Incorporating your business can be done online, but there are many options to choose from. If you’re debating ZenBusiness vs Incfile, this overview will help you pick the organization that best suits your needs.
ZenBusiness is a Texas-based LLC formation service. The company was formed in 2015 and has already helped thousands of business owners incorporate their LLC. ZenBusiness offers a variety of business services, such as registered agent services, CPA assessments, and website-building help.
The organization offers packages in three different tiers: Starter, Pro, and Premium. These plans have affordable set prices and include a year of registered agent services to help you get your business off of the ground.
ZenBusiness provides a variety of services to get your business started, and they continue to help you every step of the way. You can choose a bundled plan if you’re starting from scratch, and ZenBusiness does all the legwork for you. If you just need help with certain steps regarding forming or maintaining your business, you can pick and choose legal options from their service menu.
- Business Formation Service
- Registered Agent Service
- Operations Agreement
- State Compliance Service
- Employer ID Number
- Annual Reports
- Certificates of Authorization
- Domain Name Registration
- Business Website
- Business License Report
- Business Insurance
- Business Bank Accounts and Insurance
ZenBusiness offers three base plans, but you can add on any additional services you may need to develop a custom package just for you. Each plan comes with a 100% accuracy guarantee, so you can feel confident that the company is going to do their best work for your business.
The company clearly marks their services with a set price, but you will also have to pay any additional state fees. ZenBusiness’s State Fee page not only shows you how much it will cost to form an LLC in your area but also gives you state-specific processing speeds. This will let you know how long it will take to launch your business.
ZenBusiness’s Starter Plan is only $49 a year, plus state fees. This plan features the standard filing service, which provides a business name availability search, online document access, phone and email assistance, and the standard filing speed once everything is finalized.
This package also includes a year of help from a registered agent, a free accounting consultation, and an Operating Agreement template.
ZenBusiness’s most popular plan is their Pro Plan. At $199 a year, plus state fees, this plan has everything included in the Starter package and also features a banking resolution template, an Employee Identification Number, and yearly compliance with two additional filings. All of this will be completed at an expedited speed, so you’re getting extra services and a quicker turnaround time.
When you price out everything included in this package, you’ll see why it’s such a popular deal! The yearly compliance alone is $119, the Employer ID Number is $70, and expedited speed is at least an additional $50, depending on your state. ZenBusiness’s Pro Plan is undoubtedly the best value. If you’re starting a business from scratch, you’ll definitely want to consider using the Pro Plan.
The top tier of ZenBusiness’s service is their Premium Plan. This option is $299 a year, plus state fees. Like the Starter plan, this option includes the filing service, registered agent, and operating agreement template. It also includes the Employer ID Number, banking resolution template, and yearly compliance with two additional filings like the Pro Plan. Since this is the Premium Plan, all of these documents are filed at rush speed—again getting a quicker turnaround time with more money.
The bonuses featured at this level are a business webpage, a business domain name with a privacy setting, and a business email. If you want to do business online or have your company come up in web searches, this is the best option to choose from.
Pros and Cons
ZenBusiness offers an annual registered agent service, and this is something many business owners don’t think they’ll need going into things. It’s a fantastic resource, and one that isn’t offered by too many online LLC formation companies, so it’s something you’ll want to take advantage of with ZenBusiness.
The biggest pro for ZenBusiness is their worry-free compliance guarantee. Your business will have to file annual reports, and paying for that service through ZenBusiness means they will send you alerts and reminders about what information is due.
If you miss a deadline, ZenBusiness sends you an action plan and covers the costs to get your business back in good standing with the state. This is an outstanding feature for ZenBusiness to offer and will take a lot of stress off of you.
The biggest con for ZenBusiness is that if you’re trying to form any type of business other than an LLC, the company won’t be able to help you. Another con, though not as major, is that customer support is not available in real-time on Saturdays.
ZenBusiness has customer support chat on their website, available in real-time on weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm Central Time. They even offer Sunday hours, from 10 am to 7 pm Central. If you don’t want to chat on their website, they are available by phone during those same hours.
If you prefer to email, they have a customer support email address with a turnaround time of one business day.
Ease of Use
ZenBusiness is incredibly easy to use on your own, with an intuitive user dashboard and a robust Help Center. If you encounter a problem, getting help via the customer support chat is a handy feature, as employees can walk you through any problem you may be having.
Since all plans include a registered agent, if you’re having more business-centric problems, they’re available to help you during business hours. Your registered agent will review legal documents, keep your business in compliance, and is able to represent you to be served with legal documents.
Speed of Formation
ZenBusiness offers three different speeds of formation: standard, expedited, and rush. These are built into the three plans if you are getting all of your services from ZenBusiness, and are the best value. Even if you’re picking and choosing services from their menu, you can still change the speed of formation.
Standard speed is included with the Starter Plan and can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. Expedited speed starts at $50, but the price and exact speed depend on the state. For example, expedited speed in New Hampshire costs $50 and takes 2 to 3 weeks. However, expedited speed in California costs $85 and will be completed in 7 to 10 days.
There are similar state-specific differences for rush speed. In New Hampshire, this option is $100 and will be done in 7 to 10 days. In California, rush speed costs $485 and is completed in 2 to 6 days. Remember, this is just for choosing services a la carte; expedited and rush speeds are built into the price of Pro and Premium packages.
Company Track Record
ZenBusiness has a great track record because they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, ensuring all customers are satisfied. Because ZenBusiness has set prices on all of its services, customers know what they’re going to pay. Even though state fees are added on, ZenBusiness has a page with all of this information available, so customers are not surprised at checkout. The company seems to offer full transparency on what you pay and exactly what you’ll get.
ZenBusiness seems to be the total package. They’ll help you get your business off the ground and support you along the way. They offer great prices for their packages, and their services go above and beyond what most other LLC formation companies provide. With their 100% satisfaction guarantee, ZenBusiness seems like the best option to start your business.
Incfile is also a Texas-based LLC formation service; they have been in business since 2004 and have helped form over 250,000 corporations. Instead of bundling services into leveled plans like ZenBusiness, Incfile focuses its packages on what type of business you’re creating. Options include LLCs, S Corporations, C Corporations, and nonprofits.
Depending on what type of business you are forming, Incfile offers a variety of legal assistance, such as:
- Due Diligence
- Business Entity Filings
- Registered Agent Services
- Business Tax Filing
- Trademark Registration
- Certificate of Good Standing
Incfile boasts that clients will pay only state fees, which sounds like a better price than ZenBusiness’s annual plans. But when you read the fine print, you’ll see that the $0 plus state fees deal is to launch your business at their Silver level. The Gold and Platinum plans offer more services but cost money in addition to state fees.
Keep in mind that state fees vary depending on what type of business you’re forming, with nonprofits having the lowest fees and LLCs typically having the highest. The Incfile site will allow you to choose your business type and state to see how much fees are before you check out.
Incfile’s Silver Package has a charge of $0, so you’re only paying your state fees for one year. These basic services will prepare and file your Articles of Organization, run unlimited business name searches, and give you a registered agent for a year.
The Gold Package is Incfile’s most popular plan, and it costs $149 for that package, regardless of what type of business you’re starting. Remember, state fees do depend on the type of business, so Incfile’s price is the lowest you will be paying.
In addition to everything in the Silver Package, you will also get:
- EIN Business Tax Number
- IRS Form 2553
- Operating Agreement
- Online Dashboard
- Business Bank Account
- Business Tax Consultation
The Platinum package includes everything in the Gold package, plus business contract templates, a domain name, and a business email. This package is $299 a year and is listed as Incfile’s best value.
Pros and Cons
One major pro of Incfile is their $0 fee for the base Silver package. By only charging users state fees, Incfile will give a lot of people a leg up in getting their business started. Their package prices are on par with ZenBusiness, but what’s offered in each package is not as high quality as ZenBusiness. You can add services from Incfile a la carte, but that gets expensive.
Another pro is that Incfile promises to submit your paperwork within one business day. The company also gives you a discount if you use their company to file your personal taxes along with your business taxes.
Cons include having no way to build legal forms through their site and not having the option to consult with a lawyer.
Incfile’s customer service is available via phone on weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm Central Time. They do not offer Sunday hours, though ZenBusiness does. Incfile has a contact form on their site where you can email them questions, and while they say they’ll reply as quickly as possible, there’s no definite turnaround time like ZenBusiness lists. Incfile also only has two methods of contact since they do not offer a real-time chat option on their website as ZenBusiness does.
Ease of Use
Incfile’s site is easy to use. After selecting the type of business you’re forming, and where it will be based, you’ll be able to pick a package. At this point, you can see what your state fees will be and input your information. Incfile goes through the registration process and sends links if they need more information from you along the way.
Incfile’s best value package is their Platinum package, which gives you access to all of the company’s services for $299 a year. This offer can’t compare to ZenBusiness, though; their Premium plan is the same price but offers more extensive services.
Speed of Formation
Incfile hits the mark with their speed of formation. As previously mentioned, they submit your business paperwork within one business day, regardless of what package you choose. ZenBusiness, on the other hand, offers faster service based on which plan you buy. This means you’re spending more money for faster service, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but Incfile definitely excels with their one business day promise.
Company Track Record
Incfile has been around since 2004 and has helped form over 250,000 businesses. In contrast, ZenBusiness has only been around since 2015 and has helped thousands of people start businesses. Incfile seems to have the longevity and the numbers to show they can do the best work for you.
It is important to note that, as of 9/25/2020, Incfile is not backed by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB claims that Incfile isn’t meeting the following standards:
- “Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.
- Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity, good faith and intent to do what is reasonably expected.
- Address disputes forwarded by BBB quickly and in good faith.
- Cooperate with BBB in efforts to eliminate the underlying cause of patterns of customer complaints that are identified by BBB.”
Incfile can remedy these issues and be reestablished with the BBB, but this is a current issue that should be taken into consideration when you’re forming your business.
Incfile is a good company if you’re forming a business that isn’t an LLC. They have unique offerings for people starting S Corporations, C Corporations, and nonprofits. The fact that they only charge state fees for their base Silver plan is also a huge perk. Incfile promising to file paperwork within one business day is also a benefit because your wait time will be much shorter. They also don’t make you pay for faster service.
On the downside, they don’t offer as many services as ZenBusiness does, even though the plans are pretty evenly matched on price. They also have one day less of customer service available and one less way to contact support.
When assessing ZenBusiness vs Incfile, it really comes down to what type of business you’re creating. If you’re trying to form a business other than an LLC, Incfile might be the best way to do so. Otherwise, ZenBusiness comes out as the clear winner. They haven’t been around as long as Incfile, but they are backed by the Better Business Bureau and offer the most for your money.
In terms of customer support, ZenBusiness definitely has the upper hand. They offer an extra day of real-time customer support and have an option for real-time chat instead of depending on phone calls or emails to get help. Their online Help Center and user dashboard also make it easier for customers to help themselves before needing to contact support.
ZenBusiness has a variety of services that can help you form and maintain your business over the years. They have helpful options that will remind you to file annual reports, and they will also cover any costs you incur for missing any important deadlines. ZenBusiness has a 100% satisfaction guarantee that makes it the best choice for your business needs.