BizFilings opened back in 1996, with hundreds of thousands of businesses formed since then.
Even with so many good LLC formation services online these days, BizFilings finds a way to remain relevant and popular.
This BizFilings LLC service review will give you a quick understanding of what you can expect with their services. We’ll take a look at their main pros/cons, pricing/features, and much more. Use this review of BizFilings to help decide if they’re the best LLC service for you.
BizFilings Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of BizFilings:
✔ If your state has additional steps involved with your LLC formation, like an initial report or a publication requirement, BizFilings can handle these state-level compliance items. Many competitors don’t offer these services.
✔ No matter which LLC formation package you choose, BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service. Some competitors do offer a full year, but six months of a registered agent is still valuable.
✔ Their Business Owner’s Toolkit is a valuable resource including extensive info regarding LLC formation, and many other topics including compliance tips, taxation guides, and much more. Most competitors have a similar feature, but most don’t provide the value that BizFilings does.
✔ Even if you’re not a BizFilings customer, you can still take advantage of their complimentary business name availability check.
Disadvantages of BizFilings:
✖ Their prices are higher than many competitors, but BizFilings doesn’t have enough features in their packages to make their rates more justifiable. For instance, you can save $60+ by using other good LLC services and get the same amount of features.
✖ Speaking of their prices, they vary quite a bit depending on which state you’re forming your business in. Their Basic package is $99 in every state, but their Standard package varies from $159 to $244, and their Complete package varies from $199 to $434 ― and that’s without factoring in the state fee.
✖ Not all of their features are clearly explained. For example, they offer “Expedited Processing Service” with some of their LLC formation packages, but if you read the fine print you’ll discover that this does not actually expedite your order with the state.
BizFilings LLC Formation Packages
BizFilings offers three packages of LLC formation service: Basic, Standard, and Complete. If you want to review all of the individual features available at each level, take a look at how they break down below.
Basic = $99 + State Fee
➢ Articles of Organization (Preparation and Filing): BizFilings will draft and file these documents, which are submitted to your state of formation to officially create your new limited liability company.
➢ Name Availability Searches: They’ll search through state business databases to ensure that the name you want for your business is actually available. You can do as many searches as you want at no charge.
➢ 6 Months Registered Agent Service: Registered agents are required for every LLC in America. This is a person or entity that you designate to receive important government documents on behalf of your company. This makes sure that the state always has a way to reach a representative of your LLC. BizFilings will serve as your registered agent for six months, after which they charge $199/year (you are not obligated to purchase this service).
➢ 6 Months BizComply Tool: This online compliance management tool helps you keep track of state-specific rules, regulations, and filing deadlines. This tool is included with registered agent service, so like that feature, this only lasts for six months until you have to pay for a registered agent subscription.
Standard = Price Varies ($159-244) + State Fee
Includes everything from the Basic package, plus…
➢ LLC Kit and Seal: A binder with your LLC’s name printed on the spine, along with a decorative seal for stamping documents, custom membership certificates for your owners, and a membership transfer ledger to keep track of how your LLC’s ownership is distributed.
➢ Sample LLC Forms: You’ll receive a CD that includes customizable templates of business documents like operating agreements, meeting minutes, resolutions, and more.
➢ Expedited BizFilings Processing: BizFilings will prioritize the processing of your order before they process any Basic package orders received at the same time. If you want to expedite your order with your state of formation, you will still be required to pay that expediting fee.
Complete = Price Varies ($199-434) + State Fee
Includes everything from the Standard package, plus…
➢ Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): This number is like a Social Security Number for your LLC. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, hire employees, and more. BizFilings will acquire your EIN from the IRS.
➢ “Now That You’re Formed” Compliance DVD: This is essentially a video instruction manual for your LLC formation.
➢ Certified Copy of Your Documents with Overnight Shipping: They’ll acquire a certified copy of your articles of organization from your state after they’re filed, then overnight it to you.
➢ State-Specific Features: Depending on which state you’re forming your business in, this package may include additional features (or it might not!). For example, in the state of Washington, the Complete package also includes an initial report, a certified copy of your filed formation papers, and a state tax ID form.
2 Best BizFilings LLC Alternatives
There are so many online LLC services available these days that there’s no point in using one that doesn’t feel exactly right for you. With that in mind, let’s go over two popular BizFilings LLC alternatives.
ZenBusiness – $39: We’re big fans of ZenBusiness, as they have the best combination of pricing/features. You get the same level of features as BizFilings but save $60. Plus, as opposed to getting just 6 months of registered agent service, you’ll get a full 12 months. Northwest Registered Agent – $225: Another alternative to BizFilings is Northwest Registered Agent with a $225 price tag. In addition to a year of registered agent service, Northwest includes their outstanding personalized customer support and promise of zero upsells.
ZenBusiness – $39: We’re big fans of ZenBusiness, as they have the best combination of pricing/features. You get the same level of features as BizFilings but save $60. Plus, as opposed to getting just 6 months of registered agent service, you’ll get a full 12 months.
Northwest Registered Agent – $225: Another alternative to BizFilings is Northwest Registered Agent with a $225 price tag. In addition to a year of registered agent service, Northwest includes their outstanding personalized customer support and promise of zero upsells.
BizFilings Reviews From Customers
|Google (17 reviews)||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|Better Business Bureau (1 review)||5.0 out of 5 stars|
We were only able to find a total of 18 customer reviews for BizFilings. Despite having customers numbering in the six digits, it appears that hardly any of them ever review their services. Which is odd, isn’t it?
It’s hard to say that a general lack of feedback is an objectively bad thing, but it’s not a great sign either, especially when some of their competitors have hundreds or even thousands of positive customer reviews. Most of the reviews they do have are positive, but that doesn’t mean much with such a small sample size.
Is BizFilings Right for You?
BizFilings is a good company with plenty of important points in their favor. They’re not going to be the perfect fit for every business though, so let’s discuss a couple of scenarios that might help you decide whether or not to use their LLC formation service.
✔ When to Start an LLC with BizFilings:
If your state of formation has extensive local compliance requirements, and you’d rather have some assistance with those than go the DIY route, BizFilings is one of the only major service providers that even offers to take care of these steps.
✖ When NOT to Start an LLC with BizFilings:
If you want to purchase well-balanced packages with lots of advanced features, if you want to save some money, or if you feel more comfortable using a company that has lots of available feedback from their customers, BizFilings is probably not the answer for you.
Final Verdict (Our Recommendation)
BizFilings doesn’t really stand out in any one way from their competitors, but they’re a steady provider of LLC formation service with lots of experience.
They include six months of registered agent service with any of their LLC packages, and their base rate is a reasonable $99. On the other hand, some of their competitors can beat that price while also including a full year of registered agent service — like ZenBusiness — the best LLC service online.
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What Other Services Does BizFilings Offer?
As with most competitors, BizFilings provides a wide variety of additional services to help entrepreneurs form, maintain, and grow their businesses. We dug into the list of features BizFilings offers to see how much they charge for each of these services, which can be especially interesting when examining a la carte pricing for features included in their formation packages.
Let’s take a look at everything BizFilings offers and discuss which services are good deals and which ones you can ignore.
- Registered Agent Service ($199): BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service with each LLC formation package. However, once those six months are up, they charge the rather high price point of $199 per year. You can find much cheaper options for this service elsewhere.
- EIN ($79): It’s very easy to obtain your own EIN from the IRS, so it’s probably unnecessary to spend $79 having BizFilings acquire one on your behalf. That said, this is only slightly higher than the $70 standard price point around the industry.
- Business License Research Package ($99): This feature includes a list of all the licenses and permits your business needs to operate in compliance with federal, state, and local law. You still have to apply for the licenses yourself, but it’s quite helpful to get a list of everything you need.
- Payroll Tax Registration ($199): BizFilings will set up accounts for your company’s withholding and unemployment tax responsibilities. Few competitors provide assistance with payroll tax registration, so this is an intriguing offer.
- Sales Tax Registration ($199): Similarly, BizFilings will register your business for sales and use taxes with your state, county, and/or municipal government.
- Certified Copy ($39): If you need any official copies of your state-filed business documents, BizFilings will acquire them for $39. This price point is lower than most competitors charge.
- DBA Name ($139): A DBA (doing business as) name is an alternative to forming a business entity, as it gives you the legal right to use an assumed business name. The $99 price point is roughly the industry standard, so this offer from BizFilings is unimpressive, especially if you’re forming your business in a state that requires a name availability check, in which case you can add another $25 to this price.
- Annual Report (pricing not disclosed): Most states require some sort of annual or biennial report from entrepreneurs. This report keeps the state updated regarding some basic attributes of your business, like your address or your registered agent’s name. Unfortunately, BizFilings does not disclose the price of this service, and you’ll need to call them if you’re interested.
- LLC Kit ($99): This feature is a binder with your LLC’s name stamped on it. To be honest, no one needs an LLC kit and we would not advise spending nearly $100 on this product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Bizfilings questions? We’ve got answers.
How Does Bizfilings Compare to Other LLC Services?
In all honesty, there are quite a few LLC providers that we prefer to BizFilings, even though BizFilings has a quality service in its own right. You can get more for your money with several of their competitors, who will often throw in a full year of registered agent service, compared to the six months offered by BizFilings.
In fact, BizFilings failed to earn a spot on our “7 Top LLC Services” list, thanks to their so-so overall value and minimal customer reviews. If you’re looking for one of the best LLC providers in the industry, we strongly recommend ZenBusiness, Northwest Registered Agent, or IncFile.
Is BizFilings Legit?
BizFilings has been in business since 1996, and to date, they’ve helped form more than 500,000 business entities. Given the fact that they’ve been around for decades and they’ve served a high volume of customers, you might expect that there would be a large collection of customer feedback available.
However, we were only able to find 18 reviews of their services. This isn’t a red flag by any means, but it is disappointing that we can’t get a more complete picture of the way their customers feel about BizFilings.
Is BizFilings the LLC Service You Recommend to Family and Friends?
This is a somewhat difficult question to answer. If our mom asked whether BizFilings is worth using, we would say that we appreciate their dedication to providing state-specific compliance requirements and their inclusion of six months of registered agent service, but also that there are clearly some better options out there.
We would ultimately recommend ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent because these companies receive spectacular customer feedback and can save you some money compared to BizFilings.
Does BizFilings Offer Any Discounts?
BizFilings has partnership programs for their resellers and affiliates, but otherwise, we’ve never noticed them offering any promo codes, coupons, or discounts.
Does BizFilings Have Good Customer Support?
They certainly do. You can contact BizFilings from 9am to 8pm ET Monday through Friday, via phone, email, or web chat. Their incorporation experts are always just a quick call away, and they’re able to solve a wide variety of problems that you may have.
Do They Have a Refund Policy?
They do have a refund policy, but it carries significant processing fees. If you cancel your order before they do your preliminary name check, they’ll refund your purchase price less a $50 processing fee. If you cancel after that, it’s $75.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
Sure, you can form your own LLC. In fact, there are quite a few entrepreneurs who do just that. However, we will caution that the DIY route includes a decent amount of red tape and paperwork, so it can be a hassle. Furthermore, there isn’t one set way to form an LLC, but rather every state has its own requirements, so you’ll need to research the exact process your state uses.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC With BizFilings?
Each state (minus Florida) has a way to reserve a business name before forming your entity itself. In general, this is only necessary if you aren’t yet ready to enter the formation process.
If you’re ready to start your business, there’s no reason to reserve your name before forming your LLC with BizFilings. We will note that certain states (like Alabama) require you to reserve a name before you form your business.
Other Than LLC Formation, What Else Can BizFilings Do?
BizFilings has an extensive selection of compliance services, including registered agent service, managed annual reports, business license research, business forms, and ownership certificates. They can also provide certified documents like certificates of good standing, apostille, and certified copies.
In addition, BizFilings offers some other filing services, including foreign qualifications, dissolutions, amendments, EIN obtainment, conversions, and reinstatements.
Can I Form an LLC Without Physically Being in the United States?
Yes, there is no requirement that you be present in the U.S. to form an LLC. In fact, you don’t need to be an American citizen or resident to form an LLC either, as foreign nationals are allowed to own and operate LLCs just like American citizens are.
Does BizFilings Handle Extra State LLC Formation Requirements?
BizFilings is one of the few LLC formation services that actually does handle state-specific requirements. Some of them cost extra, but considering most of their competitors don’t offer help with these requirements at all, that’s quite justifiable. For example, they charge $100 to take care of a publication requirement on your behalf, not including the actual cost of newspaper advertising fees.
What Is the BizFilings Customer Support Phone Number and Email?
You can contact BizFilings via phone by calling 855-300-7729. Instead of publishing a specific email address, they have an email contact form on their website. Once you submit your message, a BizFilings representative will reach out to you via email as soon as possible.
Does BizFilings Sell or Share My Information With Third Parties?
BizFilings used to go overboard with third-party partnership offers, and they still have a few of them on the LLC formation service order form, including with Palo Alto and ADP in the “Additional LLC Services” section. However, they recently got rid of the “Free Extras” section, which is where they used to really pile on the third-party offers.
If this is a concern or annoying for you and you’d like to use BizFilings, you can let them know that you want to opt out of their special offers. Otherwise, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which doesn’t sell your info or have any unnecessary add-ons.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does BizFilings?
Other than the third-party offers we just discussed, BizFilings keeps the upsells to a minimum. They have a few of them on their order form, but they’re not pushy like LegalZoom, and they’re mostly things that you might actually want, like a business license application package or expedited filing.
How Quickly Does BizFilings Process LLC Formations?
BizFilings has a rather unusual method for coming up with turnaround time estimates.
Instead of basing processing speeds on how quickly each state processes LLC formations, like nearly every other company in this industry, they base their speeds on which LLC formation service package you purchase from them. Their Basic package takes 4-6 weeks, while their Standard and Complete packages have 7-10 day turnarounds.
I Need an EIN but am Not Sure I Want to Pay $79. Is It Worth it?
This is a tough question to answer without knowing the specific needs of your unique business. We personally enjoy getting an EIN included with our LLC formation, even if it means spending extra to add it on, or to upgrade to a higher level of LLC service.
The convenience of not having to get one ourselves through the IRS is worth it for us, and we like to have our articles of organization and EIN confirmation in the same place. However, we would completely understand if you’d rather save some money and acquire your own EIN from the IRS directly.
Ready to Start Your LLC?
Start your LLC with BizFilings or read our comparison of the 7 top-rated LLC services.