Getting the best service to help you form an LLC is critical.
The right LLC service will have your business up and running in a matter of days, with your important paperwork filed and your necessary registrations in place.
The wrong LLC service could delay launching your business for weeks, if not months, thanks to a lack of necessary registrations and paperwork.
To help you find the best service, I’ve reviewed and ranked the top 20 best limited liability company (LLC) services through a five-factor, four-stage process. Here are the results of my investigation into the best LLC formation services:
1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
Northwest Registered Agent ticks every box at a great price and is the only LLC service to include small business advice.
There’s a lot to like about Northwest Registered Agent.
It does everything you need to set up your LLC and get your business ready to roll.
Northwest takes care of all the necessary paperwork (articles of incorporation, certificate of formation, or whatever particular flavor your government overlords dictate), provides a free registered agent service for the first year, alerts you to all your upcoming compliance deadlines, and provides a clear and concise online dashboard to review and manage your business documents.
It also provides a free accounting consultation to ensure your payment processing is set up correctly, a free operating agreement template, as well as throwing in a 90-day trial of its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. If you want additional extras, such as a federal tax ID number, also known as an employer identification number (EIN), a Certificate of Good Standing, or a state-certified copy of your LLC docs, you can purchase them as needed.
One thing that makes Northwest Registered Agent stand out in the crowd is its Corporate Guides.
Instead of having just a regular customer support division that helps you reset your password and provides updates on your filing submissions, its US-based team of former accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners can answer any questions you have about both the LLC formation process and running and managing your new business.
These experts have been through the process of starting and growing their own LLCs or have worked independently as LLC advisors and have helped hundreds of others go through this same process.
Northwest is the only LLC formation service to provide this type of small business advice, so considering that some small business advisory services can charge up to $5,000/day, this is a huge bonus.
The final reason why it’s #1 on my list is the price.
While its standard price of $225* is great value when you factor in the small business advice, I’ve managed to negotiate a special deal for BoostSuite readers (sending thousands of recommendations gives us leverage not available to regular people). If you sign up through my dedicated sign-up page, you’ll get an 82% discount, meaning the total price you’ll pay is $39 (plus state fee) for your LLC setup.
Northwest is a great value at $225, but an 82% discount to $39 makes it a total no-brainer for the #1 spot.
The only con with Northwest Registered Agent is it doesn’t offer anything to help you establish your online presence. Some other LLC services include a free year of your domain name registration, website hosting, and Google advertising credits, and some even include a free website builder in their premium packages (usually $299 or more). Northwest doesn’t offer any of these.
Considering Google gives $150 advertising credit to any new business and that premium website builders like Squarespace are as little as $15/month, this isn’t a huge concern.
Northwest Registered Agent is my pick for the best LLC service because on top of providing the basics you need to establish your LLC, it has a US-based customer support team composed of people who’ve started an LLC and can talk you through the inevitable challenges you’ll face.
If you’re looking for the best LLC formation service, one that goes above and beyond to support your business success, and you want an 82% discount, head to Northwest Registered Agent today.
2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
ZenBusiness‘ $0 (plus state fees) price is the best on the market, but its lack of a free registered agent service and small business support will end up costing you in the long run.
ZenBusiness provides all the essentials you need to get your LLC up and running, starting at $0. It’ll make sure your business name is available and all your details are 100% correct, as well as file your articles of incorporation on your behalf.
If you upgrade to ZenBusiness’ $199 Pro plan, it’ll provide expedited filing (four to six days, depending on the state) and a guided setup of your company operating agreement. And if you choose the $299 Premium plan, you’ll get one to two-day rush filing, a domain name and email address, and a custom website builder.
On top of this, their in-house, US-based support team is very available, with extended hours throughout the week and as well as on Sundays.
While ZenBusiness’ $0 price point is great value for the basics, if you want anything more, it’ll cost you in the long run.
ZenBusiness doesn’t include a free year of its registered agent service in any of its LLC setup packages and charges $199/year when you sign up for them. This means you pay full price from the first year.
On top of this, while the customer support team is fast and efficient with things like changing your password or updating your billing details, they can’t help you deal with HR or logistics or answer questions you may have about taxes.
ZenBusiness is great for the essentials of setting up a new LLC. They have a US-based support team available for extended hours who can help address any questions while they make sure your forms are completed correctly and submitted to the proper authorities.
While they will cost you more if you require a registered agent service, their 100% accuracy guarantee and worry-free compliance will help put your mind at ease.
If you’re looking for the essentials and want to know more about ZenBusiness, you can read about its packages on its website.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance lands at #3 on my list by providing a dedicated account manager to make sure all your questions and concerns are sorted, but you’ll pay for it.
Harbor Compliance provides all the basics you need in your LLC formation service.
It ensures your business name is available, prepares and files your paperwork (whichever one is needed in your state), provides an operating agreement template, helps obtain an employer identification number (EIN), and even provides a free year of its registered agent service (valued at $99 per year).
But the real value with Harbor Compliance is the personal guide who walks you through your journey.
You don’t need to call customer support or email an anonymous helpline. You can contact your personal representative at Harbor Compliance, who knows your situation and challenges and can provide relevant advice to suit your personal circumstances.
The drawback with this support is that it doesn’t come cheap.
At $399 for the Formation package and $799 for the Compliance package, Harbor Compliance is nearly double the standard rate of Northwest Registered Agent and 10 times the cost of the special deal available to BoostSuite readers.
While having a personal guide to support you through your LLC formation journey is great, is it really worth paying an additional $360 to get help filling out your articles of incorporation? Only you can answer that.
Harbor Compliance is perhaps not the best LLC service out there, but it covers all the basics and sets itself apart from the rest of the industry by being the only provider to offer a dedicated account manager.
While its $399 price is 10 times that of my special deal with Northwest Registered Agent, it’s still the best premium service on the market.
If you want the support of a dedicated account manager and don’t mind paying for it, check out the Harbor Compliance website.
4. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a newcomer to the LLC formation industry, starting in 2012.
At $49 (plus state filing fee) for its Basic package, it offers a lot. Swyft Filings will assist in preparing your necessary paperwork and file them with the relevant government authorities, give you online access to your documents, provide a 30-minute business tax consultation, and even throw in a free year of business domain name registration.
But unlike Northwest Registered Agent, Swyft Filings doesn’t include a free year of its registered agent service. Since it charges $149 per year for this, it’s just going to cost you much more in the long run.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of its services, read my Swyft Filings review.
MyCompanyWorks is a bit of a mixed bag.
For $79 plus state filing fee, it prepares and files your articles of organization, helps you with your operating agreement, gives you access to your important documents in an online portal, and alerts you to any compliance filing deadlines.
But there is a downside.
It does provide a free year of its registered agent service in its Premium package, but that package is a hefty $279. Considering that Northwest Registered Agent costs $39 AND includes a year of its registered agent service for free, MyCompanyWorks isn’t a great choice.
6. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is another LLC service that appears to fall into the “budget” category, but on closer examination, is anything but “budget.”
It will help prepare and file your necessary paperwork for free, but if you want anything other than that, you’re going to pay through the nose.
Its Basic package includes an operating agreement, assistance with applying for an EIN, and a company seal, and costs $399 plus state filing fees. A free year of its registered agent service is only included in its $799 Premium package.
Even if you have no money and just need your paperwork filed, ZenBusiness is a much better option.
7. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast is an LLC formation specialist that charges $99 (plus state fees) for its Basic package.
This package includes the filing of your articles of organization, a free year of its registered agent service, assistance with your operating agreement, and some sample documents you may need to establish your business.
It doesn’t offer any additional services, such as a business tax assessment or online document storage, but it will help you attain an EIN if you purchase its $199 Basic package.
Incorporate Fast processes every new business filing the same day it’s received, which is a bonus not offered by other providers, so if you’re in a mad rush to get your business entity established and want to pay more (without the additional services available) for less, check it out. But if you just want great value and a whole world of additional features, use Northwest Registered Agent.
BizFilings is another LLC formation service that charges $99 (plus state fees) for its Basic package.
This package includes the filing of your necessary legal paperwork, a free year of registered agent service, and compliance alerts. It doesn’t offer any additional services, such as a business tax assessment, online document storage, or assistance with your operating agreement, so you do get far less for more.
For Delaware customers, IncNow offers almost the same services for the same price as BizFilings, except if you want assistance with your operating agreement you have to step up to its $208 package.
IncNow is also the last LLC formation service on this list to offer a free year of registered agent service as part of its basic LLC formation services. The remaining seven providers on this list either don’t offer it or only include it in their more expensive packages.
10. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a legal services company that also offers an LLC formation service, in addition to registered agent service and other products. Its service reflects its lack of focus on this area. It will file your articles of organization and allow you to access your documents online.
For the $99 (plus state fees) Rocket Lawyer charges, you will get far more value with some of the other recommendations on this list.
LegalZoom continues the trend of substandard $99 (plus state fees) packages that offer very little. LegalZoom will help file your articles of organization and provide a banking resolution but nothing else.
You might consider using LegalZoom if you’re already using its legal services, such as registered agent service, and you want all your business issues handled by one company, but there’s not much point in signing with it just for your LLC formation.
Other LLC Services
There were nine other national limited liability company (LLC) service providers I investigated as part of my process, but they were so far from being a worthwhile recommendation that there was no point in writing a full review. Here they are, in no particular order.
Just like Rocket Lawyer and Legal Zoom, Incorporate.com has a $99 basic package that offers very little. It’ll help file your articles of organization and provide online document storage, and that’s it.
CorpNet charges $108 (plus state fee) for its LLC formation services and will file your formation documents and give you compliance alerts. That’s it.
For Nevada businesses, IncParadise charges $89 (plus state fees) and will only process your articles of organization and provide assistance with developing your operating agreement. Every additional service included in the ZenBusiness Basic package means an additional charge.
MyCorporation provides the same services as IncParadise but charges $133 (plus state fee).
16. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation expands on the products of IncParadise and MyCorporation by providing a banking resolution and your EIN but charges $147 (plus state fees) for its service.
InCorp charges $117 (plus state fees) to file your articles of organization and assists with your operating agreement. Every additional service is extra.
18. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations offers the same limited services as InCorp but charges $200 (plus state fee).
19. SunDoc Filings
The extent of SunDoc Filings’ Basic package is to submit your articles of organization for $79 (plus state fee). It’ll assist with your operating agreement in its $99 Key package and assist with applying for your EIN in its $279 Premier package.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
Of the 19 best LLC services, Northwest Registered Agent is the best choice for most businesses.
Its $39 (plus state fee) Basic package covers all the foundations you need to start your business and the advice and support provided by its Corporate Guides can cost up to $5,000 per day if you hire a consulting firm.
If you’re ready to start your business and want all the basics covered by experienced professionals as well as support and guidance in overcoming your business challenges, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
This is how I decided on the best LLC services.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me with your limited liability company (LLC) formation service recommendations because I have more experience and expertise in the LLC world than just about anyone.
My journey started with using three different LLC formation services to start my three companies. Yes, I used three different services because the other two didn’t provide the support I needed (I won’t name them here because they have both improved significantly since I used them and I don’t believe you should make decisions today based on old information.
The third service, which was used to start this website, has delivered way beyond what I ever expected from an LLC service and far more value than I had to pay, which is why Northwest Registered Agent is my best overall LLC service recommendation.
But my experience isn’t limited to just using those three services. I also have significant experience helping others choose the best LLC formation service for their new business entities. Since launching BoostSuite, I’ve personally assisted over 1,000 people to find the right LLC service for their new business and have had to dive deeply into the industry to do so.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
My process for selecting the best LLC formation service was a four-stage process.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first step in the process of finding the best LLC services was to analyze the online reviews of the major players in this space. There is a strong tradition, at least among the popular LLC formation services, to encourage customer feedback online, so some filing services have over 4,500 online reviews!
This review analysis process allowed me to form an overview of the quality of the different business formation services and weed out any services that did not meet a basic performance standard.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After weeding out any underperforming business formation services and forming a general picture of each provider, I then headed to their websites. I logged on, read their headlines and titles, and tried to get to know the company based on its claims and statements.
This allowed me to understand the primary business formation services offered by each provider as well as how each company saw its position and services in the market.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
Once I understood how the company tried to position itself, the next step was to understand whether it could live up to its claims. This can sometimes be achieved through reading online reviews, but since most people only post reviews when they have overwhelmingly positive or negative experiences, the results tend to skew to the extremes.
These reviews ensured I received a balanced and nuanced understanding of other customers’ experiences with each LLC formation company. I then reached out to the customers who I could actually talk to in order to hear firsthand about their experiences.
I contacted friends who have used a business formation service, reached out to people whom I’d referred, and spoke with visitors to my website to understand the positives and negatives of their experiences.
This gave me a thorough and nuanced understanding of what it was like to use each service provider and sent me further on my way to finding the best LLC services.
Stage 4: Speaking With Sales Teams
The final stage of my analysis was to get on the phone with sales and customer support teams and push them for answers.
I collated the feedback I’d discovered through my online review analysis and conversations with customers and pressed the customer support teams about critical reviews and reports.
This final step allowed me to see how well each company dealt with criticism and how it handled less-than-positive feedback.
Through the four-stage analysis process, each company was ranked on five different factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I considered was the services being offered.
Some limited liability company (LLC) formation services will simply help with your articles of organization then kick you to the curb unless you open your wallet. Other business formation services will provide a consultation with an accountant, offer registered agent services and give you online access to your documents, and even help with your LLC operating agreement.
This wide gap in the LLC formation and incorporation services available at each company meant that I started my analysis here.
Factor 2: Price
The second factor I took into account when choosing the best LLC service was the price. Some services start at $0 (not including the state fee) while others won’t let you set foot inside their virtual door for less than $399.
When you combine this with the wide discrepancy in services available, the cost of the services, or rather, the cost per service, was the second factor I used to rank the services.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
The third factor I used to assess these services was how simple it was to sign up.
Some business formation services have clunky, outdated, legacy systems that look like they were built in the late 1990s and designed in a high school coding class. While others have sleek, intuitive, and user-friendly systems that take the hard work out of getting the business entity started.
I analyzed the sign-up systems of each company to determine which required the least effort and brainpower.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
The design and operation issues don’t end with the sign-up process. In most cases, any design and function issues present in the sign-up process continue through to the onboarding process.
Some LLC services provide prefilled forms with all essential data completed and only require a signature. Other services only provide blank forms (despite already having all the necessary information) and make you write the same details in 11 different spaces.
No one wants to waste time, ESPECIALLY with all the important tasks to complete when establishing a business, so assessing how simple each service was to use was an important factor.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The final factor on which I assessed each business formation service was its customer support. This was another area where I saw a HUGE variation in the value they provided.
There are LLC services that established their support teams in foreign countries and staffed them with poorly trained locals who had little to no experience with business in the US.
And there are LLC services, like Northwest, whose US-based support team comprises former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who have personal experience in helping you overcome the challenges your business faces and can talk you through the best solution.
This wide gap between the value provided by customer support teams led to my fifth and final rating factor.
I assessed the 20 best LLC services through my four-stage, five-factor analysis, and the top performer is Northwest Registered Agent.
It covers all the basics, including helping prepare and file your required paperwork with the necessary authorities, providing an online portal where all your documents are stored, and giving you a free year of registered agent service.
It also includes a free consultation with its in-house accounting team to help establish your payment processing, an operating agreement template, and a trial of its VoIP system.
If your business needs some additional extras, like an EIN, a state-certified copy of your LLC documents, or a Certificate of Good Standing, you can purchase them as additional extras during the sign-up process.
But the one thing that makes them outstanding in this field is the Corporate Guides.
Northwest’s US-based support team will not only answer any questions you have about your LLC setup process, but their personal experiences as former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs means they can help you through the inevitable challenges you face on your small business journey.
While Northwest doesn’t help you develop your online presence, the 82% discount ($39 plus state fees) available exclusively for BoostSuite readers means you’ll have plenty of money left over to use one of the premium website builders.
If you’re ready to start your new business entity, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Read more in my guide on the best states to form an LLC in.