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 forming an LLC themselves, but also don’t have the budget to hire an attorney.
If you fit this description, don’t worry! There are affordable business formation services that can take care of the paperwork at a fraction of what an attorney would charge.
This guide outlines the 7 best options available and a detailed review of why we like them. Which is the best LLC service for you? Read on to find out.
If you’re looking for the best prices and overall value, we recommend ZenBusiness. They’re a Texas-based company that has helped form thousands of businesses since their inception in 2015 and have the positive reviews online to back it up.
What’s also unique is that ZenBusiness is a socially conscious organization, focused on doing good while growing as a company. They have 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.
- ZenBusiness is the most affordable LLC service with pricing that starts at just $39. This Starter package (a solid bargain) includes LLC formation, registered agent service and a Worry Free CPA assessment from one of their in-house professionals.
- Customer feedback is a major strength for ZenBusiness. They have 900+ reviews online and nearly all of them are positive.
- In their efforts to help you start and maintain your business, they offer to take care of annual report filing and other ongoing LLC maintenance. This is part of their Worry Free Guarantee (included in the Pro package).
If you want to form an LLC with a socially conscious provider and get the best overall value, choose ZenBusiness.
Want to see our full ZenBusiness LLC Service review? Read it here.
Northwest Registered Agent’s prices are a bit 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.
- Northwest has no hidden fees or upsells of any kind, making the LLC formation process as straightforward as possible. Most other services 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 any LLC formation package, which normally 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 no-nonsense packages, use Northwest to form your LLC.
Want to see our full Northwest Registered Agent LLC review? Read it here.
Another one of our top picks for online LLC formation is IncFile, with their highly affordable $49 base rate. They’re a popular choice, with over 250,000 businesses served since they opened in 2004. They also have a variety of services to suit any entrepreneur’s needs, and a number of advantages to make them the best choice.
- Even at their low $49 price point, IncFile includes several valuable features such as guaranteed next business day processing, a full year of registered agent service, Lifetime Company Alerts for filing deadlines, and more.
- They have well over 6,000 online customer reviews, and nearly all of them praise IncFile for their efficient services.
- IncFile has great customer service with helpful, professional support reps. They offer unlimited phone and email support, so help is never more than a call or a quick message away.
If your priority is to get great included features from a trusted brand, choose IncFile.
Want to see our full IncFile LLC Service review? Read it here.
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.
- 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 real lifesaver. They’re available until 10pm ET every weekday, and they’re even open weekends until 7pm ET.
LegalZoom doesn’t have as feature-packed options compared to IncFile or as strong of customer support compared to Northwest, but they’re an incredibly popular service provider.
If experience and brand power are important to you, LegalZoom deserves consideration.
Want to see our full LegalZoom LLC Service review? Read it here.
Next up is Rocket Lawyer, a service that provides a host of legal features in addition to LLC formation.
- 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 some competitors like IncFile, as their $99 base rate doesn’t include many features.
Want to see our full Rocket Lawyer LLC Service review? Read it here.
BizFilings is another good choice, with thousands of businesses formed since 1996. Even if you’re not a BizFilings customer, you can take advantage of their free business name availability check, which is a nice feature.
- 6 months of registered agent service is included at no extra charge with any BizFilings LLC formation package.
- With their Business Owner’s Toolkit, you can access informative guides on everything from formation to ongoing compliance, tax issues, and more. It’s a lot of valuable information that many competitors don’t provide.
- Their Basic formation package has some nice features, including a company alert tool which keeps you on top of important deadlines, as well as a document library full of sample forms.
BizFilings doesn’t have many customer reviews to look through, and their top-shelf formation packages aren’t structured in an appealing manner, but other than these missteps they’re a capable, experienced provider of LLC formation service.
Want to see our full BizFilings LLC Service review? Read it here.
Nationwide Incorporators doesn’t have the lowest prices, or the largest collection of features. However, they do have one unique advantage that none of their competitors can match, which is the fact that an experienced business attorney will either draft your formation paperwork, or review your documents before they’re sent to the state.
Let’s see how they stack up to the competition otherwise.
- If your state has any of its own compliance requirements — like publishing proof of your LLC formation in a newspaper, for example — Nationwide Incorporators is a great choice. They offer assistance with every possible step of the business formation process, and they have solid price points for these services as well.
- Their “Attorney-Powered” slogan applies to more than just the prep and filing of your documents. In fact, when you contact Nationwide Incorporators for customer support, you will often get to talk to company founder Mike Ross, who has been an attorney for over 40 years.
- While their prices can be higher than some competitors, they have a coupon available that can make their top-tier packages more affordable. Just check out their Yelp page for their “$395 worth of services for $295” deal.
They don’t include registered agent in any of their business formation packages, and they’re not as popular a service as some of their competitors either, but Nationwide Incorporators’ “Attorney-Powered” attribute is a serious advantage that makes their services quite intriguing.
Want to see our full Nationwide Incorporators LLC Service review? Read it here.
Advantages & Disadvantages of LLC 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 business formation providers 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.
- 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.
Which Service is Best 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 we believe that there are three LLC formation services that are better than the rest — ZenBusiness, Northwest and IncFile.
These are the three that give you the best value for your money, are reliable and easy to use.
Choose ZenBusiness If:
If you want the best overall prices from a socially conscious company, choose ZenBusiness.
Choose Northwest If:
If you want the best customer support and straightforward packages, choose Northwest.
Choose IncFile If:
If you want the best included features from a service with a great track record, choose IncFile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions we get regarding LLC formation services.
I’ve Heard the Most About LegalZoom. Why Aren’t They #1?
LegalZoom is the most well-known LLC formation service provider, thanks to their massive advertising budget and their impressive customer volume. However, their prices and features simply aren’t as impressive compared to some competitors, as we feel there are other services (like ZenBusiness, Northwest or IncFile) that provide a much stronger value-per-dollar ratio than LegalZoom does.
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.
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 $50, but in others, you might need to pay a fee of several hundred dollars.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
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 starting an LLC.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Using a Service to Start 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.
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.
What's a Registered Agent? Is a Registered 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 IncFile, Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness 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.
Our Review Criteria
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 incorporation service you should use.
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.
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?
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.
Frustrated by all the options and aggressive online sales tactics, we created BestLLCServices.com to cut the clutter and bring clarity to entrepreneurs starting an LLC.
Our focus is on reviewing and comparing the top LLC formation services while also crafting free resources that help you start a business. We sincerely believe finding the right service and free information should be a simple process so you can get started with minimal friction.
In the interest of full disclosure, we are a website that 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 service providers we recommend are the same ones that we use ourselves and recommend to family/friends. Want to learn more about us and how this website works? Check out our about page!