Incorporating Your Business Online with Incorporator.com.au
by Neal Macrossan
"Incorporator.com.au is an interesting resource I came across when hunting for advice on structuring our business. So I asked Neal Macrossan to tell us about it...." editor
Incorporator.com.au is a powerful interactive, artificially intelligent computer program/website for the creation of Australian Companies (any type or class). It is incredibly simple to use, extremely convenient, highly economical ($79.95 per usage – optionally payable at the end, not the beginning) and accurate. It is also easy on the eye and the brain - no ‘geek speak’ or unintelligible error messages. It is available 24 hours a day / 7 days per week. Help is only a phone call away – on a 1300 number – for the price of a local call from anywhere in Australia.
Users answer a series of questions, mostly by selecting from a range of pre-determined optional answers. The ‘interview’ process is intelligent in that users’ answers generally determine the next question they are asked. In this way users are not bothered by any questions that are not strictly applicable to their situation. Guidance is available, via ‘pop-up windows’, to help users appropriately answer any questions about which they are unsure. Virtually all guidance is backed up by reference to relevant sections of the Corporations Law (all ‘hyper-linked’ to the actual section wording of the legislation).
On completion of the interview process, users are able to pay, via a secure payments system (Telstra’s ‘Settlement Solutions’ system), for all the necessary documents that Incorporator has, by that time, created for them. These documents automatically download to the user’s PC. They are of extremely high quality and are tailored taking into account the user’s answers to its questions as well as all the relevant provisions of the Corporations Law.
The user then prints out the documents on the user’s own printer, signs or has them signed as necessary, and posts or personally lodges the application to incorporate with ASIC (clear and concise instructions about these matters are included with the print-outs). A Certificate of Incorporation is then issued to the user directly by ASIC. The remaining documents are kept as the company’s initial statutory records.
Test Drive the site
Potential users may test drive the site at www.incorporator.com.au; there is no need to pre-pay or register - users will only be asked for a credit card number right near the end - and at that stage users can pull out if you don't want to go any further.
The amount charged to users of the site (but only if they elect to download and print out the documents) is $79.95. This compares very favourably with the charge made by orthodox shelf company providers – mostly in the range of $160 to $280. (Also there is a government fee payable to ASIC of $720. So the total cost using Incorporator, including the government charge, would be $799.95 whereas a common all-up cost with shelf company providers is around $1000.00.)
Incorporator has loads of internal checks, and associated and informative error messages in order to prevent users accidentally breaching various provisions of the Corporations Law or otherwise making errors. (As a very basic example, if the user enters a date of birth for a proposed director indicating that the proposed director is less than 18 years of age, the system will show a clear error message indicating that a proposed director must be at least 18 years of age.)
Optional save and re-use inputs feature
Users may choose to save their inputs under a username and password of their choice and re-access them at any time.
Advantages of saving inputs
1. If a user’s session on Incorporator is accidentally terminated, the user will be able to retrieve the information they have inputted – they won't lose it all and have to re-type it.
2. Users can enter the information in stages. For example, users might be half way through Incorporator and decide that they want to complete their inputs later that day or on another day - they will later be able to type in new inputs from where they left off.
3. User’s will be able to take advantage of information they entered on a previous run which may also be applicable to their formation of a future company - for example details of the applicant and the lodging party or standard "shelf company" structural patterns (e.g. 2 directors each holding one ordinary fully paid share each). They won't have to re-type them.