If you’re looking to form an LLC, you probably already know that there are a plethora of options. 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 provides detailed reviews of what sets them apart. Which is the best LLC formation service for you?
If you’re looking for the best LLC website overall, go with us at ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness is a Texas-based company that has helped form more than 300,000 businesses since 2015 – with positive reviews online to back it up.
What’s unique is that it is a socially conscious organization, focused on doing good while growing as a company. ZenBusiness has a partnership with Kiva.org to help lift people out of poverty through financial lending and loan money to help women- and minority-owned businesses get off the ground.
Fun Fact: Forbes, Investopedia, and other major publications have ranked ZenBusiness as the #1 service to form an LLC.
- ZenBusiness has the best starting package available that includes all the necessities when creating an LLC. At just $49 ($30 less than LegalZoom), the Starter package includes LLC formation, a year of free annual report service, two free amendments, and more. To get all of these features with other services, you have to pay much more. See this offer!
- Customer feedback is a major strength for ZenBusiness. There are 10,000+ reviews online and nearly all of them are positive.
- In an effort to help you start and maintain your business, ZenBusiness takes care of annual report filing and other ongoing LLC maintenance. This is part of the Worry-Free Compliance feature (included free in all packages for the first year).
- ZenBusiness has a 100% accuracy guarantee, so you can sleep easy at night knowing everything was filed properly.
If you want to form an LLC with a socially conscious provider and get the best overall value, choose ZenBusiness.
LegalZoom is the most well-known service provider. They handle huge volumes of LLC formations, and their experience is second to none.
While they can’t match the value per dollar offered by ZenBusiness, LegalZoom is a popular service provider.
- LegalZoom has helped form more than 2 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 on weekends until 7pm ET.
- LegalZoom’s ordering process includes a very long series of upsells. Before you’re able to reach their package selection screen, they’ll put you through upsells 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 upsells, you would be on the hook for $1,080 over the course of your LLC’s first year ― and that doesn’t include the cost of your actual state filing fee.
If using a well-known company are important to you, and you don’t mind navigating past some upsells, consider starting an LLC with LegalZoom.
Want to learn more? Read our full LegalZoom LLC review.
Northwest Registered Agent also offers a great LLC formation service, with their customer support setting them apart. They’ve been forming LLCs since 1998 and are another good LLC formation service.
Northwest has a very reasonable $39 price point for the combination of LLC formation and a year of registered agent service.
- 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.
- Northwest has great customer support available. If you ever have an issue, simply call their number to get any question answered quickly by someone friendly and knowledgeable.
- They include a full year of their namesake registered agent service with the LLC formation package, which costs $125/year if purchased separately.
If you want great customer support, choose Northwest.
Want to learn more? Read our full Northwest LLC review.
Another good LLC service is IncFile, with a free LLC formation service that only requires you to pay your state fee.
IncFile is a well-known choice, with more than 500,000 businesses formed since they opened in 2004. They also have a variety of good features to suit an entrepreneur’s needs.
Keep in Mind: Even though their free formation LLC service is a great deal, you’re going to deal with more upsells and potentially higher overall prices as a result.
- Even considering that its base LLC formation package is free of charge, IncFile includes several good features such as a full year of registered agent service and lifetime company alerts for filing deadlines.
- They have more than 32,000 online customer reviews, and most of them are positive.
- IncFile has fairly good customer service with helpful support reps. They offer phone, email, and chat support.
If you’re starting a business on an extremely tight budget and need a cheap LLC service, choose IncFile.
Want to learn more? Read our full IncFile 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 positives 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 premium 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.
- Customer feedback is a pro for Inc Authority. They have nearly 10,000 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive.
- 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 much 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.
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 that requires discussing sensitive legal matters with an LLC attorney, Rocket Lawyer could be a fit for you.
- Their members enjoy many features with their LLC formations, including attorney consultations, access to an extensive document library, and much more. A legal services membership can even get you a free LLC formation, as long as you keep up with your $39.99 monthly subscription fee. However, for non-members, Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation service has minimal features and a higher price point than many competitors.
- They’ve served more than 7 million business clients and 25 million total customers since 2008.
- 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. However, if you also require legal assistance, Rocket Lawyer could be a great choice.
Want to learn more? Read our full Rocket Lawyer LLC review.
With more than 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 3,900 MyCompanyWorks reviews online, the majority of which are of a positive nature.
- With a $59 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 $199 Entrepreneur and $279 Complete packages.
- 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.
- 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.
Which Is The Best LLC Service For You?
We totally understand if seeing all of these options feels overwhelming, especially since they look so similar at first glance. At the end of the day though, ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are the two most well-known LLC formation services online.
See how these two services compare to find out which is the better option for you.
The Pros & Cons of LLC Formation Services
- 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 regarding 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.
- 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 start an LLC
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 LLC formation website 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, including the top 7 top 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 to creating an LLC.
There are several steps involved if you’re going to form 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 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 and ZenBusiness) 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 top 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 LLC services and a quick review of each option.
ZenBusiness is the LLC filing service that strikes the perfect ratio of the cost to start an LLC ($49) with the features included. It is the service with the best overall value. Plus, ZenBusiness is a social enterprise with a focus on making a positive impact while helping entrepreneurs set up an LLC online.
LegalZoom is by far the most well known in the LLC services industry. They have millions of business customers, and their advertising budget is tremendous. Their prices are a bit higher than the companies we listed ahead of them, but they have the longest customer support hours of any LLC service provider, and they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
Northwest Registered Agent is an LLC service provider with a reasonable price point that beats many of the more economy-minded LLC services — as long as you’re using our discount, that is. Their $39 price point includes a full year of registered agent service, as well as Northwest’s great customer support.
IncFile strikes a balance between being a free LLC filing service and having a good selection of features, including a full year of registered agent service. They also have great customer reviews.
Like IncFile, Inc Authority has an LLC formation package that’s entirely free of charge. With a year of free registered agent service included, along with thousands of positive reviews, Inc Authority presents an appealing package.
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.
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 or more.
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.
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. Their pricing isn’t great and they’re not as tech-savvy as many competitors, but Nationwide Incorporators is still an excellent option if their “attorney-reviewed” services appeal to you.
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 more than 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.
MyCorporation is a great 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 a good bargain.
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.
13) Swyft Filings
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. However, Swyft Filings doesn’t include many valuable features, keeping them further down the list than many competitors.
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.
Harvard Business Services – Delaware
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.
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 and BizFilings.
Do Services That Start an LLC Help With Other Things Too?
Yes, most LLC formation websites 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 vary, 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.
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. There is no legal requirement to have this binder or seal, as the benefits are strictly aesthetic.
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 to you.
While you are legally able to serve as your own registered agent, consider 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 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.
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.
- With ZenBusiness, you will pay $49 + state fee.
- With our Northwest Registered Agent discount, you will pay $39 + state fee.
- With IncFile, you only need to pay the state fee.
- With LegalZoom, you will pay $79 + state fee.
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 LLC filing website include registered agent service, 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 annual report service or a free operating agreement. Evaluate how much value they add ― not just in a vacuum, but for you.
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.
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?