7 Best Doola Alternatives in 2023 (Compared)
Doola remains a viable choice for founders looking to incorporate in the US, but it’s far from being the only option for taking your startup abroad.
Doola is showing its age as a service, and it is no longer considered as a viable choice for founders looking to incorporate in the US. Luckily it’s just one of the many options available for taking your startup abroad.
Competing services are aplenty in 2023, each aiming to address the weaknesses of Doola’s service portfolio.
Founders often cite the following reasons for considering a switch away from Doola:
- Lack of understanding of how Doola works: it is not clear what each step entails, including what documents are needed, what is the timeline for getting approved, or what are the costs of the process.
- Getting overwhelmed by the requirements of each step, leading to stress, burnout, and lack of willingness to see the process through to the end.
- Insufficient guidance during the application process, leading to mistakes which can incur fines (e.g. Delaware franchise fees) and jeopardize the success of the application.
- Services not included in the package, such as setting up a business address, opening a bank account, and appointing a registered agent.
- No rewards for incorporating with Doola, giving founders little incentive to continue using the service in the long-term.
- No accrual bookkeeping as part of the service, which prevents you from leveraging the full benefits of running a business in the US.
- Lack of transparency regarding fees, which means you can walk away with a bigger bill than you initially signed up for.
If you’ve encountered these issues yourself, the best course of action is to consider switching to Firstbase and review Doola alternatives. With this in mind, let’s explore the 7 best Doola alternatives in 2023 for starting a company on US soil.
7 Best Doola Alternatives in 2023
Alternative #1: Firstbase
Firstbase is the modern, founder-friendly alternative to Doola, and one of the best business-in-a-box services currently on the market. It provides a streamlined and secure way to incorporate your business in the US and reap the benefits of the world’s strongest economy. These include access to venture capital, tax benefits, favorable liability arrangements, access to a highly-qualified workforce, and more. Once your business is incorporated, Firstbase will keep your newfound C-Corp or LLC healthy through a variety of support services, including compliance management, reward programs, and accounting, and more.
There are a few things that set Firstbase apart from competitors.
First, whereas similar services typically only allow you to incorporate in Delaware, Firstbase also gives you the option to start your US business in Wyoming, as well as 50 other states. This gives you more flexibility in how you want to run your business.
Second, Firstbase gives you the tools to run your business effectively as part of the package, including a virtual inbox registered at a physical address, compliance and operational support, as well as a registered agent for receiving service of process (SOP).
Third, Firstbase is committed to the financial health of your business, offering accrual bookkeeping for easier cashflow management, as well as the option to open a pre-EIN bank account with our partners at Mercury.
Finally, Firstbase is fully committed to transparency in terms of how it operates, ensuring there are no nasty surprises down the line. Fees, deadlines, and operational procedures are disclosed up-front, giving you full insight into the state of your application, and beyond.
If you want to bring your business to the US in a fast, convenient way with no strings attached, Firstbase is your go-to alternative.
Feature 1 – Streamlined Business Registration
Firstbase lets you register your US business all in one place. You simply give us the registration data, and we take care of everything else. Once you fill out the requisite forms, we procure your Employer Identification Number (EIN), register your business mail address at a physical location, set you up with a compliance agent, register your business bank account, and take care of any extra steps your business might require.
Feature 2 – Perks and Rewards
Once your business is up and running with Firstbase, you become eligible for a wide range of perks and benefits, which can save you upwards of $350 000. Some perks include premium access to services such as Wix, Zendesk, Mercury, Stripe, Notion, Salesforce, Payoneer, Slack, and others.
Feature 3 – Growth Tools
Here at Firstbase, we are committed to seeing your business grow long-term. To facilitate this, we offer a variety of growth tools to help you operate your business remotely. Currently, we offer accounting and bookkeeping services, insurance, with more to come in the future.
Each component and service that Firstbase offers is charged separately.
- Firstbase Start (one-time fee of $399) – Incorporate your US-based business in the state of your choice.
- Firstbase Agent ($99/$299/$599 per year, depending on plan) – Registered compliance agent in your state of choice. Three plans are available, Light, Autopilot, and Payroll.
- Firstbase Mailroom ($35/$50 per month, depending on plan) – Premium physical address and virtual mailbox. Two plans available, Basic and Premium.
- Firstbase Insurance (start at $26 per month) – Comprehensive protection for your enterprise.
- Firstbase Payroll ($599 per year) – Payroll registration service for hiring employees from any state regardless of your place of incorporation.
- Firstbase Loop (free) – Free tools to grow your business.
Try our interactive product demo. Its free!
Alternative #2: LegalZoom
LegalZoom is an online platform that offers legal document preparation and filing services. Founded in 2001, it aims to provide an accessible alternative to traditional legal services for individuals and small businesses.
One of LegalZoom's unique features is its user-friendly interface, allowing users to generate legal documents like wills, business formation papers, and trademark applications without the need for an attorney.
However, this convenience comes with potential drawbacks. The platform's reliance on templates can result in documents that fail to address specific nuances or unique circumstances, potentially leading to legal issues down the line.
LegalZoom serves as an accessible tool for basic legal document creation. It can be suitable for straightforward situations, like creating a basic will. Yet, the lack of individualized guidance and the risk of inadequate document tailoring underline the need for users to approach its services with caution and consider consulting other vendors for more complex legal matters. A lack of transparency when it comes to fees is also a concern, leading to situations where the bill you receive is much higher than what was initially advertised.
- Legal Document Preparation: LegalZoom offers a wide range of legal document templates that users can customize for various purposes, such as wills, contracts, and business formation.
- Online Legal Advice: The platform provides access to a network of licensed attorneys who can offer legal advice and guidance on specific legal matters.
- Business Formation Services: LegalZoom assists entrepreneurs in starting and registering businesses, offering services like LLC and corporation formation, along with guidance on required documentation.
LegalZoom offers three pricing packages:
- Economy ($149 + filing fees between $50 and $750, depending on state) – standard processing, Wix website.
- Standard ($329 + filing fees between $50 and $750, depending on state) – priority processing, founder’s kit.
- Express Gold ($349 + filing fees between $50 and $750, depending on state) – fastest processing, founder’s kit.
Note that incorporating in another state incurs different filing fees.
Alternative #3: Stripe Atlas
Stripe Atlas presents is a platform aimed at simplifying the process of launching and managing an online business. Developed by the fintech company Stripe, it seeks to alleviate the barriers to entry for startups by providing tools and resources necessary for legal, financial, and operational setup.
A standout feature of Stripe Atlas is its provision of legal and incorporation assistance, facilitating the creation of a business entity. Strip Atlas also offers access to banking services, including a business bank account, which streamlines financial operations. Finally, the platform also offers guidance on tax and compliance matters.
Despite these offerings, potential drawbacks lie in the one-size-fits-all approach. The prescribed legal structures might not suit all businesses, and the generic advice may lack the tailored support some startups require. Another issue is that Stripe Atlas only supports Delaware C-corps, so founders looking to start an LLC, or to set up in a different state need to look elsewhere.
Stripe Atlas endeavors to simplify the complexities of establishing an online business, yet its applicability remains contingent on the nature and goals of the venture.
- Access to Stripe Services: Stripe Atlas offers startups the ability to instantly access Stripe's payment processing services, enabling them to accept payments from customers worldwide.
- Banking and Financial Infrastructure: The platform provides a business bank account, tax ID, and access to financial services to facilitate smooth financial operations.
- Legal and Tax Guidance: Stripe Atlas offers legal and tax support, helping startups navigate the complexities of legal compliance and taxation for cross-border operations.
Stripe Atlas charges the following fees:
- $500 to set up and incorporate in Delaware.
- $100 per year for the compliance agent.
Alternative #4: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness enters the business services arena as a platform catering to small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking streamlined solutions for company formation and compliance. As a response to the complexity of legal and administrative tasks associated with starting and maintaining a business, ZenBusiness aims to offer accessible and cost-effective services.
ZenBusiness sets itself apart with its emphasis on simplicity and affordability. Its all-inclusive packages include features like business formation, registered agent services, and annual report filing.
However, in an increasingly competitive market, the question arises whether ZenBusiness's approach sacrifices depth for broad appeal. Its one-size-fits-all offerings may overlook the intricacies of specific industries and business needs.
ZenBusiness targets the entry-level business market by providing a convenient and budget-friendly suite of services. It could prove useful for individuals seeking a hassle-free way to establish and maintain a basic business structure. However, businesses with more complex legal or operational requirements may need to carefully weigh the platform's limitations against their specific needs before committing.
- Business Formation Packages: ZenBusiness offers comprehensive packages for business formation, including necessary filings and registered agent services.
- Worry-Free Compliance: The platform helps businesses stay compliant by managing annual report filings and other ongoing requirements.
- Personalized Support: ZenBusiness provides customer support and personalized guidance to help entrepreneurs choose the right business structure and navigate the startup process.
ZenBusiness offers three pricing packages:
- Starter ($0 + state fees) – standard filing services
- Pro ($199 annually) – fast filing services, EIN, operating agreement.
- Premium ($349 annually) – fast filing services, business documents, domain name and email address, business website builder.
Alternative #5: Incfile
Incfile positions itself as an online platform specializing in business formation services, targeting entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking to establish legal entities. In a realm populated by various competitors, Incfile claims to streamline the intricate process of company creation, offering convenience and expertise.
Incfile boasts an array of services, from filing the necessary legal documents to obtaining an EIN for tax purposes. Its user-friendly interface and clear pricing structure make it an attractive choice for those seeking simplicity. With that being said, its unique features might not necessarily set it apart significantly in a market brimming with similar platforms.
Incfile tries to be a user-friendly solution for business formation, promising convenience in a complex process. It could be beneficial for solo entrepreneurs or startups looking for a straightforward way to establish their legal entity. However, its comparative advantage hinges on the degree to which it excels in user experience and value proposition in a crowded space of business formation services.
- Business Formation Services: Incfile offers streamlined solutions for registering various types of business entities, such as LLCs and corporations.
- Lifetime Company Alerts: The platform sends ongoing alerts and reminders for important compliance deadlines to ensure businesses stay on top of their legal obligations.
- Registered Agent Services: Incfile provides registered agent representation to receive legal documents on behalf of the business and ensure timely communication with regulatory agencies.
Incfile offers three pricing packages to get a price estimate you need to specify the type of business and choose a country.
Alternative #6: incorporate.com
incorporate.com is a platform dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs and businesses with legal entity formation services. With the complexities surrounding legal processes for business establishment, incorporate.com aims to provide accessible solutions.
One distinctive feature of incorporate.com is its focus on personalized guidance, offering personalized business formation recommendations based on individual circumstances. Additionally, the platform provides ongoing compliance support to help businesses stay up-to-date with legal requirements.
However, in a market with numerous business formation services, the platform's uniqueness might not be substantial enough to set it apart.
incorporate.com seeks to simplify business entity formation and compliance. It could be valuable for businesses requiring personalized advice and ongoing assistance in adhering to legal obligations. The platform's true value hinges on the depth and quality of its personalized guidance and the extent to which it genuinely alleviates the complexities of legal processes.
- Personalized Business Formation Guidance: incorporate.com offers tailored advice to help entrepreneurs choose the appropriate legal structure and navigate the business formation process.
- Comprehensive Filing Services: The platform assists with filing necessary legal documents for creating various types of business entities, ensuring accurate and timely submissions.
- Ongoing Compliance Support: incorporate.com helps businesses stay compliant by managing ongoing requirements such as annual reports, renewals, and other necessary filings.
incorporate.com is not upfront about its pricing.
Alternative #7: Clerky
Clerky is an online platform primarily catering to startups and businesses in need of legal document preparation and compliance services. It markets itself as a tool to simplify legal processes for emerging companies.
Clerky offers a variety of legal documents essential for startups, including formation documents, founder agreements, and intellectual property assignments. Its unique feature lies in its automated document generation, which can expedite the process of creating legally sound contracts and agreements.
Clerky aims to be a practical solution for companies seeking legal document preparation. It could prove useful for early-stage companies looking to efficiently create foundational legal agreements. However, its efficacy hinges on the accuracy and adaptability of its automated document generation in the face of ever-changing legal requirements.
- Legal Document Generation: Clerky automates the creation of essential legal documents, including founder agreements, stock option plans, and more, tailored for startups.
- Simplified Compliance: The platform assists startups in staying compliant with regulatory requirements by providing ready-made documents and guidance for legal processes.
- Integration with Legal Experts: Clerky offers access to a network of startup attorneys who can provide legal advice and support, ensuring startups have the legal expertise they need.
- Incorporation ($99 + third party fees) – Expedited filing fees, first-year registered agent fee, annual report and franchise tax reminders.
- Post-incorporation setup ($299) – Action of incorporator, restricted stock purchase agreements, notices of stock Issuance, and more.
- Foreign qualification ($125 + third party fees)
- Stock plan adoption ($199) – issue restricted stock or stock options to employees, consultants, and advisors.
- Company lifetime package ($819 one-time fee) – everything above in a single package.
What is the best Doola alternative?
Start Your US Business with Firstbase
Incorporating your business in the US can seem like a daunting task, in no small part due to the number of competing vendors offering similar services. This is compounded by the risk of getting scammed by bad actors, making the whole process more difficult than it needs to be.
The vendors we’ve explored in this article (including Doola, which we will cover at a later date), attempt to address some of these issues, but few of them offer a complete package the way Firstbase does.
To reap the many benefits of operating on US soil, start your business with Firstbase