ZenBusiness Review of Business Formation Services – 2020
ZenBusiness is one of the most reputable and popular business formation services on the market today. If you’re starting an LLC or a corporation, they can handle all of the paperwork and filings for you.
The simplicity, fast filings, and excellent support provided by ZenBusiness are all top reasons why it’s so highly recommended. Plus, it’s affordable—even for small businesses.
70,000+ businesses have been formed with ZenBusiness.
As a Public Benefit Corporation, ZenBusiness is committed to making sure small businesses are successful. Social impact is part of their business model and mission statement.
So is ZenBusiness right for you? What services do they offer? Is it a good value? We’ll answer all of these questions, and more, throughout our in-depth review of ZenBusiness.
Already convinced? Get started with ZenBusiness now.
ZenBusiness Business Formation Services
ZenBusiness has a wide range of services, but its offerings in the business formation category are definitely the most popular—more specifically, the LLC services, incorporation services, and registered agent services. We’ll break these down in greater detail below.
ZenBusiness LLC Services
Due to its liability protection, forming an LLC (limited liability company) is an appealing option for business owners who want to protect themselves from individual responsibility related lawsuits or debts incurred by the business.
Once an LLC is formed, the business becomes its own entity. So all of the legalities associated with the business are separate from the owner.
Of all the services offered by ZenBusiness, LLC formation is definitely the most popular.
Getting started is simple. Just navigate to the ZenBusiness website, select “LLC” from the dropdown menu on the homepage, and select your state.
Next, you’ll choose from one of three ZenBusiness packages. Let’s take a closer look at these plans to see which option is the best for your LLC.
- Starter — $129 per year
- Pro — $249 per year
- Premium — $349 per year
State fees are not included in these rates. The exact fees will vary from state to state.
All plans come with LLC preparation and filing included. You just need to provide ZenBusiness with some details about your company, and they’ll handle the paperwork. Business name availability search is also included with every plan. The formation experts at ZenBusiness will search the state’s database to verify the requested name’s availability before filing the paperwork. If the name is unavailable, you’ll be contacted for a suitable alternative before the formation process starts.
ZenBusiness gives you 24/7 access to your documents online through a simple dashboard. So you can track the status of your business formation at any time. Once the formation process is completed, you can download and print all of your LLC documentation from here as well.
Registered agent services are also included in all ZenBusiness packages (more details on this later on).
You’ll also get a Statement of Organizer document and an Operating Agreement template. ZenBusiness throws in extra perks like a $150 Google Ads credit, a free accounting consultation, special credit card offers, and a virtual business guide.
How long will it take to form your LLC with ZenBusiness? It depends on the plan you select.
- Starter — forms in 2-3 weeks
- Pro — forms in 7-10 business days
- Premium — forms in 3-6 business days
You could add-on rushed or expedited filing to your Starter plan for $50 or $100, respectively. But at that point, it’s worth it to just upgrade to Pro or Premium. An employer ID number (EIN) is not included with the Starter package either. The extra $75 fee for an EIN can be avoided if with the Pro plan.
ZenBusiness has excellent customer reviews on third-party sites for its LLC services. They have a 4.7/5-star rating on Trustpilot with 4,100+ reviews.
Like any product or service, there’s obviously some bad reviews mixed in there.
The biggest gripe from customers is related to the turnaround time and lack of clarity with the timeline. Some customers were pleasantly surprised that their LLC was formed quicker than the estimated timeline (days instead of weeks). But they still wanted more clarity.
Most of the reviews you’ll find related to the ZenBusiness LLC services look like this:
Overall, ZenBusiness is a great choice for anyone that wants to form an LLC. The process is simple, and you can get up and running relatively quickly.
It’s not the cheapest LLC formation service on the market, but they still deliver in terms of value.
ZenBusiness Incorporation Services
The incorporation services provided by ZenBusiness are extremely helpful as well. These are perfect for anyone who wants to start one of the following business types:
- C corporation (C corp)
- S corporation (S corp)
- Nonprofit corporation
If you’re unsure which type of corporate entity structure is right for you, ZenBusiness has useful resources on its website that outlines the pros, cons, and differences of each one. They also have a simple guide on the steps you need to take to form a corporation, which looks something like this:
Each of these steps is explained in greater detail on the website. It’s easy for anyone to understand, even if it’s your first time going through this process.
While ZenBusiness won’t handle all of these ten steps, their incorporation services provide assistance with most of them—especially the most cumbersome ones. More specifically, ZenBusiness can provide the following incorporation services for its customers:
- Corporation document preparation and filing
- Corporation name availability search
- Registered agent services for corporations
- Corporate bylaws
- File for EIN (employer identification number)
- Accounting consultation
Things like appointing directors, drafting shareholder agreements, and issuing shares of stock don’t really fall into the scope of ZenBusiness’s services. But that’s the case for most business formation services on the market today. You’ll need some of this information ahead of time in order for ZenBusiness to complete your corporate bylaws and other documentation.
You can use ZenBusiness to register your corporation as a DBA (doing business as) name. While this won’t add any legal protection to your business, lots of organizations choose to use DBAs as a trade name.
ZenBusiness offers the same three plans for corporations that they have for LLCs—Starter, Pro, and Premium. These packages start at $129, $249, and $349 per year, respectively.
State fees aren’t included in the advertised rates. You’ll need to select your state to see the specific prices to file your corporation, and ZenBusiness will add that to your package. All of this is very straightforward on the website.
The incorporation services aren’t quite as popular as the LLC services. If you browse third-party review sites, you’ll see most of the existing customers are talking about registering an LLC with ZenBusiness; very few are talking about a corporation.
But don’t let that deter you from using ZenBusiness to form your corporation. In general, the LLC services are just more popular. It’s not a knock on the quality of the other services.
Overall, I’d recommend the Pro plan. This incorporation services package comes standard with EIN filing, worry-free compliance, expedited filing speed.
ZenBusiness Registered Agent Services
ZenBusiness offers registered agent services for both new and existing businesses.
If you sign up for a registered agent with ZenBusienss, they’ll handle all of the required correspondence with the Secretary of State and other government agencies. ZenBusiness ensures that your tax documents and other legal business documents are managed and communicated appropriately to these government agencies on your behalf.
States require LLCs and corporations to appoint and maintain a registered agent during the business formation process.
With a physical location in your state of formation, your ZenBusiness registered agent can accept important legal documents on your behalf. They will upload them to your online dashboard, so you can view, download, or print them at any time.
The ZenBusiness Registered Agent service starts at $99 per year. So you’ll have the option to get this as a standalone service.
However, it’s much more cost-efficient if you bundle the incorporation service with a business formation package. These start at $129 per year, and even the entry-level plan includes a registered agent.
The only reason to consider the standalone Registered Agent service from ZenBusiness is if you already have an existing business and want to switch registered agents. Otherwise, the formation plans will be your best bet.
Your ZenBusiness registered agent will be available during business hours. They’re also able to be served with legal notice on your behalf and will promptly relay legal documentation to the appropriate parties at your business.
If you browse the web, you’ll quickly find that customers speak highly of the registered agent services for ZenBusiness. Here are a couple of recent reviews that specifically mention this service:
As you can see, customers are definitely happy with the value of ZenBusiness as it pertains to the registered agents. People were pleased to see the low prices compared to some of the other top business formation services on the market.
If you’re in need of a registered agent, ZenBusiness has you covered.
Overall Pricing and Value
Compared to other business formation services on the market today, ZenBusiness falls in the middle of the pack in terms of its pricing. They aren’t the cheapest, but they certainly aren’t the most expensive either.
While we’ve already mentioned the plans throughout this guide, here’s an in-depth look at comes with each package:
Starter — $129 per year plus state fees
- Prepare and file LLC or corporation paperwork
- Business name availability search
- Registered agent services
- Phone and email support
- Online document access
- Corporate Bylaws
- Free accounting consultation
- $150 Google Ads credit
- Standard filing speed
Your tax ID (EIN) costs $75 to add-on to this plan. That’s definitely something that you’ll need.
Pro — $249 per year plus state fees
- All Starter plan services
- Expedited filing speed (typically less than 10 days depending on the state)
- EIN number included
- Banking resolution template
- Business document templates library
- Worry-free compliance
Premium — $349 per year plus state fees
- All Pro plan services
- Rush filing speed (roughly 3-5 business days)
- Business website
- Business domain name
- Domain name privacy
- Business email address
Overall, the ZenBusiness Pro plan delivers the best value. It comes with an EIN included and expedited filing. You’ll also benefit from the “worry-free compliance” service (annual report filing and two yearly amendments).
The only reason to consider the Premium plan is if you’re in a rush and wanted to form your business as fast as possible. But the business website, domain, and email aren’t much of a draw—you should be getting those elsewhere. Instead, you can just pay an extra $100 one-time fee for rush filing as opposed to an extra $100 per year (Pro vs. Premium).
Plans are 100% refundable if you cancel before the documentation is sent to the state.
If you look at ZenBusiness side-by-side with some of the other big players in the business formation industry, they belong right at the top. You won’t get the same legal consultancy services provided by their competitors, but ZenBusiness still offers a tremendous value.
The user experience with ZenBusiness is seamless. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to figure this out. If you know how to use the Internet, you can form a business using this platform.
Everything is so straightforward when you land on the website. Getting started is as simple as choosing your entity type (LLC or corporation) and selecting your state. From here, you’ll pick a plan and add-on any extras.
You can create an account in minutes. Then you’ll just need to provide ZenBusiness with certain details about your business. All of this can be managed online through an easy-to-use dashboard.
Upon reading customer reviews online, you’ll find nothing but glowing remarks about how easy the website is to navigate. After you submit your information to ZenBusiness, you can track the status of your order while the filing is being processed. You’ll also have access to all of your legal documents from here as well.
If you’re prepared, you can essentially complete the process in one sitting. Then it’s just a matter of sitting back and letting ZenBusiness handle the rest for you.
The customer support team at ZenBusiness is highly responsive. These representatives are available via phone and email during the following hours:
- Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm Central time
- Sunday 10am – 7pm Central time
Phone support is pretty quick, and most customers don’t experience long wait times. They reply to emails within one business day of receiving an inquiry.
Having fast and reliable support is crucial when you’re browsing around and evaluating a business formation company. It’s normal to have some questions during this process. Here’s a recent review highlighting the quality of their service:
Other customers raved about how they contacted ZenBusiness before signing up about questions, and the team was able to provide clarity and answers.
Another customer explains how there was an issue with the business name that they wanted to register in a particular state. But ZenBusiness reached out and worked with them to quickly resolve the problem.
They aren’t around to help you out on Saturdays. But beyond that, the support is top-notch.
At the end of the day, ZenBusiness should be a top choice to consider if you’re in the market for a business formation service.
The LLC services, incorporation services, and registered agent services are the most popular offerings provided by ZenBusiness. In addition to the all-in-one packages, you can also use ZenBusiness for individual use cases (like EIN filing, business name registration, operating agreement templates, etc.).
But the full-service packages for LLC and corporation formation are the most popular.
Starting at just $129 per year, it’s tough to beat that value.