Are you looking for a suitable alternative for Flippa? If so, you’re in the right place.
Flippa is the biggest and most well-known online marketplace to buy and sell websites, domain names, and apps and was one of the first marketplaces online for websites.
You could say that Flippa is the eBay of selling websites. They have mass-market appeal, it’s easy to list, and they have built up a database of both buyers and sellers over many years.
However, they also have a reputation for low-quality listings, scammy sellers, and time-wasting buyers.
This has led many people to look for viable alternatives to Flippa and, in this article, I’ll cover why Flippa alternatives are needed, and what the best options are.
Flippa alternatives: the quick version
If you’re in a rush and just want to know what the best alternatives to Flippa are, here’s the list of the 9 best alternatives I could find:
- Empire Flippers
- FE International
- Exchange Marketplace
- Quiet Light Brokerage
- Micro Acquire
- Dealflow Brokerage
Want more information on why these are the best alternatives and why we even need an alternative option to Flippa? Keep reading to find out.
Why do we need an alternative to Flippa?
Flippa is a victim of its own success as the largest website marketplace. As they scaled, so too did the spammy sellers, the buyers only interested in getting information to steal seller’s ideas, and the listing fees. There are a number of problems with Flippa that are easy to see for investors who are experienced with buying and selling websites, but a lot of beginners are not aware of the issues. The simple fact is that because Flippa is so accessible, buying and selling your website with them can be tiresome and painful.
Issues with Flippa for buyers
- A lot of the listings are fraudulent. I’ve seen first-hand websites for sale on Flippa where the earnings are completely fabricated by the seller and the traffic has been inflated through spammy means.
- Many sellers price the website too high. Sites making $2,000 a year are listing with Buy It Now prices of $25,000 or more. Do you want to wait a possible 12+ years to get a return on investment?
- Bidding on listings makes it easy to over-commit. Remember the budget you set? It’s very easy to get into bidding wars on Flippa and before you know it you’ve paid way too much for a website.
Issues with Flippa for sellers
- You’ll get a lot of messages from tire kickers. The number of time-wasting messages you will receive when selling a site has grown over the years. From spammers trying to promote their own service to buyers who clearly don’t have the money to buy your website but are just fishing for information – it takes a lot of time to sift through these messages on Flippa.
- You’ll get fake bids on your listings. It’s so easy to place a bid on a listing that you will definitely receive fake bids. I’ve sold websites on Flippa that when it came down to it, the buyer disappeared and I had to relist it. There’s almost no punishment for them as anonymous bidders, and you then have to relist, which is more wasted effort.
- You’ll get scammers and spammers wasting your time. I’m not sure how much this happens in recent years because I use alternative methods to Flippa now, but I’ve had scammers before purchase my website and then try to arrange transfer of the domain and contents before payment had been made. They prey on people who are new to website selling and it’s just another annoyance and time-wasting activity on Flippa.
Now, this is not to say that there aren’t good-quality websites for sale on Flippa. There are plenty of them.
The problem is that you have to spend considerable time now trying to find the “diamond in the rough” websites amongst all the terrible, terrible listings.
When Flippa first launched, they were pretty much the only choice to buy and sell websites but, over the years, an entire industry has risen up and there are many new competitors and legitimate alternatives to the Flippa marketplace.
Flippa alternatives for buying and selling websites
Let’s jump straight into the alternatives to Flippa and what their advantages and disadvantages are.
Empire Flippers took the original model of Flippa – a marketplace to buy and sell websites – and improved on it by making it a curated marketplace. This means that they review each potential listing and verify the details of the websites before they can be listed for sale.
Advantages of Empire Flippers over Flippa
- The curated marketplace means the websites being listed are much less likely to be scammy or low-quality
- Empire Flippers act as a middleman so that you don’t have to communicate directly with the buyer
- They only focus on profitable websites for sale, no starter sites
Disadvantages of Empire Flippers over Flippa
- To even get the URL of the website you need to pay a 5% deposit
- The sites are more expensive because they look for around $1k a month in earnings before you can list
- As a buyer, they tend to sell websites for a higher multiple than you could get on Flippa (or in a private deal)
FE is a website brokerage that works with clients to sell their websites and internet businesses. They are more focused on business owners looking to sell, compared to the more hobbyist “website flipping” angle of Empire Flippers or Flippa.
Advantages of FE International over Flippa
- The listings are generally better than Flippa (although I have seen a lot of exceptions)
- They create and provide a very thorough prospectus to give buyers all of the relevant information they need on a website
- They handle all communication with the buyer on behalf of the seller
Disadvantages of FE International over Flippa
- It’s very rare to see a website selling for less than $30,000
- Their success/broker fee is higher (but you get white-glove service for this so for many sellers it’s not a disadvantage)
- A lot of the listings are businesses and not “passive” income websites (which means many of the sites don’t actually have that much organic search traffic)
Exchange Marketplace is a marketplace created by Shopify which offers e-commerce websites and internet businesses for sale. This is a relatively new marketplace, launched in 2017, but it is the go-to place to buy and sell e-commerce sites using the Shopify platform (they have a 10% share of the e-commerce market).
Advantages of Exchange Marketplace over Flippa
- It’s built by Shopify and sells Shopify websites, so all traffic and revenue is verified
- They offer the best e-commerce websites for sale
- You have to pay to use the Shopify platform, which means sellers are generally not scammers
Disadvantages of Exchange Marketplace over Flippa
- Not really a disadvantage as Flippa does this too, but you do have to communicate directly with the seller on Exchange Marketplace
- It’s only for e-commerce Shopify websites, which limits your options as a buyer to just one type of site
- Exchange Marketplace is not transparent about what its sale fee is. In fact, you have to actually list the site for sale before they even give it to you.
More alternatives to Flippa
I’m not trying to create the most comprehensive list of Flippa alternatives in this article, because the truth is that the vast majority of “alternatives” are even worse than Flippa in terms of the spam and scammers on the platforms.
If you’ve found a marketplace that is not mentioned in this article, I will probably be aware of it but will have chosen specifically not to include it. Use that marketplace with caution!
Here’s the “best of the rest” which includes some upcoming marketplaces that have future potential.
- Investors Club is run by Andrej from Alpha Investors, a well-known guy in the industry. With IC, buyers pay a subscription to get access to the listings, and sellers pay nothing. I love the idea and in my limited experience, the sites have been much higher quality than I’ve seen from FE.
- MicroAcquire is a new kid on the block with a really nicely designed platform that is completely free. There are some really interesting listings on there, including some which have received funding from investors, and it has a lot of potential. The one downside of free is that you get “pre-revenue” listings which just makes it harder to find decent sites for sale.
- Quiet Light is a well-known brokerage catering to larger sales of 6 figures upwards. Their NDA system never seems to be work properly and they don’t seem to reply to emails when you ask, but they do list high-quality sites.
- Dealflow Brokerage is a team of experienced merger and acquisition advisors who have a powerful network of investors and entrepreneurs. From what I have seen from Dealflow, they list very high-quality internet businesses for sale and the multiples seem reasonable (but a little on the high side as all broker sites are). If you have a bigger budget into six figures or more, they are one to keep an eye on for unique listings you won’t see elsewhere.
- Sideprojectors are typically hobby projects that are not earning as much as established websites and don’t have as much organic traffic, and they tend to be tech/developer-based projects or SaaS apps.
- IndieMaker was previously 1kprojects-another side project that lets you buy and sell side projects. This one specifically was aiming at projects for selling projects for less than $1,000. The vast majority are from makers who have never made a profit on their project (and want to sell with inflated prices) but it’s worth keeping an eye on for the odd deal.
Many try to become “the next Flippa” but most fail. Here’s a bunch that had potential but are no longer updated.
- Borderline is a place to sell or barter your side project to find a new owner. It’s mostly focused on web apps and developer-heavy projects but it’s completely free and just connects the buyer and seller to figure it out between them. Submissions have slowed to a crawl and most aren’t worth buying.
- Originally the Opportunity Overload email newsletter was started by the guys behind Need/Want, the company that created the Peel iPhone case and other physical products. I haven’t had a new email in a long time. It’s dead.
- Transferslot started as a side project to sell side projects – how meta! It was once a good place to find potential starter projects to build upon and grow but has been somewhat abandoned. FE International bought this site and did nothing with it. Another one bites the dust.
What is the best alternative to Flippa?
Spoiler alert: there is no “best” alternative to Flippa!
I’ve highlighted the best options above to help you buy or sell any kind of business. There were dozens of other alternatives that I completely ignored because they were spammy, outdated, or unused.
If you have any other Flippa alternatives you think I should include in this article, please contact me and I’ll check them out.
Starting a new business and searching for a professional LLC formation service? With so many competing services out there, it can get a bit challenging to choose the perfect one. Instead of losing yourself down the rabbit hole of legal jargon, you should focus on the growth of your business.
ZenBusiness and Rocket Lawyer are reputed incorporation services that will take care of your business’s needs. The million-dollar question is: In ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer, which one should you choose? This is what we are here!
In this ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer review, we will compare their features, pricing, customer reviews, and a few other important factors that will help you make an informed choice.
Let’s get started!
Quick Summary: ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer
Busy getting your business up and running and don’t have the time to read our comprehensive ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer review? To save your time, here are the highlights of both companies. Read them and make your choice!
ZenBusiness provides professional LLC formation services and has affordable rates. You will appreciate their fast process and will be satisfied with the customer service you get. They have everything you need for your LLC from EIN acquisition to banking resolutions.
Rocket Lawyer is not a standalone LLC formation service. Rather, it is a legal services provider as well. It has glowing customer reviews and people appreciate the fact they can get all legal services under one roof.
- Signup for ZenBusiness if you are looking for an affordable LLC formation service with plenty of perks and features. For the best overall value, ZenBusiness is our recommended LLC formation service.
- Signup for Rocket Lawyer if you want other legal services along with LLC formation services and are willing to pay more for them. For other legal services along with LLC formation service.
Similarities Between ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer
ZenBusiness provides LLC formation services only while Rocket Lawyer provides different kinds of legal services as well. However, there are plenty of similarities between these two companies, which their customers like. Let’s see what they are!
Usually, when it comes to incorporating companies, business attorneys step in. After all, forming an LLC is part of the portfolios and job description of business attorneys, right? The rates of business lawyers are pretty high and if you hire one to form your LLC, you are going to pay a hefty sum for their fees.
On the other hand, if you choose ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer, you will pay only a fraction of the lawyer’s fees. What’s more, you will get other perks such as business operating templates and web domains, etc. for your LLC as well.
Therefore, both ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer cost less than hiring a lawyer.
Excellent Customer Reviews
No matter how paper-friendly a company is, until and unless its customers are satisfied, it is no good. Both ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer have excellent customer feedback with plenty of reviews online. Most of their customers are satisfied with the services they get.
Responsive Customer Support
As a new business owner, you are bound to have tons of questions. Instead of searching the internet and wasting your precious time, what if you could get in touch with a professional? ZenBusiness and Rocket Lawyer have a dedicated customer support system.
You can contact them through email or phone and get answers in a short time!
Is getting your company filed enough? What about registered agent services? What about business operating agreements and bylaws? When you use ZenBusiness or Rocket Lawyer, you will have access to a multitude of services that will help you get your company up and running.
What we really like about both these companies is the fact that they are a credible source of information as well. ZenBusiness comes with a blog on which you can find business help and a lot of information that you will find helpful.
Similarly, there is a “Help” portion on Rocket Lawyer’s website that you can consult for any information that you might need.
Differences Between ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer
Types of Services
When you use ZenBusiness, you will only get LLC formation services and basic features that your company will need. On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer is a comprehensive legal service provider.
When it comes to subscription plans, ZenBusiness has more options than Rocket Lawyer. With Rocket Lawyer, you will get different services based on whether you buy a membership or not. With ZenBusiness you will be able to choose various packages according to your needs. Thus, ZenBusiness is more flexible.
Years of Experience
Both companies are experienced and have helped thousands of companies. However, Rocket Lawyer was created in 2008 while ZenBusiness is fairly new to the LLC formation industry since 2015. However, the customer reviews show that even in this short period of time, ZenBusiness has made its mark in the industry.
Registered Agent Service
You can become your own registered agent but by doing this, your address will be present in the public records. If you want to avoid this, then you can use the quality Registered Agent Services provided by ZenBusiness or Rocket Lawyer.
For a non-member, the charges for Registered Agent are $149.99. If you are a member, you will get a 25% discount. On the other hand, at ZenBusiness, the first year of the service will be free. After that, it will cost $99 every year, which is a far better deal.
To make it easier for you to make a choice, we will compare important factors for both companies side-by-side. This will help you get a better idea about the type of features and services you will get if you choose Rocket Lawyer or ZenBusiness.
For new business owners, pricing holds a lot of importance and it should. There are a lot of expenses to take care of when you are starting your company and if you are getting affordable services, you should go for them.
At ZenBusiness, the Starter package costs only $49. You not only get your company incorporated but also get a free year of registered agent services. The mid-tier package is the Pro Package and it costs $149. It has plenty of features such as EIN acquisition, worry-free compliance, etc.
The last package offered by ZenBusiness is the Premium package and it costs $299. It is a comprehensive package and helps you with various business needs. When it comes to Rocket Lawyer, you don’t get tiered pricing plans.
With Rocket Lawyer, there are two packages.
- Premium Member
If you are a non-member, then they will charge you $99.99 and incorporate your business. If you become a member, you will pay $39.99 monthly to get access to their legal services.
- Starter package: $49
- Pro package: $199
- Premium package: $299
- Non-Member: $99.99
- Premium Member: $39.99
Overall, Rocket Lawyer is a good company that provides quality services. However. They charge slightly more than ZenBusiness when it comes to LLC formation services. Moreover, they offer fewer features as well.
If you are a non-member, you will pay $99.99 plus $149.99 for registered agent services with Rocket Lawyer. Even if you are a member, you will have to pay $39.99 for the subscription, plus almost $112 for registered agent services.
On the other hand, you will simply get both these services at ZenBusiness by paying $49 only. If your sole goal is LLC formation, then Rocket Lawyer will not be a good choice.
As far as the pricing is concerned, ZenBusiness takes a clear lead.
ZenBusiness’s LLC formation packages are comprehensive and take care of all your business needs. Let’s take a look at the various features both ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer provide.
At ZenBusiness, there are three different packages: Starter, Pro, and Premium. All of them have varying prices and different features.
The Starter package, worth $49, has the following features.
- Preparation & Filing of Documents
- Free Year of Registered Agent Service
- Operating Agreement Template
- Accuracy Guarantee
The Pro Package is worth $149 and you get the following additional features.
- Expedite Filing Speed (1-2 weeks)
- Banking Resolution
- Worry-Free Compliance
The last package from ZenBusiness is the Premium Package. You get all the features present in the Pro package and the following additional services.
- Rush Filing Speed (3-5 business days)
- Business Domain
- Company Email Address
- Company Website
If you are using Rocket Lawyer, you have two options – to become a member or avail of LLC services alone. If you are a non-member and are going to use their LLC formation package, then you will get the following features.
- Business Name Search
- Articles of Organization – Preparation & Filing
- Online Dashboard
- Business Operating Template
Their second package is the Premium Member Package. At a monthly subscription worth $39.99, you will have access to all of their legal services. If you choose their premium membership, you will get your LLC formed for free. In the case of existing members, they have a 25% discount.
In the premium package, you will get the following features.
- Attorney Services
- Legal Documents Library
- Legal Queries will be answered
- 30-minute legal consultation
- Free Incorporation
- 25% Discount on Registered Agent Service
- Preparation & Filing of Documents
- Free Year of Registered Agent Service
- Operating Agreement Template
- Accuracy Guarantee
- Business Name Search
- Articles of Organization – Preparation & Filing
- Online Dashboard
- Business Operating Template
The next thing that we consider in our ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer review is the experience of both companies. ZenBusiness has been providing services since 2015 and helped lots of individuals form their companies.
With glowing reviews from their users, we can rest assured that they provide quality services. On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer has been around since 2008 and according to their website, they have helped over 20 million people.
This is a huge number, but you need to be aware that this number is for not only the LLCs they have formed but all the people who come to them for legal services. Nevertheless, it is an impressive number.
Therefore, this category goes to Rocket Lawyer for they have been around for a longer period of time.
What if you have questions about the services that ZenBusiness or Rocket Lawyer provide? You can contact their customer services and get your query answered!
When it comes to ZenBusiness, they have responsive customer support. You can get in touch with them through email, web chat, or phone. The phone support is available between 8 am – 8 pm (CT) on weekdays.
The customer reps are knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. Moreover, they are also available on Sundays. The timings are 10 am to 7 pm (CT).
You can contact the customer service at Rocket Lawyer from 6 am to 6 pm (PT) from Monday to Friday. Moreover, you can send them an email with your query as well. There is an option for web chat as well but it is more of an FAQ service than a live chat.
Even though both companies have responsive customer services, ZenBusiness provides support even on Sunday. This makes them the winner in this category.
When it comes to turnaround times, ZenBusiness has three processing speeds based on the package you choose. If you select the premium package, you will be able to get your LLC formed in 3 to 5 working days! Even if you choose their standard filing speed, you will get your company incorporated in 2-3 weeks.
However, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t offer you the flexibility of choosing the filing speed. Every state has a particular period of time in which they incorporate a company. You will have to check the turnaround time for your state and see how long it will take. If your state offers expedited filing, you will pay extra to avail it.
ZenBusiness is the clear winner here since with them you have the choice to select the turnaround time you want.
If you can track your order and check the status, you can stop worrying about the legal details of setting up a business and focus on building your company. Both ZenBusiness & Rocket Lawyer have online order tracking tools that you can use to check the order status.
All you have to do is log on to your account and check the status in your profile.
Registered Agent Service
Your state of formation needs a way of communicating with your company. Therefore, you need to have a registered agent. ZenBusiness provides a very lucrative offer when it comes to registered agent services.
With all of their packages, you will get one free year of registered agent services. Later on, the charges are $99 every year.
On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t offer a free year of registered agent services. If you are a non-member, you will pay $149 annually and if you are a member, then you will have 25% off, which is still more than $99.
Therefore, if you are looking for a registered agent service, go for ZenBusiness without hesitation! Why would you pay even a dime more for similar services, right?
Now that you have gone through a lot of information about pricing and features of ZenBusiness and Rocket Lawyer, it is time for us to learn what their customers say about them. With over 4,700 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot, ZenBusiness is a well-loved service provider.
Their users praise their affordable costs, personalized services, and professional support.
When it comes to Rocket Lawyer, they have over 2,000 reviews on Trustpilot and a 4.7 rating. Even though most of these reviews are positive in nature, we are astonished why the number of reviews is so less. With over 20 million users, one would have expected the number of reviews to be more as well.
Most of their customers are pleased with their 7-day trial offer and responsive customer support. However, users didn’t like the fact that they had to provide their credit card info to avail the trial. When the trial is over, you don’t get a notification and your card automatically gets charged.
ZenBusiness takes the lead here since they have better ratings and more user reviews than Rocket Lawyer.
Ease of Use
The only reason you are choosing an LLC formation service is to save your time. If the registration process takes a long time, you would defeat this purpose. When you use ZenBusiness, you don’t have to fill out complex forms or waste your time learning legal jargon.
Simply choose the package, enter your company’s details, select any add-ons if you want, and that’s it!
With Rocket Lawyer, you have to choose whether you want to become a member or not. After making your choice, you will enter your personal details, and choose additional services, if any. The whole process takes 10 to 15 minutes at max.
In ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer ease of use, it is a tie. Both the services have an easy order process and a user-friendly website.
ZenBusiness as well as Rocket Lawyer have various features and services. ZenBusiness focuses on LLC formation only and thus, you will find services that will be related to LLC formation mostly. Other features such as EIN, business agreement, domain names, etc. are also available.
On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer is a comprehensive legal service provider. You can get your LLC formed as well as handle things such as your estate planning, will, etc. Therefore, it is clear that the services provided by these companies vary.
ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer: Which is Best?
Now is the time for making the final choice. ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer – what will it be? Both the companies are popular amongst their users and have excellent customer service. However, they are very distinct from each other, and we have discussed this in detail above.
ZenBusiness comes with a friendly, affordable pricing model. On the other hand, you will get expensive rates from Rocket Lawyer but they have more years of experience under their belt. By now, your choice should be clear for you. Are you still confused? Don’t worry – let us make this simpler for you.
- Signup for ZenBusiness if you are looking for a reliable, affordable incorporation service and registered agent service with quick turnaround times
ZenBusiness is for entrepreneurs who are searching for
- An affordable LLC service
- Free registered agent service
- Excellent customer support
- Flexible turnaround time
- Signup for Rocket Lawyer if budget isn’t an issue for you and you are looking for a lot of legal services besides LLC formation
Rocket lawyer is perfect for business owners who
- Value years of experience
- Are looking for comprehensive legal services
- Are willing to pay more
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the biggest advantage of each service in ZenBusiness vs Rocket Lawyer?
If you’re looking to decide between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Here is what the Start a Business Hub expert community thinks.
Top answer provided by a business lawyer
I would typically say the “better” state to form a limited liability company (LLC) in would be the state you’re conducting business in.
However, if you are not based in the USA I’ll highlight a few differences between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Please don’t simply rely on internet responses like mine as a substitute for sound legal advice from an attorney though!
- New Mexico: There is no annual corporate tax for New Mexico LLCs. Likewise, there is no state income tax if the LLC receives no income from within New Mexico. New Mexico provides a ton of privacy for members as it will never ask who owns or manages the LLC.So as long as you use a Registered Agent, you can form a New Mexico LLC and there will be no public record of the ownership in the state database. This can be complicated by having to obtain an EIN or opening a company bank account but on the state level, there is no public database of ownership.Finally, the state fee is only $50. No annual reports or fees are required to be filed with New Mexico either.
- Wyoming: Filing fees ($100) are a little more than NM. Annual fees are $50 (compared to 0 for NM). The annual requirements include maintaining a Wyoming Registered Agent and filing your Annual Report.
So the general advice here is that if you are based in the US, you should probably set up your LLC in whichever state you live in. However, if you don’t live in the US or want to compare between these two states specifically, it looks like New Mexico is the cheaper and more private way to form your LLC than in Wyoming.
Let’s look at some more answers from our community of experts here at Start a Business Hub.
New Mexico has a state income tax that would apply to any LLC registered in the state and a franchise tax that applies to an LLC making a corporate election. Wyoming does not have an income tax and only charges a flat annual fee for an LLC registered in the state. Even though you are not residing in a state opening an LLC in any state typically gives you nexus with that state and means that you personally and the business are subject to all state level taxes in that state.
If you don’t have any profit, then New Mexico’s annual minimum fee is slightly less than Wyoming’s, but it you do make a profit, then Wyoming is probably a better choice from a tax perspective.
No matter what the possible tax impact is the “better” state to register an LLC in is the one where you the member actually resides and works.
If you are a foreigner, I would definitely say New Mexico is much better, not because of the income tax exemption both estates give you, but because a New Mexico does not require you file an annual report, and you don’t report who owns the LLC, that gives you an extra layer of privacy. Nonetheless, you would have to disclose the ownership of your LLC to the IRS when you request the EIN.
If you reside in or are national in a country that the United States has no information exchange treaty, then disclosing the ownership of the LLC to the IRS might not be a privacy problem.
The limited liability protections of each state are reasonably similar.
The tax impact of where you form your LLC is not generally relevant. On an operating LLC you are taxed in the state you are doing business in, not the state you formed the entity in. Thus the state of formation is irrelevant for tax purposes.
New Mexico does have a state income and franchise tax, but it is for corporations, not LLCs. An LLC being taxed as a partnership has no state income or franchise tax in New Mexico. These would only apply if you elected to be taxed as a corporation and were doing business in New Mexico. There are no ongoing annual fees applicable to LLCs in New Mexico.
Hopefully, this article has given you the information you need to decide on forming an LLC in either New Mexico or Wyoming.
When you are starting a business, there are a lot of decisions that you have to make regarding your company’s structure. From liability to taxes, there are millions of things that you need to consider.
Even though you can research on your own and decide which business structure is perfect for you, we recommend that you get in touch with a professional business formation service and get expert consultation.
Let’s jump into the details and compare LLC vs sole proprietorship vs corporation to see which is best for you and your new company!
Are you here to find the answer quickly? We know that as a new business owner you are already short on time so we will give you quick highlights to save your precious time!
For the majority of entrepreneurs, LLC is the best business structure. Sole Proprietorship doesn’t offer any protection in case of legal issues. Corporations are subject to heavy taxation and are complex to form. We will discuss each one of these below in detail!
Now that you know that LLC is the perfect business structure for a new startup, we will give you another quality tip. Most of us don’t have any legal background and are bound to get lost in the world of legal jargon if we start filing the paperwork on our own.
To save you from going down the rabbit hole of legal red tape, there are quality LLC incorporation services out there that you can hire to take care of forming an LLC for you. With affordable rates and quick turnaround times, you are in for a treat!
- ZenBusiness is the incorporation service that offers the best overall value in terms of affordability and expertise. They have affordable packages that you can choose according to the needs of your company!
- IncFile is perfect for those entrepreneurs who are on a tight budget and want professional help but can’t afford it. With the free starter package offered by IncFile, money is no longer a hurdle in getting your LLC up and running!
LLC vs Sole Proprietorship vs Corporation
When you are starting a new business, you will have to carefully and meticulously plan everything. If you are a small business owner who doesn’t want to form a partnership, you are left with three options.
- Limited Liability Company
- Sole Proprietorship
Every option comes with its own pros and cons, which are determined by your business’s type and your future goals. Let’s begin with addressing the basic differences between each type of business entity and then we will go from there!
If you don’t form a legal business entity and run your business on your own, you are running a sole proprietorship. In the eyes of law, you and your business are one in the same thing. This business structure is very risky – in case your business gets sued in the future, you will be personally responsible for liabilities, debts, damages, etc. With a sole proprietorship, you get no protection at all.
The business is basically an extension of yourself. All the losses and profits of the business will flow through your personal tax returns. All the business profits will be reported as the personal income of the owner.
Moreover, all the liabilities will flow through the owner as well.
One of the major advantages of an LLC over a sole proprietorship is that your liability is limited. You are not personally liable for any debts that LLC has. On the other hand, the sole proprietor is liable for all debts that the business has.
If you have a sole proprietorship, the creditors can go after your car, your home, and your other personal assets. In the case of an LLC, all your personal assets will be protected.
- Best For: Sole proprietorship is perfect for those business owners who are running a home-based operation and don’t want any complexities.
As a sole proprietor, you can have a business name different from your personal name. With the help of a DBA (Doing Business As), you can choose a name for your business. However, you cannot use terms such as incorporated, LLC, corporation, etc. as part of your business name.
Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship
- No Paperwork: When you are running a sole proprietorship, you will not have to fill any paperwork other than the one required for business-specific licenses and permits. For licensure requirements, you have to check with your state department as well as with the local government in your area.
- No Annual Reports. You don’t have to submit annual state filings. However, some industries do require some filings, but they are majorly industry-specific.
- Tax Requirements. As far as taxes are concerned, you are only going to be concerned with personal federal and state taxes. All the profits and losses will be passed through your personal tax return. You don’t have to pay any business taxes or unemployment taxes.
Moreover, you can enjoy the tax benefits of being self-employed by turning a few of your personal expenses into business expenses. For example, you can use your company car for personal use, write off travel expenses as business travel, write off costs to entertain clients, etc.
Furthermore, you can enjoy self-employed retirement plans such as SEP IRAs (Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirements Accounts).
Disadvantages of a Sole Proprietorship
- No Liability Protection. You will have absolutely no liability protection from debts, lawsuits, and any other legal issues. This means that you are personally responsible for any issue that your business faces which places your personal assets such as a home, car, etc. at risk.
- Lack of Investors. You will face difficulty if you are trying to get some funds. Investors are more likely to trust LLCs rather than unknown individuals no matter how much potential you have. This can limit the growth and development of your business due to a lack of funds.
- Difficulty Establishing Business Credit. Moreover, you will have a hard time building business credit as well. It is hard to get debt financing as banks and other financial institutions will consider the request as a request for a personal loan instead of a business loan.
- Low Market Credibility. Your market credibility will be low as compared to other LLCs and established businesses in the industry. Customers are more likely to trust an established, authorized LLC rather than an individual doing business.
Limited Liability Company
An LLC is a legal entity and a business structure that you use to run your business or hold your assets such as aircraft, boats, real estate, etc. LLC is a business structure that is specifically designed to keep your personal assets separate and protected from liabilities of your business.
The owners of the LLC are protected from legal and financial liabilities of the business, including even their own negligence. The owners of an LLC are known as members. There are two types of LLCs based on the number of members.
- Single-Member LLC
- Multi-Member LLC
If the LLC is owned by one person only, it is a single-member LLC. If an LLC is owned by two or more persons, it is termed as a Multi-Member LLC.
When it comes to taxation, single-member LLCs are treated by the IRS similarly to the way they treat sole proprietorships. This means that you can attach your business income to your personal tax returns.
The requirements and process for forming an LLC vary from state to state. However, there are a few basic steps such as filing your articles of organization, assigning a registered agent, etc. that are common everywhere.
It is better if you get professional help from an expert LLC incorporation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile and let them handle all the legal paperwork for you.
- Best For: The major benefit of having an LLC is the legal protection that you get. For home-based businesses, sole proprietorships may be good enough but when your business starts to deal with multiple clients and customers, you have to go for an LLC. When you are dealing with large sums of money, it is a good idea to separate your business and personal assets and with the help of an LLC, you can do exactly that.
Advantages of an LLC
Like everything else in the world, forming an LLC also comes with pros and cons. However, its advantages far outweigh a few cons it might have. Let’s take a look!
- Market Credibility. If there is an LLC attached to your name, people would know that you are a legal, authorized entity and will not hesitate before doing business with you.
- Liability Protection. This is probably the biggest advantage that an LLC gives to its owners. You will get liability protection against commercial debts, lawsuits, and a lot more. As long as you set your LLC up properly, you cannot be sued for any commercial activities.
- Business Financing. You are more likely to get financing for your business. Creditors are happy to give out business loans to LLCs since an LLC is an authorized legal entity and has more credibility than an individual has.
If you get business credit, you will be able to expand and grow your business which will mean profits, success, and opportunities!
- Taxation. You will get a lot of tax flexibility. You can choose to have your LLC taxed as a sole proprietorship or as a corporation, depending on your needs and requirements. You will have to pay a few additional taxes such as business franchise tax, etc. but this depends on the type of business you do and the geographical location of your company. You can choose to have your LLC taxed as a pass-through entity which allows you to file the taxes as your personal income tax returns.
Disadvantages of an LLC
As you will see below, the disadvantages that an LLC might have on paper can be easily mitigated by getting the right form of help from LLC formation companies. Let’s see what are the slight disadvantages of having an LLC.
- Paperwork. There will be a lot of paperwork that you will have to take care of while forming your LLC. However, you don’t have to be worried because there are highly professional companies like ZenBusiness & IncFile that will take care of everything for you!
- Annual State Filings. You will have to submit an annual business report with your state. It is likely that you will forget the deadline and miss the filing date. However, this can also be easily taken care of by the LLC incorporation company that you hire so all you have to do is sit back and relax as you watch your business grow.
For more detail on business taxation, we recommend that you get in touch with the highly competent customer service of ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent and they will guide you thoroughly. Better safe than making mistakes, right folks?
The third business structure option that you have is of forming a corporation. A corporation is mostly used to run a big company with various shareholders as well as investors. The owners of a corporation are known as shareholders.
After the formation of a corporation, you are legally obligated to form a “Board of Directors” who will oversee the company. Moreover, to run the day-to-day operations of the company, you have to choose “Corporate Officers”.
Big companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, etc. are all corporations. The shareholders or stockholders own the company while the Board of Directors manages the organization. All the shareholders, directors, officers, etc. of the corporation are protected from the company’s liabilities, including personal negligence, except in a few special circumstances.
In a corporation, the profits/losses don’t flow through the owners’ personal tax returns. It is a separate legal entity that has to file and pay its own taxes.
The requirements of forming a corporation are different from one state to another. Usually, stock certificates are issued to the corporation’s owners along with paperwork that defines the purpose of the business as well as its location, along with hierarchical structure and a few operating rules.
It is our recommendation that you get professional help for forming your business entity so that you don’t make any errors in the paperwork that might create difficulties in the future.
- Best For: Corporations are generally the best option for a business that has multiple owners who are bringing in significantly large investments. Moreover, to raise additional capital for the business by selling stock shares, you have to form a corporation.
Advantages of a Corporation
There are a few advantages of forming a corporation, such as personal liability protection, easy ownership transfer, etc. Let’s take a look at them briefly below so that you can make your decision easier.
- Liability Protection. When it comes to liability protection, a corporation offers benefits similar to that of an LLC. Even if the corporation is sued and doesn’t have professional assets for repayment, the stockholders are not going to be responsible for any legal obligations or corporate debts.
- Ownership Flexibility. The ownership of the corporation is dictated by the percentage of stocks that you own. This offers a lot of flexibility in terms of ownership transfer and business perpetuity as compared to other business entities.
Even though the specificities depend on the bylaws as well as the articles of incorporation, the ownership of a corporation is easy to sell and buy. Want to leave the corporation? Simply sell off your stocks!
- Easy Access to Funding. It is very easy to raise funds in a corporation by selling stock. You can’t do this with any other business structure. This is not only great for growing your business but in times of need, it also keeps a corporation from going bankrupt.
- Taxation. The type of taxes that you have to pay depends on the type of corporation you are running. C-corporations have to pay double taxation while S-corporations have various tax benefits according to the distribution of income.
S-Corporations have the choice of splitting the income between the shareholders & the business so that the tax rates are different. The income of the shareholders will be subject to payment of self-employment tax, while the remaining business money will be free from self-employment tax.
Disadvantages of a Corporation
There are a few disadvantages of forming a corporation as well, such as a lengthy application process, rigid protocols, etc. By taking a look at them, the choice will become even clearer for you and your business.
- Lengthy Application Procedure. Even though filing your paperwork doesn’t take a long time if you take the help of an expert incorporation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile, the overall process is going to take a long time. From drafting and maintaining corporate bylaws to appointing a board of directors, you are in for a long haul. And we haven’t even mentioned creating ownership business agreements and issuing of stock certificates!
- Rigid Protocols and Formalities. Apart from the lengthy application procedure and the time it takes to form a corporation, there are various formalities and regulations that you have to follow in order to maintain the status of a corporation.
From following the bylaws to holding annual meetings of the board of directors, there are various formalities that you have to take care of which can be too much at times. Moreover, there are limitations such as having only 100 shareholders for an S-corp, and that too all US citizens.
- Double Taxation. Most corporations face double taxation. This means that the income of your business is taxed at the entity level and shareholder level as well. However, you can operate your corporation as an S-corp to avoid this but you will have to meet all the legal requirements for an S-corp in this case.
- Expensive. It takes a lot of money to form and operate a corporation. It is easy for an established corporation to raise capital, but forming one needs a lot of capital as well. In addition to the filing charging taxes and ongoing fees, you will need plenty of startup money as well.
LLC vs Sole Proprietorship vs Corporation – Final Word
Now is the time for the million-dollar question: In LLC vs Sole Proprietorship vs Corporation, which is the best for me? As we already discussed, sole protection will provide you no liability protection and it will not help you gain credibility with investors as well as clients.
Corporations are not a bad business structure, but they are not for everyone. They are suited for big companies that have a large funding base. For most entrepreneurs who want to get their business off the ground, protect their personal assets, and get their hands on tax flexibility, an LLC is the best option!
- ZenBusiness is the perfect choice for entrepreneurs who are looking for a feature-full package and that too at an affordable rate!
- IncFile is the only option for new business owners who are looking to get their hands on professional services without paying a single penny!
LLC vs Sole Proprietorship vs Corporation – FAQs
How do I know whether I should form an LLC, corporation, or sole proprietorship?
When you are starting a new business, there are plenty of things that you have to take care of. One of the very first things that you have to do is to choose the type of business entity you will create. Usually, you have three options when it comes to forming a business – a sole proprietorship, an LLC or a corporation.
However, due to lack of liability protection, people avoid sole proprietorship and go for either Limited Liability Corporation or Limited Liability Company. Since the initials for both of these business entities are the same, it is very easy to get confused and get lost in the semantics. Don’t worry – we are here for you.
In this comprehensive Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation guide, we will tell you all you need to know that will help you make the perfect choice for your business!
Without further ado, let’s go!
Short on time and want to quickly know the difference between Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Corporation? We are here to help! The major difference between the two is the ownership structure of the company.
- Limited Liability Company. Depending on its ownership structure, a Limited Liability Company can be owned by a single member or multiple members. Limited Liability Company combines the coveted limited liability protection with a flexible pass-through structure.
The IRS allows the LLC to be taxed as a corporation or as a partnership. It is very easy to maintain and has very few annual requirements.
- Limited Liability Corporation. On the other hand, a Limited Liability corporation is owned by various shareholders and has a governing Board of Directors. A Limited Liability Corporation also provides limited personal liability to its shareholders for all business-related debts and issues.
There are various legal requirements to maintain the status of a corporation such as Board of Directors, Annual meetings, etc.
Depending on whatever your business requirement is, you can select the one that fulfills your needs. However, one thing is pertinent no matter which type of business entity you form, and that is getting help from a professional LLC incorporation company.
As new business owners, it is very likely that you neither have a legal background nor have the time to try to understand all the legal jargon required to incorporate your business. With the expert help of professional LLC formation services, you can focus solely on growing your business!
- ZenBusiness, with affordable rates as well as an efficient forming process, is the best overall incorporation service available in the market. Revered by its users and well-known in the formation industry, you are in for a treat with this service.
- IncFile caters to those individuals who are on a tight budget and can’t afford to spare money on incorporation services. They offer a free starter business formation package that helps new budding business owners get their LLCs up and running!
Similarities Between Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation
Limited liability companies and limited liability corporations are not polar opposites. They have a few common features and offer similar perks. Let’s see what they are:
Limited Liability Protection
The overlapping feature that is most important is limited liability protection. This means that both LLC and corporation offer your personal asset protection. Even if your business gets sued, your personal possessions will be protected.
For instance, if in a lawsuit the court rules against you, your car, your house, etc. will be off-limits.
Business Name Reservation
Came up with a unique name for your company? What if before you can officially use it, some other business entity claims it as their own? Both Limited Liability Corporation and Limited Liability Company give you the sole owner of the business name.
General partnerships and sole proprietorships have to register a DBA name but it doesn’t provide them with exclusive rights to the name. However, when you form a Limited Liability Company or a corporation, the name of your company is yours and yours alone!
Differences Between Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation
When a business is formed, they have to officially register as a specific business entity with the state.
Forming a Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company is formed by one or more individuals, who are the owners. For LLC formation, you have to file “Articles of Organization” with the state. You have to select a business name as well as designate a registered agent for your Limited Liability Company as well. A business operating agreement is required to lay down a few working rules and highlight the hierarchical structure of a Limited Liability Company.
Forming a Limited Liability Corporation
To form a corporation, you have to file “Articles of Incorporation” with the respective state. The corporation has to create a Board of Directors that will oversee the business. Moreover, company bylaws are created according to which the corporation will run its operations.
Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation – Side by Side Comparison
A limited liability company is a type of business structure that separates your personal assets from business assets. By doing so provides protection and ensures that you have no liability for the financial debts and obligations that are incurred by your business.
No matter what happens in the future, your personal assets such as your home, car, and other personal belongings are going to remain protected and safe. With no liability protection, your personal assets can be used as collateral in order to pay debts after bankruptcy or a lawsuit.
An LLC brings you the best of both worlds and bridges the gap between sole proprietorships and corporations.
Now that you know what a Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Corporation is briefly, it is time for a detailed comparison so that you would know which one is the best option for your new business. Without wasting any time, let’s get going!
One of the major differences between LLCs and corporations is the way these business entities are taxed.
An LLC is a pass-through tax entity. This means that all the profits from an LLC are passed through to its owners/members. All the profits/losses are reported by the owners while filing their personal tax returns. An LLC has three options for taxation. By default, they are taxed as sole proprietorships and they don’t have to pay corporate income taxes.
The LLC is not, by default, obligated to file its taxes as a separate business entity. This makes filing taxes a very easy and simple job for LLC owners. The operating costs of the LLC can be deducted while filing the personal tax returns.
You are going to have to pay self-employment taxes as well. A few states ask LLC owners to pay franchise tax as well. A franchise tax is a tax levied by the state for providing the LLC the privilege of conducting business in their state. The amount of franchise tax varies from state to state and has to be paid annually.
If you don’t pay your taxes, you will have to pay penalties and, at times, it could even result in the dissolution of your business.
A Limited Liability Corporation is taxed as a separate business entity that earns its own income. Legally, corporations have to pay taxes to the state on their profits – known as corporate tax – as well as tax on the dividends that are distributed to the shareholders.
Since the dividends paid are not tax-deductible, they are taxed twice. This is commonly known as double taxation. However, for smaller corporations where the owners work for the corp, this is not an issue as the owners get tax-deductible bonuses and salaries.
Double taxation is often seen as a disadvantage for forming your corporation but the additional tax responsibility can be offset by various federal deductions which are provided to corps only. For example, a corporation is allowed to deduct all of its business costs such as advertising costs, operating expenses, along with employee benefits like medical plans and retirement plans.
All of these deductions add up to a substantial amount of savings over the passage of time. Since 2018, corporations have to pay a flat 21% tax on their overall profits. This is offset by the double taxation but any income that the corp retains at the year’s end will be taxed only once.
This allows the corporation owners to save money on taxes by putting the profits back into the company. An important thing to remember is that if the corporation has less than 100 shareholders, it can file the taxes as an S-corporation.
An S-corporation can choose to file its taxes as a pass-through entity. It is a good option for those companies who want to get the tax benefits of an LLC as well as the advantages that having a corp provides.
The tax difference between an S-Corp and an LLC is a bit nuanced. There is no double taxation in both S-corp and LLC and they have flow-through taxation systems. The profits of an LLC are subjected to employment tax while the dividends of an S-Corp are not.
Therefore, if you want to avoid paying huge employment taxes, you can for an S-corp. However, an S-corp is not for everyone and it is better if you get the help of expert LLC incorporation services like ZenBusiness or IncFile and let them help you make the right decision for your business.
Another major difference between an LLC and a corporation is the business ownership structure. The hierarchical structure in each business entity has a clear purpose that allows you to make a decision quickly.
Limited Liability Company
On the other hand, LLCs don’t have shareholders but rather have owners. Irrespective of their financial contribution to the LLC, if mentioned in the LLC business operating agreement, all the members may receive equal profits.
An LLC owner can be a resident of the US, a foreign individual, a corporation, or a trust. The business operating agreement defines how membership interests will be transferred in the future, what will happen if the LLC is dissolved, etc.
Limited Liability Corporation
In a corporation, there are shareholders who hold specific shares and percentages in the business. The shareholders can transfer their shares, buy more stock, or sell the stock as they deem fit. If you want to attract outside investors, a corporation is the best entity for your business.
A corporation and its owners are separate from each other – this means that even if an owner leaves the corp, the corporation will continue to exist.
Limited Liability Company
The membership structure of an LLC is flexible. An LLC can be managed by a group of managers or by its members. The members can act as the managers of the LLC as well. An LLC can elect to create no distinction between managers and owners of the business.
Therefore, the LLC management is flexible and less formal which makes it ideal for new entrepreneurs. There are usually two management structures of LLCs.
- Member Managed LLC
- Manager Managed LLC
If an LLC is member-managed, the owners oversee the running of the day-to-day operations themselves. In a manager-managed LLC, there are investors who sit on the sidelines while the appointed managers oversee the running of the LLC.
Limited Liability Corporation
The management structure of a corporation is more rigid and strict than an LLC. A corporation has a formal structure in the form of shareholders along with a set Board of Directors that handle the managerial responsibilities.
There are corporate officers who handle the daily operations of the business. Even though the shareholders are the owners of the corp, they don’t make business decisions and remain separate from the day-to-day operations of the company.
Shareholders hold the power to elect directors. Moreover, a shareholder can be elected as a director as well. Every corporation has individual corporate bylaws that dictate its working. These bylaws are approved by the Board of Directors.
Legally, both LLCs and corporations have various requirements that they need to fulfill to maintain their status. Usually, these rules vary from one state to the other. However, generally, corporations have more annual requirements as compared to LLCs.
Limited Liability Company
LLCs have a few record-maintenance requirements. For instance, an LLC doesn’t have to hold annual meetings, keep minutes, etc. A few states require an LLC to file an annual report while others don’t.
To know the rules and regulations of your state, and to ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines, it is a good idea to take the help of LLC incorporation services such as ZenBusiness or IncFile. They will take care of all your paperwork!
Limited Liability Corporation
Every year, corporations need to hold a shareholder meeting. The details of this meeting are documented in the form of notes known as corporate minutes. Moreover, a corporation has to file an annual report to make sure the information of the corp with the Secretary of State remains current.
If any changes are to be made in the business, a corporate resolution needs to be passed at a Board of Directors meeting.
Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation – Which one Should I Choose
Now comes the million-dollar question: Which one should I choose from Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation? Well, the answer to this question depends on what your business needs and requirements are.
Do you want a flexible managerial business structure? Are you searching for an easy-to-form, simple startup process? Would you prefer not to pay corporate income taxes? If your answers to these questions are yes, then you should form a Limited Liability Company.
In case you are going to get various investors for your company, then you should go for a Limited Liability Corporation that has a rigid structure as well as established legal precedents that will be of great help.
If any of the business entities would work for you, then we recommend that you start with a Limited Liability Company. Why? Well, because a Limited Liability Company is easier to form as well as maintain. Moreover, it is less expensive to start and you don’t have to worry about various legal formalities.
There are plenty of online incorporation services that will take care of the entire formation process for you at very affordable and reasonable rates. Moreover, these LLC incorporation services will not only help you get your business entity up and running, but they will also provide services such as registered agents as well as business operating templates, web domain, EIN acquisition, etc.
Both Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Corporations have their own benefits and legal obligations. They provide limited liability protection for personal assets which makes them equally beneficial.
However, there are distinct features and characteristics of each which we have compared above comprehensively. The choice between Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Corporation is yours to make. If you are still not sure, we recommend that you take the expert help of professional incorporation services. This way, they will handle all your paperwork and you can focus on making your business a success.
- ZenBusiness is a good choice for those individuals who are searching for quality, affordable services with glowing customer reviews. They have stellar customer service so that if you have any queries, you can rest assured that you will get authentic answers!
- IncFile is the only stop for people who are on a tight budget and can’t spare additional money to hire professional services. With the free business formation package that IncFile offers, you will get expert services without paying a dime!
Limited Liability Company vs Limited Liability Corporation – FAQs Word
What is the difference in business ownership between a Limited Liability Company and a Limited Liability Company?
Going to form your LLC and are looking for professional help? If you choose the right LLC formation service, you can get all the help you are looking for! However, with so many companies out there, and so many similar features, it gets hard to pick the correct one.
IncFile and Rocket Lawyer are professional LLC formation companies that have been in business for quite some time. With excellent customer reviews and affordable pricing, both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer are good choices.
In this IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer, we have compared their features, user reviews, pricing, and some other factors that will allow you to make a choice!
Quick Summary: Inc File vs Rocket Lawyer
Want to choose the best LLC incorporation service but don’t want to read the complete IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer comparison review? Don’t worry, we are here with quick highlights that will help you choose!
IncFile has been in business for more than 15 years and has stellar customer reviews. With its affordable prices (it even has a free package!) and quality customer services, they are a professional company. On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t only provide LLC formation services but is there for you if you need legal help!
- Signup for IncFile if you want affordable prices and quality LLC formation services with stellar customer reviews.
- Signup for Rocket Lawyer if you are searching for a comprehensive legal service provider as well as an LLC formation company.
Similarities Between IncFile & Rocket Lawyer
You will get LLC formation service from both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer. There are a few common characteristics between IncFile & Rocket Lawyer along with plenty of distinctive traits as well. Let’s take a look at them.
Professional Customer Service
What if you have a technical question about LLC formation? Isn’t it better that you contact a professional instead of wasting hours searching the internet? Both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer offer professional customer support facilities with polite and courteous staff who are there at your service.
As a new business owner, there is plenty of information that will help you run your business successfully. The websites of both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer are full of informative articles and blogs that will equip you with tools and tips to succeed.
If you use a business attorney for LLC formation, you will end up paying hefty fees at the end of the process. Instead of hiring expensive lawyers, why not form your company at affordable prices and invest more money into the business itself, right?
Both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer have affordable prices and excellent services.
Information Safety and Security
Any information, personal or professional, that you provide IncFile or Rocket Lawyer will be safe secure with them. The websites have strong encryption protocols and are covered by McAfee and Norton Web Security.
Plenty of Experience
Both IncFile & Rocket Lawyer have been in business for quite some time. They have plenty of customer reviews, most of which are stellar and glowing. With such a track record, you can rest assured that you will have excellent services.
Registered Agent Service
Your state needs a reliable and secure way of communicating with you. Therefore, you need to assign a registered agent for your company. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to a law firm to act as your registered agent, you can use IncFile or Rocket Lawyer as your registered agent service.
Looking for services beyond LLC formation such as EIN acquisition, business operating templates, etc.? You will get these and a lot more at IncFile & Rocket Lawyer. IncFile provides comprehensive LLC formation services at very affordable rates while Rocket Lawyer has a diverse legal portfolio.
Differences Between IncFile and Rocket Lawyer
You will get quality LLC formation services from IncFile & Rocket Lawyer. Before we move on to the detailed comparison, let’s take a look at a few things which clearly set them apart from each other.
No LLC formation company holds a candle to IncFile when it comes to affordable rates. With IncFile, you will get your LLC formed absolutely free of cost. All you need to do is pay the state fees and you are ready to go! This is the major difference between Rocket Lawyer and IncFile’s incorporation service.
Type of Services
While IncFile is solely an LLC formation service, Rocket Lawyer has a broader portfolio. They will provide you legal assistance on a broad variety of legal issues. For instance, if you need advice on lease agreements, rental applications, etc. Rocket Lawyer will be there for you.
Years of Experience
IncFile was created in 2004 while Rocket Lawyer has been doing business since 2008. Moreover, both companies have served thousands of customers in these years. IncFile has more years of experience under its belt as compared to Rocket Lawyer.
However, since Rocket Lawyer has a diverse portfolio of services, it has a larger client base.
With Incfile, you will get different packages that you select according to the needs of your business. However, Rocket Lawyer provides you services based on the fact that whether you are a member or a non-member. IncFile is more flexible as you can select a plan that suits your needs instead of buying a rigid membership.
In the IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer side-by-side comparison, we will compare a few important features that make or break a company. After you are done reading the IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer side-by-side comparison, you will be able to make a well-informed choice easily!
As a new business owner, you need to keep an eye on your expenses to make sure that you don’t go over the budget. Even if budget isn’t an issue for you, it is not right to waste money on expensive services. With IncFile, you will not have to worry about wasting your money at all! Why?
Well, because they will form your LLC free of cost! If you select their Silver Package, you won’t have to pay a dime and you will get your LLC formed. Moreover, you will also enjoy a free year of registered agent services along with a few other perks.
They have a multi-tiered package plan. The Silver package costs $0 while you have to pay $149 for the Gold package. The Platinum bundle is the highest end bundle and you will have to pay $299 to avail of it. If you use their registered agent service after the free first year, it will cost you $119 per year.
On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t offer you a free package. You do get a 7=day free trial but it doesn’t include LLC formation service, of course. Moreover, there is no multi-tiered package plan. Rather, there is only one LLC formation plan that you can select as a non-member. It will cost you $99.99 and it doesn’t include a free registered agent service. For non-member, registered agent services cost $149.99 annually.
If you buy their membership, they will charge $39.99 every month. You will get your LLC formed as a part of this package. Again, you will have to pay for registered agent services at a 25% discount.
When it comes to affordable rates, IncFile is the clear winner.
- Silver: $0
- Gold: $149
- Platinum: $229
- Non-member: $99.99
- Premium member: $39.99
If you choose IncFile or Rocket Lawyer, you will get plenty of features along with LLC formation services.
At IncFile, there is a multi-tiered package plan. All the packages have different rates and features.
- Free Registered Agent Service (one year)
- Operating Agreement
- Bank Account
- Multiple Legal Services
- Online Legal Consultation
- 7-Day Free Trial
The basic tier plan from IncFile is the Silver package. This plan is very popular amongst users since it is free of cost.
If you choose the Silver Plan, you will get the following features.
- Business Name Availability Search
- LLC Formation
- Registered Agent Service (Free)
The second package that you get from IncFile is the Gold package. You have to pay $149 as an annual subscription and they will give you the following services along with the services in the Silver package.
- IRS Form 2553
- Business Tax Consultation
- Official Bank Account
- Operating Agreement Template
- LLC Formation Kit
- Banking Resolution
Rocket Lawyer doesn’t have a mid-tier plan.
The Premium plan is the highest-end package from IncFile. You have to pay $299 for this plan. Along with the features of the Gold plan, you will get the following additional package.
- Expedited Filing Speed
- Business Domain
- Business Email Account
Once more, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t have a top-tier package.
Rocket Lawyer has only one LLC formation package that you can choose from. Moreover, you can either opt for their membership or use their services as a non-member. You can get your LLC formed in both situations.
For a non-member, they provide the following features as a part of the LLC formation package.
- Business Name Availability Check
- LLC Formation
- Online User Dashboard
- Operating Template
The second choice you have is to become their member. You will pay $39.99 to get a monthly subscription. If you are a new member, your LLC will be formed as part of the package. If you are an existing member, then you will get a 25% discount.
The following services are included in their membership plan.
- Legal Services
- LLC Incorporation (Free or at 25% Discount)
- Legal Consultation
- Answers to Legal Queries
- Registered Agent Service (25% Discount)
- Documents Library
- Order Processing Time. The order processing speed at IncFile is faster than Rocket Lawyer. Your order gets processed in one business day while you have to wait for a few days if you use Rocket Lawyer. Moreover, there is no expedited filing or rush filing available at Rocket Lawyer.
- Registered Agent Service. If you use IncFile, you will be able to use them as your registered agent for a free year. After that, the charges for the service are $119 per year. On the other hand, you don’t get a free year of service and will have to pay charges based on whether you are a member or not.
- Annual Compliance. With IncFile, you will get lifetime company alerts free of cost. This will ensure that you never miss a deadline. There is no such service offered by Rocket Lawyer.
- Web Domain. If you need a business email account, website, and domain, IncFile is the choice. They provide this service as a part of their packages while this service is not available at Rocket Lawyer.
When it comes to features, IncFile takes the lead because it has better features at better rates.
IncFile opened its doors for business in 2004. Since then, they have provided their services to more than 250,000 people. We were really impressed by the high-quality user reviews Incfile has on various third-party websites.
Rocket Lawyer was founded in 2008. It has more than 20 million customers. This huge volume of customers is due to the fact they provide legal services as well as LLC formation services. This category is a close tie since IncFile has been around for more years while Rocket Lawyer has more clients and there is no way of telling whether the clients used LLC formation service only or were there for legal help.
Customer support is important that you need to consider while making your choice. What if you have some queries and you can’t get in touch with the company? That would be a bad experience, of course.
You can communicate with Incfile by calling them via phone, sending them an email, or using their web chat option. They have fast response times. On the phone, you will have to wait only a few minutes while on email, they will send you a detailed response within one business day. The customer support hours for IncFile are 10 am – 7 pm (ET) on working days.
The customer support options for Rocket Lawyer are similar. You can correspond via email, webchat, or phone. They have knowledgeable and courteous customer representatives. However, users complain about the long response wait in case you send them an email. The customer support hours for Rocket Lawyer are from 9 am – 9 pm (ET) on working days.
Due to their fast response time, we choose IncFile as the winner of this category.
If you use IncFile, you get a one-day processing guarantee. This means that they will prepare your articles of organization and file them with your state within one business day. Moreover, they have expedited filing speed as part of their premium package. This will cut down your LLC formation time from weeks to days!
On the other hand, if you choose Rocket Lawyer, you neither get a one-day-processing guarantee nor will you get expedited filing whether you are a member or not. The filing speed will depend on your state of formation, which can be anywhere from days to weeks.
IncFile takes the lead here, clearly.
Nobody likes uncertainty. If it is possible to track your LLC formation order, you can relax and focus on other things. IncFile has a great order tracking tool that has real-time updates to know how far along your order is.
On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer also allows you to track your order through your profile on the website. IncFile’s tool is a bit more user-friendly but since both the tools serve the same purpose, we say that category is a tie.
Registered Agent Service
As mentioned earlier, you need to assign a registered agent for your business. You can also become your own registered agent but your address will become a part of the public records. If you want to keep your privacy while reducing your workload, you can select IncFile’s registered agent service.
No matter which package you choose from IncFile, you won’t have to pay for registered agent service for the first year. Later, they will charge you $119 per year.
Rocket Lawyer doesn’t provide you with a free year of service. If you are a member, you will get a 25% discount. As a non-member, you will have to pay $149 per year. In both cases, you have to pay more than what IncFile charges you.
Therefore, IncFile takes the lead here.
Even though by now you must have formed an opinion about the services you get with IncFile & Rocket Lawyer, the customer reviews will show you the real picture. IncFile has helped form over 250,00 companies and has stellar user reviews.
On Shopper Approved, they have more than 20,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating. Most of the customer reviews like how affordable their prices are along with complimenting the ease of use. Moreover, they also commend their customer service.
On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer has almost 2,200+ reviews on Trustpilot with a 4.7-star rating. Users commend the legal help Rocket Lawyer provides along with the 7-day free trial they get.
With over 20 million customers, we were expecting to find more user reviews online, though. Since IncFile has more user reviews and a better rating, this category goes to IncFile as well.
Ease of Use
The order process at IncFile doesn’t take a long time. You have to select the package you want, provide basic information about you and your business, and IncFile will take care of the rest for you.
There are helpful links throughout the order process that guide you every step of the way. There are a couple of upsells in the order process, but they are not annoying. On the other hand, since Rocket Lawyer has only one LLC formation package, it cut down on your package selection time.
However, they offer many features as add-ons that can take some time. Overall, the order process takes barely 10 to 15 minutes.
This category is a tie!
IncFile offers you loads of services when it comes to LLC formation. You get business operating agreements, EIN, web domain, and a lot more. On the other hand, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t have such services. They are, however, a legal service provider and will help you with a lot of legal issues.
IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer: Which is Best?
It is time for the million-dollar question: IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer – which one should you choose? By now, the choice should be clear for you. IncFile is perfect for those individuals who are starting a new business and don’t want legal services.
At very affordable prices, you will get your LLC formed and get registered agent services and plenty of other perks.
Rocket Lawyer offers services other than LLC formation services. For a small monthly subscription, you can get your hands on plenty of legal services. Still, confused? Don’t worry, we will help you make a choice!
Frequently Asked Questions
In IncFile vs Rocket Lawyer, which company has fewer upsells?
IncFile and CorpNet are both reputable companies that specialize in LLC formation services for entrepreneurs and businesses. Our Incfile vs CorpNet comparison reviews both companies by comparing pricing, features, and drawing out differences and similarities to arrive at a verdict as to which is the most suitable for you and your business.
Incfile’s free basic package is one of the reasons it gets our nod over CorpNet. But this is just for the basic level.
IncFile was established in 2004 and is now one of the most reputable LLC formation companies in the industry. Its ascent had been well deserved, based on a solid operating philosophy, one of the best pricing packages, and a loyal customer base of over 250,000 businesses.
CorpNet has been in business since 1997 and has helped no less than a hundred thousand businesses get through their LLC formation journey. They also operate a philosophy of efficient pricing and customer follow-up.
Both companies obviously share enough similarities to be competitors, and enough differences to stand above each other in various features. In this post, we take a look at some of these differences, similarities, strengths, and weaknesses. But first, we begin with the pricing packages.
- IncFile has three pricing packages. But unlike most, it wins over a lot of hearts thanks to an unbelievably comprehensive free package, which is known as the Silver Package, coming free + state fees, and then a second Gold Package, coming at $149 + State Fee, and a final Platinum Package, coming at $299 + State Fee.
- CorpNet’s pricing packages include a Basic package, valued at 108 along with state fee, a Deluxe package valued at $228 along with state fee, and a complete package valued at $278 and state fee.
The striking conclusions we came out with after comparing the two packages are, first of all, that Incfile’s free basic package is an offer anyone would be crazy to pass up, and that, secondly, CorpNet’s premium package may be just a little more preferable for premium subscribers.
Incfile vs CorpNet – Functional Differences
We take a look below at some of the fundamental differences between both companies below:
- Experience – IncFile is no doubt an experienced company. Created in 2004, they have sixteen years of experience, which is definitely up there with some of the highest in the industry. And speaking of some of the highest in the industry, we can’t mention experience without bringing up CorpNet, established in 1997, with a twenty-three-year experience.
- Turnaround Time (Speed) – Incfile has a slightly faster turnaround time than CorpNet – on the basic level packages, that is. They both happen to offer an expedited filing advantage in their premium packages, and this is where CorpNet proves superior, as its expedited filing is done in 24 hours, whereas IncFile’s is done in about 48 hours.
- Registered Agent Service – CorpNet includes a year of Registered Agent Service in its top two package tiers. While this is impressive, the fact that IncFile offers the same in all its three package tiers gives it the undisputed edge in this regard.
- Ease of Use – We found Incfile’s overall system to be slightly more easily comprehensible and convenient to use than CorpNet’s. The difference isn’t so large, though, and some may consider it even minute enough to be discarded entirely.
- Customer Service – CorpNet, as mentioned earlier, takes great pride in their customer support and in the positive feedback they receive highlighting this. Their help center is available every weekday. IncFile also does great in this aspect and, has highly responsive customer service too.
- Help Resources – Both sites provide helpful resources for their new and existing customers. This range from document filing tips, to terminologies explanations, FAQs, and many more.
- Order Tracking – Both companies offer advanced order tracking on the dashboard tools available on the websites.
Customer Reviews Comparison
IncFile has 4.6 ratings out of five on Better Business Bureau (BBB), and a 4.8/5 score on Shopper Approved, while CorpNet holds an impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars review on TrustPilot, from 401 verified users. 95% of these reviews are also complete 5 stars.
We list some of the reviews for each company below:
I am giving five star rating because how quickly management acted to resolve an issue.
Great job, excellent delivery of what they promised.
CorpNet is the best. TheyThey filed all the paperwork in a timely manner and had people readily available to answer any questions. Their follow up was also a pleasant surprise. I highly recommend them.
“Thank you guys for the quick follow-up and explanation. I can not allow a personal mistake and oversight to reflect poorly in my rating of your services. Everyone at IncFile has been first class and quick to respond to my service needs. I appreciate you going above and beyond and taking the time to educate me.”
June 17, 2019 by Tim (FL, United States)
“I normally get my corp filings from another company, but after purchasing a corp thru Incfile.com, and how fast I received everything, this is my new go-to for legal business filings. Highly recommend!”
July 22, 2018 by Susan H. (CA, United States)
Incfile’s free basic package is one of the reasons it gets our nod over CorpNet. But this is just for the basic level. The companies have enough similarities in their customer support, and tracking features, and aren’t too significantly distinguished in other factors such as experience and turnaround time to give a clear winner.
Still, the final verdict has to be – IncFile for basic package customers, and subjective for premium package customers.
In case you’re still unsure as to what LLC formation company to go with, feel free to check out our other in-depth reviews and comparisons:
CorpNet and Northwest are two noteworthy companies that specialize in LLC formation services for entrepreneurs and businesses. Our CorpNet vs Northwest comparison reviews both companies by comparing pricing, features, and drawing out differences and similarities to arrive at a verdict as to which is the most suitable for you and your business.
The similarities between these two companies are so uncanny that it’s almost impossible to make a choice between both of them.
CorpNet is an LLC formation company with a lot of experience under its bag. It was established in 1997 and has come a really long way from its early beginnings. It continues to wax stronger in the industry.
Northwest is another reputable LLC formation company, established during the end of the last century – 1998, to be precise. Since then it’s also grown immensely to become one of the most notable companies in the industry.
Both companies do share enough to be competitors, though, and in this post, we take a look at some of their differences, similarities, strengths, weaknesses, and what makes each stand out not only from each other but from the competition.
CorpNet’s pricing packages include a Basic package, valued at $108 along with state fee, a Deluxe package valued at $228 along with state fee, and a complete package valued at $278 and state fee.
Northwest also follows the three-level pricing mechanism. Its basic package is offered at $79 + state fee, its deluxe package at $179 + state fee, capped by a premium package at $199 + state fee.
The biggest distinguishing feature, after comparing each pricing level of both companies, is obviously the fact that Northwest gets the upper hands in both the affordability of its lower-level package ($79) against CorpNet’s ($108), and the affordability of its premium level package ($199), against CorpNet’s ($278).
CorpNet vs Northwest
1. Registered Agent Service – CorpNet offers a sixty-day free trial Registered Agent Service for its two lower-level packages and a full-year service only for its premium members. Northwest, on the other hand, offers a year of Registered Agent Service throughout all packages, including the basic.
- Experience – CorpNet was established in the year 1997, while Northwest began operations in the year 1998. Definitely not much difference between these two companies in terms of experience, and they are both certainly two of the most experienced companies in the industry.
- Turnaround Time – CorpNet’s turnaround time edges on the basic industry average of one to two weeks. It offers expedited processing for premium members, which reduces TAT to an impressive 24-hour period. Northwest also offers an average of one to two weeks for its starter plans and the same expedited 24-hour service for its premium members.
- Help Resources – Both companies have an array of highly comprehensive help resources on their websites. These appear in the form of pdfs, informational articles, frequently asked questions, and so on.
- Customer Service – CorpNet’s customer service center is one of the best in the business, and is taken seriously by both the company and customers alike. Northwest also has a functional customer care unit available on all weekdays.
- Ease-of-Use – Both platforms offer convenience, easy navigation, and clear, detailed instructions and guides.
Customer Reviews Comparison
On TrustPilot, CorpNet has an impressive 4.9/ 5 rating from 401 verified users. This is just mind-blowing, by the way, and even more so when we realized about 95% of these reviews are complete 5 stars.
Northwest manages to score an A+ rating on the same platform but based on only 29 verified customer reviews. All of them, though, was extremely encouraging.
Here are excerpts from both company’s review pages:
What a refreshing service. In a world of automation and robot call trees, Northwest is a breath of fresh air. It’s never been so easy for me to register an LLC (this was my 4th) and I can’t imagine EVER Using another service now that I’ve found them. Real People! That’s the best part of NWRA…real people. And their customer service is over the top amazing. I rarely gush about service providers, but this time I found a company who truly deserves it and walks the talk.
We’re extremely satisfied with your hard work and dedication to the point that we want you to personally handle our account! You relentlessly supervised the research required to get us back on track. From the beginning to end you kept the pace and hold every step of the way. Because of your expertise, professionalism, and commitment to our business success, we’re able to walk into the new year focused on our goals. We are so appreciative of your efforts and dedication to our cause. Thank you again for your passion and for all that you do!
CorpNet and Northwest are not only one of the better LLC formation and registration companies out there, they are also, without a doubt, two of the most similar in features, functionalities, operations, and even in pricing packages.
The similarities between these two companies are so uncanny that it’s almost impossible to make a choice between both of them. The only difference one may point to is in the area of the Registered Agent Service feature, where CorpNet offers only a two-month free trial for its first two package levels, whereas Northwest offers a full-year service for all package tiers – at the corresponding price, of course.
One thing’s for sure, though, regardless of the final choice one may end up making between these two, you are guaranteed to get great service and amazing customer care, for prices that are reasonable and highly affordable.
In case you’re still unsure as to what LLC formation company to go with, feel free to check out our other in-depth reviews and comparisons:
ZenBusiness vs Harvard Business Services
Looking to form a new LLC or corporation? You may want some help navigating the often-complex process. Fortunately, there are two great options to help you: ZenBusiness, and Harvard Business Services. This article will compare the two, to help you choose the best option for your small business dreams.
ZenBusiness vs Harvard Business Services: Quick look
These business formation services both serve as middlemen between you and your state. They help you navigate the document filing process, ensuring you complete every step required to form a new business entity. The result is a faster, easier, and more accurate process than filing everything on your own.
Similarities between ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services
- Both make it easier to start a LLC or corporation
- Both allow you to complete all necessary steps online
- Both provide a good way to start a new company in Delaware
- Both can be your Registered Agent
- Both can help keep your company in good standing
- Both can help with ongoing filing and compliance requirements, such as annual report filing
- Both can help you find a business name with a name check feature
- Both offer a variety of service packages to fit different needs
- Both offer lifetime customer support from friendly, US-based agents
Differences between ZenBusiness and Harvard Business Services
- Harvard only helps with business formation in the state of Delaware; ZenBusiness supports formations in all US states
- Harvard Business Services includes state fees in their pricing structure; ZenBusiness charges these fees separately
- ZenBusiness is an ongoing subscription service; HBS is a one-time fee, with the option to keep ongoing services
ZenBusiness is a subscription-based service provider that makes it easy to start a new company online. With the service, you can form a new:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
With ZenBusiness, you can form a new company in any state, as their plans are compatible with state-level requirements throughout the country. Keep in mind that state fees will vary depending on your location, but ZenBusiness’ own pricing is the same regardless of state.
ZenBusiness is a relatively young company, but they have built a great reputation for quality services and responsive customer service. They help with business formation, but also provide a lot of value with ongoing services, including Registered Agent, ongoing business compliance, business website builders, and more.
See the full review of ZenBusiness here.
Harvard Business Services basics
Harvard Business Services is a business formation service that specializes in companies formed in the state of Delaware. With the service, you can form a new:
- Delaware limited liability company (LLC)
- Delaware corporation
It’s important to understand that HBS can only help with forming a new business in the state of Delaware. Unlike competitors like ZenBusiness, Incfile, LegalZoom, etc, HBS focuses exclusively on Delaware-based startups and companies.
Why Delaware? The state has some of the most business-friendly rules, courts, and tax laws in the nation. HBS aims to help entrepreneurs take advantage of these rules by incorporating in Delaware. You don’t need to live in Delaware in order to form a company there, so HBS can help with your Delaware LLC regardless of where you live.
See the full review of Harvard Business Services here.
ZenBusiness vs Harvard Business Services: Pricing
Because HBS only supports Delaware companies, comparing these two services is only relevant if you plan to form a business in Delaware. HBS also includes state fees in their pricing structure, so this is important to note.
- Starter Package - $129/year + state fees ($90 in Delaware) - Basic business formation services, including the first year of Registered Agent service. Standard filing speed.
- Pro Package - $249/year + state fees ($90 in Delaware) - Everything in the Starter package, plus EIN, banking resolution, bylaws, and templates. Expedited filing speed.
- Premium Package - $349/year + state fees ($90 in Delaware) - Everything in the Starter and Pro packages, plus free domain name, business website, and email address. Rush filing speed.
Harvard Business Services pricing
- Green Package - $179 (including state fees) - The Green package covers the basics of getting your company formed in Delaware. The turnaround time is 3-5 days, via electronic document delivery. It also comes with one year of Registered Agent services, which renews at $50/year if you keep it.
- Basic Package - $229 (including state fees) - The Basic package takes everything in the Green package, and adds physical copies of your business documents, delivered in 4-6 business days. It also includes extras like corporate bylaws, banking resolution form, and LLC operating agreement.
- Standard Package - $329 (including state fees) - The Standard package includes everything in the previous plans, and adds stock certificates, a membership ledger, custom corporate seal embosser, and more. You’ll also get expedited shipping of business documents.
Harvard Business Services has more streamlined LLC formation packages, while ZenBusiness bundles in more bonus features. At first glance, ZenBusiness may look cheaper - but that’s only because they charge state fees separately. When you add in state fees, HBS is cheaper for all three packages. It’s also the cheapest Delaware Registered Agent, at just $50 a year.
That said, it could be argued that ZenBusiness adds substantial value for business owners, with perks like a business website, EIN application, etc. It’s worth keeping in mind that ZenBusiness has an annual fee, while HBS is a one-time fee (with the option to keep certain services, like Registered Agent). In the end, HBS appears to offer better value for Delaware businesses.
ZenBusiness vs Harvard Business Services: Features
Comparing these two services is difficult, simply because HBS specializes solely in Delaware companies, whereas ZenBusiness forms new business entities in all US states. For this reason, it’s really only worthwhile to compare them if you plan to form a company in Delaware. If you want to form a company outside Delaware, ZenBusiness is your only option here.
For the sake of comparison, let’s look at what these companies offer an entrepreneur who does want to form a company in Delaware. Both can help with LLC and corporations, so no major difference there. Both help you file all necessary paperwork, and both can serve as your Registered Agent.
The difference is in the details. For instance, HBS offers a mail forwarding service, and more options for stock and membership distributions. ZenBusiness, on the other hand, offers more in the marketing department, including a business website, email address, and domain name.
Overall, both offer great ease-of-use. Turnaround time is faster with HBS, but again - it only works in Delaware. But because they specialize in a single state, they have mastered the process of working with Delaware state officials to make things as efficient as possible.
Harvard Business Services vs ZenBusiness: Customer service
Customer service is important to consider. Both companies offer lifetime customer support, and both have earned good reputations with customers for quality support.
- Harvard Business Services customer support can be reached via phone, email, and Skype. You can reach them from Monday through Thursday at 9 AM - 5 PM EDT, and Friday from 9 AM - 4 PM EDT.
- ZenBusiness customer support can be reached via phone, online chat, and email. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 8am - 8pm Central time, and Sunday from 10am - 7pm Central time.
Overall, the approach to customer support at these two companies is similar - as are their available business hours.
Looking at customer reviews and feedback, both have earned an excellent track record on TrustPilot. At the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Harvard has better ratings overall. In fact, both of these companies are among the best-rated in the industry, beating out competitors like Incfile, LegalZoom, and many others.
Which should you choose?
We’ve gone over the finer details of these two services. If you’re looking for a quick summary, here are our recommendations for which provider might make the most sense for you.
Choose ZenBusiness if…
- You plan to form a company outside of Delaware. ZenBusiness can help you form a company in any US state.
- You want useful bonus features. ZenBusiness has some unique perks included, like tools to help you with a business website and marketing.
Choose Harvard Business Services if…
- You plan to form a company in Delaware. HBS specializes in Delaware incorporations, and offers excellent value.
- You want cheap Registered Agent services in Delaware. HBS charges just $50 a year for their Registered Agent service, which is substantially less than competing LLC formation services.
ZenBusiness vs Swyft Filings
If you’re looking to start a new LLC or corporation, there are many important steps you must take. Ensuring that your business is formed accurately is very important - but the process can feel complex. Fortunately, there are a variety of online business formation services that can help make the process easier.
ZenBusiness and Swyft Filings are two popular LLC formation services. In this article, you can learn all about these two companies, and the key differences that set them apart.
ZenBusiness vs Swyft Filings: Quick look
These two online LLC formation services are both similar in that they are essentially middlemen between you and your state’s business department (usually the Secretary of State). You work with ZenBusiness or Swyft Filings to meet all incorporation requirements, and they work with the state to ensure everything is handled for you.
Similarities between ZenBusiness and Swyft Filings
- Both offer a simpler way to start a new company
- Both use a 100% online process, eliminating the need to manually fill out paper forms
- Both can help you form a new LLC or corporation
- Both can serve as your Registered Agent
- Both can help you draft all necessary documentation in order to form your business
- Both can help with ongoing services, including annual report filing to keep your company in good standing
- Both can help you obtain extras, like doing business as (DBA) names, employer identification numbers (EIN), and more
- Both offer a business name availability check to help you find a company name
- Both have a variety of extra features, such as a domain name, business website, etc.
- Both have several formation packages to choose from, at various price-points
- Both have excellent reputations and customer reviews
Differences between ZenBusiness and Swyft Filings
- Swyft Filings can also help form new nonprofit corporations; ZenBusiness cannot
- ZenBusiness is a subscription-based service; Swyft Filings is a one-time-fee service, with the option to add on ongoing services
- Swyft Filings has a personalized customer support system that pairs you with an agent; ZenBusiness has more traditional support
- ZenBusiness includes Registered Agent in their plans; Swyft sells it as an add-on
ZenBusiness is a subscription-based online business services provider. It’s a relatively newer company, founded in 2015 with a mission to make forming new businesses easier for entrepreneurs. With ZenBusiness, you can form a new:
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
- Corporation (S-corp or C-corp)
ZenBusiness is compatible with rules in all US states. They can help with all the necessary tasks required to form a new company. They can also serve as your Registered Agent, help with building a business website, and much more.
While newer than many competitors, ZenBusiness has built an excellent reputation. They have stellar ratings on TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and others, and thousands of entrepreneurs have had a great experience with their services. At first glance, ZenBusiness appears more expensive than competitors like Swyft Filings, but ZenBusiness offers excellent value on an ongoing basis, for companies of all shapes and sizes.
See the full review of ZenBusiness here.
Swyft Filings basics
Swyft Filings is a popular business formation service that was founded in 2012. They have helped form tens of thousands of new businesses over the years. With Swyft Filings, you can start a new:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Corporation (C-corp by default; S-corporation election available)
- Nonprofit corporation (including application for 501 (c)(3) status, if desired)
Swyft is compatible with regulations in all US states. In addition to helping with business formation basics, they also provide services like Registered Agent, franchise tax report filing, annual report filing, and more.
Swyft Filings is known primarily for low prices and great customer service. They have plans from just $49 - one of the cheapest options in the industry. They employ a personalized customer support strategy that pairs you up with a Business Specialist to help you through the process.
See the full review of Swyft Filings here.
ZenBusiness vs Swyft Filings: Pricing
Starting a new business can cost several hundred dollars. These two services differ in pricing, so it’s wise to compare the different plans before choosing the right fit for you. Both offer a variety of LLC formation packages, ranging from $49 to $349.
- Starter Package - $129/year + state fees - The Starter Package covers basic business formation features, with standard filing speed. It’s an ongoing subscription service, which includes free Registered Agent services.
- Pro Package - $249/year + state fees - The Pro Package covers everything in the Starter plan, and adds an EIN federal tax ID number, expedited filing, banking resolution, corporate bylaws, and a variety of contract and business document templates.
- Premium Package - $349/year + state fees - The Premium plan covers everything in previous plans, and adds a free domain name, email address, business website, and rush filing speed.
Swyft Filings pricing
- Basic Package - $49 + state fees - The Basics Package covers all the standard features that you’ll need to form a business, with standard filing speed. It includes some bonuses, like a business tax consultation, business domain name, and more.
- Standard Package - $149 + state fees - The Standard Package covers everything in the base plan, and adds extras like an employer identification number (EIN), banking resolution, and LLC operating agreement.
- Premium Package - $299 + state fees - The Premium Package covers everything in the previous plans, and adds express shipping and expedited filing. It also covers electronic delivery of your documents, a business website with hosting, a custom digital LLC kit, and more.
The biggest difference between these two companies is that ZenBusiness is a subscription service, and Swyft Filings is a flat-fee service. All of ZenBusiness’ plans are ongoing subscriptions, whereas Swyft Filings gives you the choice of a flat fee or a subscription model.
To be clear, ZenBusiness is still a great value, particularly for those who want ongoing Registered Agent services. Swyft Filings charges $149/year for their Registered Agent service, while ZenBusiness includes it in all plans.
You will notice that both services charge state filing fees separately. This is standard in the industry. These fees go directly to state agencies, and will vary by state and business structure.
Overall, pricing for both services is competitive with similar service providers, such as Incfile, LegalZoom, Northwest Registered Agent, and other incorporation services. These two services are among the best LLC services overall, when considering their reputation, combined with very fair pricing.
ZenBusiness vs Swyft Filings: Features
When starting your own business, you’ll likely need help in a variety of areas. How do these two services stack up in terms of features and services for small business owners?
For business formation services, the two offer relatively similar lineups of included services and upsells. Both can help form LLCs or corporations, and handle a variety of extras such as EIN applications, DBA names, annual reports, Registered Agent services, and more. One substantial difference here is that Swyft supports nonprofit formation, while ZenBusiness does not.
Processing time is similar between the two companies. Both can help with all the document filing needed for forming an LLC or corporation, and the whole formation process can be handled online. Depending on the package you choose, turnaround time for a new business entity can be as little as a few business days.
The focus of both of these companies is on initial business formation. That said, they do offer a few extras, such as business websites, domains, etc. Swyft also offers a business tax consultation, and can point you in the right direction for tax and legal advice.
Swyft Filings vs ZenBusiness: Customer service
Both of these services are known for good customer support. They stand behind their products, providing lifetime customer support for all customers.
- Swyft Filings customer support is available via phone and email. Support agents can be reached Monday through Friday from 9am - 6pm Central time.
- ZenBusiness customer support is available via phone, email, and online chat. Representatives can be reached Monday through Friday from 8am - 8pm Central time, and Sunday from 10am - 7pm Central time.
The main difference here is in the overall approach to customer support. Swyft pairs you with your own personal service representative when you sign up for the program. This allows you to build a relationship over time. ZenBusiness has good support, too, but they use a more traditional model where you call in and are assisted by whichever agent is available.
If you read customer reviews on Trustpilot, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and others, you will find that both of these services have great customer feedback overall. Most customers report positive experiences with customer support, as well as these services as a whole.
Which should you choose?
We’ve gone through all the finer details of these services, but what’s the bottom line? Which of these services makes the most sense for your situation?
Choose ZenBusiness if…
- You plan to keep ongoing services. ZenBusiness is a subscription model, and includes valuable ongoing services.
- You need Registered Agent services. ZenBusiness includes this in all plans, while Swyft charges extra for it.
Choose Swyft Filings if…
- You want to save money, and don’t need Registered Agent services. Swyft Filings offers the best value if you don’t plan to use a service as your Registered Agent.
- You want to form a nonprofit. Swyft supports nonprofit corporation formation, while ZenBusiness does not.
- You want personalized support. Swyft pairs you with your own dedicated customer support rep.