ZenBusiness vs IncFile

See why ZenBusiness are top competitors in the business formation niche and learn the pros and cons of each!
Denise Elizabeth P
Senior Financial Editor & Contributor
Last Updated: May 3, 2021
Date Published: February 24, 2021

When starting a business, many entrepreneurs and small business owners look to business formation services to launch their business entity.

There are many choices out there, but today we’ll be comparing ZenBusiness vs IncFile to see what they each offer!

As a small business owner, you probably prefer to focus on running your business rather than also trying to tackle the legal aspect or the company formation process.

But with hourly rates for an attorney at a law firm starting at $100 (that is on the low end!) and going up from there, having an attorney handle all of your company formation and legal needs can get really expensive.

Luckily, there are formation service providers that handle the formation of your business, ongoing filings that need to be completed, registered agent service, legal documents, operating agreement, and even handle the legal aspect of running a successful business.

ZenBusiness and IncFile are two of the most popular companies in this industry and today we are going to review and compare the two so that you decide which one is a better fit for you!

Whether you are looking for an llc formation or other type of formation service (limited liability company, corporation, s-corporation, sole proprietorship, non profit), these two companies have you covered.

Your company formation doesn’t have to be complicated!

First we are going to learn about each service individually, their pros and cons and then compare the key differences at the end.

Let’s get started reviewing ZenBusiness vs Incfile!

What is an LLC

ZenBusiness vs IncFile for 2021:

ZenBusiness:

ZenBusiness was founded in 2015 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs with their company formation.

There are dozens of business formation services and year after year ZenBusiness shines as one of the best LLC formation services available.

Key Features and Services:

  • Company formation service – Entity types: LLC (limited liability company), S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Nonprofit, sole proprietorship
  • Free first year Registered Agent
  • Website building services
  • Compliance guarantee
  • Operating agreement templates – LLC development
  • Free accounting consultation
  • Business document templates library including legal documents
  • Business email address
  • LLC formation service as well as Corporation, S-Corporation, and Nonprofit
  • DBA (Doing Business As)
  • Registered agent service
  • EIN acquisition (employer identification number)
  • Business name Reservation
  • Annual reports
  • Domain name registration
  • Certificate of good standing
  • New York Publication
  • Expedited filing
  • Business Insurance
  • Business bank account
  • Additional services found on their website

ZenBusiness Pricing:

ZenBusiness offers three different business formation service packages: starter, pro, and premium.

In this section we are going to go over the highlights of each package.

For more details on each package, you can checkout their pricing page here as well .

Starter Package – what is included

  • $49 + State Fee
  • Name availability search to make sure the name you want for your businesses isn’t already taken by another entity.
  • ZenBusiness will prepare and file your Articles of Organization with your state of formation.
  • One Year Free Registered Agent Services – a registered agent is required to form an LLC. A registered agent accepts important documents on the behalf of your business and forwards them to you. ZenBusiness provides this service for free for one full year. After the first, free year, they charge $119 annually to be your registered agent.
  • Customizable template to help you create your LLC Operating Agreement.
  • Free accounting and tax assessment from their licensed in-house CPA professionals to help determine your bookkeeping, accounting and tax needs.

Pro Package – what is included

  • $199 + State Fee
  • The Pro Package includes everything from the Starter Package
  • Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) – An EIN is your business’s social security number and ZenBusiness will acquire an EIN for you. You will need this to open a business bank account, hire employees, file taxes, and more.
  • ZenBusiness will provide a banking resolution form to help you open a business bank account for your LLC.
  • They offer a worry-free guarantee which means they will prepare and file your annual report, along with the two amendments per year. If you ever miss a deadline with your state, they will help you resolve and regain good standing.

Premium Package – what is included

  • $299 + State Fee
  • The Premium Package includes everything from the Pro Package
  • Domain Name Registration – if you need a domain name for your businesses website, ZenBusiness will facilitate the process and provide a dashboard for managing your domain.
  • Domain Name Privacy will keep your personal information private. This information becomes publicly available when you do your domain name filing unless you get domain name privacy.
  • Premium customers receive a business email account with 5GB of storage space.
  • In addition, premium customers get a business website that ZenBusiness will setup.

PROS of ZenBusiness

  • ZenBusiness is one of the more affordable LLC service out there. Their pricing starts at $39 compared to others like LegalZoom which start at $60.
  • Easy and simple to use and understand without any confusing terminology.
  • 1,000’s of positive customer review, their customer feedback is very positive and encouraging.
  • No aggressive up-selling compared to other similar service providers.
  • Worry-free guarantee
  • ZenBusiness takes care of annual report filing and other LLC maintenance processes in their Pro package as part of their Worry Free Guarantee.
  • They are a socially conscious organization, which makes them unique in that sense. They have a partnership with Kiva.org and a portion of their profits help lift people out of poverty.

CONS of ZenBusiness

It is hard to come up with cons for ZenBusiness because overall, they really are a great formation service.

The only con we can think of is that they are not the cheapest out there.

Incfile beats them with a lower price for comparable services.

Just keep in mind that IncFile is a much more aggressive up-seller than ZenBusiness.

For a more in depth review of ZenBusiness, read our ZenBusiness review post here.

 

IncFile:

incfile-logo

Incfile is one of the most affordable online incorporation services, is extremely reliable, and they pack in a bunch of great features that are useful when starting a business.

IncFile has been helping businesses form since 2004 and have helped more than 250,000 businesses since opening their doors.

Key Features:

  • Company name verification
  • Formation service entity types: LLC formation, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Nonprofit
  • Free first year registered agent
  • Preparation and filing of articles
  • Free business tax consult and lifetime customer support
  • Next business day processing
  • Lifetime company alerts
  • Online order status and tracking
  • Registered Agent
  • Annual Report
  • Foreign Qualification
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Change of Registered Agent
  • Amendment
  • Dissolution
  • EIN/TAX ID Number legal forms
  • Business License Search
  • File Business Taxes
  • Fictitious Business Name – DBA
  • File S Corp Tax Election

IncFile Pricing:

IncFile Pricing

IncFile has three formation packages to choose from and they each offer a different combination of pricing and features, depending what you need.

For all of the details of each formation package, you can checkout their pricing page here .

Silver Package – what is included:

  • $0 + State Fee
  • Preparation and filing of your Articles of Organization – these documents are required for your LLC formation and IncFile will create and file them with your state.
  • One Year Free Registered Agent Service – a registered agent is required to form an LLC. A registered agent accepts important documents on the behalf of your business and forwards them to you. IncFile provides this erices for free for one full year. After the first, free year, they charge $119 annually to be your registered agent.
  • Lifetime Unlimited phone and email support
  • Order status tracking
  • Business Tax Consultation – the offer a 30 minutes, no obligation consultation with a certified tax professional and charge for consultation services thereafter.
  • Lifetime company alerts – IncFile will keep track of important deadlines and notify you as they approach.

Gold Package – what is included:

  • $149 + State Fee
  • The Gold package includes everything from the Silver Package
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number – An EIN is a social security number for your business and is to be used when opening a bank account, hiring employees, filing taxes, and more. IncFile will acquire an EIN for you so that you don’t have to do it with the IRS directly.
  • Custom Operating Agreement – IncFile will prepare your custom operating agreement which outlines the ownership structure of your business and ground rules for the way your company will operate.
  • Express 1-3 day shipping of a hard copy of your articles of organization
  • Banking Resolution – This document is created to help you open a business bank account. However, this can easily be done by simply bringing your EIN number to the bank with you.
  • Gold Business Formation Kit – A box with your company’s name on it, a transfer ledger, and document organization tabs to help keep your documents organized.
  • S Corporation Tax form Preparation – This feature only applies if you decide to have your business be taxed like an S Corporation.

Platinum Package – what is included:

The Platinum Package included everything from the Gold package

Expedited Document Filing – this can cut your turnaround time from weeks to days if expedited services are offered in your State.

Sample Document Library – Access to legal contract templates to be used as needed

Business Website and Domain Name – IncFile has a partnership with SnapWeb and you will receive a professionally designed basic website and pre-made template. This feature requires you to pay SnapWeb’s $20/month hosting fee and the free domain name only applies if you sign up for an annual subscription.

Each state has a different state fee. You can lookup your state filing fee here.

PROS of IncFile

  • Affordable
  • Easy to Use
  • With the Silver plan, you only pay the state fee for an llc formation or other formation service.
  • Lifetime phone and email customer support
  • Free company name availability analysis
  • Free registered agent service for one full year
  • You can track your order and filing status online
  • Free 1-hour tax consultation with a business tax expert
  • 15 years of experience
  • Over 15,000 customer review online, most of which are positive

CONS of IncFile

  • They charge $70 for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on their free plan
  • IncFile Customer Support has been hard to read at times and they have limited telephone customer support hours (9 am – 6 pm CST) – users have said they had better luck with e-mail support
  • Numerous package upgrades and add-ons through the registration process
  • They can be aggressive up-sellers which can potentially lead to a higher over price as a result

To learn even more about Incfile, read our Incfile review here.

 

Overall Comparison

ZenBusiness : If you’re looking for a full-service incorporation company with some of the lowest prices in the industry, look no further than ZenBusiness.

For just $39, they’ll form your corporation and provide a year of registered agent service, along with corporate bylaws and an assessment from one of their in-house CPAs.

Their $149 plan is a good deal too, because it adds annual report service, compliance monitoring, a federal tax ID number (EIN), and a banking resolution.

Incfile : At just $0 plus state fee, Incfile’s entry-level incorporation package is even more impressively priced than ZenBusiness, and all of Incfile’s packages include 12 months of registered agent service, after which you’ll pay $119 per year.

Their $149 Gold package adds some valuable features as well, like business documents, legal documents and an EIN. Overall, Incfile provides their clients with excellent value.

Both are known for having great customer service!

Some small business owners and startup companies may come across small legal issues or need the occasional legal advice.

As mentioned before, hiring a law firm can be very expensive!

Just like these online company formation service providers, there are some that include online legal service as part of their offering.

While Zen Business and Incfile focus more on the business formation aspect of starting a business, others like Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer specialize in the legal aspect as well.

To learn more, read our LegalZoom review and RocketLawyer review here.

 

Conclusion

We hope this Comparison of ZenBusiness vs IncFile has been helpful for you and your business!

These two companies have similar price points for the combination of business formation and registered agent service, but Incfile offers free business incorporation services.

On the other hand, ZenBusiness includes incorporation, bylaws and registered agent.

It’s everything you’ll need and nothing you don’t – for the best overall price.

Both of their llc formation packages are pretty impressive for the price.

Incfile has more experience, and they provide strong ease of use and fast formation speeds as well.

On the other hand, ZenBusiness is a great option if you prioritize getting the most bang for your buck, as their $39 plan is the best-value option for incorporation service that we’re aware of, and it’s a fully-featured package.

Either way, you can’t really go wrong with these two options as they are both solid and reputable.

Our top choice year after year tends to be ZenBusiness because we feel that they are an overall best value.

However Incfile is definitely a runner up and strong contender!

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  1. IRS.gov "Limited Liability Company (LLC)" Page 1 . April 7, 2021

  2. SBA.gov "Business Structures - Limited Liability" Page 1 . April 7, 2021

  3. SBA.gov "Register with State Agencies" Page 1. April 7, 2021