If you’re looking to start a new LLC or corporation, it’s wise to use a business formation service to help you. These service providers can help make the process much simpler - and more accurate - by working directly with state agencies. Two popular options are ZenBusiness and BizFilings, which we will compare and contrast in this article.
Both ZenBusiness and BizFilings are online incorporation services, otherwise known as business formation services. They serve as middlemen between you and your state’s business registration department, and essentially help you file all important documents and navigate the formation process. Both also offer some ongoing services, and can serve as your Registered Agent, if desired. These companies can be useful for businesses of all sizes, from startup to well established firms.
Check out our roundup of Best LLC Services
ZenBusiness is a subscription-based online business formation service. They can help you start a new company, and also provide some ongoing services to support your business. With ZenBusiness, you can start a:
ZenBusiness offers a simple way to start a new company. They help ensure the formation process is done quickly and accurately, and they provide support and valuable resources along the way. The service also provides Registered Agent services, marketing tools, and more.
One unique aspect of ZenBusiness is that it is a subscription service. Each of their three plans is an ongoing, annual service, which can provide value for your company for years to come.
See the full review of ZenBusiness here.
BizFilings is a large scale business formation company that’s been in operation since 1996. They have served hundreds of thousands of small business owners. With BizFilings, you can form a new:
BizFiling’s core business focus is on helping to form new businesses. They support more business structures than ZenBusiness, adding partnership and nonprofit support. They also offer Registered Agent services, and more.
BizFilings also offers a fairly wide array of ongoing business services. This includes their unique BizComply feature (included with Registered Agent). This sends you scheduled alerts whenever a filing or compliance requirement is coming up. This helps keep your business in good standing. For even more ongoing support, their MaintainMyBiz package covers 4 filings each year, including things like Annual Reports, amendments, Certificates of Good Standing, and more.
See the full review of BizFilings here.
When comparing any two services, taking a side by side look at pricing is always important. In this case, both companies offer relatively similar lineups, with three packages each at various price-points.
At first glance, the packages from these two LLC formation services are remarkably similar. Pricing is similar across the board, and available features are also relatively evenly split between each tiered package. Each service also charges state filing fees separately, as is standard in the industry. These fees go straight to your state; and vary by location.
On closer look, however, there are some important differences. Most importantly, ZenBusiness is a subscription service, while BizFilings is a one-time-fee. That said, some services from BizFilings do have ongoing costs associated with them - such as Registered Agent and BizComply.
Also worth noting is differences in the price of each company’s most premium plan. ZenBusiness’ Premium package is priced at $349 (plus state filing fees), regardless of the state you’re forming a company in. BizFilings’ Complete Package ranges from $359 to $434 per year (plus state filing fees), depending on the state. Other add-ons and upsells are available that may change the total cost, as well.
Overall, pricing on these two services is comparable to competing services like Northwest Registered Agent, Incfile, and other filing services.
In terms of business formation features, these two services are similar. The main difference is that BizFilings supports partnerships and nonprofits, while ZenBusiness only offers LLC and corporation packages.
For ongoing services, BizFilings offers a wider range of available features and services. That said, most are priced individually, so the costs can add up.
For instance, BizFilings has their MaintainMyBiz package, priced at $250 per year. This helps keep your business compliant, and helps with the filing of up to 4 formal filings every 12 months (choose from Annual Reports, Amendments, EIN applications, DBA applications, and much more).
As for ease of use, both are similar. Their online platforms are intuitive and simple enough for most people to navigate on their own. Turnaround time is also similar, although it varies depending on the package you choose, and the state you’re filing in.
While BizFilings offers more services overall, ZenBusiness still offers most of the basic features you’ll need. If you’re looking for more broad legal services, legal advice, help with legal forms, etc., you’ll likely want to look into a competitor like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer.
Both companies offer lifetime customer support for their services, although there are some noteworthy differences.
Overall, ZenBusiness has better customer support than BizFilings. They are available for longer hours (including Sundays), and offer online chat as well as phone/email.
You’ll also find that ZenBusiness has great customer reviews, and is considered a high-quality service provider on sites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They have a great track record of customer feedback. BizFilings has very few reviews posted online, so it’s more difficult to gauge their reputation.
After reviewing all the details, what’s the bottom line? Which of these service providers is the best LLC service for your situation?