ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom Comparison & Differences
When starting a business, many entrepreneurs look to business formation services to launch their business entity.
Most small business owners also prefer to focus on running their business and rather than also trying to tackle the legal aspect.
But with hourly rates for business lawyers starting at $100 (that is on the low end!) and going up from there, having a business lawyer handle all of these needs can get really expensive.
Luckily, there are online services that handle the formation of your business, ongoing filings that need to be completed, and even handle the legal aspect of running a successful business.
Today we are going to compare and contrast two options for formation and legal services: ZenBusiness and Legal Zoom.
You will learn about each service individually and then we will compare and contrast so that you can find the one that best fits your needs!
Here’s our Comparison of ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom for 2021:
ZenBusiness was founded in 2015 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs form their businesses.
There are dozens of business formation services and year after year Zen Business shines as one of the best incorporation service available.
Key Features and Services:
- Entity types: LLC (limited liability company), S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Nonprofit, Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership
- Free first year Registered Agent
- Website building services
- Compliance guarantee
- Operating agreement templates
- Free accounting consultation
- Business document templates library
- Business email address
- LLC formation service as well as Corporation, S-Corporation, and Nonprofit
- DBA (Doing Business As)
- Registered agent service
- EIN acquisition
- Business name Reservation
- Annual reports
- Domain name registration
- Certificate of good standing
- New York Publication
- Business Insurance
- Business bank account
Zen Business offers three different formation 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 Filing 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 business bank accounts, 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 formation service provider out there. Their business registration 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 reviews, 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 services.
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.
LegalZoom is definitely a brand that you’ve probably heard of because they have a lot of brand power.
They’ve done a really good job marketing themselves and getting their name out there.
But there is more behind their name, they really are a great organization.
- They do huge volumes of new business LLC formations with over a million businesses formed since 1999.
- Extended customer service hours
- Compliance – Once your company is set up, LegalZoom will help you keep the business in good standing. They can file your annual report, change your business name, obtain a certificate of good standing and more.
- Intellectual property filings – LegalZoom will connect you with a lawyer to help you prepare and file a trademark, copyright, or patent application.
- Registered agent service
- LegalZoom has over 100 custom legal forms at your disposal. These forms are customizable to your business needs and are enforceable in court.
- For a monthy fee, LegalZoom attorneys will review your legal documents, provide phone consultations and legal advice, and do annual legal checkup of your business.
- Wills, trusts, power of attorney services, attorney consultation, additional services, online legal service.
If you want a company that is well-known, has extensive legal experience, and processes high-volumes of business formations on a daily basis, LegalZoom is a good one to consider.
Economy Package – what is included:
- $79 + State Fee
- Name check to make sure the company name you want to use is available.
- LegaZoom will file your LLC state documents, Articles of Organization for LLCs, and corporation documents.
- Lifetime customer support
- Banking authorization letter for opening up bank accounts
Standard Formation Package – what is included:
- $329 + State Fee
- Includes everything in the Economy package
- Deluxe organizer binder to help keep all documents organized
- 20 personalized certificates and a company seal
- LegalZoom VIP Processing which expedites the process time by 15 business days
Express Gold Package Premium Plan – what is included:
- $349 + State Fee
- Includes everything in the Standard package
- The only additional value this package brings is expedited shipping.
LegalZoom Legal Services Pricing:
- Business Advisory Plan (31.25 per month)
- Incorporating a nonprofit (starting at $99 + state fees)
- S and C-corporation formation (starting at $149 + state fees)
- Corporate amendments (starting at $149 + state fees)
- Dissolution services (starting at $129 + state fees)
- Annual reports (starting at $55 + state fees)
- Registered agent services ($299/year)
- Trademark registration (starting at $199 + state fees)
- Utility patents (starting at $699 + state fees)
- Design patents (starting at $899 + state fees)
Who Wins the Battle of LegalZoom vs Zenbusiness?
If you are looking for a high-quality, affordable business formation service, ZenBusiness is going to be the best choice.
They offer great customer support, value, and affordable business formation services.
Their plans are straightforward, competitive and their packages offer everything our business needs.
Starting at only $39 + state fees, you get your formation done and they include your Articles of Organization filing plus one year free registered agent PLUS an Operating Agreement.
All in all, the combination of great customer service, positive customer reviews, competitive pricing, and straightforward LLC formation plans makes ZenBusiness an excellent choice.
If longevity is important to you and you prefer a more well-known brand, then you can consider choosing Legal Zoom.
LegalZooms’s formation packages are more complicated and much more expensive.
If you are in need of ongoing legal services, Legal Zoom is a great option, but for simply forming your business, ZenBusiness is going to be your best option of the two!
We hope our Breakdown and Comparison of ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom has been helpful and helps you make the right choice between the two!
We’ve also put together LegalZoom competitors list here if your looking for other alternatives to them as well.
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