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 and cons, pricing, features, and much more. Use this review of BizFilings to help decide if they’re the best LLC website for you.
BizFilings Pros & Cons
Pros 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.
Cons of BizFilings
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
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are simply looking to form an LLC without all the bells and whistles that other packages include.
➢ 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 $220/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 [$229 in Most States]) + State Fee
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC while also getting a compliance binder that includes helpful documents for operating your business.
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 [$359 in Most States]) + State Fee
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are looking to form an LLC while also receiving an EIN and some other bonus features.
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.
In-Depth BizFilings Review
BizFilings Overall Pricing and Value
On the positive side, we appreciate that they offer a unique tool that helps even the most inexperienced entrepreneur figure out what package they need to start their business.
However, their packages are all more expensive overall than some competing formation services. Their most basic package is a decent value since they include six months of their registered agent service, but there isn’t much included other than that.
The Standard and Complete packages are more expensive, but they don’t have enough valuable features to justify the additional expense. Furthermore, the prices for these two packages vary tremendously from state to state, even before factoring in the state fee. For example, in some states, the Complete package is priced at $199, but in others, it costs up to $434, and then you add your state fee on top of that. It’s a confusing system that makes it difficult to do broad value assessments.
BizFilings got its start in the online incorporation services industry in 1996. The formation company was established by two entrepreneurs who later sold the company to Wolters Kluwer, a global compliance firm that offers a multitude of business services.
To date, BizFilings has more than 500,000 business filings under its belt, which is an impressive customer volume. Oddly enough, we were only able to track down a total of 18 customer reviews on third-party review websites, which is such a small sample size that we’re not able to do any meaningful analysis on it.
BizFilings offers phone and email support, and there is also a “leave a message” feature on the left side of each page on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree to speak with a real person. The very first option in their phone tree is to ask questions about their products and services, so that was rather convenient.
When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and they answered our questions thoroughly, even providing additional details that were applicable based on what we asked.
The best part of their customer support is how long their hours of availability are. You can reach BizFilings representatives from 7 am-9 pm ET every weekday, which is a longer window than most competitors provide for support.
Ease of Placing an Order
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process simple. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own, but with BizFilings, the process is straightforward and streamlined.
We gave bonus points for the incorporation wizard that helps you on an even more basic level than we’ve seen with similar incorporation services. If you don’t know whether an LLC or a corporation is the right choice for you, BizFilings can help you figure it out.
As you navigate the order form itself, BizFilings leads you through seven pages that take you from selecting your formation package through the final payment step. There are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re quite unobtrusive and never feel pushy at all.
From the moment you start filling it out, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance. This means receiving more personalized service based on the options you’ve already chosen for your particular business and no wasted time trying to explain your situation to their representatives.
Overall Turnaround Time
BizFilings doesn’t have conveniently listed estimates for their turnaround times listed on their website. They do offer expedited processing of their own, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders,” but this does not actually speed anything up with the state.
They have official state expediting fees tied in with that expediting option, but again, there’s no indication of how much this option will actually speed up your turnaround time. If you’re curious about how long it will take to form an LLC or corporation in your state, we suggest contacting their customer service department.
Best LLC Service Alternative
|🥇 ZenBusiness||$0 + state fee||Excellent||Absolutely|
If you’d like to explore other LLC services, choose ZenBusiness. We have formed 400,000+ businesses and accumulated thousands of positive reviews. We'll form your LLC for free — just pay your state's required fee!
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.
Customer Service Quality
BizFilings provides customer support via phone and email. With either option, you’ll receive prompt service from knowledgeable professionals, and their hours of operation are longer than the vast majority of their competitors. You can reach BizFilings support reps from 7 am-8 pm ET Monday through Friday.
BizFilings has been around since 1996, and they’ve formed over half a million businesses in that time. The company is a subsidiary of the massive global information services company Wolters Kluwer.
On its website, BizFilings shares its mission statement as follows: “Our single focus is to help entrepreneurs and business owners start, run, and grow their companies. We work with companies of all sizes and offer products, services, and tools that provide companies the support they need throughout the life of their business.” A fun fact about BizFilings is their “BizFilings Guarantee” which covers all purchases made on their platform. In their own words, “BizFilings is confident in its ability to deliver a service that exceeds customer expectations. Our business filing services are both accurate and timely, and we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service in the industry. Each order received is reviewed to identify potential errors. In the unlikely event that a filing error is made, we respond promptly to remedy the error.”
How Does BizFilings Work?
BizFilings will file your business paperwork with the state on your behalf. But to do that, they need you to fill them in on the details of your business. Usually, you can expect a six-step process when you use BizFilings.
To help you know what to expect, here’s a fly-over of the steps you’ll complete with their order process:
- Select a package and choose your add-ons: You’ll need to select your state of incorporation, the business type you want to form, and then, of course, what package you want. You can opt in or out of several add-ons here, such as expedited shipping or a quote for a payroll service.
- Create an account: To use BizFilings, you’ll need to create an account with your email and password. You’ll also be able to use this account later to access your documents and amend your services.
- Start your business registration: In this step, you’ll provide some basic information about your business, such as your desired business name. It helps to have a few options to choose from in case your first choice is not available — BizFilings will check for you.
- Establish management for your business: If you’re forming an LLC instead of a corporation, you’ll establish whether your LLC will be run by its members or designated managers. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll list the members and the managers here, along with their contact information.
- Set up your registered agent: BizFilings throws in six months of free registered agent service, but if you want to use someone else, you can designate that person here.
- Confirm and pay: To complete the process, you’ll need to provide payment information (it’s best to have a credit card on hand). But before you do that, you have a chance to review your order and confirm that all the details are correct.
All told, it takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete an order with BizFilings. Once you’ve submitted your order, BizFilings will complete all the paperwork on your behalf.
Is BizFilings Right for You?
BizFilings is a good company with plenty of important points in its 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 may not be the answer for you.
BizFilings doesn’t really stand out in any one way from their competitors unless you’re forming a business in a state with additional compliance requirements, 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 annual reports or registered agent service.
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 ($220): BizFilings includes six months of registered agent service with each LLC formation package. However, once those six months are up, they charge $220 per year, which is a somewhat higher-than-average price point.
- Publication Service ($100): In states like New York and a few others that require entrepreneurs to publish proof of their LLC formations in local newspapers, BizFilings will handle the entire process on your behalf for just $100, plus the state’s fee. BizFilings is one of the best publication services, and we don’t know of any companies offering this service at a lower price point.
- 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 right in line with the 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.
BizFilings is a good option for any entrepreneur forming a business in a state with filing requirements that go beyond the standard Articles of Organization. It also has a solid offer for New York publication service, and we appreciate the inclusion of six months of registered agent service with any business formation package purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Bizfilings questions? We’ve got answers.
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 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.
How Does BizFilings Compare to Other LLC Services?
It’s totally fine to be uncertain about which online LLC formation service is the right choice for your unique business. After all, there are a ton of options out there, and each of them has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
However, we’ve done countless hours of research on this topic, reviewing and comparing all of the best LLC formation services.
Beyond that, we invite you to check out some of our comparison guides, which take a head-to-head view of the competition between BizFilings and their top competitors:
BizFilings vs ZenBusiness
BizFilings vs ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness has much lower price points than BizFilings does. ZenBusiness will form your business for free (just pay your state’s fee). Considering that BizFilings charges $99, this is an advantage for ZenBusiness.
ZenBusiness also has the edge when it comes to customer feedback, as we have more than 10,000 positive customer reviews online, and BizFilings has hardly any feedback. BizFilings does have an advantage when it comes to experience.
BizFilings vs Northwest Registered Agent
BizFilings vs Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest’s big claim to fame is its rock-solid customer support. Their highly trained support reps will walk you through each step of the formation process, and they’re just a phone call away if you have any questions or concerns.
Northwest charges $225 while including a year of registered agent service, so its prices are much higher than BizFilings. We do appreciate their hundreds of positive customer reviews, though. That said, if you’re forming a business with extensive state-specific compliance requirements (like New York’s publication requirement), you may still prefer BizFilings.
BizFilings vs IncFile
BizFilings vs IncFile: IncFile actually offers a free business formation package that still includes a year of registered agent service, so they come out ahead of BizFilings in the value proposition. IncFile also receives strong customer feedback, with thousands upon thousands of positive reviews.
BizFilings doesn’t overwhelm customers with upsells to the degree IncFile does, but this is one of the only advantages BizFilings can claim over IncFile. And, again, IncFile doesn’t offer state-specific compliance services, while BizFilings does.
Considering the fact that IncFile will form your business for free, while BizFilings charges $99, the advantages BizFilings has in this competition aren’t enough to tip the scales in their direction for many of our readers.
BizFilings vs LegalZoom
BizFilings vs LegalZoom: These two companies are pretty close in terms of overall value. LegalZoom offers LLC formation for $79 but doesn’t include registered agent service, making their offer fairly comparable with BizFilings.
LegalZoom is one of the most experienced companies in this industry, with more than 4 million customers served, and they have thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online.
Does BizFilings Offer Any Discounts?
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any discount codes for BizFilings. We looked far and wide hoping to find a way for our readers to save money with BizFilings, but we came up empty.
BizFilings does have reasonable pricing to begin with, but it’s disappointing that there aren’t any ways to knock their rates down a bit.
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. This is the lowest price we’ve seen for this service, making BizFilings an inviting option for entrepreneurs in states like New York.
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.
I’ve Heard LegalZoom Has a Lot of Upsells. Does BizFilings?
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?
Instead of basing processing speeds on how quickly each state processes LLC formations, like most competitors, 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.
What Are BizFilings’ Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
The biggest advantage for BizFilings is the fact that they include six months of registered agent service and their online compliance tool with any LLC or incorporation service package.
Their biggest disadvantage is that there are some other incorporation services that undercut their prices considerably while also including ongoing compliance assistance or a full year of registered agent service ― for example, Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent.
Does BizFilings Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They certainly do, and their inclusion of six months of registered agent service and a compliance tool is a good start. After your free six months, you can renew your registered agent service for the rate of $220 per year. They also offer managed annual report service which can take your annual reporting requirement off your hands entirely.
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