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Best LLC Service! 2020
ZenBusiness is a company based in Austin, Texas that specializes in helping individuals and entrepreneurs form their own business using an automated, low-cost service. ZenBusiness promises on its website to create an LLC for free and get you started in just five minutes with an inexpensive service.
Primarily, ZenBusiness is designed to do the paperwork of local and state filing when forming a business on your own. We are very impressed with these folks at ZenBusiness, and we have them ranked at the top of our list of The 4 Best LLC Services 2020.
The question is whether ZenBusiness is right for you. What follows in this ZenBusiness review is a breakdown of their services, an examination of what they provide, and whether this is the right path for you to form your own business.
LLC Plans/ Prices + State Fee/ Time
Starter $49 Form in 1-3 weeks!
Pro $179 Form in 4-6 business days!
Premium $299 Form in 1-3 business days!
How ZenBusiness Works
The company itself is relatively straightforward in terms of what they do. ZenBusiness offers a filing service that is designed to be fast and low cost. While you will have to pay any state fees associated with forming your own business, the preparation and filing of the paperwork itself are free when you use ZenBusiness. Also, the company offers a personalized dashboard, so you can track your progress and support staff to answer your questions.
ZenBusiness – Background
ZenBusiness is a small company itself, consisting of roughly 15 people who work together to help others form their businesses. ZenBusiness was created from Corp Tech, which was a white label formation service designed to help small law offices find new leads for their services. As Corp Tech was struggling to gain traction, the idea to create a new business model based on helping those wanting to start small businesses was formed.
The founders at Corp Tech teamed up with former HomeAway CTO Ross Buhrdorf, who became the CEO of ZenBusiness, and started the company. With the new vision in place, the next step was to identify what areas needed to be served.
Digital Technology: Arguably, the most critical area was the harnessing of new technology to help make the process of forming a business easier. The use of technology means that all the products and services the company provides helps those creating a business to get everything submitted quickly and efficiently.
Support: It’s not surprising that many who start up a business have little to no experience when it comes to the requirements from local and state authorities. This was an area that is underserved across the US, so ZenBusiness was designed to meet such challenges, provide expert guidance, and create low-cost pricing packages to help entrepreneurs and those wanting to create a small business get the help they need.
ZenBusiness offers four packages, but it is recommended to start with the Starter package at $49. These plans are designed to meet the needs of your newly formed business. Each package offers different services depending on what is spent.
Basic: There is no cost to the Basic package as it allows you to use the services of ZenBusiness to create your solution. The services that are provided with the Basic package include the following;
- Search for Name Availability
- Filing and Verification
- Articles of Organization
The Basic package allows you to form your company in roughly four weeks, though the actual time may vary depending on the response time of the state agencies.
Starter – $49: Here, you get all the services that the Basic package provides and more. The services included in the Starter package are as follows;
- Personalized Dashboard
- Agent Service that is Registered
- Chat Support in Real-Time
With the Starter package, you can expect your company to be legally formed in three to four weeks, depending on the response time of state agencies.
Pro – $179: The Pro plan is advertised as the most popular and offers everything that the Basic and Starter packages provide along with the following;
- Greater Speed of Formation
- Free CPA Consultation
- Operating Agreement along with Bylaws
- Employer ID # (EIN)
- Compliance Guarantee
With the Pro package, you can expect your company to be fully formed in one to two weeks again, depending on the response time of state agencies.
Premium – $299: This is the top-tier package offered by ZenBusiness and includes everything in the Basic, Starter, and Pro packages along with the following;
- Free Quote for Insurance
- Chat & Monthly Support for Accounting
- Xero Account Software
- Business Bank & Email Address
- Privacy Protection for Domain
You can expect to be up and running in three to five days when you purchase the Premium package depending on the response speed of state agencies.
Additional Formation Services
Filing Service: The service itself is free, although you will have to pay any state fees that are associated with the filing process. This means you receive the following;
- Business Name Verification
- File Articles of Organization
- Coordination with Your Secretary of State
- Show Confirmation in Your Dashboard
Operating Agreement – $35 one-time fee: You get an operating agreement template for your company. This is the legal document for your LLC and creates an outline that defines the responsibilities of the owner, business members, and the working relationship between ownership, management, and employees.
Faster Formation $50 to $100 one-time fee: You can speed up the formation of your business by using this service. For a one-time fee, you can form your company within days instead of weeks, although the exact time will depend on the response from the state agencies.
Also, ZenBusiness offers several exceptional services that are part of packages or can be purchased separately depending on your needs. They include, but are not limited to the following;
- Accounting & Bookkeeping: $25 per month
- Amendment: $100 plus any state fees
- Annual Reports: $75
- Business Bank Account: $10 per month
- Business Insurance: Apply for Free Quote
- Business Name Reservation: $50 plus any state fees
- Certificate of Good Standing: $75 plus any state fees
- Employee ID Number (EIN): $70
- New York Publication: $200 plus any publication costs
- Worry-Free Compliance Guarantee: $10 per month
Also, you can use the ZenBusiness website to research the cost of state fees from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The site is also helpful for those who want to add services to the package they have chosen.
Pros & Cons
- There are several advantages to using the services of ZenBusiness. Keep in mind that the company itself is designed to speed up and make more accessible the process of forming, running, and keeping compliant with your business.
- Customer Service: If you have a question, ZenBusiness offers easy access to get the answer. Their live chat services are perfect for questions about your billing or the essential services that are provided. Their support staff can answer the more in-depth inquiry.
- Ease of Use: Whatever package of services you choose, you are paying for convenience. This means that ZenBusiness takes care of the little things that you otherwise would have to do when forming and running your business. For those who are busy or want to focus on other aspects of their company, ZenBusiness is a low-cost, effective option.
- Reputation: ZenBusiness has earned a strong reputation over the years for its customer service and the package of services they provide. The many positive reviews are from satisfied business owners who have found their services to be right for their needs.
- There are no real downsides that are outside the services provided by ZenBusiness. It can be stated that what they offer is not necessary, but it is convenient, which is what you are paying to have done. So, you get what you pay for by choosing ZenBusiness.
- It also means that ZenBusiness is not for everyone. Depending on your needs, ZenBusiness may be perfect for helping your company get started, but their follow-up services may not be necessary. It will depend in large part on the nature of your business, your experience in working with state agencies, and whether you can do some of the services provided yourself.
The advantages that ZenBusiness offers are considerable, but keep in mind that you can do most of it on your own without the help of ZenBusiness. If you are willing to put in the time and legwork, you can create your own business, file for an LLC, and do what is necessary to complete all the required paperwork.
The monthly fee, even for the higher-priced services, is relatively low and provides several options over the life of your business. However, you may find other options that are more work-intensive, but less expensive compared to what ZenBusiness provides.
Still, for those who do not have the time or patience to do the work themselves, ZenBusiness is an attractive option. The packages they provide are low cost, they handle the necessary paperwork, and they can give advice and guidance that makes forming your own business somewhat more accessible and more understandable.
ZenBusiness may not be for everyone, but it is a low-cost option that avoids having to do most of the paperwork required to form a business.