WARNING about online incorporation services

An online incorporation firm outside of Florida charges you money to do exactly what you can do yourself online at the site of the Florida Secretary of State. But that is not the worst part of it.

They are engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law. They don't care because they are outside Florida and there is nothing the Florida Bar or the State Supreme Court can do about it.

Many online incorporation sites are owned and operated by individuals with no legal background. Most of these sites charge you as much or nearly as much as a licensed attorney would. They aren't going to be around to help you with business problems. They don't years of legal experience. They don't have malpractice insurance. There is nobody that is going to help you if some online incorporation service screws up. Why not develop a relationship with an attorney who will know your business from the beginning and can provide legal advice when you need it.

There are many considerations. What if your corporation gets sued in the future. It could destroy your business and you. A good attorney for the plaintiff is going to subpeona all of your corporation and financial records. He is going to look to see if your corporation is really a separate entity or if you are using it as an alter ego. If he can show the corporation is not truly a separate entity, he can pierce the corporate veil and go after you personally. You could lose everything. No online incorporation firm is going to help you now. Start off your business on the right foot, with licensed and experienced legal representation.

A good attorney is going to look into the circumstances of your incorporation too. If he finds out you used some online incorporation firm a good argument could be made that your incorporation was the result of unauthorized practice of law and that therefore your incorporation is invalid. He could pierce the corporate veil that way and your personal assets would be up for grabs.

There is nothing you can do to some out of state fly-by-night website. They are not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Florida. They have no insurance. You probably couldn't find the owner if you wanted to.

Seriously, is it worth the risk?

In summary, the Florida Supreme Court has found a number of non-lawyer paralegal firms guilty of practicing law without a license. Selling a form is perfectly legal. However, filling out the form is an unauthorized practice of law. That is exactly what the online incorporation firms are doing, they are filling out the form, as your representative. They can NOT represent you in any way. They can not give you legal advice, and if they do, it is worthless. Why waste your money and jeopardize your future to benefit some scammer on the internet. They might have fancy websites, but they all scammers looking to take your money.

Our interest is Florida, but the unauthorized practice of law is applicable to all states. You might want to research some law in your state before using an online incorporation firm other than a company like Legalzoom.com which has partner law firms in all states.

Read the caselaw and opinions of the Florida Supreme Court.

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