If you plan to create an LLC but are unsure how to proceed, you might want to seek outside help. Hiring one of the many business formation services available online could be a perfect solution, saving you both time and money in the process.
It should be noted that not all LLC services are a “one size fits all” sort of thing. Finding which of the many reputable service providers works well with your company is a vital part of LLC formation.
Services like ZenBusiness and BizFilings often pop up on the best-of lists, specifically when it comes to options that prove to be the most accommodating in the process of launching a new business.
Still, it might help to learn more about these two services before you could make your final decision. This ZenBusiness vs BizFilings comparison takes a step-by-step approach to examining the pros and cons of the two to hopefully give you more clarity and help you find a better fit for your LLC.
Do BizFilings and ZenBusiness Offer Good Value?
To start the comparison of ZenBusiness and BizFilings, let’s first establish what exactly defines good value LLC services.
When you form an LLC on your own, you are still required to pay certain state fees and other filing charges. It’s naturally less expensive than hiring business formation services, but the DIY method can be impossibly time-consuming and lead to a potential rejection of your application for any minor clerical mistake.
Many popular LLC formation service providers charge as low as $40, with no additional fees until your subscription renewal. But service could only be of good value if their pricing justifies the scope and quality of their features, so technically a service with a $299 all-in-one package offers good value while a company with a bare-bones $99 package does not.
Between ZenBusiness and BizFilings, it’s the former that offers a better deal. While both work with three formation packages, ZenBusiness strives to include as many features as their policy allows whereas BizFilings chooses to price their Basic + Standard plans fairly high and sell some of the vital features separately for an additional charge.
6 Things They Have in Common
- Affordable: both service providers can help you save money upon initial investment with their LLC formation prices; when directly compared, pricing of formation services is often more accommodating than your average business attorney rates, especially to launch an LLC; in this case, either ZenBusiness or BizFilings can help minimize unnecessary service fees; keep in mind that they calculate state filing fees separately;
- Experience: BizFilings and ZenBusiness are comparatively far apart when you measure experience in years; BizFilings may be the more established of the two, having formed thousands of businesses over the past 25 years, but ZenBusiness has managed to rise to the top since their launch in 2017 through their dedicated approach to registering LLCs in the US, so both show great commitment when they handle business formation;
- Registered Agent Service: when you choose any of their LLC formation packages, you get a qualified LLC registered agent service without any extra charge; a valuable feature in itself, it’s also necessary since every organizer is required to designate a registered agent to open an LLC;
- Efficiency: although the speed of formation often varies depending on your location, both companies offer expedited processing options; they come with an extra fee in order to be processed with the state at the desired speed, and you can select one of the speedier options during the initial ordering process for your limited liability company registration;
- Customer Support: both companies are known for their extensive customer support networks, from comfortable consultation hours to timely online support aimed to make opening an LLC much easier; the two may share equally good reputations with customers, but ZenBusiness is by far more renowned in the online business services industry;
- Informative: the two also share their dedication to maintaining a comprehensive information center, although BizFilings ventures farther than most LLC formation service providers and offers a detailed Business Owner’s Toolkit section with step-by-step guides to help you register an LLC, business tips and tricks, and more; ZenBusiness is more modest in this regard, but their blog, name availability search, and other helpful educational resources are nonetheless extremely convenient;
Side by Side Comparisons
In a BizFilings vs ZenBusiness toss-up, it’s hard to tell for sure which service provider is a better money-saving option for a specific company.
ZenBusiness pretty much reigns in the pricing category, offering LLC formations for as low as $39. You can choose one of the three ZenBusiness LLC formation plans: Starter ($39), Pro ($149), and Premium ($249), all of which include a year of registered agent service for free. After that, ZenBusiness’s registered agent costs $119 per year.
As for BizFilings, their formation service pricing starts at $99 and also includes a free registered agent service, albeit for 6 months instead of 12. They charge $199/year for subscribing to or renewing this service but you can save up to $60 if you choose to pay for two years or up to $120 if you buy three years for $399.
If that last bit seems somewhat steep please bear in mind that a registered agent is crucial for a smooth LLC operation and you shouldn’t dismiss it out of some sense of frugality.
Other than that, both companies ask for more than reasonable rates to register an LLC online, especially compared to business attorneys or certain industry giants. But let’s reiterate how exactly their plans compare:
- LLC formation starts at $99;
- Registered agent — $199/year if bought separately;
- LLC formation starts at $39;
- Registered agent — $119/year.
At the base level, BizFilings and ZenBusiness’s features intersect in many aspects. Both include basic business formation features in their starter package, including a registered agent, although ZenBusiness gives you a year as opposed to BizFilings’ 6 months.
As for the major differences, ZenBusiness stands out for adding an operating agreement template to all of their plans whereas BizFilings skips this feature.
ZenBusiness also includes EIN acquisition and expedite filing in their mid-tier Pro plan, while BizFilings only includes it to their Complete plan with other available features and services sold separately.
From this standpoint, when ordering LLC formation online, you are likely to get more features with ZenBusiness for the same price or lower.
Compared to BizFilings, ZenBusiness is a relative newcomer, having registered for business in April 2017. This hasn’t stopped them from accumulating an impressive volume of customers and forming thousands of corporations and LLCs over the span of only four years.
BizFilings is a true veteran in their field. They launched in 1995 and handled over 500,000 business filings since, from incorporation and foreign entity qualifications to LLCs and other entities.
The two companies offer lifetime customer support across multiple platforms, so it doesn’t matter that much whether you go with BizFilings or ZenBusiness since both provide excellent customer care.
As a high-quality service provider, ZenBusiness offers consultations via phone, email, and chat support. Email queries tend to be processed within one business day, while the other two options ensure reliable support availability. They work Monday to Friday from 8 am till 8 pm CT and on Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm CT.
BizFilings also take questions via phone, email, and even by post, providing timely and accurate responses. Their office hours are 8 am to 7 pm CT from Monday to Friday.
Normally the speed of formation depends on the state of your registration, and this is partially true for both companies but there is more to this. When registering an LLC, you can select one of their expedited options. The cost is calculated based on the state, so you technically pay the state expediting fee. Both companies provide more information on the actual processing speed in each state as well as expedited processing times.
Registered Agent Service
An LLC registered agent is not exactly optional. All states make this step mandatory to establish contact with your office and send important document deliveries.
As mentioned before, both ZenBusiness and BizFilings offer this feature free of charge. Their free registered agent services are included in all packages, and the renewal fee will be the same for all subscribers regardless of their plan.
ZenBusiness gives you 12 months for free and charges $119 per year after the first year is up. BizFilings offer 6 months of the same service but charge $199/year for the renewal.
ZenBusiness and BizFilings customer reviews could not be more different. When it comes to customer satisfaction, ZenBusiness has no rivals.
With more than 4,700 reviews available online, the company has plenty of receipts as to why so many choose them to start an LLC. Currently, ZenBusiness holds a 4.8/5 star rating on TrustPilot based on 6,105 reviews.
BizFilings don’t have that many customer reviews online, but they hold an excellent A+ rating on BBB as awarded by industry specialists.
Both offer rather extensive sets of additional services. But if you want to pit ZenBusiness vs BizFilings directly against one another, there are a few aspects in which ZenBusiness proves itself superior.
While both can apply for an EIN on your behalf, draft annual reports and amendments, handle DBA applications, and generally keep an LLC compliant, ZenBusiness can help you with accounting and bookkeeping.
BizFilings doesn’t have either, nor does it have a business attorney on hand. Not to mention their website is pretty difficult to navigate, so finding anything of use can be a real problem.
On the other hand, BizFilings have a dedicated business license research whereas ZenBusiness does not.
Which Is the Right Service for You?
While both can efficiently and effectively register an LLC, the final choice should be determined based on the specific needs of your company.
So despite being one of the most popular online incorporation services, ZenBusiness might not be for everyone, whether due to location or certain features they do not have.
ZenBusiness is often picked as the best LLC service overall, but BizFilings can work much better with certain businesses. At the end of the day, it’s best to look at ZenBusiness’s and BizFilings’ pros and cons to form a more detailed picture.
➥ Choose ZenBusiness if:
If you’re looking for the lowest price points for LLC formation in the industry, this is ultimately the best choice for you. ZenBusiness may be cheaper than most but the quality of their service is backed by great reputations with both their customers and industry specialists. Customer support is another point in their favor, especially if you put a high value on customer feedback.
➦ Choose BizFilings if:
Unlike other formation companies in this price category that are often stingy with their services, BizFilings actually include a free registered agent service in their plans. BizFilings LLC packages can also be tailored to your company’s requirements. Their offers appeal primarily to entrepreneurs who rely on industry experience and require robust ongoing business compliance support of which BizFilings LLC formation service has in abundance.