Do you need to form a limited liability company, but you don’t want to bother with the complexities and hassles of forming your own LLC?
With this ZenBusiness vs IncFile comparison guide, you’ll find the information you need to make this choice laid out in a convenient manner. Which service is the best pick to form your new limited liability company?
ZenBusiness and IncFile are two popular companies that provide LLC formation services to entrepreneurs nationwide, and they’re both able to form a compliant business in an efficient manner. They both have quite a bit to offer, but we tend to prefer IncFile for a few different reasons.
First off, IncFile has one of the best customer satisfaction reputations in the industry, as they have thousands of positive customer reviews available online. ZenBusiness also receives strong customer feedback, but they only have a few hundred reviews. Even more importantly though is the fact that IncFile provides customer support via phone, email, or leaving an online message. ZenBusiness only offers support through their web chat feature.
If you would like to learn more about these two companies before making your decision, read on as we discuss the details of each service.
6 Things They Have in Common
1) Affordable: ZenBusiness and IncFile both have price points for LLC formation service that are much lower than the cost of hiring a lawyer to form your business.
2) Great Customer Feedback: Although IncFile has a higher volume of reviews, both of these companies receive high average rating scores in their customer reviews, which indicates an excellent level of client satisfaction.
3) Customer Support: While the methods they use to provide customer service are quite different (which we’ll discuss shortly), these two services both have customer support networks that can answer your tough questions. Why go it alone when you can get help from ZenBusiness or IncFile?
4) Registered Agent Service: IncFile includes a full year of registered agent service in every one of their LLC formation packages. ZenBusiness doesn’t include registered agent in their free Basic package, but all of their paid service plans do include this valuable feature.
5) Experience: Both IncFile and ZenBusiness have helped form thousands of businesses over the years, and they both have plenty of expertise. You can definitely trust them to have the experience they need to form your compliant LLC.
6) Efficiency: With either ZenBusiness or IncFile, you’re getting a service provider that’s capable of processing an LLC formation quickly. If you’re in a hurry, they both have options available that can speed up your formation.
Side by Side Comparisons
It’s impossible to beat ZenBusiness in the pricing category, because their Basic LLC formation package is free of charge ― all you need to do is pay your state fee. IncFile has excellent pricing as well, as their formation packages start at $49, but $49 is still obviously more than $0.
The most significant difference between these companies when it comes to features is IncFile’s inclusion of registered agent with all of their LLC formation packages. ZenBusiness also includes registered agent starting with their $10/month Starter package, but IncFile provides a full year of registered agent at no extra charge, even with their $49 package.
IncFile opened in 2004, and since then they’ve helped form over 250,000 businesses. 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.
ZenBusiness provides customer support from 10am to 7pm ET on weekdays. They do not offer support via phone or email. Instead, your only option is to contact them via web chat.
IncFile has the exact same hours of availability as ZenBusiness, but they have a massive advantage in this category because they provide phone and email support.
IncFile bases their processing times on the requirements of your formation state, which range from just a day or two all the way up to eight weeks. On the other hand, ZenBusiness has turnaround times based on the level of service package you purchase:
- Basic: 4 weeks
- Starter: 3-4 weeks
- Pro: 1-2 weeks
- Premium: 3-5 days
Both of these service providers have order tracking tools available on their websites. Simply log into your account and you’ll find your order status in your profile.
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. If you would like to see a list of our favorite registered agent service providers, simply click this link.
ZenBusiness includes registered agent service with all of their LLC formation packages except for the free Basic package, and this service costs $120 per year. IncFile provides one free year of registered agent service with any LLC formation, and they charge $119 per year after that.
ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as they have over 500 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.
While ZenBusiness has impressive reviews, IncFile still has them beat. IncFile has over 10,000 reviews just on Shopper Approved, and they still manage to maintain a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. Clearly, these are both impressive companies for customer feedback, but IncFile has the edge due to sheer volume.
Ease of Use
We feel that IncFile’s website is far more user-friendly and streamlined than the ZenBusiness site. ZenBusiness has a very basic website without much information on it, and it’s often somewhat confusing to navigate as well.
Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?
As you can see, ZenBusiness and IncFile have many common characteristics, but they also have several aspects where they differ in significant ways. If you’re still undecided between them, let’s look at a couple scenarios that might help you figure out which company you’d like to form your new LLC.
No matter which one you choose, we’re confident that your LLC formation will go smoothly.
Choose ZenBusiness if You Are:
Are you searching for the best value possible? Considering the fact that they have a free LLC formation package, ZenBusiness is a great choice.
Choose IncFile if You Are:
Do you want phone and email support, instead of just web chat? Are you looking for a company with a well-established track record of successful formations? Give IncFile a look.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers.
If I Decide to Use IncFile, Which Package Should I Choose?
The IncFile Silver package ($49 + state fee) is one of our favorite LLC formation packages available in this industry. This package includes a full year of registered agent service along with the formation of your business, and this is actually the lowest price point we’re aware of for this combination of features. If you want some advanced features as well, you can go with their $149 Gold package, which adds an operating agreement and EIN acquisition.
Does IncFile Handle Extra State Requirements Like New York Publication?
Even though IncFile is one of our favorite companies in this industry, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. One of their biggest letdowns is the fact that they do not offer publication service in states that require it. When we called them seeking clarification on this issue, they said that publication requirements “need to be taken care of with the state directly.” If you’re looking for a service that does offer this service, you might want to check out ZenBusiness, because they handle all state-specific compliance requirements.
Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?
IncFile has very few upsells, as they do a good job of not annoying their customers by constantly asking them to upgrade their service package, or add unnecessary features. On the other hand, while ZenBusiness doesn’t necessarily go too far overboard with upsells, they certainly attempt more of them than IncFile does. As an example, we started with their Basic plan and worked our way through the order form. Along the way, ZenBusiness suggested $495 worth of additional features, all of which are available in other service packages that we had already declined to purchase.
Do These Services Share My Information With Third Parties?
Neither ZenBusiness nor IncFile is innocent in this regard, as they both have a handful of third-party info-sharing partnerships disguised as “special offers” or “free extras.” As for ZenBusiness, their packages are full of features like “Free CPA consultation,” “Domain name registration,” “Xero accounting software,” and “Free insurance quote.” IncFile isn’t much better, as they have “features” like a business bank account with Bank of America and a web hosting offer with SnapWeb.
Do Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?
Neither of these companies excels when it comes to refund policies. IncFile’s refund policy is very strict, as they only grant refunds if they’re requested before they send your money to the state, which they say is typically within 24 hours of placing your order, and even then there’s a $30 cancellation fee. After they submit payment to the state, they grant no refunds.
When it comes to the ZenBusiness refund policy, it’s not exactly straightforward. We’ll simply copy and paste it so that you can read it for yourself: “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.” If you’re wondering if they ever clarify what the conditions are that must be met, the answer is no.
Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?
IncFile’s formation speeds are based on the turnaround times of each state, and therefore they can vary from just a few days up to several weeks. ZenBusiness does things a bit differently, as their processing times are based on which level of LLC formation service you buy from them. Their Basic plan takes 4 weeks, the Starter package takes 3-4 weeks, the Pro package takes 1-2 weeks, and the Premium plan has a 3-5 day turnaround.
Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?
You sure can. In fact, many entrepreneurs choose to do just that, forgoing professional assistance to form their own LLCs. The main reason we don’t usually recommend the DIY option to our readers is because each state has its own rules and regulations for LLC formations, and it can be quite the hassle to learn the intricacies of your formation state’s requirements. Furthermore, there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind we receive from hiring expert help from a company like ZenBusiness or IncFile.