Are you ready to create an LLC, but you don’t want to have time to deal with the paperwork?
In this ZenBusiness vs BizFilings comparison review, you’ll find all the relevant information about these two reputable service providers organized in a convenient manner.
Are Either LLC Services Offering Good Value?
Before we dive into this comparison of ZenBusiness and BizFilings, let’s briefly talk about what good value for an LLC formation service looks like. While there are a lot of services like BizFilings and LegalZoom that charge $99+ to form an LLC, there are a few services that’ll create an LLC for far less — and still include great features.
ZenBusiness is one of these good deals. In fact, they’re one of the best available. Even amongst its popular LLC alternatives.
6 Things They Have in Common
- Affordable: With either ZenBusiness or BizFilings, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney.
- Registered Agent Service: ZenBusiness includes a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages, and BizFilings provides six months of registered agent to all of their formation customers. Every LLC is required to designate a registered agent to receive your important document deliveries from the state, so this is a valuable feature.
- Efficiency: These companies both work quickly, and they can get your formation processed with the state in a matter of weeks or even days.
- Experience: Both BizFilings and ZenBusiness have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and they both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely that they’ll handle your business formation properly.
- Customer Support: These two services both have customer support networks that can answer your questions. Why go it alone when you can have a help desk to call?
- Informative: The BizFilings “Business Owner’s Toolkit” is one of the most helpful educational resources offered by any LLC formation service provider, with tons of info about business entity types, industry guides, and more. As for ZenBusiness, they have a blog where they share business tips and tricks. Both are good resources whether you’re a customer or not.
Side by Side Comparisons
For the most part, the $39 Starter package offered by ZenBusiness is quite similar to the $99 BizFilings package, with the major exception being the six months of registered agent service included with all BizFilings LLC formations, compared to a year of registered agent with ZenBusiness.
Aside from that, ZenBusiness includes a free operating agreement in every package while BizFilings does not.
ZenBusiness is a more recent addition to the industry, as they were founded in 2015, but they’ve formed thousands of businesses in just a few years. BizFilings is a more experienced option, as they opened in 1996 and have handled over 500,000 business filings since then.
ZenBusiness provides customer support from 10am to 7pm ET on weekdays. For their first few years in business, they only offered customer service through their online web chat portal, which put them at a huge disadvantage compared to their competitors. However, they recently added phone and email support, and they now have a rather well-rounded support offering.
BizFilings has support availability from 9am until 8pm ET every weekday. You can access their support via phone, email, or web chat. In our experience, their representatives are knowledgeable and friendly, and they’ve always been able to answer our questions.
Both of these companies base their processing times on which level of service you purchase, rather than the actual requirements of your state. BizFilings says that their Basic package requires a 4-6 week turnaround, while their Standard and Complete packages take 7-10 business days.
As for ZenBusiness, they have a 3-4 week turnaround time with the Starter package, which you can cut down to 1-2 weeks with the Pro package, and 3-5 days with the Premium package. It’s also worth noting that they say these estimates can vary a bit from state to state, as they form businesses quicker in some states and slower in others.
Registered Agent Service
Every LLC in America is required to designate a registered agent, which is a person or business entity that receives important document deliveries (like service of process) from your state government, informs you of the receipt, then forwards the documents to you. This is so crucial because the state needs to have a reliable means of contacting your business at any time.
ZenBusiness includes registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages, and this service costs $110 per year if ordered separately. BizFilings bundles in six months of registered agent with every one of their formation packages, but after that they charge $164 per year, which is more than ZenBusiness charges but still roughly average for other services.
ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as they have over 900 reviews available online, and nearly all of them are positive. Their clients are clearly satisfied with their services, and they frequently praise their efficiency, along with the general ease of use provided by their platform.
We were only able to track down three customer reviews for BizFilings ― one positive, one neutral, and one negative. It’s impossible to meaningfully analyze such a small sample of data, so we’ll merely say that it’s odd that a company that’s completed 500,000 business filings only has three reviews online.
Which Is the Right Service for You?
ZenBusiness and BizFilings are two of the most popular online incorporation services, and they’re both able to efficiently and effectively register an LLC. They each have some advantages over the other, but we generally recommend ZenBusiness to the majority of our readers.
Most notably, ZenBusiness offers much lower prices than BizFilings does and they also include more valuable features in their LLC service packages. Plus, they receive fantastic customer feedback, whereas BizFilings has very few reviews online.
If you’re still undecided between them, let’s look at a couple scenarios that might help you determine which company to choose.
➥ Choose ZenBusiness if:
Do you want the lowest price points for LLC formation? Do you place a high value on customer feedback? These are two of the main reasons to choose ZenBusiness.
➦ Choose BizFilings if:
Are experience and longevity important characteristics to you in a service provider? BizFilings is worth a look.
Overall, while both are good LLC services, we recommend ZenBusiness. They simply offer more overall value and more affordable prices. If you’d like to do a little more research and see how they stack up to the most well-known service, check out our comparison of LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use ZenBusiness, Which Package Should I Choose?
We really like two of the ZenBusiness LLC formation packages, and they’re the two most affordable options they have.
Their Starter plan includes the preparation and filing of your formation documents, along with registered agent service and customizable operating agreement, for the low rate of just $39 (plus state fee).
If you’re looking for a few more advanced features, you can also take a look at their $149 Pro package, as it also includes EIN acquisition, their fully managed annual report service, and a banking resolution. (See Packages)
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
This category is an advantage for BizFilings, because they keep the upsells to a minimum, whereas ZenBusiness has quite a few of them. As you progress through their order form, they’ll try to get you to add an EIN, a banking resolution, a business website package, and managed annual report service ― features that total $285.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
As you take a look at the ZenBusiness LLC formation service package select screen, you’ll encounter offers for a domain name and a business website. It’s important to note that ZenBusiness doesn’t provide either of these features themselves, but rather shares your info with third-party partners.
BizFilings has a rather large number of info-sharing attempts in their LLC formation order form. These include deals with the following third-party partners: Palo Alto, ADP, Pitney Bowes SendPro, Grasshopper, Hubspot, and “a business insurance provider.”
Do Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
BizFilings has a strict refund policy with significant processing fees attached. Any order canceled before any work is done on your formation carries a $50 fee, while any order canceled after they complete your preliminary name check has a $75 fee.
As for ZenBusiness, take a look for yourself at how they explain their refunds: “Once ZenBusiness has submitted your business for filing with the State under no circumstances can you charge-back or dispute the fees associated with forming your business. If you contact ZenBusiness before your business has been submitted for filing with the State, ZenBusiness may refund the charge, less a $50 cancellation fee, if certain conditions are met.”
Are There Other Good LLC Services Out There?
While ZenBusiness and BizFilings both have plenty of positives, IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent are two other great options. Both of these service providers include a full year of registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages, which for IncFile start at $0 and for Northwest start at $79.
Other than that, IncFile’s best attribute is their fabulous customer feedback reputation, with thousands of positive reviews all over the web. As for Northwest, they’re the only major national service provider that locally scans every document they receive as your registered agent, whereas most competitors only scan the government docs that they’re legally required to.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
Unlike the vast majority of competitors in this industry, these service providers don’t base their turnaround times on state processing speeds. Instead, both of these companies have turnaround estimates based on which level of LLC formation service you purchase from them. BizFilings has the following filing times:
- Basic: 4-6 weeks
- Standard: 7-10 days
- Complete: 7-10 days
And ZenBusiness processes orders at these speeds, which they mention are a bit faster or slower in some states:
- Starter: 3-4 weeks
- Pro: 1-2 weeks
- Premium: 3-5 days
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
You certainly can. The DIY option is always available, and many entrepreneurs do in fact form their own LLCs every day in America. Here’s how.
Ready to Get Started?
Visit the winner’s website or continue your research to find the best LLC service for you.