Zen Business is a Public Benefit Corporation and small business empowering the next generation of small businesses to be successful by assisting them in their LLC formation process.
The goal of Zenbusiness is to make the dream of starting a new company accessible to everyone across the country by providing ease to their LLC formation process.
Zenbusiness makes it their mission to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, small company owners, and freelancers by making it easier than ever to start, run, and grow a successful business and form an LLC.
ZenBusiness is there to join and support the brave entrepreneurs and owners in taking the leap towards their dream of building a better life by offering them LLC formation services.
Not only that, but Zenbusiness also offers business formation services with quite positive customer reviews, meaning that Zenbusiness has an amazing service review as an entity with a number of features that can be a great first choice if you’re looking for a stepping stone.
Features and Services of ZenBusiness
Zen Business offers services throughout your business’s lifespan, meaning ZenBusiness will be useful before, during and after your LLC formation. Aside from LLC formation service, ZenBusiness offers a vast array of extra services such as:
- Online Incorporation Service
- Registered Agent Service
- Operating Agreement
- Worry-Free Compliance
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Banking Resolution
- Annual Reports
- Domain Name Registration
- Domain Name Privacy
- Business Website
- Business Email Address
- New York Publication
- Filing Amendment
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Business Bank Account
- Business Insurance
- Business Name Reservation
After seeing just the numbers on this list, you can already tell that ZenBusiness is there to cater to your LLC’s every need to help it grow after it is formed, providing them with the customer support that everybody needs.
Some of the services and features from ZenBusiness are put together in 3 different formation packages for your selection depending on what you need to enhance your newly started business. Here’s a comparison:
If you’re looking to form an LLC, ZenBusiness starts off their base package, which is the Starter Package, with a price of $39 dollars. This package includes the regular filing service, a registered agent service and an operating agreement template.
As for the LLC service filing duration from ZenBusiness, the agents from ZenBusiness take about 6 to 7 working days for the to form an LLC.
For the other packages, such as the Zenbusiness Pro Package which is priced at $149 (billed annually), ZenBusiness offers rushed filing speeds which shorten the formation to 4 to 5 working days.
For the Zenbusiness Pro Package as compared to the Zenbusiness Starter Package, ZenBusiness also offers an Employer ID Number (EIN), a banking resolution template and a document template library. They also offer a Worry-Free Guarantee which is what every owner needs.
As for the last package, which is the ZenBusiness Premium Plan Package, it is priced at $249 which is also billed annually plus state filing fees). ZenBusiness offers an even faster filing speed and a complete business formation in 1 to 3 working days with a worry-free guarantee.
ZenBusiness also provides several other additional features such as providing a business domain name, website and email address. ZenBusiness offers all of these services at a significantly lower price as compared to the other LLC service providing companies, which is why they remain as the best LLC service provider.
Furthermore, ZenBusiness remains as the best LLC service provider due to their 100% accuracy guarantee on their services, giving their customers who are looking for LLC formation services more confidence and assurance.
As you can see, the higher up the plan you go with ZenBusiness on your LLC formation services, the more benefits you unlock.
You can also opt to go for a starter plan, you can take the lower plan and pick additional perks of the higher plans at extra costs, but it is overall better value to just go for a higher plan when it comes to your LLC formation.
In this review, I’ll be covering what each of these features and services from ZenBusiness can benefit your business.
Registered Agent Service
If you’re forming an LLC structured business, you’d be needing a registered agent. Why’s that? The registered agents from ZenBusiness accept service of process notices such as legal documents and government notices on behalf of the LLC.
The agents from ZenBusiness also safeguard the owner’s privacy by receiving mail instead of the owner’s personal email address. Registered agents from ZenBusiness can also help businesses file taxes as well as keep legalities in check, preventing possible incoming lawsuits.
All of the LLC formation packages from ZenBusiness include a reliable registered agent service. Registered agent services often have a higher price tag, so it is appealing that ZenBusiness includes such a service even in their starter package, which price is actually lower than what a lot of other companies charge for registered agent services alone.
An operating agreement is a binding document that outlines the LLC’s financial and functional decisions including provisions, rules and regulations.
An operating agreement document governs the internal operations to suit the specific needs of the business owners. LLCs without an operating agreement is governed by the state’s default rules instead. Even so, it is highly recommended that an LLC has an operating agreement because it structures an LLC’s finances and organization, and provides rules and regulations for smooth operation.
ZenBusiness provides a template for you to draft your operating agreement if you purchase any of their packages which would otherwise cost $35. The ZenBusiness operating agreement template follows a standard format to ensure your interests are protected and your company is properly supported as it grows.
ZenBusiness provides you with full control to fill in your operating agreement and keep it up to date over time.
Failing to remain compliant with state-required annual reports and filing deadlines can put your LLC in bad standing with the state which exposes you to costly fines, losing your LLC protection, and increased personal risk and liability.
The worry-free guarantee compliance from ZenBusiness provides proactive alerts and notification for upcoming filing events. ZenBusiness also covers your annual report filing and allows two amendments yearly so you stay in good standing with the state.
Should you ever miss filing deadlines or forget to file your annual report, Zenbusiness will provide a detailed action plan as well as cover the costs for you to regain your good standing with the state.
Keeping track of documents and ongoing compliance requirements can be a big headache for business owners that just want to manage and grow their LLC, so getting ZenBusiness to handle them for you can take some stress away.
On its own, ZenBusiness offers the worry-free compliance of $119 per year, but it is included in both the pro and premium packages offered by ZenBusiness.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to LLCs, corporations or partnerships for the purposes of identification.
An EIN is a requirement for opening a bank account and hiring employees. Without an EIN, you are forced to combine their business and personal assets which open you up to increased liability and puts your personal assets at much greater risk.
It is highly encouraged that you obtain an EIN and open a separate business bank account so you can separate your business and personal transaction and keep your personal assets protected. For LLCs and corporations, the EIN establishes the business as a separate entity from you, which preserves limited liability should your company ever be sued.
An EIN also saves you from giving out your social security number to suppliers or lenders, which reduces the risk of identity theft. If you opt for either the pro or premium package, ZenBusiness will secure an EIN for you.
A banking resolution is the simplest way to authorize someone to open a bank account and provide a signature for the business.
ZenBusiness provides a banking resolution to their customers who chose this option so that the customers can have a complete record of any company decision made.
Banking resolutions can also act as official proof to financial institutions that only authorized personnel in your LLC is acting for your company.
This document is created by the owners for an LLC or the board of directors for a corporation. The resolution can be drafted or altered at any meetings between owners or directors.
ZenBusiness provides a banking resolution template for $30 so your business can quickly and easily complete the resolution to open your business bank account and assign signature authority.
Alternatively, by getting either the Pro or Premium Package, you will get the banking resolution template included.
An annual report is a detailed report on a company’s activities throughout the preceding year intending to provide information about the company’s activities and financial performance.
Most states make it a requirement for businesses to disclose their annual report and file it with the registry to remain compliant and in good standing.
If these compliance events are missed, the state will often impose fines or penalties and may even revoke the company’s right to conduct business within the state.
By employing ZenBusiness, they will send important notifications and help with your annual filing to ensure your company remains compliant. Unfortunately, ZenBusiness does not include this service in any of the packages and comes at a price of $75 plus the state fee.
Domain Name Registration
For you to expand, it needs to be known, and the best way to do that nowadays is to promote it online with ZenBusiness.
A business domain name is a unique name claimed through a domain registrar to represent a company online. It can be used for both a website and an email address.
It is also needed for a web hosting company to publish your website. If you think your business will need a domain name, then it is recommended that you get one immediately from ZenBusiness to protect it against someone else purchasing it.
ZenBusiness can secure your domain name and ensure it aligns with your new business name if you choose their Premium package, alternatively, you can get it separately from ZenBusiness for $25 per year.
Domain Name Privacy (premium package only)
Every domain name owner must pass along their information to the ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) WHOIS directory so they can maintain a record of every domain name and who runs it. However, WHOIS makes your contact information public.
Domain name privacy shields this contact information from the public and replaces it with the details of your domain registrar instead. In the premium package, not only will ZenBusiness secure your domain name, but they’ll also provide WHOIS domain name privacy to protect your personal information, reduce spam and scams, and limit unwanted solicitations.
So, you have secured a domain name, but that would be pointless if you did not actually have a website. Usually, you would need to outsource another service to build a business website for you, but at ZenBusiness, they have that service too.
ZenBusiness offers a business website that is automatically created using the information provided in your business formation documents so you can establish your online presence without breaking the bank.
ZenBusiness allows your site to be easily editable, built to sync with their domain name service, and formatted to look great on any device.
The website building service from ZenBusiness is included in the premium package, but it costs $50 per year if purchased as an add on to a smaller package and $100 if purchased alone.
Business Email Address (premium package only)
A business email address can bring together your domain name and inbox to offer more credibility than a personal email address. It allows businesses to access their inbox across software and device types while adding more credibility to email communications and marketing efforts.
These email accounts also block spam and other unwanted email and are synced across all your devices. ZenBusiness offers a single email inbox that aligns to your domain name with 5 GB of free storage if you purchase their premium package.
New York Publication (only if you are doing business in New York)
New York is a state that requires newly created LLCs to publish a formation announcement in two newspapers on a weekly basis for six consecutive weeks based on section 206 of The New York LLC Law.
According to the law, LLCs that fail to comply within 120 days of formation could have their ability to conduct or transact business be suspended. The law goes on to say that contracts and the liability shield will remain intact.
The process of certification often requires coordinating with the county clerk, newspapers, attorneys, and the Department of State, all of which can quickly become challenging.
ZenBusines offers a Certificate of Publication service where they will act as your agent to manage all these steps and secure the certificate on your behalf at $200 and the publication fees.
An amendment allows you to change the information in the Articles of Incorporation and other documents you have filed with the state. You can update your address, business name and members.
If your information needs to be updated with the state, respective paperwork needs to be prepared and submitted via the amendment to the state. As your business grows, change is bound to happen and ZenBusiness allows two free amendments with their worry-free compliance.
If you do not have this or exceed the two amendment limit, it will be $100 per amendment filed exclusive of state fees.
Certificate of Good Standing
A business is said to be in good standing if it has diligently filed all appropriate paperwork with the state, and has paid all due fees.
When all criteria to be in good standing have been met, the state issues a document that proves that your LLC or Corporation has met all the necessary requirements and is authorized to do business in that state, this document is known as the Certificate of Good Standing.
You will most likely need a Certificate of Good Standing a few times throughout the life of the business in order to meet state requirements, renew licenses or permits, secure financing, and eventually exit or sell your business.
For $75 plus state fees, ZenBusiness can secure a Certificate of Good Standing for you.
Business Bank Account
It is highly recommended that all businesses open a business bank account. This account separates the owner’s personal and business banking and limits their personal liability. I
t also helps your business organize its taxes, simplify its accounting, and establish credibility with your customers and suppliers. ZenBusiness is partnered with Radius Bank to provide its customers with access to a discounted banking service created specifically for small businesses and startups on the move.
This bank account will ensure your money is working as hard as you do with unlimited and free transactions, online and mobile banking and a free debit card. This service costs $110 per year and a $100 deposit to your Radius Bank account to open it.
A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is an insurance bundle that offers a wide range of coverages at a reduced cost. BOPs combine two policies that nearly all small businesses need to have, general liability and commercial property, into one convenient policy.
It can be expanded and tailored by adding additional coverages to meet the unique needs of your LLC. BOPs cover claims from theft, fires, and any other property damages along with personal injuries that result from the operation of your business.
One of the goals of ZenBusiness is to work with business owners who don’t have insurance yet. If the description fits you, look no further as ZenBusiness has partnered with Commercial Insurance Center to offer a free BOP insurance quote.
The BOP can be tailored to the specific needs of your LLC. The policy includes general liability insurance and commercial property insurance, but additional coverages can be added based on the complex needs of your company.
Business Name Reservation
Finding the right company name is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. It is alright if you still aren’t ready to form an LLC or corporation as most states will allow you to reserve your business name. This prevents other entrepreneurs from registering the name
and ensures it will be available when you’re ready to start your business. Reservations are typically valid for 120 days, but those requirements and the amount of time needed to secure your name will vary from state to state.
ZenBusiness can back you up with name check and reservation services available in every state for $50.
ZenBusiness does not have automated messages, instead, they employ real human beings to answer your calls or live chat support during their office hours, from 8 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday and 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays.
The customer service agents from ZenBusiness are knowledgeable and can answer any questions you may have, and if they are unable to, they can at least point you to the right direction, particularly when you are anxious on how to form an LLC.
Zenbusiness has a team of skilled customer support that will aid their clients in everything, be it the ease of use of interface and services, any questions you have regarding a business formation service, or even ownership structure and documents filings.
Pick the Right Plan
So you’ve seen all the benefits and services that come with each plan, but you might still be wondering which one would be best for you, so I’ll put it here in brief.
Zenbusiness Starter Package
The starter package is a basic LLC service for new entrepreneurs starting their LLC business. Just a recap, it contains the standard filing service, an operating agreement, registered agent services and real-time customer service.
It’s one of the cheapest LLC business formation service plans available in the market that come with registered agent service, even if only for a year.
Zenbusiness Pro Package
Aside from all the benefits of the Starter package when you form an LLC, we find that the Pro package best suits entrepreneurs who want faster formation filing, document templates for future use and the worry-free guarantee.
Zenbusiness Premium Package
The premium package covers every technical aspect of operating a business. While it is the most costly of the three, is the one with the most value. The filing speed in this package is the fastest as well as a business domain, website, email address to get your online ventures going.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom
ZenBusiness is only one of the many LLC formation services around town, and a lot of you obviously want the best for your LLC or corporation, so you may be thinking what ZenBusiness has when put up against the powerhouse of LLC services known as LegalZoom.
Here, I will help you break down some advantages ZenBusiness has on LegalZoom.
ZenBusiness offers significantly lower prices on the services you need to start, run, and grow your business without any hidden or delayed charges after your initial purchase as compared to LegalZoom. This applies to every single one of their services and packages.
That’s not all, ZenBusiness has registered agent service included in all of their packages while LegalZoom offers it only on its own.
ZenBusiness has an excellent average score of 4.8/5 for their registered agent service on Trustpilot which is higher than the average for LegalZoom of 4.4/5 across thousands of customer reviews.
ZenBusiness also has a customer success team that is fully committed to providing a fast, low-cost, and highly enjoyable experience while LegalZoom does not.
With the premium plan from ZenBusiness at $299, you can get an average filing speed of 3 to 5 working days, with some states filed up to as fast as 1 to 2 working days.
In comparison, LegalZoom has the fastest filing option which is 10 working days and it comes at a much higher price. The longer filing takes, the more external costs start to add up too.
Domain name and website dashboard
ZenBusiness offers all customers a personalized dashboard to set up and customize their domain name and website at any time from a computer or mobile device while LegalZoom does not.
Besides LegalZoom, you might also want to check out our comprehensive comparison with IncFile to find out more on the key differences between ZenBusiness vs IncFile.
ZenBusiness provides all the necessities for forming an LLC as well as maintaining it while other websites such as LegalZoom does not. ZenBusiness offers innovative tools and services that make them stand out from the others (such as LegalZoom) in their market, such as web hosting.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your needs, then look no further than ZenBusiness as ZenBusiness is here to cater for your LLC formation needs.
Starting a business correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 15 years of experience consulting new businesses and start ups, Matthew is probably the best person to help you set a strong foundation for your business.