ZenBusiness vs BizFilings

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.

ZenBusiness vs BizFilings: Quick look

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.

Similarities between ZenBusiness and BizFilings

  • Both make it easy to start a new company online
  • Both support LLC and corporation business entity structures
  • Both support small business founders in all US states
  • Both help you file all necessary documents, including articles of organization, first year reports, and more
  • Both have a range of premade business formation packages to suit various needs
  • Both have fast processing time, with total turnaround time as short as a few business days
  • Both charge state filing fees separately (industry standard)
  • Both have good reputations with customers
  • Both can help you choose a business name, with a company name availability search

Differences between ZenBusiness and BizFilings

  • BizFilings offers a wider range of ongoing services
  • ZenBusiness includes Registered Agent in all plans; BizFilings includes 6 months, and the service renews at $174/year
  • BizFilings has more robust ongoing compliance support
  • BizFilings provides guidance on which business structure is right for you

Check out our roundup of Best LLC Services

ZenBusiness basics

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:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation (S-corp or C-corp)

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 basics

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:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation (C-corp or S-corp)
  • Partnership (LLP or LP)
  • Nonprofit corporation 

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.

ZenBusiness vs BizFilings: Pricing

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. 

ZenBusiness pricing

  • Starter Package - $129/year + state filing fees (varies by state) - This starter plan includes all the basics needed to form a new business entity in your state. It also includes Registered Agent services. 
  • Pro Package - $249/year + state filing fees (varies by state) - This Pro plan adds extra features, including a EIN tax ID number, corporate bylaws, banking resolution form, and a variety of useful templates. 
  • Premium Package - $349/year + state filing fees (varies by state) - This Premium plan speeds up turnaround time, offering rush processing speed. It also includes various useful marketing tools, including a business website, business email address, and a domain name.

BizFilings pricing

  • Basic Package - $99 + state fees - The Basic plan covers standard LLC or corporation formation features, and standard filing speed. It comes with 6 months of Registered Agent (which renews at $174/year), as well as ongoing compliance support with a service called BizComply. 
  • Standard Package - $229 + state fees - The Standard plan adds bonus features, like an LLC operating agreement, and a custom seal/LLC kit. It also includes expedited filing speed.
  • Complete Package - $359-$434 (depending on state) + state fees - The Complete plan adds an employer identification number (EIN), certified copies of documents, and more. It’s also the fastest plan, with expedited filing + overnight document shipping. 

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. 

ZenBusiness vs BizFilings: Features

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.

BizFilings vs ZenBusiness: Customer service

Both companies offer lifetime customer support for their services, although there are some noteworthy differences. 

  • BizFilings customer support is available via phone support or email support. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 8am to 7pm Central Time (CST) 
  • ZenBusiness customer support is available via phone, email, or online support chat. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm Central Time (CST), and Sunday from 10am - 7pm CST.

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. 

Which should you choose? 

After reviewing all the details, what’s the bottom line? Which of these service providers is the best LLC service for your situation? 

Choose ZenBusiness if…

  • You value companies with great reputations. ZenBusiness has excellent customer feedback and ratings; with BizFilings, it’s hard to find posted reviews or feedback.
  • You want ongoing Registered Agent services. Both companies offer Registered Agent, but it’s typically a better value from ZenBusiness, as it’s included in all plans.

Choose BizFilings if…

  • You’re not sure which business structure is right for you. BizFilings has many resources to help you compare and contrast LLCs, corporations, partnerships, etc. 
  • You want robust ongoing business compliance support - and are willing to pay for it. BizFilings has a few robust options for keeping your business compliant (although costs can be high). 
  • You don’t plan to keep Registered Agent services. BizFilings includes 6 months of free Registered Agent service, but there’s no requirement to keep it long-term. 

About the Author Nell

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