Firstbase Review: Services, Pricing, & Alternatives

Our Verdict

Explore the latest Firstbase review for uncovering its key features and pricing details. Discover if it's the right platform for your business formation needs.

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Firstbase Firstbase
Service Type: Business formation services
Best For: Business owners looking to incorporate, aspiring agency owners, and professionals.
Pricing: $399 one-time fee
Pros:
  • One-time free
  • Quick processing
  • Hands-on customer support
  • Great for startups
Cons:
  • Limited state availability
  • Not scalability

In the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship and business management, choosing the right tools and platforms can feel like embarking on an epic quest.

With a plethora of options at your fingertips, the real challenge lies in finding the solution that not only caters to your immediate needs but also propels you toward your grand vision for success. 

Enter Firstbase, a name synonymous with revolutionizing how entrepreneurs, business owners, and even seasoned CPAs launch, nurture, and expand their enterprises.

But what’s the secret sauce that sets Firstbase apart from the rest? How does it make financial infrastructure more accessible and seamlessly automate those mundane yet time-consuming tasks? 

In this review, we’re taking a deep dive into the 2023 edition of Firstbase, unraveling its standout features, real-world applications, and pricing strategies. 

Now, let’s dive into Firstbase’s features and uncover how it could be the ultimate answer to your business quandaries and aspirations.

SMB Guide’s Verdict for Firstbase

SMB Guide’s overall rating for Firstbase is 7. 7 out of 10.

Here’s the detailed breakdown of the scoring for each factor:

FactorRating (out of 10)
Pricing & Plans7
Business Formation Services8
Processing Time7
Registered Agent Services and Costs8
Name Availability Search9
Online Document Access8
Money-Back Guarantees7
Customer Support7.5
SMB Guide Rating7.7

In this review of Firstbase, I’ve followed SMB Guide’s detailed criteria for evaluating the business formation service.

What is Firstbase?

Firstbase homepage

At its core, Firstbase is a pioneering force in the realm of business solutions, dedicated to redefining how entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals launch, operate, and expand their enterprises. 

With a mission to democratize access to financial infrastructure and streamline the often tedious and time-consuming tasks that come with running a business, Firstbase has established itself as a versatile ally for a diverse range of clientele.

It simplifies the complexities of incorporating a business, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and automating administrative tasks.

Pricing & Plans

Firstbase offers a transparent and flexible pricing structure designed to cater to a wide range of business needs, recognizing that businesses are at various stages of development.

To accommodate this diversity, they offer pricing plans tailored to two main categories:

Firstbase pricing
  • Starting Your Business: For entrepreneurs embarking on the path of incorporation, Firstbase provides plans that encompass the essential elements required to establish a legal identity for their venture. These plans focus on incorporation services and foundational requirements.
  • Already Incorporated: Businesses that have already completed the incorporation process can access plans designed to support their ongoing needs, including compliance, growth, and operational tools.

Firstbase’s pricing structure is characterized by transparency, ensuring that clients understand the costs associated with their chosen plans from the outset.

This transparency extends to the clarification that their 7-Day money-back guarantee does not cover state fees or third-party fees, providing clients with clear expectations.

Here are the major plans and add-ons to know.

Firstbase Start

This plan is the most comprehensive formation pricing tier that Firstbase offers, intended for clients who are looking to start a US-based business (either an LLC or C-Corp) from scratch. 

Price

  • $399 one-time fee

Features

  • Forming the company in Delaware, Wyoming, or 32 other states
  • Business bank account opening without EIN (subjected to approval)
  • $350k in deals and rewards
  • Expedited Tax ID (EIN) setup 
  • Lifetime expert support 

Who it’s for: Entrepreneurs looking to incorporate their business for the first time.

Firstbase Agent

This package is catered toward businesses looking for compliance support. 

Price

  • Light Plan: $99 per year per state
  • Autopilot Plan: $299 per year per state

Features

  • Registered Agent available in all 50 states
  • Automated compliance reminders
  • Compliance dashboard & document access
  • Annual report and franchise tax filings (Autopilot Plan only)

Who it’s for: Businesses looking for legal, tax, and compliance support

Firstbase Mailroom

This pricing package is dedicated to setting up a physical address for your business along with a virtual mailbox to confirm its authenticity. The Mailroom package is applied by default to the Firstbase Start plan as it’s a legal necessity for incorporating businesses that dont’ have a valid U.S. address.

Price

  • Basic Plan: $35 per month OR $350 per year
  • Premium Plan: $50 per month OR $500 per year

Features

  • 1 physical business address in a state of your preference
  • Unlimited incoming mail, scans, recycling 
  • Digitized files in the app and send via paper mail (Premium Plan only)
  • Multi-use access (Premium Plan)

Who it’s for: Business owners based outside of the U.S.

Firstbase Payroll

This is a great plan for already incorporated businesses seeking payroll support as part of their growth/ongoing formation. This plan also includes all the Autopilot Plan features of Firstbase Agent

Price

  • $599 per year per state

Features

  • Payroll tax registration
  • State mail processing and compliance reminders
  • Compliance tracking dashboard
  • State annual reports and franchise tax filings
  • Self-serve tax form tool for Form 5472 & Form 1120
  • One-click compliance services
  • Get Agent™ or switch to Agent™

Who it’s for: Already incorporated businesses seeking payroll compliance assistance.

Firstbase Loop

This is focused on boosting incorporated firms by giving them access to software tools to help scale their operations. 

Price

  • Free

Features

  • Banking solutions
  • Payment processing
  • Global payroll & accounting 

Who it’s for: Money transfers

Insurance

Are you looking for comprehensive business insurance for your enterprise? Firstbase offers Insurance as an add-on. Though insurance is not required during incorporation, if you’re planning on becoming an Amazon vendor, general liability insurance is a must. 

Price

  • Starting at $26 per month

Features

  • General liability for e-Commerce
  • General liability for Startup
  • Business Owner’s Policy
  • Cyber insurance 

Who it’s for: Business owners and entrepreneurs seeking additional protection.

Firstbase

Firstbase helps anyone to build a US business. Start a company, set up banking, payments, and payroll, and manage a business — online, from anywhere.

Get started
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Business Formation Services

Firstbase offers a comprehensive suite of business formation services, catering to the diverse needs of entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish a solid foundation for their ventures. 

Firstbase business formation

Adopting a multifaceted approach to business formation, their business formation services specifically encompass the following key areas:

  • Firstbase Start: This service is dedicated to incorporation, providing the essential framework for businesses to establish their legal identity.
  • Firstbase Agent: Positioned as an all-in-one compliance solution, Firstbase Agent assists businesses in maintaining good standing with ongoing state compliance requirements.
  • Firstbase Mailroom: Offering businesses a physical address and mailbox, this service helps establish a professional and credible presence.
  • Pre-EIN Bank Account: Facilitating the early stages of financial management, this service simplifies the process of obtaining a bank account before acquiring an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Firstbase Loop: Firstbase Loop supports businesses in their journey toward expansion and success.
  • Firstbase Discovery: By opting into the discovery program, businesses can gain visibility among a network of venture capitalists (VCs) who may reach out for further discussions.
Firstbase equity solutions

It’s important to keep in mind that Firstbase primarily specializes in assisting businesses with the formation of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and C-Corporations.

While they extend their services to several states, their specialization lies in incorporating businesses in Delaware and Wyoming.

These two jurisdictions are known for their business-friendly regulations and tax benefits, making them attractive options for many entrepreneurs.

Firstbase’s offerings are also designed to be highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor their formation packages to suit their unique needs.

Firstbase business formation services

Whether it’s selecting the right entity type, customizing compliance solutions, or accessing growth tools, clients have the flexibility to choose the services that align best with their business objectives.

Processing Time

Understanding the processing time for incorporation and business formation services is crucial for entrepreneurs seeking to launch their ventures with efficiency and timeliness.

Firstbase acknowledges the multifaceted nature of the process, involving various state and federal government entities. The initial step of incorporation typically takes between 3 to 7 business days.

It’s essential to note that for Delaware, a particularly popular jurisdiction, processing times may be longer, ranging from 10 to 15 business days due to high volume.

Firstbase actively monitors these timelines and keeps clients informed of any updates received from government entities.

Following incorporation, the preparation of essential documents is the next phase, with an average processing time of 2 to 7 business days.

This step ensures that all necessary paperwork is in order, setting the foundation for subsequent processes. Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a critical step in business formation.

The processing time for this varies based on whether the applicant has a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Without an SSN or ITIN, the process may take 20 to 30 business days, while with an SSN or ITIN, it can be expedited to 2 to 3 business days.

Firstbase EIN

Once the EIN is secured, the application for a business bank account follows. This step typically takes between 2 to 10 business days after the application has been submitted to the bank account partner.

The good news is that Firstbase offers expedited services in specific circumstances, mostly dependent on location. For example, in Wyoming, the Certificate of Incorporation/Formation cannot be expedited and typically takes 1 to 2 business days.

In Delaware, Firstbase is currently covering the costs of expedited filing for customers, although some delays may still be experienced.

Registered Agent Services & Costs

Firstbase, under the banner of Firstbase Agent, offers an array of registered agent services designed to ensure your business operates smoothly and in full compliance with state regulations.

Firstbase agent

Firstbase Agent stands as a reliable partner in handling the crucial role of a registered agent. They go beyond the basics of receiving legal notices and critical mail, extending their services to provide valuable support for ongoing state compliance filings.

This proactive approach helps businesses stay in good standing and alleviates the burden of keeping track of compliance requirements.

Firstbase compliance

Firstbase Agent’s commitment to facilitating compliance is noteworthy. They have pre-filled all the necessary state and federal forms, ensuring businesses have everything required for accurate and swift filings.

This attention to detail can save business owners valuable time and reduce the risk of errors in the compliance process.

One standout feature of Firstbase Agent is its capacity to register your company to transact in other states. This capability opens doors for businesses looking to expand their operations across state borders, simplifying the often intricate process of establishing a presence in new territories.

Currently, the platform offers flexibility in pricing with three distinct schemes: Light, Autopilot, and Payroll. These schemes cater to a variety of business needs and budgets, ensuring that businesses can select the plan that aligns best with their specific requirements.

Name Availability Search

Firstbase’s Name Availability Search is a free tool that assists clients in selecting an appropriate and legally available business name.

Firstbase busines name search

Clients can easily access this tool on the company’s website and perform a free search without the need for extensive registration or complicated steps.

The simplicity of the process ensures that even those new to business formation can swiftly navigate it. Firstbase takes pride in guaranteeing the most up-to-date results for its users.

By searching across US state registries with the latest available information, the platform ensures the accuracy of the results it provides.

This commitment is crucial, as having the most current data is essential when choosing a business name to avoid potential legal complications.

The tool delivers results within seconds and without any hijinks. I was able to verify and check various names, and even tested existing business names in various states, getting accurate results promptly. 

However, it’s worth noting that while the Name Availability Search is a valuable resource, certain business names may require further review by the Secretary of State.

Firstbase appropriately informs users of this possibility, ensuring transparency in the naming process. This feature adds an extra layer of caution and legal help.

Online Document Access

Firstbase understands the importance of convenience and accessibility when it comes to handling essential paperwork.

It simplifies the often complex process of document submission during incorporation.

Firstbase document management

While they handle the submission of documents on your behalf, they also ensure that original paperwork is sent to you for your reference once the process is complete.

This proactive approach ensures that you have physical copies of essential documents, providing an extra layer of security.

Under Firstbase Start, clients also gain access to a comprehensive set of legal documents necessary for their business operations.

These documents include crucial information about company ownership, operations, and other vital details. What’s notable is that these documents are prepared with standard terms commonly used by top startups, simplifying their understanding and utility.

Firstbase documents

You also get a self-serve tax form tool. This tool pre-fills tax forms with the information you’ve already shared about your company, streamlining the tax compliance process.

By downloading these secure forms and submitting them to the IRS, businesses can stay compliant and confident during tax season.

This feature is particularly valuable, as these tax forms are mandatory for all businesses operating in the United States.

For ongoing compliance requirements, Firstbase Agent provides a centralized dashboard where clients can access all compliance documents and official mail.

This eliminates the need for storing paper documents in drawers and mitigates the risk of overdue fees.

Money-Back Guarantees

Firstbase stands by its services with a 7-day money-back guarantee. This policy covers a full refund within 7 days of purchase, excluding state fees or third-party fees associated with filing services. 

Refunds are applicable in specific cases where Firstbase.io is directly responsible or has control over the issue. These include:

  • Requests made before company registration has been filed (with a full refund possible if the registered agent has not yet submitted the filing to the relevant state).
  • Requests made after registration but before the application for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and/or IRS Form SS4 has been faxed to the IRS (with a partial refund of 50% of Firstbase fees paid).

It’s worth noting that once any paperwork has been submitted to the government on behalf of the client, filing fees become non-refundable.

Additionally, fees paid to third-party providers for products such as Firstbase MailroomTM and Firstbase AgentTM are also non-refundable.

Customer Support

With Firstbase, you get customized support based on your needs. Depending on the package or add-ons you choose, the extent of customer support may vary.

This approach ensures that clients receive support that aligns with their specific needs and preferences.

Firstbase help center

For clients opting for the Firstbase Start package, a notable feature is the assignment of a dedicated representative. This representative is responsible for handling your account and maintaining constant communication throughout the process.

This personalized touch can be invaluable, especially for those navigating the complexities of business incorporation for the first time.

In addition to one-on-one support, Firstbase provides a comprehensive online help center filled with resources and articles. This resource hub serves as a valuable knowledge base, offering insights and guidance on various aspects of business formation and compliance. 

Firstbase goes the extra mile by offering interactive live sessions open to the public. These sessions serve as opportunities for clients to seek advice and clarification on tax-related matters and include: 

Clients can also take advantage of a free 10-minute consultation, offering a brief but valuable opportunity to discuss their specific needs and concerns with a knowledgeable advisor.

This service further highlights Firstbase’s commitment to offering accessible and client-centric support.

FirstBase — Additional Services

As already mentioned, Firstbase offers a suite of additional services aimed at facilitating seamless business operations.

These services include Firstbase Mailroom, Firstbase Loop, Firstbase Payroll, and Insurance, each designed to enhance the value proposition for businesses beyond the initial stages of incorporation.

Firstbase mailroom

The founders and staff of Firstbase emphasize the significance of these additional services in complementing the core offerings.

They understand the multifaceted approach to running a successful business and have curated these services to address ongoing operational needs. 

From maintaining a credible presence to accessing growth resources, simplifying payroll, and mitigating risks through insurance, Firstbase.io’s additional services underscore their commitment to providing entrepreneurs with comprehensive and reliable support throughout their business journey.

What the Experts Say About Firstbase

Firstbase has mostly positive reviews overall from the business community.

On Trustpilot, it’s got a whopping 650+ reviews with an overall 4.8 rating. One user claims they work at “lightning speed” while another gave it a 10/10, stating it to be incredible value for money.

Firstbase TrustPilot review

Many reviews commend Firstbase’s banking tie-ups with Mercury, praising the quick financial setup and transactional facilities.

On G2.com, the service has an astounding 5 star rating. The most recent review is from Bassem M., speaking highly of their exceptional service. He says,

“What I like best about FirstBase Start is their exceptional speed and responsiveness. They efficiently guide clients through the incorporation process, always replying promptly to inquiries, resulting in a seamless and efficient experience.” 

Firstbase Alternatives

For entrepreneurs exploring business formation and compliance services, several alternatives to Firstbase.io offer distinct features and value propositions.

Each of these alternatives excels in its unique way, catering to different needs and preferences.

 
 
 
5.0
4.5
4.0
$149 - $349
$199/yr - $349/yr
$99 - $419
5.0
$149 - $349
4.5
$199/yr - $349/yr
4.0
$99 - $419

LegalZoom

LegalZoom homepage

LegalZoom is known for its extensive legal service offerings beyond business formation. They provide a wide array of legal documents, including wills and trademarks, making them a comprehensive legal solutions provider.

It’s best for entrepreneurs seeking a one-stop-shop for various legal needs, including business formation and other personal legal documents.

LegalZoom offers a range of pricing options, with their most basic package starting at a competitive price point.

Get started with LegalZoom today!

CorpNet

CorpNet homepage

CorpNet prides itself on its personalized service and customer support. They offer a more hands-on approach, making them an excellent choice for those who value personalized assistance.

Entrepreneurs looking for cost-effective business formation solutions with a strong emphasis on personalized service should give CorpNet a try. 

CorpNet is recognized for its affordability, with competitive pricing that caters to budget-conscious entrepreneurs.

Give CorpNet a try.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness homepage

ZenBusiness is known for its affordable pricing structure, with options designed to suit the needs of small businesses and startups.

ZenBusiness stands out for its commitment to social responsibility. They offer a unique feature where they’ll cover the cost of filing for a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, aligning with businesses that prioritize social impact.

Entrepreneurs who value affordability and social responsibility, especially those looking to establish nonprofit organizations, should give ZenBusiness a whirl.

Explore ZenBusiness now.

Getting Started with Firstbase

Are you ready to transform your entrepreneurial dreams into reality? Firstbase is your trusted partner in making it happen.

With transparent pricing, dedicated customer support, and a range of additional services for ongoing success, Firstbase can help turn your vision into a thriving business.

Unlock your entrepreneurial journey with Firstbase!

FAQs

What does Firstbase do?

Firstbase specializes in providing an all-in-one Company OS designed to simplify and streamline the processes of launching, managing, and growing businesses.

This includes a range of tools to assist entrepreneurs, startups, and business professionals.

Is Firstbase reliable?

Yes, Firstbase has earned a reputation for reliability serving many businesses with incorporation and formation. Their dedication to solving common startup challenges and their user-centric approach reflects their commitment to providing reliable solutions for business needs.

Does Firstbase provide free plans?

No, Firstbase does not offer free plans. However, they do provide a 7-day money-back guarantee for their incorporation services, known as “Firstbase Start.”

Related reading:

Firstbase

Firstbase helps anyone to build a US business. Start a company, set up banking, payments, and payroll, and manage a business — online, from anywhere.

Get started
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Firstbase

The simplest way for anyone to launch and run a US business.

Product Brand: Firstbase.io, Inc.

Editor's Rating:
3.8

Beatrice is a seasoned productivity writer with a knack for uncovering game-changing productivity hacks that simplify life routines. Armed with a triple major in Commerce, Accounting, and Insurance, she also runs her own digital consulting firm. You'll usually find her immersed in crafting captivating literary novels and traveling the world.