Both Incfile and ZenBusiness are established LLC formation companies. How can you know which one to trust with your business? To find out, we went through the process of forming an LLC with each service and compared how they performed in four crucial areas: price/value, ease of use, customer support, and customer satisfaction.
We compared the prices that Incfile and ZenBusiness charge for common services, and their processing speeds. Incfile’s Silver package is the cheaper option: it’s free, except for the state fees. ZenBusiness’s current special offer of $39 + state fees, plus a free year of registered agent service, is still very affordable. Incfile aims to process all orders by the next business day, whereas ZenBusiness charges extra to process your order more quickly.
|LLC Formation Price||Filing Formation Documents||Registered Agent Service||Operating Agreement||EIN||Order Processing Speed|
|Incfile||$0 plus state fees||Included||Free for a year, then $119/yr||$40||$70||Next business day|
|ZenBusiness||$39 plus state fees (promotional price*)||Included||Free for a year, then $119/yr||$49||$99||2-4 business days with $99 rush filing|
*Promotional prices available when signing up through website ads or affiliate links. Standard price for ZenBusiness is $49 plus state fees (add $199/yr for registered agent service).
Incfile offers three different tiers of LLC formation packages:
Incfile’s Silver package is free, so it doesn’t get better than that. The free year of registered agent service is an awesome perk.
The Gold package includes some useful features, especially the EIN and customized operating agreement. However, if you’re looking to save money, you can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS for free, and there are free operating agreement templates online. The Platinum package isn’t such a great deal, as the web domain name and business email address can be purchased much more cheaply elsewhere.
ZenBusiness also offers a few different options:
ZenBusiness’s Starter package isn’t quite as cheap as Incfile’s Silver package, but it’s still a great deal, particularly since they include a free year of registered agent service.
The Pro package might be worthwhile to some business owners who value convenience and don’t want to worry about forgetting to file their annual reports. The business website you get with the Premium website is fairly basic, so if you’re going to be doing sales through your website, we recommend using a separate website-building service for this.
Both of these services offer an excellent value for low-cost business formation and a free year of registered agent service. Obviously Incfile’s basic package, being free except for the state fees, is cheaper than ZenBusiness’s $39 plus state fees package, but both options are very affordable. ZenBusiness processes more expensive orders first, whereas Incfile aims to process all orders by the next business day. We prefer Incfile’s method of processing all orders as quickly as possible, rather than moving more expensive orders to the front of the line.
Many of the positive customer reviews use words like “easy” and “fast” to describe the sign-up process, and we found this to be true. We appreciated that when you sign up for Incfile, you’re immediately shown the three packages, with their prices and the services they offer. There are a few up-sells in the sign-up process, but if you opt-in to any of these up-sells, your price is updated immediately, so there are no surprises with your bill.
The website is attractive and fairly intuitive to use. The sign-up process for the starter package includes some up-sells, but you can skip past them pretty easily. Our one issue is that the website is not entirely transparent about their pricing model, especially concerning the registered agent service. You have to read the fine print to see that the service will auto-renew at $119, and several of the BBB complaints and negative reviews we read are from people who had not meant to sign up for registered agent service and did not realize they would be charged for it.
Both websites are fairly user-friendly. We appreciated that Incfile seemed more transparent about their pricing, whereas ZenBusiness seemed to be hiding practices like autorenewal price in the fine print.
For instance, while registered agent service is the same price for both Incfile and ZenBusiness, and both services will charge your credit card if you don’t cancel the service after the first year, we appreciated that Incfile’s website clearly states that they include a free year of registered agent service, whereas the ZenBusiness website simply lists “registered agent” as one of the features and only states in the fine print that it is only free for the first year.
Incfile’s customer support hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm CST. We would’ve preferred if they had slightly longer customer support hours and some weekend support. When we called their customer support, we were put on hold for five minutes and then sent to voicemail. After we didn’t hear anything, we called back an hour later and this time got through to a customer support representative. The representative answered the questions accurately and professionally, but without going into much detail.
ZenBusiness has longer customer support hours than Incfile: Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm CST and Sunday 10am-7pm. We appreciate that they offer weekend support and longer weekday hours to accommodate people who are managing their business outside of the typical Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule. When we called ZenBusiness’s customer support, they answered with no hold time and were able to answer our questions briefly, but professionally and accurately.
Compared to Incfile, ZenBusiness was easier to contact, has longer customer support hours, and has a somewhat more responsive customer support staff. While our experience with ZenBusiness exceeded expectations, Incfile customer support was adequate for our needs.
Incfile has over 30,000 customer reviews on the web, most of them on ShoppersApproved.com. A majority of their reviews are positive. However, they have a very low customer rating on some review sites. Their rating on Trustpilot.com is 2.2/5 stars, and their rating on Yelp.com is 2 out of 5 stars. However, they have a 4.53/5 star customer rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
Many of the positive reviews say that Incfile’s sign-up process is easy and the services are simple to use.
The negative reviews tend to be from customers who say that there were mistakes or delays with their filings, or that they weren’t able to reach customer support, or customer support was not helpful.
ZenBusiness doesn’t have nearly as many customer reviews as Incfile, but the majority of their reviews are positive. They have a 4.32/5 star rating on the Better Business Bureau website, and a 4.9/5 rating from Google reviews. The positive reviews often refer to the helpful and friendly customer service they received.
Some of the negative reviews we read were from customers who were confused about the pricing and had been charged for services they did not remember signing up for. There were several complaints from customers saying they had not realized they’d signed up for ZenBusiness’s registered agent service and were surprised when they were charged for the auto-renewal. Since the auto-renewal charge is hidden in the fine print during the sign-up process, it’s not surprising that people who were not paying close attention could accidentally sign up for this service without realizing they would be charged.
While Incfile has a much greater total number of reviews, ZenBusiness has a slightly higher overall percentage of positive reviews. Both businesses have mostly positive reviews. ZenBusiness’s reviews suggest that their customer service is more helpful and accessible than Incfile’s. ZenBusiness’s reviews suggest they’re not 100% transparent with their pricing, whereas Incfile doesn’t seem to have this problem. Overall, both companies seem to earn positive feedback from the majority of client experiences.
Both of these companies offer decent business formation services at affordable prices. We appreciated that Incfile is upfront about how much things cost on their website, so you won’t be surprised by your bill, but ZenBusiness is still a good deal, and as long as you take the time to read the fine print, you’ll probably be satisfied with their services.