The COVID pandemic hurt a lot of small and medium-sized businesses. To compensate, the government offers employee retention credit to inject funds into companies meeting specific requirements. Is your business missing out on some much-needed funds? Read on to learn about how employee retention credit works and the best ERC companies and agencies that offer amazing ERC services to use for getting that refund.
What is Employee Retention Credit?
Employee retention credit (ERC) is a tax credit available to businesses choosing to retain their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a refundable grant made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established in 2020.
In effect, companies affected by shutdowns or significant declines in gross receipts in 2020 and 2021 may be eligible for financial help from the government. Only small to medium-sized businesses can benefit from the package.
As part of a greater pandemic relief fund, employers can receive up to $26,000 per employee retained. It’s possible to collect up to $5,000 for each employee in 2020 and $7,000 per employee for the first three quarters of 2021. The amount your company is eligible for depends on qualified wages and any healthcare paid to your team.
The 7 Best ERC Services for 2023
- Omega Accounting Solutions – Best Overall
- Bottomline Concepts – Best for Medium Businesses
- ERC Assistant – Best for Business Knowledge
- ERC Specialists – Best for Maximizing Your Refund
- Lendio – Best for Business Financing
- Innovation Refunds – Best for Protecting Your Money
- ERC Today – Best for Quick Processing
As we searched for the best ERC companies, we considered ERC tax credit, service costs, and the availability of bridge loans to keep the lights on. We also looked at the overall qualifying process for eligibility and the processing time to file your claim. Finally, we checked for other features that set each company apart.
Check here for a more detailed explanation of our methodology.
Bridge Loan Availability
Yes, financing in as little as three days
Free 10 minute consultation
Employee retention credit calculator
Based on your grant
Short form followed by a phone call or email
Quiz to see if you qualify
45 seconds qualification quiz
Business owner knowledge
A portion based on the refund received
Detailed qualification questionnaire
Team of payroll specialists
15% of your refund
Yes, funds in as little as 24 hours
Simple eligibility questionnaire
Takes on average 25 days to file
Payroll system integrations, mobile app
25% of your refund
8 minute online application
Audit protection, dedicated ERC refund agent
A portion based on the refund received
12 question initial application
1-2 weeks to file
Omega Accounting Solutions may not have control over the IRS, but the company processes everything quickly on its end. It starts with a free ten-minute consultation followed by a walkthrough for uploading your documents. The ERC services calculator gives you a good idea of how much you’ll receive when the time comes. If you can’t wait that long, Omega Accounting Solutions has bridge loans to keep you afloat.
Why we chose it: Omega Accounting Solutions has a fast application process where you’ll have a rough idea of how much you’re owed within minutes.
- Offers bridge loans
- Quick application process
- Features an ERC calculator
- Does not offer pricing information
- Somewhat confusing setup
- Smaller client base
Pricing: You won’t find any pricing details on Omega’s website. During your free consultation, be sure to inquire about the costs for your specific case.
Bridge Loans Available
Omega Funding Solutions is an offshoot of the parent company and offers bridge loans. The amount you’re eligible for depends on your expected ERC services refund amount at the time of filing. You won’t have to pay anything upfront and can see funds in as little as three days.
The qualifying process starts with a simple form on Omega Accounting Solutions’ website. If you qualify based on the initial questions, an agent will call you for a free ten-minute consultation.
There are only three simple steps Omega walks you through, assuming you meet the criteria. First, you’ll need to upload pertinent documents to the website. Afterward, company experts will calculate your refund and prepare the filing for you.
Even before submitting your paperwork, Omega Accounting Solutions tempers your expectations with an ERC calculator for your team. There’s no need to pay a dime until you’re sure about what’s coming your way.
Bottomline Concepts has a proven track record with ERC grants. They’ve worked with several well-known organizations like Rolex, GNC, and even the Boston Red Sox to reclaim funds lost to the COVID pandemic. Its team has a solid understanding of the grant process, earning back over $1.2 billion to date. Best of all, Bottomline Concepts only gets paid based on the amount it brings in for your company. There’s no risk of losing funds if you don’t qualify.
Why we chose it: Bottomline Concepts goes to work for you, maximizing your grant amount with its proven process.
- Worked with several well-known companies
- Over $1.2 billion in credits recovered
- No risk for your business
- Undisclosed pricing
- Can take a bit of time to get a call back
- Only contactable through online form
Pricing: Bottomline Concepts doesn’t reveal any pricing information on its website. You can rest assured that you only have to pay if the company earns some grant money for you.
Bridge Loans Available
There are no bridge loans available through Bottomline Concepts. If you need some funds to cover a gap in operations, you’ll have to turn to a bank or lending company.
On its website, you’ll find a short form you can use to see if you qualify. The series of questions are specifically formulated to determine eligibility, even if it’s for a shorter window than the program allows. Once finished, an employee from Bottomline Solutions will call you to continue the process.
Bottomline Concepts has a division dedicated to employee retention credits that serves a large audience of clients. The easy-to-follow process helps expedite your refund, although Bottomline Concepts has no control over how quickly the IRS processes your money.
The team at Bottomline Concepts has an intricate knowledge of the ERC filing process. An easy-to-follow questionnaire ensures you qualify for a refund and defines precisely what you’re entitled to.
ERC Assistant consists of a crew of business owners who know the system well. After receiving over $1.5 million more than estimated, the team set out to get other ERC agency similar success. If you prequalify, ERC Assistant will set you up with the right firm so you can get what you deserve. Qualifying for your grant is a breeze, thanks to ERC Assistant’s 45-second questionnaire.
Why we chose it: ERC Assistant has the backing of business owners who have been through the process to get you the maximum refund for your company.
- Formed by a team of fellow business owners
- Accounting firm recommendations
- Quick qualification process
- No pricing information listed
- Does not offer bridge loans
- Results are not guaranteed
Pricing: Setting up your approval through ERC Assistant is free. The company does not share pricing information, but its cut depends on what you get back.
Bridge Loans Available
There are no bridge loans available through ERC services Assistant at this time. Its team hooks you up with the best firm to get your refund as fast as possible. If you need immediate assistance, you’ll need to look for a reputable lender.
You’ll know if you have a shot at a refund within 45 seconds, thanks to ERC Assistant’s quick qualifying process. If you meet the requirements, someone from the team will contact you for next steps.
Since ERC Assistant is not an accounting firm, it takes a little time to choose the right one for you. With the best firm in your pocket, filing tends to go more smoothly.
ERC Assistant is run by other business owners, not employees in a stuffy office. They’ve been through the process and know exactly what it takes to get the biggest grant for your small to medium business.
ERC Specialists enters the picture with decades of payroll experience already under its belt. Because employee retention credits come through payroll returns and not income taxes, this gives the team a leg up. As a result, the average business earns 10% to 20% more than someone less familiar with the program. Processing speed with ERC Specialists is through the roof, allowing you to get paid that much faster.
Why we chose it: ERC Specialists lives up to its name, averaging higher refunds than other companies in the industry.
- Typically able to recover 10-20% more than other companies
- Decades of payroll experience
- Lightning-fast results
- Unclear pricing fees
- Lengthy qualification process
- No loan options
Pricing: There’s no set rate for working with ERC Specialists, the amount you pay depends on your refund. It’s possible to pay after you receive your money or earn a discount for paying upfront.
Bridge Loans Available
While ERC Specialists has a lot to offer, it does not have bridge loans to take advantage of. If your company is hurting financially from the pandemic, consult a bank or lending institution for funding options.
A detailed and thorough questionnaire leads you through the qualification process. After completing the form, someone from ERC Specialists will contact you whether or not you are entitled to a refund.
ERC Specialists boasts a faster turnaround time due to a streamlined process. It usually takes a few weeks to review your paperwork and send you documents to sign.
Most ventures offering assistance with employee retention credit don’t have the payroll knowledge necessary to maximize your grant. ERC Specialists has decades of experience in the space, allowing its team to understand the process fully.
Lendio stands out for the many ways it can finance your company so you can stay in top form. Whether you need money for equipment, accounts receivable, or something else, Lendio has something for you. In most cases, you’ll have cash in your hands within 24 hours. Rates for ERC processing are among the best out there, and a handy mobile app makes it possible to apply no matter where you may be.
Why we chose it: Lendio has a long list of financing opportunities for acquisitions, equipment, and general use to keep you in business while you wait for a refund.
- Several financing options available
- Competitive fees for ERC processing
- Handy mobile app
- Lengthy application times
- Does not focus solely on ERC
- Limited information on lenders
Pricing: There’s no fee for checking eligibility or applying for a refund with Lendio. When the time comes to receive your funds, the company takes a competitive 15% for its part of the process.
Bridge Loans Available
Lendio does bridge loans and then some. You can get general loans within 24 hours of applying with reasonable payback rates. The company also offers specialized loans with generous terms to help get your business to the next level.
Everything starts out simple enough with Lendio’s quick questionnaire. If you pass the test, an agent will reach out to help you complete the process.
There’s some lag when walking through the application process with Lendio. It takes on average 25 days to file your claim with the IRS. From there, you’re at the mercy of the government to get what’s owed you.
Filling out paperwork can be a drag, so Lendio integrates with over 150 payroll applications to speed up the process. You can submit claims from your PC or make use of the excellent mobile app to apply from anywhere with an internet connection.
File confidently through Innovation Refunds, where a team of tax attorneys scrutinize your employee retention credit paperwork. They don’t get paid until you do, and the network will defend their work should the IRS come knocking. Innovation Refunds assigns a dedicated ERC refund specialist to your claim so you’re not dealing with a computer algorithm. Fees may be on the higher side, but you’re left with no surprises.
Why we chose it: A power-packed team of tax attorneys and free audit protection ensure you get the most out of your refund while keeping those funds safe.
- Team of tax attorneys to defend work
- Dedicated ERC refund specialist
- Audit protection at no extra cost
- Takes 25% of your refund
- Qualification process is longer than some
- No options for loans
Pricing: Innovation Refunds will take 25% off the top of your employee retention credit for the work it puts in to earn you money. Since the company’s profit is tied to yours, you can rest knowing you’ll get the most possible. There are no hidden costs, so you’re aware from start to finish what you’ll pay.
Bridge Loans Available
To focus all its energy on getting you money, Innovation Refunds doesn’t provide bridge loans to cover gaps in your income. If you can’t hold on until your check arrives, look to your bank for financing options.
The claim process begins by seeing if you’re eligible for a grant and then sets out to get you the most money possible. Because of this, the form can take upwards of eight minutes to complete.
You’re dealing with a real person at Innovation Refunds, which also means actual business hours. Agents respond and work through claims quickly and efficiently, but they will take the time to ensure you get what you deserve.
When you sign on to use Innovation Refunds, you’re put in touch with an actual agent who sees your claim through to the end. There’s no jumping from person to person or dealing with algorithms that make assumptions about your company. Once you receive your cash, Innovation Refunds protects you from audits at its own expense.
If you want to get a refund fast, ERC Today may be your best bet. Its system gets you through the filing process in as little as seven days so the IRS can process your claim. This is all ERC Today does, and they’ve become experts at working through the red tape without cutting corners. A secure client portal is in place to protect your sensitive information from the internet at large.
Why we chose it: ERC Today’s simple and flexible system can have you filing claims in as little as seven days.
- Faster processing times
- Dedicated to employee retention credits
- Secure application process
- No bridge loans for businesses
- Nontransparent fees
- Doesn’t link up with your payroll system
Pricing: ERC Today doesn’t give a clear picture of how much it takes from your refund as a cost of doing business. The filing process is free, and you’ll find out along the way how much the company plans to keep.
Bridge Loans Available
As a specialist in getting you a refund, ERC Today doesn’t dabble in bridge loans or other extra perks. Its goal is to get you money as quickly as possible by expediting your filing.
A 12-question initial application stands between you and knowing whether or not you qualify for a grant. Once given the okay, you’ll get access to a secure portal for uploading your documents.
From start to finish, it takes ERC Today approximately one to two weeks to get your claim over to the IRS. Alongside having one of the fastest processing times, it’s also one of the most accurate.
ERC Today has program experts ready to help you with your claim without having to deal with slowdowns from your payroll company. Everything you need to submit passes through a secure portal so you know your information is safe.
Methodology for the Best ERC Companies
ERC companies are popping up left and right, but that doesn’t mean each one works the same way. We used the following criteria when picking out the best ERC agency you can use to file a claim and earn that refund:
- Pricing: A check for employee retention credit does little good if the processing company takes every last penny. To the best of our ability, we identified these costs so you can plan ahead.
- Bridge Loan Availability: If you’re hurting from lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a bridge loan can hold you over until the government hands you an ERC check. We looked for ERC agency offering such loans so you can keep everything in-house.
- Qualifying Process: Not everyone is eligible for employee retention credits, much to our dismay. A simple qualification process can tell you upfront whether you can submit a claim and the approximate amount you can collect. We studied the time it takes to reach this determination so you can get back to your business.
- Processing Time: No company can change how long the IRS takes to process your claim. Quicker processing times can get your documentation in front of the government faster and in theory lead to money in your pocket in less time. We strove to find companies with quick turnarounds.
- Other Features: All ERC companies have the capability to get you a refund, but some offer additional perks to really stand out. We made sure to cover these features and how you can use them.
Best ERC Companies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Want to learn more about ERC companies and the filing process? This FAQ may have the answers you’re looking for.
It’s a breath of fresh air knowing you may be entitled to funds from the government for shutdowns during the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, the process to submit and receive that money is long and convoluted.
Best ERC companies can step in to facilitate the process so you get the correct amount of money in the fastest time possible. Bottomline Concepts takes our top spot, but any one of the companies on our list could provide you with excellent ERC services.
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