ZenBusiness Review (Is It The Best LLC Service for 2023?): Pros & Cons, Pricing, Top Alternatives
Are you starting a business & looking for a cost-effective and competent business formation service? Do you want to be certain that you will be working with a highly reputable and dependable LLC formation service? – read on because we might have a solution for you.
Small business owners who want to form an LLC require help. Typically, ZenBusiness LLC formation services are the top choice. Overall, this is a Texas-based company that provides 360-degree services from naming the LLC to filing annual reports. This ZenBusiness review elaborates on why you should choose ZenBusiness, even with the many “free” LLC formation packages available on the market.
Currently, on our best LLC services list — ZenBusiness reigns supreme #1! So you might want to check our article dedicated to top-rated LLC services and see if ZenBusiness truly fits you.
Now let’s find out more about the company and see if their services are really worth your money and whether they’re the best in this industry. Also, let’s check out how other comparable services perform and see if they offer a better deal.
- Jump to Pros & Cons of ZenBusiness
- ZenBusiness Background – Who Are They?
- Don’t Feel Like Reading? – A Quick ZenBusiness Video Overview
- ZenBusiness Reviewed in a Few Sentences
- Quick Summary
- Packages Offered by This Online Business Formation Service – How Much Does ZenBusiness Cost?
- Deeper Dive Into ZenBusiness Review
- What’s the Overall Value?
- Additional Features & Services That You Can Get
- How to Start an LLC With ZenBusiness?
- Pros & Cons of Zenbusiness
- Other (3rd Party) Customer Reviews of ZenBusiness
- When To and Not To Use ZenBusiness?
- Best ZenBusiness Alternatives
- How Does ZenBusiness Compare to Competitors?
- Verdict – Should You Choose ZenBusiness LLC Formation Service?
- Form an LLC With ZenBusiness Today
- Still Not Convinced? Here Are Some of Our Other LLC Service Reviews
ZenBusiness Background – Who Are They?
ZenBusiness is a professional LLC formation provider that is dedicated to creating the simplest way to start and run a successful business. Also, they intend to help business owners file and maintain a compliant and successful LLC.
To keep the trust they get from their clients, ZenBusiness remains true to the following core values:
- Empathy: We’re right there with our customers on their path to success and truly care about how they’re feeling throughout the entire journey.
- Innovation: We’re constantly evolving our products and services to meet the needs of our customers. Have suggestions? Please let us know!
- Impact: We believe that our business and all of our customers have the power and ability to make a huge impact on the lives of everyone we touch.
- Self Care: We put the well-being of our people and customers first, because we know you can’t take care of business if you don’t take care of yourself.
Although they are relatively new on the scene, as they only opened in 2015 in Austin, Texas, ZenBusiness has already helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started forming their LLCs. Since then, they were able to make the dream of starting a new business available to everyone across the state by giving everything an entrepreneur will need, such as registered agent services, EIN registration, CPA assessing, and even a website for your newly formed business.
Despite their size, they are capable of supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers by providing what others fail to offer, such as worry-free services, world-class assistance, and an all-inclusive online tool that all customers need to be effective throughout their business lifetime.
Like several LLC providers, ZenBusiness divides its services into three tiers divided by price. Though, unlike a very few providers, they do not offer a free business formation package, their lowest-priced tier is quite affordable. The advantage of this though is the lower amount of upselling you get from even the lowest-priced package.
Indeed, ZenBusiness is here to assist and encourage those fearless entrepreneurs and business owners who would like to take the risk of pursuing their ambition of establishing a successful LLC and creating a better life. So, let us have an in-depth look at their packages and see what they cost with the benefits they provide.
Don’t Feel Like Reading? – A Quick ZenBusiness Video Overview
ZenBusiness Reviewed in a Few Sentences
When forming an LLC it’s very important to take into account several things if you chose to use an incorporation service. In the case of Zen, here are the ones that we reviewed:
- Is ZenBusiness reliable? 9/10
- How quick is their business formation service? 8/10
- Do they offer good customer support? 9/10
- How’s the overall pricing and value of? 10/10
Overall, Zenbusiness truly deserves a rating of 9/10 or 4.8/5.
Let’s start this ZenBusiness review with a quick summary of the options. You want to compare this brand to other LLC formation packages to get the right one and need the best LLC service available.
Other LLC formation companies offer zero-cost options. Apart from mandatory state fees, you don’t need to pay for anything else. However, most business owners still choose ZenBusiness because it provides mandatory services necessary to form the LLC at a low price.
On the flip side, some other service providers, such as Incfile and Authority, charge more to do the same things.
The main features of ZenBusiness include transparency and 100 percent accuracy. There are no hidden charges, delays, or compromises in the service quality. Plus, the company’s premium plan offers most of the services, and it’s cheaper than some of the other registered agent services on the market.
Packages Offered by This Online Business Formation Service – How Much Does ZenBusiness Cost?
ZenBusiness offers three packages with different prices and features. You can choose between these depending on the level of prices and services you would like. However, unlike some formation services, these plans are billed annually and continue to provide services to keep you in compliance. Keep in mind, that for each of these, you would be responsible for paying the state filing fees in addition to the cost of the package. One of the best things about Zenbusiness is that they provide free Registered Agent services for the 1st year with all of their packages.
Most businesses consider Starter because it includes essential services, such as an operating agreement and free registered agents. Let’s get a more in-depth comparison:
1. Starter Package ($0 + State Fees)
The Starter Plan costs $0 (Free) plus additional state fees, though a tax deduction could apply. However, the company claims it begins at $0, but the final bill will be with State fees (which will be calculated when you select the state you want to incorporate in).
Regardless, it features the essential services necessary to form an LLC. The turnaround time is 12 to 15 days, and the options included are:
Starter Package Benefits
Overall, the Starter Plan is ideal for start-ups and small businesses. It’s cost-effective and provides essential services, such as help with LLC formation, an operating agreement, and a registered agent. With it, you pay additional money to receive an EIN.
2. Pro Package ($199/year)
With the Pro Plan, you pay $149 plus other state fees, though a tax deduction could apply. The Pro Package offers additional services along with the main ones provided by the Starter Package. Plus, it takes less time for LLC formation. In fact, the turnaround time is seven to 11 days. Overall, the additional services included here are:
Pro Package Benefits
The Pro Plan is ideal for mid-sized businesses that want expedited filing for their EINs. It’s the best fit for companies that might not be able to handle compliance alone. However, small business owners might dislike this plan because they’re paying extra for things they don’t require at that time for LLC formation.
3. Premium Package ($299/year)
When you choose the Premium Plan, you’re spending the most money for LLC formation. It offers the services in the Pro and Starter Plans, and it has the lowest turnaround time of four to six days. You get:
Benefits for Premium Plans
In a sense, the Premium Package is all-inclusive for LLC formation, so it’s ideal for larger companies. They might require an agency to manage everything related to incorporation, such as a banking resolution template, business email address, business mail address, operating agreements, and more.
While you get a worry-free guarantee, you may not require the additional services that ZenBusiness offers with this plan.
Deeper Dive Into ZenBusiness Review
1. Is ZenBusiness Reliable? | 9/10
As we mentioned earlier — they are based in Austin, TX, and is a relatively young business formation company. Most people would see that as a flaw, but in this case, it’s definitely not.
Despite being one of the newest organizations in the business formation market, ZenBusiness has made a name for itself in this competitive industry with its highly skilled workforce.
ZenBusiness completes a variety of business services online by completely embracing technology and the opportunities it offers – the major reason for their lower rates that appeal to the people and, notably, to their satisfied customers.
As a result, they are capable of forming a ton of new LLCs every year and based on their reviews on various sites, they do it very well on a consistent basis. Being a young company may have its own advantages when you are a bit smaller and quicker with less bureaucracy to deal with.
So yes, we’d say Zenbusiness is truly reliable and worth trying.
2. Turnaround Time for ZenBusiness (How quick is it?) | 8/10
I will say it right away — their turnaround is quick!
Unlike other companies in this industry, ZenBusiness handles your formation pace based on the plan or rush filing you choose.
They will give you an estimated time of your limited liability company creation when you select the state in which you want to form your LLC. It will definitely vary from state to state.
But when it comes to TAT, compared to other formation services, ZenBusiness does a truly great job, so you will not have to wait long or be disappointed.
Plus, you can always select the “rush” package if you need your LLC ASAP.
3. Their Customer Support | 9/10
When you get to Zenbusiness, you’ll see that you can contact them via web live chat, email or phone.
The ZenBusiness website has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page as well as a Help Center with a series of articles that can solve customer queries.
Mainly, you won’t have to wait longer than 5-10 mins when on chat. If you contact via email — they promise to answer within ~24 hours. During normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time, the website provides real-time chat support.
And, if you’re in a rush — definitely contact the company by phone for more information. You can call them on: Monday – Friday from 8am – 8pm Central time or Sunday from 10am – 7pm Central time.
The fact that they do work on Sundays definitely sets them apart from their competitors. And reviews on BBB and Trustpilot also praise their customer service.
Regardless of how you contact them, it looks like they are exerting all their efforts to respond to inquiries and to fix any difficulties.
4. Pricing and Value Ratio | 10/10
Zenbusiness has one of the most attractive pricing packages among all LLC services. The starter package is only $49 + state fees. It includes full preparation and filing of your articles of incorporation, registered agent service, operating agreement template, and free accounting consultation. This makes it one of the best “bang for your buck” choices overall.
If you subscribe to their $149/year Pro plan, you will receive a managed annual report and compliance monitoring service, an EIN (tax id), and a banking resolution form, making this plan exceptional and well worth having.
Meanwhile, we believe their most expensive plan, the Premium package at $249 a year, is also a decent deal. But, we prefer and recommend the first two bundles because no other plans can compete with what they include.
In our opinion — Zenbusiness shines in this area. Package pricing and all the additional services are very clear and not confusing. When compared to all other LLC services available in the online formation business, they have the highest quality packages at a significantly lower cost. They even provide an array of additional fundamental resources to businesses of all sorts.
So, want to save money and get great service? You can’t go wrong with ZenBusiness!
What’s the Overall Value?
The overall value is superb! ZenBusiness scored 9/10 or 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Additional Features & Services That You Can Get
Along with each plan’s standard services, ZenBusiness offers other options. Some of them are included in the packages at an additional cost, though others are purchased separately. With individual services, you don’t have to buy a plan from your LLC formation service.
The individual LLC services (that you purchase without a plan) include:
Then, ZenBusiness offers services you may add to any plan (as an upgrade.) These include:
How to Start an LLC With ZenBusiness?
If you purchase a bundle from ZenBusiness, the transaction is quite straightforward. To give you a glimpse of what you may experience during the application process for their business formation services, here’s a quick rundown:
- Choose your bundle: There are three bundles to choose from. To have an accurate estimate of your costs, begin by selecting the state where you intend to incorporate as well as your business model on the topmost portion of the page.
- Provide personally identifiable information: In order to formally register your company and to ensure that you have everything in place, ZenBusiness will ask you to input some basic details, such as your name, contact information, and business information. (Note: ZenBusiness will not publish your contact details unless you give them the power.)
- Provide your LLC details to ZenBusiness: In reality, this is the phase of the process that will require a ton of your time and patience but it is pretty simple. All you have to do is give ZenBusiness all the data about the LLC or company you would like to form. This information includes the business name you desire, your office address, the company owner, the company manager, and all others. This information will be used by ZenBusiness in completing required documents with the Secretary of State and other government offices concerned in the establishment of your business.
- Input your payment details: At this point, you will need a credit card to finalize your transaction. The payment should cover their processing costs as well as any state-required LLC formation fees.
Pros & Cons of Zenbusiness
It’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of any company. Let’s check the pros and cons for ZenBusiness:
$0 + State Fees
Review count: 4830+
Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $0 + State fees. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4830+ verified reviews.
Other (3rd Party) Customer Reviews of ZenBusiness
We have told you what we think, but let’s see what their customers have to say about their service. Mainly, people have a great experience with their service. They praise their ordering process and website speed. Also, customer support is considered “personal and helpful”.
- Zenbusiness has a whopping 4.8/5 rating on Trustpilot (from 6,900+ reviews).
- If you want to see their customer reviews on BBB (Better Business Bureau) – you can see them here.
- And if you’re planning to read some Zenbusiness Google reviews — unfortunately they don’t have any of them on Google.
- They are not reviewed on Yelp also.
- And if you’re looking for Zenbusiness customer reviews on Reddit — you can do so, but the client testimonials will be scattered around, since they don’t have a subreddit for them specifically.
Here are some ZenBusiness customer reviews from TrustPilot:
“Great experience! Easy LLC set up, super easy to navigate the website. Also had them reserve a domain name and create/host business email fir me. A+ experience”
“After researching multiple options to use as a facilitator for the forming of my LLC, I chose ZenBusiness and was not disappointed, but surprised at how easy and economical it was. In addition, their customer service was very personal and helpful. I am excited about going forward and utilizing them again if I need help.”
“It felt like all that my support person wanted was to get me in and out. In addition, no support or help getting the banking statement and operating agreement filled out.”
“They were on top of all the paperwork. I just didn’t fell I had gotten any real explanations/ understanding of the entire process”
When To and Not To Use ZenBusiness?
While ZenBusiness has huge benefits, it may not be the perfect option for every entity. As a result, we have compiled more instances for you to ponder, which may impact your decision to choose ZenBusiness as your formation service or not.
Use ZenBusiness if…
You want one of the most affordable LLC services with the best overall value. They are also a responsible corporate citizen with a higher level of customer satisfaction.
You already have a company but require a registered agent. ZenBusiness may meet that need for you for as little as $99 per year. You can even bundle in their compliance services for a sum of $149 and have peace of mind knowing that a ZenBusiness specialist will ensure your company is in a competitive and compliant status with the state.
Do Not Use ZenBusiness if…
You need a bit more legal assistance when it comes to your business, most especially in the future. If that’s the case, you might want to go with a service like LegalZoom, which will help you form your LLC or corporation as well as give legal assistance.
Still, we consider ZenBusiness to be the best LLC formation service for any business. Even though their basic bundle is incomparable to IncFile and IncAuthority in terms of price point, ZenBusiness offers different tiers of plans that could fit any budget and suit any new startup. Their website and services are pro-customers and they offer a wide-range of optional services which you can avail to personalize your purchase experience and ensure that you are meeting your business needs.
Best ZenBusiness Alternatives
ZenBusiness has a number of competitors in the LLC formation industry. Two of their biggest competitors include Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent. Let’s take a short look at the pros and cons of these companies compared to them.
Alternative #1: Incfile
Check our full review of IncFile here as well.
Alternative #2: Northwest Registered Agent
Check out our full review of Northwest.
How Does ZenBusiness Compare to Competitors?
Here we’ve assembled a few links to our full reviews and guides comparing ZenBusiness to other business & corporation formation services. Feel free to check them out:
Most people wonder about LegalZoom and ZenBusiness. Are they the same? Both companies have brand power and name recognition. We think that ZenBusiness is a better option for incorporation service because it offers more value per dollar. Here are a few key differences between the businesses:
- LegalZoom has been around longer than ZenBusiness and has already formed more than 1 million companies. However, ZenBusiness has also created a similar number of LLCs.
- ZenBusiness is a public benefit corporation, so it gives back to entrepreneurs.
- ZenBusiness has excellent customer reviews, while LegalZoom has a mixture of positive and negative ones.
- LegalZoom has more expensive packages and more upsells during the order process, so it’s easier to spend more than intended. However, ZenBusiness has a more affordable price!
Which one offers the best LLC services? ZenBusiness is the winner for any business owner.
- ZenBusiness is $0 + State fees
- LegalZoom starts from $79 + State fees
The winner is clearly — Zenbusiness (claim our special discount by following this link).
You can also check our comparison of ZenBusiness vs Incfile.
ZenBusiness vs. Northwest Registered Agent
Both of these companies have a few things in common, such as:
- Excellent customer reviews
- Great customer service
- Additional services
While Northwest has been around since 1998, ZenBusiness is newer. They’ve both served the same amount of customers, making ZenBusiness the right choice.
Generally, turnaround times are different between the brands. Northwest focuses on each state’s speed, so it’s quite efficient. However, ZenBusiness is different. While its turnaround times vary by state, it also slows formations down if you choose a lower-cost plan.
Every LLC must have a registered agent, which is the person or entity receiving important documents and all the rest. ZenBusiness includes that service with all packages and can be ordered separately, too. Northwest bundles a year of service but charges $125 afterward.
Generally, where these companies separate is in the additional service options available. ZenBusiness includes accounting and bookkeeping services. However, Northwest offers mail-forwarding and virtual office features.
- ZenBusiness is $0 + State fees
- Northwest starts from $39 + State fees
Overall, ZenBusiness is the best choice because of its worry-free services & price. However, if you’re focused on fast turnaround times, and better support it might be wise to go with Northwest (claim our special Northwest discount by following this link).
Verdict – Should You Choose ZenBusiness LLC Formation Service?
You should think about what your business needs before choosing ZenBusiness. The first thing to focus on is, do you want to spend money on LLC formation? If yes, it’s the best LLC service. However, you might pick a free option.
With ZenBusiness, the Starter Plan gives you an operating agreement, registered agent service, and various other benefits. If you’ve got more money available to form an LLC, it’s best to choose a higher-tier plan because you get everything necessary under one roof.
It’s often a better deal to go with ZenBusiness instead of any “free” LLC service (which isn’t completely free after all).
If you’re ready to start a business, you need the best LLC service. ZenBusiness has you covered with its compliance services, positive customer reviews, and all the rest. We highly recommend it!
ZenBusiness is the newcomer in the LLC formation service game. In fact, it was founded in 2015. Since it’s newer, it’s a smaller company, though that’s part of the charm. Overall, ZenBusiness wants to help SMB owners chase their dreams of running, starting, and growing a brand.
Don’t let its youth deceive you. ZenBusiness has formed about 300,000 businesses in just a few years. Unlike the competition, it’s a public benefit corporation. That means it commits to helping underserved companies.
Each year, the brand donates money to minority-owned businesses and women-owned companies as part of the Pay-It-Forward initiative. This is done through Kiva.org, and it means ZenBusiness focuses on making it easier for entrepreneurs.
Is ZenBusiness Legit?
Yes, ZenBusiness is legitimate and trustworthy. Though it doesn’t offer legal or tax advice itself, the LLC service can help you find that information. Plus, it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Is ZenBusiness a Great Choice?
ZenBusiness is one of the top LLC formation services because it’s established itself as an affordable and reliable option in a short period of time. The Starter package is one of the cheapest we’ve found so far. You can even find discount codes to make it even less expensive!
However, it’s a small company, so there are some drawbacks. Typically, processing times are slower, but those with a ZenBusiness LLC are happy with their choice. You can choose the bells and whistles you want or need with its a-la-carte services.
Overall, competing service providers can’t do the same thing as the ZenBusiness Starter plan! It’s especially great if you prefer to work with smaller teams to get a personalized feel when forming an LLC. There’s no better choice if you want to support something that gives back to the community, either!
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing ZenBusiness?
The biggest benefit of ZenBusiness is that it offers its LLC services at an affordable price. However, its lack of experience compared to others is its biggest drawback.
Which Features Should You Get from ZenBusiness?
It’s usually best to choose a combination of the registered agent and formation service. ZenBusiness offers those things in its Starter plan, though you must pay more for the worry-free CPA assessment, and it comes with a standard filing speed.
Just remember that ZenBusiness starts at $49 and increases to $119 per year after that first year. Even then, it’s a reasonable price.
Does ZenBusiness Offer Publication Service?
In some states, you must publish the formation in a newspaper. For example, Nebraska and Arizona require publication for any LLC or corporation. However, New York only needs it for the LLC. Georgia and Pennsylvania demand it for corporations only.
If you create a ZenBusiness LLC, you do get publication options with its LLC services. This is a huge advantage if your state requires it.
Can ZenBusiness Assist with Compliance Requirements?
We’ve already told you that ZenBusiness includes registered agent services with all packages, and that means you get worry-free compliance.
The worry-free compliance guarantee means it handles annual reports and gives you two amendments each year. Plus, it helps you regain good standing stature if you miss any filing deadlines while working with the company.
What’s the Refund Policy Like?
Your service includes the worry-free compliance guarantee. However, once it submits the business for filing with the state, you can’t dispute the fees or charge them back. Still, the company might refund the charge, less its $50 cancellation fee, if you contact ZenBusiness before it files with the state.
Generally, it takes longer than 60 days to complete the process. Therefore, the company offers a 60-day guarantee. However, it deducts the state and third-party fees before cancellation.
Do You Need Business Formation Services?
You’re not required to use ZenBusiness LLC formation services or any others for that matter. There are DIY options available, but we don’t recommend them. The laws for incorporation vary between states, and it’s often challenging to learn what your state requires.
What’s the Ordering Process Like?
ZenBusiness has an order form that’s straightforward to use. Just provide the right information about yourself and your business type. The company offers guidance along the way, as well.
However, there are a few upsells that clutter the form. We’d like to see those at the bottom of the page in the last step. Still, it’s easy to create an LLC, and you get a worry-free CPA assessment if you want it!
Is It Required to Have a Registered Agent Service?
It’s not mandatory to use a registered agent service, but it’s advisable to have one to properly and quickly file your taxes and other documents. Otherwise, you might have late fees and penalties to contend with.
Typically, LLC services help the business owner reduce paperwork and get things done quickly. ZenBusiness includes many formation service packages, so it’s easy to open business bank accounts, respond to important legal documents, and all the rest. Plus, you get extended customer support hours to ask questions!
Is ZenBusiness Cost-Effective?
When you want to form an LLC, you wish to spend the least amount possible and get everything needed. As a small business, you only pay $49 for the Starter plan, which includes essential services necessary. However, business owners who want expedited or rush filing or a proper licensed CPA may pay more.
The same services could cost double with another company.
What’s the Best Package?
It depends on your budget and your company’s needs. However, we like the ZenBusiness Starter package because it offers full formation of the LLC, gives you a registered agent for one year, and includes an operating agreement template.
The Pro plan adds banking resolutions, an EIN, and a managed annual report.
Form an LLC With ZenBusiness Today
Rating: 4.8 Stars out of 5
Only $39 for their starter package and one of the best-rated LLC formation services our there.