IncFile vs LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness (2024): Which is Best for You?

IncFile vs LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness (2024): Which is Best for You?

These days, there are plenty of online services that can help you set up an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit organization. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose.

Some of the most popular business formation services are IncFile, ZenBusiness, and LegalZoom. What is the best service?

The truth is that it depends greatly on your condition and the type of services you need. Join us for details on IncFile, LegalZoom, and ZenBusiness, what they offer, and how much they charge.

What services should each provide?

Two middle-aged business workers smiling with happiness and confidence.  Working together with a smile on the face and giving a top five mark in the office

On the surface, each of our three competitors offers a similar range of services. But upon closer inspection, you will find that some offer services that others do not.

For example, if you want to start a nonprofit, you’ll need to use Legal Zoom or IncFile vs ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness offers many different entities, but nonprofits are not currently one of them.

If you’re looking for legal services, you’ll have less luck with ZenBusiness and IncFile vs LegalZoom, which is the only service that provides access to lawyers. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the key services each option provides.

service

IncFile Forming a limited liability company Forming a C corporation S corporation formation Non-profit formation Lawyer arrives Tax and accounting services
ZenBusiness Forming a limited liability company Forming a C corporation S corporation formation Non-profit formation Lawyer arrives Tax and accounting services
Legal zoom Forming a limited liability company Forming a C corporation S corporation formation Non-profit formation Lawyer arrives Tax and accounting services

All three services also provide some of the basic components needed to get your business up and running. These include things like:

  • Preparing and maintaining regulatory materials
  • Business tax number (EIN).
  • Registered agent service
  • Submitting the annual report
  • Help with business financing

Each service also offers dozens of other options, but the biggest difference is their cost and how they are packaged.

Pricing and packaging options

Although you’ll likely find everything you need to start or run your business using any of our three services, the biggest difference is how much you’ll pay for them. This is the category where IncFile really stands out.

IncFile offers three pricing tiers for each of its business formation services.

The Basic (Silver) package is actually free – you simply pay a state fee, as required by law, to submit your work.

They also offer a Gold package for $199 + country fees and a Platinum package for $299 + country fees.

Screenshot of the web file including pricing and packaging options

Additionally, one potential advantage of IncFile vs LegalZoom and ZenBusiness is that all of their packages are available for a one-time annual fee. However, IncFile also offers services that you can choose to pay for on an annual basis.

For example, while you’ll enjoy registered agent services for the first year for free, you’ll have to pay $119 per year to continue using them after that.

ZenBusiness offers the same three identically priced tiers as IncFile, but comes with different perks.

Screenshot of ZenBusiness' web pricing and packaging options

Additionally, it’s worth noting that ZenBusiness isn’t entirely clear about what features come with each package. Although “best services” are mentioned, there is no clear indication as to whether these are the only services included in each package.

For this reason, it can be difficult to immediately tell the difference in the value you get for your money with IncFile and ZenBusiness.

Regardless, you’ll find moderately priced packages at both IncFile and ZenBusiness vs Legal Zoom. Although Legal Zoom also offers packages, they vary based on the type of entity you want to form.

Legal Zoom’s cheapest offers start from:

  • LLC – $79 + state filing fee
  • Corporations – $149 + state filing fees
  • Nonprofits – $99 + state filing fee

Ease of use and price transparency

It probably won’t come as a surprise that almost any business configuration service you use will try to sell you additional features and services. But we’ve found IncFile to be by far the most transparent about exactly how much you’ll pay for the package options and services included in each.

When you choose a plan on ZenBusiness, you will be directed to a chat box where you will be asked a long series of questions. Based on your answers, ZenBusiness will then recommend a number of different add-ons and services.

Screenshot Web Chat Support ZenBusiness

We found this a bit off-putting, as there’s no way to know what you’ll end up paying until you’ve gone through the entire process. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a custom quote, you might like this process.

Additionally, be aware that you will be asked to hand over all of your contact information throughout the process. ZenBusiness will then use it to contact you with sales offers.

If you want to see what ZenBusiness has to offer without the risk of having to deal with sales calls or emails, you may want to complete this end of the process with fake contact information. If you like the final quote, you can go back and use your real information.

Although LegalZoom is more transparent about what is included in the different packages, you will also be asked to complete a similar process. The idea is to customize a plan based on your individual needs.

Screenshot of LegalZoom web Customize plan

What is the fastest service?

Photographing people inside the room during daytime photography

Each service offers fast saving with their high-tier plans. IncFile will also provide Express Deposit for an additional fee, regardless of the level you choose.

IncFile offers a great resource that breaks down filing times statewide, as well as fast filing fees.

IncFile vs LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness

Now that you’ve gotten an overview of some of the ways IncFile, LegalZoom, and ZenBusiness compare, let’s take a closer look at each. We’ll also go over the pros and cons of everything that’s on the table to help you decide what’s right for you.

IncFile

Incfile

IncFile was founded in 2004 and has since helped over 800,000 business owners. The Silver Service package is one of the most affordable ways to set up an online business.

If you choose to purchase one of IncFile’s three packages, you’ll also enjoy a number of other tools and services for a one-time fee, rather than paying annually. Just be aware that some services, like our free one-year registered agent service, will require a recurring annual fee if you want to use them after the trial period.

However, IncFile’s registered agent service is available for the lowest annual fee among our three competitors.

IncFile offers a large number of additional services, including annual reporting, DBA filing, and tax and accounting assistance. IncFile also partners with Bank of America to help customers easily set up business bank accounts and obtain Employer Identification Numbers (EINs).

Additionally, IncFile offers a great collection of free resources that you can use whether you’re a client or not. Their research center has a business name generator, business name lookup tools, free business resources, and financial management resources.

Although IncFile has excellent customer reviews overall, the most common complaint concerns customer assistance wait times. But they do offer help by phone from 9am to 6pm CST Monday through Friday, as well as chat and email support.

See the full review here

LegalZoom

When it comes to the difference between IncFile and LegalZoom, it has a lot to do with pricing. While Legal Zoom is the most expensive option, it is also the most comprehensive and well-established.

Legal Zoom has been around since 2001 and has helped millions of businesses. It’s also one of the only business formation services that provides access to attorneys every step of the way.

In addition to LLCs, nonprofits, C-corps, and S-corps, Legal Zoom also provides services for:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Limited Partnership (LP)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

If you are looking to start a larger company or a more complex company, Legal Zoom also offers a wide range of services that may be of interest to you. Legal Zoom can help you not only set up your business but offer assistance with everything from business operations, patent compliance, and intellectual property protection.

With lifetime customer service assistance, Legal Zoom has strong customer reviews and a comprehensive range of business formation and management options.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness

Founded in 2017, ZenBusiness is the smallest company on our list but already has great customer reviews.

When it comes to comparing ZenBusiness vs Legal Zoom, ZenBusiness is a much cheaper option. But, like IncFile, it doesn’t include access to attorneys.

ZenBusiness is most similar in pricing to IncFile, but its packages include a different set of options. Right now, ZenBusiness packages don’t seem to offer as much value as IncFile packages.

But their Premium package offers a customizable business website and email address, while IncFile’s Platinum package only offers a domain and email address. One of the biggest differences between IncFile and ZenBusiness comes down to the amount of customization you’re looking for throughout the setup experience.

ZenBusiness currently uses a chat-style survey that attempts to promote a number of different services to you. While some customers may find this annoying, others may find it useful if they are not quite sure which services they should choose.

We also love that ZenBuiness is also a socially conscious company that provides great resources to female, Indigenous, and Black business owners.

IncFile Legal zoom ZenBusiness
Positives • The most affordable and transparent option
• One free year of registered agent service
• Packages are available for a one-time fee instead of an annual fee
• Partners with Bank of America to make the process of setting up a business bank account easier
• Provides annual reports and compliance assistance
• A large collection of free resources
• Easy-to-use control panel
• The widest range of services
• Access to professional legal counsel
• Helping customers for life
• Customizable business website and tax savings consulting included in all packages
• Tax savings consulting is included in all packages
• Business management and intellectual property protection available
• Best customer service ratings
• Extending customer service hours
• Commercial website creation services
• A socially conscious company with resources and funding for women and minorities
• A robust education center containing useful resources for new business owners
• Easy-to-use control panel
cons No access to legal professionals
Some complaints about customer assistance wait times
There are no website building services
By far the most expensive option
Expect some attempts to raise the price
The chat-style sign-up process involves a lot of sales attempts
There are no non-profit services
No access to legal professionals

As you can see, when it comes to IncFile vs LegalZoom vs ZenBusiness, there isn’t necessarily a clear winner. The truth is that the best company start-up service for you will depend largely on the type of service you need and the type of experience you like most.

Hopefully this has given you a solid overview of what you can expect to find from each of these three leading picks. Good luck on your new business journey!

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The responses below have not been provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any financial entity or advertiser. It is not the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure that all entries and/or questions are answered.

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