Santa Monica’s Docstoc Inc. has agreed to be acquired by financial and tax software developer Intuit Inc., the companies announced Wednesday morning.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of January, were not disclosed.

The 6-year-old Docstoc started as an online platform where small business owners could download basic document templates such as nondisclosure agreements or freelancer contracts.

Over the years, the company has expanded into a one-stop shop for small businesses and entrepreneurs, offering instructional videos, product and vendor review sites and business licensing services. It made its first acquisition in August, scooping up New York recommendation site BestVendor. It has more than 40 million registered members and 16 million monthly visitors.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Jason Nazar said Docstoc and its 50-person team will continue to operate independently in Santa Monica. He added that Intuit, a Mountain View company that focuses primarily on small business customers, would maintain that focus.

“They’ve got the same vision for us about how to transform small businesses for the better,” Nazar said. “We’re going to be able to do some exciting things together.”

The acquisition expands Intuit’s customer base to include solo entrepreneurs and independent contractors.

“As we strive to be the operating system behind small business success, we are looking for solutions and teams that best serve small businesses, and Docstoc stood out as a clear leader,” Alex Chriss, a vice president and general manager in Intuit’s small business division, said in a statement.

Docstoc has raised $4 million in funding from Santa Monica venture firm Rustic Canyon Partners and local angel investors that include LowerMyBills founder Matt Coffin. (Business Journal Publisher Matt Toledo was also an early shareholder and advisor.)

Though Nazar would not disclose the company’s purchase price, he said he was happy with the deal.

“It was a really good deal for all the shareholders,” he said. “It’s going to be a big win for us.”

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