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- All-in-one platform
- Provides personalized support
- Excellent support
- Competitive pricing
- Extra features don't suit US citizens
- Upsells are overdone
Launching a startup in a foreign country like the US can be challenging, especially if you do it alone. The requirements are extensive, and first-time founders often don’t know how to navigate the complexity.
However, with business formation services, it’s easy to incorporate a startup without the backend hassle.
So, in the last couple of weeks, we decided to try an emerging service known as doola. It’s a business formation service that claims to facilitate launching our startup in just 3 days.
Our queries were: How do their services compare to similar platforms, and do they offer value for money?
Let us find out in this doola review.
SMB Guide’s Evaluation Factors for doola
We follow a set of criteria when evaluating a business formation service like doola. The factors that we consider are:
- Pricing & Plans
- Business Formation Services
- Processing Time
- Registered Agent Services and Costs
- Name Availability Search
- Online Document Access
- Money-Back Guarantees
- Customer Support
What is doola?
Doola is an online business platform that provides startups and CPA experts a suite of services to create, manage, and scale their US ventures globally.
Startups get features like an e-signature option, compliance monitoring, and document storage, among others, to simplify business management.
Now, for first-time founders, doola provides a guide to business formation procedures, including tax filing, EIN, operating agreements, and more.
Currently, doola has over 9k founders globally that use the platform. Not only that, Doola partners with investors like Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot co-founder, where they’ve raised seed funding totaling $3 million.
Pricing & Plans
doola provides three pricing packages that get billed annually. Each plan offers unique features, and it’s in tiers.
It is the entry package that startups can subscribe to and access basic services for a company formation. The plan has an annual subscription, and here is how much it costs.
- US bank setup assistance
- Company formation
- Compliance reminders
- Domain name
Who it’s for: It fits startups on a tight budget looking for basic company formation services.
It is the mid-level plan and, as per the doola website, the most popular. It also has an annual subscription, and here is how much it costs.
- Annual compliance filing
- Doola invoicing
- Doola books
- Doola management
- US bank setup assistance
- Annual CPA consultation
Who it’s for: It’s for SMEs with a small budget but needs more features to help them scale operations in the US market.
It is the top premium package with an annual subscription. It provides more features and functionality than the Premium plan and costs.
- Doola management
- US bank setup assistance
- IRS tax filing
- Quarterly CPA consultation
- Doola invoicing
- Doola books
- Doola sites
- Compliance support
Who it’s for: It suits e-commerce and DAOs that need comprehensive formation and management of operations to comply with US law.
Business Formation Services
Entrepreneurs will find that doola provides fast business formation services that comply with federal and state law. You can start an LLC in Delaware, Wyoming, or any US state and get a registered agent as an added option.
Besides business formation, doola offers services like opening a bank account, EIN, tax filing, and more.
The platform works to ease startups’ challenges in forming a company in the US. Not only that, entrepreneurs access an API they can use to create a DAO or company.
Now, startups looking to customize their business formation will find that doola supports the personalization of their company.
You can tweak the legal structure, business name, US bank, and much more. Startups can also add features like an e-commerce site, tax filing, and bookkeeping.
The services doola offers in business formation are all-inclusive whether your startup is an e-commerce, LLC, or partnership.
Document filing is the primary factor that can affect the processing time for business formation. Now, with doola, it takes 5 days to file your documents in any US state to form an LLC.
Now, with the government processing times, the rules vary with each state. However, it can take 2-6 months to process in most cases.
In some scenarios, entrepreneurs looking to form an LLC in a state of their choice may require a prevailing wage determination (PWD) like an H1B or H2B visa.
This requirement can slow down the process since it needs approval from federal agencies.
Entrepreneurs looking to expedite their business formation will find that doola offers that option mainly in Delaware and Wyoming.
In those two states, it can take 3 days to file your documents, but there is an extra fee of $399 plus state fees. Expedited services for EIN can take 10 days, and a bank account within 3 days.
Registered Agent Services and Costs
Entrepreneurs who form an LLC in any US state can use doola as its registered agent. The benefit of it is that you reduce the non-compliance risks.
Not only that, Doola offers their clients updates on any changes to their compliance. Now, when using doola as your registered agent, there are extra costs you need to budget besides LLC formation costs.
The cost will depend on the state, but on average, it ranges between ($0 – $350).
Name Availability Search
Startups will find a name available search tool on doola that they can use to pick a suitable name for their brand.
The tool is accurate and fast, and it even recommends ways to tweak your brand name. It’s a helpful feature because startups can avoid trademark names and confusion.
Now, using the tool is simple. Type your chosen name and view if it’s available in the specified state. If it shows availability, you will see an estimated cost of filing the necessary documents.
Online Document Access
Accessing your business formation documents online is easy through doola. Startups can access their formation certificates, showing the company name, shareholders, purpose, and location.
Entrepreneurs can also access annual reports on their financial performance, such as a balance sheet, revenue statements, and more.
Not only that, compliance records such as permits, tax filing, certifications, and more. All these documents are accessible by print, download, or viewing on the platform dashboard.
Now, accessing these documents requires your authentication, and they secure them through encryption.
Startups will find that doola doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee on its packages, even free trials. However, startups looking for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) get 100% money back on their $499 one-time charge in case the process fails.
The lack of a money-back guarantee doesn’t give peace of mind to most entrepreneurs. So, it’s crucial for startups to understand the terms before committing themselves.
doola offers decent support with multiple channels to reach out for help. On their website, you will find a responsive live chat, and often feedback is within 3-5 minutes.
Other channels include email, which has a 10-15 hour response, and a phone call, which takes 24 hours to get a response.
Now, for the premium plans, doola offers a dedicated representative who gives a customized client experience. Often, they focus on account management, legal, and tax expertise, where they share tips and help solve business issues.
Entrepreneurs looking to learn more about the inner workings of this platform will find the university, help center, and blog valuable.
The resources pack extensive info on company formation and all the bits of managing a business in the US for non-citizens.
Doola – Additional Services
The extra services that startups and entrepreneurs can expect to find in Doola include:
- Doola Tax: Entrepreneurs using this service receive valuable guidance on navigating US tax regulations for their company. A dedicated representative works closely with them to understand their specific business needs and recommends a tailored tax package that aligns perfectly with their requirements. This personalized approach ensures that entrepreneurs can confidently file their taxes and meet their financial obligations promptly and efficiently.
- Doola Banking: Startups get help opening a bank account for their company in the US, where they can transact and accept payments. Doola recommends partner institutions that enable them to safeguard customer data through encryption.
- Doola Total Compliance: Entrepreneurs get help filing taxes, renewing their EIN, and staying compliant with the IRS. The feature also sends reminders to businesses on due dates and any other obligations.
“We want to empower startups and entrepreneurs globally, given that most cannot access traditional methods of creating wealth. So, instead of wasting time running a business without growth, why not automate some services with a click of a button?”Arjun Mahadevan, CEO @ doolaHQ
What Experts Say About doola
Many users online have expressed their experience on TrustPilot about how they find Doola. Here are their testimonials.
Frank Allgauer, a user from Germany, said, “I live outside the US, and I find it complex trying to navigate tax compliance. However, signing up for Doola made the process seamless. I have a dedicated representative who held my hand and guided me on how to go about complex tax matters.”
RAB, a verified user from Ghana, said, “I was looking to incorporate my startup, but most corporations were charging exorbitant prices that I couldn’t afford. Fortunately, signing up for Doola made the experience seamless. Parshwa, one of the dedicated representatives, helped me through the entire business formation process, which impressed me. The incorporation process took less than 24 hours, and he assured me my EIN would take less than 9 weeks.
Adeleine, a Turks & Caicos Islands user, said, “ Upon signing up on Doola, the dedicated representative guided me from start to finish. The process was simple since it was easy to upload documents, and all this time, I was communicating with the representative on WhatsApp.”
SMB Guide’s Verdict For doola
Entrepreneurs and their startups will find that doola lives up to its hype, given that we have evaluated the platform for several weeks to date.
Here is what we found about the platform. Now, building a startup often has a ton of backend processes that first-time entrepreneurs don’t know how to go about.
Doola comes in handy here, where it helps file your documents and even provides extra services like banking, total tax compliance, and more.
It simplifies the business formation process at a pocket-friendly cost, which makes it stand out from other tools in the market. After compiling all these factors, we give doola an 8.8 out of 10.
Entrepreneurs can find valuable features and functionality in doola, but it’s not the only platform. We took it upon ourselves to find worthy alternatives that provide what doola lacks, and they are:
Firstbase is an online platform based in NY, USA, that helps entrepreneurs launch, manage, and grow a startup. This platform provides services similar to doola, such as bank account opening, tax filing, business management, and more.
However, unlike doola, Firstbase Start gives startups Stripe financial tools and partner benefits. Not only that, the platform offers a lifetime subscription of $399 with a money-back guarantee of seven days.
This service makes Firstbase Start an ideal choice for startups operating on a tight budget and requiring seamless incorporation of their venture into the US, regardless of their location.
ZenBusiness is an LLC formation company like doola that also offers a free option, as long as you pay state fees. Their paid plans are similarly priced, though the premium plan is a bit more expensive at $349/year compared to $299.
The difference is the annual plans ensure “worry-free compliance.” This is best for people who want to form an LLC – not a non-profit or corporation.
LegalZoom is an online full-service legal document platform that covers far more than business formation services. Like the others mentioned here, they offer a free package where you just pay filing fees.
This is best for people who want one platform to handle all their legal matters.
Other options: Best doola Alternatives
Get Started with doola
Doola is a decent business formation service that startups and entrepreneurs will find valuable in launching their US venture.
The service will help you open a bank account, get an EIN, and all business formation processes. Not only that, you can launch an LLC in Delaware, Wyoming, or any of the US states and even add doola as your registered agent.
Signing up with Doola today is your best bet in launching your venture as a US-registered company in just 3 days.
How nuch does doola company formation cost?
The starter charge for an LLC formation in doola is $297. However, there are more add-ons for services like tax compliance and legal advice that can rise to 1k+.
Compared to corporate advisers, this is a steal.
Do you need to be a U.S. citizen to work with doola?
You don’t have to be a US citizen to work with doola. The platform is open to all entrepreneurs globally who want to incorporate their businesses.
What does doola help with to form a company?
Doola focuses on EIN, bank account creation, business addresses, and payment gateways. These are the basic formation processes you get, but there are other add-on services that you get at an extra fee.
doola helps you form and run your US business (LLC) from anywhere, fast, and in just a few clicks.
Product Brand: Distributed Inc.