Are you looking to create a company but you’d rather hire a professional service instead of filing the paperwork on your own? ZenBusiness is one of the top-rated business formation services (for incorporation and LLC formation) in the industry and has helped form more than 300,000 businesses so far.
In this review of ZenBusiness, we’ll discuss everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision for your business.
ZenBusiness Review Overview
When choosing an online incorporation service, there are five main factors you need to consider:
- Is it a good deal?
- Is it a reliable company?
- Is there good customer support?
- Is the website easy to use?
- How quickly do they incorporate?
Overall, we think these factors really matter. At the end of the day, it’s not just your money. It’s also your business. We think it makes sense to go with a company that puts you and your business first.
That said, ZenBusiness is a respectable company with excellent pricing and features – we will form your business for free (all you pay is your state’s fee).
Plus, our customer feedback is almost all positive, as 10,000+ customer reviews maintain strong average rating scores.
Each formation has a 100% accuracy guarantee
ZenBusiness Incorporation Packages
With ZenBusiness, you have your choice of three different packages for incorporating online. In this section, we’ll briefly discuss how these packages differ, and what kind of entrepreneur each one of them should appeal to.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of each ZenBusiness incorporation package:
Starter Package for FREE
This Package IS Best For:
Entrepreneurs on a budget who want a free business formation.
The Starter package starts with the basics of incorporation, then adds a statement of the organizer/incorporator, a risk-free accounting assessment, and our ZenBusiness Money Essential expense and deduction tracking program.
$199 for Pro Package
This Package Best For:
Entrepreneurs who need advanced features to assist with the startup and operation of their businesses.
When you step up to the Pro package, ZenBusiness adds Worry-Free Compliance (ongoing compliance assistance and up to two amendments), a custom LLC operating agreement or corporate bylaws, and faster processing. Every corporation needs corporate bylaws to outline its operational aspects and comply with state law, and operating agreements are always recommended for LLCs.
$299 for Premium Package
This Package is Best For:
Entrepreneurs looking for the fastest business incorporation time and a business website.
The top-tier package available from ZenBusiness adds a ton of extra perks at a price increase of $100.
The rush filing speed, domain registration/privacy, business email, and website create an affordable way for customers to set up their online presence at a very reasonable price compared to other options.
Our Deep Dive: Review of ZenBusiness
Overall Pricing and Value
It all begins with our Starter plan, which is free (just pay your state’s fee) and includes the full prep and filing of your articles of incorporation, along with a statement of the organizer/incorporator, a risk-free accounting assessment, and our ZenBusiness Money Essential expense and deduction tracking program.
If you step up to our $199 Pro plan, we’ll add ongoing compliance assistance, a guided operating agreement or corporate bylaws, and faster processing.
The most expensive plan available from ZenBusiness is our aptly named Premium package, which costs $299/year. It adds a business website package, including domain name registration and privacy and a business email address. Furthermore, ZenBusiness will speed up our in-house processing to its fastest levels.
ZenBusiness is based out of Austin, Texas, and was formed in 2015. Our staff has carved out a spot for ZenBusiness in this crowded marketplace due in large part to our embrace of technology.
ZenBusiness uses automation to complete a variety of business services, which enables us to offer lower rates than many competitors. ZenBusiness has already formed 300,000+ businesses, and our goal is to form over one million new businesses in the next few years.
Nearly all of ZenBusiness’ 10,000+ customer reviews are positive, so let’s take a look at what some of our clients have to say about our services:
“After reading prior reviews I decided to go with ZenBusiness to form my company. It was so simple, I just had to fill out some simple information and they handled everything for me. Everything was done 5 days before the estimate they gave me, so that was a greater perk. I would definitely recommend using ZenBusiness to anyone I know who is forming their business.”
“I thought about setting up my LLC myself. I really did. In the end, however, I decided to use ZenBusiness ― and I’m glad I did. The entire process took minutes, and follow-up was immediate. I feel that I’m in good hands.”
“We used ZenBusiness to incorporate our company, and find bookkeeping and insurance coverage. They were so incredibly knowledgeable and helpful that it took a lot of the worry out of setting up a business. It’s a fantastic resource for any first-time business owner or a serial entrepreneur!”
ZenBusiness provides customer service by phone, email, or web chat. We have expanded availability that even includes Sundays — very few competitors have any weekend availability. We pride ourselves in continuously improving the quality and responsiveness of our customer support, and we believe we compare favorably to the vast majority of competitors in this area.
You can contact ZenBusiness customer support from 8am to 8pm CT on weekdays or Sundays (and some Saturdays) from 10am-7pm CT. These extended hours of operation are very unique in the space — very few competitors offer weekend customer support.
Ease of Placing an Order
Most people who use services like this to incorporate or start an LLC don’t have much experience forming business entities. Maybe the formation process seems a bit confusing, or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle. Whatever the reason, using services like ZenBusiness should be simple.
The entire reason for using a formation service is to save time and energy by hiring out this crucial part of the process. However, with some competing service providers, there’s still so much work required that you might as well just tackle the DIY route. Thankfully, this is not the case with ZenBusiness.
It only takes a few minutes to fill out the ZenBusiness formation service order form, and the instructions are quite simple to follow. All you need to do is choose which package you’d like to purchase, enter some basic info about your business, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Overall Turnaround Time
With ZenBusiness, all formation speeds vary based on state capabilities. Also, if you’re in a hurry, you can choose one of our premium packages to speed things up a bit! When compared to other formation services, we are usually either just as fast or slightly faster. To find out your turnaround time, simply plug in your state and immediately see your estimated processing speed.
How Does ZenBusiness Work?
ZenBusiness helps new businesses get off the ground by combining automated technology with our own small-team mentality. When you order a package from ZenBusiness, you can expect a simple process. Here’s an overview of what you can expect once you hit our “Start Now” button:
1) Select your package: There are three packages to choose from. To get a full idea of your expenses, be sure to indicate the state you’re choosing and your business type at the top of the page.
2) Give information about yourself: To officially register your business and get everything in order, ZenBusiness needs some basic information, including your name and contact information. (We will not share your contact information without your permission.)
3) Tell ZenBusiness about your business: In most cases, this is the most time-consuming step in the process. But, it’s easy; you just need to tell ZenBusiness all the details about the LLC or corporation you want to create, including your desired name, your business address, who will own the business, who will manage it, and more. This information helps ZenBusiness fill out your paperwork with the Secretary of State and other government offices as needed.
4) Provide payment information: To complete your order, you’ll need a credit card on hand. This will cover our service fee and any state LLC formation fees.
Who Is ZenBusiness Best For?
ZenBusiness is best for entrepreneurs who want the convenience of using an online incorporation website but don’t want to deal with a massive company like LegalZoom. With ZenBusiness, you won’t get that big-operation feeling or lack of personalization that you’d encounter with other options.
And if you want the best possible prices and features, ZenBusiness is the way to go; we’re one of the only options if you want a free LLC or incorporation service!
What Are ZenBusiness Customers Saying?
Even though ZenBusiness is fairly new to the online business formation scene, we have established ourselves as a reputable, dependable service with more than 300,000 businesses formed so far.
The overwhelming majority of their customer reviews are positive.
Here are the features reviewers love about ZenBusiness:
- Stress-free order process
- Affordable packages
And here’s what they didn’t like:
- Chat support isn’t always intuitive
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: What’s the Difference?
We get lots of questions from our readers about LegalZoom, which isn’t terribly surprising. After all, they have the most brand power and name recognition in the industry, thanks in large part to their massive advertising budget.
Here are a few of the key differences between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom:
- LegalZoom has been in business for much longer than ZenBusiness, and has formed more than 2 million businesses. During that time, LegalZoom has accrued about 6,000 reviews, with mostly positive average scores that still fall a bit short of Zen’s ratings.
- As a Public Benefit Corporation, ZenBusiness gives back to support women- and minority-owned small businesses with its Pay-It-Forward initiative.
- ZenBusiness receives excellent feedback from our clients, with an even higher amount of reviews than LegalZoom and slightly better scores as well.
- LegalZoom offers much more expensive packages and sends more upsells your way during the order process, so it’s easy to spend more than you intended with them.
Our Final Thoughts
Overall, ZenBusiness has some important attributes that make us a strong contender and one of the best services online.
People love our free Starter package because of the impressive value-per-dollar it provides, and we receive fabulous customer reviews. On the other hand, we have not yet formed millions of businesses like some of our big-business competitors, like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer.
All in all, if you’re starting a business on a tight budget and are looking for an incorporation service with great overall value, ZenBusiness is a very solid choice. In our opinion, their many positives far outweigh their few negatives.
What Is ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness was founded in 2015. ZenBusiness loves to help small business owners chase their dreams of starting, running, and growing their own businesses.
ZenBusiness has already formed more than 300,000 businesses in just a few short years. Unlike our competitors, ZenBusiness is a Public Benefit Corporation. We’ve committed ourselves to helping out underserved businesses. Each year, ZenBusiness donates money (through Kiva.org) to women-owned and minority-owned businesses as part of our Pay-It-Forward initiative.
Is ZenBusiness Actually a Good Option?
ZenBusiness is one of the top LLC websites and incorporation services. That’s because we’ve established ourselves as a reliable and very affordable service in a short period of time.
And better yet, our Starter package is free (all you pay is your state’s fee).
Ultimately, ZenBusiness is an excellent, reliable option. We are an especially good option if you want to work with a smaller team that has a personalized feel to form your LLC. Last but not least, if you want to support a company that gives back to its community, there’s no better option.
What Are ZenBusiness’ Biggest Advantages and Disadvantages?
The biggest advantage for ZenBusiness is the fact that we offer incorporation service for free. As for our biggest disadvantage, we would probably say it’s the fact that some competitors (like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer) have already formed millions of businesses, whereas we have not (yet!).
If I Use ZenBusiness, Which Features Should I Buy?
In our opinion, it’s usually advisable to acquire the combination of formation service and registered agent service. With ZenBusiness, you can add a year of registered agent service to your LLC or incorporation service package for just $99.
Do We 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.
ZenBusiness does offer publication service, which is a solid advantage if you’re forming a business in a state that requires it.
Does ZenBusiness Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
We’ve already discussed the fact that ZenBusiness offers annual report service with all of our premium LLC or incorporation packages, which is a great way to ensure the ongoing compliance of your business.
With this “Worry-Free Compliance” feature, we’ll also take care of your annual reports and provide you with two amendments per year. We even offer to help you regain your good standing if you miss a filing deadline at any time.
What Is Our Refund Policy?
We think the ZenBusiness refund policy is one of the best you’ll find with incorporation services. We give you 60 days to analyze your purchase. If you decide that you’re unhappy for any reason, all you have to do is request a refund and we will grant it. There are no “convenience” fees or strings attached!
Do I Need to Use a Business Formation Service?
There is no legal requirement to use a professional formation service like ZenBusiness.
If you would rather form your own business entity, there are DIY options available for LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits, but we don’t necessarily recommend trying them for yourself. The laws governing incorporating vary from state to state, so it’s not always easy to determine exactly what your state requires.
What Is the Order Process Like With ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness’s order process is relatively straightforward. The form is simple — you simply provide us with information about yourself and the type of business you want to form — and ZenBusiness offers helpful guidance along the way, too. All in all, though, it’s very easy to incorporate with ZenBusiness.
If you’d like to check out more reviews to help start and run your business, here are some of the most popular: