The price of Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation services fluctuates wildly between companies.
Some companies will form your new company completely free of charge, while other companies will charge upwards of $399 for the most basic of services.
I’ve reviewed 60+ LLC formation services and here is my recommendation for the best cheap LLC formation service.
1. ZenBusiness, $49 – 9.13/10 (Best Cheap LLC Formation Service)
ZenBusiness is my #1 pick for the best cheap LLC formation service because it will ultimately cost you the least in terms of both time and money while ensuring your new LLC is set up correctly.
ZenBusiness offers the best value for money of all cheap LLC services.
First of all, they will do all the basics. They will ensure your preferred business name is available, prepare your Articles of Organization, and file all necessary paperwork on your behalf.
But, the reason they’re the best value is everything else they provide in their $49 (plus state fees) package.
They provide a free year of their registered agent service (valued at $119), an operating agreement template, a consultation with one of their in-house accountants to ensure your money management is set up correctly, store all your important documents in their online platform, and alert you to all important upcoming compliance deadlines.
If you want to save even more money establishing your business, their $199 package includes a banking resolution obtaining your EIN and their $299 includes your business domain name, email address, and website.
While the first year of their registered agent service is included free in your LLC formation service, it will cost you $119 to renew for every subsequent year.
While this isn’t an obscene price, Harbor Compliance will only cost you $99 per year and Northwest Registered Agent will cost you $125 per year but provide far more guidance and assistance through their Corporate Guides (read below for more details).
ZenBusinesss is my top overall choice for the best, cheap LLC formation service because they provide excellent value for money.
Its $49 LLC formation service includes everything you need to establish your new company with additional features (such as a business tax consultation, registered agent service, and an operating agreement template) that most formation services only include in their premium packages.
While they don’t offer the same level of value provided by Northwest Registered Agent, if every dollar counts and you need help to form and establish your business, ZenBusiness is the best option on the market.
2. Northwest Registered Agent, $225 – 9.13/10 (Best Value LLC Formation Service)
Northwest Registered Agent might seem like a strange addition to a ‘best cheap LLC formation service’ as its only LLC formation package is $225, but if you care more about total value than absolute price, they are the best option.
They’ll ensure your business name is available, prepare your Articles of Organization, and file all the paperwork necessary for compliance.
While they also include an operating agreement template and a free year of their registered agent service, the real value of Northwest is in their customer support.
Their US-based team of ex accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will not only answer any questions you have about your LLC formation service, but also provide any advice you need on starting, growing, and managing your business.
If you’ve paid a small business consultant or advisor for help, you’ll know exactly how much this kind of advice can cost – upwards of $5,000 per day. Having this kind of advice included in your $225 LLC formation fee is the reason why Northwest Registered Agent is the best value LLC service.
If you’re looking for the cheapest LLC formation service, then the most obvious ‘con’ here is the price. At $225, they’re more than $150 more than ZenBusiness.
Even though they renew at $125 per year, they’re still $6 per year more than ZenBusiness.
If return-on-investment is more important than the total price, Northwest Registered Agent is a great choice.
They’ll provide all the basics you need to form your LLC as well as providing industry-leading small business support through their US-based team of ex lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.
If you care about total value than absolute price and want the support of experienced and knowledgable Corporate Guides, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
3. IncFile, $0 – 7.15/10 (Best Dirt-Cheap LLC Service)
IncFile is my best budget LLC formation service because at $0 it can’t be any cheaper.
The first and most obvious pro with IncFile is their price. At $0, unless you can convince an LLC service to pay you, you’re not going to find a cheaper service.
For your $0, they will make sure your desired business name is available, help you complete your Articles of Organization, and even throw in a free year of their registered agent service.
That’s a huge amount of value for $0.
The cons with using IncFile appear as soon as you ask them to do anything beyond what is included in their $0 package.
If you want an operating agreement template, a consultation with their accountants to develop your money management strategy, online document storage, a banking resolution, compliance alerts, or your EIN, it’s going to cost you $149 per year.
Also, just like ZenBusiness, it will cost you $119 in the second year.
So, while the basics are cheaper than ZenBusiness, if you want to get your business fully setup, it’s going to cost you a lot more.
IncFile is a solid option if, to start with, you have very little money to spend on your LLC formation service.
While you will get more LLC formation services in ZenBusiness’s $49 package and far more total value in Northwest Registered Agent’s $225 package, they’re still a reliable option if you can’t afford to spend a single dollar more than you have to.
If you want to learn more about IncFile, you can do so on their website.
4. Rocket Lawyer, $39.99 (Best for Complimentary Services)
Rocket Lawyer is #4 on my list because, on top of providing a cheap LLC formation service, they also provide the best online legal services on the market.
The biggest pro with Rocket Lawyer is that on top of getting your LLC formation service for $39.99, you also get access to their impossibly large catalog of easily customizable legal documents, a lawyer to help with the enforcement of those legal documents, and free 30-minute consultations with their legal team for every new legal issue.
On top of this, their support team is entirely made up of US-qualified lawyers who can provide legally-sound advice on your small business challenges.
The ‘con’ with Rocket Lawyer is that their $39.99 fee is not a one-off price. It’s a monthly subscription.
This means that if you want to maintain access to their legal documents, online storage and signing portal, and their legally-qualified support team, you need to pay that fee every month if you want to continue to use their services.
However, you can simply subscribe for one month to use their LLC formation service, get all the contracts you need, and ask any legal compliance and licensing questions you have, and then simply not renew your membership for the second month.
The other drawback is the limited range of services included in their LLC formation service.
They don’t include a registered agent service (but you can purchase theirs for an additional $93), they don’t include a consultation with an accountant, and they don’t include compliance alerts.
Rocket Lawyer is the best online legal service that also provides a LLC formation service as part of their $39.99 monthly subscription.
While their monthly subscription makes them more expensive over a year and the included services are less than other services on this list, they’re a great option if you also anticipate needing legal documents and attorney services.
You can learn more about Rocket Lawyer here: Rocket Lawyer
5. Inc Authority, $0
Just like IncFile, Inc Authority is another one of those impossibly-cheap LLC services, offering to file your LLC paperwork without any charge. They’ll also throw in a free year of their registered agent service in their $0 package.
The problem with Inc Authority appears as soon as you require any additional services. Their second-cheapest package is an eye-popping $399 so if you need additional support or services available with ZenBusiness, it’s going to cost you far more than you need to spend or can afford.
6. Swyft Filings, $49
Swyft Filings charges the same price as ZenBusiness but doesn’t include a free year of their registered agent service or provide online document storage. And if you want a banking resolution or an operating agreement, you have to sign up for their $149 package.
If you don’t want to use ZenBusiness and don’t need a registered agent, they’re an OK option.
7. Incorporate Fast $99
Incorporate Fast charges $99 and provides the basics including a free year of their registered agent service. But, they provide less basic services than ZenBusiness and charge more, so I don’t know why you’d use them.
8. BizFilings, $99
In most functional ways, BizFilings is just like Incorporate Fast. They provide all the basics you need for $99. But, once again, they provide less than ZenBusiness and charge more.
9. MyCompanyWorks, $79
MyCompanyWorks is the last LLC service on this list that provides a reasonable amount of value in their basic LLC formation service.
They will ensure your company name is available, assist with your Articles of Organization, file all your necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State, and notify you of all upcoming important compliance dates.
In saying that, they don’t offer a year of their registered agent service unless you purchase their $279 premium package so they don’t represent great value.
10. SunDoc Filings, $79
SunDoc Filings offers its LLC formation service for only $79 but doesn’t include much for that $79 at all. They’ll assist with your Articles of Organization and file your paperwork with the relevant authorities, but nothing else.
11. IncParadise, $89
IncParadise charges $89 for their LLC formation service for that, will ensure your desired business name is available, assist with your Articles of Organization, and file your relevant paperwork, but that’s it.
12. LegalZoom, $99
LegalZoom is just like IncParadise but charges $10 more. They do provide a banking resolution as part of your LLC formation service, but that’s it.
13. Incorporate.com, $99
Incorporate.com is the last cheap LLC service on my list and they’re here for a reason. They scrape in at under $100 and for that, they’ll provide the same services as IncParadise.
Best Cheap LLC Service Review Summary
The range of cheap LLC services has exploded over the last few years, making it tough to know which one provides the best value.
I’ve reviewed 12 services under $100 (and one over) and it’s clear to me that ZenBusiness is the best cheap LLC service.
For $49, they provide everything you need to get your new business up and running and throw in a year of their registered agent service (valued at $119).
If you need your LLC established at a budget price, signup with ZenBusiness.
Best Cheap LLC Service Review Methodology
Here’s how I arrived at my conclusion that ZenBusiness is the best, cheap LLC service.
Why You Should Trust Me
Before I get into my methodology, there are two reasons why you should trust my recommendations.
The first is that I’ve spent more time analyzing the LLC formation market, from both a personal standpoint and in an advisor capacity, than just about anyone else in the industry.
My journey into the LLC formation industry started with my first business — a health website. I had NO idea how to wade through all the red tape necessary to start making my dreams a reality and knew it would be faster and cheaper to just hire someone who’d walked this path 1,000 times before.
My biggest problem was not finding an agent (i.e. an LLC Service) that knew this space, it was finding the right service. They all claimed to be the best/fastest/most supportive provider on the market and no one could tell me the difference.
I eventually solved my problem with a giant spreadsheet, a large phone bill, and more time wasted than I honestly had to spare.
[INSERT SCREENSHOT OF SPREADSHEET]
The process of finding the right, cheap LLC formation service was much easier with my second business. I just reviewed the basics on the spreadsheet to bring it up-to-date and then made my pick. The third time (BoostSuite) was the easiest of all.
Since then, I’ve helped more than a thousand people find the right LLC formation service for their businesses and I’m happy I can help you do the same.
How I Selected The Best Cheap LLC service
My process for selecting the best cheap LLC service was a 4-stage adventure.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first step was analyzing the available user reviews scattered across reputable review websites, such as Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot, and Google Business.
This step proved easy as LLC service customers seem more than willing to share their thoughts and opinions online. Some companies, such as ZenBusiness, have more than 4,500 reviews.
Now, I obviously didn’t read through all of them, but an investigation of the more detailed recent reviews gave me enough insight into most companies to be able to exclude some of the less savory options.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
Once I knew which companies I didn’t need to waste my time on, the next step was to learn more about the companies that provided a reliable-enough service to spend time investigating.
I achieved this by diving into their websites to find out exactly what they did and did not offer.
As you’ve seen, some companies offer a wide range of services for little cost while other, more premium options charge more but add more value for your money. And some plenty while giving you very little.
Reviewing the websites (and building my spreadsheet) helped me work out which LLC provider under $100 provided the best value.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
Reading online reviews will provide some insight into what it’s like to use a particular service, but there is a flaw with online reviews. The only time most people leave a review is when they’ve had an overwhelmingly positive or negative experience, meaning that most reviews will skew to one end of the spectrum.
To avoid this natural bias, I reached out to current and former customers of each LLC service to get more insight into their experiences. I asked about the signup process, the level of communication, the number of steps, the amount of work in each of those steps, and how helpful their support teams are.
This stage helped me get a more balanced perspective on each of the companies.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Team
The final, and always the most fun stage of my review process is to get on the phone with their sales team and drill them with every complaint and concern raised in both the reviews and in my conversations with the current and former customers.
I grilled them on specific cases, for example, a document went missing or one step took longer than promised in my best ‘YOU BETTER HAVE THE ANSWER’ voice to see how well they responded.
Aside from being a great way to let off some steam, this step showed me how well a company adapted to problems and gaps in their processes and how well I could expect they will continue to grow.
As I’m working through the four stages of my review process, there are five factors I’m always considering:
Factor 1: Offerings
The first thing I want to know is: does this company provide the services you need?
- Are they just offering to file your paperwork or will they help draft your Articles of Organization?
- Will they be your dedicated and diligent registered agent or expect you to put your personal details online and risk having them stolen by scammers and hackers?
- Will they help you with your accounting structure or leave you to work it all out yourself?
The range of products and services available with LLC formation companies is diverse and ever-changing, therefore I’m always assessing these providers to see exactly what they can help you with.
Factor 2: Value
Not only do the range of products and services vary greatly between providers, but so do the prices. As you’ve seen, some will cost more than $700 while others will provide some critical steps for free.
But, expensive prices don’t always correlate with a large range of services, and cheap prices won’t always guarantee that you have to do the hard work yourself.
This is why the second factor in my assessment is always: how much value for money is provided by this LLC service?
Factor 3: Ease Of Signup
A wide range of services at a low cost is great, but if you have to spend 35 minutes trying to work out how to sign up, then that time lost is a cost that needs to be factored into the assessment.
To make sure you’re not wasting too much time, I’ve tested the signup processes for every organization and rated them based on how easy and simple it is to get into their system.
Factor 4: Ease Of Use
Signing up for an LLC service isn’t the only time cost. With most LLC formation services, you need to access their online system to sign forms, monitor requests, and track the progress of your applications.
If you’re stuck using a poorly optimized system with no consideration for the user-experience and that ends up wasting your time, that’s an additional cost and irritation factor that needs to be factored into the rating.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The final factor on which I rate LLC services is their customer support.
It doesn’t matter how well a system has been optimized or how thorough the instructions, there are ALWAYS going to be instances where you need to get someone on the phone and ask a question.
Some service providers will keep you on hold for up to 45 minutes before directing you to a heavily-accented helpdesk worker often in a foreign country with no practical business or operations experience who can only help with general technical inquiries.
With other services (such as Northwest Registered Agent), your call will be answered in a few minutes by a highly-trained and experienced ex-small business owner who is able not only to guide you through your LLC formation challenges but also assist with any small business questions you have.
The level of support significantly impacts the value of any service and so is the final factor I take into account in my assessment.
The Best Cheap LLC Formation Services Results Summary
After running 60+ LLC formation services through my 4-stage, 5-factor analysis process, here are the best cheap LLC formation services on the market.
Best Cheap LLC Formation Service – ZenBusiness, $49 (9.13/10)
The best overall cheap LLC formation service is ZenBusiness.
They will assist with your Articles of Organization, file all necessary paperwork, throw in a year of their registered agent service, provide a 30-minute assessment with one of their in-house accountants, and store all your important documents in their easy-to-use, online portal, and do all this for $49 per year plus state fees.
If you want some additional extras, like an EIN, a banking resolution, or assistance filing your annual report, you can access these in their $199 package, and for $299, they’ll even register your business domain name, set up your email accounts, and build your website.
They are hands down, the best cheap LLC service on the market.
If you want to get your business established at the lowest overall cost, head to ZenBusiness now.
Best Value LLC Formation Service – Northwest Registered Agent, $225 – (9.13/10)
If you care more about value for money than absolute cost, then Northwest Registered Agent is the right solution for you.
While they provide a basic LLC service that covers almost the full range provided by ZenBusiness, the real value in Northwest Registered Agent is in their customer support team or as they call them, Corporate Guides.
While they will answer any questions you have about your LLC formation service, they’re also a US-based team of ex accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who can help you on your small business journey.
They’ve either walked a similar path to the one on which you’re about to embark, or have already guided thousands of others on this same journey, and can provide the insight and wisdom that only comes from that depth and breadth of experience.
Now, while they’re obviously much more expensive than ZenBusiness, the $175 cost is barely a fraction of what you will pay for a small business advisor or support team, which is why they’re my pick for the best value LLC formation service.
If you value the support and guidance of people who have walked the path you’re about to embark upon and want to pay a fraction of what this support and guidance usually costs, head to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best Dirt-Cheap LLC Service – IncFile, $0 (7.15/10)
If money is extremely tight and you can’t afford to spend a cent beyond what is necessary, then IncFile is the best dirt-cheap registered agent service on our list.
They will assist with your Articles of Organisation, file your necessary paperwork, and provide a free year of their registered agent service for no cost (though you’ll still have to pay state fees).
It is impossible to get a cheaper service.
However, their registered agent service will cost you $119 in your second year and you will pay $149 plus state fees for any of the other basic services included in ZenBusiness’s $49 package, if you don’t want any of those extras, this is a great deal.
If absolute cost is more important than the LLC formation services you’re getting or being able to access small business advisors whenever you want, you can learn more about IncFile on their website.
The LLC formation world is a hotchpotch of established legacy players and new options entering the market every year.
I’ve assessed over 60 LLC formation services, investigated the top 12 under $100, and conducted in-depth reviews on the top three.
My assessment has shown that the best cheap LLC formation service is ZenBusiness.
They will provide everything you need to get your LLC established and legally-compliant while providing additional extras to ensure you have what you need to succeed, and only charge $49 plus state fees.
If you’re ready to launch your small business or LLC now, head to ZenBusiness.