Navigating the mysterious waters of starting a business can be draining and overwhelming for even the savviest business professional.
Fortunately, online business formation services like ZenBusiness help streamline legal filings and support entrepreneurs with managing various legal tasks and requirements.
If you are new to ZenBusiness and its offerings, you’re in for a real treat. This article will discuss all the benefits of working with a formation service and how ZenBusiness can support your business through every stage.
Let’s jump right in! Or, get started right now from $0 plus state fees.
Is ZenBusiness Legit?
ZenBusiness was founded in 2015 by CEO Ross Buhrdorf, Shanaz Hemmati, JC Glancy, Rafael Lopez, and Art Flores. These five have been involved in many successful tech companies, including HomeAway, Facebook, Dell, Capital Factory, and more.
At its inception, the founders aimed to create a service that would work alongside entrepreneurs as they launch, run, and grow a business in any industry or landscape.
As business owners themselves, ZenBusiness founders wanted to create a user-friendly service that empowered entrepreneurs to launch their companies without hesitating. They’ve assisted over 400,000 customers along the way by providing helpful legal services and resources.
Who is ZenBusiness For?
As a busy entrepreneur, you may not be thinking about filing an LLC or getting the appropriate tax documents and paperwork filed each year. You’ve got a business to run, after all! Enter ZenBusiness.
Designed for businesses in the beginning stages, ZenBusiness can handle the stressful, daunting tasks associated with establishing an LLC, ensuring your company is compliant, has an EIN, and completes the many other tax requirements.
If you’re looking to offload some of the legal facets of your business as you navigate launching, ZenBusiness is waiting in the wings.
ZenBusiness Program Reputation
Overall, ZenBusiness is widely accepted as one of the best companies to work for if you need legal services related to your LLC.
With over 400,000 customers using its platform and services today, ZenBusiness (and its founders) has established itself as a leader in the fintech space.
The pricing tiers are fair and transparent, customer support is accessible and knowledgeable, and the services are thorough and well-designed.
Inside the Program: ZenBusiness
Once you’ve decided to sign up, you will be connected with a chatbot that will ask you a series of questions, including the following:
- Your desired business name
- What state you’ll be doing business
- Your first name
- Any prior business experience you have
- If your business will have any employees
- If your business will have a physical location
- What stage your business is in
- The specific category your business falls under
Based on the information you provided about your business, you’ll be presented with the recommended service(s) by ZenBusiness.
For example, if you’re in California, you must have a legally appointed Registered Agent (RA) to accept legal correspondence on your behalf.
ZenBusiness offers RA services and will offer them to you if you’re in a state that requires them by law.
During sign-up, the other services ZenBusiness may recommend include establishing your Employer ID Number (EIN) and access to their Business Docs library with helpful resources to run your business. Each feature is an add-on that costs $99, or you can pay $149 for the bundle.
Then, you’ll decide between the three LLC packages to get your business off the ground and compliant.
Let’s explore the packages now.
This entry-level package offers basic services at a standard filing speed (2-3 weeks), expense tracking, tax deduction tagging, phone and email support, online document access, a tax savings accountant, and a name availability search.
The Starter package is $0 plus state filing fees.
If you are in the beginning phases of your business and need basic support and guidance, the Starter LLC package will be all you need to get started.
If you don’t mind registering for your own EIN and other tax requirements, Starter is a great fit. ZenBusiness will file your LLC once you complete the paperwork online.
According to ZenBusiness, Pro LLC is their most popular package. At $199 per year, you’ll get the following:
- Expedited LLC filing
- Operating Agreement
- Annual worry-free compliance
- Automatic expense tracking
- Tax deduction filing
- All the features from Starter LLC
The main differentiators between the Starter and the Pro packages are the expedited filing and the inclusion of the operating agreement, which is an important document for all businesses to have.
Pro is designed for new business owners who want to stay on top of their filing and taxes and prefer to avoid dealing with the potential headaches, choosing to pay a filing service to do it instead.
The most expensive and robust plan from ZenBusiness at $299, Premium LLC offers the following:
- Everything from the Pro package
- Rush LLC filing
- A business website, domain, and email address
Premium is designed for businesses who prefer to focus on marketing their company and getting other facets moving; those who feel like filing an LLC and dealing with tax documents are for the pros and would rather pay someone to do it for them.
Once you select the package you want, you’ll likely get prompted to add on other products.
These may include Money Pro, expedited filing, the Online Tools bundle, and many others.
ZenBusiness LLC pricing is as follows:
- Starter LLC – $0 (plus state fees)
- Pro LLC – $199 per year
- Premium LLC – $299 per year
The subscription fees are billed monthly or annually. Some customers have expressed frustration about needing to be made aware of the automatic renewal policy and failing to cancel on time before being charged.
ZenBusiness offers a 60-day money-back guarantee (aside from any state fees). Refund requests can be made by contacting customer support via phone or email.
Before signing up for ZenBusiness, consider what stage your business is in.
If you need guidance to file your LLC paperwork, you’re better off signing up for the Starter package, so you can avoid paying $199 for the additional support.
Most online reviews and complaints about requesting their money back have been resolved with ZenBusiness fully refunding the customers.
ZenBusiness: The Results
Most customers are very satisfied with their experience with ZenBusiness.
Those who pay for the add-on services share how helpful these features are, while others rave about the convenience of having a Registered Agent.
Is ZenBusiness worth it?
To offload the stress of registering a business, ZenBusiness is worth every penny.
Whether you choose the basic package and do some of the work yourself or pay $299 to have everything handled for you, we’re confident you won’t regret spending the money on this critical task for your business.
While many alternative programs may offer a lower price, ZenBusiness has many features and add-ons to ensure your business remains compliant.
ZenBusiness: Pros and Cons
With any product or service, there are always pros and cons unique to each customer. Consider the following pros and cons of ZenBusiness, and determine how they may impact your business positively or negatively.
- Pricing options from free package up to $299 per year
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Alerts notify businesses when recurring filings are due
- Removes the guesswork and stress of remaining compliant for new businesses
- Support is accessible by phone or email
- Free expense tracking and tax deduction tags for easy accounting
- Paid packages are expensive for what they offer
- Many features are paid add-ons that competitors offer for free
- Sign-up can be a pain; constantly trying to upsell you on more services that you “need”
- A Registered Agent and other services are additional costs
Praise and Criticism of ZenBusiness
For ZenBusiness’ happy customers, they appreciate the easy-to-use platform and accessible support whenever they have a business question or concern.
For small businesses that don’t want to deal with filing an LLC, the convenience of having it handled is all the peace of mind they need. Customers also rave about the customer service team at ZenBusiness and how helpful and engaged they are.
Here are some highlights of the praise of ZenBusiness from current customers:
Criticism of ZenBusiness is easy to find online; common complaints are consistent with billing issues, disappointing onboarding, and a general lack of communication.
What makes ZenBusiness different?
Compared to the competition, ZenBusiness differs in its pricing model and how it offers services to customers.
While other competitors bundle most of their features into a particular tier or package, ZenBusiness allows customers to add these features as needed. It creates a more customized legal package to save businesses money at every stage.
What else should the reader know about ZenBusiness?
Here are a few things to remember about ZenBusiness:
- The subscription renews automatically monthly or annually
- They offer extended customer support hours via chat and phone
- Recurring fees aren’t well described or advertised, so pay close attention
How do you join ZenBusiness?
If you’re ready to start an LLC and think ZenBusiness is the right choice, visit the LLC signup page here.
You will interact with a chatbot who will guide you through several questions to gain additional information about your business, goals, and what you need from ZenBusiness. Then you’ll be on your way!
Other products offered by ZenBusiness
Aside from the LLC service, ZenBusiness has an impressive suite of services and features. These include Formation services, S Corp, Corporation, DAO, DBA, and Operating Agreement services.
ZenBusiness offers a well-rounded bundle of services that can help businesses at any stage.
Whether you are just getting your company off the ground, establishing an LLC, exploring accounting services, or growing your business through funding, ZenBusiness has the tools and expertise to provide a valuable service every step of the way. Explore all products here.
Best Alternatives to ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness may be one of the best in the game, but there are a few alternatives that can certainly hold their own. These alternatives offer slightly different services than ZenBusiness and can be used in conjunction rather than choosing one over the other.
LegalZoom is probably the most well-known brand in this space, providing many helpful legal services for businesses. From forming an LLC or DBA to establishing a corporation or nonprofit, LegalZoom helps companies to get started, stay compliant, and grow.
Overall, LegalZoom has a leg-up on ZenBusiness regarding providing legal advice and counsel. LegalZoom undoubtedly is the better choice for those who require expert counsel to run a compliant business. Learn more about LegalZoom here.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent offers LLC filing and RA services to businesses nationwide. The company also offers mail forwarding, annual report filing, trademark services, and affordable legal counsel.
Northwest Registered Agent is popular for its affordable price model and hands-on approach to creating an LLC. They walk alongside businesses through every step or offer free forms and guidance, so companies can do it themselves if they prefer. Read our review of Northwest Registered Agent.