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ZenBusiness is a Public Benefit Corporation that provides low-cost entity formation services.  They are a newer company, founded on simplifying the process of forming an LLC by using technology and automation along with a team to provide personal guidance.  They are also unique in the company formation space by having a charitable focus where they help women and minority-owned businesses.

ZenBusiness claims to make it easy to start your business, but how do they stack up against more established formation companies like IncFile and LegalZoom?

Overview of ZenBusiness LLC Formation Services

When forming an LLC with ZenBusiness, you get:

  • Preparation and filing of LLC documents
  • Business name search
  • Phone and email support 
  • Registered agent
  • Operating Agreement
  • CPA Assessment
  • Banking Resolution
  • Employer Identification Number

Depending on the package selected, some of the services are available at an extra charge. Let’s look at each of the packages in more depth to help make it easier to choose the best one for you.    

Pricing

Even though the listed prices for the three packages range from $49 – $299, plus state fees, we will show you how to get your LLC formed at no cost, plus state fees of course.

Starter Package – $49 – The Starter Package includes the preparation and filing of the LLC paperwork, checking the availability of the LLC name, registered agent for the first year, operating agreement and CPA assessment.  There will be a few things most LLCs will still need to complete when selecting this package; however, we can show you how to create a banking resolution ($30 charge) or Employer Identification Number ($70 charge) at no cost. 

While the Starter Package will be the slowest of the three packages to form, ZenBusiness doesn’t artificially hold the paperwork for 30 days like LegalZoom’s least expensive package.  Times to form will vary depending on demand and the state the LLC is being formed in, but they estimate 2-3 weeks to form.   

After the first year at $49, the pricing goes to $119 if you opt to keep the registered agent service.  Provided you live in the state of formation, you aren’t required to pay for a registered agent service, however $119 annually is in line with the average registered agent costs of $100 – $150.

Pro Package – $179 – The middle package is the Pro Package and you get all the services in the Starter Package plus faster processing, banking resolution, EIN and their “Worry Free Guarantee”. The “Worry Free Guarantee” is a service where ZenBusiness handles the annual report filing and up to two changes to your filing documents each year.  You will also pay the state’s fee for the annual report but for as simple as it is to file this report (it normally takes just a couple of minutes to fill out in most states), it is a pretty expensive upsell ($119 if purchased separately).

Remember, this plan is $179 annually and the annual cost comes with the registered agent and the annual report filing.

Premium Package – $299 – The most expensive package from ZenBusiness is the Premium Package.  In addition to the Pro Package, this package comes with the fastest processing (estimated at 2-4 business days), business webpage, domain name, domain privacy and business email address. 

The business webpage is just a one-page site with basic information about your business.  For the additional annual cost of $120 between the Pro and Premium Package, you get a one-page website domain name and business email address.  For $120 a year, you are better off getting a dedicated website for your business. 

Unless you really need the faster processing the Starter or Pro Package are probably better options than the Premium.

How to get a free LLC filing from ZenBusiness

We said earlier there was a way to get a free (plus state fees) LLC filing from ZenBusiness.  Provided all you want is the LLC formation, click on the “Continue for Free” link under the pricing table.  The free filing (plus state fees) includes all the services of the Starter Package without the registered agent.  The owner(s) can be the registered agent of the LLC, provided they live in the same state of the LLC formation.  There also are no annual costs with this package, making it the best package for most people.

After filing there are a few additional requirements to finish off the registration of your LLC.  Learn more about them below:

  • Employer Identification Number – Required for multi-member LLCs or if there are employees
  • Operating Agreement – Only a requirement in a few states, but especially important regardless of the state for multi-member LLCs
  • Registered Agent – The owner can act as the registered agent at no cost. Learn more about the requirements to be a registered agent

Reputation

ZenBusiness is still a very young company, but their website is super easy to use to get an LLC formed quickly. Even though they are pretty new, we were able to find two independent sources that provided positive customer feedback. 

  • The Better Business Bureau, shows ZenBusiness has been accredited since 2019.  They have an A- Rating with a 5 star rating, but from only 4 customers
  • Trustpilot rated them as Excellent with 1,297 reviews and a TrustScore of 4.8 / 5

Why choose ZenBusiness?

ZenBusiness appears to be a pretty solid choice in the formation of an LLC.  They do offer some additional services such as a registered agent and Worry Free Guarantee.  The registered agent is fairly priced, however the Worry Free Guarantee doesn’t appear to provide much value other than filling out the annual report, which is pretty easy for most to do.  That said, this service can take one more thing off of your plate and ensures your LLC stays in compliance with the state.  

ZenBusiness offers a straight-forward formation service and they are the only formation service that we have reviewed that has a published charitable mission named the “Pay-it-Forward” project.  This mission supports lower-income woman and minority-owned businesses and is a nice way to give back. 

Some other advantages of the free version of ZenBusiness is that the free version is filed faster than LegalZoom’s lowest package and comes with lifetime access to formation documents which IncFile doesn’t provide.

The free filing is the best value of all the packages because you get the services of the Starter Package minus the registered agent.  Your LLC will be filed with the state by using
ZenBusiness’s easy to use website and there is customer support to answer any questions – at no cost!  The additional services that are only included in the higher-priced packages like the EIN and operating agreement, are covered in our site and can be done by most people at no cost.

One of the things you need to keep in mind about the pricing for the three packages is that they come with annual fees as there are additional services included.  Some of the annual extras may not be needed for your business, so be sure to use one of the less expensive services or cancel if they are not necessary.  

Do I have to use ZenBusiness to form my LLC?

No!  You can file an LLC without using an entity formation service or attorney.  You can learn more with our guides to forming an LLC for free in every state.  While you can do it yourself, using the free LLC formation option from ZenBusiness ensures you have the proper guidance and the LLC is filed correctly. 

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