Do you need to incorporate a business online and you prefer to have a professional service handle the paperwork for you? BizFilings is one of several companies that can get the job done.
In this review, we’ll talk about the important details you need to know before choosing their service. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison guide of the top online incorporation services or LLC formation services.
When it comes to online incorporation services, here’s what matters most:
- Is it a good deal?
- Is it a reliable company?
- Is there good customer support?
- Is the incorporation website easy to use?
- How quickly do they incorporate your business?
We’ll get into the details below, but one of the main reasons they didn’t flow towards the top is that you can pay less and get more with some other incorporation services.
Plus, there just isn’t much information about their track record, aside from the fact that they’ve been in business for 20+ years. For a business that’s been around as long as they have, it’s odd that more customers haven’t written reviews of their services.
Neither of these factors are major negatives, and they’re certainly not deal-breakers in our opinion either, but there are a few companies that we feel offer more bang for your buck, while also having more accessible information about their track record.
In-Depth: BizFilings Review
BizFilings Overall Pricing and Value
Compared to other online incorporation services, BizFilings ranks somewhere near the middle of our ratings. On the positive side, we appreciate that they offer a unique tool that helps even the most inexperienced entrepreneur figure out what package they need to start their business.
However, their packages are all more expensive overall than some competing formation services. Their most basic package is a decent value since they include six months of their registered agent service, but there isn’t much included other than that.
The Standard and Complete packages are more expensive, but they don’t have enough valuable features to justify the additional expense. Furthermore, the prices for these two packages vary tremendously from state to state, even before factoring in the state fee. For example, in some states the Complete package is priced at $199, but in others it costs up to $434, and then you add your state fee on top of that. It’s a confusing system that makes it difficult to do broad value assessments.
BizFilings got their start in the online incorporation services industry in 1996. The formation company was established by two entrepreneurs who later sold the company to Wolters Kluwer, a global compliance firm that offers a multitude of business services.
To date, BizFilings has more than 500,000 business filings under their belt, which is an impressive customer volume. Oddly enough, we were only able to track down a total of 18 customer reviews on third-party review websites, which is such a small sample size that we’re not able to do any meaningful analysis on it.
BizFilings offers phone and email support, and there is also a “leave a message” feature on the left side of each page on their website. We called the listed phone number, and we were quickly able to navigate through their phone tree to speak with a real person. The very first option in their phone tree is to ask questions about their products and services, so that was rather convenient.
When we emailed, we received a response the same day after sending it early in the morning. Both their phone and email responses were professional, and answered our question thoroughly, even providing additional details that were applicable based on what we asked.
The best part of their customer support is how long their hours of availability are. You can reach BizFilings representatives from 7am-9pm ET every weekday, which is a much longer window than most competitors provide for support.
Ease of Placing an Order
The point of using an incorporation service is to save time and make the formation process simple. With some online services, it can still feel like you’re basically filing on your own, but with BizFilings, the process is straightforward and streamlined.
We gave bonus points for the incorporation wizard that helps you on an even more basic level than we’ve seen with similar incorporation services. If you don’t know whether an LLC or a corporation is the right choice for you, BizFilings can help you figure it out.
As you navigate the order form itself, BizFilings leads you through seven pages that take you from selecting your formation package through the final payment step. There are opportunities for upsells along the way, but they’re quite unobtrusive and never feel pushy at all.
From the moment you start filling it out, they automatically assign an order number to your application, so you can reference it with customer service if you need assistance. This means receiving more personalized service based on the options you’ve already chosen for your particular business, and no wasted time trying to explain your situation to their representatives.
The only problem we have with BizFilings in this area is that they throw in lots of third-party partnership offers throughout the order form, which can bog down the entire process.
Overall Turnaround Time
BizFilings doesn’t have conveniently listed estimates for their turnaround times listed on their website. They do offer expedited processing of their own, which is a $60 upcharge for them to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders,” but this does not actually speed anything up with the state.
They have official state expediting fees tied in with that expediting option, but again, there’s no indication of how much this option will actually speed up your turnaround time. If you’re curious about how long it will take to form an LLC or corporation in your state, we suggest contacting their customer service department.
Pricing & Features of BizFilings
BizFilings offers three packages for LLC and corporation formations. While the Basic package costs $99, the Standard and Complete packages vary in price from state to state, which makes it a bit difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons with competing services.
Each one has a list of features that come standard for the price, and all features that are included in the higher-priced packages are also available as add-ons to the lower-cost packages for an additional fee.
Unfortunately, the Basic package is more expensive than similar packages from competing incorporation services, and the Standard and Complete packages are not assembled in a way that makes them a better value.
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are simply looking to form an LLC or corporation, without all the bells and whistles that other packages include.
This package costs $99 plus the state filing fee, and it includes the following features:
- Name availability searches – BizFilings will search your state’s business database to make sure that your desired company name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business entity.
- Preparation and filing of articles of organization (LLC) or incorporation (corporation) – They will create your formation documents, then submit them to your state government to officially form your new business.
- 6 months registered agent service – BizFilings will use their address as your mailing address to cut down on junk mail and the sharing of personal information. You can renew this service after your first six months for $164 per year.
- 6 months BizComply tool – With their online compliance management tool, they will provide reminders when you have important filing deadlines coming up, such as for annual reports. If you want to continue this service beyond the six months that come with this package, it’s included in the price of registered agent service.
Standard ($159-244 ― $229 in most states)
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who want to form an LLC or corporation, while also getting a compliance binder that includes helpful documents for operating your business.
The Standard package varies in price depending on your formation state. In most states, this package costs $229, although in others, it’s priced as low as $159 or as high as $244. No matter which base rate you pay for this package, you will need to add your state fee to that price point. This package includes everything from the Basic package, plus:
- Business kit and seal – You will receive a binder embossed with your company name, along with a decorative seal customized with your business info. In addition, you’ll either receive custom membership certificates (LLC) or stock certificates (corporation).
- Expedited processing – With this feature, BizFilings promises to “prioritize your order above non-expedited orders” during the in-house processing phase of your formation. Once they submit your documents to the state, separate state expediting fees will be charged if you want rush service.
- Customizable sample documents
Complete ($199-434, $359 in most states)
This Package Is Best For: Entrepreneurs who are looking to form an LLC or corporation, while also receiving an EIN and some other bonus features.
The Complete package varies in price depending on your state. In most states, this package costs $359, but in others, it’s priced as low as $199 or as high as $434. Regardless of the base price, you will need to add your state filing fee on top. This package includes everything from the Standard package, plus:
- Federal tax ID number (EIN) – BizFilings will acquire your EIN, which you’ll need if you want to hire employees, and it also helps you pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, etc. You can obtain your own EIN from the IRS for free, but this feature removes that hassle.
- Certified copy of state-filed documents – An authenticated copy of your formation documents, produced by your state. A certified copy has several potential uses, from executing banking activities to replacing lost or stolen documents to foreign qualifying in other states.
- UPS Overnight shipping for your completed formation documents
- Informational “Now That You’re Formed” DVD
In many states, this is the full list of features for the Complete package. In others, there may be additional features, like an initial report, a state tax ID form, and more.
How Does BizFilings Work?
BizFilings will file your business paperwork with the state on your behalf. But to do that, they need you to fill them in about the details of your business. Usually, you can expect a six-step process when you use BizFilings.
To help you know what to expect, here’s a fly-over of the steps you’ll complete with their order process:
- Select a package and choose your add-ons: You’ll need to select your state of incorporation, the business type you want to form, and then, of course, what package you want. You can opt in or out of several add-ons here, such as expedited shipping or a quote for a payroll service.
- Create an account: To use BizFilings, you’ll need to create an account with your email and password. You’ll also be able to use this account later on to access your documents and amend your services.
- Start your business registration: In this step, you’ll provide some basic information about your business, such as your desired business name. It helps to have a few options to choose from in case your first choice is not available—BizFilings will check for you.
- Establish management for your business: Here, you’ll establish whether your LLC will be run by the members or special managers. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll list the members and the managers here, along with their contact information.
- Set up your registered agent: BizFilings throws in six months of free registered agent service, but if you want to use someone else, you can designate that person here.
- Confirm and pay: To complete the process, you’ll need to provide payment information (it’s best to have a credit card on hand). But before you do that, you have a chance to review your order and confirm that all the details are correct.
All told, it takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete an order with BizFilings. Once you’ve submitted your order, BizFilings will complete all the paperwork on your behalf.
Who Is BizFilings Best For?
BizFilings is not our top choice for an incorporation service, but they are a reliable, trustworthy service. And we really appreciate their incorporation wizard; it’s a good resource for entrepreneurs who need extra guidance about forming their business.
If you want the best value in the industry, however, you’d best look elsewhere; BizFilings is a little pricey compared to their competitors.
What Are BizFilings’ Customers Saying?
As we mentioned, BizFilings has formed more than 500,000 businesses in the last twenty years. But oddly enough, there are very few external reviews available online. (We found three; there are lots available on their website, but we prefer to focus on off-site reviews).
Normally, we like to summarize the reviews to give you an idea of what other customers have experienced with a service. But with so few reviews available, we can’t really make a fair analysis.
The lack of reviews isn’t a make-or-break issue for us. But if you want to use a company with lots of positive external reviews, you should probably look elsewhere.
LegalZoom vs BizFilings: What’s the Difference?
On the surface, LegalZoom and BizFilings seem to accomplish the same purpose: helping you form your LLC. They charge a higher price point than BizFilings, but they don’t include registered agent service like BizFilings does. In addition, BizFilings offers publication service and other state-specific compliance services, whereas LegalZoom does not. Want to learn more? See our BizFilings vs LegalZoom comparison.
- LegalZoom has an impressive customer volume of more than 6 million customers. More than 2 million of those customers are businesses, giving them one of the most impressive client lists in the industry.
- BizFilings is backed by a large compliance firm, Wolters Kluwer. To that end, they offer specialized compliance assistance and even publication services.
Final Thoughts on BizFilings
BizFilings has strong customer support, and they also have a considerable amount of longevity to go with a high client volume.
However, there are very few customer reviews available online, and at the end of the day their formation packages just don’t have as much value as we’d like to see for their price points.
There are certainly worse options to incorporate a business, but we don’t feel like BizFilings is the best option for many entrepreneurs either. However, they are reputable and trustworthy, which can go a long way.
That said, if you’re on the hunt for the best overall value and want to check out your other options, see our list of the 5 top incorporation services or check out ZenBusiness.
What Is BizFilings?
BizFilings began its business formation journey in 1996 as Business Filings Incorporated. The company began as the brainchild of an entrepreneur, Brian Wiegand, so helping entrepreneurs get started is the core of what they do. In the 20 years since they started, BizFilings has formed more than 500,000 businesses.
BizFilings stands out for offering an extensive network of business resources to their customers. That’s because they’re partners with a wide variety of organizations, including The National Business Association, Startup Nation, Avalon, and more.
BizFilings customers can often receive discounts on these memberships and services, making them a great resource for networking.
What Are BizFilings’ Biggest Advantage and Disadvantage?
The biggest advantage for BizFilings is the fact that they include six months of registered agent service and their online compliance tool with any LLC or incorporation service package.
Their biggest disadvantage is that there are some other incorporation services that undercut their prices considerably, while also including a full year of registered agent service ― for example, Incfile and Northwest Registered Agent.
If I Use BizFilings, Which Features Should I Buy?
We think that the BizFilings Basic package for $99 (plus state fee) is easily the best LLC and incorporation service package they offer. It includes everything you need to form a compliant business entity, and there’s no excess fluff like the binder and seal they offer in their upper-tier packages.
Do They Offer Publication Service?
In some states, you need to publish your company’s formation in a regional newspaper. For example, Arizona and Nebraska require publication for LLCs and corporations, New York requires it for LLCs only, and Pennsylvania and Georgia have this requirement for corporations only.
While quite a few of their competitors don’t provide any assistance with these state-specific requirements, BizFilings does offer publication service. They also have a strong price point for this service, as their $100 publication service fee is one of the lowest in the industry.
Does BizFilings Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
They certainly do, and their inclusion of six months of registered agent service and a compliance tool is a good start. After your free six months, you can renew your registered agent service for the rate of $220 per year. They also offer managed annual report service which can take your annual reporting requirement off your hands entirely.
What Is Their Refund Policy?
BizFilings charges processing fees for refund requests. They will provide a refund less a $50 fee if you request it before they start any work on your LLC or incorporation service, but if they’ve already completed your preliminary name availability check, that fee increases to $75.