Start-ups and small businesses inevitably go through a rigorous learning curve within their first years of operation. During this period, they have to make several critical decisions. More often than not, this places them in unfamiliar territory, which could inevitably lead to costly mistakes.
However, despite this, one area that shouldn’t be taken lightly is incorporating a business. As trivial as it may seem, this single factor could determine whether the business fails or succeeds. It’s the single most essential step an entrepreneur needs to plan on.
Litigation is mostly inevitable for small businesses, considering how simple and frequent it happens in the US. In fact, according to statistics by Klemm Analysis Group Washington, DC, in any given year, between 36% to 56% of small businesses are involved in litigation.
Additionally, a staggering 90% of businesses are involved in litigation at any given time. The numbers speak volumes, and the message is clear. It would help if you were prepared for a lawsuit; cause it’s coming your way. And like a thief, it’ll strike when you least expect it.
The best way through which you can prepare your business is by incorporating. This offers you a legal means of separating your personal assets from the business’s debts and liabilities. Hence, in the event of a lawsuit, your house, cars, bank accounts, and so on are safe.
Ever wondered why the rich manage to retain their wealth even after years of lawsuits against them? There’s your answer. Apart from extending legal protection, incorporating a business increases your legitimacy. Your partners, vendors, and clients can do business with you with the utmost confidence.
If you are looking to raise more capital to expand your operations, incorporating can help you achieve this goal. You can take the company public and easily offer shares. A corporation can perpetually exist even after the shareholders, directors, and officers are gone.
These are but a few of the immense benefits of incorporating a business. If you are still unsure whether or not to incorporate your business, consider getting legal advice from an attorney.
In some instances, this could be expensive for some start-ups. If you find yourself in such a predicament, don’t worry. Online incorporation firms such as Swyft filings, Rocket lawyer, and Zen business make business formation a walk in the park.
Not only that, they offer these services at a fraction of the cost. In this Zen business vs. IncFile review article, we shall put the two titans against each other in a head-to-head competition. The purpose of this piece is to make it easy for you to make an informed decision while shopping for the best LLC formation service provider.
In order to make the comparison meaningful, I have selected six crucial points that I regularly use to gauge and rate companies. These are Experience, Packages, Features, Support, Customer review, and Ratings.
I believe that these 6 points form the foundation of a reliable firm. Please feel free to modify the parameters to include aspects you deem necessary. Experience plays a vital role in my decision-making process. You can never go wrong with the oldest, most established firm on the list.
Nevertheless, those that know me know that I’m not as rigid as I sound. I tend to try out new firms/products once in a while. New and upcoming firms could surprise and wow you big time. But that’s just me.
Founded in 2015, ZenBusiness uses technology and automation to provide fast and low-cost business formation services. They offer tailor-made business services that meet the needs of any small business owner.
Over the years, the firm has managed to offer worry-free services, world-class support, and an all-inclusive platform that provides all the necessary tools to run a successful business. The socially conscious firm managed to provide over $100,000 in grants in 2020.
To date, thousands of happy clients have leveraged the firm’s business expertise and legal service to set up corporations across the 50 states.
The Houston-based LLC service provider opened its doors to customers in 2004. Since then, they’ve been running on max throttle and have never looked back. To date, the firm has managed to help over 500,000 entrepreneurs set-up LLCs, Corporations, and Non-profits.
The firm’s goal is to offer unparalleled experience and value. Clients use their easy-to-use online order form that sees you incorporated in a few minutes to accomplish this. Their business formation packages start as low as %0 + State fee.
Trusted by over half a million entrepreneurs, ZenBusiness has managed to make a name for itself in the incorporation world. Undoubtedly, it has managed to stand the test of time. Still, the firm hasn’t been around longer than IncFile. As such, IncFile manages to score the first point for being around the longest.
Before you take the essential step of incorporating your business, please take time to understand what goes into company formation. The more information you have, the better. Why? This way, you are best suited to pick a firm that offers the most competitive deal.
So, what do you need to incorporate a business? It would be best if you had a business name, Registered Agent, Articles of Incorporation, Employer Identification Number, Operating Agreement, Tax Forms, etc. unfortunately, most online business formation firms offer these at a price.
So, whichever firm offers the most from the list is a winner in my books. Additionally, you can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS’s website for free.
ZenBusiness offers some of the most competitively priced business formation packages in the industry. As a client, you have three alternatives to pick from. They are the Starter package, Pro, and Premium packages.
The entry-level Starter package retails at $49, billed annually. The other two are priced at $199 and $299 plus the state fee, respectively.
For the purpose of comparison, we shall be looking at both firm’s entry-level packages. The Starter pack comes with the following features: Name Availability Search, Online Document Access, Registered Agent Service for a year, Operating Agreement Template.
Like its counterpart, IncFile offers three business formation packages. They are the Silver package, Gold package, and Platinum package. They retail at $110, $259, and $409, respectively. All three packages are slightly expensive compared to Zen Business’s packages.
IncFile’s entry-level package, Silver Package, offers Unlimited Name Search, Free Registered Agent Service for up-to a year, Preparing and Filing Articles of Organization.
Both firms are equally matched when it comes to product features. Nonetheless, ZenBusiness comes ahead, thanks to the low prices of their packages.
Like before, you need a way of separating the chaff from the wheat while shopping for an online business formation service provider. Unscrupulous firms may attempt to lure you in with crafty marketing, offering tons of “FREE features.”
Undoubtedly, millions will fall for such tricks. But, in the end, what counts are the services you seek to start, run and grow your business to new heights. Don’t be deceived by the smoke and mirror techniques used by marketing executives. Set your eyes on the ultimate goal.
Where possible, you should always strive to go with a firm that offers a multitude of products and features under one roof. Rather than leveraging multiple platforms in running your business, having everything on a central platform is prudent.
It lowers the chances of having mistakes and losing vital data, particularly during tax filing season. It also reduces friction as a result of using multiple platforms.
Start by forming your new business.
- Registered Agent Service
- Business Formation Service
- Fast Filling Speeds
- Operating Agreement Template
Run your business and stay compliant with all state requirements
- Employer Identification Number
- Business License Report
- Annual Reports
- Filing Amendment
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Banking Resolution
- Free Accounting Consultation
- Business Website
- Business Document Template Library
- Business Email Address
- Domain Name Privacy
- Domain Name Registration
- Worry-free compliance
- New York Publication
Grow your company with these additional features
- Business Insurance
- Business Bank Account
- Business Name Reservation
- $150 Google Ads Credit
Manage your company
Manage your company
- State filings
- Free LLC filing
- Foreign Qualification
- Doing Business As/Fictitious Business Name
- Amendment- Name Change
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Business License Search
- Corporate Kit
- Annual Report
3. IRS filing
- Business Accounting
- File S Corp Election
- Employer Identification Number/TAX Number
4. Registered Agent
- Registered Agent Service
- Change of Registered Agent
Most of the additional products and services are equally priced on both platforms. They also offer Free Registered Agent Service for up-to a year. Subsequently, you need to pay $119 on IncFile and $99 on ZenBusiness.
That aside, ZenBusiness offers a slew of helpful features. Additionally, some of them are reasonably priced compared to IncFile. Thus, I award a point to ZenBusiness.
A business is as strong as its weakest link. In most cases, a majority of firms may excel in most aspects but fail on the most critical elements of the business- support! A company’s success rides heavily on its support team.
The business world is quite unforgiving. One wrong move, and you may live to regret it. If you’ve been in business long enough, you know that things tend to go wrong when you least expect it. It could be simple as failing to file your taxes in time, yet highly detrimental.
Notably, the success of your business depends heavily on being able to resolve issues promptly. This, you need to ensure that you only partner with a firm that has a reliable support team. This way, you are guaranteed to get the help you need when you need it.
ZenBusiness understands that your business is essential to you. As such, they offer a multitude of ways to ensure that you get answers to those pressing queries and issues. In line with this, they run an FAQ page as well as a Help Centre.
These are the firm’s first line of answers to some of the concerns you may have. But, like with most FAQs, they tend to be insufficient, leaving your questions unanswered. Hence, you can reach the LLC service provider via phone at 1-844-4-ZENBIZ (1-844-493-6249).
You can have a quick live chat with the support team during business hours (8 am – 8 pm) Monday – Friday Central time or 10 am – 7 pm Sunday’s Central time. To top it all, you can send them an email: email@example.com. The team will strive to respond to you within one business day.
IncFile offers lifetime support to its clients. This way, you can rest assured of getting all the help you need. To accomplish this, you can reach the support team by giving them a call on 1(888).462.3453. Please note that the team is available Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm CST.
The firm runs a learning center filled with tons of useful articles rich in detail. They also offer some effective “tools” that come in handy while looking to form an LLC, Corporation, or Non-profit. You can also send snail mail to IncFile.com LLC 17350 State Highway 249, Suite 220, Houston, TX 77064.
Lastly, you can fill up a form on their website if you need help. Please note that both companies operate various social media pages, including Facebook and Twitter. Most companies do this to make interaction with their customers much more effortless.
This way, they can offer instant responses to them. You are free to leverage these tools in search of help. In this ZenBusiness vs. IncFile review, there can only be one winner under each category. In this case, the point goes to ZenBusiness. They offer live chat capability; the only issue is that it’s accessible during office hours only.
The internet has revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives. This includes the way we do our shopping and make purchases. According to statistics, almost 93% of consumers claim that online reviews influence their purchases.
In the confusing world of online shopping, people want reassurance before committing to purchasing a product. This includes shopping for an online incorporation firm. Thankfully, several online platforms such as TrustPilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) aggregate customer reviews.
This way, you get a feel of what past and current clients have to say about the platform. Additionally, you can also visit various social media platforms to have a sense of the companies.
The business managed to attract a total of 5,142 reviews. A quick look at the reviews paints a picture of happy and satisfied customers. Most speak highly of the firms’ products and services. Here’s what a few of them have to say.
The firm’s reviews on the platform are shockingly opposite compare to TrustPilot. For starters, they are relatively few, averaging only 17 reviews. The issues range from poor customer support, slow delivery, failure to deliver, and so on.
This is typical and can be found across most reviews on other similar companies. Here’s what some had to say.
Unlike its competitor who received over 5,000 reviews on TrustPilot, IncFile only manages to attract a total of 86 reviews. Sadly, nearly 48% of the respondents rate the firm poorly at 1/5. The issues range from poor customer support, slow delivery of service, the wrong catchment of data, etc.
Like on TrustPilot, IncFile doesn’t fair well on BBB. In fact, the online company formation firm had its business accreditation revoked. Here’s a quick snippet of what past customers have to say about the firm.
A firm’s rating is equally as crucial as customer reviews. A company that’s rated highly instills a sense of confidence in its capabilities and dealings. Naturally, you want to align yourself with an LLC formation service provider that is rated highly.
Like before, we are going to rely on data that is publicly available on TrustPilot and BBB. Feel free to further dig around and add your own rating agencies.
Of the 5,142 reviews, a whopping 95% of the reviews are positive. This, in turn, has led the platform to score a 4.8/5 rating on TrustPilot.
ZenBusiness has remained accredited by the BBB since 2019. It’s had 23 complaints within the past 12 months. As such, the firm scores a 2.24/5 rating on BBB.
IncFile manages to squeeze a 2.9/ 5 rating on TrustPilot.
From an average of 295 reviews and 216 complaints within the last 12 months, IncFile scores 3.94/5 on BBB.
- At $49 + State filing fee, ZenBusiness offers some of the most competitively priced formation packages.
- The free Registered Agent service for the first year is impressive.
- Registering a Limited Liability Company/Corporation is simple and straightforward.
- The Free business insurance quotation helps ensure you are protected from unforeseen circumstances.
- You have the option of customizing your own incorporation plan.
- You can get in touch with the support team via live chat.
- Free business name search.
- Tons and tons of positive reviews.
- Free accounting consultation.
- Free operating Agreement template.
- Customers can confidently buy any purchases backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, minus the state fee.
- It’s accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2019.
- Offers free Registered Agent service for the first year.
- Free business name searches.
- Free certified copies of Articles of Organization
- Easy access to company legal documents.
- Easy navigation and usage of the platform.
- They’ve been in business since 2004.
- Compared to other competitors, their packages are affordably priced. Form a business for as little as $0 + State filing fees.
- Winners of the 2017 Entrepreneur 360 Best Company award.
- The upsells can be a bit irritating.
- They charge $70 for an Employer Identification Number which is free via the IRS official website.
- They score poorly on both TrustPilot and BBB.
- Refund and cancellation policies are not clearly and easily indicated.
- Limited means of reaching the support team.
- They are not accredited by the BBB.
By combining both customer feedback and third-party ratings, we can clearly deduce ZenBusiness as a winner. Hence, the firm scores the last and final point.
Both ZenBusiness and IncFile are seasoned companies you can use to register a Limited Liability Company with. Over the years, they have managed to gain the following of hundreds of thousands of clients. Some happy, others not so happy.
Irrespective of whichever business entity you are looking for, you can rest assured that business executives from both firms are more than capable of handling your needs. However, seeing it’s an IncFile Vs. ZenBusiness review article, there can only be one winner- ZenBusiness.
Despite being the younger of the two business formation firms, ZenBusiness has managed to punch way above its weight. With that, it has managed to surpass even the most well-established firms in the industry.
Despite the sky-rocketing success, the firm still has room for improvement. An excellent place, to begin with, would be with their customer support. As impressive as they are, they still need a bit of polishing.
That being said, I would recommend the firm to anyone seeking a professional business legal service provider. Lastly, please note that this doesn’t mean that neither IncFile nor ZenBusiness can substitute your attorney.
What’s a Registered Agent service, and why do I need it?
Registered Agent service is mandatory for any incorporation. The agent acts as a go-between the State of filling and the business. They are in charge of receiving any legal forms from the State and sending them over to you.
Can I be my own Registered Agent?
Absolutely. But there’s a catch. You need to ensure that you are always present during business hours. Failure to do so could lead to possibly having your license/permits revoked by the State. Hence, it’s wise to outsource the services to firms such as IncFile or ZenBusiness.
What’s an Employer Identification Number?
This is a 9-digit code issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It’s given free of charge via their website. Any business operating within the US needs the number. It’s used in filing for taxes, opening a business bank account, hiring employees, carrying out payroll, and much more.
Can you substitute your attorney with online incorporation service providers?
No, you can’t and shouldn’t. These firms only offer online legal services with respect to opening a business. However, they can’t provide legal advice. In case you are facing legal challenges, please consider visiting a reputable law firm or attorney for further legal service.
Can you incorporate a business yourself?
In short, yes, you can, especially if it’s not your first incorporation. There are countless DIY videos on YouTube. If you don’t mind the leg work and tons of paperwork involved, you could form your own LLC, Corporation, or Non-profit.
As always, the fact that you can do it isn’t always a good thing. If you make a single error in filing the formation documents could lead to rejection of the filing or much graver consequences down the line.
How do I pick the right business formation company?
There isn’t a right answer to this. It all boils down to your business needs and budget. However, the points covered in this article should help point you in the right direction. Additionally, consider working with a firm that offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
Why are name searches necessary?
Name searches are vital when it comes to incorporating a business. Not only does this ensure you get your ideal business name, but it also reduces the probability of having your filing rejected by the State.
How do I determine which State is best for incorporating?
The most reliable means of doing this is by having a look at the State’s business friendliness. How are businesses taxed? Which legislation have they put in place to safeguard your interests as a business owner?