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One of the first and most important steps as a new business owner is to get your limited liability company (LLC) set up in the right way to make sure it’s set up correctly as a separate legal business entity.
But during the early stages of creating a business, you have more than enough to do to work on your idea and getting new customers.
The great thing with LLC formation services like ZenBusiness is that they help avoid making common mistakes and spending hours of time figuring out the paperwork.
In this ZenBusiness LLC service review, we’ll show you exactly what the company offers and how existing clients rate it.
What Is ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness is a Texas-based company that offers a business formation service specifically focusing on small business owners.
The company entered the business formation industry in 2015 and has since grown to be one of the leading companies with one of the highest Better Business Bureau scores.
ZenBusiness has taken the approach that the business formation process should take up as little time as possible for the owner while also not being a huge cost at a time when startup funds are tight and limited.
With one of the cheapest packages available, even their entry-level package includes registered agent service and the operating agreement.
ZenBusiness charges less than $40 for their service, but you have to factor in state filing fees which can range from $50 to $500 depending on the state you’re registering in.
We’ll get to the different available packages shortly, and you’ll see that their LLC formation process is one of the most competitive ones on the market.
How Does ZenBusiness Work?
The online business services industry has grown and matured a lot in the last 10 years. There was a time when business formation involved multiple trips to lawyers, tax advisors, and accountants to get all the paperwork in place.
These days, a small business owner just needs to register on a site like ZenBusiness with a few details about the owner and the business, and their team takes care of pretty much everything needed.
The first thing ZenBusiness does is check whether your chosen business name is available. This is an important part of the LLC service to avoid delays in the registration process or even refiling fees.
Preparing and filing articles of organization is the next step, and these are vital business documents that formally create your LLC.
What we particularly like about ZenBusiness is that they offer registered agent services for free in the first year. It’s a service that every LLC must have and is in place to act as an intermediary for important documents.
Certain state and federal documents get posted to the registered agent, who is then responsible for forwarding them to you.
ZenBusiness also offers additional services like banking resolution, employer number, and even a company website and email setup.
More on these when we look at the different packages.
ZenBusiness Pros And Cons
Any small business that is trying to get up and running on a shoestring budget will find the prices ZenBusiness charges for LLC services highly competitive. The most basic package will give you everything you need to get your business registered as a separate legal entity.
And what we like is that ZenBusiness includes registered agent service for free in the first year.
When budgets are tight, that’s one less thing to have to worry about.
And even after the first year, the current price is only $119 for them to act as a registered agent.
It’s also great to see that the operating agreement document is included, which makes it another thing you don’t have to worry about sourcing yourself.
You may also want to consider upgrading to the pro package as it contains a worry-free guarantee for your annual reports filings. Not only is it a great way to have an annual reminder to complete these filings, but someone else will take care of them.
ZenBusiness will also provide you with advice on your accounting needs based on your ownership structure and the industry you’re operating in.
That can save you a lot of research and uncertainty to ensure you don’t cut corners in your bookkeeping.
The main thing that ZenBusienss doesn’t offer as part of an upsell or advanced package is legal services for contracts. This is available with some competitors, and it might be important if you regularly exchange legal contracts with clients and vendors.
- Best LLC services when it comes to value for money
- Operating agreement Included in the basic package
- Worry free guarantee of pro packages includes annual report filings
- Many positive comments online about the great customer service
- Risk-free accounting assessment is ideal for startup companies
- No legal add on services available
ZenBusiness LLC Formation Services
Like other business formation services, Zen Business offers services in multiple different packages that aim to satisfy different types of owners to get up and running.
Let’s take a closer look at the packages.
1. Starter ($39 + state fees)
Make sure you factor in that your state fee could be anywhere between $50 and $500 depending on the state you’re registering in.
But here is what the ZenBusiness service includes.
Name Availability Search
This is an important part before you start filing and registering your LLC. If another business uses a similar or same business name, then you could end up having to refile, adding time and costs.
Articles Of Organization
It’s one of the most important documents in the process and instructs the state authority to create your new LLC. With ZenBusienss, this is a hands-off service, where they prepare and file the document on your behalf.
Registered Agent Service
You cannot form an LLC without also designating a registered agent. It’s their responsibility to take care of important document deliveries and forward them to you. This service is free for the first year and then costs a very competitive $119 per year.
This document defines the legal structure and ownership of the company. It also defines some standard ground rules for operating the business and becomes part of your legal business definition.
You also get a free assessment to recommend your accounting needs. This can be highly valuable for certain types of business where more complicated sales and other taxes are involved.
2. Pro ($149 + state fees)
The second one of the LLC formation packages includes everything from the starter packages, plus these three services.
Federal Tax ID Number
You can obtain this yourself by going through a registration process with the IRS, and it acts as an employer identification number (EIN) as well. You will need this in order to open business bank accounts, file your tax returns, and hire employees.
It’s a small bonus for this package, but it might be worth it if you don’t want to fill out the necessary forms.
Annual Report Filing
Once your LLC is fully set up, you’ll need to file annual reports about the business with the state authorities. This is something that is easily forgotten, and having ZenBusiness take care of it can ensure that you remain in good standing with state authorities.
Finally, ZenBusiness will provide a banking resolution template, which indicates what people in your organization have the authority to open a bank account.
3. Premium ($249 + state fees)
The premium package from ZenBusiness includes everything from the starter and pro package, plus these extras that we’ve seen positive customer reviews on.
Company Domain Name
Very few businesses these days will get very far without a domain name and a business website. And ZenBusiness provides you with that domain name, including domain privacy.
The value in this is avoiding being slowly spammed to death by people who simply lookup domain registration details.
Business Email Account
You’ll also get your very own business email setup so that you’re immediately able to connect with people using a branded email address. It’s much better for marketing purposes than using a generic Yahoo, Hotmail, or iCloud account.
New Business Website
You’ll also get your website set up with some basic initial content. It’s not going to be a fully functioning site with a storefront and all the bells and whistles. But it’s a good starting point, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.
Expedited Filing Speed
If you’re under pressure to form an LLC, then this might be a good add-on for you. With expedited and rush filing options, you can have all your LLC certificates in a much faster time.
Choosing The Right Package For Your Needs
There are a couple of ways that you can look at the packages to determine which one is most suitable.
If you’re trying to form an LLC on an absolute shoestring budget, then the starter package will be the option to choose. It should give you LLC documentation within about 30 days, but you’d still have to take care of things like your TIN and EIN with the IRS.
It’s not a big deal but will add some work before you can open a checking account or even hire people.
2. Hands-Off Experience
If you really want a much more done-for-you experience that goes beyond the basic searches, registration, and operating agreement, then we’d recommend going for the pro package.
The extra business formation services are well worth it to get you to the start line and ready to operate without running into filing issues or missed documentation.
3. Speed And Web Presence
And if you need to get fully set up due to a deadline and like the idea of getting some initial help with your website and email address, then the premium pack is the way to go.
Customer feedback has been positive about this option working well to form an LLC in the shortest time possible.
How do you make your company LLC?
You make your company LLC by choosing and registering a name, filing articles of organization, selecting a registered agent, creating an operating agreement, and getting your tax identification number. Or, you can hire an LLC service to take care of it all.
Does ZenBusiness offer legal services?
No, ZenBusiness doesn’t offer legal LLC services. They will file all the legal correspondence and documentation with the relevant government organizations, but legal support and advice for contracts and other company matters is not available.
Does ZenBusiness have an app?
No, ZenBusiness doesn’t have an app for their LLC services. The company does offer an app for managing business payments, which may be of interest to new business owners for taking payments.
Where is ZenBusiness located?
ZenBusiness is located in Austin, Texas. But with its online LLC service and other products, it’s able to provide support to people all over the U.S.
Is ZenBusiness a registered agent?
Yes, ZenBusiness is a registered agent, and this is an important part of their LLC service. Every LLC has to nominate a registered agent to handle certain legal documents. Even with the starter plan, you get this service for free in the first year, and then it’s a competitive $119 per year.
Is ZenBusiness legit?
Yes, ZenBusiness is legit. The company has taken on the LLC service industry with extremely competitive prices and a rushed filing speed that suits many new business owners. They might not yet have the brand power like others in this industry, but they have grown to be one of the bigger players.
Have You Decided On Your ZenBusiness Plan Yet?
While there are many other LLC formation services to choose from, very few offer as much value for money with the same number of positive online reviews.
If you need LLC formation services for a tight budget, then use the web-chat or registration page to find out what your current estimated formation date would be.
And if you can extend your budget to the premium service, then you could have a lot of your web and email presence ready to go in a matter of weeks.