5 Best ZenBusiness Alternatives & Competitors in 2021

    by Benjamin Aronson
Updated July 23, 2021

So you’re planning on starting a business in 2021? We know how tricky the legal side can be—we’ve done it ourselves numerous times.

That’s why we want to help you find the best online incorporation service for your needs.

ZenBusiness is one of the most popular formation services today. They have over 5,000 reviews on Trustpilot, with an average of 4.8/5 stars. ZenBusiness has also helped form over 70,000 businesses to date bring a lot of experience to the table.

But could there be a better fit for your business?

These days you have options such as Incfile, Swyft Filings, LegalZoom, and more.

That’s why, in this article, we’re diving deeper into how these formation services compare to ZenBusiness.

Top Business Formation Services

Incfile logo

Incfile

• Form an LLC for $0 + State Fees
• FREE Registered Agent Service for a Year
• Trusted by over 500,000+ Businesses
• 100% Transparency

ZenBusiness

• Form an LLC for $49 + State Fees
• FREE Registered Agent Service for a Year
• Launched over 80,000+ Businesses
• 100% Accuracy Guarantee

Northwest logo

Northwest

• Form an LLC for $225 + state fees
• Registered Agent Service included ($125)
• Forming Businesses Since 1998
• 100% Error-Free Guarantee

Here’s a summary of ZenBusiness’s competitors and what they offer:

#Ranking Basic Package cost Key Features
1. Incfile

 

Starts at $0 Free formation service, simple platform, 1 year of free registered agent services
2. Northwest Registered Agent Starts at $225 Top customer support, fast document approvals, promises to never sell your data
3. IncAuthority Starts at $0 Free LLC set-up, business funding analysis, free 1-year registered agent
4. Swyft Filings Starts at $49 Low fees, payment plans, free tax consultation
5. LegalZoom Starts at $79 Lifetime support, Peace of Mind Review, step-by-step setup guide

Now let’s dive into the juicy details and find out which online formation service is the best option for you.

ZenBusiness Alternatives

While ZenBusiness is a popular choice, some of their competitors give them a run for their money. For example, Incfile provides free formation, while others like LegalZoom provide lifetime support.

All these services have their pros and cons, so it’s important to do thorough research before deciding.

Let’s breakdown all the mentioned services, so you have a better idea of their benefits. First in line, Incfile!

Incfile is a well-known company in the business formation space. With a low starting price of $0 + state fee, they’re hard to beat. While it’s cheaper than ZenBusiness’s starter package at $49 + state fee, that doesn’t mean it’s better.

On Shopper Approved, Incfile boasts over 22k ratings at 4.8/5 stars. While ZenBusiness has 4.8/5 stars on Trustpilot with over 5k reviews.

Incfile wins this one, but to be fair ZenBusiness is a much newer company.

Both services offer a free registered agent for 1 year which then renews at $119 for every year afterward.

Note: If you are looking for a registered agent to form your LLC, we compiled a review of the top registered agent services. Make sure to check it out.

While the services are quite similar, there are some key differences:

  • ZenBusiness provides a free accounting consultation, virtual business guide, and an operating agreement. This will help you get your finances in order and set up your business online.
  • Incfile promises fast processing, a business bank account, and lifetime company alerts. This will help you form your business faster and stay on top of any documents that need reviewing.

ZenBusiness also has an advantage when it comes to customer service. Support is available Monday to Friday as well as Sunday. You can access this support through LiveChat, phone, or email.

Incfile still has some decent support hours, but they’re only available by phone on weekdays.

Why we like Incfile

$0 formation cost + state filing fee
1 FREE year of registered agent services
Very solid customer feedback

Why we dislike Incfile

Many upsells
Value to cost

High

Ease of Use

Easy

Speed

Fast

Customer Care

High

Reputation
Trusted
More services
Many

Northwest is another ZenBusiness competitor. Northwest’s point of difference is that they’re family-owned and use no salespeople. This could be a breath of fresh air if you hate being sold to.

Northwest provides every customer with a Corporate Guide. These guides are specialists in local business and are there to ensure that you’re looked after.

On top of this, Northwest is big on privacy. They will never sell any of your data and you can even use their address on public forms. This ensures that you don’t receive any unwanted solicitation.

Compared to ZenBusiness, Northwest prides itself on speed. They won’t charge you any extra for expedited filing, instead, all customers receive it as a default. But ZenBusiness has 3 different speeds which will cost extra unless you choose the most expensive plan.

One key factor that could give ZenBusiness the edge against Northwest is pricing. Northwest starts at $225 which is broken down by $100 filing fee + $125 registered agent fee.

You’ll also need to pay your state fees on top of this, so it could put a dent in your budget.

But ZenBusiness starts at a low $49 + state fee and even provides a free registered agent for a year.

In regards to customer reviews, Northwest has 4.6/5 stars on Google from 168 reviews. This doesn’t hold a candle to ZenBusiness’s 5,000+ reviews at a 4.8-star rating.

Why we like Northwest Registered Agents

File your business for $225 + state fees
Year of registered agent services included
Great customer service—Corporate Guides

Why we dislike Northwest Registered Agents

More expensive than its competitors
Value to cost

High

Ease of Use

Easy

Speed

Fast

Customer Care

High

Reputation
Trusted
More services
Many

IncAuthority is one of the oldest names on this list but they’ve recently revamped their services. Compared to ZenBusiness, IncAuthority has more overall experience because of this.

Even though they’ve been around since 1989, IncAuthority has only helped 130,000+ clients so far. In only a few years ZenBusiness has almost caught up to this number with 70,000+ businesses formed.

ZenBusiness and IncAuthority also have similar ratings and reviews on Trustpilot. So you can’t go wrong with either choice.

One perk of choosing IncAuthority is that they provide access to a range of other services. These include help with funding, legal and marketing services, and creating business plans.

On the other hand, ZenBusiness specializes in filing documents and forming businesses. Depending on what your business may need, either option could work.

In regards to customer service, IncAuthority only offers support on weekdays. That’s why ZenBusiness has the edge here again by providing support on Sundays as well.

Unlike ZenBusiness, IncAuthority provides a free formation package for $0 + state fees.

Although they offer free formation, the services aren’t low quality. They offer important services, such as a free registered agent for a year and all preparation and filing.

Why we like IncAuthority

Starts at $0 filing + state fee
Free registered agent services for a year
Over 5,000 positive reviews

Why we dislike IncAuthority

Premium packages are very expensive
Value to cost

Average

Ease of Use

Easy

Speed

Average

Customer Care

High

Reputation
Trusted
More Services
Many

Swyft Filings has a reputation for keeping it simple and affordable. They’ve been in business since 2012 and have helped thousands of businesses incorporate.

On Shopper Approved, Swyft Filings has a whopping 37k+ reviews and a 4.5 star average out of 5. While ZenBusiness has a similar rating, they haven’t yet matched the longevity of Swyft Filings.

Price-wise, both ZenBusiness and Swyft Filings start at $49 + state filing fee. Both companies also provide similar services at this level.

Swyft Filings also includes compliance alerts, lifetime support, and a free domain name.

A major difference with ZenBusiness is that they include a free registered agent for a year. Whereas with Swyft Filings, it’s an extra cost from the beginning at $149 per year.

Other extras from ZenBusiness include their virtual business guide and operating agreement templates. Depending on your business needs, we are confident that you can find value in either formation service.

If you need to get in touch with Swyft Filings, they’re available on weekdays by phone and LiveChat. A cool perk of Swyft Filings is that you’ll be assigned a Business Specialist who will be your direct contact. This allows you to build a relationship for more efficient service.

ZenBusiness is also available on weekdays, but they include Sundays as well. Above all, both companies’ customer service is top-notch.

Why we like Swyft Filings

File your business for $49 + state fees
Possibility to pay in instalments
4.5 / 5 stars based on 37k+ ratings

Why we dislike Swyft Filings

No included registered agent services
Value to cost

High

Ease of Use

Easy

Speed

Fast

Customer Care

High

Reputation
Trusted
More services
Many

LegalZoom is another well-known name in the online business filing space, they’ve been around since 2001. Legalzoom is different from most of the companies on this list, as they focus on legal services as a whole.

This means that you can make use of them throughout your business journey. They offer services like planning, filing documents, and attorney advice.

In regards to their LLC formation services, they’ve helped over 1.6 million clients. Judging by this number, they are the most experienced LLC formation service on this list.

ZenBusiness still has a long way to go if they want to catch up to LegalZoom.

LegalZoom has been mentioned in top media outlets such as Forbes and The Huffington Post. So although LegalZoom doesn’t have many customer reviews, these mentions should make up for it.

Some notable inclusions from LegalZoom include lifetime support, a business review, and a Next Steps guide. These extras will start your business off on the right foot and keep it that way.

One negative of LegalZoom is that they don’t include free registered agent services. LegalZoom’s registered agent services are $249 per year—more than double what you pay at ZenBusiness.

LegalZoom’s starting package is also more expensive than ZenBusiness. LegalZoom starts at $79 + state fee, while ZenBusiness is $49 + state fee.

If you’re just starting your business, these costs can add up but the benefits from LegalZoom may be worth it.

Why we like LegalZoom

File your business for $79 + state fees
4.1 / 5 rating on Trustpilot
Lifetime customer support

Why we dislike LegalZoom

Registered agent services not included
Value to cost

Average

Ease of Use

Easy

Speed

Average

Customer Care

High

Reputation
Trusted
More Services

Many

Which ZenBusiness Alternative Is Right For You?

If you’re choosing a company from this list, you can’t go wrong with either option.

For argument’s sake though, here are each service’s unique offerings:

  1. Incfile: The best value for your money.
  2. Northwest Registered Agent: The best customer service and data privacy.
  3. IncAuthority: Simple to set up with the option to use their other business services in the future.
  4. Swyft Filings: Cheap, easy to set up, and loved by over 37k customers.
  5. LegalZoom: The most experienced company with a whole suite of other legal services.

ZenBusiness Alternatives: What’s Next?

ZenBusiness is a relatively new company, but they’ve still managed to serve 70k+ customers in that time. They’ve got a great rating with their customers and provide an intuitive, easy-to-use platform.

But at the end of the day, every formation service in this article is a viable option. Before you choose one, read through our guide a few times. While you do this make note of the services that will benefit you the most.

This will ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need for your business.

Is there a particular formation service you’d like us to review? Let us know below!

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