The whole process of incorporating your small business can seem quite tricky. Most owners are unaware of the processes and paperwork they need to file, which makes the entire process anxiety-inducing. Luckily for you, there are several companies that exist with the sole aim of simplifying business formation services.
ZenBusiness is a top-tier organization that provides the best LLC service on the market. Even though they are fairly new to this industry, their competitive pricing and excellent service gave them a surprisingly high market share.
Today, I’ll be doing an in-depth ZenBusiness LLC service review in order to help small business owners like you legitimize your company.
What Is ZenBusiness LLC Services?
ZenBusiness was established back in 2015 with one goal in mind: to efficiently deliver all LLC formation services. Since their formation, ZenBusiness LLC Services has gained huge traction, helping over 200,000 small business owners get their papers in check.
Other than legally helping entrepreneurs to create a separate business entity, ZenBusiness also offers maintenance services. This helps keep all the legal paperwork in check after the initial registration process.
What makes them one of the most sought-after LLC formation service companies is their worry-free guarantee, bang for the buck experience, and well-designed offerings.
They have been able to aggressively gain market share because of their affordable pricing range. Another reason they’ve gained market share so quickly is their ability to complete most filings above the standard filing speed.
All of their employees are well-trained to handle the problems most business owners come across. They keep all of their communications transparent and clear so that you’re aware of everything that is being processed.
Rest assured, ZenBusiness LLC Services will get everything done so that you can be worry free and focus on growing your business.
To start working with ZenBusiness, you’ll need to pick one of their LLC formation packages which range from as low as $49 to a maximum of $299 per year.
There are some additional costs that you will have to incur outside this plan, such as state filing fees. I should mention that the time taken to form your limited liability company will vary from state to state and whether or not your plan comes with expedited filing.
With each plan, you are signing up for the basic preparation and filing service along with a year of annual report service. ZenBusiness also gives out free access to an invoice-generating app. As a result, you can easily generate receipts to send to your clients without investing in separate software.
How Does ZenBusiness Work?
The way ZenBusiness works is simple and effortless. All you need to do is look into a detailed structure of their plan (given below) and select one that suits your needs the best. Then, you need to fill out all the necessary forms with your business details, and voila! You’re all set.
The starter plan is a good steal for the price you have to pay, but the Pro plan provides an all-around solution to all your legal issues and more. If you’re in a rush, you should definitely consider the Pro or Premium plan, as they include rush filing and expedited filing.
People registering with the starter plan are expected to receive slower turnout times but faster than the standard filing service for sure.
In addition, if you’re looking to tap into the digital market, the Premium plan comes with additional web services. This is aimed to boost efficiency and help create an online presence for your limited liability company.
Here’s a video I made that shows the process of signing up for a ZenBusiness account and creating an LLC (in less than 12 minutes!):
ZenBusiness Pricing Structure
ZenBusiness Starter Plan
Price: $39 + State Filing Fees
Renewal Fee: $119 Annually + Annual Report Service
This is a plan for all those small business owners who have a limit on their budget. For as low as $39 along with additional state fees, ZenBusiness will legally create your separate business entity and give you additional services too.
Features of this Plan Include:
General Filing Service
This is the most fundamental task the company has to carry out in order to initiate the legalization process. Filing services include gathering and filing all your necessary documents with the State Secretary along with infinite searches for a company name of your choice.
If you’re looking to get faster turnaround times, you can file for expedited or rush filing separately.
Registered Agent Service
Whenever you form an LLC or a corporation, you need to also have a registered agent. The basic job of this agent is to receive, handle and communicate with stakeholders regarding all legal paperwork. The registered agent services at ZenBusiness are well-liked by most of their clients. In my experience using ZenBusiness, I’ve never had any issues.
Operating Agreement Template
This is perhaps one of the most crucial documents needed to form an LLC. The operating agreement template allows you to fill in and publish all details about your business operations with necessary rules and regulations.
This template not only gives a brief idea about the nature of your business but also acts as a shield from future lawsuits.
I recommend downloading the agreement and storing it in a place where you’ll remember, instead of just leaving it in the documents section of your ZenBusiness account.
Free Accounting Consultation
If you end up needing some help with the accounting side of your business, ZenBusiness offers free consulting for that.
Included within the plan is a user-friendly online dashboard that helps you gain access to all your legal documents. Once you log in, your account will display various options through which you can download your LLC formation documents in PDF format.
Annual Report Service
As with all other LLC formation companies, ZenBusiness gives you annual reminders about nearing deadlines. This will keep you alert on gathering all the necessary documents for filing and renewal. Other than alerting, they will also file the paperwork on your behalf if you register for that service.
Filing your annual report with ZenBusiness costs whatever your state charges, plus a small payment processor fee. In my case, my annual report for Illinois cost a total of $77. The annual report fee for Illinois was $75, and the payment processor fee was $2. ZenBusiness does not charge any extra for filing your annual report.
Note: Annual report fees vary by state. This chart shows what each state charges.
Google Ads Credits
Registering for the starter plan makes you eligible to claim complimentary Google Ads Credits. With a max cap of $150, entrepreneurs can really get the boost they need in the digital space. Using the code provided to you by ZenBusiness, you can use the credits to advertise your business.
ZenBusiness Pro Plan
Price: $149 + State Filing Fees
Renewal Fee: $149 Annually + Annual Report Filing and Compliance Monitoring
The Pro plan is the most popular amongst their client lists – offering various additional features such as expedited filing services and registering for an EIN. This plan is a summation of everything you get on the starter plan plus some extras to enhance your business experience.
Features of the Pro Plan include:
EIN or Employer Identification Number
The employer identification number is a series of numbers issued to you by the IRS. This is the federal tax ID you will use to file for taxes, open your business bank accounts, and even recruit employees. ZenBusiness LLC Services will take care of the whole process, leaving you to only worry about improving your business.
Banking Resolution Template
This template will help to create business bank accounts anywhere you need. The banking resolution template makes the entire process of compiling documents and filling in bank details much easier.
This is one of their best services amongst their list of many. We all know how annoying compliance can be, but if you’re registered with ZenBusiness, they will handle it all. They have a “Worry-free compliance guarantee,” which basically reassures you that there will be no compliance issues.
Expedited Filing Service
The expedited or rush filing service is like being in the VIP line. When you’re registered for the Pro plan, you get faster response times for your legal paperwork to come through. Note that the speed does vary from state to state, even with expedited filing.
ZenBusiness Premium Plan
Price: $249 + State Fees
Renewal Fee: $249 Annually + Pro Plan Services + Business Website Services
This plan includes everything from the previous two plans, plus a few services to help you build an online presence for your business.
Features of This Plan Include:
Rush Filing Service
While the expedited filing service is fast, it can’t come close to the turnaround times of rush filing. Depending on the state you’re in, the ZenBusiness Premium plan will send in all your finalized documents in a matter of just days.
Business Email Address
With a max storage cap of 5 gigabytes, you’ll be able to send, receive and store emails and files at ease.
Business Domain Name
In order to create an online presence, you will need to purchase a domain name for your business. The domain name will be used in the business website URL, through which your customers will be able to access your website.
ZenBusiness LLC Services will purchase the domain that matches your limited liability company name if it is available; else, they will suggest alternatives.
Once you’re done purchasing the domain, ZenBusiness will help you create a simple and easy to use website. It will include options for everything an e-commerce company requires, such as invoice generators, automatic emails, product lists, etc.
Services Offered by ZenBusiness
Let’s take a look at a list of all the LLC services you can sign up for with ZenBusiness.
Business Name Search
Before you rush off to legalize your business, you must give it a legal name. This will be used to identify your business to the state and your customers. Try to come up with something unique in order to stand out. Having a business name that is very similar to other companies might cause your legal applications to get rejected.
When working with ZenBusiness, you will get unlimited business name availability searches. This means that they will check to see how unique your company name is and whether there are others using the same name.
This saves you the trouble of going through thousands of business names to check if yours is duplicate or sounds like a spin-off.
Preparation and Filing Services of Company Registration
Once you’ve decided on a name, it is time to fill out the business formation documents. These papers will legitimize your company as a separate business entity. ZenBusiness will take care of filing all necessary registration forms with the right authorities.
Registered Agent Services
As I’ve mentioned before, it is mandatory to have a registered agent service at your disposal when you form an LLC. This agent will be the designated contact person for all legal documents and official communications with the government.
ZenBusiness offers this registered agent service for your business and will take care of all the legal issues that may need solving. As they run for extended hours, the company is available during regular business hours for any filing services or paperwork-related issues.
Operating Agreement Template
This is one of the most important business formation documents to have. The operating agreement template will give a detailed insight into your business structure, operations, rules and regulation, and various other details. This template will also help you protect your business assets in case someone files a lawsuit.
ZenBusiness will help you create the perfect operating agreement, which will help to increase the turnaround times of your business formation process. For most business owners, drafting their own operating agreement can seem like a daunting and anxiety-inducing process.
With ZenBusiness, you can rest easy knowing they are always ready to protect your business from any legal issues.
Business Email Address
As the years progress, businesses are starting to move into the digital space. Websites, apps, and videos help to enhance your online presence, but none of this would be possible without a proper business email. You might think getting a free email on Google is the solution, but that is seen as unprofessional.
For your customers to really believe in your business and what it stands for, you should have a registered business email. ZenBusiness will help you create this email and also have it linked to your website. This will help you receive emails from your users, communicate with them, and also keep track of website activity.
This is a must-have for any business, no matter how big or small. Having a professional email ID boosts the trust factor of your brand in the customer’s mind.
Online Document Access
Using their online portal, you will be able to keep an eye on all the processes your documents are going through. This will help you prepare and gather the necessary paperwork for the future stages of your application. The portal is user-friendly and is designed to give you proper updates on any issues that require correction.
Free Accounting Consultation
No matter which industry you’re working in, any new business you set up will require a proper accounting system. This system will need to take into account how your invoices will be processed, payrolls disbursements, tracking orders, etc. Finding accountants or advisors is quite a troublesome and time-consuming process.
Luckily for you, ZenBusiness offers free-of-cost accounting consultation to help you design a proper system. Their certified accountants are known for their ability to have clear business advice delivered straight to you without beating around the bush.
The whole accounting process is very important as your invoices and order receipts will be used annually to calculate taxes and other legal charges.
Banking Resolution Template
Opening a business bank account is a mandatory criterion in LLC formation. Without a proper business credit card and account, you will not be able to handle online transactions and manage payrolls. Once your business is legitimized, all your finances need to go through the bank in order to be recorded properly.
ZenBusiness offers a complete solution to your banking problems through their Banking resolution template. This has everything you need, from filling in your account opening form to the little tweaks needed to optimize your banking operations.
Virtual Business Guide
As we move towards the future, businesses need to understand the importance technology plays in our lives. The business world has changed greatly, and people are now moving towards digital marketing in order to boost traction.
For new business owners, getting started with online marketing and creating a strong presence in the digital space can seem very confusing and difficult. That’s where the virtual guides of ZenBusiness come in. Their representatives will give you full details on how to accurately position your brand.
There are tons of neat tricks and tips that can help businesses gain more traffic on their websites as well as social media pages. Also, you will need to ensure that people put up customer reviews of your services to drive future traction.
Business Domain Name
When you’re trying to set up your company website, you will have a URL that helps customers identify your business. Finding a business domain name can be difficult, especially when someone else has already purchased it online.
ZenBusiness helps you go through a list of available domains to find one that is a match with your business name.
Domain Name Privacy
According to the law, once you have purchased a domain name for your new business, all the details must be available on a public database. While this is mandatory, businesses have been subject to hackers and scammers using the domain details to sabotage the website and blackmail owners.
ZenBusiness can avoid this by securing your domain details behind a domain name privacy.
What it basically does is modify your domain name and details so that people looking at it on the other end can only see basic information. Using the generic information provided, scammers are unlikely to be able to sabotage your website.
If you look around the market, you’ll find that most other business formation services companies charge extra money for this. However, ZenBusiness already keeps it pre-included in their LLC formation packages, so you won’t have to pay anything extra.
This is where Zenbusiness really does the trick for most small businesses. With their basic e-commerce templates, you can have a well-designed website running in no time. This will act as an online customer touchpoint to help your users make purchases.
Furthermore, the website backend is easy to use and convenient. You will be able to edit and move around elements on the website at ease.
Special Business Credit Card Offers
As a business, you need to have a constant flow of cash in and out of your bank account. When you’re dealing with suppliers and managing payrolls, it can be hard to go by without a business credit card.
To rid you of this extra set of problems, ZenBusiness will analyze all the credit card deals and pick out the right one. They have strong ties with banks, and that way, you can receive exclusive discounts on annual fees or interest rates.
Google Ads Credit
When you register with ZenBusiness, you receive a code for Google Ads credits. When used properly, this can bring amazing results. With around $150 worth of credits, you can place ads on other websites and online apps to increase brand awareness.
This helps you cut down on your initial advertising costs and also brings in greater traffic.
Standard Filing Speed
Standard filing speed refers to the regular speed at which your filings are processed. For all the clients opting for standard filing, each file is added to a queue and only processed once the filings before that are done.
Expedite Filing Speed
For people who don’t have much time in their hands, ZenBusiness has introduced expedite filing. This is faster than the standard filing speed as your file is added to a special queue of expedited filing. Here the traffic is less, and so there are higher chances of your filings being processed faster.
Rush Filing Speed
If the expedited filing service is too slow for you, then there is a third option as well. Rush filing is the fastest way to get all your LLC formation paperwork sorted. Once you have applied for rush filing, your paperwork skips all the queue and is processed as fast as possible.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN or employer identification number acts sort of like a social security number. This is the 9 digit code processed by the IRS that is used to identify your business when you’re filing for taxes and filling out other financial paperwork.
This should be a top priority for any new business owner. Without an EIN, you will not be able to open a business bank account. This is practically used everywhere, starting from the bank to your legal documents. Included in their Pro plan, ZenBusiness will take care of managing and processing your EIN.
Worry Free Compliance
Compliance is all about abiding by the rules imposed on your business by the government. Nowadays, there are so many rules and regulations to watch out for that it becomes difficult to maintain for business owners.
ZenBusiness offers worry free CPA assessment, which ensures that they will handle all the compliance issues and filings without bothering you one bit.
Moreover, their online portal will help you keep track of deadlines and alerts regarding compliance filing and annual reports.
Phone and Email Support
When you’re dealing with government laws, there are several processes and terms that can confuse you. ZenBusiness is always available to help you from 8 in the morning to 8 at night (Central Time), and this goes for weekdays.
As for weekends, they are usually available from 10 AM to 7 PM. If you’re not willing to call them, try sending them an email. Their customer service agents usually reply within a maximum of 24 hours.
ZenBusiness’ customer support phone number is 1-844-493-6249, and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is ZenBusiness the Right Choice for LLC Formation Services?
In my experience using ZenBusiness and hearing from others who use it, yes, ZenBusiness is the best LLC formation service. Their pricing is very reasonable, and they have excellent turnaround times.
Other pluses are the free accounting consulting, the worry-free compliance, and the excellent customer support staff who are always ready to answer questions or clear up any confusion you might have.
- Affordable pricing structures
- Fast turnaround times with expedited or rush filing
- Simple and easy to use
- High ratings on legitimate customer review websites
- Excellent service with extended customer support hours
- Offer a transparent and detailed list of their services
- Offer registered agent services for one year free of cost
- Worry free CPA assessment keeps your mind at ease
- Offer genuine advice without trying to upsell or trick users
- Provide annual report services on all their plans
- Website templates are very limited
- Starter plan users incur a recurring fee for registered agent services
Other LLC Service Competitors
ZenBusiness is not the only LLC formation service. Below, I’ll provide an overview of some alternatives.
One of the top players in the industry is LegalZoom. These guys have been in the business for much longer, and they certainly charge a much higher price for their offerings.
LegalZoom’s basic starting plan starts at $79 plus state fees. The packages seem to be more complicated than the simplified plans you get with ZenBusiness. However, they tend to attract business owners who are looking to work with a trusted LLC formation company.
I should also inform you that the standard filing speed for LegalZoom is also slower than ZenBusiness. So, if you’re in a rush, definitely go with ZenBusiness.
Swyft Filings is known for providing all the basic LLC formation services, much like ZenBusiness. While their plans are priced at an affordable rate, they have certain drawbacks.
One of the major setbacks was their inability to provide registered agent services. This will require you to contact a separate company to avail of this service. Other than that, they have more or less the same business offerings as ZenBusiness.
Customer Reviews for ZenBusiness
One thing I noticed while looking through ZenBusiness reviews is that their existing client base is extremely satisfied with the services they received. Most of the positive customer reviews highlight their fast turnaround times and their transparency.
According to the BBB (Better Business Bureau), ZenBusiness has an A- rating. On TrustPilot, they have an astounding 4.7/5 rating. Out of more than 9000 customer reviews, almost 90% of the users have rated ZenBusiness as “Excellent.”
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is ZenBusiness different from other business formation service companies?
Zenbusiness is different simply because they offer more services at reduced rates. Their basic prices start at $39, with which you get almost all the essential LLC formation services.
They are also very fast in terms of filing and getting your paperwork approved. Extended customer support hours keep their agents at your disposal whenever you face issues.
- Does ZenBusiness offer good value?
According to my research and experience using ZenBusiness, they offer the best value on the market. For as low as $39, you are getting the services that are charged much higher by direct competitors.
- What is worry-free annual compliance?
To ensure that your business is viewed on good terms by the state, ZenBusiness has a worry-free compliance service. This basically means they will assess all your LLC formation documents and alert you whenever your deadlines are nearing. This helps you avoid penalties and other late fees.
- Is ZenBusiness a good choice?
I’ve ranked ZenBusiness as my top choice for LLC formation services based on my personal experience using it, and based on the high volume of positive reviews from other customers. Not only do you get the best price, but you also receive top-notch customer service.
- What is included in the ZenBusiness Worry-Free Guarantee?
Included within the worry free guarantee is an annual report service along with 2 amendments. ZenBusiness will handle all your paperwork and filing, so you don’t have to think about nearing deadlines and fixing previous errors.
- Does ZenBusiness have good customer support?
Yes, they are mainly known for their impressive customer support. In order to provide satisfactory services, they offer extended customer service hours along with email, phone, and live chat services.
- How long after registering will I get my EIN?
As soon as your papers have been finalized, ZenBusiness will request an EIN from the IRS. The time taken for your EIN to come through will vary from state to state, but it usually takes around 24 hours.
- Why do I need ZenBusiness annually?
You will need ZenBusiness annually for their registered agent service. There is a separate annual fee for this service. This is mandatory as the law states that any new business formed should have an assigned registered agent. While you can switch from ZenBusiness if you want, I would advise you not to.
Filing your small business as a separate entity can be a very difficult process, especially without proper guidance. ZenBusiness has been excelling at providing the best LLC service for a while. All of their plans are designed and communicated as transparently as possible, which will help you pick out the right choice for your business.
I hope my in-depth ZenBusiness LLC service review has provided you with enough insights to help you make an informed decision.
If you’re ready to start your business with the help of ZenBusiness, visit their site here!