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LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is perfect for young entrepreneurs and start-up owners to run their business. It has some corporate benefits but is much easier to create.
Or, if you don’t want to go all the way through, you can delegate the registration of your LLC to special companies called LLC services.
We did our research and presented to you a detailed choosing guide with the seven best LLC formation services, so you can find the one to your liking.
A Quick Preview:
Our List of the Best LLC Formation Services
Best Overall — Zenbusiness
- the starter pack is only $39 per year (+ state filing fees) and includes everything for a successful business formation;
- operates faster than the majority of LLC services thanks to automatization;
- Registered Agent included in the Starter Pack.
Zenbusiness is a relatively new LLC formation service, but it’s quickly got to the top of the market. The main reason for that is that they have a lot of essential features even in the basic plan, including one-year free registered agent service, worry-free CPA assessment, and customizable operating agreement template. Plus, more than 4,000 positive reviews on Trustpilot are saying something.
So, why did we put Zenbusiness on top of the list?
- Free Registered Agent service for the first year. Every corporation needs a registered agent, and with Zenbusiness, you can get this service even with a basic pack. The company will manage your business emails and important documents, so you don’t have to worry. And if you will be satisfied with the service, you can subscribe for $119/year after the trial.
- Reasonable pricing. The company offers three packages, and the services for each one are well-selected to create a good value for money. For example, the most popular Pro package includes filing the annual reports and maintaining worry-free compliance, so your business will last as long as you want it to.
- Top-notch expertise. The Zenbusiness was formed in 2015, and only in 6 years managed to help more than 4,000 entrepreneurs to start their businesses. This is quite an achievement for such a young service.
Along with the basic plan, the Zenbusiness has Pro ($149/year), and Premium ($249/year) packs. Here are their key features:
- Starter ($39). Includes registered agent, the standard speed of LLC formation (6-7 business days), Google Ads credit, operational agreement, and phone/email support.
- Pro ($149). All the above plus Employee Identification Number, worry-free compliance, banking resolution template, and Expedite filing speed (4-5 business days);
- Premium ($249). The pack with the fastest filing speed (1-3 business days) and everything you need to make your business visible online: business website, domain, and email address.
So, let’s sum up the main pros and cons.
- Incredibly fast LLC formation: 6-7 business days with the Basic pack, 4-5 days with the Pro pack, 1-3 days with the Premium pack.
- Full-cycle service: once you subscribe to the chosen plan, there’s nothing to worry about, as the Zenbusiness will do everything for you.
- Easy to reach and expert customer support available anytime.
- 4.8 out of 5 ratings on Trustpilot and more than 4,000 positive reviews.
- Some LLC services (Incfile, for example) are still faster than Zenbusiness.
- Fairly new company on the market.
Also, you may want to choose Zenbusiness after comparing it to the competitors:
- Zenbusiness is significantly cheaper than plans at the Rocket Lawyer. The Starter plan at the Zenbusiness is $39 per year for the first year ($119 after that) and contains all the essentials. The Rocket Lawyer bills $39 per month, and you still have to pay an additional fee for services like Registered Agent ($149) and legal consultations ($60 per 30 min).
- Zenbusiness is fast, but not the fastest. For example, Incfile can form your LLC in 1 business day at the Expedited speed, whereas the Zenbusiness takes 4-5 business days for the same speed, and if you want to do it faster, you have to subscribe to Pro.
And, as the cherry on top, Zenbusiness is one of the few LLC formation services with positive social impact. The company offers a support program for small businesses and lifts people from poverty.
So, if you’re a small business or a start-up owner and are looking for a reasonably priced LLC formation service with all the essentials, then Zenbusiness is worth a shot!
Best for Entrepreneurs With Tight Budget — Incfile
Our next choice for this list of the best-rated online LLC formation services is the Incfile. This company is present on the market for quite a while — they were launched in 2004 — and has outstanding fruits of the labor in the form of almost 16,000 positive reviews and more than 500,000 successful business formations. Impressive!
Let’s see why people choose the Incfile:
- Free formation in the basic package. That’s right — you only have to pay for state filing fees and the articles of the incorporation ($40) — the rest is on the company.
- First-year free Registered Agent service. The company offers its address as your registered agent and makes sure that all the working mail and documents are properly stored. After the trial, you can renew the subscription for $119/year;
- Lifetime compliance. Once you set your business with the Incfile, the company will monitor important dates and events for you, such as the schedule of annual meetings, license updates, and statements of information.
Now, what about pricing?
Well, there are three business packs — Silver, Gold and Platinum — so let’s take a look at their differences:
- Silver ($0). The Silver package includes essentials, such as unlimited business name searches and verification, Articles of Organization filing, and free Registered Agent service.
- Gold ($149). This plan is the golden middle for those who want to quickly and easily start an LLC. It includes the Silver package + filing for the federal tax number, IRS 2553 form (crucial to qualify as a small business), and banking resolution. Plus, you can expect hard copies of your documents to be mailed to you in 1-3 business days.
- Platinum ($299). The most luxurious business package includes a business website and domain registration, over 25 business contract templates for easy filing, and an embossing seal, plus all the benefits of the Silver package.
Simply speaking, the Incline offers you an easy way to feel like a VIP.
So, let’s wrap up all the pros and cons right below.
- Intuitively easy to use — you see what you pay for without any hidden tricks.
- A reliable company with a history.
- Customer service is available via live chat, phone, and e-mail, so you can always ask for help if any questions arise.
- The Platinum package seems a bit overpriced.
Finally, let’s compare the Incfile with other services on the market to see why it deserved its place on the list:
- Incfile is one of the fastest: if you choose the Gold or Platinum package, your documents will be ready in 1 business day, according to the company’s information. Most LLC formation services need 2-3 business days to deliver you the hard copies.
- When you compare Incfile to Zenbusiness, you might see that the latter offers broader options for entrepreneurs, and the Incfile seems a bit narrower.
To sum it up, we think that the Incfile is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs with smaller budgets and those who already have some experience with the LLC formation and only want to delegate some parts of it to third parties.
Best for Expertise — Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest is on our list of the best LLC formation services because they make sure that everything runs smoothly once you’ve decided to choose one of their plans. The company is well-known for its solid expertise and nation-wide operation. Plus, they assign to you a personal customer service representative, which will gladly answer all your questions and accompany your business as long as it’s needed.
Here are some other features that make the Northwest unique:
- Streamlined filing process and ease of use. With a personal customer representative, you will have all your concerns addressed and the application process will be easy and comfortable, regardless of the state you live in.
- All features are wrapped up in one package. Northwest offers a balanced service pack that includes all the essentials for easy incorporation of any business.
- Data protection. Along with a solid customer support database, Northwest works on keeping your assets secure by offering you business formation service, mail forwarding address for business letters and even an extra phone number.
The pricing scheme of the Northwest is simple: it offers only one basic package, which is $225 per year and covers all the paperwork you need to register your business with the state. The cost consists of the filing service fee, which is $100 and the registered agent service for $125. However, note that you also need to pay the state filing fee, which may vary from a few bucks to several hundred, so the final price may also vary.
So, let’s wrap up the pros and cons.
- Registers your business with the state and manages all the paperwork throughout this process.
- Protects your data.
- Industry-best customer service.
- A brand with a history.
- Only one pricing option, which may seem a bit too expensive for some.
- Despite the long history on the market, the Northwest only recently started to receive reviews.
Finally, let’s compare Northwest to other LLC formation services, such as LegalZoom and Zenbusiness:
- Both LegalZoom and Zenbusiness offer a lot of third-party services, which can add up the cost. Northwest prefers to keep things minimal and simple.
- Northwest, however, is priced much higher than Zenbusiness, which is $39 for the Starter package and $149 for Pro. Also, it’s $140 more expensive than LegalZoom which starts at $79 plus fees.
Based on this information, it’s safe to say that the Northwest is a good pick for entrepreneurs who want just to incorporate their business without any unnecessary upsells.
The next candidate on our list is LegalZoom, and you’ve probably heard this name. LegalZoom built a heavy media presence with its advertisement and SMM. Plus, the company was launched in 1999 and has helped more than 1,000,000 businesses since then.
So, let’s see what features make LegalZoom attractive:
- Thorough application process. Along with the standard package, you can choose services such as compliance, legal protection, EIN, federal and state permits, etc.
- Customer support with extended working hours. You can contact the support via phone or e-mail up to 10 pm ET on weekdays and even on weekends until 7 pm.
- Regular access to an attorney. If you want to make sure that you keep your annual reports or just want to get tax advice, LegalZoom offers you unlimited consultations with an attorney when choosing the legal plan.
All of these prompt the question: what about costs?
Well, LegalZoom allows you to choose from three packages: Economy, Standard, and Express Gold:
- Economy ($79). Includes name availability check, all the necessary paperwork, tax analysis and guidance, communication with the Secretary of State and a step-by-step guide on what to do after your LLC is formed.
- Standard ($329). Economy pack + faster processing speed, Founder kit to store your documents and a VIP business newsletter with important tips.
- Express Gold ($349). Standard pack + high priority filing and round-the-clock customer support.
And this is where it gets tricky. LegalZoom has a ton of additional paid services, including the registered agent ($249/year), bundles that consist of operating agreement, EIN, and licenses and may vary from $99 to $199 per year, legal protection ($40/month), and compliance management for $280/year.
As you can see, this is quite a lot. Plus, the trial period for these things is only 10 days, unlike in most LLC formation services that can offer you a 365-day trial.
Okay, let’s wrap up the pros and cons of LegalZoom.
- Lengthy track record and millions of successful cases.
- Comprehensive and customizable plans that are tailored to your needs.
- 60-day money-back guarantee, which is two times longer than in most of the services.
- Lots of upsells — including a registered agent that can significantly increase the price.
- Not the fastest service: processing time is about 10 business days (2 weeks) with the most expensive package.
So, how does LegalZoom compare to other services with all these features:
- LegalZoom has more reviews and successful cases than any modern LLC formation service.
- LegalZoom is also one of a few companies that don’t include the registered agent in their standard package. Incfile, Zenbusiness, and many others can offer you this option.
Overall, if you look for a well-known and secure LLC formation service and aren’t afraid to overspend or wait a little longer, LegalZoom might be a good pick for you.
Best for Legal Services — Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer earned its place in this selection of the best-rated online LLC services mainly because it offers you an LLC formation for free if you purchase their legal services package. Don’t worry, though: Rocket Lawyer is a recognizable company with high ratings at the Trustpilot, so there are no hidden gimmicks there.
Now, let’s take a detailed look at what the Rocket Lawyer has to offer:
- Free LLC formation for new clients. Once you’ve subscribed, the company will handle all the essential paperwork for you — including custom legal forms — for free. Note that only first-time buyers are eligible for this offer.
- A broad range of legal services for premium members. Rocket Lawyer builds their core around legal support, so if you sign up for the premium membership, you’ll receive document defense for your business, plus an online Q&A session or 30-minute consultation with an attorney.
- Discounts. Premium members can also count on a 25% discount for a registered agent service price, plus up to 40% discounts on a personal Rocket Lawyer attorney.
Well, let’s find out how much premium membership will cost you.
Rocket Lawyer offers you legal services plan that includes free LLC formation — you only have to pay government fees — and costs $40 per month. Or, you can go for LLC formation alone for $100 + fees. Therefore, it seems more reasonable to go premium, especially if you need legal help or plan to form several LLC.
Also, without membership, you will pay $150 per year for a registered agent service — which is pricier than in most LLC formation services. But with a premium membership, you will pay only $112 per year because of the 25% discount.
So, let’s wrap up the main strengths and weaknesses of Rocket Lawyer.
- Full legal coverage and protection.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Over 7 million businesses were formed.
- Registered agent service isn’t included in the premium package.
- Only a 7-day trial period.
As you can see, Rocket Lawyer isn’t the top LLC formation service, and its side-to-side comparison with others only confirms that:
- Rocket Lawyer will cost you $480 per year ($40 per month by 12 months), which is way pricier than the Premium package from Zenbusiness ($249) and Incfile ($349).
- Even if you go for an LLC formation and registered agent only, it will still cost you $250 per year, which is pricier than many similar offers.
So, you can go to Rocket Lawyer if you want complete legal protection and support, or if you plan to form several limited liability companies.
Best for Reasonable Pricing — MyCompanyWorks
MyCompanyWorks stands for its name, as it offers you different, but well-rounded solutions to form and run an LLC. It has more than 60,000 successful cases in the portfolio, along with some distinctive features, such as:
- Same-day filing. If you submit your order by 3 pm EST, it will be processed the same business day, which adds some much-needed speed.
- Money-back guarantee. MyCompanyWorks has a hassle-free refund in case if you aren’t satisfied with their services in 90 days. This is the longest money-back guarantee we’ve managed to find.
- Well-balanced packages. Even their basic package includes essentials, such as meeting minutes, operational agreement, and compliance.
Speaking of pricing in general, MyCompanyWorks offers 3 packages:
- Basic ($79). This package includes all the essential paperwork for forming the LLC, and things like business name check, meeting minutes, unlimited customer support via phone or e-mail, and order status tracking.
- Entrepreneur ($199). A bit more advanced package includes all the benefits of the Basic + help in EIN obtaining, personal LLC kit with the company seal, and lifetime tax guide.
- Complete ($279). The only additional feature that comes in this package is a registered agent service. It will cost you $99/year if you go for the Basic or Entrepreneur package.
Also, MyCompanyWorks has a premium membership for $99/year, including compliance, annual state filings, e-ledger and certificates, and 5 GB cloud storage.
Now, we’re ready to wrap up the pros and cons.
- Pretty customizable subscription plans.
- Tracking of your order status and convenient support all the way through.
- One of the few services that send you hard copies of the documents.
- Registered agent is only included in the most expensive package.
- Lots of upsells.
If we compare MyCompanyWorks to other services, we’ll see that it’s somewhere in the middle:
- Zenbusiness, Incfile, and Northwest are cheaper and include free registered agent service in their packages;
- Although MyCompanyWorks has some upsells, it isn’t as packed as LegalZoom and is way cheaper too.
We think that MyCompanyWorks might be worth a shot for those entrepreneurs who appreciate some customizable features and don’t hesitate to pay a bit more for service.
Best for Compliance and Long-Term Services — Bizfilings
The last contestant on this list of the best LLC formation services is Bizfilings. This is a company with 20+ years of expertise that offers steady service with a particular focus on compliance and further management. If you need a service that will keep your business running, you’d probably want to choose the Bizfilings.
For example, they can do the following:
- Cover all the filing steps. If your state has some additional procedures involved in the LLC formation, Bizfilings can handle all that paperwork for you.
- Foreign classification. This is a paid feature, but not so many companies offer it. So if you plan to expand your business to other countries or states in the future, this might be a good option for you.
- 6-month registered agent. This isn’t quite as spectacular as in other services that offer you a full year, but still a good feature.
Like many similar services on the market, Bizfilings can offer you three packages:
- Basic ($99). This is the simplest offer that includes only LLC formation and its registration with the state.
- Standard ($229). In this package, you can count on your personal LLC kit with the seal, and a set of customizable document forms and operating business agreements.
- Complete ($359). The priciest pack includes all the previous benefits plus federal tax obtainment service and the DVD with the instructions on what to do after you’ve formed your business. Also, you’ll get a certified copy of your document delivered to your mailbox.
So, let’s outline the main pros and cons.
- 6-month registered agent service.
- Delivers you hard copies of the documents.
- Cares about compliance.
- Mediocre pricing.
- There are a lot of faster services.
As you can see, Bizfilings doesn’t stand a chance with more modern services:
- It’s way too expensive compared to the Zenbusiness, and offers fewer features;
- It’s focused more on the following business maintenance than on actual formation.
So, if you can handle a bit of a hassle when forming your LLC for the following flawless compliance, you may want to choose the Bizfilings.
What are the features essential for an LLC formation service?
To form an LLC, you need to register it with a state, appoint a registered agent, obtain an EIN, file in all the paperwork and maintain compliance. So ideally, you would want a service that can go through all of these steps for reasonable pricing, and offer you some extra features such as attorney consultation or tax guidance.
Is forming an LLC free?
Even if you decide to form an LLC by yourself, it’s not free. You still have to pay state filing fees that can vary from $40 to $500 depending on the state. Also, you will have to pay some corresponding taxes and purchase a registered agent address.
How can I speed up my LLC formation?
Formation speed may vary from a few business days to several weeks, depending on the time of the year and the workload at your Secretary of State. However, most LLC formation services offer you faster processing times as a paid feature, and you may speed up the process a bit.
Should I start an LLC in the state with a cheaper state fee?
You can try but in certain cases, it can cost you even more. That’s because almost half of the states have a so-called franchise tax. This is the fee you pay to the Secretary of State for operating in that state. The franchise tax is a one-time payment equal to $800-$1,000, so it’s more reasonable to form a company in your resident state.
What are other options to form an LLC and why it’s preferable to use a specialized service?
You can form an LLC by yourself, but it’s a tedious and lengthy procedure. Plus, state and federal laws for businesses are constantly changing, so you might want to consult an attorney at some point, which will cost you a pretty penny. So if you want a fast and hassle-free process, just delegate all the paperwork to the professionals.
Is an LLC tax-exempt?
Not all limited liability companies are tax-exempt, but some of them might be recognizable by the IRS as such. The most common scenario for that is if you structure your LLC as a non-profit and obtain a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Or, you can obtain a pass-through taxation scheme and have your incomes and expenses attributed to LLC members that are registered as 501(c)(3) organizations.
Do I have to file taxes if my LLC has no income?
It depends on the type of your LLC. If it only has one member, the owner, then they have to file their corporate tax return and include all the incomes and expenses from the LLC.
However, those who choose to tax their LLC as a corporation, need to file a corporate tax return even if they do not have any income.
So, now you know how to register your LLC quickly and easily with a formation service. We browsed a lot of the market propositions and selected only the best options for every demand.
However, if you ask us which service impressed us the most, the answer would be Zenbusiness. It combines everything: a convenient interface, various subscription plans, and all the essentials included even in the cheapest package. Zenbusiness will work for beginners who try to form their first LLC or experienced entrepreneurs who need fast service with solid expertise.
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