials. Some large legal services firms use paid linking programs to generate pages of positive reviews from affiliates who are paid for referrals. They may also use brand/reputation management firms and buy up disparaging domain names to try to control their image. The companies that you want to deal with are the ones that control their branding by cultivating customer satisfaction and loyalty.|
|Deer Creek Corporate Services||Review|
|Bennett Law Office PC||Review|
|The Company Corporation||Review|
“Horrible business to start your corporation”
“I started my s corp with the company corporation. They immediately sent out my info to other companies that send you tons of junk mail. Then I found out that there are multiple requirements my s corp needs, such as changes to the generic bylaws and articles of incorporation they send you, that the comp corp never told me about. I had to find out through friends and my accountant. After I contacted them several times about this they could not offer any help as to how to amend the bylaws, and stated it isnt within the scope of their services. Then they offer your corporation registered agent service for 225$, through another company that they actually own. They never tell you that an officer within your corp, such as yourself, can be its own registered agent. When I told them this, they said I have to send proof that Im changing my registered agent to myself, or they will send the 225$ invoice to collections. All this SIX months before their times up to be my registered agent. This is a very money hungry company that could care less about the PROPER formation of your corporation. They have been very nasty in their emails to me. I would definitely go with another company.”
(The Company Corporation operates both LLC.com and Incorporate.com. They are headquarted in Wilmington, Delaware and subcontract with Registered Agents in other states for incorporation services.)
Never use a law firm to set up your LLC! You’ll be charged for EVERYTHING! I thought they were going to charge me for staples. What a pain in the neck. I was so unhappy with Bennett and his advice. It was always these confused conversations about legal-ease. Nothing was every smooth or easy and his advice often wasn’t correct. If you use him, you’ll be unhappy.
-Mary Lou, West Virginia
Thinking of saving some cash and using LegalZoom to incorporate your startup? Think again. While incorporating with LegalZoom is a viable option for some new businesses, LegalZoom comes up way short for startups.
LegalZoom just doesn’t offer the documents a typical startup needs: Shareholders Agreement? Nope. Stock Purchase Agreements? No. Tech transfer agreements? Nada.
What about the quality of LegalZoom documents? Robert Shapiro, co-founder of LegalZoom, explains the quality of LegalZoom documents in a 2004 interview:
“And everything we do at LegalZoom is an original document. We’re not a form-filling service. Our documents are first-rate.”
Look, I’m sure they have some great documents, but I’m calling bullsh!t on every document at LegalZoom being an ‘original’ document. For those that don’t remember, Shapiro is the dude that represented O.J. Simpson. Take that for what it’s worth.
If you don’t have the resources to hire a startup lawyer (or just don’t want to), then simply don’t hire anyone to incorporate your startup. Not your accountant, not your financial planner, and definitely not LegalZoom.
Instead, do it yourself and save even more money. If you need help, I think you’ll find that employees at the Secretary of State are very helpful. They will not be able to help you draft your documents, but they will answer your questions about incorporating. And some states will have template articles of incorporation you can use.
Deer Creek Corporate Services, Inc. helped me to set up a Montana LLC. At all times they were available to answer my questions about Montana LLCs; they were detailed, prompt, and efficient. This was a new venture for me and I was eager to get as much information as possible.
Deer Creek Corporate Services made it so easy to transfer the title to the Montana LLC, register the vehicle, and set up a bank account. When I called, they were there to answer the phone. The one time I had to leave a message, they got back to me within 10 minutes. They also have an online chat – very handy.
I also chose to set up a Montana bank account for my LLC. Again, Deer Creek Corporate Services made it easy and simple. Valley Bank of Helena has been wonderful to work with and the people are so nice – perhaps a common trait among folks from Helena!
The Montana registration saved me thousands of dollars and I look forward to a LONG relationship with Deer Creek Corporate Services, Inc.