When forming a Tennessee LLC, it's important that you choose a reputable LLC formation service.
The right LLC service handles the filing of your Tennessee articles of organization, the application for unemployment insurance tax, and the acquisition of any necessary business licenses and permits on your behalf with the proper government agencies (such as the Tennessee Secretary of State and the Tennessee Department of Revenue).
The wrong LLC service doesn't submit the necessary papers or apply for business licenses with the appropriate government agencies, creating significant delays in your Tennessee business.
So to help you make an informed decision, I have reviewed and ranked the top 10 Tennessee LLC formation services based on a thorough four-step investigation and a comprehensive five-point rating scale.
Here are the results of my research into the Tennessee LLC formation services:
1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick because it provides comprehensive service to cover the needs of small businesses at an exceptional price and because it is the only Tennessee LLC formation service that also provides small business advice.
Northwest Registered Agent is a company worth loving for many different reasons. Everything you need to form a Tennessee LLC is included with its basic package.
Northwest Registered Agent will file the articles of organization for your LLC in Tennessee, supplying you with Tennessee registered agent service for free your first year. Also known as resident agent services, this includes a registered agent to accept mail and legal documents during normal business hours and a physical street address in the state to use on formation documents for privacy reasons.
Northwest will also send you compliance alerts to remind you to file annual reports or to pay taxes, and provide an easy-to-use document management portal that you can access with an online account.
You can also access a number of other services that can make running a business easier, such as a free accounting consultation to ensure your payment processing system is set up correctly, a free trial of its VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service for 90 days, and an operating agreement template for your LLC in Tennessee.
Several optional extras are available for purchase during the sign-up process. These include state-certified copies of your formation documents, a Certificate of Good Standing, and an employer identification number (EIN).
But Northwest Registered Agent's Corporate Guides are what set Northwest apart from other Tennessee LLC formation services.
The Corporate Guides go above and beyond the call of duty. They’re not merely an ordinary customer service team that can only provide basic information like answers to your questions, filing updates, and password resets. Instead, they are also a US-based team of specialists composed of former lawyers, accountants, business owners, and entrepreneurs that can help you with every aspect of running your small Tennessee business, from forming an LLC to handling payroll.
Members of the team have formed and grown their own limited liability companies and guided many other business owners through the formation process, giving them invaluable firsthand knowledge.
This is a huge win for Tennessee LLC owners, since similar business consulting services may cost up to $5,000 per day.
Finally, Northwest's inexpensive pricing is a big reason why it's at the top of my list.
When you consider that it provides advice to small businesses for a basic fee of $225, it's a wonderful deal. However, I've negotiated a discounted price with Northwest exclusively for BoostSuite readers. Using my referral link to sign up with Northwest Registered Agent will save you 82%, bringing the total cost to form a new Tennessee LLC down to only $39 (plus state filing fee).
It was an easy decision to name Northwest the best LLC service in South Dakota, since its usual $225 fee is already quite competitive when you consider all the services and benefits you receive for that amount, but when the fee was reduced by an astonishing 82% to just $39 that really sealed the deal.
Northwest Registered Agent's main problem is that it doesn't help you set up an online presence for your Tennessee LLC. Premium packages from certain Tennessee LLC services (which usually cost $299 or more) offer things like registering a domain name for your company, web hosting for your site, Google ad credits, and even website-creation tools. However, Northwest Registered Agent's service offerings are notably lacking in these areas.
However, all new businesses can take advantage of Google's $500 advertising credit (provided for free to new businesses), premium website builders like Squarespace cost less than $15 per month, and business domain registration normally costs less than $12 per year. With the 82% discount offered by Northwest Registered Agent, it is likely that you will be able to afford to buy these items and services and more with your savings.
Northwest Registered Agent provides all the services a new Tennessee LLC needs, and because it has an amazing customer service team that comprises former accountants, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who have the knowledge and experience to help you through the formation process and the various inevitable challenges your Tennessee LLC will eventually face.
Currently, Northwest Registered Agent is offering a whopping 82% off its already low rates, so if you're looking for the best LLC formation service that will go above and beyond for you and provide you with excellent services and an outstanding customer service team, you should definitely check Northwest out here.
2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
The $0 price of ZenBusiness is the lowest in the industry, but its lack of free registered agent services and small business advice will ultimately cost you.
ZenBusiness provides all the essentials needed for establishing an LLC for as little as $0 (plus filing fee). In addition to ensuring that your business name is available, and that all of your information is accurate, it will also submit your articles of organization on your behalf.
If you upgrade to the $199 Pro plan from ZenBusiness, expedited filing (four to six days, depending on the state) and guided construction of your company’s operating agreement are included. And if you opt for the $299 Premium plan, you’ll receive one to two-day rush filing, an email address and domain name, as well as a website builder.
What’s more, its in-house US-based customer service team is very accessible, with extra hours during the week and on Sundays.
While ZenBusiness’ $0 price tag is excellent for the essentials but anything more will cost you in the long haul.
None of ZenBusiness’ LLC formation options include a complimentary year of its registered agent service; instead you must pay $199 per year for it. In other words, you begin paying the entire amount in the first year.
Additionally, while the customer service team is prompt and efficient with tasks like changing your password or changing your billing information, they’re not able to assist you with HR or logistics issues, or answer any tax-related queries.
ZenBusiness is excellent for providing all of the basics when it comes to setting up a new LLC. It has a US-based support team available for extended hours to assist with any concerns while ensuring that your forms are filled out correctly and submitted to the proper authorities.
Even though ZenBusiness costs more if you need registered agent service, its 100% accuracy guarantee and worry-free compliance will help ease your anxiety.
If you’re looking for the basics and would like to learn more about ZenBusiness, read more about its services.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance’s personal account managers are available to answer any questions or address any issues you may have—but it comes at a hefty price.
Harbor Compliance has everything you need to get started with your Tennessee LLC.
It helps you to make sure your business name is available, files the articles of organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State for your business entity, helps you apply for an employer identification number, and assists you in creating a Tennessee LLC operating agreement.
Harbor Compliance also provides a year of free registered agent service, which means you’ll have an individual or business entity to accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your Tennessee LLC, as well as a business address to use on your formation documents for privacy purposes. This service usually costs $99, so getting it included with LLC formation is a good deal.
But the best thing about Harbor Compliance is that it has dedicated account managers.
Instead of calling a customer service hotline and getting an anonymous person you've never talked to before, you're assigned an account manager who knows everything about your business, where you are in your journey, and your unique circumstances and problems. This way, they can give you tips that are specific to your situation instead of just giving you general advice about owning a Tennessee LLC.
Even though having a dedicated account manager is a great feature, Harbor Compliance isn't cheap (or even what I'd call affordable). This is its major shortcoming.
The basic formation package costs $399, and there is also a “compliance” package for $799 from Harbor Compliance (that includes reminding you to file your annual report and business franchise tax). This means that Harbor Compliance’s fees are twice as much as Northwest Registered Agent's standard rate, and 10 times as much as the discount Northwest gives to BoostSuite readers.
Having a personal account manager who can help you through the process of forming a limited liability company is a nice perk, but is it really worth spending an extra $110 to get this feature? That depends on what you think, so only you can answer.
Harbor Compliance didn't win first place or the title of best Tennessee LLC service, but it does offer the basic services that every Tennessee business owner needs, and its dedicated account managers are a unique and helpful feature.
Even though it costs $399, which is 10 times more than the special rate I got for BoostSuite readers from Northwest Registered Agent, it's still one of the best LLC services in Tennessee.
Check out Harbor Compliance's website if you think having a dedicated account manager is a good idea and you don't mind paying high prices to get it.
4. Rocket Lawyer
Although Rocket Lawyer is well known in the business world, its Tennessee LLC formation services, which are excellent when used in conjunction with its other offerings, tend to fly under the radar
The online legal services provided by Rocket Lawyer are what set it apart from competing LLC services in Tennessee. This is a welcome feature for many small business owners since most LLC formation providers focus primarily on formation services and don't provide legal services.
The $99 Rocket Lawyer basic package covers checking the availability of your business name and completing your Tennessee articles of organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State. But that's not all it has to offer.
You can test out Rocket Lawyer's legal services for 30 days when you sign up for the company's formation services. Access to its extensive library of customizable legal forms, a 30-minute consultation with an attorney on any issue, lawyer verification of your papers, and attorney protection in the event that any of your documents are contested in court are all part of Rocket Lawyer’s legal services.
The good news: to make use of Rocket Lawyer's legal services, you don’t actually have to sign up for its high-priced LLC services. Simply create a free account and register for a subscription to its legal services. It's as simple as that. This way, you can sign up for the remarkable LLC services offered by Northwest as well as the legal services offered by Rocket Lawyer. In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too.
My Rocket Lawyer Review contains more information that you can read if you’re interested in learning more about the goods and services offered by Rocket Lawyer.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings was started in 2012, which makes it a relatively new company in the LLC formation service world.
It only costs $49 (plus a filing fee), and for that low price, your LLC in Tennessee gets a lot. It’ll help you file the articles of organization for your Tennessee LLC with the Secretary of State and provide you with an online document management system, a free 30-minute business tax consultation, and a year of free business domain name registration.
But unlike Northwest Registered Agent, Swyft Filings doesn't offer free registered agent service. Instead, it charges $149 for registered agent service in Tennessee (someone to accept mail and legal documents, as well as a business address). So, in the long run, you'll pay far too much for Swyft Filings' services.
Check out my full Swyft Filings review if you want to learn more about the services it offers.
When it comes to the quality of its services, MyCompanyWorks exhibits a considerable amount of inconsistency.
It has a $79 basic package that includes filing the articles of organization and applying for business licenses for your LLC in Tennessee, helping you create an operating agreement, providing an online document management portal, and issuing compliance notifications (for things like reminding you to file your annual report or pay taxes).
However, there is a disadvantage to these services.
MyCompanyWorks provides a free year of Tennessee registered agent service, but it is only accessible with the $279 premium subscription. Northwest Registered Agent, on the other hand, only costs $39 for LLC formation services and provides a year of free registered agent service, so I can't justifiably promote MyCompanyWorks.
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is an LLC formation service that at first seems to be a low-cost solution, but as you examine its services more closely, you'll realize that it is not even close to being a low-cost service.
It's free (other than paying for state fees) for them to file the articles of organization with the Secretary of State for your LLC in Tennessee. However, if you want any extra services or benefits for your new business, you'll have to pay a significant number of additional fees.
Inc Authority offers a $399 (plus state fees) basic plan that provides an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an operating agreement for your Tennessee LLC, and a business seal, and a $799 premium package that includes a free year of Tennessee registered agent service (someone to accept mail and legal documents for your LLC in Tennessee, as well as a business address.).
But even if you have no money to spend on LLC formation services, ZenBusiness is a better option than Inc Authority, in my opinion.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast is an appropriately named business formation service that provides a basic package for $99 (plus state filing fees).
Some of the services it offers include filing the articles of organization for your LLC in Tennessee, a year of free Tennessee registered agent services, assistance drafting your operating agreement, and several sample documents that are helpful when you’re establishing a new business.
You won’t receive any additional features, like an online document management portal, or a free business tax assessment. However, if you shell out $199, it’ll assist you in applying for an EIN for your LLC in Tennessee.
The most distinctive feature of Incorporate Fast is that it processes all new business filings on the same day they're received. Other Tennessee LLC formation services don't provide this, so if you're in a frenzy to establish your LLC in Tennessee and don't care about the cost, Incorporate Fast might be a good solution.
Northwest Registered Agent is a superior option if you're more concerned with choosing a formation service that offers a large number of services and features at an affordable price.
BizFilings' basic plan is likewise priced at $99 (plus state fees).
Its formation service includes the filing of formation documents for your Tennessee LLC, a year of free registered agent services, and compliance alerts to remind you to submit your annual report or pay federal taxes.
However, it does not provide any premium services in addition to these fundamental services, such as an operating agreement, business tax assessment, or online document storage, resulting in it being excessively expensive in the long run.
LegalZoom also provides a basic Tennessee LLC formation service package for $99 with negligible offerings. With this package, it will submit your formation paperwork with the appropriate Tennessee government authorities and give you a banking resolution so your LLC in Tennessee can set up a business bank account.
If you are currently utilizing any of LegalZoom's other business services, such as its Tennessee registered agent services, you may want to explore using its LLC formation services. Unfortunately, I can't endorse LegalZoom's Tennessee LLC formation services on their own.
If you're interested in learning more about the services and rates offered by LegalZoom, please click here to read my LegalZoom review.
Other LLC Services
I studied seven more Tennessee LLC service companies while looking for the best LLC services, but they were so lackluster that I did not feel they merited complete reviews. The following is a list of these businesses, in no particular order.
Incorporate.com is another business formation provider that offers a minimal $99 formation package. The only two services that are included in this price are filing the articles of organization for your Tennessee LLC and offering an online document storage portal.
You won't even receive Tennessee registered agent services (meaning you won't have anybody to receive mail or legal papers for your company or a physical address for privacy purposes), so I cannot endorse it.
CorpNet's $108 LLC formation package includes just two services: submitting the articles of organization for your LLC in Tennessee and providing compliance notifications (so you don't forget to file your annual report or important tax paperwork). Again, this is a subpar formation service provider that doesn't even provide registered agent services in Tennessee.
MyCorporation's Tennessee LLC formation package costs $133 and includes the filing of formation paperwork and assistance with drafting an operating agreement for your LLC in Tennessee. You'll incur extra fees for any additional services or features you need (such as registered agent services).
14. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation provides the same features and services as MyCorporation (filing the articles of organization for your LLC in Tennessee and helping with your operating agreement), but also provides an EIN and a banking resolution (so that you can start a business bank account for your business). But it costs an outrageous $147 for these rudimentary services.
Similar to MyCorporation, InCorp's $117 formation package includes filing your company's articles of organization and assisting you with the operating agreement for your LLC in Tennessee. Each extra service you choose after that (such as Tennessee registered agent services) will require additional expenses.
16. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations provides the same minimal services as MyCorporation, such as completing your formation documents and assisting you in preparing an operating agreement for your business, but it costs $200 for these services and does not include registered agent services for that price. So, in the end it isn't worth it.
17. SunDoc Filings
The sole service included in SunDoc Filings' $79 basic package is the filing of the articles of organization for your LLC in Tennessee. It offers a $99 Key package that will help you create your operating agreement and a $279 Premier package that will help you secure an EIN for your Tennessee LLC.
It doesn't include registered agent service or any of the other amazing supplementary services that Northwest Registered Agent provides in any of its packages, and it simply can't compete with the other outstanding LLC services on my list.
The Best LLC Service in Tennessee Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is the top pick of all 17 LLC services in Tennessee because it meets the demands of the vast majority of companies in the state.
With its $39 basic plan, you will get all the vital services for forming a Tennessee LLC, plus the business advice from its Corporate Guides would often cost more than $5,000 per day from business consulting companies.
If you're ready to launch your business and want the assistance of seasoned business experts to help you overcome the challenges you'll face along the way, then visit Northwest Registered Agent immediately.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
Here is how I selected the best Tennessee LLC services.
Why You Should Trust Me
You can trust me to recommend high-quality LLC formation services since I have more expertise and experience with the LLC formation industry than almost anybody on earth.
My experience with the LLC formation industry began when I was required to hire three separate LLC formation providers in Tennessee to establish my three LLCs. Yes, I had to use three since two were insufficient to meet my needs. (I won't identify them since they've considerably improved their services since then, and I worry that if I do, your judgments of them will be based on obsolete information.)
The third LLC provider I used (which I used to create this website) surpassed all my expectations for LLC services and supplied me with far more service than I paid for. This is why Northwest Registered Agent is number one on my list.
However, my experience is not limited to the three LLC services I used for my companies. I have a great deal of experience assisting others in locating the perfect LLC formation services for their companies. Since founding BoostSuite, I've assisted over a thousand clients in choosing the right LLC services for their businesses, a task that required substantial research into the LLC service market.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
I used a four-step investigation procedure to choose the best LLC formation service.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage involved reading internet reviews of each provider on major online review sites. A significant number of the most trustworthy LLC providers encourage their clients to submit online reviews. Consequently, several of these services have received more than 4,500 online reviews.
By reading these evaluations, I was able to get a basic impression of each provider and eliminate the LLC services that did not meet industry standards.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After discarding underperforming competitors in the first round, the next stage was to visit the websites of each remaining company. I read headlines and titles and attempted to get a basic impression of the firms based on the promises and claims made on their websites.
This provided me with a greater knowledge of the services and features supplied by each LLC service, as well as how the companies saw their services in comparison to those of their competitors.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
After researching each organization, the next step was to determine if its website claims were credible. You can find some of this information through online reviews. However, most customers will only leave online reviews if they've had either an incredibly positive or a terribly negative experience with a company. As a result, online reviews are often contradictory, making it difficult to get a good sense of what it's like to work with a company.
So, I sought out actual customers who could participate in a one-on-one dialogue with me and share their firsthand experiences with these businesses. I questioned acquaintances who had used formation services, individuals I had recommended to formation services, and website visitors about the pros and cons of working with each company.
These customer interviews helped me obtain a comprehensive understanding of what it's like to deal with the businesses on my list from the customer's viewpoint. By learning what it's like to work at each business, my investigation was advanced and I was prepared for the next phase.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
In the last phase of my investigation, I contacted sales and customer support teams for answers.
During the course of my research, I collected all the unfavorable reviews and customer comments I had gotten and asked them direct queries pertaining to them.
This phase revealed a great deal about the LLC services I researched, including how they dealt with negative comments and reacted to criticism.
After I completed the four stages of my investigation process, I rated the companies on my list based on five different factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor I considered while rating each provider was its service offerings.
Some of the LLC companies I researched would just file your articles of organization and then boot you out until you paid them extra fees for any further services (like registered agent service.) Other business formation services will not only file your formation documents, but also provide you with consultations with an accounting team to set up your payment processing system, a year of free registered agent service, an operating agreement template, online document storage, and compliance alerts so you don't forget to file your taxes or annual report.
Factor 2: Price
Price was the second factor I examined while rating each formation service. Some LLC providers do not require a fee, but others will not do business with you for less than $399.
The cost per service became the second rating criteria I used when I paired this aspect with the large variety of services provided by different LLC services in Tennessee.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
My third factor was the ease of signing up for LLC service.
Some formation services will provide you with forms that have already been completed and all you need to do is sign them. Then there are services that just provide basic blank forms and require you to submit the same information on numerous areas of the form, despite the fact that they already have all the requested information on file somewhere.
No one wants to do work with a company that wastes their time, particularly during the creation phase. Starting an LLC is already enough of a headache! So I ranked each provider based on the simplicity of their sign-up process.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Unfortunately, design and functionality difficulties experienced throughout the sign-up process are unlikely to stop there. Usually, they persist through the whole onboarding process.
Some businesses have outdated servers and systems that resemble a website created in the mid-1990s by a high school coding class. Other LLC services invest millions of dollars and many hours to present clients with a clean, user-friendly interface. They prioritize the user experience above cost savings by streamlining their operations.
Obviously, it is better to pick a user-friendly system than one riddled with technological difficulties. So I judged each provider based on how intuitive their system was.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Customer service was the last rating criteria that I examined. In this area, I also saw a substantial discrepancy in the quality delivered by each provider.
Some LLC services establish their customer service call centers in other nations and then staff them with foreign citizens who are unfamiliar with US business norms and may have no clue how to form an LLC. Then there are companies, such as Northwest Registered Agent, that provide a US-based team of experts composed entirely of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs with the necessary experience to guide you through the formation process and offer you the best advice to meet the specific needs of your business.
Due to the vast array of customer service value offered by Tennessee LLC services, I elected to rate each provider based on its customer service.
Using my four-step investigation procedure and five-factor rating scale, I thoroughly researched 10 different LLC services, selected the top 10 companies, and selected Northwest Registered Agent as the best LLC service in Tennessee.
Northwest Registered Agent offers all the services necessary to get your LLC up and running, all the services you really want as well as a variety of extra add-ons.
But the Corporate Guides are by far Northwest's most useful feature.
This is a team of former small business owners, entrepreneurs, accountants, and attorneys headquartered in the United States who use their vast knowledge to coach you through the challenges of managing a small business.
Northwest doesn't provide any services or features to establish your online presence, but because of the 82% discount that BoostSuite readers get, the total price for its LLC services is just $39, leaving you with more than enough money left over to buy website-building services yourself.
If you're ready to form an LLC in Tennessee, visit Northwest Registered Agent straightaway.
While you’re researching formation services, you should also examine registered agent services. A registered agent is a person or organization who receives mail and legal documents on your company's behalf. Read my post on the best registered agent services to discover more about registered agent service.