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ZenBusiness packs everything you need in one LLC formation service – including filing, accounting, web design, and compliance tools and subscriptions. Applying online is easy – you can either choose a plan or select only the features you want.
ZenBusiness’ services are competitively priced, but most of them – including the plan that includes LLC formation – are subscription-based. So this is probably an ideal service for you if you’re looking for ongoing business support.
A Comprehensive LLC Formation Service With Tons of Extra Support
Backed by Mark Cuban, Forbes, Investopedia, NerdWallet, Bizreport, and more, ZenBusiness seems impressive. But you may be wondering if this popular LLC formation service truly delivers on its claims. We found that it does – it scored high in each of our review categories. Why? Besides the sleek website and LLC formation application process, ZenBusiness’ subscription-based services are worth a mention.
From the free ZenBusiness LLC formation package to the valuable extras packed into paid plans, you’re always getting your money’s worth. The company can also support you in various other ways, from keeping your business legally compliant to tracking and filing your taxes and annual reports – all for a fee, of course.
It’s the exact same price to file for an LLC, S-corp, or C-corp – making ZenBusiness a terrific choice for anything from a side hustle to the most ambitious dream enterprise.
Though ZenBusiness’ Starter LLC package is free (not including the mandatory state filing fees), its slow 2-3 week turnaround time is a drag. That said, you can either opt for standalone expedited processing or a premium paid package to ensure a faster turnaround.
Otherwise, those annual or monthly subscriptions can add up. And the ZenBusiness website, live chat, CTA buttons, and LLC formation form can be a tiny bit glitchy at times, necessitating the occasional reload. Though, thanks to the site’s built-in caching, I never lost any of my inputted data, such as form answers or chat messages, when these issues occurred.
Unsure? Read our full ZenBusiness review below, where I break down the pros and cons of this provider’s service.
Useful Features – But Only a Handful Are Truly Free
With ZenBusiness, all your business needs are accommodated, but you may have to pay extra for a given service, depending on your chosen package. ZenBusiness offers many add-ons, including some notable freebies that are bundled with its free LLC formation package.
Free Tax Savings Consultation
With each and every ZenBusiness package – from free LLC formation to premium – you can take advantage of a free tax savings consultation. A tax professional from its partner, 1-800Accountant, will outline your tax expectations in a complimentary 30-minute call.
Automated expense, deduction, and tax deduction tagging and tracking come with all plans – including the free ZenBusiness Starter LLC package.Called ZenBusiness Money Essential, it features pretty basic – but sufficient – tools to help you easily keep track of your accounting and taxes owed. You can activate this complimentary service directly via your ZenBusiness dashboard after you set up your LLC.
However, for more in-depth accounting, you’ll need to upgrade. Luckily, you can also claim a 1-month free trial of ZenBusiness Money Pro. Thispremium accounting software lets you do a whole lot more, including handling invoicing, taxes, and online payments. Simply hook up your business bank account, and you’re good to go.
Both the paid ZenBusiness Pro and Premium LLC formation packages also come with the Worry-Free Compliance add-on, which conveniently covers your annual filing reminders. As this service costs $199/year alone, getting it as part of either package is a pretty good deal.
Website, Domain Name, and Email Address
ZenBusiness is one of the few top-rated LLC formation companies that can provide you with a website and email accounts. Its proprietary ZenBusiness website builder, in particular, is a unique selling point, as many formation services refer their customers to third-party website builders instead.
Overall, the builder is very similar in look and functionality to Wix or Elementor, with drag-and-drop elements and a clean interface. You cannot use the ZenBusiness website builder or plan to create or host a full e-commerce website, though you can set up PayPal or another third-party payment solution. ZenBusiness also doesn’t offer custom website design services at present.
Also, it’s only “free” (it comes bundled-in for slightly less) to use the ZenBusiness website builder with a Premium LLC formation plan. Otherwise, you need to pay $129/year for the service. Nevertheless, it comes with over 200 GB of storage, access to tons of free modern website templates, and built-in backups, security, and SEO.
You can register a domain name with ZenBusiness, but at 2.5 times the price of your average domain registration provider, we suggest skipping this overpriced service. Speaking of which, ZenBusiness partners with Tucows for domain name registration and hosting – all of which (along with a free email account) are included in the ZenBusiness Premium LLC package.
Registered Agent Service & More Optional Add-Ons
ZenBusiness offers a whole lot more optional paid add-ons and subscriptions to complement your LLC formation package.
A Registered Agent service
Expedited filing (4-6 days or 2-3 days)
EIN registration and retrieval
Operating Agreement documents
Business license report and annual report filing
You may choose to be your own Registered Agent or file for an EIN yourself, but you always have the option to pay ZenBusiness for other services to save time.
Ease of use
Rookie-Proof, But With Some Minor Glitches
Overall, applying to get your LLC filed with ZenBusiness is straightforward and fast, taking just under 15 minutes. That said, I did notice a few unusual glitches throughout the process – and even in the live chat interface.
Getting Started With ZenBusiness
To get started with ZenBusiness, all you need to do is navigate to the Formation Services page, click Start Now under your LLC package, and fill in a form.
A lot of upsells are offered in the ZenBusiness LLC formation application process – which is not necessarily a bad thing, as you may very well need some of these extra paid services.
ZenBusiness clearly lays out the uses, terms, and pricing for each add-on. Most importantly, you can take advantage of select bundle deals on multiple services during this stage. For example, you can bundle the EIN application and Business Documents add-ons together for discount rates on each.
Though I did start off applying for the free ZenBusiness Starter LLC package, I was also given the opportunity to upgrade to a paid option in the process, along with information about the perks of each plan and what they included.
A few glitches marred my experience with ZenBusiness – particularly when trying to send replies or messages in the form or to the agent via live chat. At one point, the form froze, refusing to continue with the questionnaire after I filled in a question.
I also experienced occasional issues when clicking on certain CTA and website navigation buttons – no action was set in motion. Luckily, in all cases, reloading the page or live chat box fixed the issue – and with no loss of connection or inputted data.
While ZenBusiness’ built-in name checker allows you to avoid choosing a name that is already taken, this is no guarantee of name reservation while you complete your order. So you might want to reserve your ideal name with ZenBusiness in advance to ensure it stays available while you iron out any details.
Chatbot-Style Webforms With Autosave
ZenBusiness has implemented chatbot-style forms into its LLC formation application process, so you feel more like you’re having a conversation with a chat agent than filling in a tedious form.
During the ZenBusiness LLC formation application process, you handily have the option to save your progress, so that it “remembers” info you’ve already entered. You’ll need to provide your full name and email address to do so, though.
And, yes, this info will be used to send reminders directly to your inbox thereafter (until you opt out). However, one of those emails happened to include an offer for a free $10 Amazon gift card if I finished my LLC formation application. So, no hard feelings there.
LLC Formation Order Total & Review
Forms can streamline the LLC formation application – except when you accidentally fill in incorrect information. Luckily, you can review your entire ZenBusiness order at the end of the process, including adding or removing additional paid services.
Throughout the process, you can also check in the top right-hand corner for your ZenBusiness order total. So you can keep track of your expenses – many of which ZenBusiness kindly reminds you that you may be able to claim off your tax liability.
Once finalized, you can pay for your ZenBusiness order with your debit or credit card – but not any other option, like PayPal – at least for now.
Competitively Priced – But Those Subscriptions Do Add Up!
ZenBusiness is competitively priced compared to both other top-rated paid and free LLC formation services. As ZenBusiness’ free LLC formation plan includes ZenBusiness Money Essential and a free tax consultation, it’s actually a step up from the competition. Most of whom only offer a bare-bones filing service.
However, you’ll note that ZenBusiness’ paid LLC formation packages are billed annually. This is mainly due to the paid ZenBusiness LLC formation packages, including high-value add-ons such as Worry-Free Compliance, and a free website, domain name, and email.
Though competitively priced, these annual renewals can end up being costly – if not pricier than opting in for these standalone services themselves. Essentially, you’ll only save on a paid ZenBusiness LLC formation package if you truly need all of the extra discounted services included. So do consider wisely before you make your purchase.
Remember – you can always add just what you need to a free package to control your costs. For example, if all you’re looking for is a quicker turnaround time on your ZenBusiness Starter LLC package, you can just pay for Expedited Processing once instead of upgrading to a full plan.
Friendly & Responsive – With A Little Room for Improvement
You can contact the ZenBusiness support team via a number of channels, including:
Live chat: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Central Time) Monday to Friday, or 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday
Phone: from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CT) Monday to Friday, or 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday
Email: 24/7 – though don’t expect an immediate response
You can also take advantage of the FAQ and tons of free tools and resources on the ZenBusiness site. For one, informative business planning, formation, and management articles and guides. But also interactive tools like its state filing fee checker – and a name checker, which uses any inputted keywords to suggest relevant names and domain names for yours.
ZenBusiness’ live chat support is definitely one of the better options for contacting its support team. After answering a couple of bot-generated fielding questions, I was connected with a ZenBusiness agent straight away. Though a bit slower to respond, this was because they did take time to fully research the answers to my questions.
While they did provide inaccurate info once regarding being able to upgrade the ZenBusiness website specs (you can’t), they corrected this promptly. Otherwise, they were both friendly and willing to go the extra mile to find the right answer to each of my questions. However, there were some issues worth mentioning, which I’ve detailed below.
Though easy to use and navigate, there were a few glitches with the ZenBusiness live chat box itself. Mainly, neither clicking Enter nor the Send widget worked to send my message once or twice during the live chat. Instead, I had to close and reopen the chat window to get these functions to operate properly again. Sometimes clicking Enter sends your message, but clicking the send widget does, too – which can lead to confusion if you accidentally send an incomplete message too soon.
My one experience with the ZenBusiness email support channel was underwhelming. Though I did get a confirmation email with a case number immediately after I sent a message, I had to wait until the next day – even though I had sent the email quite early in the morning.
ZenBusiness REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE
ZenBusiness is an excellent choice if you want customizability – it lets you select the add-ons and subscriptions you need. But, ZenBusiness has its own unique freebies and extras to offer – both with its free and paid plans.
If you want to save on subscriptions, opting for a paid LLC formation tier package will see you through. That is, as long as the included services are what you’re looking for. That said, you can also take advantage of bundle deals to register your EIN, get business documents, and set up your website for less.
To summarize, here are some of the upsides and downsides of going with ZenBusiness:
Free LLC formation is available
Paid plans are value-packed
Expedited Processing is available for free and paid plan tiers
A comprehensive range of plans and add-ons suit side hustles and corporations alike
Paid formation packages are subscription-only
A few glitches when using interactive elements
Is ZenBusiness Money free?
ZenBusiness Money is available in two versions – the free ZenBusiness Money Essential package and the paid ZenBusiness Money Pro version. You can activate ZenBusiness Money Essential on any LLC formation plan for free. However, you need to pay an annual or monthly subscription to use the more advanced ZenBusiness Money Pro accounting and invoicing software.
How many customers does ZenBusiness have?
According to ZenBusiness, it’s helped over 400,000 people start their own businesses. Since its company formation services include LLC, S-corp, and C-corp formation, as well as three package tiers (1 free and 2 paid), ZenBusiness can appeal to a wide range of customers. Its comprehensive range of accounting, tax compliance, and website creation add-ons and subscriptions are another draw.
Does ZenBusiness have an app or online member login?
Yes, ZenBusiness has both Android and iOS smartphone apps. You can also log in to your ZenBusiness account online via a computer or mobile device. An account is created when you pay for your ZenBusiness order.
ZenBusiness vs. LegalZoom: Which is the better LLC formation service?
While similar, there are a few key differences between ZenBusiness and LegalZoom. Firstly, ZenBusiness’ free Starter LLC formation package includes extras that LegalZoom’s doesn’t – like a free tax savings consultation and access to ZenBusiness Money Essential. Also, ZenBusiness’ paid LLC formation packages are charged on subscription, not once-off like LegalZoom, but they tend to include more perks.
A freelance author, graphic designer, and photographer, Caitlin Greyling writes about web hosting, web builder software, graphic design, tech, and electronics, and has published hundreds of product reviews and comparisons for Website Planet, The Daily Mail, and Durability Matters. Her creative and technical knowledge has been showcased at PictureCorrect, Photutorial, and others. She is currently studying for an NCTJ diploma in journalism. When Caitlin’s not working, she’s exploring nature with her son and dog or relaxing at home with her cat.