Do you want to form an LLC, but you don’t know if ZenBusiness is the best company to assist with your formation?
With so many choices for LLC service online, it can be tricky to figure out which one would best serve your company.
This ZenBusiness LLC service alternatives guide is structured in a way that gives you a quick rundown on a few of their competitors, in order to discern if one of them might be a better choice for you.
3 Fast Facts About ZenBusiness
Before we get too far into our discussion of its alternatives, let’s quickly dig into some core components of ZenBusiness as a company. Here are the three most important attributes of ZenBusiness to know before examining your other options:
- Exceptional Customer Feedback: With more than 10,000 reviews available online, ZenBusiness still maintains very high average rating scores. It’s always reassuring to see a company with both a high quality and quantity of customer feedback, and ZenBusiness certainly has both.
- Strong Pricing Model: ZenBusiness offers LLC formation service starting at just $49. While this price point undercuts most competitors’ rates, it still comes with plenty of valuable features, including a full year of annual report service.
- Socially Conscious: ZenBusiness is focused on more than just profits. It also gives back to the community by partnering with Kiva.org to help lift people out of poverty through financial lending, and it also provides funding for women- and minority-owned businesses.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Industry-best customer support and outstanding registered agent service.
Since its formation in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has helped form thousands of limited liability companies. They offer some premium features that most competitors can’t match, so let’s see how they stack up next to ZenBusiness.
- Northwest offers LLC formation service starting at $39 (plus state fee) if you use our discount, which includes a year of their registered agent service. After the first free year with Northwest, their registered agent pricing is $125, which is significantly cheaper than the $199/year rate offered by ZenBusiness.
- Is customer support a priority for you? If so, Northwest will almost certainly appeal to you. Thanks to their Corporate Guide system, each customer receives direct access to their highly knowledgeable representatives. Whenever you have questions or concerns, you can talk to someone who really knows their stuff every time!
- Northwest was the first major nationwide business services provider that locally scans every document they receive as your registered agent. By contrast, their competitors typically only scan the government documents that they’re legally required to scan.
They also have a strong reputation for customer feedback, although Northwest doesn’t match the volume of reviews that IncFile or ZenBusiness has. Overall, Northwest is one of our favorite companies in this industry, and we never hesitate to recommend their services.
Want to learn more about Northwest Registered Agent? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Free LLC formations that still come with plenty of valuable features.
Since they opened for business back in 2004, IncFile has served more than 500,000 customers. They’re one of our favorite overall LLC formation services, due to their mix of great prices and valuable features. Let’s see how they compare to ZenBusiness in several key areas.
- IncFile’s base formation package is free (as long as you pay your state’s fee), and that price includes a full year of registered agent service. Yes, IncFile offers an entirely free LLC formation service.
- While ZenBusiness receives strong customer reviews, IncFile still has the advantage in this area. This is thanks to the fact that IncFile has more than 33,500 reviews available online, while still maintaining high average rating scores. ZenBusiness has about 10,000 reviews and similarly high scores, but they can’t match the volume of feedback IncFile has.
- IncFile’s one noteworthy drawback is the occasionally long wait times the company has for customer support. It can often take a day or longer to hear back after a missed phone call, and in our experience, IncFile frequently does not reply to emails.
ZenBusiness has several distinct advantages compared to most of their competitors, which is why they’re one of our favorite choices to form a new LLC. That said, if you want the cheapest LLC formation service, choose IncFile.
Want to learn more about IncFile? Read our review.
What This Service Is Best Known For: Extensive marketing campaigns and a massive volume of customers served.
The next company we’ll discuss in this comparison guide is LegalZoom, one of the true giants of this industry. LegalZoom has served millions of customers since they launched their web-based services in 2001, making them the most experienced option in this guide. But does all that experience come at the expense of other features?
- LegalZoom’s $79 (plus state fee) base price point is relatively unimpressive when you consider that this package doesn’t include registered agent service, or really any valuable features other than the basics.
- LegalZoom provides a welcome safety net for their customers in the form of their 100% satisfaction guarantee. As long as you request your refund within 60 days of your original purchase, LegalZoom promises to refund their fees to you within five days.
- While they do have plenty of points in their favor, LegalZoom also has some drawbacks. They have quite a few upsells, as they attempt over $1,000 of upsells whenever you try to order LLC formation service.
If experience is of high importance to you, then LegalZoom is definitely worth a look, as they are a much more established company than ZenBusiness is.
However, LegalZoom’s pricing is not great, and despite their popularity, we think there are better options out there. In fact, it’s worth noting that our LegalZoom LLC alternatives article is one of our most researched reviews.
Want to learn more about LegalZoom? Read our review.
Choosing Your ZenBusiness LLC Alternative
All told, these are four of the top limited liability company formation services available. They’re all quite reliable, and there is no question regarding their legitimacy.
In general, ZenBusiness has the best overall value, IncFile is the cheapest incorporation service, Northwest has the best customer support, and LegalZoom has the most experience.
No matter which one you choose, any of these companies can form your new LLC while saving you hundreds of dollars compared to paying an attorney to form your business.
Customer Feedback Comparison
One of the most important aspects of any LLC formation service is the customer feedback the company receives. To help you analyze each company’s customer reviews, we decided to create this customer feedback comparison section that breaks down how these companies stack up next to each other in this crucial area.
LLC formation services can have customer feedback collections that vary considerably in both quality and quantity. With this in mind, we created the following comparison in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for you to compare these companies in an apples-to-apples manner.
- ZenBusiness: 10,540 reviews / 4.7-star average score
- Northwest Registered Agent: 386 reviews / 4.5-star average score
- IncFile: 33,672 reviews / 4.8-star average score
- LegalZoom: 6,128 reviews / 4.3-star average score
Frequently Asked Questions
Q&A for these alternatives to ZenBusiness
Which Service Has the Best Customer Support?
We like the customer support provided by all four of these companies, but Northwest Registered Agent has a distinct advantage in this area. None of these services can match Northwest’s support personalization or the helpful and knowledgeable nature of their service representatives.
Do Any of These Services Handle Requirements Like Publication?
Only one of these four companies provides state-specific publication services: ZenBusiness.
Northwest does at least provide their customers with a set of instructions to complete their own publication requirement, but IncFile and LegalZoom don’t help at all. With this in mind, it’s a pretty significant advantage for ZenBusiness to be the only option in this guide for those of you forming businesses in states that require publication.
For more information on the best New York LLC publication services, check out our full guide on this topic.
Which Service Has the Fewest Upsells?
LegalZoom attempts quite a few upsells, to the point where we added this question to our FAQ sections because of them.
By the time you progress through their LLC formation service order form to the package select screen, you’ve already encountered $1,080 worth of upsell attempts. None of the other companies discussed in this guide bother us regarding upsells in the slightest.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
ZenBusiness and IncFile are the only two of these four companies that share customer information with third-party partners.
To get an idea of what we’re talking about, take a look at IncFile’s LLC formation service order form, where you’ll see features like a business bank account with Bank of America, a website builder and domain name offer from SnapWeb, and a tax consult session with an accountant. As for ZenBusiness, their upper-tier packages have features like domain name registration and a corporate website that are provided by third parties.
Are Any of These Services Faster Than the Others?
The filing times for Northwest and IncFile are quite close in most states, because these companies all use the same criteria to come up with their turnaround time estimates: the actual processing times of each state.
While one of them might be a day or two quicker in a few isolated states, for the most part there is no significant difference. The exceptions to this are LegalZoom and ZenBusiness because their turnaround times vary based on which level of service you purchase from them. LegalZoom’s cheapest package takes 30 business days, while their most expensive plan takes 7-10 business days.
Meanwhile, ZenBusiness does vary your turnaround times somewhat from state to state, but they also speed up or slow down your formation based on how much money you spend.
Which Service Has the Best Refund Policy?
LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have nearly identical refund policies that are the best in this industry. With these companies, you’ll receive a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with their service for any reason, all you need to do is request a refund and they will grant it. They don’t even charge any sort of convenience fees!
Can I Just Form an LLC on My Own, Without a Service?
You absolutely can. In fact, it’s not uncommon at all for entrepreneurs to form their own LLCs without professional help. However, there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind we get from using a professional service because we have the utmost confidence in their expertise.