ZenBusiness Review 2022: Is this Service Right for You?

Based in Texas, ZenBusiness is a company that helps business owners navigate the limited liability company, or LLC, formation process. And this ZenBusiness review delves into the effectiveness of its services.

Founded in 2015, ZenBusiness has formed thousands of LLCs and has garnered many positive customer reviews. While there are many business formation companies out there, it has proven itself as one of the leaders in the industry. This ZenBusiness review outlines the services it offers, pros and cons of the company, and much more to see if it is a good fit for you.

Form an LLC with ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness Review: Pros and Cons

Pros of ZenBusiness

  • ZenBusiness provides services at an affordable price, with rates starting at $39/year.
  • Many people avoid LLC formation services because of the additional features representatives try to get you to buy. ZenBusiness offers other services but does it in a tasteful way that is helpful.
  • ZenBusiness has positive customer feedback, gaining thousands of positive reviews over the past few years.
  • Services aren’t just restricted to formation. Instead, they help manage your business compliance throughout its operation.
  • ZenBusiness is a socially conscious business focused on doing good for the planet while growing its business at the same time. The company has a partnership with Kiva, which provides loans to help lift business owners out of poverty.

Cons of ZenBusiness

  • ZenBusiness has no free option. Other services provide a cheaper base package. Inc Authority and IncFile deliver a completely free service. You just pay your state’s filing fee.
  • Filing fees are paid yearly.
  • The Starter plan is $49/year + state filing fees and increases to $119/year after that.

How Does ZenBusiness Work?

ZenBusiness simplifies the process of forming an LLC. It automates the process of filing business formation documents, making it easier for you to focus on other important tasks. The process is fairly simple once you select a package. Here are the steps of partnering with ZenBusiness:

  • Choose a package: ZenBusiness offers three packages, all of which have different levels of service. Ensure you select the state in which your business is forming and the type of business you wish to create.
  • Provide contact information: ZenBusiness needs basic information about your business to start the process. Information needed includes your name and contact information.
  • Give information about your business: This is the most time-consuming part of the process, but ZenBusiness provides all the assistance you need. Information needed includes your LLC’s desired name, address, owners, and management structure. ZenBusiness uses this information to fill out your business formation documentation with the Secretary of State.
  • Supply payment information: You need a valid payment method to complete your order. Your credit card covers your package fee and your state’s LLC formation expenses.

Detailed ZenBusiness Review

LLC formation isn’t the only service offered by ZenBusiness. In fact, it helps you with the entire business cycle, right from planning out your business to managing your income and banking, as you’ll see in this review.

To understand more about ZenBusiness, let’s review the various services that they offer in addition to LLC formation.

Business Name Reservation Service Review

Before you launch your business, you might want to choose a name for it that you’ve got in your mind. Reserving your business name before you start the business is a good idea as that would ensure that no one else would be able to use that name but you.

With this service, you can lock up your business name for up to 120 days. The process also includes name searching to ensure that your business name fits well with all the standards established by the state.

ZenBusiness helps you do this in every state in the United States.

(Get your business name reserved now.)

Business Formation Services
Business Formation Service Review

Business Formation Service Review

Before you launch your business, you might want to choose a name for it that you’ve got in your mind. Reserving your business name before you start the business is a good idea as that would ensure that no one else would be able to use that name but you.

With this service, you can lock up your business name for up to 120 days. The process also includes name searching to ensure that your business name fits well with all the standards established by the state.

ZenBusiness helps you do this in every state in the United States.

(Get your business name reserved now.)

Operating Agreement Template

Yet another helpful service offered by ZenBusiness is that of the LLC Operating Agreement. They’ve got an editable template that you can use to build the rules and plans for your upcoming LLC business.

When you opt for their Starter plan, you can add the LLC Operating Agreement to your plan for $99. However, if you’ve opted for the Pro or Premium plans, the LLC Operating Agreement is available for free.

This can help you clearly establish your personal assets, set up rules that you and the other members agree upon, and outline succession plans.

Operating Agreement Template
Registered Agent Service

Registered Agent Service

Registered Agents are a necessity for your business if you’re operating in multiple states. Through this service, ZenBusiness will:

  • Discreetly monitor legal notices received by your business
  • Share all the documents received and make them available on a dashboard
  • Notify you for all important matters that need your attention

This ensures that you’re legally complying with all the regulations of another state even if you don’t have a registered office there.

However, this service is only available to self-filers, new business formations, and existing businesses. It’s not available for Professional LLCs and Corporations, and nonprofits.

(Get a Registered Agent for your business now.)

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Service Review

Filing for your business is just the first step in starting your business. You still need a tax ID number, also called an EIN, to be able to do even the most basic business functions, such as hiring employees or opening a business bank account.

It’s particularly important for LLCs and Corporations as your limited liability is only applicable when you separate your finances of the business. And this is only possible with a business bank account.

For just $99, ZenBusiness will handle all the formalities needed to get your business EIN. It saves you the hassle of going through the IRS to get the filing done.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Service Review
Annual Report Filing

Annual Report Filing

Every state requires registered businesses to file annual reports. In fact, some states even need an initial report before the annual one. It’s a document through which your key business information remains updated with the state. Typically, it includes information like your business name, address, managers, and more.

To maintain your business compliance, it’s essential that you file these annual reports each year at the right time. Else, you risk being fined or even losing your limited liability advantage.
However, preparing this report can be a challenge. This is especially true for states where even biennial reports are needed.

When you opt to work with ZenBusiness, they’ll file all your annual reports on time to ensure that your business remains in good standing with the state. Additionally, they’ll file all the initial and biennial reports if your state requires them. This package only costs $100 plus state fees.

New York LLC Certificate of Publication

When you start a new LLC in New York, you’re required to publish a notice about the business formation for six consecutive weeks in two newspapers. You have to comply with this regulation within 120 days else you may not be able to conduct your business in the state.

Once you’ve published your announcement in the newspaper for six consecutive weeks, you’ll get a certificate of publication. Typically, you’d have to reach out to your county clerk, attorneys, and even newspapers, among other places for getting this done.

With ZenBusiness, you don’t have to spend time running to these places. They have well-established relationships with counties in New York and get the processing done at affordable rates.

Additionally, they coordinate with all other stakeholders for getting the notice published and gaining the certificate.

They also handle all the logistics involved in the process so that you can concentrate on setting up a strong foundation for your business. The entire process costs only $200 along with newspaper publication fees.

(Starting a business in New York? Get your >Certificate of Publication now!)

New York LLC Certificate of Publication
Filing Amendment Service Review

Filing Amendment Service Review

Whenever you need to change any business information such as business name, business address, ownership structure, or registered agent, you’re required to file a business amendment with the Secretary of State.

However, typically you’d need to collate all this information and then deal with the Secretary of State to get through with the process. But with ZenBusiness, you don’t have to do any such thing. They keep two copies of your business information — one with themselves and the other with the Secretary of State.

Whenever any updating is needed, they’ll prepare all the paperwork and file it on your behalf to get your business details amended. The fact that ZenBusiness keeps a copy of your paperwork with them helps streamline the process further. This service from ZenBusiness costs only $100 plus the state fees.

Certificate of Good Standing Service Review

The Certificate of Good Standing is an essential document that every business needs to showcase its authenticity and compliance with the state laws and regulations. This certificate comes in handy to:

  • Show that you’ve met all state business requirements
  • Ensures that you can legally do business in that state
  • Helps secure financing with ease
  • Simplifies the process of selling your business

However, getting this certificate isn’t as easy as it may seem. Although the Secretary of State issues these certificates in most states, each state has a different office from where you need to get the certificate.

ZenBusiness offers a white glove service for getting your Certificate of Good Standing in your states of operation. They’ll do all the essential research before heading to the Secretary of State for requesting the certificate.

Additionally, working with ZenBusiness for compliance management would also ensure that you’re compliant with all laws of the state and would be able to get the certificate with ease.

(Get your Certificate of Good Standing right away from ZenBusiness.)

Filing Amendment Service Review
Banking Resolution Template

Banking Resolution Template

ZenBusiness also helps you prepare a banking resolution for your LLC or Corporation to authorize who can represent your business to open a bank account. It also assigns authority to the person whose signature would be authorized to be provided to the bank.

For just $30, you can get a banking resolution template from ZenBusiness and edit it with your business credentials. This resolution can be created and adopted by your board of directors or LLC members.

Business Document Templates Library

To run a business smoothly and to comply with state and federal regulations, it’s important to have certain documents in order. While larger businesses might have access to the relevant teams to prepare these documents and update them, small business owners lack them.

This is where ZenBusiness’s business document templates library can come in handy. They give you templates for 25 of the most common (and important) business documents that you can edit to fit your business needs.

Additionally, once you gain access to these templates, you can continue using them as many times as you want.

(Get access to the Business Document Templates Library now!)

Business Document Templates Library
Worry-Free Compliance Service Review

Worry-Free Compliance Service Review

Starting a business is just the beginning. You also need to comply with all the county, local, state, and federal business regulations as long as you’re operating your business.

It’s only then that your business can remain in good standing with the state. Else, you risk losing several advantages of your business such as liability protection.

This is where the Worry-Free Compliance package offered by ZenBusiness can be helpful. Their team will work to handle all your state filings so that you don’t miss any deadlines and remain in good standing with the state. They will also alert you whenever there’s any impending deadline that might need your attention.

Additionally, you get two free amendments per year so that you can keep your records updated with the state.

The best part about this service is that it’s available not only to those businesses that choose one of the Business Formation packages from ZenBusiness but even to existing businesses.

In addition to all the above services provided by ZenBusiness, during our review we also found that they have partnerships with Avanade and LendingClub. These enable them to provide business banking services and business license report services too.

Finally, they offer business website and email address services as well, making them a one-stop-shop for all your business establishment needs.

Review of ZenBusiness LLC Formation Packages

ZenBusiness offers three formation packages: Starter, Pro, and Premium. All plans come with free accounting consultation. Let’s review the features included in each package.

Starter Package Review

$49 + State Filing Fees

Zen Business’s starter package costs $49/year plus your state’s filing fee the first year and increases to $119/year after that. Let’s review its features and benefits:

  • Name availability search: Every new LLC requires a unique name. ZenBusiness will search their business database to determine name availability. If applicable, ZenBusiness will claim the name on your behalf.
  • Prepare and file articles of organization: Articles of organization are required by each state to create any new business formally. ZenBusiness will create your articles of organization and file them with your state’s Secretary of State.
  • Registered agent service: Every U.S. state requires LLCs to name a registered agent on their formation documents. A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive documents, service of process, and compliance documents on behalf of the business. ZenBusiness provides this service for free for the first 12 months.
  • Create operating agreement: Most states do not require LLCs to file operating agreements with their formation documents. However, to protect the limited liability status of your LLC, you should create an operating agreement. ZenBusiness created this important document on your behalf.
  • Accounting consultation: ZenBusiness offers a complimentary accounting assessment to help you determine bookkeeping and tax needs.

Pro Package Review

$199 + State Filing Fees

ZenBusiness offers a pro package, which costs $199/year plus your state filing fees. The pro package comes with every feature included in the starter package plus the following benefits:

  • Employer identification number: An employer identification number, or EIN, is a number the IRS uses to keep track of your LLC’s tax returns. If your business is a single-member LLC, you will need an EIN to file a separate tax return.
  • Annual report filing: ZenBusiness will prepare and file your annual report on your behalf, along with two amendments per year.
  • Banking resolution services: ZenBusiness provides a banking resolution template to indicate your authority to perform financial transactions if you want to open a business bank account.

Premium Package Review

$299 + State Filing Fees

ZenBusiness offers a premium package, which is $299/year plus your state’s filing fees. The premium package comes with all the features in the starter and pro package plus these additional benefits:

  • Domain name: ZenBusiness will reserve a domain name for your LLC’s website. Also included is a dashboard domain management tool.
  • Rush filing speed: This package comes with expedited service. ZenBusiness will prioritize your filings over documents from lower packages.
  • LLC email address: ZenBusiness offers premium members a business email to use for their business. The email address comes with extra storage so you can add more accounts in the future.
  • Company website: ZenBusiness offers business design services for members who want a company website.

Benefits of ZenBusiness’s Service

ZenBusiness offers business formation services that are prompt, affordable, and convenient. While there are many similar companies in the industry, ZenBusiness stands out from the competition. Here are some of the main benefits of its service:

You Can Build Your Plan

Many similar services offer static plans with no flexibility. This leaves little room for personalization if you don’t need the service in the package. ZenBusiness came up with an easy solution to this problem. While it offers three standard packages, you can create your plan with personalized services. Personalizing your package allows you to choose the services you need without paying for products you do not want. To build your package, select LLC in the dropdown menu on their home page. From this point, you can begin customizing your own package. Your customized plan can include all of the services in the standard packages. A pricing table is available for each service so you can calculate the price of your package.

Live Chat Customer Service

Many similar services, including IncFile, do not provide prompt customer service. ZenBusiness, however, offers a live chat feature on its website that connects you with its support team right away. Agents are helpful and courteous and can answer any questions you have. Having a beneficial agent to walk you through the process can be comforting, especially if you are a new business owner.

Transparent Pricing

Before you choose a plan, ZenBusiness provides you with a pricing page complete with features, benefits, and extra services. There are no hidden fees included in the process, and ZenBusiness is upfront about all of its pricing although they are the only provider that has an annual fee. While agents try to upsell you during the process, they are transparent about all extra pricing. With ZenBusiness, you know what you are getting and what you will pay during each step of the process.

Exploring ZenBusiness’s Reputation

ZenBusiness has a good reputation and stands among the leaders in the business formation industry. It is an affordable, simple, and trustworthy LLC entity formation solution. Although ZenBusiness has only been in business for a few years, it has built a solid reputation and a loyal database of customers. Further, ZenBusiness has an A- with the Better Business Bureau.
Despite its favorable rating with the BBB, it is important to note that ZenBusiness has over 30 complaints against them with the BBB. However, most of these complaints are due to its unclear cancellation policy. However, ZenBusiness responded to each complaint and has taken steps to resolve each complaint appropriately.

Quick Turnaround Times

Before you choose a plan, ZenBusiness provides you with a pricing page complete with features, benefits, and extra services. There are no hidden fees included in the process, and ZenBusiness is upfront about all of its pricing although they are the only provider that has an annual fee. One of the reasons to note here for the annual fee is that the services that they provide are related to annual compliance with state requirements too. While agents try to upsell you during the process, they are transparent about all extra pricing. With ZenBusiness, you know what you are getting and what you will pay during each step of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About ZenBusiness Service

If you are like most new business owners, you are looking for ZenBusiness reviews and LLC formation services reviews. Below are some answers to some frequently asked questions about ZenBusiness:

The package you choose depends on your budget and the needs of your business. The starter package is best for business owners on a budget as it only costs $39/year. The starter plan also comes with many benefits, including an operating agreement and registered agent service.

ZenBusiness offers phone, email, and customer service. Compared to industry competitors, ZenBusiness regularly receives high marks when it comes to the responsiveness and helpfulness of its agents. Representatives are available Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Central Time, and agents are responsive, helpful, and courteous. ZenBusiness consistently ranks higher than IncFile and LegalZoom when it comes to helpful customer service.

ZenBusiness’s refund policy is not on its website, but customers have successfully gotten a refund in the past. If you contact the business before ZenBusiness submits your documentation paperwork, you may receive a refund. However, most customers pay a $50 cancellation fee.

Processing times vary depending on many factors, including state capabilities and the package you chose. Generally, ZenBusiness provides faster service than some of its competitors. For expedited service, choose the premium package.

Why Choose Placeholder content

You’ve probably seen a number of ZenBusiness reviews on the web by now and we hope that you’ve found this review useful to figure out how its services stack up for your new or existing business.

While LLC and Corporation formation are two of the most important services offered by them, the other services further enrich their value proposition for your business, making them among the best business formation and support services out there.

They essentially help small businesses like yours grow through their continuing services that can keep your business in good standing and compliant with all regulatory requirements.

But how does ZenBusiness stack up against its competitors?

To help you figure that out, we’ve also built a side by side comparison review of Inc Authority, ZenBusiness and Incfile.

View the Comparison