You can find numerous filing services on the Internet, and may even hear advertising on the radio for such companies. However, the disadvantages of using such services are numerous. Consider the following:
Beware. Many Internet filing services advertise a “teaser” rate to get your attention and then overcharge you elsewhere. Many misquote filing fees or add service charges to raise the real price. Total filing fees in Georgia are $140 (including $40 publication fee) for a corporation and $100 for a limited liability company. A corporate minute book with corporate seal, stock certificates and fully customized minutes and bylaws should cost no more than about $75 to $90. Most small corporations do not need to hire a registered agent. The ones that do should not pay more than $160 per year.
Most national incorporation services use multi-state preprinted corporate minutes. These minutes are designed for use in any state and are not specific to Georgia. They are extremely confusing and time consuming to complete. In Georgia, the failure to properly complete the organizational minutes can result in the loss of corporate protection in a subsequent lawsuit or tax audit.
Boiler plate corporate minutes and bylaws often do not match state law. Boiler plate limited liability company operating agreements are even less of a match to state law. If you have to fill in the name of your state in the minutes, bylaws or operating agreement, we can virtually assure you they do not meet state code. Additionally the documents are rarely more than the bare minimum and do not establish an exemption from securities laws.
Lack of Legal Counsel
Legal advice is generally not available as most incorporation services do not have attorneys on staff for the benefit of their clients.
The Georgia State Bar through the Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has ruled that preparing and filing Articles of Incorporation is the practice of law. This ruling has the force of law. No one other than an attorney should be preparing and filing Articles of Incorporation for a fee. For more information click here.
No Remedy For Bad Information
Read the full disclaimer on the website. You will typically agree that (1) the laws of another state control any dispute, (2) any court case must be brought in a remote state, (3) you have not received any legal advice, and (4) your damages are limited to the amount paid. Also, many Internet companies operate under a trade name or fictitious name. Just finding out who you need to sue can be near impossible. In other words, if they do you wrong, you have no effective remedy.
Hidden Ongoing Cost
Many national incorporation services push incorporation in a few states (usually Delaware and Nevada), requiring a hired registered agent in the remote state and requiring a second registration in the state where you conduct business. This increases your annual fees.
Lack of Options
Most national incorporation services have only one corporation option and one or two LLC options for you to choose from. We have six corporations and fifteen LLCs to choose from.