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LegalZoom VS ZenBusiness LLC ComparisonDo you need to form an LLC, but you don’t want to bother with the complexities and hassles of forming your own LLC?

There are a lot of companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness that offer LLC formation services, but it can be tough to figure out which one is the best option for your new business.

With this LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness comparison review, you’ll learn everything you need to choose the top LLC formation website.

 

Do LegalZoom and ZenBusiness Offer Good Value?

LLC ServicePriceScoreValueRecommended?
🥇 ZenBusinessStarts at $39 (4.8/5)ExcellentAbsolutely
LegalZoomStarts at $99 (3.7/5)FairSometimes

Before we dive into our ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom comparison, let’s outline which is the better deal.

While LegalZoom charges $99 to form an LLC, ZenBusiness will do it for $60 less and include more features. Go with ZenBusiness (the winner) to get far more bang for your buck and support a socially conscious organization.

LegalZoom (Starts at $99)

  • If you don’t mind paying extra
  • for a well-known brand

 

6 Things They Have in Common

1) Affordable: With either ZenBusiness or LegalZoom, you’ll save a significant amount of money on your LLC formation compared to hiring a business attorney to handle your formation process. Especially ZenBusiness.

2) Efficiency: These companies both work quickly, and they can get your business registered with the state in a matter of weeks or even days.

3) Customer Support: 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 LegalZoom?

4) Additional Services: Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have many other services that they can provide to your business, from registered agent to annual report service and much more.

5) Experience: While LegalZoom certainly has more experience, with millions of customers served, ZenBusiness has also formed thousands of businesses in their own right. They’re both experienced companies with the expertise to get the job done right.

6) Informative: ZenBusiness has a blog where they share business tips, information about different entity types, etc. Similarly, LegalZoom’s Knowledge Center has plenty of info regarding legalities and other issues that commonly face entrepreneurs today.

 

Side by Side Comparisons

Pricing

It’s hard for anyone to compete with ZenBusiness when it comes to pricing, seeing as they’ll form an LLC for just $39. LegalZoom charges $99. (See Pricing Details)

While everyone would obviously rather pay $39 than $99 for similar service, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the advantages of ZenBusiness over LegalZoom. In fact, not only does ZenBusiness offer LLC formations for less than half the cost of LegalZoom, but they also include more valuable features in their formation packages.

Features

The two noteworthy differences between the $39 package offered by ZenBusiness and the $99 package offered by LegalZoom are that ZenBusiness includes registered agent service and a customizable LLC operating agreement. This alone would cost $154 otherwise but is included free with every ZenBusiness package.

That said, ZenBusiness provides far more value than LegalZoom while also charging $60 less. If you wanted to add registered agent service and an operating agreement to your LegalZoom formation package, you would spend a total of $447 ($99 LLC formation + $249 registered agent service + $99 operating agreement) instead of $39 with ZenBusiness.

Experience

LegalZoom is one of the industry giants, as they’ve helped form more than 2 million businesses since 1999. ZenBusiness has only been around since 2015, but they’ve already formed thousands of businesses in those few short years. LegalZoom clearly has the experience advantage, but ZenBusiness is doing their best to catch up.

Customer Support

LegalZoom has customer support available via email, chat, or phone. Their extended support hours can be a great help, as they’re available on weekdays from 10 am to 8 pm ET, and weekends from 10 am to 7 pm ET.

ZenBusiness provides customer support from 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekdays. Other than not providing weekend availability, their support is similar in quality to LegalZoom’s. Both of these companies have knowledgeable and helpful associates who typically respond to messages quickly.

Turnaround Times

Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have turnaround times that are based not on the processing times of your state government, but instead on which level of service you purchase from them, although ZenBusiness does tailor their processing estimates a bit based on your state as well. In general, ZenBusiness has 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.

With LegalZoom, their cheaper packages can take up to 30 business days to process, while their top-tier Express Gold package cuts that time down to 7-10 business days. In most states, ZenBusiness is definitely the quicker option.

Order Tracking

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 service 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 free registered agent service with all of its LLC registration packages. LegalZoom does not include registered agent with any LLC packages, and they charge $249 per year to add it on, which is a high price point that most other online incorporation services easily beat.

Customer Reviews

ZenBusiness excels when it comes to customer feedback, as they have thousands of 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.

For their part, LegalZoom receives much more mixed feedback from their clients. We found over 1,000 LegalZoom reviews, and the positive feedback just barely outweighs the critical reviews. Customers seem happy about how convenient their services are, but have issues with inconsistent customer support and their somewhat high prices.

Ease of Use

This category is pretty close, but in favor of ZenBusiness. While both services will present you with multiple screens of features, ZenBusiness’ approach is slightly more tasteful and less intimidating.

Additional Services

LegalZoom offers far more additional services than ZenBusiness does, partially because LegalZoom provides a wide variety of personal services in addition to their business offerings. For example, LegalZoom can help you create a last will and testament, divorce papers, property deeds, probate and executor assistance, and more.

While these companies provide similar business services, there are some areas of exclusivity as well. ZenBusiness offers publication services in states that require them (like New York), which LegalZoom does not. On the other hand, LegalZoom provides its customers with a broad selection of copyright protection and trademark registration services, which ZenBusiness lacks.

 

Which LLC Service Should You Choose?

LLC ServicePriceScoreValueRecommended?
🥇 ZenBusinessStarts at $39 (4.8/5)ExcellentAbsolutely
LegalZoomStarts at $99 (3.7/5)FairSometimes

LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are both very well known LLC formation services and either one of them can start an LLC on your behalf. However, in our opinion, ZenBusiness has some distinct advantages that make them the best LLC service.

However, if you’re still on the fence and aren’t sure which service to choose, let’s take a look at some scenarios that might help you decide.

➥ Choose ZenBusiness if:

Do you want one of the most affordable LLC services available while still getting excellent features? Are you interested in using the company with better customer reviews? Go with ZenBusiness.

➦ Choose LegalZoom if:

Do you prefer brand power and customer volume and you’re willing to pay a bit more to get it? Give LegalZoom a look.

LegalZoom (Starts at $99)

  • If you don’t mind paying extra
  • for a well-known brand

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

If I Decide to Use ZenBusiness, Which Package Should I Choose?

Depending on your budget and the needs of your business, there are two different ZenBusiness packages that we really like. (See Packages)

First, it’s hard to find any fault with their Starter plan, because it costs just $39, and it includes the full formation of your LLC, a year of registered agent service, and a customizable operating agreement.

We also like their $149 Pro plan, which adds an EIN, managed annual report service, and a banking resolution.

 

Which Service Has Fewer Upsells?

Unfortunately, LegalZoom piles on quite a few upsells, and ZenBusiness has a handful as well. LegalZoom sprinkles in $1,080 worth of upsells as you work your way through their order form, which is the most excessive amount of upsells we’re aware of in this industry. ZenBusiness is much better in this regard, but they still attempt $285 in upsells.

Does ZenBusiness Handle New York Publication Requirements?

They sure do! ZenBusiness offers to take care of many state-specific compliance requirements, including publication.

For example, take a look for yourself at their description for their New York publication service. If your state has requirements that go above and beyond the typical steps, ZenBusiness is well worth a look.

How Do LegalZoom and ZenBusiness compare to IncFile?

When reviewing LLC formation services, it’s impossible to not talk about the extremely popular option, IncFile. If you’d like to see how the two services in this comparison stack up to it, see our ZenBusiness vs IncFile comparison or IncFile vs LegalZoom comparison.

Which LLC Formation Website Is Faster?

While most competitors in this industry base their turnaround times on how quickly each individual state processes formations, ZenBusiness and LegalZoom instead have processing speeds based on which package you order from them. Let’s take a look at ZenBusiness’ turnaround times:

  • Starter ($39/year): 3-4 weeks
  • Pro ($149/year): 1-2 weeks
  • Premium ($249/year): 3-5 days

*Note: ZenBusiness does mention that their formation times vary a bit depending on your state, in addition to which formation plan you buy.

And now let’s see how long it takes LegalZoom to process an order:

  • Basic ($99): 30 business days
  • Standard ($329): 15 business days
  • Express Gold ($349): 7-10 business days

Do Either of These Services Have a Refund Policy?

ZenBusiness has a rather complex refund policy, so we’ll just let them speak in their own words on this topic: “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.

LegalZoom has the advantage in this category, thanks to their solid satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not entirely pleased with their services, you have 60 days from the date of your initial purchase to request a refund, and they will grant it. No questions asked, no cancellation fees.

Can I Just Form an LLC On My Own, Without a Service?

You always have the option to DIY LLC formation, and it’s actually not uncommon for entrepreneurs to form their own LLCs. If this is something you’d like to do, check out our step-by-step guide.

 

Ready to Create Your LLC Online?

Create your LLC with LegalZoom or save $60+ by choosing ZenBusiness.

LegalZoom (Starts at $99)

  • If you don’t mind paying extra
  • for a well-known brand


 

About Aaron Franklin

Frustrated by all the options and aggressive online sales tactics, I created BestLLCServices.com to cut the clutter and bring clarity to entrepreneurs starting an LLC. Our focus is on reviewing and comparing the top LLC formation services while also crafting free resources that help you start a business. We sincerely believe finding the right service and free information should be a simple process so you can get started with minimal friction.