Plan to start your business and form an LLC? With many difficult and complex decisions awaiting you ahead, you’ve already made the first wise decision by choosing a limited liability company as your business structure. There is a lot going for it, from flexible taxation to asset protection. Yet, before you can proceed to launching and developing your business, you need to register a legal entity, and opening an LLC involves a paperwork routine that will take your time and effort. This is where LLC services will come to help.
An online LLC formation service is a web-based platform created to provide professional legal support to beginning entrepreneurs and running companies. At a fee, which is usually a tiny fraction of the price you’d pay for hiring reputed lawyers and legal advisors, they’ll form a business for you. And you’ll get quality assistance and consultations from experienced experts on each aspect related to the LLC formation process.
An LLC formation service will give your business a smooth start but at this stage, the main question is which of the dozens of LLC services will be right for you. To find the answer, we’ve made a detailed search and picked the 5 most popular services to help you form an LLC for an online business or other commercial activity rated as top ones by numerous entrepreneurs and successful business owners.
Formation service for LLC
ZenBusiness: A Choice for Smaller Startups
Founded in 2015, ZenBusiness LLC service has helped form thousands of businesses since then and is supported by 3,700+ reviews of satisfied and happy customers. Being a small business itself, in the company, they know all the pitfalls and hidden catches of starting and running a business from scratch. And they strive to make the process of LLC registration maximum easy, comprehensible, and approachable for the newcomers. A unique feature of ZenBusiness is their social initiatives. While growing their own business, they do their best to help those who drastically need help.
A front runner on our shortlist, ZenBusiness is a top-ranked LLC formation service overall and an outstanding option for small business owners. At only 39$ (49$) annually, the starting package offers not only standard filing services but also a 12-month registered agent service, customizable operating agreement, and even a Worry-Free CPA assessment to define and handle your bookkeeping needs. No other service offers so much for such a price. Along with a ZenBusiness registered agent available in each paid plan to meet state requirements, Pro and Premium packages also provide access to Worry-Free Compliance service that will take care of all your business documents and annual report filing.
Yet another service forte is the outstanding customer support that allows you to get in touch with company experts via live chat, phone, or email. Besides, you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions in a comprehensive FAQ section or client-oriented help center.
Want to learn more? Read our full ZenBusiness LLC review
IncFile: Good for Clients on a Budget
Opened in 2004, IncFile LLC service is a solid industry leader backed up by extensive experience and over 13,000 online customer reviews. With over 250,000 businesses formed in various fields, they know all ins and outs of starting a new business and have something to offer to any aspiring entrepreneur who plans to form an LLC for an online business or any other sort of commercial activity. The IncFile registered agent and IncFile customer service are the biggest company values highly ranked and appreciated by the customers.
As far as the company services are concerned, starting a business incurs certain expenses to register the legal entity and maintain it afterward. Yet, in IncFile, the cost of a starting package amounts to $0 + state fee. So, if you look for a cheap LLC service, with IncFile, you’ll get a free LLC formation service. It’s great news for those who are on a stringent budget. At the price of only a state fee, you’ll have your incorporation documents prepared and get access to a registered agent service, lifetime track records, and compliance alerts. The only gripe you might have is that a free package doesn’t cover an operating agreement and EIN that come at extra cost. Hence, in a year, when you’ll be charged $119 for annual service, it can result in a bit higher overall prices as compared to other similar LLC services.
On the bright side, though, free IncFile customer service is above all praise. Along with interactive customer support via email, phone, and live chat, they have also a learning center providing tons of valuable information on how to start, grow, and maintain your business.
Want to learn more? Read our full IncFile LLC review
NorthWest Registered Agent: Enjoy Premium Services
In the industry since 1998, NorthWest Registered Agent LLC service has gained the reputation of an expert LLC formation and incorporation service that offers the ultimate degree of privacy and top-notch customer support. Though their prices are noticeably higher than those of other companies on our list, the professional level of service with a close eye on detail they provide is fully worth every cent you’ll pay. You won’t find many NorthWest LLC reviews but there are no registered agent complaints either and all the feedback is positive. As such, the company is one of the best LLC formation and registered agent service alternatives if you want to set up an LLC in a quick and safe manner.
Speaking of actual services, the company doesn’t provide multiple NorthWest registered agent packages and plans. Instead, you’ll pay a single price of $225 that covers everything you need to incorporate and run an LLC, thus, making the whole process maximum easy and straightforward for beginner entrepreneurs. In return, you’ll get premium service at all stages and full-time access to the NorthWest registered agent service. It will save you the need to pay any extra for some documents, forms, and templates like an operating agreement. Meanwhile, the company’s Privacy by Default strategy will make sure all your data, personal and legal info will stay private and protected.
Finally, they managed to create the best customer support focused on a personal client approach and establishing reliable and trustworthy customer relations. The support reps are always ready to help and answer all your questions. You just need to call them.
Want to learn more? Read our full Northwest Registered Agent LLC review
Inc Authority: Affordable and Flexible
Inc Authority LLC service has been around since 1989. With 130,000 business entities formed and over 4,000 reviews posted by satisfied customers online, they have huge expertise in LLC formations for smaller businesses in different industries and fields. So, the company can become your trusted helper in starting your business on the right foot. Yet, what you’ll like most is that similar to IncFile, IncAuthority offers free LLC service.
To register an LLC and file all the necessary incorporation documents, you’ll pay only the state and postage fees that you’ll have to pay anyway. You’ll get all paperwork prepared and your business name checked and enjoy a whole year of registered agent service at no cost. Noteworthy, along with LLC formations for free, the company offers three paid service bundles, and the cheapest package start at $399 standing at a higher end of the price range as compared to other LLC services. At the same time, though, if you have a limited budget, their free LLC formation plan is more than enough to duly open an LLC. And if you’d like some add-ons during checkout, the company usually offers a good discount to its loyal customers.
One more big pro of Inc Authority is their customer support. The company specialists are consistently available via phone and email. They will provide any assistance you need while opening an LLC. Besides, during a free year, you’ll also get access to a so-called compliance coach to learn how to handle and manage documents and file reports to maintain your business entity in compliance with state legal norms.
Want to learn more? Read our full Inc Authority LLC Review
LegalZoom: The Power of a Reputed Brand
Present in the industry of online legal services since 1999, the company boasts a wide reach across the states and has a strong brand name behind it. Apart from a LegalZoom LLC formation service, they have LegalZoom lawyer service with experienced attorneys ready to provide every bit of advice to businesses and individuals alike. Above that, they deliver personal legal services in the sphere of estate planning, property management, marriage, and divorce issues. Whether you plan to start an LLC or simply want to change a name, LegalZoom documents and specialists will come to help. It’s their top-quality multi-faceted service that has made LegalZoom so popular among all types of customers.
LegalZoom LLC packages start at $79 (plus state fees, of course) putting the service at a higher price end. More than that, for the price, you get just basic filing services and will have to pay for an operating agreement, EIN, and a registered agent service separately that will further increase the total start-up cost. Overall, all package prices in LegalZoom are higher than in other LLC formation services. However, if you are ready to pay some extra for a trusted brand and reliable legal partner, LegalZoom is fully worth its money.
To add more, higher costs will also pay off with excellent customer support. The company representatives are available beyond normal working hours and even on weekends. Besides, in a comprehensive FAQ section, you can find the answers to the most common questions. And you can get monthly access to professional attorney consultations at a fraction of the cost you’d pay for the legal advice on an hourly basis.
Want to learn more? Read our full LegalZoom LLC review.
How to Choose Best LLC Creation Service?
Choosing the best LLC service is not an easy task and all these services seem pretty similar at a glance. To make the right choice from the start, consider the number of clients each company has and spend some time reading customer reviews to be aware of the service quality they provide.
All of the LLC formation services we’ve reviewed have their strengths and have something to offer to different types of customers. While ZenBusiness is an optimal choice for entrepreneurs planning to launch a smaller business and IncFile or Inc Authority is a lifesaver for startupers on a budget, we recommend NorthWest and LegalZoom to busy customers seeking premium service and capable of paying some extra to access added functions.
Pros & Cons of LLC Formation Websites
- LLC formation services are great time-savers. They will save your time and effort on getting into the whole process and do all the job for you.
- Saving you time, an LLC service will also save you money in the long run since you might end up hiring a legal advisor to help you out with your LLC registration.
- Providing helpful support systems, LLC services will easily guide you through the registration process for you to be able to maintain your business in compliance with government and state requirements.
- Most web platforms have a special online dashboard tool that will keep you informed about any government deadlines. So, you’ll be able to timely file all state reports.
- The only drawback of LLC services is that they are paid. However, most companies offer affordable prices and some of them even provide some services for free.
Frequently Asked Question
Our top choice is ZenBusiness followed by IncFile as a runner-up. Based on the services provided and multiple customer reviews, these two services offer the best value for the money and are very easy to use.
Yes, LLC formation services are fully legitimate. Just check if the chosen service provider is registered in the state where you are going to open an LLC for your new business activity.
Not necessarily, you can opt to open an LLC on your own. You’ll have to study legal requirements that vary from state to state and correctly fill in and file quite a lot of paperwork. Though it looks like nothing special from the start, it might appear not that simple in practice and will take you more time than you think. Overall, starting an LLC with the service is always easier.