Financial independence is every entrepreneur’s ultimate aim. However, this independence comes at a cost. Nonetheless, there are no reasons to prevent you from climbing the entrepreneurial ladder. The most important thing is to start small and grow day by day.
Starting a business can be hectic if not overwhelming. With too much paperwork to deal with, it’s easy to give up. In this regard, many incorporation companies have come up to bridge the gap between your hard work and success.
Bearing in mind that all incorporation companies are online-based, you can incorporate your business without visiting their offices. Most incorporation service providers work in all 50 states. Among the choices, you’re supposed to make the type of business entity you want, incorporated, and LLC service provider to hold your hand.
While all other choices are essential, the LLC service you choose is equally pivotal. These business formation service providers will make your journey as simple as a walk in the park by saving you time and money. Research on them may save you a lot of headache.
As an entrepreneur, I know the anxiety of entering into a new venture. That being the case, I want to help you with the LLC formation service providers’ choices. Having looked into all of them, I understand better their products, services, and pricing. This review may just come in handy when you need it most.
LegalZoom, GovDocFiling, Swyft Filings, Corpnet are some LLC services, to mention but a few. All of them will help you in the filing process in all 50 states. However, their pricing differs, and so are their services. Additionally, some of them offer multiple packages for your convenience.
In this review, we will concentrate on Inc authority and Zen Business. We will compare their pricing, packages, products, and services and look at what customers say about them.
Ever since its establishment in the year 2015, ZenBusiness has seen many business entities incorporated. They have various LLC formation packages for their clients. Apart from formation services, they also offer additional services to help businesses attain compliance.
ZenBusiness has three business formation packages to help you set up your business. The starter formation package is the most basic, followed by the pro plan and the premium package.
As the name start suggests, this package is the cheapest and suitable for a new small business owner. Although you get limited business services in this package, it may be of great help for beginners. At the cost of $49, you will be good to go with your company formation.
You are required to pay the state filing fee separately. Keep in mind that the state fees are different in all 50 states.
Below are the various services you get when you opt for the starter package.
Name Availability Search
A business name is compulsory. Understandably, the title helps identify your business. In some cases, the name of your choice may not be available. ZenBusiness having access to the business database will help you know whether the name of your choice is available or not.
Articles of Organization Filing
Articles of organization are documents needed by the state to incorporate your business. ZenBusiness will help you draft them to ensure that the process of incorporation with the state is booming.
Registered Agent Service
A registered agent can be a person or company that receives all legal documents from the state on behalf of your business. It’s imperative to mention that you can act as a registered agent for your company. However, having a third party like ZenBusiness to run the errands saves you a lot of time and resources.
ZenBusiness offers these services to their customers free of charge for 12 months. After that period, you will need to renew this service at a fee of $119 per year.
Drafting of Operating Agreement
LLC operating agreement outlines the structure of your business. Also, it has some of the basic rules and regulations that will govern your company. In this package, ZenBusiness will help you draft an LLC operating agreement.
Various aspects of your business like bookkeeping, tax, and accounting need assessment after a particular period. In this case, ZenBusiness will help you with the evaluation to help you identify your business needs.
This package will cost you a $149 state fee not included. Being the second plan, it’s a little bit more expensive than the starter package. However, there are additional products and services in this bouquet.
All the products and services in the starter package are also available in this one. Besides, you get other services like;
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
This document is also known as Federal Tax ID. Without this nine-numeric code, it won’t be possible for your business to employ new staff, open bank accounts, or file taxes. It’s almost impossible to operate without it.
Worry not. In this package, you will have an Employer Identification Number secured for you.
Banking Resolution Template
There must be an outline of who is supposed to open an account in any business entity. This order can be put in place by a banking resolution template. In this feature, you will get this document free of charge.
This guarantee is a service that will see annual reports for your business filed with the state. In case of any amendment, you are allowed to do it two times a year. With tight filing deadlines to meet, missing them once in a while is possible.
However, don’t sweat it out. In case you miss any deadline, ZenBusiness will help restore your good standing with the state. However, this is only possible for those on pro or premium packages only.
The premium plan is ZenBusiness’s highest package. This bouquet is available to customers at the cost of $249, state fees not included. While it may appear expensive, products and services that come with this pack may be enticing.
The package includes all services in starter and pro packages. Other additional services include;
In this feature, your business will get a website that may make your marketing endeavors easier.
Rush Filing Speed
In case you want your entity incorporated faster, this package is for you. Customers in this bouquet enjoy rush filing speed than their counterparts in starter and pro packages.
Domain Name Registration
A business website is good. However, it makes it easier for your customers to remember when it comes with a domain name. ZenBusiness will help you register a domain for your business and offer a dashboard tool to manage it.
Domain name filing, as much as it’s good, has its downside. In some cases, it may expose your private information. However, with this feature, ZenBusiness will secure your confidential information.
Having a personal email address is an excellent idea. The same is true when it comes to your business. Having a business email address is a good idea. ZenBusiness will offer you free email for your business wrapped in 5 GB storage space.
Apart from business formation services, there are other additional services that ZenBusiness offers to new and existing business entities. Here are some
Change is gradual, and as days go by, you may need to amend some information provided during formation. This evolution may be as a result of the change of ownership, name, or address. If that is the case, ZenBusiness will run the errands on your behalf at the cost of $100 state fees excluded.
Certificate of Good Standing
This document is also known as a certificate of authorization. It’s a state-issued document to show that your business has all it takes to operate. At the cost of $75, ZenBusiness will help you acquire this document with ease.
Business Name Reservation
As highlighted earlier, a business name is pivotal. In that case, it would be advisable to come up with the best name even before you start your business. Nonetheless, that isn’t a guarantee that they won’t take your name from the time you start the incorporation process.
Subsequently, immediately you come up with the unique name, it would be advisable to apply for a business name reservation at the cost of $50 with ZenBusiness.
What I Like About ZenBusiness
- Their LLC incorporation process is easy and exciting
- There are no add-on services during the incorporation process. Their additional services are optional, and their prices are straight forward on their website
- They offer services of a registered agent to their customers free of charge for 12 months
- Customer feedback on their services is encouraging
What I Don’t Like About ZenBusiness
Their incorporation fees are pretty high compared to those of Inc Authority, Inc File, Swyft Filings.
This LLC formation service provider stands out as the most unique in the market. You can incorporate your limited liability company or any business entity with as low as $0. Although get free LLC formation, you ought to know that they must up-sell their services to you for them to make a profit.
Although you will have to deal with so many add-on services during online incorporation, you will be good to go if you manage to evade them. Inc Authority offers their first package at $0, in faith that you will buy other products and services from them after incorporation.
Inc Authority’s Packages
Like ZenBusiness, their services are divided into packages. The more you spend, the more products and services you get. Here are some of their packages
If I were you, I would go for this while starting my new business. This package would cost you nothing unless you opt for an upgrade.
Here are add-on services you will be prompted to choose at a fee.
- The domain name at $19
- A record book at $99
- Federal Tax ID Number at $49
- Resolution forms templates and minutes at $79
- An operating agreement at $89
- Express filing speed at $49
It’s imperative to note that all these services are add-on services. In case you are not sure of any of them, it would be advisable to seek an attorney’s advice. Also, it’s worth highlighting that whether you choose any of the above services, the LLC formation process will still be successful.
Starter Business Bundle
This plan is another bouquet offered by Inc Authority. Unlike the basic plan that doesn’t cost you a dime, you will need $399 to get various products and services unless you opt for upgrades. You pay the state fee separately.
In this package, you get;
It’s after verification you will know whether another entity claims your name of choice or not.
Articles of Organization
In case you are incorporating an LLC, you will get articles of organization. Also, you will get the articles of incorporation if you establish a corporation.
An operating agreement outlines the basic business structure for your company. This document will be available for limited liability companies in this bouquet, while corporations will get corporate bylaws in this package.
Employer Identification Number
As highlighted earlier, an EIN has numerous benefits. In this bundle, Inc Authority will secure an EIN for you.
These certificates are vital documents outlining the number of members and their roles. Getting these critical documents is relatively easy while in the starter bundle.
Paying tax is an obligation of every business entity. However, making a critical decision on taxation may be challenging. But in this bundle, you get free taxation consultation and advice.
Minutes and Resolutions
Inc Authority will provide you with minutes and resolution for your entail meeting.
Seal and Record Book
A company seal is an asset that may make your company more credible. In this bundle, you will get a company seal and a record book.
Executive Business Bundle
This bouquet is the Inc authority’s third package. At the cost of $499, you will get all services included in the starter plan. Like in all the other programs, you will have to cater for state fees. Since this pack is slightly higher, you will get additional services like a website domain and a business license report.
Tycoon Business Bundle
This package is the highest that Inc Authority offers. A $799 fee needed to access services in this package is vast enough to scare a new business owner like you. However, it’s imperative to understand that some of these bundles are for big firms.
In this package, you get all products and services in the executive bundle. Here are some other additional products.
- Business credit launchpad
- Credit coach for your business
- Expedited processing
- Registration of D&B credit bureau
- BizCredit express
It’s easy to notice that services in this package aren’t for new LLCs. As a new business owner, it would be advisable only to use the services that you need. At times, you may acquire a service from a different LLC service provider offering cheaper rates.
For instance, you would opt to secure an EIN directly from the Internal Revenue Service instead of paying for this service. As a result, you may save a dime which you highly need while growing your business.
Additional Services by Inc Authority
- Business funding services
- Application for a federal trademark
- Drafting business plans
- Offering business credit facilities
- Website design
- Application for a revocable living trust
All these are additional services offered by Inc Authority. Nonetheless, there is limited information online on how they charge for these services. Visit their website in case you need either of the additional services.
Pros of Using Inc Authority
- They offer free formation services. You can use their basic package to incorporate an LLC, Corporation, and s-corporation.
- Free registered agent services for 12 months
- Name availability check with them is free of charge
- They have active customer support
Cons of Using Inc Authority
- Their fee of $49 to acquire an EIN is relatively high, bearing in mind getting it via IRS is free of charge
- Their online incorporation is full of add-ons and upsells to trick you
Comparison on Pricing
As a new business, going for the most affordable LLC service provider is justifiable. Undoubtedly, in the beginning, you don’t need a lot of services. The most basic service is filing and making sure you have all the legal requirements to operate.
In this regard, I would advise you to go for Inc Authority. Their free package may help you before you get established. As for other packages, I would recommend using ZenBusiness since they are relatively fair compared to Inc Authority.
Comparison Based On Reputation and Customer Reviews
If we were to consider what other people say about these LLC services, Inc Authority would steal the show. 93% of more than 3500 reviews were positive. They have a 5-star rating on both TrustPilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
ZenBusiness also enjoys a 5-star rating on TrustPilot. Each LLC service here has a good reputation. Just make your independent choice and gauge services based on firsthand experience.
Comparison Based on Customer Support
On customer support, Inc Authority has limited time. You can only reach them from 9 AM to 5 PM on regular working days. While that may sound normal to many, it may disadvantage those who don’t work during office hours and need customer support services.
Nonetheless, they have a suitable follow-up procedure where their official calls you ten minutes after incorporation to guide you through to the next step.
ZenBusiness has excellent customer support. Among their positive reviews, numerous of them hail their customer support for good work.
The Final Verdict
As a new business owner, Inc Authority’s basic plan is a good deal. You may take the opportunity to save a dime in this package. However, their other bundles are a little bit expensive for beginners.
After incorporation and establishment, it would be advisable to go for ZenBusiness packages rather than Inc Authority. Comparing their other prices on the other three plans, you would find ZenBusiness’s prices quite fair.
Additionally, examining other LLC service providers like Swyft Filings and Inc File would do you no harm. Some of them offer competitive prices in the market. You may as well use various services from different LLC service providers.
While choosing packages, make sure that you pay for the services that your business needs. Don’t be over-ambitious, and at the same time, don’t underestimate your business. Make sure that you’re making the right decisions and using an attorney.