One of the most exciting things you can do in life is start a new business. We worked incredibly hard in order to turn our idea about an app development startup into reality, and soon enough we found ourselves ready to launch. As aspiring entrepreneurs, we had made it very clear that taking occasional risks is what makes a killing.
That being said, we decided that our first risk would be to file our business ourselves. Not hiring a professional to do the job for us in order to save some money for other projects meant a lot to the beginners that we were.
Long story short, this was probably one of the stupidest decisions we could ever make. We were oblivious to how important the whole paperwork required for a business formation was, so we failed to file some documents. We even forgot to hire a registered agent – something that every business owner is required by law to acquire for their company.
Luckily, an experienced colleague informed us that if we didn’t do everything properly, we could face some serious repercussions. So, upon learning that they’ve filed their business with the help of a professional firm, we decided to follow suit.
After thorough research to find the best among this type of services, we discovered ZenBusiness – a company that takes care of business formations and provides a registered agent service. We gave them a call and left all of our legal matters in their hands.
In all honesty, they are so attentive and professional that we’re still with them to this very day. That’s why we decided to post this review about them so you can discover what great things they can do for your business.
Why Do You Need ZenBusiness?
Before we dive deeper, let’s first answer that question.
ZenBusiness was founded in Texas in 2015. Since their inception, they’ve helped thousands of business owners build their companies from the ground up. Tons of real customers’ testimonies published on the internet speak about ZenBusiness’s credibility and expertise as a formation service.
What they offer is pretty much everything connected to successful business incorporation and the legal upkeep that comes along the way. Some of the top features that they offer are a registered agent service, EIN acquisition, CPA assessments, Worry Free Compliance guarantee, etc. They even offer website building options on their Premium plan.
You need to fulfill all of those above-mentioned conditions, so you can be fully compliant with all state regulations.
Ultimately, you don’t have to worry about these things or even know what some of them mean. ZenBusiness’s purpose is to take care of every legal responsibility that your business is concerned with, so you can have a piece of mind that you’re in capable hands.
Now let’s jump to our in-depth analysis of the many features ZenBusiness offers, its pricing, strengths, and potential weaknesses.
Features and Services Offered by ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness made it possible for us to register our startup as a Limited Liability Company. It was the most convenient option for us, however, they offer help in forming pretty much any kind of business structure – besides LLCs, the types of businesses that are supported by ZenBusiness are S and C corporations, general partnerships, DBAs, sole proprietorships, and nonprofit organizations.
The features and services that ZenBusiness offers are more or less the same for any of the above-mentioned company types. So, without further ado, let’s explore the most important ones in more detail.
Registered Agent Service
The role of the registered agent for your business is to deal with each of your company’s legal obligations, from receiving tax notifications to handling compliance documentation. Their most important role is accepting service of process and letting you know that there’s a pending lawsuit against your company.
Anyone, including yourself, can be appointed to be your company’s registered agent. Although, we highly recommend that you hire a professional registered agent to take care of all the administrative work for you, so you can focus on your business’ growth.
ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service included with all of their plans – something that is a very rare occasion with this type of services.
Employer ID Number (EIN)
Sometimes referred to as the Tax ID Number, EIN is for your company what SSN (Social Security Number) is for you. It’s a 9-digit number that the IRS appoints to your company so you can become legally capable to open a bank account, hire employees, and protect your personal assets.
You can, of course, apply to obtain an EIN yourself, but if you opt in for ZenBusiness’s Pro or Premium plan, they’ll save you the hassle of going through the process yourself, and obtain your EIN for you. When it’s ready, you’ll immediately receive it in a digital form.
ZenBusiness provides an operating agreement template with all of their packages. The operating agreement is one of the basic things that you need in order to outline the rules that regulate your company and provide the framework and structure required to grow your business.
It basically explains who’s in charge of the company, what happens if an owner were to exit the business, and separates your personal assets from the liabilities of your company.
Your state requires an annual report from each registered business in order to ensure that they are fully compliant with all of the state laws. You’re obligated to file this report annually, and you can do so by yourself, but take note that missing the set deadlines can result in hefty fines or the loss of your liability protection, and ultimately, revocation of your business license.
ZenBusiness does everything in a timely manner to ensure that this doesn’t happen to your company and that you’re always in good standing with the state.
The annual report feature is included with ZenBusiness’s Worry Free Compliance service, which comes for free on their Pro and Premium packages.
Worry Free Compliance
As we mentioned, the Worry Free Compliance comes included with ZenBusiness’s Pro and Premium packages. It’s a guarantee that handles the paperwork required to stay compliant with the state.
To keep your business in good standing, this compliance will cover up to two yearly amendments on top of filing the annual report.
With it, you’ll receive alerts and updates to help you never miss a deadline, so you can rest assured you won’t be making any costly errors.
Business Filing Speeds
With ZenBusiness you can get an opportunity to speed up the process of business formation, depending on the plan that you’ll decide to opt in for.
The “Standard Filing Speed” option comes included with the Starter plan and it means that your formation will be completed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The “Expedite Filing Speed” option comes included with the Pro plan and it will put you ahead of everyone that waits for filing and is on the “Standard Filing Speed” option.
The “Rush Filing Speed” option comes with the Premium plan and with it you’ll get a priority above anyone else who’s not on the “Rush Filing Speed” option.
All in all, ZenBusiness strives to process your order as quickly as possible and these filing speed options will give you a chance to make the process even faster.
In this section, we’ll present the most noteworthy features included in each pricing plan offered by ZenBusiness. We’ll also break down the differences between each of the three incorporation packages. Let’s begin!
Starter Plan – $49 + state fees
This is the primary tier that ZenBusiness offers and contains all of the basics an LLC company needs to get going. For its exceptional value, it includes features that usually don’t come with any other similar service on the market.
We’ve compared it with many companies that offer business formation services, and the features that you receive with ZenBusiness’s Starter plan are valued at $50-$100 more on other platforms.
The features that this plan comes packed with are the following:
- Preparation and filing for LLC or Corporation;
- Name Availability Search;
- Phone and Email Support;
- Online Document Access;
- Special Credit Card Offer;
- Statement of Organizer (only for LLC);
- Free Accounting Consultation;
- Virtual Business Guide;
- Registered agent;
- Operating Agreement Template (only for LLC);
- Corporate Bylaws (only for Corporation);
- Google Ads Credit;
- Standard Filing Speed.
*Note that: This plan renews at $129/year after the first year, since the free registered agent service that the package comes with is free only for the first year.
Pro Plan – $249 + state fees
This package comes with everything that’s included with the Starter plan.
The additional perks that ZenBusiness provides with this plan are the following:
- Expedite Filing Speed;
- Banking Resolution Template;
- Business Document Templates Library;
- Employer ID Number;
- Worry Free Compliance (Annual Report).
Premium Plan – $349 + state fees
The most expensive plan among ZenBusiness’s options, but also the most valuable one. It includes everything your company might ever need from a legal perspective, so you could simply dedicate your time to your business and get a bang for your buck.
You’ll get everything that was on the Pro plan, but the Premium plan also includes the following:
- Rush Filing Speed;
- Business Website;
- Business Domain Name;
- Domain Name Privacy;
- Business Email Address.
Pros and Cons of ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness is our top recommendation among the services of the kind, especially because it tends so well to small-business owners to help them incorporate an LLC. It offers the right tools, expertise, and guidance to help every entrepreneur be their own boss.
Let’s weigh in the pros and cons of using ZenBusiness’s services.
ZenBusiness is simple to navigate, offers an incredibly fast service, and has great customer support. Then there’s the incredibly affordable price – a pretty uncommon phenomenon in the business formation space.
The use of technology and automation is what makes ZenBusiness able to provide faster turnaround times than the rest of its competition.
With ZenBusiness, everything is transparent and you can rest assured that you’ll never experience any unexpected costs.
Their support team uses simplified jargon and offers a friendly approach, so you can have a better understanding of which plan is most suitable for your business needs. You can access ZenBusiness’s support through email, chat, and phone and get an accurate response in a timely manner.
ZenBusiness provides a registered agent service with each pricing plan in order to successfully manage and properly communicate all of your legal and tax and legal documents.
Having said that, ZenBusiness is great for maintaining a persistently good standing with the Secretary of State in order to avoid any unnecessary penalties or repercussions.
Considering ZenBusiness is fairly a young company, people might interpret this as a lack of experience and approach its services with greater reluctance.
Another drawback is that their customer support is only available during business hours and not on Saturdays.
ZenBusiness Customer Reviews
ZenBusiness appears to have an amazingly positive track record even though it’s one of the youngest companies in the business incorporation industry.
The service boasts a staggering 4.7/5 rating on Trustpilot – a rating based on more than 4,200 real customer reviews.
Let’s take a look at what some of them have to say about their experience with ZenBusiness:
“The customer service at this company is second to none!
I approached the support team (via online chat) with a question regarding amending my existing LLC business docs prior to my pending renewal. My support rep, Melissa, not only answered my question adequately but seamlessly handled the amendment processing & payment ON. THE. SPOT!
Courteous in her responses, professional in her execution, and efficient in her solution, my customer experience with Melissa and ZenBusiness was the ideal experience all customers dream of when seeking help from a support team!
Look out, Amazon! ZenBusiness is coming for you with their exceptional customer experience!” – Tico S. on Customer Service (11/19/2020)
“Simple and self explanatory, a number of options and offers available but not thrown in your face forcing you to buy. Great introductory price. The process was quick as well. Customer service was easy to work with as well.
Will ultimately see how it goes on like 9-12 months. Then I can do a true review. But starting off, I give it 5 ⭐️s (stars)” – T. Kemp on Pricing (9/20/2020)
“I am so happy to have found ZenBusiness. I was actually going with another well known company but when I read the reviews and compared the pricing I decided upon ZenBusiness. It was a wise decision and I would definitely refer any of my family and friends to go with ZenBusiness. The process was smooth and easy and not only was I kept posted in the status of my business license and domain but everything was finalized quicker than I had expected. Now I have everything needed to get my business off the ground..my LLC, EIN and some. So thank you so very much to all at ZenBusiness!” – Stacy S. on Turnaround (11/14/2020)
“I’m starting a new business and needed an LLC and a business EIN sooner rather than later. I was able to concur all of my tasks online within 2 weeks. ZenBusiness took care of everything I needed! They also follow up to make sure you have everything you need and offer assistance for other categories as well that you may need to look into for your business. They are affordable and the process was painless. I am happy that I went with this company!” – Kendra on Forming an LLC (11/9/2020)
After the thorough research we conducted and all the different features we tested, we have to say that ZenBusiness satisfied all of our criteria. It’s a service that’s straightforward, fully transparent, and of great quality.
What’s important to take away from this article is how to recognize which pricing plan best fits your requirements. We perfectly understand that everyone wants to save money and go for the Starter plan by instinct, but when you realize that later on, you’ll still need extra features that aren’t included on the Starter plan, then opting for one of the other two plans might be a better decision. If you already have a domain name and a website, then the Pro plan might be the most optimal option for your business.
Time to wrap things up! ZenBusiness is truly one of the most advanced services offering a smooth experience while setting up your company from scratch. On that note, we hope you found our article informative enough to help you in your search for the best business formation service. Good luck!