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ZenBusiness Review 2022: A Popular LLC Service, But…

This ZenBusiness review will cover the topics that you need to know including these 3 points,

  • ZenBusiness’ costs and pricing are in the average among LLC services
  • Expect a quick turnaround for LLC formations and incorporations
  • Zenbusiness’s reliability, customer reviews and support get good marks.

We’ll also provide clear explanations about the various other services ZenBusiness offers that are relevant to formation.

Here is a brief summary of our findings. You’ll find our comprehensive review further down. It details our findings and explains everything about ZenBusiness.

Is ZenBusiness a good fit for you and your business?

ZenBusiness Positive Points

  • Good Pricing
  • Quick Turnaround Time
  • Rated 4.8/5 by Trustpilot
  • Extended Support Hours
  • It is very easy to use

ZenBusiness Negative Points

  • In business for only 5 years
  • Limited Website Templates
Zenbusiness, best business formation service

Quick Analysis

  • ZenBusiness offers a service that can help you form an LLC or corporation for as low as $49 and provides an Operating Agreement, but a registered agent costs an additional $99/year. Higher tiers offer more services and compliance.
  • ZenBusiness offers quick turnaround times and excellent customer service.
  • ZenBusiness is a good choice for business owners who want to create an LLC or corporation.
  • We rank them #5 in our LLC service comparison.
Image is from the ZenBusiness website. Why form a new business with ZenBusiness ? 5 reasons to use ZenBusiness for online LLC formation. Best LLC service.

ZenBusiness Brief Assessment

  • Zenbusiness, a venture-funded public benefits company based out of Austin, Texas is funded by venture capital. Ross Buhrdorf was the former Chief Technology Officer of HomeAway.
  • On its website, ZenBusiness states that its mission is to help every American realize their entrepreneurial dreams. ZenBusiness provides affordable LLC formations, incorporation and many other services that are necessary to launch a successful startup.

ZenBusiness says that their core values include:

  • Transparency: Working with honesty, integrity, and without hidden costs
  • Protection: We help you to remain in good standing with government.
  • Giving back: The company has given over $100,000 to small businesses grants in 2020.

ZenBusiness provides a wide range of services for those who are looking to start a company. They offer:

  • Services for forming a business entity: Available in all 50 states. This includes verifying that the business name you choose is available and dealing with any additional formalities (such New York publication requirements).
  • Services as a registered agent: Every business must have a registered agent. ZenBusiness can assist you in fulfilling this requirement by acting your registered agent.
  • ZenBusiness offers compliance services. ZenBusiness can ensure that your company is in good standing with government agencies by handling your annual reporting requirements.
  • ZenBusiness can help you with the IRS paperwork.
  • ZenBusiness can set up a website to promote your company or LLC.
  • ZenBusiness provides templates for commonly used legal documents. ZenBusiness can help you create operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and banking resolutions.

ZenBusiness Pricing & Plans

ZenBusiness Pricing Tiers

  Starter $49 Pro $199 Premium $299
LLC Filing Included Included Included
Registered Agent Service $99 $99 $99
Obtain an EIN $70 Included Included
Operating Agreement Included Included Included
Expedited Filing $50 Included Included
Rush Filing $100 $100 Included
Worry-Free Compliance $119/yr Included Included
Business Website $100/yr $100/yr Included
ZenBusiness Pricing, best LLC service

 Visit ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness offers three types of formation plans: the Starter plan (Pro plan), the Pro plan, and the premium plan. All three plans include all the essentials of the Starter plan including,

  • Service for Business Formation (preparation & filing of Articles of Organization).
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs or Corporate Bylaws for corporations

The Pro plan and the Premium plan offer additional services in addition to the basic LLC filing.

The Pro plan offers expedited filing, obtaining an IRS Employer Identification Number, and worry-free compliance services.

The Premium plan offers a faster turnaround time and basic web services to your company.

All ZenBusiness plans offer registered agent services as an add-on. If you already have an LLC, corporation, or other entity, registered agent services can be purchased separately.

ZenBusiness’s stand-alone registered agents offer starts at $99/year, or $149 if compliance services are desired.

In our pricing review section, you will find details and prices for each service. You can add many services to any plan.

ZenBusiness’s formation plans are not like those of other companies. They use a subscription pricing model. After your business has been formed, you can cancel your subscription without penalty or additional fees.

ZenBusiness Starter Package: $49 + state fees

ZenBusiness’ bare-bones starter plan serves your basic formation needs. This plan is recommended if you want your LLC to be formed as quickly as possible, and are able to handle compliance.

These are the main features of the Starter plan:

  • Basic Business Filing Service: File articles of organization with Secretary of State. Unlimited name searches for any business name. This package does not include expedited file, but this can be added to separately.
  • Operating Agreement Template: This is the most important document you will ever need for your LLC. It protects all of your personal assets against potential lawsuits and defines the nature, operation, and rules for your LLC.
  • Registered Agent Service: All LLCs and corporations are required to appoint an agent immediately after they are formed. The role of the registered agent is to obtain certain legal documents for the business.
  • ZenBusiness’ online dashboard allows you to track the status of your order and receive electronic copies of finalized formation documents as soon they become available.

You may also find the starter plan useful by including a few other services.

  • ZenBusiness offers a free consultation on accounting. ZenBusiness will conduct a quick assessment of the accounting needs of your company and then recommend additional steps that are appropriate for your specific needs.
  • Annual report service: ZenBusiness, like many other service providers for formations, can help you comply with your state’s annual reporting requirements. We will alert you to the filing deadlines and file the paperwork on your behalf.
  • Google Ads credits worth $150: This is useful for entrepreneurs who are already planning to use Google Ads. ZenBusiness will give you a promo code. Google will match advertising expenses up until $150 if you apply to an eligible Ads account.

The Starter plan does by default not include any order expediting. The turnaround time for orders can vary greatly depending on where the LLC was formed. It could take anywhere from a few days up to several weeks.

Visit their website to learn more and select the state where you want to form your LLC.

The default renewal price for ZenBusiness’ Starter Plan is $119/year. This includes their annual report filing service. You can cancel your plan before it renews if you do not want to use these services.

Zenbusiness, best business formation service

ZenBusiness Pro Plan $199 + state fees

This plan is their most popular and offers many additional features over their Starter plan. Mostly, they offer compliance and expedited formation.

ZenBusiness Pro includes everything you would get with the standard plan plus:

  • The expedited filing service: This allows you skip the line and speeds up processing. It varies from one state to another, but generally takes between four and two weeks for the low end and up to two weeks for the high end.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): your business’s federal tax ID issued by IRS. It is your company’s social security number. It is required to open a bank account for your business, hire employees, and file tax returns.
  • ZenBusiness provides worry-free compliance: ZenBusiness will take care of all ongoing compliance filings with the state, and ensure that your company is in good standing. This service allows for up to two amendments each year.

ZenBusiness will also supply you with a Banking Resolution Template, which you will use to open a bank account for your LLC.

This plan is renewed at $199/year. It covers the annual filings of your LLC and compliance monitoring service.

ZenBusiness Premium Plan $299 + state fees

The Premium plan provides the fastest turnaround possible and includes many basic web-related services. If you need a basic website and want your LLC to be formed quickly, the Premium plan is an excellent option.

Suggestion: The business websites that ZenBusiness offers are nice and simple but we recommend Shopify or Wix for e-commerce businesses that require a customized website.

ZenBusiness Premium includes everything Pro has plus more

  • Rush Filing Service: You will get the fastest turnaround times with rush filing. The exact timeframe depends on the state. It is usually only a few days. In some states Premium plan customers may receive a response within one day.
  • Domain name: ZenBusiness can secure your domain name along with your chosen LLC name, if it’s available.
  • Website: ZenBusiness will quickly build a website for your business using your domain name and business information.
  • Business email: ZenBusiness will create a business email address using your domain name. For professional correspondence, you will have access up to 5GB storage.

This plan is renewed at $299/year. It includes Pro + all of your website services.

For most businesses, we recommend the Pro plan. This plan meets all administrative requirements, so you can start immediately.

If you are looking for a simple online presence, Zenbusiness’ Premium plan might be the right fit.

We recommend Shopify and Wix for website building if your business is primarily online.

Any ZenBusiness Hidden or Additional Fees?

ZenBusiness’ services have no hidden fees. ZenBusiness’ services are transparent and you only pay what you see at the checkout.

ZenBusiness is a subscription-based business model. A separate option for business formation orders would have been ideal. ZenBusiness offers customers the ability to cancel automatic subscription renewals at any time.

Cancellation of ZenBusiness Services

In their cancellation policy, they state that you have the right to “discontinue some or all of your paid services at any time by contacting [email protected]

You can cancel your annual subscription at any time, as we have mentioned. Send a message to ZenBusiness support. You may be charged a $25 cancellation fee in certain cases.

A significant distinction applies to cancellations of registered agent services. If they are acting as your registered agent, ZenBusiness will require you to appoint another registered agent.

ZenBusiness Positive Points

Here are the things that make ZenBusiness stand apart from other competitors like LegalZoom, Inc Authority, and RocketLawyer.

1. Good Pricing + $299

While starting a new LLC or business is not cheap, spending too much on the essentials will only make it more expensive. Startups don’t need to spend money on legal and administrative requirements.

ZenBusiness offers everything you need with its Pro plan. This is at one of the most affordable prices in the market. While other competitors might advertise lower prices for their services, they often don’t provide essential services and have incomplete packages.

  • ZenBusiness: $299
  • Competitors: $150-$500+
  • Lawyer: $500+

This is a great way to validate your company, find customers online, and/or reduce acquisition costs. 

ZenBusiness Accountant Assessment

CPAs are licensed to help you assess your accounting, bookkeeping, and tax requirements. To help you get started in your entrepreneurial venture, you will be provided with valuable resources and advice. CPA assessments are not free so this is an added bonus!

Virtual Business Guide $50 Value

This guide contains a checklist that will help you run your online business. You will be able to save hours researching the best online tools, productivity, and communication methods.

2. Quick Turnaround Times

Customers report that the formation of their business entity took just a few days even during peak season.

You can find more reviews about turnaround times on ZenBusiness’ Trustpilot page by entering “days” into the search box. This is how we found these reviews.

It is difficult to predict turnaround times. The state where you file, the year and luck will all affect how long it takes to register your LLC. These reviews are not intended to be bombproof.

3. For the first-time business owner, a good choice

It can be both thrilling and overwhelming to create your first LLC. ZenBusiness makes it so easy. The entire process is carefully guided by them, step-by. You can complete the entire process online in just minutes. ZenBusiness takes care of everything else.

ZenBusiness’s dashboard allows you to track the formation of your LLC in real-time, even after you have placed your order. All stages of the formation process will be notified and you will be updated with any developments.

You will never feel lost, confused, or unable to make decisions for yourself. That’s what we love!

4. Professionals service

ZenBusiness has filed documents on behalf of thousands of corporations, LLCs, DBAs and business name registrations. They are the most trusted specialist filing service in the US.

Although many people offer LLC filing services, such as lawyers, CPAs and advisors, ZenBusiness is the only company that focuses exclusively on LLC filings. Many law firms outsource LLC formations to companies like ZenBusiness. We recommend that you only work with people who are experts in a single area.

ZenBusiness professionals are specialists in business formation. It will be difficult to find more than ZenBusiness pros.

5. Good Customer Reviews

Trustpilot has over 100 ZenBusiness customer reviews. They are highly regarded by the majority of LLC owners.

You can check out their 7,300+ Trustpilot reviews.

ZenBusiness is a highly-reviewed service. On major review sites like Trustpilot, they have an average rating of 4.8/5.0. ZenBusiness was founded in 2015. This is why they have so many positive reviews.

Most customers seem to like the service’s simplicity and quick turnaround times. 

6. Extended Customer Support Hours via Chat and Phone

You will soon realize the importance of 24-hour and weekend service once you are in business.

  • ZenBusiness offers extended support hours for customers:
  • ZenBusiness Extended Customer Support Telephone Email Chat
  • Monday through Friday, 8 am – 8 pm central. Sunday, 10 AM – 7 PM central.
  • Chat: You can chat at zenbusiness.com during extended support hours.
  • Phone: ZenBusiness can be reached at 1-844 493-6249 during extended support hours.
  • Email: Get in touch at [email protected] and expect a reply within one business day.

Extended customer support hours can be especially helpful when you need to contact the registered agent department for legal documents. ZenBusiness is the only company that offers similar support hours to its customers. We consider this a strength.

7. They are a Public Benefit Company

Public Benefit Corporations combine the goals of traditional non-profit businesses and those of for-profit organizations that are focused on social, economic, or environmental good. PBCs must state their purpose and include public good causes.

 

ZenBusiness Negative Points

1.The company is less than 5 years old

2. The functionality of the business website is limited

ZenBusiness ranks high in our list of top recommendations for business formation services. However, ZenBusiness is not a web builder or domain provider that can compete with the more well-known specialized online service providers.

We recommend Shopify for ecommerce websites or Wix for other service websites if you’re looking to start an online business. Access to proven and trusted website builders, tools, and services will be available.

ZenBusiness’ total website cost (Website and Domain, Privacy, Email, and Email) is just $110. This is a very affordable price compared to other website builders. ZenBusiness may still be a good fit for you if your website isn’t a key component of your business.

3. Yearly Subscription Cost

A yearly subscription to their Starter plan includes:

  • Annual filing services

The Starter plan offers significant savings on first-year costs. They renew at $119 All other packages are renewed at the first year price.

A yearly subscription to their Pro plan includes:

  • You can be worry-free about ongoing compliance and dates

Our service section provides more information about each of these services. Both of these services are highly beneficial to most people.

A Premium plan includes:

  • Hosting Website
  • Register Domain Name (URL).
  • Domain Privacy
  • Email for Business

ZenBusiness does not lock you into long-term contracts. You can cancel your ZenBusiness services at any time without penalty.

ZenBusiness Services

We have provided additional information and listed all ZenBusiness services that you might be interested in.

For your convenience, we have provided pricing information for each service. ZenBusiness offers discounts on most services when you purchase any of their business formation plans.

ZenBusiness Business Formation

When starting a new venture, the first thing to do is to form a separate legal entity. A separate business entity can provide several benefits and protect you against liability.

For small and mid-sized businesses, the best option is the limited liability company. Three important characteristics that make LLCs attractive to entrepreneurs are:

  • Limited Liability: This is perhaps the most important aspect of an LLC. Your personal assets are protected in the event your company is sued, or goes bankrupt. An LLC protects you against economic loss and allows you to take on risks while running a business.
  • Pass-through taxation. LLCs do not pay any separate taxes by default. Instead, incomes or losses are reported on the individual tax returns of LLC members. The IRS considers single-member LLCs sole proprietorships, and multi-member LLCs partnerships.
  • Administrative flexibility: LLCs are more flexible than corporations in how they operate and have fewer reporting requirements.

New LLC formation is done at the state level. The process involves filing Articles of Organization with the Office of the Secretary of State (the name of the LLC may differ in certain states) and paying a small processing charge.

ZenBusiness’ primary service to potential business owners is business formation. Websites for state agencies are often poorly designed, difficult to use, and slow, if at all possible, to complete online paperwork.

ZenBusiness will take the hassle out of dealing with government bureaucracies, and make sure everything is filed correctly.

Your future LLC will require you to select a business name. ZenBusiness will perform a search for your business name to confirm that it is available. ZenBusiness will contact the owner if it isn’t before proceeding with your formation.

Suggestion: We recommend checking the availability of your chosen name before you place an order with ZenBusiness or any other business formation service.

This will help avoid any delays in forming your company. You can search the state’s business registers online. A name search can be done with the federal trademark registry.

ZenBusiness will mail your documents to the Secretary of State for free once your order has been processed. Each state charges a fee to file and process your documents. The fee charged for filing and processing documents varies by state, but it can range from $40 to $500.

ZenBusiness will collect the state fees on behalf of you and forward them to the Secretary for State. This service is free of hidden fees.

There are differences in the time it takes to receive your final documents. You can pay an additional fee to have your LLC formed quickly. Before your order is processed, ZenBusiness will provide you with a time frame estimate.

Template for Operating Agreement

Included in Starter, Pro, and Premium. $35 otherwise.

ZenBusiness Operating Agreement

Your LLC’s operating agreement is a vital document. It is a contract that all LLC members sign to outline the nature, structure, operation, and future plans for your business.

Your LLC could look like a sole proprietorship without an operating agreement. This could lead to your limited liability as a member being questioned. Your personal assets, including your money and real estate, could be put at risk if someone files a suit against your LLC.

Your LLC will behave more like a sole proprietorship without an operating agreement, which defeats its purpose.

ZenBusiness can help you address this risk by providing an operating agreement that thousands use every day.

  • Operating agreements are, among other things, formalized via contract.
  • How ownership interests are divided among members of the LLC
  • What happens if one member of an LLC decides to leave the business?
  • Who manages the LLC? Are they members-managed or managers-managed?
  • What are the major business decisions?
  • How the LLC will get funded
  • How should profits be divided between members

An operating agreement is required for LLCs that are established in California, Delaware, and Maine or Missouri.

In other states, new business owners are strongly encouraged to sign an operating agreement.

Registered Agent Service

All plans include this option. Other plans are available at $99/year

ZenBusiness Registered Agent Service

Every state requires that corporations and LLCs appoint and keep a registered agent. The registered agent of your company is the official contact point for certain legal correspondence, such as court summons. Although some service providers may offer virtual offices or business mail addresses, a registered agent is not an address for your company.

Your registered agent will receive correspondence from the Secretary of State, IRS, law offices, and other government agencies. These legal documents must be received by the registered agent on behalf of your LLC/corporation.

Registered agents must be accessible during normal business hours. It is possible to act as the registered agent for your LLC, but it is discouraged. It is your responsibility to miss any legal notices because you are sick, on vacation, or out of the office.

A professional registered agent can help protect your privacy. The contact information of the registered agent is part of the public record, and anyone can access them.

A registered agent must have a physical address in every state where their business is located. If you plan to work in multiple states, you will need a registered agent service.

Many LLC formation companies offer registered agent services, such as ZenBusiness. This service allows you to:

  • Make sure your company is compliant with federal and state agencies
  • All critical documents are available online and organized.
  • Protect your storefront from tax or legal notices
  • Do not get the spam mail that all newly registered businesses receive

Many people wonder how to contact their registered agent after they have formed an LLC or corporation with ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness is your registered representative; you can reach them directly.

Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Includes Pro and Premium. Otherwise, $70

ZenBusiness EIN Filing Service

Your LLC’s federal tax ID of nine digits is called an Employer Identification Number (or EIN). It is your business’s social insurance number.

An EIN is required to open a bank account for your business, hire employees, file tax returns, and make payments. This IRS website has more information on Employer ID numbers.

Most US businesses are required to obtain an EIN from IRS. If any of these apply to your business, you will need an EIN.

  • Excess tax returns will be required by your LLC
  • Your LLC will have employees
  • Your LLC will be treated as an S-Corp.
  • There will be more members in your LLC than one.

After your LLC has been registered, ZenBusiness will digitally file your IRS EIN.

Banking Resolution Template

Includes Pro and Premium. $30 alternatively

ZenBusiness Banking Resolution Template Service

The banking resolution is a document that identifies who is authorized to open a bank accounts and sign documents for banking within an LLC or corporation.

This document is required by many banks when you open a bank account for a business.

ZenBusiness offers a template that can be used with both their Premium and Pro plans. This will help you save time and avoid legal fees.

Business Templates Library

Includes Pro and Premium $50 for all other options

ZenBusiness Business Template Library

You can access a growing library with 25+ business documents when you subscribe to Pro or Premium.

Contractors and service-related

  • Waiver of individual liability
  • Waiver of liability for company
  • Waiver – Release of Liability
  • Waiver – Release of Liability (minor).
  • Agreement for website maintenance
  • Agreement with a Freelancer
  • Service agreement
  • Marketing agreement
  • Consulting agreement
  • Graphic design agreement

Business and Intellectual Property

  • Non-compete agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Letter of offer for employment
  • Termination of employment
  • Employment agreement
  • Agreement on employee compensation
  • Non-compete agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • A loan agreement
  • Agreement for purchase
  • Employment agreement
  • Termination of an agreement and release
  • Breach of contract notice
  • Agreement on the dissolution of a partnership
  • Modification to an agreement
  • Transcript of a letter of intent
  • Agreement for purchase
  • Agreement for business purchase
  • Joint venture agreement

Unlimited printing, unlimited use, endless customization are all included in your access.

Each business has its own accounting requirements. ZenBusiness will evaluate your startup’s accounting obligations regarding:

  • Paying invoices and tracking them
  • How to manage your books
  • Filing taxes and more

After your LLC has been formed, ZenBusiness offers an accounting assessment through their online dashboard.

This service is ideal for new business owners as it will allow you to spend your time on the things that are most important to grow your business. You’ll also save at least an hour on accounting consultation fees.

Rush and Expedited Filing

  • Standard: Usually, up to three weeks. Free
  • Expedite: Usually, up to 10 Days, $50
  • Rush: Usually takes 1-6 days and costs $100

ZenBusiness expedites California rush filing

ZenBusiness works on a first come, first served basis. You can skip the queue by paying for expedited or rush filing. This is especially useful during tax season, which can be busy.

Upgrades are not recommended unless you require speedy filing. ZenBusiness is efficient enough to file documents in a matter of days.

You can be compliance worry-free with ZenBusiness

Includes Pro and Premium. Otherwise, $119 per annum

ZenBusiness Worry-Free Compliance Service

The majority of US states require that you submit an annual report. Missed deadlines could result in severe penalties. ZenBusiness will audit your company and file all required documents for you. Two free amendment filings are available each year.

They will monitor your state status and notify you when it is time to act.

You will still receive free help if you miss the deadlines. A detailed plan will be provided to address the problem. If your business is found negligently by ZenBusiness, they will cover the penalty fees.

You can focus on your business with the worry-free guarantee.

Website, Domain, and Branded email

Included in Premium If you are not eligible, $125 per annum.

ZenBusiness Business Website Service

Nowadays, most businesses cannot do without a website. A website is invaluable for any business, whether it’s used to sell products and services, provide contact information, communicate with others, or just boost credibility.

ZenBusiness can help register a domain (URL), protect sensitive data, and build a basic website for you business. You will also receive an email address that’s branded with your domain name – e.g., [email protected]

Choose from one of six templates for your business website, which you can customize to suit your needs.

ZenBusiness Add-ons & Offers

ZenBusiness is able to assist you with many tasks immediately after the formation of your LLC.

These are some of the offers that you can take advantage of:

Insurance quote for Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).

ZenBusines Business Owner Policy: Free Insurance Quote

You can get a free quote from Commercial Insurance Center for an insurance bundle that includes general liability insurance as well as commercial property insurance.

Online banking for small businesses

  • $110 per year
  • ZenBusines Online Business Checking Account Bank Radius
  • Radius Bank is a partner in your application for a bank account with a discount that includes:
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Online Banking
  • Debit card

Accounting assessment

You can complete the formation process online. It is quick and simple from start to finish, and you will receive all the necessary information. ZenBusiness’ CPAs will evaluate your accounting needs and provide you with access to library business documents right away.

ZenBusiness will help you to remain in compliance and good standing with the government after your formation. You can ask them any questions, at no cost, six days per week.

Notice: ZenBusiness is a service that assists in the formation of LLCs. We can assist you with all aspects of the business establishment process. ZenBusiness is not an accounting firm or law firm. They cannot provide legal or tax advice and they do not represent you in such matters.

Conclusion:

We recommend ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness offers hassle-free LLC incorporation and formation at a very affordable price. It also has quick turnaround times.

Zenbusiness, best business formation service