Getting the best LLC service for starting your new business 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, or prevent normal business operations due 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 takes the #1 spot because they tick every box at a great price and are the only LLC service to include small business advice.
There’s a lot to like about Northwest Registered Agent.
They do everything you need to set up your LLC and get your business ready to roll.
They take care of all the necessary paperwork (Articles of Organization, certificate of formation, or whatever particular flavor your government overlords dictate), offer registered agent service for the first year, alert you to all your upcoming compliance deadlines, and provide a clear and concise online dashboard to review and manage your business documents.
They also provide a free accounting consultation to ensure your payment processing is set up correctly, a free Operating Agreement template, and they throw in a 90-day trial of their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. If you want additional extras such as a Federal Tax ID Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN), a Certificate of Good Standing, or a state-certified copy of your LLC docs, you can purchase them as needed.
But the one thing that makes Northwest Registered Agent stand out in the crowd is their Corporate Guides.
Instead of having just a regular customer support division that helps you reset your password and provides updates on your filing submissions, their 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.
They’re the only LLC formation service to provide this kind 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 they’re #1 on my list is the price.
While their standard price of $225* is great value considering their 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.
They’re great value at $225, but an 82% discount to $39 makes them a total no-brainer for the #1 spot.
The only con with Northwest Registered Agent is they don’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, Google advertising credits, and some even include a free website builder. Northwest doesn’t offer any of these.
But when you consider 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, they have 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. Harbor Compliance—7.45/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance lands at #2 on my list by providing a dedicated account manager to make sure all your questions and concerns are sorted, but they also make you pay for it.
Harbor Compliance provides all the basics you need in your LLC formation service.
They ensure your business name is available, prepare and file your paperwork (whichever one is needed in your state), provide an Operating Agreement template, help obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and even provide a free year of their registered agent service (valued at $99 per year).
But the real value in Harbor Compliance is that you get a personal guide to walk 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 their Formation Package and $799 for their Compliance Package, they’re nearly double the standard rate of Northwest Registered Agent and 10 times the cost of the special deal I’ve managed to negotiate.
While having a personal guide to support you through your LLC formation journey is great, is it really worth paying an additional $360 for? Only you can answer that.
Harbor Compliance is perhaps not the best LLC service out there, but they cover all the basics and set themselves apart from the rest of the industry by being the only provider to offer a dedicated account manager.
While their $399 price is 10 times that of my special deal with Northwest Registered Agent, they are still one of the best LLC services.
If you want the support of a dedicated account manager and don’t mind paying for it, check out their website.
3. IncFile—7.15/10 (Best Budget LLC Service)
IncFile is #3 on my list and my best LLC formation service on a budget, with a remarkable upfront cost of $0 (plus state fee). Yes, you read that right, $0. But before you sign up, there are a few things you need to know.
The first and most obvious benefit of IncFile is that you don’t have to pay anything to establish your new company. They assist with completing your required legal paperwork and file them on your behalf.
They also provide a free registered agent for your first year of operation, which will save you at least $99. For $0 (plus state fee), this almost seems too good to be true.
But as with all things that seem almost too good to be true, there are some limitations.
IncFile will file your required legal paperwork for no cost, but if you want some of the other basic services offered by Northwest Registered Agent in their $39 Basic Package, you need to purchase IncFile’s $149 Gold Package.
I’m no math-magician, but paying $110 extra for no additional benefit doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.
IncFile is my budget LLC service recommendation because, at $0, they’re impossible to beat.
While you will need to upgrade to their $149 Gold Package to receive some key benefits available in Northwest Registered Agent’s $39 basic Formation Package, if you just want your paperwork filed and are happy to spend a few hours doing the rest of the work yourself, they’re a great option.
If money is extremely tight and you’re happy to dedicate your time and effort to learning the complexities of establishing the best LLC services you can on a tight budget, check out IncFile here.
And now to ZenBusines. They were the #1 recommendation when I first wrote this article but have since slipped down the list due to them removing a key element from their packages.
The first thing you notice about ZenBusiness is its price. At $49 plus state filing fee for their Basic Package, they’re very reasonably priced for an LLC service that provides everything you need to get up and running.
They help you complete and file all your necessary paperwork, make sure your desired business name is available, alert you to any upcoming compliance deadlines, store all your documents on an online portal, and provide phone and email support.
They also provide an Operating Agreement template, a virtual business setup guide, and throw in a free session with their in-house accounting team to ensure your systems are set up correctly.
Their $199 Pro Package includes a banking resolution, assists with applying for your Employer Identification Number (EIN), and expert support if you miss any compliance deadlines, and their $299 Premium Package includes a business domain name, email address, and website.
But as I mentioned before, ZenBusiness has cut back one key element of their packages.
All their packages used to include a free year of their registered agent service, valued at $149. They’ve since changed that free year to a 25% discount. Considering this makes their real package prices $150.75, $310.75, and $410.75, they’ve slipped down this list.
So while they provide a wide range of additional extras, unless you need registered agent service and you want to pay three times the cost of Northwest Registered Agent, I don’t recommend you use them.
If you want a detailed breakdown of their services, check out my ZenBusiness review.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a newcomer to the LLC formation industry, starting in 2012.
At $49 (plus state filing fee) for their Basic Package, they offer a lot. They’ll 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, they don’t include a free year of their registered agent service. As they charge $149 per year for this, they’re just going to cost you much more in the long run.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of their services, read my Swyft Filings review.
MyCompanyWorks is a bit of a mixed bag.
For $79 plus state filing fee, they prepare and file your Articles of Organization, help you with your Operating Agreement, give you access to your important documents in their online portal, and alert you to any compliance filing deadlines.
But there is a downside.
They do provide a free year of their registered agent service in their Premium Package but that package is a hefty $279. Considering that Northwest Registered Agent costs $39 AND they include a year of their registered agent service for free, MyCompanyWorks isn’t a great choice.
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is another LLC service that appears to fall into the “budget” category, but on closer examination, is anything but “budget.”
They 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.
Their 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 their registered agent service is only included in their $799 Premium Package.
Even if you have no money and just need your paperwork filed, IncFile is a much better option.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast is an LLC formation specialist that charges $99 (plus state fees) for their Basic Package.
This package includes the filing of your Articles of Organization, a free year of their registered agent service, assistance with your Operating Agreement, and some sample documents you may need to establish your business.
They don’t offer any additional services such as a business tax assessment or online document storage but will help you attain an EIN if you purchase their $199 Basic Package.
Their main difference is that they process 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 them 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 their Basic Package.
This package includes the filing of your necessary legal paperwork, a free year of their registered agent service, and compliance alerts. They don’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.
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 their $208 (plus state fee) package.
IncNow is also the last LLC formation service on this list to offer a free year of their registered agent service as part of their 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.
11. 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, and their service reflects their lack of focus on this area. They will file your Articles of Organization and allow you to access your documents online.
For the $99 (plus state fees) they charge, you will get far more value with some of the other recommendations on this list.
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.
LegalZoom continues the trend of substandard $99 (plus state fee) Basic Package 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 their legal services, such as their registered agent service, and want all your business issues handled by one company, but there’s not much point in signing with them just for your LLC formation.
Just like Rocket Lawyer and Legal Zoom, Incorporate.com has a $99 basic package that offers very little. They’ll help file your Articles of Organization and provide online document storage, and that’s it.
CorpNet charges $108 (plus state fee) for their LLC formation services and will file your Articles of Organization and give you compliance alerts. That’s it.
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 incurs an additional charge.
MyCorporation provides the same services as IncParadise but charges $133 (plus state fee).
17. 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 their service.
InCorp charges $117 (plus state fees) to file your Articles of Organization and assists with your Operating Agreement. Every additional service incurs an additional charge.
19. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations offers the same limited services as InCorp but charges $200 (plus state fee).
20. SunDoc Filings
The extent of SunDoc Filings’ Basic Package is to submit your Articles of Organization for $79 (plus state fee). They’ll assist with your Operating Agreement in their $99 Key Package and assist with applying for your EIN in their $279 Premier Package. They pale in comparison to the best LLC services.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
Of the 20 best LLC services, Northwest Registered Agent is the best choice for most businesses.
Their $39 (plus state fee) Basic Package covers all the foundations you need to start your business and the advice and support provided by their 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.
*All prices are per state, per year.
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 as 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 their customers to post reviews online and so some 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 website. I logged on, read their headlines and titles, and tried to get to know the company based on their claims and statements.
This allowed me to understand the primary business formation services offered by each provider and how they saw their position and services in the market.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
Once I understood how the company tried to position themselves, the next step was to understand whether they could live up to their claims. This can sometimes be achieved through reading online reviews, but as 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’ perceptions of their experiences with each LLC formation company. I then reached out to the customers who I could actually talk to in order to hear first hand 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 Their Sales Team
The final stage of my analysis was to get on the phone with their 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 their customer support teams on the criticisms that had been leveled.
This final step allowed me to see how well each company dealt with criticism and how they 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 service and give you online access to your documents, and even help with your Operating Agreement.
This wide gap in the LLC formation 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 more time than they need, 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 their 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 Registered Agent whose US-based support team is staffed with 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.
They cover all the basics, including helping prepare and file your required paperwork with the necessary authorities, provide an online portal where all your documents are stored, and a free year of their registered agent service.
They also include a free consultation with their in-house accounting team to help establish your payment processing, an Operating Agreement template, and a trial of their VoIP system.
If your business needs some additional extras like an EIN, state-certified copy of your LLC documents, or a Certificate of Good Standing, you can purchase them as additional extras in the sign-up process.
But the one thing that makes them outstanding in this field is their Corporate Guides.
Their 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 they don’t offer any assistance developing 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.