If you’re in the process of launching a new business, you may be wondering which formation service is the best option to help you form your corporation.
There are many online incorporation services available these days, and it can be tough to figure out which one is the right fit for your business. ZenBusiness and BizFilings are both highly popular and trustworthy formation services, and each have their own pros and cons.
In this comparison guide, you’ll find all the relevant information about the five key points that we use to analyze incorporation services. Let’s find out if ZenBusiness or BizFilings is the better option for you.
Key Comparison Points
In our review and comparison of each online incorporation service, we performed a “stress test” on each based on five key factors:
- Compared pricing and features to determine overall value.
- Researched their track record.
- Assessed the quality of customer service.
- Tested their ordering process and service’s ease of use.
- Reviewed the turnaround times for incorporating online.
As you’ll see in this comparison of ZenBusiness and BizFilings, both provide good value for LLC formation and incorporation services.
Overall Pricing and Value
ZenBusiness: Are you interested in getting your incorporation service for free, with the exception of paying your state fee? ZenBusiness is one of the cheapest companies in the business formation industry. If you want more advanced features, our $199 Pro package adds ongoing compliance assistance, a guided operating agreement or corporate bylaws, and faster processing. You also might like our $299 plan as well, as it adds our fastest processing, a domain name, and a business website package.
BizFilings: The Basic package from BizFilings costs $99, which is a reasonable (if less than impressive) price point, and it includes six months of their registered agent service. Their Standard and Complete plans are unique because they operate on variable pricing models, so it’s hard to analyze their value.
Company Track Record & Experience
ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness was founded in 2015. Since we opened for business, we’ve formed 300,000+ corporations and LLCs, and our goal is to form one million business entities in the next few years. When it comes to customer feedback, it’s tough to top ZenBusiness. We have thousands of reviews available, and almost all of them are extremely positive.
BizFilings: BizFilings has been around for awhile now, as they opened back in 1996. They’ve served an impressive volume of customers over the years, with over 500,000 businesses formed to date. Even though they have such an extensive experience record, we only found 18 reviews for their services. Obviously, that’s such a small sample size that we cannot analyze it.
ZenBusiness: 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.
BizFilings: With BizFilings, you can access their customer support department via phone or email. We’ve never experienced lengthy wait times when we’ve contacted them, and their representatives are always courteous and well-informed. Overall, we’re impressed with what BizFilings has to offer in this regard.
Ease of Use
ZenBusiness: Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to forming a new business with ZenBusiness. We streamline the formation process so that all you have to do is choose a package, and provide us with all relevant personal and business information. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!
BizFilings: BizFilings provides their clients with a helpful “incorporation wizard” tool that helps you decide what business structure is the right choice for your company. As you begin filling out their order form, they assign you an order number so that you can discuss your order with customer support if necessary ― even before finishing the process. However, they have an extensive list of upsells and third-party offers to work through.
Speed of Formation
ZenBusiness: 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.
BizFilings: BizFilings has turnaround times based on how much money you spend on their services, rather than on state processing times. Their most affordable package takes 4-6 weeks, and their most expensive package still takes 7-10 days. If you want expedited service from BizFilings, you’ll need to pay their own in-house $60 upcharge, and then also pay the state expediting fee.
What Is the Biggest Advantage of Each Service?
It doesn’t matter what company you’re comparing them to, because ZenBusiness has a massive advantage over most other companies in this industry, which of course is our offer of a free business formation package. All you have to cover is the state filing fee.
Very few competitors can match this level of affordability for incorporation service. BizFilings has a couple of advantages, with the most significant being their longevity and experience, as they’ve served lots of clients and they’ve been around for decades.
Which Company Offers More Help With Ongoing Compliance Requirements?
Both ZenBusiness and BizFilings provide ongoing assistance to help your business remain in good standing with your state. With ZenBusiness, you can get registered agent service for an annual fee of $199, although the first year costs just $99. We also provide annual report service for $100.
BizFilings unfortunately can’t compete with these prices, as their registered agent service costs $220 per year, and their annual report service has a variable pricing model, so you’ll need to contact them if you’d like to receive a pricing quote.
Can I Get a Refund if I Need One?
ZenBusiness has one of the best refund policies in the industry. This company provides you with 60 days in which to analyze your purchase. If you’re unhappy for any reason, you can simply request a refund and we will grant it. We don’t even charge any cancellation fees!
BizFilings is a bit more restrictive. If you cancel your order before they start working on your formation process, they will provide a refund less a $50 fee. However, even if all they’ve done is your name availability check, requesting a refund anytime after that will see that fee increase to $75.
Which Is the Better Option if I Need 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 many of their competitors don’t even offer this service, both ZenBusiness and BizFilings offer to handle the entire publication step on your behalf.
Am I Required to Use a Formation Service?
No state has any legal requirement that forces entrepreneurs to use a professional formation service when forming a business entity. If you would rather try forming your own business, you can use our comprehensive guide to forming a corporation.
The reason we don’t recommend the DIY option more often is that corporations are rather complex businesses, and we only recommend forming your own if you’re 100% confident in your ability to complete the incorporation process correctly.