Free Online Business Tools Save Money – But Are They As Good As the Pros?

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There has never been an easier time to form a new business in America. The numbers of new businesses formed in 2021 are staggering; every month last year saw between 400,000 to 500,000 new business applications, according to the US Census Bureau. With smaller businesses taking up 99.9% of these new formations, a bevy of free business tools and resources have sprung up online, offering free advice and business training.  

Software, business apps, and digital business solutions have actually been around since the 1990s, starting with government information hubs and NGOs posting helpful articles and tips on their sites. Back then, professional business agents were the only way a business could guarantee that all the paperwork and prerequisites needed to form a business were completed and executed correctly.  

While registered agents are still needed to complete the process in some US states, their roles have been watered down much due to digital innovations and the sheer amount of information there is for anyone wanting to know how to form a new business in any state.   

Start a Florida LLC: A Case Study    

To really compare the usefulness of a professional vs a well-known free business tool, a comparison between them is mandatory: TRUiC’s ‘How to Start an LLC’ web series is a highly popular business resource, helping thousands of people start LLCs across the country. They specialize in making it easy for anyone to weigh up options when considering starting an LLC. We’ve chosen Florida because the state’s laws require the services of a registered agent as well.  

Copyright: TRUiC 

The Case for Using Professional Agents Over Online Business Tools  

Every business idea should be unique and original, so it makes sense that every business situation is different as well. Most new business owners stress about the sheer amount of time spent on state compliance requirements and paperwork; a good professional agent will be able to take the time and labor out of the task.  

Speaking of paperwork, important and official receipts and lawsuits will be usually delivered to your door, be it your home address or your new business premises – there is something to be said about avoiding the appearance of the sheriff at your shop, or having the luxury of privacy by having the documents delivered to your business representative instead. 

Because of the varying state laws on starting an LLC and the requirement of legally needing to have a registered agent with an address based in the state where the new company is incorporated, like in Florida, for instance, the value of an agent’s services here are undeniable.      

How Online Business Tools Trump Having an Agent Help You Start an LLC  

Digital business solutions have advanced at such a high tech level, combining traditional business models with the digital world, making accessibility to information easier and being capable of alleviating the process of starting a new business by leaps and bounds.  

Just looking at TRUiC’s Florida LLC page provides all the details needed in order to completely stay on top of the state’s procedures – all in five easy steps. There are videos explaining the process, comprehensive explanations on the specific laws pertaining to forming a business in Florida, and many links to important explanations, even more resources, and even suggested agents a potential new business owner can utilize.  

So what makes this online business helper version of an actual professional better? It’s in all the BONUS stuff they put on there; free LLC guides, business name searches and business name generators to help with appropriate and product, or service-worthy business names. Checking for potential and available domain names, and then utilizing their free logo generator will centralize the whole process for the user.  

And now the biggest factor: Price. The cost of using a business tool varies from around $39 (plus state fees) to $149 plus state fees once off. A professional will cost $99 for simple registration services, to $300 a year for added services. If the new venture is on a shoestring budget, using the internet for help is definitely the way to go.  

A Final Thought         

If this was a computer vs humans debate, we would be here all day! Nothing can beat human experience and there are many professionals out there who have been offering comprehensive  business formation services for decades. But the sheer convenience and mountains of information one can find online is worth pursuing before a decision is made on which way to go. Luckily, we now all have that choice, thanks to modern technology.    

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