ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom 2021: How to Start an LLC
Ease of Use
- Founded in 2015
- Texas, USA
- Available all over the USA
- Business formation
- 1-year free registered agent service
- Customer reviews
ZenBusiness is a newcomer to the online business. Their popularity is rapidly increasing due to the fact that it is simple and small business owners find it the most ideal to form their limited liability company (LLC) and grow their companies.
In essence, ZenBusiness helps new companies form an LLC by combining their team mentality with automated technology. For that reason, they guarantee a fairly cheaper and simple process.
Besides, the company is a public benefit corporation committed to fund and help underserved businesses. Every year, they donate finance to minority-owned and women-owned businesses as part of their pay-it-forward initiative.
- Offer 1-year free registered agent service for free followed by affordable annual renewal fees.
- One of the cheapest online business service provider
- Great customer reviews on various sites
- They offer worry-free compliance
- The provider is fairly new in the industry
- They don’t offer legal advice
Ease of Use
- Founded in 1999
- Origin in California, USA
- Available all over the 50 states and the UK
- Legal services
- Company experience
- 60 days refund policy
LegalZoom’s dream of taking legal services online came to reality in 2001 two years after the company was born. Since then, they have helped more than 4 million people in various ways, out of which 2 million have formed their business with the help of this company.
With that said, LegalZoom is one of the most experienced online business entities. Their popularity is majorly due to their legal services with their attorneys available in all 50 states and the UK.
Our ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom is so exhaustive and focuses on nearly everything you may want to hear about LegalZoom.
- Legalzoom is a more comprehensive and experienced online business service
- Offer ongoing legal services
- Come with a long list of additional features
- Is one of the most experienced online business entity
- Their registered agent service pricing is almost two times that of Zenbusiness.
- Their top package prices are also to the industry’s expensive end.
- They don’t offer worry-free compliance
- Have several upsells on the site
Read through our ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom comparison review to find out if it is the best LLC service.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom – Brand comparison details
Best Overall Pricing and Value: Zenbusiness
When looking for the best business entity, their LLC formation packages are a very important factor to consider. ZenBusiness’s LLC packages are very generous yet they offer great limited liability company (LLC) services.
With that said, the company starter plan will enable you to form your business for only a small price for the first year of business formation. For that fee, you are sure to get LLC formation services, 1 year of free registered agent service, a sample operating agreement, and a worry-free CPA assessment.
The Pro plan adds several other features including obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and gives you a worry-free guarantee. The company will also help you manage your business compliance by filing reports and tax.
The premium plan offers expedited processing speed and extra business services such as business email address, domain name registration & protection.
LegalZoom offers one of the most expensive LLC formation packages you will meet in the market. Their Basic package includes preparation and filing of articles of organization with the state, operating agreement, banking authorization to help you open a bank account, and domain name among others.
The standard package includes additional features such as 20 membership certificates and LLC Kit. The Express Gold offers additional features on top of what the lower and the middle packages offer. But of greater significance is their expedited processing speed.
Note that you will have to pay the state filing fees with every package.
Best Track Record & Experience: Legalzoom
Zenbusiness was formed in 2015 and is one of the youngest online business formation services. Despite their younger age, they have carved out a top spot in the crowded industry and are now the most preferred for business formation. For that reason, they have managed to help more than 100,000 microbusinesses off the ground.
Legalzoom was formed in 1999 and since then they have helped more than 4 million people in various ways, particularly legal advice. However, over 1.5 million of this number are business formation services.
What makes LegalZoom the most experienced in the industry is its ability to provide a wide range of personal and LLC services.
Best Common Features: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness will offer common LLC services such as filing and preparation of articles of organization, operating agreement, registered agent service, and much more at affordable pricing. Besides, their top LLC packages come with additional services that are great for business compliance. This includes worry-free CPA assessment, domain name registration, and New York publication.
LegalZoom also offers the necessary LLC services such as filing of articles of organization, operating agreement among others. What brings a big difference in their LLC packages is the pricing of the services offered; they offer most of these services expensively.
Though they don’t offer worry-free CPA assessment, their main compliance service is a compliance calendar. Other common features offered include domain name registration and registered agent services.
Best Customer Support: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness has great customer service and offers different communication options. You can reach the customer support team via email, phone, or live chat.
The customer support team is available from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m CST. Their excellent customer service has earned them great customer reviews and ratings on various sites.
LegalZoom has great customer service too. Their customer service team is easily reachable via phone from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST on weekends.
However, we realized that the LegalZoom email is a hit or miss and is one of the main reasons their customer reviews on various sites are a mixed bag.
Best Registered Agent Services: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness offers the most affordable registered agent services. Besides charging one of the most affordable renewal fees for this service, they allow their new subscribers to use the service for one year free.
LegalZoom’s registered agent services are at the expensive end of the industry. Their renewal fees for this service is almost two times higher than that of ZenBusiness. Besides, they don’t offer free registered agent services even to their new subscribers.
Best Speed of Formation: ZenBusiness
ZenBusiness processing speed depends on the package you use to form your LLC other than the state filing speed like most online business entities. The top package comes with expedited filing and it is what we would recommend to business owners in a hurry to have their formation documents processed.
LegalZoom is another business structure whose processing speed is determined by the package you chose. The Express Gold package offers expedited filing and will have your business formed within a few days. However, we have to accept that both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness are not the fastest business entities you will find out there.
Best turnaround time: ZenBusiness
With that said, the company starter package promises a 3-4 weeks turnaround. The Pro and Premium plan offers expedited formation services and will process your documents in 1-2 weeks and 3-5 days respectively.
LegalZoom starter package will process your documents within 30 days to 6 weeks. However, their top-tier packages offer expedited filing speed and the Express Gold will process your documents within 7-10 days.
This is a close call, but as you can see, ZenBusiness has a slight edge in this LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness comparison.
Best Ease of Use: ZenBusiness
Zen Business website is straightforward and easier to make orders making the business formation process faster. They only require some basic information about yourself and you are good to go. However, we have to admit that they have a few upsells and third-party offers that may distract you along the way.
LegalZoom also boasts a modern and well-organized website that is easy to navigate. However, their ordering process is unique from the rest. Other services would want to start by selecting your package. LegalZoom on its side will compel you to enter your personal information first. After that, they will lead you through some pushy but expensive upsells.
Additional Services: LegalZoom
In addition to the long list of incorporation services, ZenBusiness offers a few additional services that are hard to find in other providers thanks to their partnership with other companies. Some of these services include setting up a business bank account, ongoing accounting and bookkeeping, and business insurance.
Legalzoom provides legal services beyond just business entity formation. These include marriage and divorce, real estate, immigration and work, accidents, and injuries among others. With that being said, when it comes to additional services, LegalZoom is always hard to beat.
Which Should You Choose?
Our side-by-side ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom comparison has made it easier to have your pick. But if you want us to do the choosing for you,
Choose ZenBusiness if:
You are looking for providers with the best business formation packages. Being a new online provider with great services, you are sure of a personalized LLC service that you will find in no other.
The best part, the company charges some of the best rates we have seen in the market and will have your documents processed within a few days.
Choose LegalZoom if:
You want diverse services beyond just LLC services. LegalZoom comes with a wide range of legal features making it a great deal if your business will handle legal issues along the way.
It is a large company with a lot of experience and we would recommend it to big companies. For small business owners who would not want to deal with pushy salespeople during LLC formation, you may consider simple services like ZenBusiness.
Conclusion – Who Wins?
From our ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom review, ZenBusiness is no doubt our favorite LLC formation service with a score of 9/10 stars on our rating scale. This is mostly due to their best pricing with extra features, customer support, and great customer reviews.
LegalZoom on the other hand is a great service for a business owner who is looking for a trusted entity that offers ongoing legal services. However, they are not the best LLC service provider because they are expensive for their LLC formation services. We, therefore, give it 7/10 stars on our rating scale.
It is worth noting that we are not promoting either of these two companies in any way and we don’t earn affiliate commissions. Our LegalZoom vs Zenbusiness has been crafted to give you an overview of what you expect from this provider so that you make an informed choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
LegalZoom allows refunds if they fall under LegalZoom satisfaction and you make the request in 60 days. On the other hand, Zenbusiness may refund your money less $50 cancelation fee if you cancel before your business has been submitted for filing with the state.
ZenBusiness LLC formation package and a cheaper registered agent service give it a tremendous value per dollar ratio when it comes to business formation services. LegalZoom on the other hand is not a great LLC formation choice but a great option if your business will require ongoing legal services.
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom have upsold on their site but the former doesn’t have such overwhelming and pushy upsells. LegalZoom will put you through some pushy upsells which may end up increasing your filing fees and slow the business formation process.
Zenbusiness makes up a bit of ground when it comes to forming your business with an LLC. LegalZoom may not be the best LLC service provider but a better option if your business will require ongoing legal services.
ZenBusiness Starter package will help you form an LLC effectively yet save a lot of cash. With only $49 plus state filing fees, you get a wide range of features for your LLC formation and compliance.
These service providers are great for your business but your choice between the two will depend on your business needs and state requirements. If you want the best LLC service, ZenBusiness is the best. For ongoing legal services, you will have to choose LegalZoom for your business.
IncFile offers even a cheaper LLC formation service with their entry package and can stand in well for ZenBusiness. For ongoing legal services and a great track record, Rocket Lawyer can be a great LegalZoom alternative.
ZenBusiness and LegalZoom LLC formation packages are different by a wide margin in terms of pricing, but they both offer great formation services. With that said the LLC service with the best formation package will be the cheaper one, in this case, Zenbusiness.