If you are planning to take your new business to the next level it is safe to assume that you are already looking to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) so you can bring your company to the next level.
It is common knowledge that the easiest and most hassle-free way of forming an LLC is to utilise an LLC formation service. However, finding the right LLC service is a tedious job in itself and that is why we are here to assist you in your search for the best LLC service.
If you have already started looking, you will realise that there are just too many options to pick from with varying levels of features and price ranges. Trying to decide between so many services will most likely leave you in a headache if you did not have any guidance.
Since you are viewing this article, you probably stumbled upon two big names in the formation service industry for LLCs, LegalZoom and Zenbusiness. These are two very formidable LLC service companies in the industry and they each have their pros and cons.
Their features offered may also vary so it is important that you read our article carefully so you can make an informed decision on which service you would like to form your LLC with.
This Zenbusiness vs LegalZoom article will provide all the details for each company so you can pick the best LLC service for your new business.
Small businesses and large businesses alike, forming an LLC is a no brainer for most business owners as it allows you to classify your business as a separate entity from your personal assets.
It is kind of like a failsafe for if in the unfortunate event that your business does not pan out as well as you’d like, you would be able to make sure that your personal assets are unaffected from what happens with your business’ debts and liabilities.
An LLC also allows you to sign contracts, open bank accounts, hire employees and obtain permits for your business under your LLC.
Most states will also require an annual filing and fee to keep your business in the good eyes of the state you are based in so forming an LLC is a very essential step for your big or small business.
Something that you might not know is that formation services will also provide a Registered Agent service, who are extremely useful for LLC formations as they do the most in helping with your LLC formation process.
Having a registered agent will help with all the state filings and permits while you can invest your limited time with other matters. It is also required in most states for a registered agent to be named and signed in the document forming an LLC.
Basically, they are authorized to receive service of process in the event of lawsuits and other important documents on the behalf of your business.
Now that we have explained a bit of what is expected such as registered agent services and why you actually need an LLC for your business. We can proceed with this Zenbusiness VS LegalZoom review to decide which is the best LLC service for you.
Background Information – Zenbusiness vs LegalZoom
Zenbusiness is a company founded in 2015 so it is a very young company, but do not let its age deceive you as it has already made a reputation for itself catering for over a thousand businesses in its short life and producing an amazing track record with very high satisfaction ratings.
Their goal is to make the dream of starting a new business accessible to everyone across the country. They are a small business empowering the next generation of small businesses to be successful with their LLC service.
LegalZoom could be considered as the most popular and well-known legal help service provider that offers LLC business formation and legal services beyond in the industry.
Their aggressive marketing and ad campaigns have single-handedly made them the most recognizable LLC business formation service providers available.
Founded in 1999, they have found a strong foothold in the legal service industry and their reputation is backed up by their millions of customers, LegalZoom is by far considered the most used LLC service provider out of any other LLC formation services.
Judging from each of Zenbusiness and LegalZoom’s background, LegalZoom is definitely the older and more experienced company of the two. This may or may not affect your decision in picking between them.
The differences in age make Zenbusiness vs LegalZoom better comparisons as they may have different ways of doing business.
The Comparisons – Zenbusiness VS Legal Zoom
Let’s cut to the chase and go forward with the most important part of this article, the comparisons. We will compare important factors such as pricing, features and other details between Zenbusiness vs LegalZoom.
So be sure to read our article carefully to get down all the details. There are sites which have done Zenbusiness vs LegalZoom articles however none have gone as in-depth as us in this battle.
Age, Experience and Track Record
The company that has the advantage here is LegalZoom as they have already started their LLC service way before Zenbusiness existed. With LegalZoom being founded in 1999 compared to the much younger company Zenbusiness which was founded in 2015.
This is a 16-year gap between Zenbusiness and LegalZoom and could prove to be a deciding factor as with age comes experience. With the age of the companies in mind, LegalZoom has more experience and a vast track record backed up by their millions of customers.
You can safely say that LegalZoom knows what they are doing with their legal services. Although this might prove to be a disadvantage for LegalZoom as they have a large user base and this means they would not be able to maintain its qualities and standards per each customer.
This would mean Zenbusiness, with its smaller user base is the better company with a good track record.
This can be seen in online customer reviews compared between LegalZoom and Zenbusiness with Zenbusiness having a very impressive overall satisfaction rating than LegalZoom.
LegalZoom does admittedly have more clients per year. It is up to you to pick if you want to hire a service with many clients per year or one with fewer clients per year.
They are both very known brand though so you don’t have to worry if one of them is a more known brand than the other.
Quality of Customer Service
In terms of customer service quality, Zenbusiness and LegalZoom customer service are great. Legal Zoom provides lifetime customer support with their package plans with support available all throughout the week.
Their mode of communication where you can contact LegalZoom’s customer service is either through call or email.
Whereas with Zenbusiness, the company offers a larger variety of options to choose from with the usual phone call helpline, email or through their chat service application on their website.
This is one of the perks of being the younger company as they are much more catered to the current generation and you can consider LegalZoom to be a bit old fashioned.
LegalZoom has extended support hours and reviews have said that Zenbusiness customer service reps are very friendly and helpful.
An issue with LegalZoom’s customer service is that their email support might have a long response time, with people waiting up to a week at times for customer service before receiving any support which is probably due to their large influx of clients.
Many customer reviews on sites like Better Business Bureau put Zenbusiness and their customer support at a higher rating and we also think that Zenbusiness’ customer support is one of the best customer support services we have ever used.
Although LegalZoom Customer services are great in general too.
Ease of Use
Signing up for an LLC business formation application form is a bit of a hassle if you decide to go with LegalZoom compared to Zenbusiness it is worrying if a company does not think about ease of use.
LegalZoom’s ordering process starts off with the selection of one of their three-tier LLC packages and proceeding on with the usual questionnaire form so they know what exactly are the features you need.
Upsells are present so sometimes your expected budget may be exceeded so do be wary of reading carefully on what features are being offered and if what the company offers comes at an extra cost.
The ordering process for LegalZoom LLC formation and legal services is definitely the longer one compared to Zenbusiness but the ease of ordering an LLC service is actually quite guided despite the companies sneaky upsells they try to pull on you.
Zenbusiness, on the other hand, has a quick and easy ordering process that takes a very short amount of time to complete, you can complete an order in a snap as their instructions are simple and very straightforward.
Similar to LegalZoom, you will first select which LLC formation packages you plan to purchase and then they will provide you with a form to fill out which requires you to fill in some basic information about you and your company.
Upsells are unfortunately also present in the Zenbusiness process although the frequency is way less compared to LegalZoom so in that aspect Zenbusiness is the better user experience.
Both websites are updated to look modern with the times so you do not have to worry about outdated features and such.
All in all, LegalZoom is the pricier option compared to Zenbusiness and at a large margin as well. They offer their base formation package at a price of $79, not plus state fees and upsells such as their registered agent service.
Zenbusiness leads the industry with a low price of $39 plus state fees for their base formation package offer which is quite impressive and is one of the cheapest offerings available around.
Their LLC packages are no joke too and we will compare the features provided by LegalZoom and Zenbusiness’ base packages to see which one offers the better value.
One big advantage that Zenbusiness has over Legal Zoom and a lot of other LLC service providers is that they bundle in their Registered Agent service for a year for free.
Zenbusiness will assign a Registered Agent to you and your company in your LLC formation packages which is a great value as they will help you handle all of your legal documents.
Legal Zoom also offers the service although this is offered in the form of an upsell.
Hence, you have to pay for their registered agent service as an add on during the ordering process which turns your base $79 package plus state fees to prices as high as $159 which includes state filing fees, registered agent service and a customisable LLC operating agreement.
Both have top tier LLC packages with Legal Zoom’s being called the express gold package.
So in the pricing category, Zenbusiness takes the crown as the most alluring and eye-catching
LLC package offering compared to LegalZoom LLC legal services. Offering their essential services at no extra cost as it is included in the base package bundle.
Speed of LLC Formation
Both Zenbusiness and LegalZoom use the same model of deciding your LLC business formation turnaround times. The processing times are not based on each state’s government processing speed but it is actually based on how high your package tier is.
Basically, the more you pay the faster your LLC is formed, instead of worrying if you are not with the best LLC service. However, one minor difference is that Zenbusiness does factor in processing estimates in what state you are in.
LegalZoom processing speeds are acceptable with their lowest tier package, taking up to 30 business days or 6 weeks but you can always get a faster speed of formation if you purchase LegalZoom’s highest tier package which cuts your LLC formation time down to a fast 7-10 days.
Zenbusiness, on the other hand, has a 3 to 4 weeks turnaround time with their lowest starter tier package plan which can be reduced down to 1 to 2 weeks with their pro package and 3 to 5 days with their premium package.
This means overall, Zenbusiness will have the faster LLC business formation speeds compared to LegalZoom. Both of them will handle your application form and prepare your articles of organization for the state.
Registered Agent Service
As stated in the introduction, in the United States of America you will be required to have a designated registered agent signed in order for you to form your LLC.
Registered Agents handle important document deliveries from the state government your business is based in, they also inform you of receipts and forward documents to you and remind you of annual reports.
It allows the state government to have an easy way of getting through contact with your business at any time.
Registered agent services are a very convenient and useful feature to have which is why it is important to point out that Zenbusiness bundles in a year of registered agent service free with their packages and at such a low price of $39 it is quite the bargain.
Whereas LegalZoom charges you up to $249 per year as an add on or upsell which is a pretty steep price point compared to Zenbusiness’ offering.
So if you are planning to have a registered agent, LegalZoom will definitely be the pricier option which is what customer reviews pointed out.
Note: After the one-year free service, you will have to continue paying Zenbusiness on the basis of per year charging.
Extra Additional Services
Apart from their LLC formation services, we think it is also good to take note of what other services Zenbusiness and LegalZoom offer as you can make them your one-stop for legal services.
LegalZoom provides a plethora of other legal services such as attorneys and more. LegalZoom also provides copyright protection and trademark registration services whereas Zenbusiness offers publication services in states such as New York that require them.
Both have business name checkers so you can check if your business name is taken as well.
An important factor to consider is the differences in Zenbusiness and LegalZoom’s refund policies and we would have to say they both have very different philosophies and policies on refunds.
If things take a bad turn, you might have to pull out of forming an LLC so it is always a good thing to be aware of what you can get refunded and such. Zenbusiness offers a very strict refund policy which you have to take note of.
You will no longer be able to request for a refund after they have submitted your business for filing with your state. Although in the event that they have not yet filed your business to the state, you may be able to request a chargeback or you might be required to pay a $50 cancellation fee.
LegalZoom offers a better refund policy which is much more relaxed and less strict.
They promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy in their terms so if you are able to request a refund within 60 days of your purchasing date, LegalZoom will provide you with a full refund with no questions asked.
This is one factor that LegalZoom wins in this Legalzoom vs Zenbusiness battle with their worry-free compliance policy. So small business owners should take a look at this policy.
Bottom Line – Zenbusiness or LegalZoom?
Now that we have gone through some of the more important factors to take note of, we hope you have a clearer idea on which is the best LLC service you are deciding to pick. LegalZoom is a well-established company that provides top of the line legal services including LLC forming and Registered agents.
Their experience in the field will give you a great peace of mind and with their 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy you will be promised a completed LLC formed as soon as possible.
LegalZoom tries to upsell you a lot of addons which could add up to a very high cost at the end of the day although their website’s ease of use is great.
LegalZoom offers the pricer option compared to Zen business, they provide all the essential LLC forming services at their lowest tier packages. LegalZoom has a well-established infrastructure and a long-running track record with decades of experience.
Zenbusiness on the other hand is the cheaper option but surprisingly still holds its own with their amazing package plans which offer great value.
Bundling a registered agent service for a year is really a great bang for your buck which as you know is a service you would have to pay extra for if you decide to go with LegalZoom.
We would recommend Zenbusiness to form your business as they offer great value at $39 which is great for small businesses who haven’t made much yet and it saves you a lot of money.
Their registered agent services guidance is also welcomed for small-time business owners who do not have a lot of experience in the LLC field.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Both have their respective pros and cons.
Would you prefer LegalZoom for it’s well-established brand and decade long experience or would you prefer Zenbusiness which has more or less the same features even though they are the younger company in the LLC service industry?
We hope our Zenbusiness VS LegalZoom guide helps in your decision for your business formation. We wish you the best of luck as you start your business on whichever is the best LLC service you decide to use and have everything you need.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which business formation service offers ongoing legal services?
Thankfully, LegalZoom offers ongoing legal services for past business formation. Regardless, it is highly recommended to check out Rocket’s Lawyer’s legal services for more comprehensive features and attractive deals.
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.