ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: What Sets The LLC Services Apart
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom provide LLC formation, but ZenBusiness is slightly cheaper than LegalZoom. LegalZoom LLC packages are priced higher for similar business services and products. Customers are also expected to pay a lot extra for other features such as an Operating Agreement and business accounting evaluation and guidance. As a result, LegalZoom is more expensive than it seems at first.
The experience advantage goes to LegalZoom; the company lays claim to starting 3 million businesses in 16 years. ZenBusiness was founded in 2015, and since then, they have helped thousands of entrepreneurs overcome the difficulties of starting a business.
While ZenBusiness is focused more on LLC formation, LegalZoom offers more ongoing legal services beyond business formation. For example, LegalZoom features legal plans that customers can purchase such as the Business Advisory Plan and Legal Advantage Plus; the plans provide professional tax and legal advice.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Similarities
Personalized Business Advice and Assistance
Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have customer-support professionals to help entrepreneurs every step of the way during the business formation process. You can contact the services online or by phone.
Useful Information and Advice
Both ZenBusiness and LegalZoom websites are filled with tips and tricks for business owners beyond basic doc-prep and processing. Entrepreneurs can learn more about business formation services and LLC topics such as Articles of Organization, EIN, registered agent services, and business taxes.
Lifelong Compliance Support
The companies will notify you of upcoming legal filing requirements, such as your annual report. This will help keep your business squeaky clean. In fact, ZenBusiness even offers a Worry Free Compliance service, in which they'll cover the annual report filing.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: Customer Reviews
LegalZoom maintains a 4.2 average out of about 900 reviews on SiteJabber. Their Consumer Affairs page sports a 3 out of 5 out of about 450 reviews. Overall, many of the LegalZoom reviews are quite positive, like this one:
“LegalZoom set up several LLC’s for me – easy one-stop shopping. Their support people are their greatest asset as they are always helpful and answer any questions or concerns promptly. Love the fact that all can be achieved over the internet and through E-mail.”
Unfortunately, there’s also a significant number of highly-critical LegalZoom reviews, particularly around customer service and payment processing issues. Keep in mind, LegalZoom is a big operation dealing with a high volume of customers.
“They blindly enroll you into a myriad of subscriptions that have zero value and then make it nearly impossible to cancel. [. . .] I wish the horrible customer service was just negligence instead of what it really is – a way to wear you out instead of trying to reach the right person, to simply cancel an annual subscription that you never needed in the first place.”
Online ZenBusiness reviews are excellent. The LLC service has over 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an overall rating of 4.8/5. Here are a couple ZenBusiness review examples:
“I was blown away at how simple and straight-forward this process was. Using ZenBusiness to set up the LLC for my consulting agency was the best decision I could have made as an entrepreneur. I especially love how they made it super easy to get a Tax ID and set up a registered agent. I'd recommend ZenBusiness to anyone starting a new business.”
“Quick and Simple. The website is well-designed and the process was very transparent without being overwhelming. Any information that I needed to make the right choices was at my fingertips and I feel like I'm set up well with my new business.”
If customer reviews carry a lot of weight in your decision-making process, you may want to consider ZenBusiness.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: LLC Pricing and Turnaround Times
ZenBusiness LLC Packages
Be aware that LLC pricing and options could change at any time.
Starter ($0* + State Fee)
- Basic LLC formation
- Unlimited name availability searches
- Unlimited phone and email support
- Digital dashboard to access business documents
- Free accounting consultation
- Free automatic expense tracking
- Free tax deduction tagging
- Worry-free compliance free first year (Auto-renewal price: $199/yr)
Pro ($199 + State Fee)
- Everything in Starter
- Filing speed (1 - 2 business days)
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Premium ($349 + State Fee)
- Everything in Starter and Pro
- Domain name privacy
- Business email address
- Business website
- Business Document Templates
LegalZoom LLC Packages
Basic ($0 + state fees) includes:
- LLC formation
- Articles of Organization
- 30-day order processing guarantee (this does not include state processing times).
Pro ($249 + state fees) includes:
- Operating agreement
- Faster processing times than Basic package
Premium ($299 + state fees) includes:
- All features in Basic and Pro
- Attorney consultations
- Legal forms
- Faster shipping and processing
Rush processing times vary from state to state and some states will expedite processing to 1 hour for high fees. Before purchasing the Express Gold package, it would be a good idea to ask LegalZoom what rush state processing means in your state.
If you come across the terms “processing” time vs. “filing” time on the different LLC formation websites, know that they mean two different things. Processing time refers to the number of days it takes to process all documents relating to your business by the company you choose and filing time is up to the government office responsible for filing the documents.
ZenBusiness vs LegalZoom: The Bottom Line
After comparing both companies, we recommend exploring other options. If you’re looking for the lowest price and best bundled package that includes all the necessities to start your business quickly, our favorite, Northwest Registered Agent, comes out on top. If you want to instantly build a brand in addition to LLC formation, we recommend Tailor Brands.