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If you’re looking to form an LLC, you probably already know that there are a handful of routes. Many entrepreneurs are uncomfortable with the idea of registering a limited liability company themselves, but also don’t have the budget to hire an attorney.

If you fit this description, don’t worry! There are reliable and affordable LLC formation services that can take care of the paperwork at a fraction of what an attorney would charge.

This guide outlines the 7 best LLC services online and detailed reviews of what sets them apart. Which is the best LLC service for you? Read on to find out.

Best Overall Value
Runner Up

Northwest Registered Agent’s prices are much higher than ZenBusiness, but their premium customer support totally sets them apart. They’ve been forming LLCs since 1998 and are easily one of the best business formation services available.

Yes the $225 sticker price is very different from $39, but you’re not price sensitive, this gets you premium level service with access to extremely helpful customer support reps.

  • Northwest has no upsells, making the LLC formation process very straightforward. Most other services (like LegalZoom) will try to get you to buy add-on after add-on, while Northwest does not.
  • Out of all the LLC services we reviewed, Northwest has the best customer support available. If you ever have an issue, simply call their number to get any question answered quickly by someone friendly and knowledgable.
  • They include a full year of their namesake registered agent service with the LLC formation package, which costs $125/year. Northwest puts considerable effort and care into this service and is the only major provider that locally scans every document they receive on your behalf.

If you place a high value on exceptional customer support and like the idea of using one simple and straightforward package, choose Northwest.

Want to learn more? Read our full Northwest Registered Agent LLC review.

Like IncFile, Inc Authority also offers a free LLC service in addition to paid packages. Inc Authority has been around since 1989, and they’ve formed more than 130,000 business entities over the years.

Inc Authority’s platform isn’t the most intuitive or user-friendly LLC website we’ve ever used, but they do have several advantages that still make them well worth a look for entrepreneurs on a budget.

Keep in Mind: Even though their free LLC service is a great deal, if you want additional features, you’ll end up paying higher prices than other options on this list. Their cheapest non-free package starts at $399.

  • Even though they offer LLC formations for free, every customer who uses this service still receives one year of registered agent service at no cost.
  • Customer feedback is a big pro for Inc Authority. They have well over 4,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. Customer satisfaction is clearly quite high for Inc Authority.
  • One issue with Inc Authority is that they do not provide refunds for any reason, so if you purchase any of their paid services, you should make absolutely sure that you’re making an informed purchase.

If you don’t have a ton of money to spend on business formation services, Inc Authority is the only company in this industry other than IncFile that offers LLC formations for free (as long as you pay your state fee).

Want to learn more? Read our full Inc Authority LLC Review.

LegalZoom has more brand power than any other company in this industry, with a wide reach all across the country. They handle huge volumes of LLC formations, and their experience is second to none.

They don’t have as many features and low pricing as ZenBusiness or as excellent customer support compared to Northwest, but they’re an incredibly popular service provider.

  • LegalZoom has helped form over a million businesses since 1999. Not many competitors can keep up with a workload like that.
  • They have extended customer service hours that can be a lifesaver for busy entrepreneurs. They’re available until 10pm ET every weekday, and they’re even open weekends until 7pm ET.
  • LegalZoom’s ordering process includes a seemingly never-ending series of up-sells. Before you even reach their package selection screen, they’ll put you through up-sells for their registered agent service, federal tax ID (EIN) acquisition, a business license research package, business tax software, a legal services subscription service, and compliance assistance. If you accepted all of these up-sells, you would be on the hook for $1,080 over the course of your LLC’s first year ― and that doesn’t even include the cost of your actual state registration fee.

If track record and using a well-known company is important to you, consider starting an LLC with LegalZoom.

Want to learn more? Read our full LegalZoom LLC review.

Next up is Rocket Lawyer, a service that provides a host of legal features in addition to LLC formation. If you’re in a situation and need to discuss sensitive legal matters with an LLC attorney, Rocket Lawyer is likely a great fit for you.

  • Their members enjoy many advanced features with their LLC formations, including attorney consultations, access to an extensive document library, and much more.
  • They’ve served over 7 million business clients and 20 million total customers since 2008. It’s a highly impressive volume of customers considering they’ve been around for a little over a decade.
  • Rocket Lawyer’s 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures that if you’re unhappy for any reason within 30 days, they’ll either fix the issue or give you your money back.

For customers who don’t subscribe to their legal services subscription, Rocket Lawyer isn’t as worthwhile as the other good LLC services in this guide, as their $99 base rate doesn’t include many features.

Want to learn more? Read our full Rocket Lawyer LLC review.

With over 60,000 business formations since they opened in 2001, MyCompanyWorks fits the bill as a mid-size company in the LLC services industry. They have the experience to do the job right, without making you feel like you’re just a number.

Plus, there are about 3,000 MyCompanyWorks reviews online, the vast majority of which are of a positive nature.

  • With a $79 base rate, they’re not the absolute cheapest option out there, but they’re quite affordable. We will note, however, that they do not include free registered agent service with every package like a handful of other LLC services on this list do. It is only included in their Complete package.
  • MyCompanyWorks’s customer support reps always get back to you quickly. During business hours, they reply to most voicemails and emails in less than 20 minutes. Some competitors can take a full day to get back to you.
  • Their Startup Wizard LLC formation checklist is a convenient way to navigate the formation process, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial compliance steps.

If a proven track record and quick-response customer support are important to you, check out MyCompanyWorks.

Want to learn more? Read our full MyCompanyWorks LLC review.

Pros & Cons of LLC Formation Websites

Pros:

  • It doesn’t matter if you understand the legalities of starting an LLC or not. LLC creation services save you time and effort by taking care of the process for you.
  • Most company formation services have an online dashboard tool to keep you updated of important government deadlines, ensuring you never miss a filing.
  • If you run into any problems, or even if you just have a simple question, LLC websites have extensive phone and email support systems. If you go the DIY route, you will have to contact the state directly which can take much longer to get a reply.
  • All of these incorporation services will save you hundreds of dollars over hiring an attorney to form your LLC.

Cons:

  • If you have the time and capacity, you can save money by starting an LLC on your own.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, a lawyer has specialized insights that you’re not going to get with most online incorporation services.

Frequently Asked Questions

about the top services to form an LLC online

I’ve Heard the Most About LegalZoom. Why Aren’t They #1?

LegalZoom is the most well-known LLC formation service online, thanks to their massive advertising budget and impressive customer volume.

However, their prices and features simply aren’t nearly as impressive compared to other good LLC formation services like ZenBusiness that give you far more bang for your buck.

How Do Online LLC Services Work?

Using an online LLC service removes much of the hassle from the business formation process. With these services, all you need to do is provide them with the name, location, and industry your business operates in, along with some info about yourself and your registered agent.

The service then creates your articles of organization and files them with your state to create your new LLC.

Are LLC Formation Websites Legit?

Absolutely. There are quite a few reputable companies offering LLC formation service these days. All of which made our list of the top 7 best LLC services you see above.

In fact, while we certainly have our opinions about which ones offer the best pricing and features, every one of the incorporation services we discuss on this website is entirely legitimate and trustworthy.

Do I Have to Use a Service to Form an LLC?

The DIY route is always an option, and quite a few entrepreneurs do choose to form their own LLCs without the assistance of a business incorporation service. If this is something you’d like to look into, check out our free guide or TRUiC’s course to creating an LLC.

There are several steps involved if you’re going to forming an LLC on your own. The most important phase of this process is preparing and filing your articles of organization, as this document formally creates your LLC with the state.

The information required varies from state to state, but you’ll generally need to provide them with some basic information about yourself and your business. You will also need to choose a name for your business, designate a registered agent, obtain a federal tax ID number (EIN), create an operating agreement, and more.

Does Using an LLC Service Give Me More Legal Protection or Privacy?

In some ways, using an LLC service does protect your privacy, especially if you choose to also have that company serve as your registered agent.

This is due to the fact that, if you serve as your own registered agent, your personal address will often become part of the public record. Using a registered agent not only provides the privacy of using the agent’s business address as your own, but it also significantly cuts down on junk mail.

Does It Matter If I Choose the Cheapest Package?

With any of these packages ― and with any of these service providers ― you will receive the full formation of your LLC. It doesn’t matter if you purchase the most affordable or most expensive package unless you’re also interested in getting some advanced features with your formation.

There are also some services (like LegalZoom) that base your turnaround times on which package you buy, but this is rather uncommon.

Are There Any Risks to Using an Online LLC Service?

We would actually argue the exact opposite, that there are many more risks to forming an LLC on your own. With an LLC formation website, you can rest assured that your business is formed correctly.

These companies form hundreds or even thousands of LLCs every day, so they have the expertise to form a compliant business entity.

Do You Have a List of All the Good LLC Filing Services Online?

Yes! We’ve reviewed all of the industry’s most popular LLC formation services, as well as many of the smaller providers, in an effort to help you decide which LLC service provider is the right choice for you. Here is a list of these 20 LLC services and a quick review of each option.

 

1) ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is the LLC filing service that strikes the perfect ratio of the cost to start an LLC ($39) with the features included. They are one of our favorite options and the service with the best overall value. Plus, they are a social enterprise with a focus on making a positive impact while helping entrepreneurs set up an LLC online.

 

2) Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is a premium service provider with a reasonable price point that beats many of the more economy-minded LLC services. Their $225 price point includes a full year of registered agent service, as well as Northwest’s next-level personalized customer support.

 

3) IncFile

IncFile strikes a great balance between being a free LLC filing service and having a great selection of features including a full year of registered agent service. They also have fantastic customer reviews, and overall they’re a great service to form an LLC.

 

4) LegalZoom

LegalZoom is the unquestioned leader for brand power and name recognition in the LLC services industry. They have millions of business customers, and their advertising reach is tremendous. Their prices are high, but they have the longest customer support hours of any LLC service provider, and they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

 

5) Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer does offer standalone LLC formation service, but their main draw is in their comprehensive legal services subscription. All new subscribers receive LLC service at no extra charge, and even though there’s a $39.99/month fee, they do offer a free one-week trial.

 

6) BizFilings

If your state has any further compliance requirements beyond the standard elements of LLC formation ― like initial reports or publication ― BizFilings is one of the only popular LLC formation providers that offers these services. They also include six months of registered agent service in all of their LLC packages.

 

7) Nationwide Incorporators

The big advantage for Nationwide Incorporators is that all of their LLC formations are either drafted or reviewed by a business attorney before they’re filed with your state. They also have valuable coupon codes available on Yelp that can significantly reduce your costs if you choose to purchase one of their premium LLC packages.

 

8) Incorporate.com

Is longevity an important attribute to you? If so, look no further than Incorporate.com. They’ve been around since 1899, and they’ve served over 750,000 businesses since then. They also offer an impressive guarantee that pays you up to $75,000 if they make an error with your LLC filing and fail to correct it.

 

9) MyCorporation

MyCorporation is the best option for entrepreneurs who want to bundle annual report service in with their LLC formation. For $99 + $34 shipping, they offer LLC creation service plus a year of managed annual reports, which is the best bargain in the industry for this combination of features.

 

10) MyCompanyWorks

With responsive customer service and strong client feedback, MyCompanyWorks is a customer-focused company providing reasonably priced LLC formations. They return most phone calls and emails in just 20 minutes during business hours, which is a big advantage compared to some competitors that can take a full day.

 

11) CorpNet

CorpNet doesn’t stand out in any one specific way, but they’re a well-rounded formation service with few negative attributes. They have reliable customer support, good client feedback, fair price points, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

 

12) SunDoc Filings

For those of you looking to form an LLC in California, SunDoc Filings is clearly a strong option. Their location in Sacramento, CA means they’re able to visit the California Secretary of State’s office several times per day. They offer 24-hour turnaround times for California LLCs, which obviously no other provider can top.

 

13) Harbor Compliance

Does premium customer service with highly trained professional representatives appeal to you? Harbor Compliance assigns a dedicated Compliance Specialist to each customer, and that specialist walks you through each step of your formation. Their services do carry a premium price tag, but their support lives up to the billing in our opinion.

 

14) Swyft Filings

There are very few LLC services that can beat the $49 price point offered by Swyft Filings, and with a 100% satisfaction guarantee backing up their low prices, it’s easy to see why they’re a popular choice. If you’re on a tight budget, they’re an even better option because they allow you to pay for your formation in two installments.

 

15) Direct Incorporation

They might not be the most exciting option for basic LLC formations, but if you need advanced features they’re one of your top options. Direct Incorporation offers trademark protections, full-service web design, logos and graphic design, and much more. They also have a legal services subscription, so they really do have a strong selection of advanced features available.

 

16) IncNow

If you’re forming an LLC in the state of Delaware, IncNow is one of your top options. If you live in Delaware and wish to serve as your own registered agent, IncNow offers LLC formation service for as little as $9, which is easily the least expensive LLC service we’ve seen anywhere.

 

17) Harvard Business Services

If you’re forming an LLC in Delaware, Harvard Business Services is a great option. They have excellent customer feedback with thousands of reviews across the web, and they offer registered agent service for just $50 per year, which is a really low rate.

 

18) IncParadise

IncParadise is a great option for any LLC forming in the state of Nevada, as they offer some significant free extras for that state, including expedited filing. In addition, they offer lifetime registered agent service in any state for just $499, and none of their competitors offer a comparable service.

 

19) Incorporate Fast Inc

IncFast lives up to their name, with some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. They also include a full year of registered agent service with every one of their LLC service packages, along with an operating agreement which is a feature most competitors only include in premium packages.

 

20) InCorp

InCorp offers a price match guarantee that says they’ll beat any competitor’s price on similar service, and they have some other welcome characteristics as well. They offer volume discounts on registered agent service, and they receive strong customer reviews too.

Is My State’s LLC Registration Fee Included in the Prices Above?

No. There are different LLC formation fees in all 50 states, so you’ll need to add your state’s fee to the listed price points. In some states, this is as little as $40, but in others, you might need to pay a fee of several hundred dollars.

Want to see how much it will cost to form an LLC in your state? Check out our state-by-state guide.

How Much Would it Cost to Have an Attorney Start My LLC?

Depending on the nature of your LLC, as well as the legal requirements in your state, there is some variation here. In general though, it will likely cost at least $1,000-$1,500 to hire an attorney to form your new LLC. It could easily cost more than that as well, possibly as much as $3,000 or more.

Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Starting an LLC?

There are only two situations where it’s advisable to reserve an LLC name ahead of time. One is if you’re not yet ready to form your LLC, but you want to make sure that the business name you want is available when you do take the next step.

Other than that, there are states like Alabama that require you to make a business name reservation before you start the LLC formation process. In general, reserving a name ahead of time is not necessary for the vast majority of entrepreneurs.

What LLC Service Helps with NY Publication Requirements?

If you’re forming an LLC in New York, an LLC formation service that also offers to take care of New York LLC publication requirements might be the best bet. Unfortunately, there aren’t many companies that offer this service.

However, there are a few services that do, including ZenBusiness, BizFilings, and Harbor Compliance.

Do Services That Start an LLC Help With Other Things Too?

Yes, most LLC formation providers offer a number of other online business services. Even the most basic and cheap LLC formation services also include a business name availability check to ensure that your business name is available.

While the exact services offered by these companies varies, you’ll often see offers for registered agent service, EIN acquisition, annual report service, foreign qualifications, business licensing research, and more.

Should I Set Up an LLC in a State With a Lower State Fee?

It’s not difficult to find articles online about how you should form your business in Delaware because this state has many advantages for businesses, or Nevada because they provide tax breaks. In our opinion, it’s almost always a better idea to simply form your business in the state you’ll operate it in.

This avoids all kinds of complications and hassles that often undermine the usefulness of starting an LLC in other states.

Upsells Drive Me Crazy. Which Service Is the Least Annoying?

In our opinion, Northwest Registered Agent does a fantastic job of keeping the upsells to a minimum. They never pressure you into upgrading your LLC formation package, or adding unnecessary features to your order.

While some competitors will stop at nothing to pile on the upsells ― like LegalZoom, a company that attempts over $1,000 of upsells on their LLC service order form ― Northwest does not do this at all.

Should I Buy an LLC Kit?

Many companies include what’s commonly referred to as an “LLC kit” with their business formation packages. To be clear, we rarely advise purchasing these kits.

They are usually just a binder embossed with your company name, often accompanied by a decorative seal customized with your business info. There is no legal requirement to have this binder or seal, as the benefits are strictly aesthetic.

Is an EIN Worth Paying Extra for?

This question is entirely a matter of personal preference. You can acquire your own EIN from the IRS for free — all you need to do is fill out one simple form.

However, it’s quite convenient to have your LLC service get an EIN for you, because they already have all of the information needed to acquire it. Furthermore, it’s handy to have the EIN confirmation in the same place as your LLC paperwork.

What is a Registered Agent? Is An Agent Service Worth Using?

A registered agent is required to form an LLC and is a person or business entity that is responsible for receiving your important government documents.

For example, if your business is sued, the state will send the service of process to your registered agent, who then alerts you to the delivery and forwards it on to you. While you are legally able to serve as your own registered agent, we strongly recommend using a service instead, because a registered agent service protects your personal privacy, cuts down on your junk mail, and ensures that you never miss an important delivery.

That said, a few LLC services like ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, and IncFile include this service for the first year free, then between $99-$125 each year after if you decide to keep using the service. You can cancel this at any time.

If an LLC Service is the Organizer, How Do I Own My Business?

The LLC organizer is simply the term used to refer to the person who sets up the business.

In other words, the organizer has no ownership interests in the business, unless one of the owners is also serving as the organizer. Once the LLC is formed with the state, the organizer resigns their role, and all control of the business is assigned to its owners.

Are There LLC Naming Requirements I Have to Follow?

First off, you need to make sure that your desired LLC name isn’t already in use in your state. Beyond that, there are some additional legal requirements to adhere to.

Your business will need to have the initials “LLC” or the phrase “limited liability company” in its name. Additionally, you cannot use certain words that are reserved for specific businesses, like “bank” or “trust.”

When Is the Best Time to Start an LLC?

We think you should start an LLC before you begin conducting business. While it is entirely legally acceptable to operate your business as a sole proprietorship or general partnership before forming an LLC, doing so subjects you to a number of risks that LLCs don’t have to worry about.

For example, informal business structures don’t have limited liability protection, so any lawsuit filed against the business can include the owner’s personal assets as well as the business assets.

What Are the Overall Costs for Starting an LLC Online?

All entrepreneurs are required to pay state fees for LLC formations, no matter how the business is formed. If you use an online LLC service, you will also be required to pay that company’s in-house service fees.

For example:

We also recommend using a registered agent service, which has an annual fee attached. All told, these fees can add up quickly.

Will These Services Also Handle Future LLC Requirements?

This all depends on which LLC formation website you choose, as well as how much you want to spend. Annual report service and franchise tax assistance are available from some LLC services, just be aware that you’ll need to pay extra for these advanced features.

Is There an Age Requirement for Creating an LLC?

There are a handful of states that require the LLC’s organizer to be at least 18 years old, but the vast majority of states allow anyone to handle this role. As for owning an LLC, there are no legal age requirements in any state.

Is the LLC the Best Business Entity?

Different businesses have different needs. Therefore, it’s impossible for us to make any blanket statements for a question like this.

For many companies and small businesses, an LLC is the perfect business entity, but for some larger or more complex businesses, the corporation has some advantages that the LLC can’t match. In general though, we strongly prefer LLCs to informal entities like sole proprietorships and general partnerships that don’t have any personal asset protection.

Do I Need to Be in the USA to Set Up an LLC?

Nope! You don’t need to be physically present in America to form an LLC. You also don’t need to be an American citizen or resident. Just about anyone can set up an LLC, which is part of the reason this is such a popular business entity type.

 

What You Should Look for in Good LLC Websites

There are so many different things to consider when choosing the best LLC service for you ― it’s tough for us to completely say “This service is the best and everyone should use it.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a few of the most important aspects of deciding which company creation service you should use — and what criteria we use to review and compare each option.

Overall Value (AKA Pricing and Features)

Low prices are always attractive, but you need to make sure you’re getting the perks and features you want. For instance, does your chosen service provider include registered agent, or are you required to purchase it separately? Also make sure you’re not paying for anything you probably don’t need, like a symbolic LLC kit and seal.

Service vs Competition

Check out what the competition has to offer. While discounts in the LLC service space are rare, there are added perks like a year of registered agent service or free operating agreement. Evaluate how much value they add ― not just in a vacuum, but for you.

Customer Experience

This is an aspect that we think far too many entrepreneurs overlook. Some of the industry leaders have such a high customer volume that it’s impossible to get LLC service custom-tailored to your individual needs. You can end up feeling like you’re just a statistic, rather than a valued customer.

Service Reliability

Does your chosen service provider have a history of success, or do they register lots of customer complaints? Always look into the company’s reputation, and check out their customer feedback to get a better feel for what their client experience is like.

Customer Support Quality

Do they offer phone support, or is it just web-based chat and email? What are their availability hours? Do they outsource their customer service to call centers, or do they handle it in-house?

Refund Policy

Some online incorporation services offer a full refund if you’re unhappy for any reason. Others will only approve a refund if you can prove there was an error on their end. Make sure to find out what type of refund your service provider offers, just in case.

 

About BestLLCServices.com

Best LLC Services Reviewed

Frustrated by all the options and aggressive online sales tactics, a few review geeks created BestLLCServices.com to cut the clutter and help entrepreneurs find the best LLC service for their unique needs.

We do this by reviewing and comparing the top LLC formation services while also crafting free resources that help you start and maintain a business.

We believe that finding the best bang-for-your-buck service should be a simple process so you can start your business as quick and easy as possible.

In the interest of full disclosure, we may receive compensation if our readers choose to use the services discussed on our site. However, we never sacrifice our integrity in the pursuit of a quick buck ― the LLC formation websites we recommend most are the same ones that we use ourselves and recommend to family/friends.