On August 16, 1997, Greenwich Consulting Group (GCG) held its first board meeting--at Yankee Stadium. The two founding members of the strategic-planning and telecommunications consulting firm, in Greenwich, Conn., typed their minutes into a laptop while below them the Texas Rangers tromped the Yankees, 8 to 5. The event was a celebration of the company's technologically enhanced incorporation the week before.

Vice president Christopher Simmons had anticipated spending a lot of time investigating Connecticut's incorporation requirements, researching and reserving a company name, and preparing and filing a certificate of incorporation. Instead, he turned to one of a growing number of incorporating-service Web sites that perform all those tasks online. "We didn't want to mess around, so I got right on the Web," says Simmons.

After visiting a few sites, Simmons chose Corporate Agents (www.corporate.com). It took him 10 minutes to complete the application and enter his credit-card number. Corporate Agents did the rest. About a week later, Simmons had his company's official incorporation certificate in hand.

All told, it cost GCG about $550, $300 of which went to the office of the secretary of state. Had Simmons used a lawyer, he estimates that incorporating in Connecticut might have cost him as much $1,000.