Direct Incorporation vs ZenBusiness

Last updated on: August 8, 2021
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If you’re currently in search of an online service capable of opening an LLC, a good place to start would be with one of the top business formation services like Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness.

Both are high-quality LLC formation services with an excellently rated overall value and both aim to sustain all types of entrepreneurship. 

This ZenBusiness vs Direct Incorporation comparison guide looks at their prices and features, specifically how they measure against one another. Other points include the quality of customer service and ordering process specifics to help you make a more informed choice for your business.

Do These LLC Websites Offer Good Value?

Hiring either Direct Incorporation or ZenBusiness is a sure guarantee of forming a compliant entity. Both are well-respected companies with thousands of positive customer reviews and impeccable reputations.

Despite Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness being among industry favorite LLC formation companies, ZenBusiness comes out a definitive winner. That being said, Direct Incorporation offers a useful selection of features like trademarking or professional web design.

ZenBusiness has a significant advantage over other companies thanks to its balanced cost-benefit ratio of low prices and extensive service packages. By choosing them, you will be able to create your own LLC only for $49—almost $100 less than Direct Incorporation’s starter pack.

If you can afford to pay more, Direct Incorporation is an excellent alternative to ZenBusiness. But let’s first examine their main differences and similarities.

7 Things They Have in Common


One of the more reliable options for professional yet affordable LLC formation is to hire LLC online services like ZenBusiness or Direct Incorporation. Both are able to take over the grunt work involved in the LLC registration process. Not to mention that the overall pricing of many online providers is considerably lower compared to attorney rates.


In terms of quick LLC formation, both handle order processing rather fast. Whether you choose ZenBusiness or Direct Incorporation, either is able to register an entity within days while following state compliance requirements.


ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation are both entirely legitimate operations with strong track records documenting their experience in the online LLC formation industry and thousands of clients attesting to their reputation as ostensibly good incorporation services.

Registered Agent Service

If you want your company to not only register an LLC but also assign an LLC registered agent, Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness both fit the bill. They are similar in their free registered agent service coverage available in all service packages, but the trial period is where they diverge. ZenBusiness is free for a whole year, whereas Direct Incorporation only for six months.


The ability to launch a compliant LLC applies to both Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness. They have helped form thousands of businesses and provided other solutions, further reinforcing their high industry rankings. 

Customer Support

ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation’s representatives are highly qualified and always provide reliable information for all LLC business issues, regardless of complexity. Thanks to their extensive customer support networks, the two companies can free up a significant chunk of your time that you’d be otherwise spending on trying to find scraps of information across multiple platforms. 

Additional Services

Each comes with a comprehensive set of services for LLC available with any subscription for an extra fee. They cover some of the advanced features for business and its maintenance, such as acquiring an EIN, expansion through foreign qualifications, and more.

Side by Side Comparisons


It’s definitely easier to determine the winner in a more focused Direct Incorporation vs ZenBusiness comparison, specifically one that centers around LLC formation packages. ZenBusiness is a clear leader of the two, offering to handle the full LLC creation process for an affordable $49, whereas the cost to open an LLC with Direct Incorporation start at $147. 

Both LLC business formation services employ a tiered subscription system. With ZenBusiness, you can choose one of three packages: 

  • Starter – $49 + state fee;
  • Pro – $199 + state fee;
  • Premium – $299 + state fee.

Direct Incorporation has 4 formation packages in total:

  • Standard – $147 + state fees;
  • Premier – $297 + state fees;
  • Elite – $429 + state fees;
  • Venture – $873 + state fees.

And while for many entrepreneurs a $49 registration is more attractive than the $147 service, some look past the surface-level assessment of pricing. But even in those cases, ZenBusiness comes out as the superior option. Their packages are simply more well-balanced, specifically in terms of their feature selection.


Direct Incorporation works with 4 formation packages:

  • Standard Package:
  • Preparation and filing of articles of organization;
  • Six months of a registered agent;
  • Online storage for documents;
  • EIN;
  • Domain name securing;
  • Client Resource Center access.
  • Premier Package:
  •  Operating agreement;
  •  LLC kit and seal;
  •  Corporate suite CD.
  • Elite Package:
  • Stock logo;
  • Website builder tool;
  • 5 free email accounts;
  • DIY website builder software;
  • 1-year domain name registration;
  • 3 months of free website hosting.
  • Venture Package:
  • Custom logo design; 
  • 1-year website hosting;
  • Full-service web design;
  • Trademark protection service;
  • 1-year Executive Club subscription.

With their 3 plans, ZenBusiness offers the following features:

  • Starter Package:
  • Filing articles of organization;
  • One year of registered agent service;
  • LLC operating agreement template;
  • Worry-free CPA Assessment.
  • ZenBusiness Pro Package:
  • EIN;
  • Domain name registration;
  • Banking resolution template;
  • Expedite filing;
  • Worry-free compliance guarantee designed for comprehensive compliance monitoring.
  • ZenBusiness Premium Package:
  • Business website;
  • Rush filing;
  • Domain name privacy;
  • Business email address.


Both services are highly qualified for launching a new LLC, making them some of the best LLC services available today.

Direct Incorporation first emerged in 2003 and has assisted more than 80,000 clients, rightfully earning its reputation as a reliable company.

ZenBusiness opened in 2015, but despite its relative youth, the company has been on the path of steady growth. They’ve already served thousands of customers and plan to reach the milestone of forming one million LLCs and corporations by 2024.

Customer Support

Direct Incorporation offers customer support via phone on Mon-Fri from 10 am to 5 pm EST. Their quick response times are made even better by their amicable reps who are proficient in the issues related to starting an LLC and its maintenance. 

ZenBusiness’ reliable and friendly customer service is known for prompt support and accurate responses even in particularly tricky cases. They can be reached via phone, email, or online chat on Mon-Fri between 9 am and 9 pm EST and on Sundays between 11 am and 10 pm EST.

Order Tracking

Both websites are equipped with tracking tools, giving you the ability to check the LLC status at any stage of the process. It starts as soon as you begin setting up an LLC and ends with application approval.

Ease of Use

Creating a new business entity with ZenBusiness will only take a few minutes. Despite throwing in a few upsells and third-party offers, the service is pretty speedy overall. All you need to do is select your formation package and provide some basic information.

Direct Incorporation is also pretty ahead on LLC formation process simplicity, providing detailed guides and FAQs for each step. Their new LLC website is intuitive and the lack of upsells or third-party deals never fails to impress.

Customer Reviews

A closer look at ZenBusiness and Direct Incorporation’s reviews reveals an impressive reputability the two companies have earned through client feedback.

Direct Incorporation has only 51 total reviews. Though it includes critical feedback, most Direct Incorporation reviews are positive.

ZenBusiness customer feedback is one of their strongest points. They currently have over 4,700 reviews available online, and the complaint numbers are impressively low, with the praise directed mainly at the approach ZenBusiness takes to start an LLC.

Turnaround Times

Direct Incorporation’s swift preparation and filing of the paperwork required to form an LLC takes a single business day. After that, all LLC processing times are determined by state policy.

With ZenBusiness, their speed is directly tied to the level of LLC formation service package:

  • Starter: a 3-4 week turnaround time;
  • Pro: 1-2 weeks;
  • Premium: 3-5 days.

If you’d rather avoid waiting, both services do LLC rush filings.

Registered Agent Service

All entities must work with a dedicated delegate, called a registered agent, to maintain communication lines for LLC document deliveries.

The good news is every LLC package—ZenBusiness’ and Direct Incorporation’s alike—supports this feature. Still, ZenBusiness provides LLC registered agent service for a year, while Direct Incorporation cuts that period in half.

Once the trial ends, their subsequent fees also differ. ZenBusiness charges only $99 per year, while Direct Incorporation – $159 per year, though the latter is closer to the accepted market value.

Additional Services

Aside from forming an LLC, either company is fully equipped to handle entity maintenance through additional services like:

  • Amendments;
  • Annual reports;
  • Registered agent service etc.

Each company also has a set of exclusive services. ZenBusiness offers a publication service in respective jurisdictions, while Direct Incorporation gives you access to their Executive Club service that handles marketing and tax advice as well as web design and logo development.

Which Is the Best LLC Service for You?

The fact of the matter is it’s impossible to find a universally suitable online service simply because each company is unique in its needs.

But if your primary goal is to set up an LLC with a reliable provider, then Direct Incorporation and ZenBusiness are definitely worth your time as is evident from the contents of this ZenBusiness vs Direct Incorporation overview.

If you’re still on the fence, let’s recap with a quick list of their LLC services.

Choose Direct Incorporation if you:

  • Plan to use their logo and web design or trademark service;
  • Prefer pricing and service transparency as well as easy to use order forms.

Choose ZenBusiness if you:

  • Want to get a company for the lowest possible price points;
  • Value excellent customer feedback;
  • Would rather get a ZenBusiness registered agent for one year;
  • Are interested in ongoing LLC maintenance.
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray
(323) 789-5289
Senior Business Tax Writer, etc
Jean Wilson Murray

Entrepreneur, investor, financial commentator


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