ZenBusiness may not be run by Buddhist monks, but its stress-free business-formation service is as calming as 30 minutes of meditation and a cup of green tea. If you’re looking to form a company, hand your worries to ZenBusiness and relax. You’re in good hands.
That’s the impression you get from visiting the company’s website or reading evaluations from satisfied customers. A mountain of overwhelmingly positive ZenBusiness reviews on Trustpilot leaves the company with an excellent score of 4.7 out of 5. Most of the praise focuses on how fast and easy ZenBusiness makes it to form a company.
Does ZenBusiness deserve its excellent reputation? We subjected this Austin, Texas-based startup-support company to exacting scrutiny. Read on for the results.
PRICE STARTS AT
$49 + state fees
2-3 weeks (Basic plan)
Incl. in formation package, then $119 per year
Depends on plan
Depends on plan
WEB DOMAIN & HOSTING
Depends on plan
It takes four main statements to put ZenBusiness into focus.
First, although ZenBusiness can help you set up any kind of corporation, the focus is on limited liability companies, which account for about 90% of ZenBusiness’s business. That focus is why ZenBusiness has gained a reputation of one of the world’s leading LLC services companies.
Second, ZenBusiness is exploring ways to capitalize on its relationship with clients to provide ongoing business-management services, to continue working together after your business is incorporated.
Third, ZenBusiness has fine-tuned its formula of great customer care, affordable prices, and ease of use since it was founded in 2015. The company has announced its ambition to help clients launch 1 million companies over the next five years.
Finally, ZenBusiness is a socially conscious company. It is incorporated as a public benefit corporation according to Texas law, and it makes regular contributions to Kiva.org, a nonprofit that lends money to small businesses owned by women and minorities. ZenBusiness plans to continue making a profit, but it also intends to help make the world a better place.
Starting price$39 + state fees
Reg. agent includedFree (1st year)Visit Site
Starting price$99 + state fees
Reg. agent included$149.99 a yearVisit Site
Starting price$79 + state fees
Reg. agent included$159 a yearVisit Site
Zen Business offers three LLC-formation packages: Starter, Pro, and Premium. Although the packages are designed with small businesses in mind, larger companies shouldn’t disregard them. One of the ZenBusiness packages might offer everything you expect from a corporate legal team that’s helping you set up a subsidiary – at a much lower cost.
All of Zen’s startup packages are well thought out, with plenty of handy features for starting and operating your company.
With an eye-catching price of just $49, the ZenBusiness Starter package blows the competition away. This package may be the market’s most affordable LLC services. The package is perfect for entrepreneurs who want access to critical business formation services without exhausting the budget. This package represents exceptional value. Here’s what you get:
Preparation and filing of formation documents. Government paperwork is intimidating, and it’s easy to miss a requirement in the fine print. That’s why companies like ZenBusiness exist. They specialize in preparing and filing startup paperwork. They know what information is needed and what documents must be submitted.
Name availability search. Before filing your business formation documents, ZenBusiness will check to see if the name you’ve chosen for your new company is available. If not, Zen will contact you so you can come up with a replacement.
Online document access. Once ZenBusiness reviews your paperwork and sends your application to the secretary of state, you can monitor your order’s status on a personalized online dashboard. Later, you will be able to use the dashboard for viewing and printing documents as well as requesting new services.
Business credit card. ZenBusiness maintains a partnership with Divvy so you can get business credit cards for yourself and your employees. Divvy is a cloud-based financial-services platform that helps companies authorize, track, and control business expenses.
Free CPA assessment. All ZenBusiness pricing plans include a free accounting and tax assessment by a certified public accountant who makes recommendations and provides helpful information.
Virtual business guide. A great many of today’s startups are online companies that face special challenges and business requirements. That’s why ZenBusiness provides an easy-to-follow guide on setting up a virtual business.
Registered agent services. Every incorporated business in America is required to have a registered agent to receive official documents on the company’s behalf. Zen’s registered agent service is included with its business-startup packages for the first 12 months and automatically renews at a price of $119 per year.
As anyone who sets out to review ZenBusiness and other startup-support services will tell you, this is amongst the most generous offers available.
Operating agreement/corporate bylaws. An operating agreement lays out an LLC’s structure and sets rules for how it will operate. Corporate bylaws perform the same function for corporations. ZenBusiness helps you create these important documents.
Priced at $179 per year (plus state filing fees, of course), Zen’s Pro package includes everything in the Starter package plus several useful additional services. The Pro package is an affordable LLC formation option for entrepreneurs who’d like to set up their businesses faster and prefer a little more than the basic coverage. The additional services are:
Banking resolution. Banks often need to see a corporate or LLC banking resolution before letting you open a business bank account. The resolution specifies who has the authority to sign loans or make payments on behalf of your new company. ZenBusiness will give you appropriate templates so you can get all of this squared away in no time.
Worry-free guarantee. This feature was one of the first to catch our eye when comparing ZenBusiness’s LLC formation packages. Zen’s worry-free guarantee includes annual report filing plus two amendments per year if required. The guarantee has an alert system set in place to help you keep track of important filing dates for taxes and government paperwork.
If you miss a deadline, ZenBusiness’s support team will assist you in redeeming yourself to the state. Zen will even pay late fees and penalties if necessary.
Expedited filing. With the Pro package, your new company gets expedited formation services, since sometimes your plans don’t involve waiting around for two or three weeks to get your company up and running.
Employer ID number. You can view your EIN as a Social Security number for your business. Even though ZenBusiness can review and file the paperwork for you in most cases, if you don’t have a personal Social Security number or Taxpayer ID number, then you may have to file the EIN application yourself. But Zen will still prepare the paperwork for you.
The Premium package focuses on the online side of operating your business. Developing an online presence is a costly endeavor, which accounts for this package’s price: $299 plus state fees.
The high price means Zen’s Premium package might not be everyone’s first choice, but considering the services you get – including faster business formation services and the online kit – we recommend it. It’s still one of the cheapest LLC setup options available.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Premium package so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s right for you.
Rush filing speed. A step up from the Pro package’s “expedited” filing speed, Premium paperwork turnaround times are twice as fast.
Business website. A website is like your company’s business card on the internet. It’s not a necessity, but an excellent site leaves a good impression with customers, bankers, investors, and potential business partners. ZenBusiness gives you the tools you need to create the best LLC website possible: professional website templates customized to work on any device, unlimited web hosting, and even a $100 Google Ads voucher.
Business domain name. A domain name is your website’s online address, and to ensure that no one else can use it, you need to license it. ZenBusiness can help you register your unique domain name and make sure that it corresponds to the name of your business.
Domain name privacy. Are you comfortable with your website domain registration publicly listing your name and contact information? We didn’t think so. Zen’s Premium package includes a privacy shield around this sensitive data.
Business email address. You don’t need to sign up with even the best LLC service to get a free email provider, but with ZenBusiness your email and website domain names will match perfectly. Zen will help you create professional email addresses for your business.
ZenBusiness’s customer service agents are available through chat and phone from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central time – and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also send them an email. Expect a response within a single business day.
Not only was our experience pleasurable, but ZenBusiness reviews on BBB support our sentiment. Even if Zen’s services were only average, the customer support team would make it one of the best LLC services we’ve seen. Team members are knowledgeable and quick to respond, no matter the nature of your question.
Setting up your business is fast and easy at the ZenBusiness website. Once you select your business type and state, the page reloads to show your overall price and services. It’s the same with any add-on options you click on. After you’ve compiled your package, simply fill out the necessary information about your business and you’re done.
The system ZenBusiness has in place is simple: The more you pay, the greater the odds of opening your business in a few days instead of a few weeks. ZenBusiness reviews your order and prioritizes it based on your chosen package. Of course, all turnaround times are affected by how quickly the state reviews and approves your documents.
If you already have a business and are finding it difficult to stay compliant with the state paperwork requirements, you can purchase the worry-free guarantee as a stand-alone feature and have ZenBusiness deal with it. It’s just $119 per year.
After conducting a thorough LLC services comparison, we’ve concluded that ZenBusiness’s registered agent offer is by far the most affordable. If you don’t want to get it as part of a company-formation package, you can subscribe to the service separately for $99 per year.
Another feature that you can obtain individually through ZenBusiness is your employer ID number. Zen will file the necessary paperwork and acquire your EIN for $70.
New York is one of the few states that require a Certificate of Publication from new LLCs – a regulation left over from times when newspapers were the only way of informing the public of new companies.
The process involves a lot of hassle that even some of the best LLC services don’t want to deal with, which is one reason ZenBusiness is our favorite. For $200 plus publication fees, Zen will take on the attorneys, newspapers, county clerk, and the Department of State for you.
The great thing about ZenBusiness is that even though the prices are low, the services are top-notch. Every one of them has a purpose – the packages aren’t padded with a lot of fluff to give you the illusion of abundance. It’s refreshing.
If you’re in the market for an affordable LLC formation service, you won’t go wrong with ZenBusiness.
ZenBusiness PBC is a legitimate company that provides business formation services. To verify that a business is legitimate, you can contact the company, check the company website, and look up the company on the Better Business Bureau website. If you’re still feeling insecure, ask your friends and family if they would recommend it and do a quick search for reviews from reputable sources.
There is much to say in a ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom debate, but the bottom line is that LegalZoom is a valid alternative for ZenBusiness if you’d prefer to work with a more well-known company and don’t mind paying a bit extra for premium services and features.
Northwest Registered Agent has been around a long time, but aside from that, NW doesn’t offer much more than other companies. Like ZenBusiness, Northwest is a full-service LLC-formation company. Its basic package is priced at $79 per year, while ZenBusiness offers more for only $49 per year.
ZenBusiness can help you with forming an LLC or corporation and keeping up with government and regulatory deadlines on an ongoing basis. ZenBusiness reviews and files your formation documents, offers a registered agent service, helps you set up a website, and much more. If you’d like a detailed assessment of ZenBusiness, you might be interested in reading our review of its services.