ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom (Honest Review): Who’s the Winner?

Jump to The Winning LLC Service Description

ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are both hard-hitting competitors countless business owners have trusted to help form their limited liability companies (LLC). But, which of these two companies should you trust to help form your own LLC.

Let’s take an honest look and compare these companies head to head to help you decide.

Our Comparison Points

The key points we’re going to use to compare these two companies include:

  • Pricing & Features: By comparing the price and features of these two companies, we can determine which provides more for the money.
  • Reputations: It’s important to know what former customers think about these companies. This can help you decide if you trust the company enough to do business with them.
  • Ease of Use: How do these companies present their services, and how easy are they to navigate and use?
  • Customer Service: When things go wrong, or you need a little help, it is important to know that these companies will be here for you. This is very important since you’re probably using an LLC formation service, so you don’t have to start an LLC yourself.
  • Turnaround Time: When you are forming an LLC, it’s safe to say you are in a hurry. So, which of these companies can deliver the quickest?

Quick Overview of The Winner

Form an LLC today with the winner — ZenBusiness.

After considering all of these points, we believe ZenBusiness is the better choice for forming an LLC. They offer more features at a better price. ZenBusiness’s lowest tier package is $49 compared to $79 for LegalZoom.

Another feature that ZenBusiness does a much better job on is turnaround time. ZenBusiness has a 2 to 3 week turnaround time for their lowest tier package; whereas, LegalZoom tries to process its lowest tier orders in 30 days.

LegalZoom is a reputable company that provides good service. We just believe that ZenBusiness does a slightly better job at a better price.


LLC Service #1: ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness offers multiple packages at different pricing points, including the Starter, Pro, and Premium Packages. Let’s take a look at each.

$49

star rating image

Rating: 4.8/5
Review count: 4500+

zenbusiness logo new

Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $49. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4500+ verified reviews.


ZenBusiness Starter Package

The ZenBusiness Starter Package costs $49 dollars per year plus the state filing fee. But, for the price, you will get a variety of services to help file your LLC and get it started. This includes many of the most important services your business needs to form your LLC and at a very low price compared to competitors.

This Package includes:

  • Regular Filing Speed: This is the ordinary filing speed and prioritized below higher-priced packages and those who pay for rush filing.
  • Template for an Operating Agreement: This is a template to help you create a unique operating agreement for your LLC.
  • Registered Agent Service: ZenBusiness will act as the registered agent for your business.
  • 100% Accuracy Guarantee: ZenBusiness guarantees that your filing will be 100% accurate.

All of these services are critical to getting your LLC formed. However, the standout one here is including registered agent service. This is important to remain compliant with state requirements.

Also, it is incredibly helpful for corresponding with state agencies, including the Secretary of State, and ensuring you receive important legal documents. Most LLC formation services do not include a registered agent with affordable packages. A regular registered agent service often costs twice as much as the entire package from Zenbusiness.

Luckily, it is possible to choose this package and still add on additional services that your business really needs. This includes rush filing speed to get the job done quickly. You can also choose to have ZenBusiness provide you with a business domain or a professionally created business website. Let’s take a look at what is included in the higher-priced packages and at what cost.


ZenBusiness Pro Package

The ZenBusiness Pro package includes, even more features beneficial for forming an LLC and getting your business started. However, this comes at an increased price of $149 plus state fees. But for new business owners who aren’t comfortable dealing with tax preparation and filing or other financial matters, it can be a great deal.

The features of this package include everything included in the previous package as well as:

  • Expedited Filing Speed: Your order will be prioritized above customers with the standard speed.
  • Compliance Guarantee: ZenBusiness will handle your annual filings, including two yearly amendments.
  • Filing for an Employer Identification Number (EIN): ZenBusiness will perform the filing for an EIN with the IRS for you.
  • Template for Banking Resolution: This is an easy-to-use template for your LLC to use and pass a resolution to open a business bank account.

This package includes multiple features designed to help your business get its financial footing, and the foremost among these is an EIN. ZenBusiness will file with the IRS for this critical code which identifies your company as a legal entity.

This EIN number is necessary to allow your LLC to open a business bank account. In addition to the included template for passing a banking resolution, this number will allow you to open a business bank account and get your finances in order and business running.

In addition to this, an EIN will allow your business to obey tax laws and hire employees. If dealing with the IRS doesn’t sound like a good time, this package will be worth it.


ZenBusiness Premium Package

The Premium Plan costs $299 plus state filing fees and provides all the features of the other packages plus a:

  • Business Domain Name: ZenBusiness will procure a domain name for you that matches your business name.
  • Business Website: ZenBusiness will use the information from your formation documents to create a website for you.
  • Business Email: ZenBusiness will provide you with a single email inbox that matches your domain name and has 5 gigabytes of storage.
  • Rush Filing Service: This gives you priority over customers of other packages. Your LLC should be formed in 3 to 7 business days. Although, this could vary due to state processing times.

The premium plan offers several excellent features for setting your business up online, but best of all, rush filing service will complete your filing quickly with priority over other packages.


Additional Services

ZenBusiness offers some services that you may find useful for your LLC. We will list a few of these.

  • Registered Agent Service, $99: ZenBusiness provides a year of registered agent service with all of their packages. But, you can purchase this service separately or after the first year.
  • Operating Agreement Template: This template will help you produce an operating agreement that will protect your LLC’s interests.
  • EIN, $70: An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. It’s a nine-digit number used by the IRS for tax purposes. ZenBusiness already provides this as a part of the Premium and Pro Packages.
  • Business License Report, $95: ZenBusiness will list all the licenses your business needs to operate.

Customer Service

ZenBusiness has customer service hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on Sunday. They have polite and knowledgeable customer service agents who provide timely, accurate responses to questions. They receive primarily positive reviews.


Ease of Use

ZenBusiness is very easy to use. They have forms that are simple to fill out, allowing you to start your LLC with ease. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. Once you have filled out any necessary forms, you can find all of your information organized and ready for you to access on ZenBusiness’s online dashboard.


Turnaround Time

The turnaround time for your LLC formation will depend on the package you choose. This could be anywhere from 2 to 3 days to 2 to 3 weeks. However, this could vary a bit depending on the processing time for your state of formation. But, overall, their turnaround times tend to be as fast or faster than other LLC formation services.


Reputation

ZenBusiness hasn’t been in business for as long as many other similar companies, but they’ve earned a good reputation for providing excellent service to their customers. They are now one of the top LLC formation companies.

Here are a few positive and negative reviews for this service to help you get an idea of what this service has to offer.


ZenBusiness Positive Reviews

“Excellent service and I highly recommend using them.

They were fast and efficient and took the headache out of me having to worry and do all the necessary documents for filing. I would use them again for sure…”

“The process was very quick and efficient. I shopped around before committing to purchasing. I called their customer service line to get more information and the representative was very helpful. I’m am very pleased with everything. The formation processing date was actually quicker than what was estimated.”


ZenBusiness Negative Reviews

” Everything was smooth until I found out I couldn’t add my logo or own pictures to the website. Seems like a basic function that Zen failed to implement. I was attractive to Zen because it seemed to offer everything under one platform, but the website portion is essentially a waste of money.”

” The main issue is with the website. The web site’s user friendliness leaves a lot to be desired. Otherwise, everything else has been pretty solid so far. I am hopeful that the service continues to show its value. Too bad that the website is not up to parr and so hard to use and customize.”


LLC Service #2: LegalZoom

Like ZenBusiness, LegalZoom offers multiple tiers of packages bundling some of their most commonly used services. So, let’s take a look at their features and prices.

$79

star rating image

Rating: 3.8/5
Review count: 2850+

legalzoom logo new

Form an LLC today with LegalZoom starting from $79 + state fees. They have above-average customer satisfaction rating and over 2850+ verified reviews.


Packages and Prices

LegalZoom has three tiers of packages, which is common for LLC formation services. The tiers are Economy, Standard, and Express Gold.  LegalZoom also offers a number of services in addition to these packages. First, we’ll discuss LegalZoom’s packages, and then we will discuss their additional services.

LegalZoom Economy Package

This is LegalZoom’s lowest tier package and costs $79 plus state filing fees, and has a processing time of approximately 30 business days. It has a number of useful features, including:

  • Name Availability Check: LegalZoom will check to see if your desired name is available.
  • File Your Articles of Organization: They will file your Articles of Organization with your chosen state. This is what officially starts your LLC.
  • LLC Next Steps Guide: LegalZoom will inform you of the steps you need to take to review your formation documents and start your business.
  • Peace of Mind Review: LegalZoom will review your order before processing it.
  • Lifetime Customer Service: They will provide you with lifetime customer service 7 days a week for any questions you have about your business documents or any of LegalZoom’s products or services.
  • Financial Account Authorization Letter: LegalZoom will provide you with a letter stating which people in your business have the authority to open a bank account for your LLC.

This package provides the basic services to complete your filing, plus the added bonus of ensuring your chosen name is available.


LegalZoom Standard Package

The Standard Package costs $329 plus state filing fees and has a processing time of approximately 15 business days. This package includes everything in the Economy Package plus:

  • Official Certificates and Seal: You will get an official company seal plus 20 personalized company membership certificates.
  • LegalZoom VIP Processing: This ensures your order is prioritized and gets faster internal processing.
  • Deluxe Organizer: You’ll get an organizer embossed with your company’s name.

LegalZoom Express Gold Package

The Express Gold Package costs $349 plus state filing fees and has a processing time of approximately 7 to 10 business days. This package includes everything from the Economy and Standard Package plus:

  • Rush Processing with the Secretary of State: Your order will get priority and be rushed so as to complete it in 7 to 10 business days.
  • Express Shipping: You will get express shipping and delivery.

Guarantee

LegalZoom guarantees your satisfaction and will refund their fee for the first 60 days if you are not happy with their service. This does not include the fees you pay directly to third-party service providers. It also does not apply to fees paid for filing once your paperwork is submitted.


Additional Services

LegalZoom also offers a number of additional services that can be useful for someone forming an LLC. Some of these are:

  • Operating Agreement, $99:This is a document detailing the structure of your LLC and the rights and responsibilities of its members. Not all states require an operating agreement, but all LLCs should really have one.
  • EIN(Employer Identification Number), $79: This is a nine-digit number the IRS uses to identify your business for tax purposes. You’ll need this number to file business taxes, hire employees, or if your LLC has more than one member.
  • Annual Report, $55 plus state fees: Most states require an LLC to file an annual report. The report keeps the state up to date on the company’s finances and structure. Filing the report helps to keep the LLC in good standing with the state.
  • Registered Agent Service, $299/year: This is the most important of LegalZoom’s additional services for an LLC. Every LLC is required to have a registered agent. This can be a member. But, if a member chooses to be the LLC’s registered agent, the member’s address will be available to the public. This is one of the main reasons businesses hire a registered agent service.
  • Trademark Registration, $249 plus federal filing fees for the do-it-yourself option, $599 plus federal fees if an attorney takes the lead: LegalZoom will register your trademark with the government to protect your brand.

Customer Service

LegalZoom has customer service hours from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. They have agents that are capable of helping you with most issues that you’re likely to have in forming your LLC. Additionally, they have longer customer service hours than many similar companies. Better yet, they are available on weekends. Also, if you form an LLC with LegalZoom, they will provide you with lifetime customer service.

However, customers are not satisfied with everything about their customer service. Mainly, many customers have a lot of trouble contacting customer service over the phone. This isn’t unusual for a large company, but it does upset customers.


Ease of Use

LegalZoom has a simple process that will allow you to easily place your order and register your LLC. You’ll also be able to quickly pay your state fees. So, the whole process is finished pretty quickly. However, LegalZoom does have a number of upsells throughout the process, which can be annoying.


Turnaround Time

LegalZoom has a reasonable turnaround time for their Standard and Express Gold Packages at approximately 7 to 15 days. However, they don’t rush their Economy Package orders, which can take a long time. LegalZoom attempts to process Economy Package orders within 30 business days, but they don’t guarantee this.


Reputation

LegalZoom has an excellent reputation. They have many years of experience since they’ve been in business since 2001. They’ve helped millions of business owners start an LLC. So, they know what they’re doing, and their satisfied customers leave reviews that show it.

Let’s take a look at a few positive and negative reviews to get an idea of what customers think of this company.


LegalZoom’s Positive Reviews

“I really like the approach that LegalZoom takes. I moved quickly and confidently through the entire process because of their support, and I like that a lot.”

“My experience with LegalZoom has been outstanding. They set my business up in record time and have helped me with setting up my business account with my bank. I highly recommend them.”


LegalZoom’s Negative Reviews

Very difficult to get in touch with customer support took me 2-3 days to get my questions answered. My LLC filing was delayed by the state government and I was never notified by LegalZoom until I logged into my account and checked my status. The only time LegalZoom emailed me was about promotions trying to steal more money from me. I 100% would not recommend this company to anyone. This company is definitely not transparent with its consumers and is pricey.”

“Absolutely horrible experience. They made a mistake forming my corporation and instead of taking 1 month for incorporation we are going on 6 months and they do not know what is going on and their customer service is useless. You are on hold for 2-3 hours each time and nothing gets accomplished. I wish I had never used them and do not recommend.”


Final Thoughts

LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are both incredible companies that provide solid products; however, ZenBusiness is the better overall deal. Zenbusiness offers more LLC formation services at a lower price than LegalZoom.

ZenBusiness offers an impressive set of bundled services at a very low cost and with few disadvantages. LegalZoom offers the same products, generally at a higher cost, with generally less positive customer reviews. We have to call this one in ZenBusiness’s favor.

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About the Author
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Founder & author

Ian Broderick is an avid author and owner of LLCGuys.com. He's been involved with the LLC formation field for over 4 years. On top of that, he has worked in several well-known LLC formation service providers. Now he decided to share his knowledge and advice with everybody. Since there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding this field - his aim is to make LLCGuys a top-notch information provider in regards to LLC creation, service reviews and etc..

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