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5 Best LLC Formation Services

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Updated on January 23, 2023

5 Best LLC Formation Services

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5 Best LLC Formation Services

If you’re starting an LLC, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terribly complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to professional formation services. 

But which are the best LLC formation services? This article takes a closer look, stepping into an entrepreneur’s shoes, to help you choose the service that puts you on the road to success.

Why Use a Business Formation Service for your LLC?

A business formation service handles the business formation process for you, making it nearly seamless while offering additional services that can make life easier for a new business owner. Whether you’re forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, a business formation service takes care of all the red tape, freeing you up to focus on growing your business. 

What to Look for When Purchasing an LLC Service?

With so many business formation services to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. There are four essential elements that can help you make your decision.

What to look for when choosing LLC Service

Features

Each service offers various products and services and their plans are all designed differently. You may need some services but not others, so you need to choose the service that offers everything you need. For example, only some of the providers offer annual report filing. 

If it’s important to you to get that task off your plate, you’ll want a service that offers that feature. Another feature you might need is a digital dashboard where you can always access your business formation documents. 

You’ll want to choose a service that has everything you need to make starting and running your business as easy as possible. 

Customer Service and Reviews

One good way to learn about the quality of a service is to listen to what people are saying about it. When we review services we look at Better Business Bureau ratings and reviews, as well as TrustPilot reviews. It’s wise to look at both positive and negative reviews to find out what people love about the service, and about issues customers have encountered.

Remember that fake reviews are common, so you should take some of the reviews with a grain of salt.

Pricing

Of course, you’ll want to get the best value for your money! 

Compare the cost of each service for everything you need. The price can really add up when you start adding extras, so be careful not to go too far. You also want to get good value and great customer service, so if you’re considering the cheapest service, check the reviews to see how people felt about it.

Turnaround Time

Business formation turnaround times vary with each service, so if you’re in a hurry to get your business up and running, you’ll want to look for the quickest service. You don’t want your order to sit in an office too long before your paperwork gets filed with the state. Some services differentiate themselves with fast turnaround times, so if they also offer good value, that might be your best choice. 

Here we summarize our top five picks of business formation services.

5 Best LLC Formation Services

ZenBusiness

4.6/5

ZenBusiness has three business formation plans to choose from, with annual fees ranging from $0 to $299. They have a solid rating with the BBB and a quick and easy purchase process.

LegalZoom

4.2/5

LegalZoom has three business formation plans, with costs ranging from $79 to $349, plus state filing fees. Their Economy Plan is great value for what’s included and they have great customer service.

Northwest Registered Agent

4.4/5

Northwest Registered Agent offers a la carte services and a financing plan that allows customers to spread their total formation fees over one year.

Incfile

4.2/5

Incfile offers three business formation packages. Their Silver Package only charges state filing fees and includes free registered agent services for one year.

Swyft Filings

4.4/5

Swyft Filings has three business formation packages and a variety of a la carte services. Swyft Filings is known for their quick signup process and faster turnaround times.

1. ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness has three business formation plans to choose from, with annual fees ranging from $0 to $299. They have a great track record with BBB, competitive pricing, and a seamless formation process.

Pricing and Features

ZenBusiness’s Starter Plan costs $0 plus state fees, and includes a business name availability search in the relevant state’s database, and the business formation service with full customer support. It also offers a few extras, including an accounting consultation to help you get started with your finances. You’ll also have access to your formation documents online at any time.

The Pro Plan includes all the services above plus an operating agreement template and annual compliance service, which means ZenBusiness will remind you of reporting due dates based on state requirements. The plan also includes expedited filing so that your LLC is approved and ready to go faster. The Pro Plan costs $199 plus state fees.

ZenBusiness also offers a Premium Plan for $299 plus state fees, which includes everything in the Pro Plan with the advantage of rush filing, as well as a business domain name, website, and email.

Note that none of these plans include registered agent services. They are available for an additional $99 fee. ZenBusiness also has a document library that customers can access for $99.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Competitively-priced packages offer good value
  • Reliable customer service
  • Good rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Company is socially responsible and active

Cons

  • Some information is difficult to find
  • Some a la carte services are not a good value
  • Some customers claim surprise charges
  • Cancellation can be a lengthy process

Each of the ZenBusiness plans includes a robust list of services. The Pro and Premium plans come with extras like an operating agreement and expedited and rush filing, making them a great value. However, registered agent services are not included in their packages and are offered at an additional cost.

Explore ZenBusiness

2. LegalZoom

LegalZoom is an industry leader when it comes to LLC formation services. They offer three business plans, with one-time fees ranging from $79 to $349, plus state fees. Their Economy Plan is great value for what’s included and they have great customer service.

Pricing and Features

LegalZoom’s Economy Plan costs $79 plus state fees, and includes a business name availability search through the state database, your business’s formation, and full customer support. It also offers a few extras, including a digital welcome packet and a business newsletter. You’ll also have access to your formation documents online at any time.

Their Standard Plan includes all the services in the Starter Plan plus a founder’s kit, personalized business embosser, and membership certificates. This plan costs $329 plus state fees.

LegalZoom also offers an Express Gold Plan for $349 plus state fees, which includes all of the services listed above plus expedited filing and express document shipping, making it a better value than the Standard Plan.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Economy Plan is a good value
  • Reliable customer service
  • Quick and easy purchase process
  • Mostly positive reviews

Cons

  • Some information is difficult to find
  • Some ala carte services and packages are not good value
  • Some customers claim delivery issues
  • Cancellation can be a lengthy and difficult process

LegalZoom’s services are easy to use and they offer great customer experience. LegalZoom is more expensive than some competitors, but they offer a wider variety of legal services and have been in business more than 20 years. Overall, they’re a great one-stop shop for all of your business formation and legal needs.

Explore LegalZoom

3. Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent offers several a la carte services and one business formation package, the Corporate Guide Service plan, which includes a year of registered agent services and allows you to pay your total LLC formation fees over the course of a year. All customers will have online access to their documents and full customer support. 

Pricing and Features

The Corporate Guide Service spreads your filing and service fees over your first year of business. Your monthly bill and total expenses for the year are reflective of state fees. Monthly bills will fall somewhere between $39 and $89 a month, while the total expenses for the year range between $450 and $1,100, depending on your state. 

This package includes the preparation and filing of both your LLC formation documents and an EIN application. Customers receive same-day processing, an operating agreement, registered agent services for one year, a business address and a limited mail forwarding address, in addition to a prepared banking resolution. 

It also provides online access to your documents, customer service support, and a virtual business guide, making it a great value at a reasonable monthly price. Additional services will need to be purchased separately at a later time. 

Northwest Registered Agent’s a la carte services must be paid for in full at the time of purchase. This option allows customers to add more business services or tools to your LLC formation order, such as a certified copy or a second phone number. Paying upfront for business formation services will cost $225 plus state filing fees. The total expense will be anywhere from $226 to $745.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Competitively-designed payment package offers good value 
  • Prompt customer service
  • Quick and easy purchase process
  • Good rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Website is intuitive and resourceful

Cons

  • No business license filing or support
  • Unable to add services to the Corporate Guide Service package
  • Some customers claim surprise charges
  • Cancellation can be difficult and costly 

Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guide Service plan is a great value for entrepreneurs with a limited budget. Competitors like LegalZoom offer similar packages, but Northwest Registered Agent’s plan tends to be cheaper and include more services. Their a la carte streamlined pricing is uncommon among competitors and benefits businesses that intend to take over responsibilities gradually. 

Explore Northwest

4. Incfile

Incfile offers three business formation packages: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Silver Package is free, plus state fees, and includes free registered agent services for one year. Incfile also gives customers access to an online dashboard and unlimited phone and email support. 

Pricing and Features

Incfile offers customers a Silver Package, which includes the preparation and filing of the articles of organization and unlimited name searches. It also includes free registered agent services for a year, making it a great value. The Silver Package is available for purchase at no additional cost other than your state’s filing fees.

For the price of $149 plus state fees, Incfile’s Gold Package offers the added services of an operating agreement, business tax consultation, and lifetime company alerts. It has a few other benefits as well, so it’s an overall good value.

Incfile’s Platinum Package costs $299 plus state fees. This package includes the additional benefit of expedited filing as well as a domain name and business formation. You’ll also receive access to business contract templates. However, if you have either the Silver or Gold package, you can gain access to the entire document library for $150.

Incfile also offers a number of a la carte services. For a fee, Incfile can handle tasks like filing your annual report and changing your registered agent.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable, with a free plan that includes all the basics
  • Most services have a one-time fee vs. annual
  • Plans include free registered agent services for at least a year 
  • Access to an online dashboard for paid plans
  • Unlimited phone and email support 

Cons

  • Customer service may be less responsive than other services
  • Limited legal services available
  • Limited customer support hours, no weekend availability

Incfile is great for entrepreneurs on a budget, as their Silver Package covers the basics and includes a free year of their registered agent service. Competitors like LegalZoom and Swyft Filings have a more robust suite of services, but can be more expensive.

Explore Incfile

5. Swyft Filings 

Swyft Filings has three business formation packages and a variety of a la carte services. Package prices range from $49 to $299 plus state filing fees, and are sold for a one-time expense. Swyft Filings is known for speed, as their signup process is quick and they have faster turnaround times.

Pricing and Features

For $49 plus state fees, Swyft Filings’ Basic Package includes verification of your company name, preparation of the articles of organization, and document filing with the state. You’ll also get online access to your documents and lifetime customer support. This plan comes with a one-hour business tax consultation to help you prepare for your first tax season, and company compliance alerts so you never miss a deadline. 

You can purchase the Standard Package for $149 plus state fees. This includes all the services included in the Basic Package, but with the addition of a custom operating agreement and a federal tax ID, or EIN. You will also get access to custom banking resolution services and custom organizational minutes, which is a form that helps you set up your very first meeting as an LLC.

Swyft Filings’ Premium Package includes everything in the Standard Package with the advantage of expedited filing, as well as a business website and web hosting services. You also get a digital LLC kit, which includes a digital company “seal”, a ledger for tracking transfers of ownership, and customized stock certificates. The Premium Package is available for purchase for $299 plus state filing fees.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Competitively-priced packages offer good value
  • Reliable customer service
  • Quick and easy purchase process
  • Good rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Fast turnaround times

Cons

  • Registered agent services not included in packages and pricier than competitors
  • Chat support is really just email
  • Significant upselling
  • Uses third parties for some services

Swyft Filings lives up to its name in terms of speedy processing times. However, the biggest drawback is that they don’t include registered agent services in any of their packages. Additionally, the registered agent service is $149 per quarter, whereas many other LLC formation services either charge an annual fee or bundle it with other offerings.

Explore Swyft Filings

Our Approach

As an entrepreneurial advisory site, we take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.

As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In nearly every case, we:

  • Examined every page of the service’s website
  • Reviewed all of their offerings, from a la carte products to packages
  • Put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, creating an account
  • Communicated with customer service via chat, email and phone
  • Used the service to actually form an LLC 
  • Gained a full understanding of the customer experience and service value

Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewers are able to provide the most complete and insightful analysis of various LLC formation services.

FAQs

Why should I use a business formation service to start my LLC?

Using a business formation service to start your LLC frees you up to focus on growing your business. These services handle the filing process for you and offer additional services that can make life easier for a new business owner.

What should I take into consideration when choosing the right business formation service for my LLC?

When assessing whether or not a business formation service is right for you, it’s important to dive into the following four categories: included features, customer service, pricing, and turnaround time.

Is IncFile a good business formation service?

Incfile is great for entrepreneurs on a budget, as their Silver Package covers the basics and includes a free year of their registered agent service. Competitors like LegalZoom and Swyft Filings have a more robust suite of services, but can be more expensive.

Why should I use LegalZoom?

Overall, LegalZoom is a reliable service that has been around for a while. If you need a one-stop shop for legal and business services, they are probably your best bet.

What service can help me form my business if I’m on a very tight budget?

Northwest Registered Agent offers a competitive Corporate Guide Service package for entrepreneurs on a strict budget. Customers that purchase this package benefit from Northwest Registered Agent paying your business fees upfront, allowing you to pay them back monthly at a lower price by distributing your bill over the course of a year.

Where can I learn more about what real customers think of the various business formation services?

To learn more about the customer experience at a particular business formation service, check out the reviews and ratings on the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot websites. Also see our summaries of customer reviews for each LLC formation service, detailed near the start of this article.