ZenBusiness Review Summary
ZenBusiness is the new kid on the block in the LLC services industry and yet has already built a strong reputation for delivering quality services at great prices and backed by excellent customer support.
Its $0 Starter package provides everything you need to get your LLC up and running, and you can get other essential services by stepping up to its $199 Pro package, such as faster filing and worry-free compliance alerts, or its $299 Premium package, such as even faster filing, a domain name, an email address, and a customizable website.
While other LLC service providers provide better value with additional services at a slightly higher price, ZenBusiness covers all the basics you need to start your new LLC.
If you want to start your business without the stress of dealing with the red tape all on your own and want to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, read below to get all the details or check out the ZenBusiness website.
Zen Business Pros
Who is ZenBusiness for?
Anyone who wants their LLC essentials set up by a qualified and experienced company, without paying a cent.
Who is ZenBusiness NOT for?
Anyone who plans to use a registered agent service as part of the LLC formation. ZenBusiness charges $199 per year for its registered agent service and does not include a free year with any of its LLC service packages.
Several other well-known LLC formation services include a free year of registered agent service as part of their entry-level packages (from as little as $39) and charge as little as $99 per year ongoing.
But if you’re ready to form an LLC without additional hassle or struggle, and at a reasonable cost, check out ZenBusiness now.
All Things Considered…
ZenBusiness is a industry-leading powerhouse who charge between 30%–90% less than their competitors to deliver the full range of services with great support to guide you through the process.
If you're forming an LLC and don't want the hassle of wandering through the minefield of paperwork and red tape on your own, ZenBusiness can guide you through for as little as $39.
To get your new business up and running, sign up with ZenBusiness now.
ZenBusiness Basics Review
Below is a breakdown of all the basic information about ZenBusiness.
NOTE: If you're already familiar with ZenBusiness and their services, you can skip directly to my in-depth review of their services and performance here: My ZenBusiness Review
What is ZenBusiness?
ZenBusiness is a business formation and maintenance service headquartered in Austin, Texas. It helps entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners establish and maintain a business presence in the United States.
ZenBusiness is a public benefit corporation and has served more than 70,000 customers since its launch in 2016.
What does ZenBusiness do?
ZenBusiness provides 20 different services to help you form your LLC.
1. Preparing and Filing Company Registration Paperwork
The first and most important service that ZenBusiness provides is the preparation and filing of your company formation paperwork. After all, without preparing and filing your business registration forms, you can’t start your LLC, C-Corp, or DBA.
ZenBusiness helps you complete the necessary paperwork, ensures there are no obvious errors or issues, and files it with the correct authorities.
2. Name Availability Search
When starting a business, you must have a unique name. If your company name is too similar to another company in your state, your application will be rejected and you’ll have to resubmit at your own cost, which will delay starting your new business.
To make sure your new company name is available before you submit your LLC formation application, ZenBusiness will conduct a name availability search in your state. This will not only save you from working through the often clunky and antiquated company name-search systems, but will also ensure your application isn’t rejected for an easily avoidable mistake.
3. Phone and Email Support
Government bureaucracy is unavoidable when starting a new business. It’s loaded with red tape, confusing acronyms, and insider jargon that’s hard to understand.
ZenBusiness will help you navigate this new world with its phone and email support. You can call anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends to speak to the support team. ZenBusiness also guarantees a reply to your emails within 24 hours.
4. Online Document Access
The business formation application process takes time and winds through many different steps. Tracking the movement of your documents between agencies is often confusing, so to make sure you know exactly which step your application is up to, ZenBusiness has an online document portal.
This document portal allows you to not only track how your applications are progressing and discover any issues or errors that need correcting, but will also store the documents once approved so you can reprint them at any time.
5. Special Business Credit Card Offers
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Without it, you can’t pay staff, purchase inventory, or even keep the lights on—even if you’re a profitable business. To make sure you’re not crippled by a lack of free cash flow, it’s critical to have a business credit card.
To help you survive and thrive, ZenBusiness will help you organize the right card for your business and get you a special deal on it. It’ll reduce annual fees, cut interest rates, and organize excellent repayment terms through its close relationships with established industry leaders.
6. Free Accounting Consultation
Regardless of your industry, you’re going to need to set up your accounting systems to track purchase orders, pay invoices, complete payroll, etc. Finding the right accounting system and setting it up to suit your business can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task.
To take the stress out of ensuring your accounts are all established correctly, ZenBusiness provides a free consultation with its trained Certified Practicing Accountants. They’ll discuss your business structure and operations and provide obligation-free recommendations to help you set up your account correctly.
7. Virtual Business Guide
The Internet has changed just about every aspect of life, especially business. Customers research solutions online, weigh their pros and cons through recommendations, check reviews for reliability and product quality, and finally, find contact details for the preferred choice through the web.
If you don’t have an online presence, you’re going to miss out on hundreds, if not thousands of customers. That just doesn’t make business sense.
Getting started online can seem daunting to a lot of people—especially the less tech-savvy among us—but it doesn’t need to be. The ZenBusiness Virtual Business Guide will take you step-by-step through the basics to ensure that someone is holding your hand as you venture into the online world without the stress and worry of doing it on your own.
8. Registered Agent
It’s a legal requirement for every company to have a designated contact person available during all normal business hours, as well as registering a physical address in the state in which your business is incorporated. It’s referred to as a registered agent and it acts as a main point of contact for official communication between the government and your company.
Maintaining the requirements of this position can be challenging for small businesses with limited staff due to a host of factors, such as people going on holiday, working from home, moving office, etc.
ZenBusiness fixes this problem by acting as the registered agent for your company and fulfilling all the tasks required of that position. Its agents are available during normal business hours to complete and file paperwork as well as updating the relevant authorities any time your details change.
9. Operating Agreement Template
One of the most important yet overlooked elements in starting a new business is an operating agreement. An operating agreement lays out the foundations of how your business will run and covers which actions are and are not acceptable. It protects your personal assets from the actions of the business and outlines the succession plan should the owner(s) exit the business.
Drafting a clear and comprehensive operating agreement can be complex, confusing, and time-consuming for someone who has never gone through the process; ZenBusiness can help with this. It provides an operating agreement template you can modify to suit your needs to protect your business, assets, and peace of mind.
10. Google Ads Credit
The world of business has moved online and ZenBusiness will help you reach those looking for your services by giving you $150 in Google Ads credits.
You’ll be able to use this credit to advertise your products and services to those looking for your help without having to spend a cent from your own pocket.
11. Standard Filing Speed
ZenBusiness has three filing speed options available to new customers, with “standard” filing speed being its lowest priority.
In the standard filing speed option, filings are processed in the order they are received. This means that if there are 10 filings received prior to yours, then your filing will be processed after those 10 filings are completed.
12. Expedite Filing Speed
If you’re in a hurry to establish your new business, you may want to consider the second filing speed option, “expedited” filing.
Expedited filing means that your order skips the queue of current orders in the ZenBusiness system and leapfrogs them to the expedited queue. This can cut significant time from your filing and processing waiting period.
13. Rush Filing Speed
If establishing your business is a matter of urgency and you can’t afford to wait any longer than necessary, you can choose “rush” filing.
Rush filing will allow you to skip the expedited filing queue and forge right to the front of the pack, pushing your application ahead of all others and getting your business established as soon as possible.
14. Banking Resolution Template
One of the most critical steps you’ll take with your new business is opening bank accounts. After all, without accounts, you can’t pay suppliers or staff, or get paid for your hard work.
To make the process of opening accounts easy and simple, ZenBusiness will provide a banking resolution template. It will give you a fill-in-the-blanks form you can take to your bank to establish the accounts you need to ensure streamlined financial operations.
15. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An employer ID number (also called a tax ID number) is the business equivalent of your social security numbers. It’s a nine-digit code issued by the IRS so they can identify your business. It is essential to your business.
You need an EIN for opening bank accounts, hiring employees, getting financing, and just about every other element of your business operations.
Getting an EIN can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to juggle the hundreds of other tasks necessary to starting your business, but ZenBusiness will make it easy. It’ll apply for an EIN on behalf of your company so that you have everything you need to move your business in the right direction.
16. Worry-Free Compliance
One of the most boring but important steps in running your new business is keeping up with and complying with the government red tape. Yes, it sucks, but if you don’t make time for it in your incredibly busy schedule and get it right, you can face serious issues. You can be fined, lose the protection of your LLC, and risk personal liability.
ZenBusiness takes the hard work out of meeting your compliance obligations through its worry-free compliance portal. It sends alerts for important compliance filing deadlines, covers your annual filing, and provides expert support in case you miss a filing deadline.
17. Business Website
What’s better than having ZenBusiness’ Virtual Business Guide walk you step by step through setting up your online presence? Doing it for you.
ZenBusiness can build and host your own business website in an easy-to-edit format (even for novices) that looks great on desktop and mobile devices.
18. Business Domain Name
There’s no point in having a great-looking website if you don’t have a domain name for it.
ZenBusiness is a domain name registrar and can help you secure the right domain name for your business.
19. Domain Name Privacy
By law, domain name registration details must be publicly available on a registered database for anyone to find. Unfortunately, online scammers regularly use these details to exploit and extort money from unsuspecting people. The best way to avoid being a victim is to ensure your domain name registration details are locked behind domain name privacy.
Domain name privacy is where the details of the domain name owner are changed to an independent third party so that anyone searching for your personal details will just find generic information.
Some companies charge upwards of $60/year to obscure your domain name registration details and protect your personal information, but ZenBusiness includes it in its plans.
20. Business Email Address
Nothing screams “amateur” like having a work email hosting on a free Gmail or Yahoo email address. But getting a business email address linked to your business website can be complicated and confusing, especially when your precious time is spread so thin attempting to build all the essential parts of your business.
ZenBusiness can take care of this, creating an email address linked to your business domain name so that when customers email you, they have the confidence they’re dealing with a professional organization.
How Much Does ZenBusiness Cost?
ZenBusiness offers three different LLC formation plans: The Starter Plan, the Pro Plan, and the Premium Plan.
The Starter Plan: $0 plus state filing fee (varies by state)
The first LLC formation plan is the Starter Plan. It costs $0 (plus state fee) and covers the basics you need to register your business.
Here’s what ZenBusiness will do for you in the Starter Plan:
- Ensure your preferred business name is available
- Prepare and file your LLC formation documentation at a standard filing speed
- Provide online tracking and access to your documents
- Arrange a free assessment with an accountant
- Guide you through the process of establishing your online presence
- Provide expense and deduction tracking
- Give you an operating agreement template
- Organize $150 in Google Ads credit
- Support you throughout the process
If you just want a no-frills business registration and a bit of advice on how to move forward, this is the best package.
The Professional Plan: $199 plus state filing fee
The second LLC formation plan is the Professional Plan. It’s for people who want their entire business formation process completed and costs $199 (plus state fee). It includes everything in the Starter Plan, as well as a few extras:
- Expedited filing of your LLC documentation (usually 5–6 days, depending on your state)
- Banking resolution template to open your accounts
- Worry-free compliance monitoring and alerts
If you want a full business setup, this is the plan to go for.
The Premium Plan: $299 plus state filing fee
The third LLC formation plan is the Premium Plan. It’s for someone who wants their entire business registration completed and their digital presence established. It costs $299 (plus state fee) and includes everything in the Starter and the Professional Plans, as well as these premium services:
- Rush filing speed (usually 1–12 days, depending on your state)
- A customizable business website
- Your business domain name registration
- Protection of your personal information in your domain name registration
- Business email addresses
If you want a full business setup as well as your digital presence established, this is the plan to use.
My ZenBusiness Review
Here’s my review of ZenBusiness showing how it rates against the competition.
ZenBusiness is very reasonably priced in comparison to its competitors.
Its $0 Starter Plan is obviously as cheap as you can get, and $99 cheaper than most introductory plans (including the industry-stalwart LegalZoom). The $199 Pro package includes options for which some LLC formation services charge upwards of $799, and the inclusion of a customizable website template in its Premium plan could save you upwards of $3,000 in website development fees.
The reason ZenBusiness didn’t score 5/5 is that none of its plans include a free year of registered agent service, for which it charges a yearly fee of $199. Other LLC service providers include a free year of registered agent service in their entry-level LLC formation packages and charge as little as $99 per year after that.
ZenBusiness offers a great range of products and services that covers everything you need to get your business up and running.
Its LLC formation document submission is fast and simple and its registered agent service is reliable if not low-priced. ZenBusiness will organize your EIN and operating agreement, and its Virtual Business Setup Guide is a lifesaver for anyone who wants to build their own digital presence.
Its Professional and Premium Plans (Premium, especially) offer great additions that will save you a huge amount if you decide to get someone else to build your online assets.
Curiously, though, there is one exception to its product suite offering: no company seal.
A company seal is a personalized stamp that includes your company name, year of incorporation, and state of incorporation. It’s used to mark official documents and look super fancy.
Most LLC formation services offer this as part of their second- or third-tier plans (with the expectation of Inc Authority, which offers it in its $399 base plan), but curiously, ZenBusiness does not offer one at all.
This is nowhere near close to being a dealbreaker. Most companies don’t even use them, and even if you find you need one, you can purchase one for less than $12. Still, it’s a curious omission.
While the company seal is the only product and service not offered by ZenBusiness that’s offered by most other LLC formation companies, there are a few less common services it also doesn't offer. You won’t get membership certificates or license research, and it won’t complete your compliance filing for you, but those are not common or significant.
You won’t get membership certificates or license research, and they won’t complete your compliance filing for you, but those are neither common nor significant.
Customer Service: 4/5
ZenBusiness offers two different customer service channels: email support and phone support.
If you send an email, you’ll get a response within one business day.
You can also call customer service between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekends and talk to the in-house, US-based support team.
ZenBusiness’ support staff are experienced and knowledgeable and can provide concise and efficient responses to any of your account-related questions.
While the benefit of ZenBusiness providing a US-based, in-house support team is excellent, the reason it didn’t receive a 5/5 rating is that, unlike Northwest Registered Agent, the support team does not provide any small business advice.
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
One of the areas where ZenBusiness really separates itself from the rest of the pack is how simple its systems are to use.
ZenBusiness has obviously dedicated significant resources to streamlining its systems and reviewing customer feedback because its systems are straightforward, intuitive, and easy to navigate.
This means you don’t have to be a computer genius just to get your business up and running and you can spend more time promoting your business.
My Overall Rating: 4.6/5
ZenBusiness is one of the highest-rated LLC and registered agent services for a reason. It offers a great range of services at industry-leading prices with efficient systems and great support to back it up.
If you’re ready to form an LLC and don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy yourself, ZenBusiness is a great place to start.
Public ZenBusiness Reviews
Sure, I think ZenBusiness is an incredibly high-quality offering, but what does the rest of the internet think?
Here are some ZenBusiness reviews on three major review websites: TrustPilot, Google Business, and Facebook.
ZenBusiness has an average review score of 4.8/5 on TrustPilot and the number of five-star reviews is staggering. At the time of writing this review, it had 4,356 reviews and 86% of those 3,746 of those were verified five-star reviews. The last 20 reviews are all five-star and they’ve been posted just in the last three days!
Of the remaining 14%, 9% of those were four-star reviews with 5% being one- to three-star reviews.
In reading through this bottom 5%, I noticed a few different gripes, but there was one clear theme: Customers were annoyed that they paid for a service they can technically do themselves. They feel like they’ve been ripped off because they could have completed the forms and filed them on their own.
Yes, you can technically complete and submit all your own paperwork and no one is pretending you can’t.
The reason you use an LLC service is that paying someone to do it is just easier than spending hours trying to first figure out how to do it yourself and then submit the (usually incorrect) documentation yourself when you could be spending that time building your business. To me, it’s a no-brainer.
ZenBusiness reviews are FAR less common on Google Business. It only has 30 reviews, with an average review score of 4.2.
Still, 24 of the 30 reviews are four-star or better with the most common feedback being how simple and easy it is.
The six reviews that gave only one to three stars seem to mostly have legitimate gripes about delays in the process and difficulty contacting customer support. ZenBusiness has responded to those reviews and it appears that it has mostly resolved them without ongoing issues.
There are no reviews or complaints of ZenBusiness on its Facebook page.
ZenBusiness is a reliable and consistent LLC registered agent service.
It offers everything a new business needs to get established, with great customer support and a worry-free guarantee, and it does it up to 70% cheaper than the competition.
ZenBusiness doesn’t just do everything you want and need, it does it well.
With over 4,500 online reviews and over 95% awarding it either a four- or five-star rating, it’s clear ZenBusiness cares about its customers.
If you’re looking to start your business formation journey, ZenBusiness will take the stress and hassle out of getting started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the Best ZenBusiness LLC Package?
The best ZenBusiness business package depends on your needs.
If you only need basic business formation services and a reliable registered agent service, use the Starter package. If you want a full business setup, use the Professional Plan. And if you want a full business setup as well as a digital presence (website, emails, etc.), use the Premium package.
Is ZenBusiness Legit?
ZenBusiness has over 4,500 reviews online, with 95% of them awarding either a four-star or five-star rating. If that’s not legit, I don’t know what is.
How Does ZenBusiness Compare to Other LLC Services?
ZenBusiness is between 30% and 70% cheaper than most other LLC services while still offering every important product and service at a consistently high standard (averaging a 4.7 rating in over 4,500 reviews).
Does ZenBusiness Have Good Customer Support?
ZensBusiness’s customer support is one of the most commonly mentioned reasons why it gets a four-star or five-star rating in its 4,500+ reviews and why I think it's the best LLC service.
You can reach ZenBusiness’ customer support between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. on business days and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekends. You can expect them to always be courteous, helpful, and thorough.
Can I Form an LLC on My Own?
You can form your own LLC. However, there are complex tasks with lots of steps that can go pear-shaped, which is why most people use an LLC service. But yes, you can form your own LLC.
Does ZenBusiness Have a Refund Policy?
Yes, ZenBusiness has a 100% refund policy. If you change your mind, it will happily refund any payments minus any expenses it has incurred. However, please note that once your money has been forwarded to your respective state for the LLC certification process, there can be no recovery.
Should I Reserve My LLC Name Before Forming an LLC With ZenBusiness?
Reserving your LLC name before forming an LLC with ZenBusiness is not necessary. ZenBusiness will reserve it for you. You can reserve your LLC name if you wish to, but it won’t make the process easier, simpler, or faster.